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Wowcher’s Bite of Tokyo

The most densely populated city in the world, Tokyo is a fascinating mix of modern fads and old-fashioned tradition. The crowded cityscape swarms with both ornate shrines and slick skyscrapers, while entertainment ranges from gentle geishas to kitsch karaoke. Tokyo can be an intimidatingly tricky city to navigate, but a great – and appetising – way to tackle it is to sample its vast dining options. Whether you’re sinking your teeth into sashimi or sipping a steaming bowl of miso soup, you’ll soon see why the metropolis is so unique.

Chopsticks Challenge
Many a gaijin (foreigner) visiting Tokyo may not be accustomed to eating with two sticks of bamboo, which can be a dangerous territory for the slippery fingered. Probably the most famous cuisine to arise from Japan, sushi is traditionally finger food (think of it as a breadless sandwich) but is commonly eaten with chopsticks. Tokyoites can enjoy sushi in a number of settings, from takeaway bento boxes to eat-in kaiten-zushi restaurants, where dishes are whizzed around a conveyer belt for as long as they can be resisted. Those after a more upmarket sushi dining experience can head to Kyubey , where fresh ingredients and impeccable service make the restaurant one of the most popular in the Ginza district. Whether you master chopsticks or not, remember it is regarded as highly impolite to leave a grain of rice on your plate.

Delicious Fish
Not for the squeamish, faint-hearted or vegetarian, the Tsukiji fish market is the world’s largest seafood market. Freshly-caught fish from the tiniest of sardines to the hugest of tunas are meticulously weighed, cut, packed and sold, with live auctions kicking off at 5:30am and lulling by 9am. If you’re an early riser (or find yourself at the market in a confused state of jetlag), head down to catch the spectacle before indulging in a sushi breakfast from the market shops. Fish doesn’t get fresher than this!

Eating Eggs
Legend has it that eating kuro-tamago, a black egg from Owakudani (the Great Boiling Valley, just under an hour from Tokyo) will prolong your life by seven years. The eggs are bubbled in the stifling valley’s hot springs until they reach boiling point and turn black. If you don’t sample this local specialty, you should at least take the aerial gondola up the mountainside to see the volcanic action up close. Sulphur may fill your nostrils and steam might burn your face as it’s breathed upwards from the bubbling pools, but the views across the valley are unforgettable.

Tea Ceremonies
If you’ve tried a kuro-tamago in an attempt to delay death and would like to cleanse your palate of any lingering taste, then the best way to do so is to visit a traditional Japanese teahouse. Homely tea shops provide welcome relief from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, but if you’re after more than just a cuppa, it’s worth taking a day trip to Kyoto on the bullet train. The ancient capital of Japan, Kyoto is a sublime paradise of gardens, secret temples and vivid shrines, where geishas are spotted shuffling under cherry blossom trees. Join a tea ceremony in a townhouse such as Nishijin Tondaya to experience the traditional ritual for yourself. You’ll be left feeling cleansed, revitalised and truly Zen.

To try Tokyo for yourself, check out our seven-night tour on Wow Go!

Please note – deals featured may not be live. 

A Little ‘Me’ Time For You!

Ah yes, the planned romantic gesture from your other half – rose petals, scented candles, some aromatic oils and Barry White lilting gently in the background. Then comes the most ham-fisted, bone-crunching, oafish and downright clumsy excuse for a massage you’ve ever, ever had. But simmer down, because there’s no need to plot your revenge just yet. We’ve devised a handy guide to the best places where you can really indulge in a little me-time and untie a few of those knots along the way. One of them could be the perfect way to make it up to you…  Read more

Wowcher’s Top 5: Christmas Markets in Europe

FRANKFURTXMASOnce your parents have stopped giving you stockings and slipping surprise chocolate coins in your lunchbox, the once blindingly bright lights of Christmas can seem decidedly dim. That’s why this year we’re swapping stale figgy pudding and even staler cracker jokes for a little continental magic, courtesy of Europe’s best Christmas markets.  Read more

Wowcher’s Guide To Dental Treatments

What do all A-listers have in common? Whether they’re heading to a snazzy film premiere or slapping a selfie on Instagram, they each have that deliciously inviting Hollywood smile: two rows of gleaming gnashers, all straight and shiny.

It’s hardly surprising then, that 32% of us mere mortals (that’s a whopping one third of the UK) feel ‘concerned by the look of their teeth’ – and why shouldn’t we?* Cosmetic dentistry has exploded during the last decade, as well as plenty of on-the-shelf teeth whitening kits, making it more affordable than ever to snatch up a pair of glistening pearly whites. So move over celebs, us girls are getting in on the action, and here’s what to pick from if you do:

Laser Teeth Whitening
Often touted as laser teeth whitening, this celeb led procedure doesn’t typically involve lasers, but is actually down to a nifty chemical compound called ‘hydrogen peroxide’. Once activated by strong light, the ingredient is broken down, which releases oxygen into the inner enamel to promote a whiter tooth appearance. Quick, easy and without the fiddly nature of home whitening kits, this ‘miracle treatment’ can have you in and out of the dentist’s chair in as little as 45 minutes! Lunch break treat? Oh, go on then…

‘Six Month Smiles’ Clear Braces
Sporting tooth-coloured wires for discreet wear, the ‘Six Month Smiles’ method uses clear braces to gently straighten and align your pearly whites over a period of six months. These ingenious braces are barely visible, so you won’t need to feel self-conscious when talking, smiling and laughing. A full consultation with your dentist is usually required, as is a scale and polish and dental hygiene appointment once your braces come off. You’ll also need to return every three to four weeks to have the wires tightened, but don’t worry – that sparkly smile will be worth it!

Dental Implant & Ceramic Crown
A vampy makeup look may get you hot to trot, but a fang-heavy incisor is definitely not one to show off. With a dental implant and ceramic crown, you’ll first get a full dental exam with any necessary mouth x-rays included, plus a cosmetic consultation with your experienced dentist. If all goes well, the procedure then takes place over several sessions, involving a small screw being implanted in the jaw, which is then anchored by natural bone growth. The tooth will be topped off with a ceramic crown, made to match the colour and bite of your teeth.

Home Teeth Whitening Kit
Easy-to-use home teeth whitening kits can be found on any supermarket shelf, and while they include everything you need to build up a whiter smile, these magic kits can be expensive. Here at Wowcher, you can save a doddle on popular home teeth whitening treatments that include in-depth instructions and a shade guide so you can track the change in colour of your teeth. Whichever kit you choose, each pack contains a savvy formula designed to bust stains from things like coffee, wine and nicotine – leaving you with a smile to be proud of!

Scale, Polish & X-rays
Sparkly gnashers aside, we all need a good mouth clean every once and a while – and according to the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 60% of us organised women get our teeth checked regularly.* But for those who might have missed one or two, a scale, polish and x-ray is definitely worth having. These hygiene check-ups begin with an initial consultation, where you’ll get 3D x-rays of your mouth, designed to identify any hidden problems with your teeth, mouth and jaw that can’t be seen with a visual examination. You’ll then receive a teeth scale and polish lasting up to 30 minutes, leaving you with that lovely clean feeling you can only get from the dentist.

So there you have it, five dental treatments that can lift your dull and dreary teeth to glittering perfection. For your chance to snap up some bargain dental deals, simply stay with!

*Statistics sourced from

Wowcher’s Guide To Reykjavik

Get a raincoat ready and visit Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, where eager hikers can stand behind glacier ice plunging from a whopping 200 feet!

Iceland’s Reykjavík is a city that can bewitch even the most discerning travellers with its awe-inspiring natural wonders, unapologetic nightlife and bite for all things extraordinary. Let it seduce you this winter…

Blue Lagoon
Enveloped by lava fields off the Reykjanes peninsula, the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is one of the most revered spots in Iceland. Soak up on silken pools pitted against turquoise terrain, before falling head over heels with a nourishing massage enjoyed on-site. Feeling indulgent? Hire the Exclusive Lounge for full spa access complete with treatment and lunch at Blue Lagoon’s LAVA restaurant: prices from only 117 Euros.

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Barbarians V Australia @ Twickenham Preview

If you love ball games that involve ferocious tackles, you need to cancel all of your plans for the 1st November 2014 and get your rugby-loving tush down to Twickenham. Kicking off the Autumn Internationals is the hotly anticipated match between Australia and the Barbarians (or the Wallabies versus the Baa-Baas, to all you rugger fans). The Wallabies have one of the most impressive backsides – sorry, backlines – in world rugby, and the Barbarians have a more fearsome attack than a fleet of Angry Birds with Uzis. This match is sure to be an explosive contest between two of the most talented egg-tossing teams in the world.

After a historic defeat against Argentina in Mendoza, the Wallabies will be fired up to make amends and silence all of their critics. With turmoil on and off the pitch including a string of injuries, there certainly will be something to prove on the day. You know what they say: absence makes the team grow stronger (or something like that).

Beating the Baa-Baas will not be an easy task, however, as Nick Cummins – aka the Honey Badger – is set to start against his old Wallaby team-mates. They’re going to have to stay compact in defence, because the Honey Badger is crazy.

There is also a lot at stake for the Baa-Baas. Last time the two teams met in 2011, Australia trounced them 60-11. There were glimpses of the trademark Barbarian dash and dazzle on the day, but most of that was lost to a murky sub-plot of yellow cards, off-the-ball spats and crass handling. The Barbarians will be keen to restore some pride, not least because John Kirwan has been named coach for this Killik Cup clash.

Kirwan is an All Black, and given the Trans-Tasman history shared by the two nations, there’s sure to be no love lost. I mean, how would you feel if France tried to sell the UK on eBay? Or if they stole Stephen Fry and made him French? There are some things Kiwis just don’t forget, and no matter how many films of Lord of the Rings they make or how good AC/DC are, they’ll still want to destroy their rivals on the pitch. We wouldn’t be surprised if Kirwan spent all of his training sessions teaching the Barbarians to Haka.

So for a chance to see the mercurial backs Israel Folau, Kurtley Beale, Will Genia and Adam Ashley-Cooper of the Wallabies against England’s Matt Stevens, and Springboks CJ van der Linde, Coenie Oosthuizen and Heinrich Brüssow of the star-studded invitational Barbarians team, get yourself a ticket to Twickenham here. It promises to be a scrumptious display of rugger, great for fans of the game and the perfect introduction for rubgy virgins!

Please note: If you are reading this in the future and know the result of this titanic clash then A) please don’t travel back in time and ruin it for us and B) although you may have missed your chance to see this particular match, there’ll be plenty more great sporting offers on

Viva Las Vegas – Wowcher’s Guide to Sin City

Before you can say ‘Vegas Baby’ in your most polished American accent, we bet you’ve conjured up images of the Bellagio fountains, Paris’ Eiffel Tower and Luxor’s giant pyramid that make up Vegas’ main Strip. You know, the other “city that never sleeps”, where the norm is to gamble all day and drink all night, where what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. But not today because we’ve put together a weird and wonderful guide to Sin City. We dare you to go without it… Read more

Wowcher Dines A La Française @ Café des Amis, Covent Garden

Vin. Soup du jour. Jus d’orange. Essentially we’re just listing liquids in French, but if you’re already salivating as you swill an imaginary glass, eyes closed, then you’re as captivated by a throaty continental accent as I am. How a language can make a humble glass of OJ sound like the drink of a king, I’ll never know, but I decided to try some classic French cuisine for myself at Café des Amis in Covent Garden… Read more

The Wowcher Guide To Superstardom!

Here at Wowcher, we know you’re a star, but how exactly do you let the rest of the world know it? Well it’s easier than you think. So forget the years of hard work, humiliating auditions and crippling performing arts training and just take the fast track to success with our handy five-step guide! As late-90s muses S-Club 7 once said, you’ve got to reach for the stars…

Look the part
A good way to make yourself feel like a star is to take some magical inspiration and wear it on your sleeve wherever you go. Or in this case, around your neck – so how about a gorgeous fairy necklace made with none other than Swarovski elements (we prefer them so much more than boring regular elements). Studded with emerald-coloured jewels and either rhodium, gold or rose gold plating, this Disney meets Dior bit of bling is sure to be the missing statement piece to your soon-to-be A-lister wardrobe.

Whether you opt for a rhodium, gold or rose gold-plated fairy, you’ll find her encrusted with emerald-coloured crystals and holding a star pendant.

Whether you opt for a rhodium, gold or rose gold-plated fairy, you’ll find her encrusted with emerald-coloured crystals and holding a star pendant.

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Wowcher’s Guide To Back To University Essentials

Whether it’s your first year of university or you’re returning for another year of spaghetti hoop breakfasts and Fruit Loop dinners, we’ve got everything you need to be the ultimate student. Here is the Wowcher guide to everything UNI-d:  Read more