Bitchu-Takahashi

For some reason completely unknown to most tourists, including Japanese tourists, Bitchu-Takahashi (備中高梁) presented one of the most surprising castles we have ever visited. After visiting nearby cities and towns such as Okayama and Kurashiki, Bitchu-Takahashi  was a breath of fresh air. It’s an average town, but with a scattering of fascinating and traditional relicsContinue reading “Bitchu-Takahashi”

Tottori

Tottori (鳥取) is the most popular city in northern Chugoku, best known for its sand dunes (the largest in Japan) and associated sand museum. Budget travel tips Pick up a Look Kirinjishi Bus pass from the train station Tourist Information Center, which takes visitors to all the main tourist spots. Available on weekends, national holidaysContinue reading “Tottori”

Izumo-taisha

Izumo Taisha (出雲大社) is a grand shrine, considered one of Japans top 3. Located in northern Chugoku, it is an essential stop if you are in the region. It is therefore a hugely popular shrine, but never feels overly crowded. The folklore behind the shrine says that the gods from all over Japan gather atContinue reading “Izumo-taisha”

Okayama

Okayama (岡山) is a large city in Chugoku, known across the country for it’s Korakuen Garden, a superb example of Japanese gardening. It’s not just a transportation hub to Chugoku and Shikoku, and can take up a good day. Budget travel tips As Okayama is an major commercial and transportation hub, it’s a cheap place to stayContinue reading “Okayama”

Mount Daisen

Mount Daisen (大山) is a volcanic mountain in the Chugoku region with amazing views over the northern mountains from 1,729 metres above sea level. This makes it the highest in the region, so it has a lot of significance to Japanese people. The mountain is therefore dotted with stunning shrines and temples, and has becomeContinue reading “Mount Daisen”

Miyajima

Miyajima is yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site near Osaka and Hiroshima.  It’s often near the top of the list for most travelers, and offers and easy to access and peaceful rest from the big city. Budget travel tips Download the free tourist map here, or pick one up at the Tourist Information Center (see map). Everywhere is within walkingContinue reading “Miyajima”

Hiroshima

Hiroshima (広島) can be an extremely emotional, sad place, but it’s one that must be visited. During World War 2 a nuclear bomb destroyed Hiroshima and most places for tourists are related to this.  It’s best as a one day trip from Kyoto. Budget travel tips Get a free tourist map from the Shinkansen exitContinue reading “Hiroshima”