Going underground in Japan: Exploring the Seikan Tunnel Museum from Hokkaido to Honshu

The Seikan tunnel is a train tunnel that connects Tohoku in the main island of Honshu to Hokkaido to the north, going a impressive 240m below the sea level. The whole tunnel is over 50km in length and was quite a feat of engineering when it was constructed over 40 years ago under the TsugaruContinue reading “Going underground in Japan: Exploring the Seikan Tunnel Museum from Hokkaido to Honshu”

Yamadera

Yamadera (山寺), meaning Mountain Temple, is a small town well known for its beautiful, scenic Ryūshaku-ji (立石寺) temple. The town is a great spot for Autumn colours, but is excellent any time of the year. Walking up the temple area provides a great view over the town and forests, as you check out many different religiousContinue reading “Yamadera”

Zao Onsen

Zao Onsen (蔵王温泉) is a popular ski resort and hot spring town in Tohoku. The resort is known for its excellent powder conditions and also for its ‘snow monster trees’. Budget travel tips Works well with trips to Yamagata and Yamadera. Contact your hostel or hotel to see if they have rental discounts for guest.Continue reading “Zao Onsen”

Naruko Gorge

Naruko Gorge (鳴子峡) is a stunning Autumn leaves spot in Tohoku. The leaves cover the 100 metre deep gorge with stunning orange and gold colours, so this has become one of Japan’s best places to see the Autumn leaves. There are various walking paths and a train that goes through the gorge. Budget travel tips NarukoContinue reading “Naruko Gorge”

Matsushima

Matsushima (松島) is famous bay not far from Sendai. What makes this place unique is that the bay is dotted with beautiful little islands, the most famous of which has a shrine on top. You can view the islands by walking around the bay or by using traditional Japanese bridges to access the 2 main islands. Budget travel tips Taking aContinue reading “Matsushima”

Hiraizumi

While Japan’s other World Heritage sites get more attention, Hiraizumi (平泉) is the one to see if you want to do something a little different. Most famous is its golden hall in Chuson-ji Temple, but the town is full of mini-temples, plus some impressive gardens and lakes. Top Tips Pick up a free map from theContinue reading “Hiraizumi”

Kakunodate

Kakunodate (角館) is an old samurai town with a rich history and lots to see. Near Lake Tazawa in Tohoku, Kakunodate has plenty of traditional samurai and merchant houses, as well as museums, cherry blossom spots and lots of free samples! Budget travel tips There is a really helpful Tourist Information Center next to the station. Head thereContinue reading “Kakunodate”

Lake Tazawa

Lake Tazawa (田沢湖) is a luminous blue lake in Tohoku and the deepest lake in Japan. It’s a great place to spend a morning or afternoon. Even during the busy holidays, it remains a quiet and relaxing place to visit. Budget travel tips Be super careful with train times, as local trains to Lake Tazawa are not veryContinue reading “Lake Tazawa”