A highlight of Japan that most tourists never see – Chiba’s Mount Nokogiriyama

Mount Nokogiriyama is a stunning day trip from Tokyo for those that want to see a bit of the countryside. Located on the Boso Peninsula in Kanto, it’s a 330-meter high mountain looking over Tokyo bay. While it’s a bit of a trek to get there all the way from Chiba, it’s definitely worth it!Continue reading “A highlight of Japan that most tourists never see – Chiba’s Mount Nokogiriyama”

Mount Fuji

Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the view from the top of Mount Fuji has to be seen to be believed.  While it can get very busy, this will probably be your most memorable experience in Japan. It’s not too pricy to get there and the route up is easy to understand but challenging. ItContinue reading “Mount Fuji”

Daigoji Temple

Daigoji Temple (醍醐寺) is a picturesque Buddhist temple in south Kyoto. While a bit run down in places, the main pagoda and red bridge are iconic sites that set Daigoji Temple apart from all the other countless temples in Kyoto. It is also quieter than the other ones, due to being about 30 minutes fromContinue reading “Daigoji Temple”

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”

Ogijima

The smaller brother to Megijima, Ogijima (男木島) is also worth a visit if you have the time. The small size means that budget travellers can get around just on foot. It’s a very compact island, and a good spot for hiking. Budget travel tips If you get an early morning ferry, it is perfectly possible to doContinue reading “Ogijima”

Yakushima

Yakushima (屋久島) is a World Heritage listed subtropical island in southern Kyushu. It is usually accessed from Kagoshima and is a great way for tourists to get away from the bustling and busy streets of most Japanese cities. Budget travel tips Buses go every hour our so, but be sure to check your bus timesContinue reading “Yakushima”

Mount Aso

Mount Aso (阿蘇山) is Kyushu’s most famous volcano and symbol of the prefecture as the “Land of Fire”. The national park contains huge forests, beautful lakes and some superb hot spings. The crater basin the the largest of it’s kind in the world, at 25km in length and 18km in width. Various walks around theContinue reading “Mount Aso”

Mount Mitake

Mt. Mitake (御岳山) is considered a sacred mountain by many Japanese, who frequently make a pilgrimage from Tokyo to the shrines up the mountain and on top. The 929 metre tall summit is easily, and cheaply, accessible from the big city and provides great views of Kanto. Alongside Mount Takao, the best mountain for hiking inContinue reading “Mount Mitake”

Izu Peninsula

Izu Peninsula (伊豆半島) is a famous hot spring and sightseeing destination, and a popular side trip from Tokyo. While not that popular with foreign tourists, it is becoming increasing well-known. A host of passes make it a great travel idea for budget travellers. Budget travel tips The Minami Izu Free Pass is great for travel in andContinue reading “Izu Peninsula”

Todoroki Valley

Todoroki Valley (等々力渓谷) is a wonderful retreat from all the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. Not far from Shibuya, it offers lush forests and occasionally luminously blue waters. Not sure why this place isn’t on more tourist maps! Difficulty: Easy Length: 1.2km Time: 30 mins How to get there From Shibuya station, take the TokyuContinue reading “Todoroki Valley”

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”