Kinosaki Onsen

Kinosaki Onsen (城崎温泉) is a popular hot spring town in Kansai. The town is full of ryokans (Japanese style lodge) and hotels that have their own hot spring baths, plus there are 7 public baths around town to enjoy (600-800 yen). Kouno-yu is the oldest and our favourite with its open-air bath, but others are splendidContinue reading “Kinosaki Onsen”

Uji

Uji (宇治) is a popular tourist spot known for it’s many centuries old shrines and temples, 2 of which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. While it is famous for these sites, Uji has also been blessed with amazing nature and is a good place to come for an easy walk or hike. BudgetContinue reading “Uji”

Himeji

Himeji is most famous for it’s castle, which became a World Heritage Site in 1995.  It’s a great place to check out on the journey from Osaka to Hiroshima. Budget travel tips If you reserve a week in advance, you can get a free English language guided tour of Himeji Castle.  Contact the information centre (linkContinue reading “Himeji”

Takayama

Takayama is a beautiful town in the Japanese Alps.  It is famous for it’s festivals, markets and old-fashioned atmosphere.  It makes for a nice trip away from cities such as Kyoto or Nagoya. Budget travel tips Pick up a free map of the area at the Tourist Information Office (see map) opposite the station. CutContinue reading “Takayama”

Ise Shrines

The Ise shrines are often regarded to be in the top 3 shrine areas in Japan.  The simple, yet spectacular shrines really have to be seen with your own eyes to understand their beauty. Budget travel tips Try to be here outside the holidays, as Ise can get horribly busy. May be a good ideaContinue reading “Ise Shrines”

Nara

Nara iorr a UNESCO World Heritage Site full of great shrines and temples, not far from Kyoto and Osaka.  A must-visit for most travelers coming to Japan, Nara has a large park where most of the action is, while there are a few more shrines and temples a short bicycle or bus ride away. Budget travel tips BeContinue reading “Nara”

Kobe

Kobe (神戸) is a stylish city not far from Kyoto and Osaka, that is known as one of the first ports in Japan to open up to foreigners.  It therefore has lots of unique architecture for a Japanese city, making for an interesting, cheap trip.  For budget travelers Kobe can all be done in a oneContinue reading “Kobe”

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”