Kusatsu Onsen

Kusatsu Onsen (草津温泉) is a hot spring town in the Japanese Alps, and popular with Japanese tourists. Foreign visitors should not expect to find they are the only non-Japanese tourists here, but the town is one of best for hot spring experiences. The stunning hot spring water that flows though the centre of town isContinue reading “Kusatsu Onsen”

Shirakawa-go

Shirakawa-go (白川郷) and nearby Gokayama (五箇山) are secluded World Heritage villages known for their vernacular farmhouse-style houses called Gassho-Zukuri. These unique buildings have their style to withstand the heavy snow in the winter. Definitely a place to bring the camera. Budget travel tips If coming from Osaka or Nagoya, the Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass is a great wayContinue reading “Shirakawa-go”

Hida Furukawa

Hida Furukawa is a nice little day trip from Takayama.  It is a compact town with some nice traditional streets showing off some rather beautiful, very Japanese architecture.  It’s quieter and calmer than Takayama. Budget travel tips Download this useful town map or get one from the Tourist Information Center outside of Hidafurukawa Station south exit. It’s bestContinue reading “Hida Furukawa”

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”

Obuse

Obuse is a lovely little town near Nagano.  The old-fashioned streets and countless interesting temples provide a great one day trip.  Obuse is a good place to visit on the way to Yudanaka  and the Monkey Park. Budget travel tips See our map below for a recommended walking route (red line).  This is the best way toContinue reading “Obuse”

Yudanaka

Yudanaka and nearby Shibu Onsen are traditional hot spring areas, full of interesting old buildings, restaurants and shrines.  The area is well known for it’s monkey park, where monkeys play in a hot spring. Budget travel tips Makes for a great side trip from Nagano or Matsumoto.  The train to Yudanaka also stops at Obuse, a stunning town toContinue reading “Yudanaka”