Top 10 Cherry Blossom Spots in Japan

Here are the best places for cherry blossom viewing, also known as ‘hanami’, in Japan: Ueno Park A huge park with seemingly hundreds of cherry blossom trees.  Very, very busy, but great atmosphere. Ueno travel guide More in Tokyo Himeji Castle Himeji Castle is breath-taking during the cherry blossom season.  It’s free if you justContinue reading “Top 10 Cherry Blossom Spots in Japan”

Top Cherry Blossom Spots in Kyoto

There are so many great places to see cherry blossoms in Kyoto, so here are some of my highlights! You could save some money and walk between them all, so use our Google Map below or circle them on one of the free tourist maps that are available from tourist information centers and stations allContinue reading “Top Cherry Blossom Spots in Kyoto”

Top 5 Cherry Blossom Spots in Kyushu

Kyushu, in southern Japan, has some excellent sakura (cherry blossoms) spots. They may be just as busy as those up north, but they make for a good change of scene. The times are about the same as in Tokyo and Kyoto. For forecasts check out the Super Cheap Japan sakura (cherry blossoms) guide. Fukuoka is the best place toContinue reading “Top 5 Cherry Blossom Spots in Kyushu”

Snowy Buddhist mountain town – Koyasan Day 1

Koyasan is a secluded town south of Osaka, full of temples for people to stay in and view. I went here last week and had one of my holidays in Japan. This UNESCO World Heritage site is so stunning in the winter.  Day 2 report can be found here.  Here are some highlights from my trip:Continue reading “Snowy Buddhist mountain town – Koyasan Day 1”

Free sample chapter from my awesome new book!

The new Super Cheap Japan book is the ultimate guidebook for those traveling to Japan on a budget. Available across the world at retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Book Depository, it is a painstakingly researched book aimed at those who worry about spending too much money in the Land of the RisingContinue reading “Free sample chapter from my awesome new book!”

Top 10 Autumn Color Spots in Japan

Here are our top 10 places to visit in Japan for the autumn leaves! 1. Meiji Jingu Gaien (明治神宮外苑) Have a lovely walk down the road leading to the Emperor’s palace. When: Late November to early December The closest station is Gaienmae on the Metro Ginza line.  2. Mount Takao (高尾山) Take a relaxing hike orContinue reading “Top 10 Autumn Color Spots in Japan”

Exploring Yanaka

Yanaka is a peaceful neighborhood that is perfect for a morning stroll and that rewards exploration. A straightforward walk from Ueno to Nippori will take you along quiet streets of undamaged pre-war buildings, quiet temples and an eclectic selection of contemporary artist’s studios and galleries. Most notable among them is the Asakura Museum of SculptureContinue reading “Exploring Yanaka”

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”

Tropical Dream Center

Tropical Dream Center (熱帯ドリームセンター) is a popular destination in Okinawa, with around 2000 orchids and tropical plants to view. Information Open: 8:30-19:00 (March-September), 8:30-17:30 (October-February) Price: 670 yen How to get there From Naha Bus Terminal, visitors can take a bus here. Book at the terminal at least the day before. Map

Shurijo Castle

Shurijo Castle Park (首里城公園) is a world heritage listed national park and castle near Naha city center. With spectalar views over the city’s downtown, this is a must visit. The castle used to be the home of the Ryukyu Dynasty, which reigned from 1429 to 1879, so the architecture is different from other castles inContinue reading “Shurijo Castle”

Shikina-en Garden

Shikina-en Garden (識名園), another unique World Heritage site in Okinawa, is a stunning garden containing the old villa of the Okinawa royal family. Information Open: 9:00-17:00 (October-March), 9:00-18:00 (April-September) Price: 400 yen How to get there Take a bus from Kinjo District (15 mins). Map