Top 10 ways to save money when booking your Japan holiday

Worried about the cost of your holiday to Japan? No need to be in a panic, here are some sure ways to keep your posts down: 1) Get those plane tickets as early as possible Use websites such as Skyscanner to check prices, be flexible and book as quickly as you can. Substantial savings canContinue reading “Top 10 ways to save money when booking your Japan holiday”

Super Cheap Japan featured in an awesome new YouTube channel

Jon Bear is a great new video blogger, and a man already known for producing super professional videos about traveling in Japan. My first book, Super Cheap Japan, has been featured in his new video about how to survive in Japan on only 6000 yen a week! Also be sure to check out his channelContinue reading “Super Cheap Japan featured in an awesome new YouTube channel”

Get out of the city in Nikko

Nikko is a perfect trip for nature-lovers looking to get out of the city. A direct train from Asakusa (express or local, depending on your budget) will take you to the National Park – comprising forests, mountains, waterfalls, lakes and plateaus – in about two hours. In the summer, it’s a great place to retreatContinue reading “Get out of the city in Nikko”

Yabo Tenmangū Shrine (FREE)

Guest post by M A McDonald Yabo Tenmangū Shrine (谷保天満宮) is a beautiful Shinto shrine, a brief walk from Nambu Line’s Yaho Station. Founded in 903 and rebuilt on its present site (1924), Yabo Tenmangū protects a small sacred forest as well as a picturesque orchard of gnarled but flourishing plum trees (complete with resting platforms),Continue reading “Yabo Tenmangū Shrine (FREE)”

Hot Plaza Asama Onsen, near Matsumoto

Visiting the hot spring (onsen) for a day is a cheap way to try out this uniquely Japanese experience. It’s a great way to wash away all that tiredness during your travels. Today, I’ll introduce Hot Plaza Onsen in Matsumoto. How to get there First, get bus time table from Matsumoto station visitor center. Take Bus no.Continue reading “Hot Plaza Asama Onsen, near Matsumoto”

Kakunodate – Samurai Town

Kakunodate is cool place for a day trip in Akita, Tohoku. The town is well-known for its well-preserved samurai houses, many of which are open for visitors to enter. I got a chance to visit the town, and spend a good day exploring it with a free map available from the station. There are signsContinue reading “Kakunodate – Samurai Town”

Meiji Jingu Gaien Autumn Leaves

One of the best places in Tokyo for autumn colours is Meiji Jingu Gaien. Located next to Gaienmae on the Metro Ginza line, this widely advertised street near leading to the Royal Palace and grounds is a spectacular sight. We went last week, and while the golden leaves were sometimes not in full bloom, most seemed toContinue reading “Meiji Jingu Gaien Autumn Leaves”

Free hot spring in deep mountain forest – Fukiage Onsen

Although hardly mentioned in travel guides, particularly English ones, Fukiage Hot Spring (onsen in Japanese) is probably the best hot springs I have been to. The nearby Tokachi Onsen is well known, and featured in many guides. Looking for something I bit more off the tourist tracks, I went on Google and searched for おんせん (onsen/hot spring) and FukiageContinue reading “Free hot spring in deep mountain forest – Fukiage Onsen”

Get out of the big city! Relaxing day at Otaru Canal

Otaru is a big, but quiet town near Sapporo, in Hokkaido. The name Otaru means ‘River of Sands’ in the native language of Ainu. It grew as a harbour and port town and during the early development of Hokkaido experienced a boom as it was one of only a small number of ports on theContinue reading “Get out of the big city! Relaxing day at Otaru Canal”

The best hot spring in Japan? Nyuto Onsen, Akita

Tsuru-No-Yu Hot Spring (鶴の湯温泉) is the most famous hot spring in Nyuto Onsen, and one of the most iconic in the whole of Japan. It takes a few bus trips, or a hike to get here, but it’s totally worth the wait. Tsuru-No-Yu Hot Spring is filled with very silky, almost milk-like water that is saidContinue reading “The best hot spring in Japan? Nyuto Onsen, Akita”

Japan’s most beautiful temple – Chuson-ji, Hiraizumi

Hiraizumi really does have a lot to offer. After becoming a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2011, Hiraizumi has gone from strength to strength, full of seasonal events and well maintained, interesting shrines. There are plenty of free ones around, but the main ones are definitely worth the entrance fee. In the north part of Hiraizumi is Chuson-ji, which is part ofContinue reading “Japan’s most beautiful temple – Chuson-ji, Hiraizumi”

Exploring the beautiful, luminous Tazawa Lake

Tazawa Lake really took our breath away. Before going I thought it was just a big lake, but Tazawa Lake is really unique and worth going all the way to visit. What makes it so unique is that all the hot spring water feeding it has given it a strangely luminous, sometimes transparent, appearance. The boatContinue reading “Exploring the beautiful, luminous Tazawa Lake”