Tokushima

Tokushima (徳島) is a nice place to stop off on your travels around Shikoku, especially if you are on your way to Naruto to see the whirlpools. Apart from that, there is not much to entertain most tourists apart from average castle grounds and a ropeway. The prices for accommodation will be cheaper here, soContinue reading “Tokushima”

Top Ten Free Activities In Kyoto

By Tom Fay, author of Must-See Japan (blog: http://www.thomasfay.com) The undoubted culture capital of Japan, Kyoto is always high on the agenda for most visitors to the country. But with so many temples, shrines, gardens, historic buildings and other attractions dotted around Kyoto’s varied and distinctive districts, it can be difficult to decide where toContinue reading “Top Ten Free Activities In Kyoto”

Kanda Myojin Shrine

Kanda Myojin Shrine (神田明神) is a major Shinto shrine near Akihabara and Ueno. Over 1000 years old, the buildings have been stunningly reserved and the garden even more so. People visit the shrine to pray for prosperity and wealth. Budget travel tips Walk from Akihabara. After geeking out, walk north up the main street (Chuo Dori) andContinue reading “Kanda Myojin Shrine”

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”

Hiraizumi

While Japan’s other World Heritage sites get more attention, Hiraizumi (平泉) is the one to see if you want to do something a little different. Most famous is its golden hall in Chuson-ji Temple, but the town is full of mini-temples, plus some impressive gardens and lakes. Top Tips Pick up a free map from theContinue reading “Hiraizumi”

Spring flowers at Nezu Shrine’s Azalea Festival

While Nezu Shrine is just normal shrine during most of the year, it truly becomes unique during it’s Azalea Festival. From around early April to early May, the shrine’s garden is filled with a stunning collection of super colourful plants. There is a long  path of ‘torii’ gates in the garden. Be sure to duck or you will hitContinue reading “Spring flowers at Nezu Shrine’s Azalea Festival”

Nezu Shrine

Nezu Shrine is a small shrine complex and garden, famous for it’s yearly Azalea Festival. It has around 3000 azaleas, while the shrine itself is a great example of Edo period architecture. Budget travel tips It’s quite a small shrine complex, so only come here during the Azalea Festival in early April to early May. How toContinue reading “Nezu Shrine”