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

Okayama

Okayama (岡山) is a large city in Chugoku, known across the country for it’s Korakuen Garden, a superb example of Japanese gardening. It’s not just a transportation hub to Chugoku and Shikoku, and can take up a good day. Budget travel tips As Okayama is an major commercial and transportation hub, it’s a cheap place to stayContinue reading “Okayama”

Kanazawa

Kanazawa (金沢) is one of the major cities in central Japan, and is a good place to take a rest, fill up one some cheap food and continue on your adventure. Wait! It also has the best Japanese garden we have ever been to. Spend a day here and take your time in this specialContinue reading “Kanazawa”

Ryoanji Temple

Ryoanji Temple (龍安寺), meaning The Temple of the Dragon at Peace, is a World Heritage listed “dry landscape” garden and temple. It is considered to be one of, if not the best, examples of these in Japan.This garden style features large rock formations with pebbles raked in linear patterns to help in meditation. Budget travel tips Note thatContinue reading “Ryoanji Temple”

Beautiful autumn leaves in Shinjuku Gyoen

One of the easiest to access and cheapest gardens in Tokyo is Shinjuku Gyoen. Only a short walk from Shinjuku, the huge park has a variety of areas, from Japanese ponds and lakes to French and English gardens. There is also a new, super modern greenhouse with lots of strange, tropical plants. As I live inContinue reading “Beautiful autumn leaves in Shinjuku Gyoen”

Autumn leaves ‘light up’ at Rikugien Garden

While there are many great Japanese gardens in Tokyo for autumn leaves, Rikugien Garden stands out for its ‘light up’ event. From around 6 o’clock until 9pm, visitors can walk around a very stylish light display. The autumn leaves have been expertly lit up! The entrance to the park We took the recommended route to makeContinue reading “Autumn leaves ‘light up’ at Rikugien Garden”

Secret garden in Tokyo – Meiji Jingu’s Inner Garden

Even though I have been in Japan for over 5 years, I have never ventured into the Inner Garden in the grounds of Meiji Jingu in Harajuku. There is just so much to do around Harajuku and the gardens seemed almost hidden from everything else. In reality, it’s not that hard to find, and only costs 500Continue reading “Secret garden in Tokyo – Meiji Jingu’s Inner Garden”

Pink and white flowered hills of Hitsujiyama Park, Chichibu

Saitama, right above Tokyo on the map, is often forgotten as a tourist destination. It’s a quiet prefecture that never gets much attention, and therefore is not featured much in guide books. But Chichibu is a great place for travelers on a budget with it’s large collection of mountains, cheap hot springs and Hitsujiyama Park. During early April to early MayContinue reading “Pink and white flowered hills of Hitsujiyama Park, Chichibu”

Chichibu

Chichibu is a quiet town in the mountains to the west of Tokyo, best known for it’s festivals. During other times of the year there is not much going on, but it’s a great place to go hiking. Budget travel tips Best to come here only during a festival or for a day or twoContinue reading “Chichibu”

A kingdom of cherry blossom trees – Showa Memorial Park

While Showa Memorial Park is a little far way from central Tokyo, it’s worth heading out to see it during the cherry blossom or autumn colour seasons.  The park was opened in 1983 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the last emperor.  As it was created during Japan’s economic boom, it has been well developed, settingContinue reading “A kingdom of cherry blossom trees – Showa Memorial Park”

Lovely, endless cherry blossoms in Inokashira Park – Kichijoji, Tokyo

Inokashira Park in Kichijoji is a great place for cherry blossom viewing in Japan.  It is often packed with people having picnics, taking photos and relaxing on little boats in the lake.  We went there on the weekend and had a great time. Inokashira Park (井の頭恩賜公園) and Inokashira lake were established during the Edo period and became oneContinue reading “Lovely, endless cherry blossoms in Inokashira Park – Kichijoji, Tokyo”

Free, beautiful and colorful! Chinzanso Garden in Tokyo

Chinzanso Garden has to be the best garden for those that want to see cherry blossoms without spending any money. It’s near to Shinjuku, and is a very, very posh park open to average folks like me and you! The walk along the river from Edogawabashi station is lined with cherry blossom trees. It reallyContinue reading “Free, beautiful and colorful! Chinzanso Garden in Tokyo”