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”

Izu Peninsula

Izu Peninsula (伊豆半島) is a famous hot spring and sightseeing destination, and a popular side trip from Tokyo. While not that popular with foreign tourists, it is becoming increasing well-known. A host of passes make it a great travel idea for budget travellers. Budget travel tips The Minami Izu Free Pass is great for travel in andContinue reading “Izu Peninsula”

Narita City

Got some time to kill before or after a flight at Narita Airport? Narita City (成田) has a few things to check out, and can definitely occupy a good day of travel. Budget travel tip When booking with an LCC airline, don’t be afraid to book the cheapest flights if it means a short stayContinue reading “Narita City”

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”

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”

Yanagawa

Yanagawa (柳川) is a lovely town with some beautifully quiet canals to explore. It is located between Fukuoka and Kumamoto, and so is a cool place to stop off on the way if you want some time away from big cities. The waterways go all around the town, including the old castle ruins, traditional townhousesContinue reading “Yanagawa”

Otaru

Otaru (小樽) is one of the main tourist hotspots in Hokkaido, well known all over Japan for its lovely, quiet canal. While there are plenty of tour buses and touristy shops, the town has a really laid-back feel and is definitely worth a visit. Budget travel Pick up a free map from the station beforeContinue reading “Otaru”

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”

Nara

Nara iorr a UNESCO World Heritage Site full of great shrines and temples, not far from Kyoto and Osaka.  A must-visit for most travelers coming to Japan, Nara has a large park where most of the action is, while there are a few more shrines and temples a short bicycle or bus ride away. Budget travel tips BeContinue reading “Nara”

Koyasan

Koyasan will really take your breath away. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a town of Buddhist temples in the mountains south of Osaka.  Even if you have seen many temples before, Koyasan will really seem like it’s in another league with it’s huge structures and massive graveyard.  English support, maps and signs are great. Budget travel tips AlthoughContinue reading “Koyasan”

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”