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”

Kumamoto

Kumamoto (熊本) is a medium sized city in Kyushu well known for it’s wonderful castle, and now also famous for its mascot, Kumamon. Thousands come here to pick up Kumamon souvenirs and to enjoy this quiet city. Budget travel tips A useful Information Center is located in the main Kumamoto train station. They have various dealsContinue reading “Kumamoto”

Kyu-Furukawa Gardens

Kyu-Furukawa Gardens (旧古河庭園) could be described as a half English, half Japanese garden. One half looks like a traditional English garden, with a manor house and roses, while the other half has a traditional Japanese pond and stone structures. Budget travel tips Sakura Hot Spring and Rikugien Garden are within walking distance, so save some money andContinue reading “Kyu-Furukawa Gardens”

Chinzanso Garden and Shinedogawa Park

Probably the best free Japanese garden in Tokyo, Chinzanso Garden (椿山荘の庭園) is an amazing garden in central Tokyo. It’s part of a very posh hotel, but everyone is free to enter the garden.  There are Japanese tea houses, a pagoda and lots of nice features you would expect from a real, traditional Japanese garden. Budget travel tips VeryContinue reading “Chinzanso Garden and Shinedogawa Park”

Rikugien Garden

Rikugien Garden (六義園) has to be one of our favourite Japanese gardens in Tokyo.  It’s got it all; cherry blossoms, autumn colors, a reasonably priced tea house, stunning lake and lots of interesting paths to take. Budget travel tips Sakura Hot Spring is a 5 minute walk away, so it’s best to combine the two.Continue reading “Rikugien Garden”

Former Yasuda Garden

The Former Yasuda Garden (旧安田庭園) is a medium sized traditional Japanese garden night next to the Edo-Tokyo Museum. While not the biggest, it is a very beautiful garden and most importantly it’s free! Budget travel tips It’s only a minute or two from Edo-Tokyo Museum, so it’s an easy walk. Former Yasuda Garden is a nice place toContinue reading “Former Yasuda Garden”

Himeji

Himeji is most famous for it’s castle, which became a World Heritage Site in 1995.  It’s a great place to check out on the journey from Osaka to Hiroshima. Budget travel tips If you reserve a week in advance, you can get a free English language guided tour of Himeji Castle.  Contact the information centre (linkContinue reading “Himeji”

Showa Memorial Park

Showa Memorial Park is a huge ‘park of parks’ not far from Shinjuku.  There are all sorts of things to see and do, such Japanese gardens, attractions for children, cherry blossom areas, lakes and much more. Budget travel tips The free part may be enough for you. We got our Autumn Colours fix (pics here), andContinue reading “Showa Memorial Park”

Imperial Palace East Garden

The East Garden, right in the center of Tokyo, is a free park within the Imperial Palace complex.  Highlights include Ninomaru Garden, a traditional Japanese garden, and the remains of the former castle tower. Budget travel tips A walk around the whole Imperial Palace is highly recommended, allowing you to see the different buildings, defensive walls,Continue reading “Imperial Palace East Garden”

Kiyosumi Garden

Kiyosumi Garden is a compact but beautiful traditional Japanese garden, featuring a real Japanese tea house.  Well worth a visit if you are in the area. Budget travel tips Kiyosumi Garden is a short walk from Fukagawa Edo Museum.  See the map below for details. The free park next door is a nice place to eatContinue reading “Kiyosumi Garden”

Shinjuku Gyoen Garden

Usually a must see for any visitor to Tokyo, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a large but pretty park right next to Shinjuku station.  But people on a budget looking for a more traditionally Japanesy park may want to consider Korakoen park, Kiyosumi park or Rikugen park. Budget travel tips Walk to the park fromContinue reading “Shinjuku Gyoen Garden”