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”

Free Tour Guides in Nara

Nara has lots to offer and many tourists spend just a day or two here, so a guide can be super helpful. Here are some good services to use: Nara Student Guide Eager students from local universities can also take you around Nara. One-day tours of the major tourist areas and World Heritage sites offered. OfficialContinue reading “Free Tour Guides in Nara”

Free Tour Guides in Kyoto

Kyoto is one of Japan’s best cities to visit, but with all the great shrines and temples it can be a bit confusing. Which ones are best? How do I find out about the histories and beliefs behind them? There are so many ways in which a volunteer travel guide can help. Sakura Volunteer GuideContinue reading “Free Tour Guides in Kyoto”

Top 5 Free Tour Guide Services in Japan

Just about to book that expensive tour guide to show you around Japan? No need! There are hundreds of FREE volunteer guides in Japan. Here are our top groups and organisations: Goodwill Guides The official, national organisation for free guides in Japan. The volunteers are Japanese people who want use their foreign language skills toContinue reading “Top 5 Free Tour Guide Services in Japan”

Getting Away From The Big Cities – Japanese Alps in 1-2 Weeks

Want to get away from the big cities like Tokyo and Osaka? Try this itinerary!  It will take 1-2 weeks, depending on how much hiking and/or snowboarding or skiing you want to do.  This guide is therefore showing just our recommended route. As there are so many different bus companies and train companies, you probably don’t need a JapanContinue reading “Getting Away From The Big Cities – Japanese Alps in 1-2 Weeks”

Kamikochi

Kamikochi is a famous river and hiking spot in the Japanese Alps, between Takayama and Matsumoto.  It offers hiking routes for any type of person, as well as hot springs and camping sites. It’s a truly beautiful place, comparable to the Swiss Alps. Budget travel tips Get of the bus at the Kamikochi Bus Terminal, then pick upContinue reading “Kamikochi”

Cheap snowboarding and amazing mountains – Hakuba report

If you want to experience snowboarding or skiing on the cheap in Japan, Hakuba is the best place to go.  We recently went there, and enjoyed not just hitting the slopes but also checking out the town. Arrived to see this Japanese graveyard totally covered in snow.  Tried to walk through, but it was impossible!Continue reading “Cheap snowboarding and amazing mountains – Hakuba report”

Hakuba

Hakuba is the place to go for affordable, but excellent snowboarding or ski slopes.  The place is full of cheap guesthouses and hostels, and English language support is superb. Budget travel tips Hostels and guesthouse often have cheaper rental gear/snowboards/skis. Download the official map here, or get for free from the Happo (Hakuba) Information Center nextContinue reading “Hakuba”

Matsumoto

Matsumoto (松本) is a large city in Nagano prefecture.  The castle and shopping streets make for a nice day, so many people stop off here if before snowboarding/skiing in Habuka. Budget travel tips Pick up at free tourist map at the Tourist Information Center in Matsumoto station (3rd floor) It’s quite possible to walk everywhere, andContinue reading “Matsumoto”