Top 10 Cherry Blossom Spots in Japan

Here are the best places for cherry blossom viewing, also known as ‘hanami’, in Japan: Ueno Park A huge park with seemingly hundreds of cherry blossom trees.  Very, very busy, but great atmosphere. Ueno travel guide More in Tokyo Himeji Castle Himeji Castle is breath-taking during the cherry blossom season.  It’s free if you justContinue reading “Top 10 Cherry Blossom Spots in Japan”

Hakuba: Stunning budget friendly slopes

Hakuba, a large village in Nagano prefecture, has a wide selection of ski slopes and resorts, plus hotels and hostels for all kinds of budgets. The season usually continues until early May, so visitors can come here during Golden Week and enjoy cherry blossoms at the same time as enjoying the slopes. Hakuba is oneContinue reading “Hakuba: Stunning budget friendly slopes”

Nagano Snow Resort Pass

The Nagano Snow Resort Pass allows holders unlimited use of trains and buses in the Nagano snow area, in the Japanese Alps. This includes access to places such as Nagano, Hakuba and Yudanaka, where tourists can enjoy snowboarding, skiiing and some amazing hot springs. What does it cost? 2 Day Pass: Adults 5000 yen (about $40/€36), Children 2500 yen (about $20/€18). WhenContinue reading “Nagano Snow Resort Pass”

Sakura has started! Shinjuku Gyoen Garden Cherry Blossoms

Shinjuku Gyoen Garden is one of the best places to enjoy the cherry blossoms in Tokyo.  I recently went there to see if ‘sakura‘ had already started.  Many of the trees were already in full bloom, while others were nearly, nearly there.  This tree greets you at the Okubo entrance. Some of the trees wereContinue reading “Sakura has started! Shinjuku Gyoen Garden Cherry Blossoms”

The best cherry blossom spots in Tokyo

Here are some of the best places for Sakura in Tokyo: Ueno Park A huge park with seemingly hundreds of cherry blossom trees.  Very, very busy, but great atmosphere. Ueno travel guide. Shinjuku Gyoen Garden A very easy to access park.  Much quieter than the other main parks. Shinjuku Gyoen Garden travel guide Inokashira ParkContinue reading “The best cherry blossom spots in Tokyo”

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”

Nagoya

Most people will just transfer trains here or continue past to Osaka and Kyoto, but there are a few things to do here if you have some free time. From Nagoya you can go north to Takayama in the Japanese Alps, or south to Ise (one of the top shrines areas). Things to do NagoyaContinue reading “Nagoya”

Japan Cherry Blossom Forecasts for 2014 (Updated)

Sakura (Cherry Blossoms) is fast approaching and the Japan Weather Association has just posted their updated forecasts for each area.  They will probably blossom a little earlier than usual this year. The best time for seeing the cherry blossoms are usually about a week after the expected opening.

Monkey Hot Spring! Monkey Park in Nagano, Japan

The monkey hot spring in Yudanaka, Nagano has to be one of my highlights in Japan.  The area is full of countless monkeys jumping about, and of course enjoying hot springs!  Here are some photos from my trip. The entrance is pretty easy to find!  It’s a nice easy walk along the stream from here.Continue reading “Monkey Hot Spring! Monkey Park in Nagano, Japan”

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”