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”

Get out of the city in Nikko

Nikko is a perfect trip for nature-lovers looking to get out of the city. A direct train from Asakusa (express or local, depending on your budget) will take you to the National Park – comprising forests, mountains, waterfalls, lakes and plateaus – in about two hours. In the summer, it’s a great place to retreatContinue reading “Get out of the city in Nikko”

JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass

The JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass is an interesting new pass that has opened to celebrate the opening of the Hokkaido Shinkansen line. It allows unlimited travel on all JR (national rail) trains from Tokyo and Yokohama in Kanto all the way up to Otaru and Sapporo in Hokkaido, via Tohoku. Highlights in between include the Kakunodate, Sendai, Hakodate andContinue reading “JR East-South Hokkaido Rail 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”

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.

Nikko

One of Japan’s many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Nikko is a great way to spend a few days away from Tokyo. It’s a town full of temples, shrines, waterfall and lakes.  In other words, lots of cheap touristy things to do! Excellent English language signage and maps. Budget travel tips The cost of buses andContinue reading “Nikko”

2 Day Nikko Pass

The 2 Day Nikko Pass is the best way to visit Nikko.  The 2 days provides plenty of time to see all the main shrines and temples in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It includes a round ticket from Tokyo, free use of buses in the area and discounts at most places. What does it cost?Continue reading “2 Day Nikko Pass”