Exploring Kawayu Onsen – Hokkaido’s best hot spring town?

As part of my research for my new Hokkaido travel book, Super Cheap Hokkaido, I went to a hot spring town that I had been hoping to visit for a long time, Kawayu Onsen. On the eastern side of Hokkaido, it’s pretty much away from where most tourists will go, but could still be consideredContinue reading “Exploring Kawayu Onsen – Hokkaido’s best hot spring town?”

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”

Minoo Park

Minoo Park (箕面公園) is a popular day trip from Osaka, a great place to go hiking or enjoy some local food and buy some souvenirs. It is what Mount Takao is to Tokyo, a very accessible and inexpensive to access hiking area, with all sorts of hiking routes for all sorts of difficulty. Most people takeContinue reading “Minoo Park”

Matsuyama and Dogo Onsen

Matsuyama (松山) is a popular tourist city in Shikoku, best known for Dogo Onsen (道後温泉). Considered to be the best hot spring town in the prefecture, it makes the city a great place to spend a day. Located on the north-west of Shikoku, it Matsuyama is also easily accessible from the main island (such as via cheapContinue reading “Matsuyama and Dogo Onsen”

Ibusuki

Ibusuki (指宿) is a great day-trip location from Kagoshima, most famous for hot sand baths. It is a great location for flower viewing and coastline hot springs. It is also a good spot to take the ferry to Yakushima. Budget travel tips When you arrive, head into the Tourist Information Center in the station. TheyContinue reading “Ibusuki”

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”

Minami Izu Unlimited Ticket

Izu Peninsula 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, and this pass will help out budget travellers. This pass includes a round-trip ticket to Izu, with unlimited use of transportation in the area around andContinue reading “Minami Izu Unlimited Ticket”

Ito Kanko Freepass

Izu Peninsula is a popular side trip from Tokyo. While not that popular with foreign tourists, it is becoming increasing well-known, and this pass will help out budget travellers. It includes a round-trip ticket to Izu, with unlimited use of transportation in the area. Discounts are also included to various tourist destinations. What does itContinue reading “Ito Kanko Freepass”

Kinosaki Onsen

Kinosaki Onsen (城崎温泉) is a popular hot spring town in Kansai. The town is full of ryokans (Japanese style lodge) and hotels that have their own hot spring baths, plus there are 7 public baths around town to enjoy (600-800 yen). Kouno-yu is the oldest and our favourite with its open-air bath, but others are splendidContinue reading “Kinosaki Onsen”

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”

Kaga Onsen

Kaga Onsen (加賀温泉) is a collection of easily and cheaply accessible hot spring areas. Each area has its own distinct feel and is worth visiting even if you are shy about hot springs due to the many foot baths and relaxing scenery and cafes. Budget travel tips Get a CANBUS pass for unlimited bus travel toContinue reading “Kaga Onsen”