Best Cherry Blossom Spots in Osaka

In Osaka for the cherry blossom season this year? While Osaka may not have as many parks or shrines as Kyoto or Tokyo where you can enjoy the Sakura season, it still has plenty of spots. As with most Japanese cities, you will also be able to see random cherry blossom trees all across theContinue reading “Best Cherry Blossom Spots in Osaka”

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”

Snowy Buddhist mountain town – Koyasan Day 1

Koyasan is a secluded town south of Osaka, full of temples for people to stay in and view. I went here last week and had one of my holidays in Japan. This UNESCO World Heritage site is so stunning in the winter.  Day 2 report can be found here.  Here are some highlights from my trip:Continue reading “Snowy Buddhist mountain town – Koyasan Day 1”

Top 5 Kansai Christmas Illuminations

If you are lucky enough to be in Japan in the holiday season, there are some stunning illuminations and displays in Osaka and Kyoto. While not quite as numerous or as crazy as in Tokyo, they are definitely worth checking them out while you do a bit of Christmas shopping. Japan may not be a Christian country, butContinue reading “Top 5 Kansai Christmas Illuminations”

Top 20 FREE things to do this summer in Japan

Summer is upon us and Japan has a host of things to do for budget tourists. We have compiled our list of the best free things to do. Enjoy! Tokyo Walk along Todoroki Valley Take a light walk along this hidden away paradise just outside central Tokyo. The water is stunningly luminescent in summer. MoreContinue reading “Top 20 FREE things to do this summer in Japan”

Osaka Station Sky Farm and Japanese Garden

Ever wanted to visit a Japanese garden and do a bit of farming at the top of a skyscraper above a huge train station? Ok, maybe not, but I’m sure you can admit the idea of Tenku No Noen (Sky Farm) and Yawaragi no Niwa (Healing Garden) are pretty cool. They offer good views over theContinue reading “Osaka Station Sky Farm and Japanese Garden”

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”

Top Ten Cheap Activities In Osaka

By Tom Fay (http://www.thomasfay.com), author of Must-See Japan Japan’s ‘second city’, Osaka is a busy, bustling metropolis in the heart of the Kansai region. Known for its friendly atmosphere and great food, tourists have started flocking here in ever-increasing numbers in recent years. Here are some of the best activities around the city for those on aContinue reading “Top Ten Cheap Activities In Osaka”

Japan Cherry Blossom Forecasts for 2016

Sakura (Cherry Blossoms) is coming up, so now is a good time to check the forecasts!  It’s one of the best times to visit Japan. Please try to allow some flexibility in your holiday schedule, as the actual timings can change. Check our homepage for regular updates and reports. Kanto City Forecast for first bloomContinue reading “Japan Cherry Blossom Forecasts for 2016”

Tokyo-Osaka Hokuriku Arch Pass

The Tokyo-Osaka Hokuriku Arch Pass is a new rail pass, introduced just after the Hokuriku Shinkansen was finished. This new line extends the Shinkansen all the way to Kanazawa from Tokyo. The pass therefore takes visitors on an arch route from Tokyo to Osaka via the northern coast. It includes tourist hotspots such as Kanazawa, Kaga Onsen, Kyoto, Kobe, and NaraContinue reading “Tokyo-Osaka Hokuriku Arch Pass”

Free tour guides in Osaka

Thought Osaka is just a concrete jungle? Getting a guide to show your around is a great way to really get to know this city and its surrounds. Even better if they are free! Foreigner Guides Net Osaka This group are able to offer guides in various languages and can take you anywhere you want.Continue reading “Free tour guides in Osaka”

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”