Kakunodate – Samurai Town

Kakunodate is cool place for a day trip in Akita, Tohoku. The town is well-known for its well-preserved samurai houses, many of which are open for visitors to enter. I got a chance to visit the town, and spend a good day exploring it with a free map available from the station. There are signsContinue reading “Kakunodate – Samurai Town”

Meiji Jingu Gaien Autumn Leaves

One of the best places in Tokyo for autumn colours is Meiji Jingu Gaien. Located next to Gaienmae on the Metro Ginza line, this widely advertised street near leading to the Royal Palace and grounds is a spectacular sight. We went last week, and while the golden leaves were sometimes not in full bloom, most seemed toContinue reading “Meiji Jingu Gaien Autumn Leaves”

Beautiful English garden with a Japanese twist – Kyu-Furukawa Gardens, Tokyo

Kyu-Furukawa Garden is a really nice place to go in the summer or spring. It’s a strange mix of a traditional English garden with a traditional Japanese garden. Two gardens for the price of one! During May and June the roses are in full bloom, so we had a look. The English manor house isContinue reading “Beautiful English garden with a Japanese twist – Kyu-Furukawa Gardens, Tokyo”

Plum Trees in Tokyo – Mukojima-Hyakkaen Garden

Mukojima-Hyakkaen Garden is a small little garden, not far from the Tokyo Skytree.  It’s famous for it’s plum trees, so I went there for the first time recently. The park is dotted with these kind of plum trees. The Japanese love to take photos of plum trees, not just cherry blossoms and autumn colours. TheContinue reading “Plum Trees in Tokyo – Mukojima-Hyakkaen Garden”

Ise Grand Shrine – Day 2

On the second day of our visit to Ise, we visited the Ise Grand Shrine. It has a similar style to the other shrine in Ise, with simple, plain wood structures and set in a little forest style setting.  Day 1 Travel Report here. The shopping street outside the shrine is pretty crazy on New Year’s!IseContinue reading “Ise Grand Shrine – Day 2”

Pure, Beautiful Shrines of Ise – Day 1

The Ise Shrines (Ise Jingu) are some of the most famous shrines in the whole of Japan, in the top 3 according to some.  It’s always a bit busy, but the shrines are so stunning, yet incredibly simple and almost minimalist in design.  No bright colours or gold here, this is a really classy place! Day 2Continue reading “Pure, Beautiful Shrines of Ise – Day 1”

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”