Yufuin

Yufuin (由布院) is Beppu’s little sister, a smaller and quieter hot spring town with a bit more class and sophistication. While Yufuin has many tourists these days, the long shopping district full of interesting foods and stunning country side stop it from feeling like a tourist trap (which some say of Beppu!). Full of cheapContinue reading “Yufuin”

Best places for inexpensive souvenirs in Tokyo

Tokyo is always stereotyped as the most expensive city in Japan when it comes to a shopping spree. Getting some local souvenirs is thing that shouldn’t be missed in your to-do list. Fact is, as long as you know the right place to shop, there’s nothing to worry about. Here’s some recommended places for souvenirContinue reading “Best places for inexpensive souvenirs in Tokyo”

Tax Free Shopping in Japan

Japan has a sales tax (sometimes known as VAT) of 8%, going up to 10% in the future, but those with a tourist visa are eligible for tax-free shopping. If you love shopping and want to get some bargains, there has never been a better time to visit Japan. With a great exchange rate for mostContinue reading “Tax Free Shopping in Japan”

Asahikawa

Asahikawa (旭川) is a large city in Hokkaido that is mainly used as a transport terminal or somewhere to stop along on a journey. It also has a nearby zoo. Budget travel tips Get some food here before heading off into the mountains or countryside towns (such as Biei or Naka-Furano), as food there canContinue reading “Asahikawa”

Matsushima

Matsushima (松島) is famous bay not far from Sendai. What makes this place unique is that the bay is dotted with beautiful little islands, the most famous of which has a shrine on top. You can view the islands by walking around the bay or by using traditional Japanese bridges to access the 2 main islands. Budget travel tips Taking aContinue reading “Matsushima”

Sendai

Sendai (仙台) is one of the biggest cities in Tohoku. It is not an essential visit, but offers cheap accommodation and many side trips. There are also some interesting things to do in the city if you have some spare time between travelling. Budget travel tips Head up north to the World Heritage site of Hiraizumi.Continue reading “Sendai”

Kichijoji

Kichijoji is a nice place to spend a cheap day, just walking around and doing an odd bit of shopping, eating or relaxing in the park.  It’s the most interesting suburban town outside central Tokyo, and has many things to keep all types of people occupied. Budget travel tips Make sure you have a printContinue reading “Kichijoji”

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”

Hida Furukawa

Hida Furukawa is a nice little day trip from Takayama.  It is a compact town with some nice traditional streets showing off some rather beautiful, very Japanese architecture.  It’s quieter and calmer than Takayama. Budget travel tips Download this useful town map or get one from the Tourist Information Center outside of Hidafurukawa Station south exit. It’s bestContinue reading “Hida Furukawa”

Takayama

Takayama is a beautiful town in the Japanese Alps.  It is famous for it’s festivals, markets and old-fashioned atmosphere.  It makes for a nice trip away from cities such as Kyoto or Nagoya. Budget travel tips Pick up a free map of the area at the Tourist Information Office (see map) opposite the station. CutContinue reading “Takayama”

Ise Shrines

The Ise shrines are often regarded to be in the top 3 shrine areas in Japan.  The simple, yet spectacular shrines really have to be seen with your own eyes to understand their beauty. Budget travel tips Try to be here outside the holidays, as Ise can get horribly busy. May be a good ideaContinue reading “Ise Shrines”