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”

Hakuba: Stunning budget friendly slopes

Hakuba, a large village in Nagano prefecture, has a wide selection of ski slopes and resorts, plus hotels and hostels for all kinds of budgets. The season usually continues until early May, so visitors can come here during Golden Week and enjoy cherry blossoms at the same time as enjoying the slopes. Hakuba is oneContinue reading “Hakuba: Stunning budget friendly slopes”

Nagano Snow Resort Pass

The Nagano Snow Resort Pass allows holders unlimited use of trains and buses in the Nagano snow area, in the Japanese Alps. This includes access to places such as Nagano, Hakuba and Yudanaka, where tourists can enjoy snowboarding, skiiing and some amazing hot springs. What does it cost? 2 Day Pass: Adults 5000 yen (about $40/€36), Children 2500 yen (about $20/€18). WhenContinue reading “Nagano Snow Resort Pass”

Niseko

Niseko (ニセコ町) is my far the most popular ski resort for foreigners, and also the most foreign friendly with a host of services and restaurants catering for foreigners. It is therefore a great place to come if this is your first ski or snowboard trip to Japan, but people living here or those experienced traveling inContinue reading “Niseko”

Getting Away From The Big Cities – Japanese Alps in 1-2 Weeks

Want to get away from the big cities like Tokyo and Osaka? Try this itinerary!  It will take 1-2 weeks, depending on how much hiking and/or snowboarding or skiing you want to do.  This guide is therefore showing just our recommended route. As there are so many different bus companies and train companies, you probably don’t need a JapanContinue reading “Getting Away From The Big Cities – Japanese Alps in 1-2 Weeks”

Kamikochi

Kamikochi is a famous river and hiking spot in the Japanese Alps, between Takayama and Matsumoto.  It offers hiking routes for any type of person, as well as hot springs and camping sites. It’s a truly beautiful place, comparable to the Swiss Alps. Budget travel tips Get of the bus at the Kamikochi Bus Terminal, then pick upContinue reading “Kamikochi”

Cheap snowboarding and amazing mountains – Hakuba report

If you want to experience snowboarding or skiing on the cheap in Japan, Hakuba is the best place to go.  We recently went there, and enjoyed not just hitting the slopes but also checking out the town. Arrived to see this Japanese graveyard totally covered in snow.  Tried to walk through, but it was impossible!Continue reading “Cheap snowboarding and amazing mountains – Hakuba report”

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”

Beautiful temples in snowy mountains – Koyasan Day 2

After our first day in Koyasan, I we went to the west side to see the famous Buddhist temples and pilgrimage trails that have made this place a UNESCO World Heritage site. Day 1 report can be found here. This is Daimon, at the entrance to Koyasan’s west side. After Daimon, we went on aContinue reading “Beautiful temples in snowy mountains – Koyasan Day 2”

Koyasan

Koyasan will really take your breath away. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a town of Buddhist temples in the mountains south of Osaka.  Even if you have seen many temples before, Koyasan will really seem like it’s in another league with it’s huge structures and massive graveyard.  English support, maps and signs are great. Budget travel tips AlthoughContinue reading “Koyasan”

Yudanaka

Yudanaka and nearby Shibu Onsen are traditional hot spring areas, full of interesting old buildings, restaurants and shrines.  The area is well known for it’s monkey park, where monkeys play in a hot spring. Budget travel tips Makes for a great side trip from Nagano or Matsumoto.  The train to Yudanaka also stops at Obuse, a stunning town toContinue reading “Yudanaka”

Hakuba

Hakuba is the place to go for affordable, but excellent snowboarding or ski slopes.  The place is full of cheap guesthouses and hostels, and English language support is superb. Budget travel tips Hostels and guesthouse often have cheaper rental gear/snowboards/skis. Download the official map here, or get for free from the Happo (Hakuba) Information Center nextContinue reading “Hakuba”