Top 5 Autumn color spots in Tohoku

Don’t forget Tohoku when planning your Autumn colors trip! There are some amazing places to visit, with cheap access and unspoiled views. Be sure to bring a camera with a big memory card, put into panoramic mode, and fire away. Places in Tohoku can be quite spread out, so if you are traveling here weContinue reading “Top 5 Autumn color spots in Tohoku”

Yamadera

Yamadera (山寺), meaning Mountain Temple, is a small town well known for its beautiful, scenic Ryūshaku-ji (立石寺) temple. The town is a great spot for Autumn colours, but is excellent any time of the year. Walking up the temple area provides a great view over the town and forests, as you check out many different religiousContinue reading “Yamadera”

Yamagata

Yamagata (山形) is a small city near Sendai, which is a good transportation and accommodation hub for Yamedera and Zao Onsen. Budget travel tips There is a small castle in the center, Yamagata Castle, which is a nice way to spend some time, but not a must-see. Consider staying here to save on sometimes pricier options outside theContinue reading “Yamagata”

Zao Onsen

Zao Onsen (蔵王温泉) is a popular ski resort and hot spring town in Tohoku. The resort is known for its excellent powder conditions and also for its ‘snow monster trees’. Budget travel tips Works well with trips to Yamagata and Yamadera. Contact your hostel or hotel to see if they have rental discounts for guest.Continue reading “Zao Onsen”

Naruko Gorge

Naruko Gorge (鳴子峡) is a stunning Autumn leaves spot in Tohoku. The leaves cover the 100 metre deep gorge with stunning orange and gold colours, so this has become one of Japan’s best places to see the Autumn leaves. There are various walking paths and a train that goes through the gorge. Budget travel tips NarukoContinue reading “Naruko Gorge”

Goddess of Kannon

The Goddess of Kannon (仙台大観音) is a spectacularly huge statue of Kannon, the Deity of Mercy, near Sendai in Tohoku. It is over 100 meters tall and visitors are able to enter and walk up for views over the city and pacific ocean. It is the sixth tallest statue in the world! Budget travel tips There is a MOS BurgerContinue reading “Goddess of Kannon”

JR Kanto Area Pass

The JR Kanto Pass allows unlimited travel on all JR (national rail) trains in Tokyo and the surrounding Kanto area. This includes tourist hotspots such as Mount Fuji, Nikko and Yokohama. It is valid for 3 days and can be started from Narita or Haneda airport in Tokyo. What does it cost? 3 day pass: Adults 8,300 yen (about $66/€60), Children 4,200 yenContinue reading “JR Kanto Area Pass”

See the northern snow on the cheap: JR East Pass

The JR East Pass allows unlimited travel on all JR (national rail) trains in Kanto and Tohoku.  This includes the use of Shinkansen (bullet) trains and limited express trains.  It is a flexible 5 day pass. What does it cost? Adults 22000 yen (about $180), Children 11000 yen (about $90) When can I use it? Anytime. Is itContinue reading “See the northern snow on the cheap: JR East Pass”

Moutsuu-ji Temple in Hirazumi

Hiraizumi is a world heritage site in Tohoku, famous for its amazing selection of temples. It’s a great place to go anytime of the year, and I have been there in summer and in winter. Here are some of my pics! The main temple is a standard Buddhist temple, but the other little temples andContinue reading “Moutsuu-ji Temple in Hirazumi”

The best hot spring in Japan? Nyuto Onsen, Akita

Tsuru-No-Yu Hot Spring (鶴の湯温泉) is the most famous hot spring in Nyuto Onsen, and one of the most iconic in the whole of Japan. It takes a few bus trips, or a hike to get here, but it’s totally worth the wait. Tsuru-No-Yu Hot Spring is filled with very silky, almost milk-like water that is saidContinue reading “The best hot spring in Japan? Nyuto Onsen, Akita”

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”