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”

Top 5 Cherry Blossom Spots in Kyushu

Kyushu, in southern Japan, has some excellent sakura (cherry blossoms) spots. They may be just as busy as those up north, but they make for a good change of scene. The times are about the same as in Tokyo and Kyoto. For forecasts check out the Super Cheap Japan sakura (cherry blossoms) guide. Fukuoka is the best place toContinue reading “Top 5 Cherry Blossom Spots in Kyushu”

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”

Free sample chapter from my awesome new book!

The new Super Cheap Japan book is the ultimate guidebook for those traveling to Japan on a budget. Available across the world at retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Book Depository, it is a painstakingly researched book aimed at those who worry about spending too much money in the Land of the RisingContinue reading “Free sample chapter from my awesome new book!”

Top 10 super cheap foods in Japan

This blog and my Japan book are all about saving you money on your holidays in Japan. Food, especially eating out, is one of the things that can really add to travel budgets, so here are the best foods to eat in Japan: 1) Cup noodles Fill up your belly for around $1, or even lessContinue reading “Top 10 super cheap foods in Japan”

Exploring Yanaka

Yanaka is a peaceful neighborhood that is perfect for a morning stroll and that rewards exploration. A straightforward walk from Ueno to Nippori will take you along quiet streets of undamaged pre-war buildings, quiet temples and an eclectic selection of contemporary artist’s studios and galleries. Most notable among them is the Asakura Museum of SculptureContinue reading “Exploring Yanaka”

Mount Fuji

Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the view from the top of Mount Fuji has to be seen to be believed.  While it can get very busy, this will probably be your most memorable experience in Japan. It’s not too pricy to get there and the route up is easy to understand but challenging. ItContinue reading “Mount Fuji”

Enoshima: Island chill out on a budget

Just over an hour away from Shinjuku and nearby to Kamakura at the end of the Odakyu line, is Enoshima, a relaxing day out that has the feel of a seaside holiday. The island of Enoshima is connected to the mainland by a bridge, from which you can see Mt. Fuji on a clear day.Continue reading “Enoshima: Island chill out on a budget”

Cape Manzamo

Cape Manzamo (万座毛) provides one of the best views on the island of Okinawa, and is a great place to enjoy its pleasures for just the cost of a bus ride. Located in Nago Bay, the stunning blue waters and cliffs make for awesome photos. Nearby many beaches, including Manza Beach, are free for touristsContinue reading “Cape Manzamo”

Soba and Udon – quick noodles for a few dollars

Cheap and simple, everyone likes Soba and Udon. Soba is thin noodles made from buckwheat, while Udon is thick white flour noodles. They sometimes come in soups, or sometimes you dip them into a little pot of soup. Both hot and cold versions are available, so these noodles make for a perfect light meal anyContinue reading “Soba and Udon – quick noodles for a few dollars”

Shikina-en Garden

Shikina-en Garden (識名園), another unique World Heritage site in Okinawa, is a stunning garden containing the old villa of the Okinawa royal family. Information Open: 9:00-17:00 (October-March), 9:00-18:00 (April-September) Price: 400 yen How to get there Take a bus from Kinjo District (15 mins). Map