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 Cherry Blossom Spots in Kyoto

There are so many great places to see cherry blossoms in Kyoto, so here are some of my highlights! You could save some money and walk between them all, so use our Google Map below or circle them on one of the free tourist maps that are available from tourist information centers and stations allContinue reading “Top Cherry Blossom Spots in Kyoto”

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”

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”

Osaka Station Sky Farm and Japanese Garden

Ever wanted to visit a Japanese garden and do a bit of farming at the top of a skyscraper above a huge train station? Ok, maybe not, but I’m sure you can admit the idea of Tenku No Noen (Sky Farm) and Yawaragi no Niwa (Healing Garden) are pretty cool. They offer good views over theContinue reading “Osaka Station Sky Farm and Japanese Garden”

Hakodate

Hakodate (函館), as one of the first cities in Japan to open up to international trade, provides visitors with something different from the rest of Hokkaido. Dutch, American, English and other traders came and settled here many years ago, creating a rich history and places to visit that feel like a fusion of east andContinue reading “Hakodate”

Mount Oyama

Along with Mount Takao, Mount Oyama (大山) is one of the best, and cheapest mountains to access near Tokyo. There are multiple routes available, so this would suit any kind of hiker. There is also a cable car for those who just want to get to the top and check out the views. Trails takeContinue reading “Mount Oyama”

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”

Japan’s most beautiful temple – Chuson-ji, Hiraizumi

Hiraizumi really does have a lot to offer. After becoming a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2011, Hiraizumi has gone from strength to strength, full of seasonal events and well maintained, interesting shrines. There are plenty of free ones around, but the main ones are definitely worth the entrance fee. In the north part of Hiraizumi is Chuson-ji, which is part ofContinue reading “Japan’s most beautiful temple – Chuson-ji, Hiraizumi”

Hiraizumi

While Japan’s other World Heritage sites get more attention, Hiraizumi (平泉) is the one to see if you want to do something a little different. Most famous is its golden hall in Chuson-ji Temple, but the town is full of mini-temples, plus some impressive gardens and lakes. Top Tips Pick up a free map from theContinue reading “Hiraizumi”

Exploring the beautiful, luminous Tazawa Lake

Tazawa Lake really took our breath away. Before going I thought it was just a big lake, but Tazawa Lake is really unique and worth going all the way to visit. What makes it so unique is that all the hot spring water feeding it has given it a strangely luminous, sometimes transparent, appearance. The boatContinue reading “Exploring the beautiful, luminous Tazawa Lake”

Nyuto Onsen

Nyuto Onsen (乳頭温泉) is one of the most famous hot spring towns in Japan, with it’s silky white water and traditionally styled hot spring buildings. It’s a great place to spend some time relaxing or hiking in Tohoku. Budget travel tips Most hot springs only open from 10AM to 2/3PM for non-staying guests. Bring a towel,Continue reading “Nyuto Onsen”