When many people picture the beautiful scenery of Japan, they imagine the swaying springtime blossoms of ume, or plum, and sakura cherry trees. While the flowering white, pink, purple, and red trees of spring do bespeckle the landscape with breathtaking color, there is another turning of the seasons in Japan that is not to be missed.
What is the best time to visit Japan? This is a common question among first time travelers. Many would say that the sakura cherry blossom season in the spring is the best, and it is certainly among the most popular. However, there is another feature of the changing season in Japan that is not to be overlooked.
A favorite Japanese pastime is called momijigari or koyo – both are terms describing the viewing of autumn leaves in Japan. Continue reading “%s”
Sendai may not be as renowned at the neon metropolis of Tokyo, but it is ranked among Japan’s largest cities. It is also known as “the city of trees.” Why? Sendai features broad streets punctuated by parks and green public spaces. Even its covered shopping arcade has trees growing within it.
Sendai is also home to a rich and vigorous history. The city was founded by a powerful feudal lord around the year 1600. Many of the tourist attractions in Sendai reflect its history and that of its founding family.
Nagano, centered in the Japanese island of Honshu (Chubu region), is a land of mountains and rich history. Its capital, Nagano City, grew as a “temple town,” centered on the popular Zenkoji temple. Other shrines celebrate a legend in which the sun goddess hid herself in a cave, making the land dark. The door to the cave was eventually cast into Nagano.
The rugged forests north of Nagano City still resonate with the legends and realities of the ninja, skilled warriors of the past. Nearly a thousand years ago, it is said that a clan war in the area caused a young warrior to flee. He learned the ways of the ninja before returning to Nagano, where he established the legendary Togakure School.
You’re familiar with the bustling streets of Tokyo, but have you ever explored Japan’s second largest city? That title goes to Yokohama, located half an hour south of Tokyo. Easy to access, Yokohama is a must-see destination for your next Japanese vacation.
Imagine walking in the sands of a beautiful island in the Seto Inland Sea. You approach a concrete pier jutting out into the water. Rather than your usual retinue of fishermen and tourists, you are greeted by an enormous black and golden pumpkin.
The scene described is no fairytale or dream. It is part of the sculptures and modern art for which the island of Naoshima is known. The island enjoys sunny weather and rural living that rivals that of Europe’s Mediterranean region.
Japan is well known for its rich culture and preservation of history. Shrines and temples are located all over Japan’s islands, large and small. The most sacred shrines of the Shinto religion are located on the Shima Peninsula. These shrines, the Ise Shrines, are nestled in the heart of a popular leisure and resort destination.
Its area holds something for every traveler, from religious pilgrimages to exciting theme parks. In fact, the entire peninsula is regarded as a national park, with stunning vistas and peaceful forests.
Do you have doubts on how to use the Japan Rail Pass? Let our basic guide and video show you! The Japan Rail Pass is a multi-use all-you-can-ride discounted rail ticket. It is the most practical and economical way to travel all over Japan. It provides unlimited access to all Japan Railways National trains and also to the fast ‘Shinkansen’ bullet trains that connect most of the main cities, like Tokyo to Kyoto, in Japan and which will take you to the county’s biggest and best attractions.
Do you love trains? From children to adults, many people are fascinated by these massive, powerful vehicles. Japan, with its long history of innovative rail transportation, is a vacation destination for train lovers of all ages.
The Japanese railway train museums chart the history of the train in Japan and around the world, from early steam locomotives to diesel and electric train cars, to the innovative shinkansen bullet train and maglev trains. As a boon for international travelers, these Japanese museums include informative displays in English as well as Japanese. The main museums in Kyoto, Nagoya and Tokyo are family-friendly, offering exciting hands-on exhibits for the education and enjoyment of little railroad fans and their parents alike.
What is the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage? The term kodo means “old ways,” and Kumano Kodo refers to a network of hiking trails laced throughout the southern reaches of the Kansai region, on the Kii Peninsula. The trails have been used for more than 1,000 years and are designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue reading “%s”
One of the best ways to get to know what Japan has to offer is to explore the best-of-highlights route from Tokyo to Kyoto and Osaka. This itinerary allows you to see most of Japan’s famous landmarks and truly get a taste of the culture.
You will travel from the modern wonders of Tokyo, past the natural beauty of the Japanese Alps, all the way to the traditional and ancient Kyoto. The best thing about it? You can do it all in just 10 days!