When many international travelers think of Japan, they call to mind visions of crowded “neon cities” such as Tokyo. Japan, however, has a much gentler side, complete with rolling hills and rustic charm. The town of Takayama and the Japanese Alps mountain range in the Hokuriku region represent one such rural destination.
Nikko is a historic and scenic retreat in the heart of Japan, nestled in the mountains north of Tokyo. Located at the entrance to Nikko National Park, the town which offers beautiful mountain vistas, waterfalls, and hot springs. Hiking in the park, you may even spot a troop of wild native monkeys. The area has been sacred to the religions of Buddhism and Shinto for many centuries.
Western Kyoto has long been known for its natural beauty. In fact, the Arashiyama district has been a favorite of tourists for well over 1,000 years. The beauty of this region peaks twice a year, first during the cherry blossom season, and later during the time of autumn color.
The Sagano Scenic Railway is a wonderful way to tour and enjoy the natural beauty of this rural region. The train has come to be known as the Sagano Torokko, or Romantic Train, because its passage takes guests sightseeing through such romantic scenery. If you’ve seen enough of the city, one of these day trips from Kyoto will bring a smile to your face.
Japan is famous for its flowering cherry trees. These trees are much sought after around the world. Cherry blossom festivals are held in such diverse regions as Washington, Vancouver, Paris, Stockholm, and Spain’s Jerte Valley. Still, Japan remains the premiere location in the world for viewing the cherry blossoms or attending a cherry blossom festival, especially when seeing Japan by train.
People throughout the world are familiar with the famous Japanese cherry blossoms. They may have attended any of the numerous cherry blossom festivals held each year in the United States and elsewhere, or they may have thrilled to the sound of “Sakura Sakura”, a traditional Japanese folk song celebrating this beautiful flower.
Before the cherry blossoms emerge, however, another beautiful tree graces the island of Japan. Mid-February is the start of spring and the beginning of the plum blossom season.
Mount Koya or Koyasan, in the Wakayama mountains of the Kansai region, has become a popular destination for tourists.
This religious area, located in remote mountains and surrounded by forests, is an amazing place which you can reach from Osaka or Kyoto with your Japan Rail Pass, making for the perfect day trip and even allowing visitors even to stay in a temple lodging.
Japan is one of the most culturally rich and diverse countries of our century. When going through the streets, hills and castles of Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, you will be taken through time, history and places of breathtaking views and mesmerizing moments.
In this article, you will find how to get from Tokyo to Kyoto, Tokyo to Osaka and Kyoto to Osaka (frequent train trips among travelers) with the bullet train and using just your Japan Rail Pass.
Kyoto is located right in the center of the historical Kansai region in Japan. This historical capital is the cultural soul of the country and one of the places where the roots of the Japanese nation stem from.
Whether you have planned to go east or west, north or south – make sure to save some time and travel around the Kansai region, easily accessible with the JR bullet trains. It is the one area filled with more heritage than anyone else in Japan.
If you are planning to spend more than a couple of days in Tokyo, make sure to take the most out of it! There is a countless number of towns and villages surrounding Tokyo, places that will leave you breathless, places full of history, heritage, and natural beauty, including Nikko, Kamakura, Yokohama and of course, the great Mount Fuji.
A day-trip from Tokyo to Mount Fuji and the lesser known Hakone five lakes area is among Japan’s traveler’s favorites, so here is our guide on how to visit make this famous landmark with the Japan Rail Pass. Whereas you prefer climbing or a more relaxed pace, we have the perfect guide for you make the most out of this trip!