Public holidays in Japan: dates and meaning

Holidays in Japan are unique, spectacular occasions which visitors, as well as locals, can enjoy. However, they are also very busy times of the year so travelers should expect crowds on Japan’s transportation system and higher prices for accommodation.

Visitors should also be aware that events such as the Obon Festival, the cherry blossom season, Golden Week, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve are also very busy times of year to visit Japan. People catching Shinkansen bullet trains should make early reservations during these periods when possible.

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Visiting Kiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto

Kyoto’s Kyomizu-dera Temple is one of the most celebrated of Japan’s numerous temples and shrines. The meaning of its name is literally translated “Pure Water Temple”. This name is derived from the pristine waters of the Otowa Waterfall, on which site the temple was built. It is also famous for its large wooden terrace.

The Kyomizu-dera was founded in 780. Its present structures were erected in 1633. It was originally associated with one of the oldest schools of Japanese Buddhism, the Hosso sect. Since 1965, it has hosted its own Kita Hosso sect.

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Internet access in Japan for travelers

Whether you wish to post your fabulous travel photos, get directions, or keep in touch with family and friends back home, internet access is a must when traveling. If you’re planning a trip to Japan, consider the following must-have methods for accessing the internet abroad.

There are a number of ways to access the internet in Japan. These include pocket Wi-fi devices, SIM cards, and providers such as hotels, trains, and cafes.
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The new Mickey Mouse Shinkansen bullet train in Kyushu

Mickey Mouse is popular the world over and JR have taken note with the revealing of a new themed series 800 bullet train service inspired by the Disney mascot. The new Go! Waku Waku Trip with Mickey is a Mickey Mouse Shinkansen bullet train experience which is coming to JR this spring from May 17th and is sure to be a big hit with mouse fans.

As part of Mickey’s 90th-anniversary celebrations, Disney and JR have teamed up to create a specially decorated 6 carriage Shinkansen train which will run on the Island of Kyushu between May and November (although the end date may change). This new service will carry on the tradition of previous JR campaigns featuring beloved animation characters like the Hello Kitty Shinkansen and Pikachu train.

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2019 cherry blossom forecast for Japan

The Japanese cherry blossom, or sakura, has long been adored by people across the globe. It is regarded as a symbol of renewal, vitality, and beauty. During the spring season of each year, thousands travel to Japan to view the wondrous spectacle of these white or pink flowers blooming en masse.

Update 04/25/2019: Thirteenth forecast for 2019 has been released today. Blooming dates are expected to arrive earlier this year. Please check again for updates on the 2019 forecast in many major cities of Japan, including Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto.

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Okinawa travel guide: Visiting the Japanese southwest islands

Okinawa Prefecture consists of more than 150 distinct islands, all of which lie 400 miles from mainland Japan. This sets Okinawa apart as a world unto itself.

In Okinawa, you can explore deserted beaches, swim with sea turtles, or snorkel in crystal clear waters. One hundred and eleven of Okinawa’s islands are uninhabited, pristine and untouched, making them prime real estate for adventure. Okinawa is home to rare creatures, such as the Iriomote wild cat, and cuisine unique and different from the rest of Japan.

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