The 10 best onsen and onsen towns in Japan

No trip to Japan is complete without a relaxing dip in an onsen. What is an onsen? Onsen are natural hot springs, fueled by volcanic activity, as well as the resort atmosphere that has emerged around many such springs.

Japan offers around 2,300 onsen to choose from, many of them included in ryokan (traditional inns). We’ve compiled a list of ten of the best onsen in Japan. No matter what region you’re traveling to, you’ll be able to unwind. Reaching the onsen is simple and affordable when you use Japan Railways and the Japan Rail Pass.

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Japanese capsule hotels: the best in Tokyo and Osaka

Japan is an incredible country to visit but it’s pricey. If you’re traveling on a budget or you miss the last train and find yourself in need of accommodation, you can stay at a capsule hotel.

Capsule hotels (also known as pod hotels) have been steadily growing in popularity in recent years and more and more of them continue to pop up in Japan’s cities. They are like normal hotels but instead of a normal-sized room, you sleep in a small cubicle.

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Guide to the Obon Festival 2020 in Japan

The Obon festival (also known as Bon festival) is an annual Japanese holiday which commemorates and remembers deceased ancestors. It is believed that their spirits return at this time to visit their relatives.

Chochin (paper) lanterns are hung to guide the spirits and Obon dances (bon odori) are performed. Families have reunions and visit the graves of their relatives and make food offerings at altars and temples.

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Tanabata 2020 Guide: the Summer ‘Star Festival’

Tanabata, also known as the ‘Star Festival’, is a Japanese celebration which takes place on the seventh day of the seventh month. According to Japanese folklore, this is the only day of the year when the two stars, Altair and Vega, can meet.

At this time of the year, it is tradition to write Tanabata wishes (known as tanzaku) on colorful strips of paper and hang them on Tanabata trees made from bamboo branches. People also decorate their houses and public spaces.

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Cherry blossom travel: Tips for the 2020 season

The cherry blossom is an iconic symbol of Japan. Encompassing the renewal of spring, the beautiful cherry blossom is celebrated wherever Japanese cherry trees grow, throughout the world. To truly experience the majesty of the annual cherry blossom festivals, however, one must travel to the heart of it all – to Japan itself.

Before you board your international flight, there are a few things you should know, such as the cultural significance of the cherry blossom, when and where to see them, and how to capture the best cherry blossom photographs.

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Best beaches in Japan for Summer 2019

Did you know that the country of Japan is actually a series of islands? The four largest islands – Hokkaido, the main island of Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu – form a long, narrow shape and provide ample coastline against the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Sa of Japan to the west. Additionally, over 3,000 small islands surround the Japanese mainland, most notably the southern island of Okinawa and the 150 islands of its prefecture.

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