Free hot spring in deep mountain forest – Fukiage Onsen

Although hardly mentioned in travel guides, particularly English ones, Fukiage Hot Spring (onsen in Japanese) is probably the best hot springs I have been to. The nearby Tokachi Onsen is well known, and featured in many guides. Looking for something I bit more off the tourist tracks, I went on Google and searched for おんせん (onsen/hot spring) and FukiageContinue reading “Free hot spring in deep mountain forest – Fukiage Onsen”

Get out of the big city! Relaxing day at Otaru Canal

Otaru is a big, but quiet town near Sapporo, in Hokkaido. The name Otaru means ‘River of Sands’ in the native language of Ainu. It grew as a harbour and port town and during the early development of Hokkaido experienced a boom as it was one of only a small number of ports on theContinue reading “Get out of the big city! Relaxing day at Otaru Canal”

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”

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”

Cheap snowboarding and amazing mountains – Hakuba report

If you want to experience snowboarding or skiing on the cheap in Japan, Hakuba is the best place to go.  We recently went there, and enjoyed not just hitting the slopes but also checking out the town. Arrived to see this Japanese graveyard totally covered in snow.  Tried to walk through, but it was impossible!Continue reading “Cheap snowboarding and amazing mountains – Hakuba report”