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”

Hiraizumi

While Japan’s other World Heritage sites get more attention, Hiraizumi (平泉) is the one to see if you want to do something a little different. Most famous is its golden hall in Chuson-ji Temple, but the town is full of mini-temples, plus some impressive gardens and lakes. Top Tips Pick up a free map from theContinue reading “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”

Kakunodate

Kakunodate (角館) is an old samurai town with a rich history and lots to see. Near Lake Tazawa in Tohoku, Kakunodate has plenty of traditional samurai and merchant houses, as well as museums, cherry blossom spots and lots of free samples! Budget travel tips There is a really helpful Tourist Information Center next to the station. Head thereContinue reading “Kakunodate”

Beautiful English garden with a Japanese twist – Kyu-Furukawa Gardens, Tokyo

Kyu-Furukawa Garden is a really nice place to go in the summer or spring. It’s a strange mix of a traditional English garden with a traditional Japanese garden. Two gardens for the price of one! During May and June the roses are in full bloom, so we had a look. The English manor house isContinue reading “Beautiful English garden with a Japanese twist – Kyu-Furukawa Gardens, Tokyo”

Kyu-Furukawa Gardens

Kyu-Furukawa Gardens (旧古河庭園) could be described as a half English, half Japanese garden. One half looks like a traditional English garden, with a manor house and roses, while the other half has a traditional Japanese pond and stone structures. Budget travel tips Sakura Hot Spring and Rikugien Garden are within walking distance, so save some money andContinue reading “Kyu-Furukawa Gardens”

When to go to Japan

There are pluses and minuses to any season in Japan, but there is always a lot to do whatever time you decide to come. Because Japan is such a long country from north to south, you don’t need to worry as much as for other countries. Spring (March to May) Spring is a great time toContinue reading “When to go to Japan”

Nezu Shrine

Nezu Shrine is a small shrine complex and garden, famous for it’s yearly Azalea Festival. It has around 3000 azaleas, while the shrine itself is a great example of Edo period architecture. Budget travel tips It’s quite a small shrine complex, so only come here during the Azalea Festival in early April to early May. How toContinue reading “Nezu Shrine”

10 Ways to Get Free Wifi Access in Japan

While Japan is far behind other developed counties in terms of free WiFi/internet access, things have got a lot better over the last few years.  It is now at the point where you really don’t need to take out an expensive roaming wifi plan or rent a Japanese smartphone at the airport.  Here are some placesContinue reading “10 Ways to Get Free Wifi Access in Japan”

Yasaka Shrine

A large complex of well maintained, stunning shrines, pagodas and other Shinto monuments and buildings. Occasional festivals and events occur throughout the year. Budget travel tips Combine this with a walk around Gion. There are a few other shrines and a pagoda in this complex, so explore around it. How to get there From KyotoContinue reading “Yasaka Shrine”