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”

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”

Beautiful, free traditional garden – Former Yasuda Garden

Part of the East Tokyo Historical Walk, the Former Yasuda Garden is a wonderful (and free!) traditional garden near the Edo-Tokyo Museum.  It has a small lake, surrounded by some interesting traditional Japanese statues, bridges and lanterns. A Japanese garden isn’t complete without a red bridge! There is a nice, easy to follow route around the garden. It’sContinue reading “Beautiful, free traditional garden – Former Yasuda Garden”

Plum Trees in Tokyo – Mukojima-Hyakkaen Garden

Mukojima-Hyakkaen Garden is a small little garden, not far from the Tokyo Skytree.  It’s famous for it’s plum trees, so I went there for the first time recently. The park is dotted with these kind of plum trees. The Japanese love to take photos of plum trees, not just cherry blossoms and autumn colours. TheContinue reading “Plum Trees in Tokyo – Mukojima-Hyakkaen Garden”

Ise Grand Shrine – Day 2

On the second day of our visit to Ise, we visited the Ise Grand Shrine. It has a similar style to the other shrine in Ise, with simple, plain wood structures and set in a little forest style setting.  Day 1 Travel Report here. The shopping street outside the shrine is pretty crazy on New Year’s!IseContinue reading “Ise Grand Shrine – Day 2”

Pure, Beautiful Shrines of Ise – Day 1

The Ise Shrines (Ise Jingu) are some of the most famous shrines in the whole of Japan, in the top 3 according to some.  It’s always a bit busy, but the shrines are so stunning, yet incredibly simple and almost minimalist in design.  No bright colours or gold here, this is a really classy place! Day 2Continue reading “Pure, Beautiful Shrines of Ise – Day 1”

Kamikochi

Kamikochi is a famous river and hiking spot in the Japanese Alps, between Takayama and Matsumoto.  It offers hiking routes for any type of person, as well as hot springs and camping sites. It’s a truly beautiful place, comparable to the Swiss Alps. Budget travel tips Get of the bus at the Kamikochi Bus Terminal, then pick upContinue reading “Kamikochi”

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”