Shirakawa-go

Shirakawa-go (白川郷) and nearby Gokayama (五箇山) are secluded World Heritage villages known for their vernacular farmhouse-style houses called Gassho-Zukuri. These unique buildings have their style to withstand the heavy snow in the winter. Definitely a place to bring the camera. Budget travel tips If coming from Osaka or Nagoya, the Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass is a great wayContinue reading “Shirakawa-go”

Kaga Onsen

Kaga Onsen (加賀温泉) is a collection of easily and cheaply accessible hot spring areas. Each area has its own distinct feel and is worth visiting even if you are shy about hot springs due to the many foot baths and relaxing scenery and cafes. Budget travel tips Get a CANBUS pass for unlimited bus travel toContinue reading “Kaga Onsen”

Kurokawa Onsen

Kurokawa Onsen (黒川温泉), literally meaning Black River Hot Spring, is a facinating mountain area densely filled with hot springs. The water has a dark hue and is known through Japan. The town itself is very traditional and old fashioned, with few concrete building and a laid-back atmosphere. Budget travel tips A great place to stopContinue reading “Kurokawa Onsen”

Beppu

Do you want to experience the most crazy, odd and extreme hot springs in Japan? Beppu (別府) is the place to come. Beppu has the most variety of any hot spring area in western Japan, with all types of water properties and minerals. Budget travel tips For the Eight Hells, get a combination ticket forContinue reading “Beppu”

Obama Hot Spring

Obama (小浜町) is an interesting little town on the route between Nagasaki and Unzen. While it does share its name with a American president and has a cheesy statue of him outside the Tourist Information Center, Obama is a laid back area and a great way to escape the crowds. Budget travel tips Obama isContinue reading “Obama Hot Spring”

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”

Tokachi Onsen

Tokachi Onsen (十勝岳温泉) is a famous hot spring area in Hokkaido. Quieter than places such as Sounkyo Onsen and with a less touristy feel, it’s a great place to come for some hiking and relaxing. Budget travel tips Bring some food with you, as there is no big shop here and the restaurants can be aContinue reading “Tokachi Onsen”

Fukiage Hot Spring

Fukiage Hot Spring (吹上温泉) has to be one of the best, if not the best, onsen (hot spring) experiences we have ever had. What sets this area apart is that while it’s very easy and cheap to access, Fukiage Hot Spring provides a truly authentic onsen experience up in the mountains. Budget travel tips Bring someContinue reading “Fukiage Hot Spring”

Hakodate

Hakodate (函館), as one of the first cities in Japan to open up to international trade, provides visitors with something different from the rest of Hokkaido. Dutch, American, English and other traders came and settled here many years ago, creating a rich history and places to visit that feel like a fusion of east andContinue reading “Hakodate”

Noboribetsu Onsen

Along with nearby Lake Toya, Noboribetsu Onsen (登別温泉) is a great place for budget travelers who want to experience an onsen (hot spring). With lots of volcanic activity to see, plenty of walking and hiking routes and free hot springs, this place has to be seriously considered if you are coming to Hokkaido! Budget travel tips BookContinue reading “Noboribetsu Onsen”