Izumo-taisha

Izumo Taisha (出雲大社) is a grand shrine, considered one of Japans top 3. Located in northern Chugoku, it is an essential stop if you are in the region. It is therefore a hugely popular shrine, but never feels overly crowded. The folklore behind the shrine says that the gods from all over Japan gather atContinue reading “Izumo-taisha”

Top Ten Cheap Activities In Osaka

By Tom Fay (http://www.thomasfay.com), author of Must-See Japan Japan’s ‘second city’, Osaka is a busy, bustling metropolis in the heart of the Kansai region. Known for its friendly atmosphere and great food, tourists have started flocking here in ever-increasing numbers in recent years. Here are some of the best activities around the city for those on aContinue reading “Top Ten Cheap Activities In Osaka”

Kanda Myojin Shrine

Kanda Myojin Shrine (神田明神) is a major Shinto shrine near Akihabara and Ueno. Over 1000 years old, the buildings have been stunningly reserved and the garden even more so. People visit the shrine to pray for prosperity and wealth. Budget travel tips Walk from Akihabara. After geeking out, walk north up the main street (Chuo Dori) andContinue reading “Kanda Myojin Shrine”

Mount Daisen

Mount Daisen (大山) is a volcanic mountain in the Chugoku region with amazing views over the northern mountains from 1,729 metres above sea level. This makes it the highest in the region, so it has a lot of significance to Japanese people. The mountain is therefore dotted with stunning shrines and temples, and has becomeContinue reading “Mount Daisen”

Daikaku-ji Temple

Daikaku-ji (大覚寺) is a quiet temple in northern Kyoto. Not many people come here compared to others in Kyoto, and while it won’t blow you away it is a great contrast to others. Budget travel tips Just behind Daikaku-ji Temple is the free Gosha-myojin Shrine (五社明神), which is shown above. Take a right before the entrance, thenContinue reading “Daikaku-ji Temple”

Uji

Uji (宇治) is a popular tourist spot known for it’s many centuries old shrines and temples, 2 of which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. While it is famous for these sites, Uji has also been blessed with amazing nature and is a good place to come for an easy walk or hike. BudgetContinue reading “Uji”

Dazaifu

Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine (太宰府天満宮) is a very famous shrine dedicated to the god of study. Buy some good luck charms and enjoy walking around this stunning Shinto complex. Budget travel tips Great as a day trip from Fukuoka if you need to experience a bit more culture and history. Consider the Fukuoka Tourist City Pass if coming from Fukuoka. EarlyContinue reading “Dazaifu”

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”

Nagasaki

Nagasaki (長崎), just like Hiroshima, is an extremely emotional place to visit, but well worth seeing. Nagasaki also experienced a nuclear bomb and there are some places related to this, as well as to the cities rich history of foreign influences. At the time of writing many of the sites are up for becoming WorldContinue reading “Nagasaki”

Moutsuu-ji Temple in Hirazumi

Hiraizumi is a world heritage site in Tohoku, famous for its amazing selection of temples. It’s a great place to go anytime of the year, and I have been there in summer and in winter. Here are some of my pics! The main temple is a standard Buddhist temple, but the other little temples andContinue reading “Moutsuu-ji Temple in Hirazumi”