Sendai

Sendai (仙台) is one of the biggest cities in Tohoku. It is not an essential visit, but offers cheap accommodation and many side trips. There are also some interesting things to do in the city if you have some spare time between travelling. Budget travel tips Head up north to the World Heritage site of Hiraizumi.Continue reading “Sendai”

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”

Pink and white flowered hills of Hitsujiyama Park, Chichibu

Saitama, right above Tokyo on the map, is often forgotten as a tourist destination. It’s a quiet prefecture that never gets much attention, and therefore is not featured much in guide books. But Chichibu is a great place for travelers on a budget with it’s large collection of mountains, cheap hot springs and Hitsujiyama Park. During early April to early MayContinue reading “Pink and white flowered hills of Hitsujiyama Park, Chichibu”

Chichibu

Chichibu is a quiet town in the mountains to the west of Tokyo, best known for it’s festivals. During other times of the year there is not much going on, but it’s a great place to go hiking. Budget travel tips Best to come here only during a festival or for a day or twoContinue reading “Chichibu”

A kingdom of cherry blossom trees – Showa Memorial Park

While Showa Memorial Park is a little far way from central Tokyo, it’s worth heading out to see it during the cherry blossom or autumn colour seasons.  The park was opened in 1983 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the last emperor.  As it was created during Japan’s economic boom, it has been well developed, settingContinue reading “A kingdom of cherry blossom trees – Showa Memorial Park”

Lovely, endless cherry blossoms in Inokashira Park – Kichijoji, Tokyo

Inokashira Park in Kichijoji is a great place for cherry blossom viewing in Japan.  It is often packed with people having picnics, taking photos and relaxing on little boats in the lake.  We went there on the weekend and had a great time. Inokashira Park (井の頭恩賜公園) and Inokashira lake were established during the Edo period and became oneContinue reading “Lovely, endless cherry blossoms in Inokashira Park – Kichijoji, Tokyo”

Free, beautiful and colorful! Chinzanso Garden in Tokyo

Chinzanso Garden has to be the best garden for those that want to see cherry blossoms without spending any money. It’s near to Shinjuku, and is a very, very posh park open to average folks like me and you! The walk along the river from Edogawabashi station is lined with cherry blossom trees. It reallyContinue reading “Free, beautiful and colorful! Chinzanso Garden in Tokyo”

Chinzanso Garden and Shinedogawa Park

Probably the best free Japanese garden in Tokyo, Chinzanso Garden (椿山荘の庭園) is an amazing garden in central Tokyo. It’s part of a very posh hotel, but everyone is free to enter the garden.  There are Japanese tea houses, a pagoda and lots of nice features you would expect from a real, traditional Japanese garden. Budget travel tips VeryContinue reading “Chinzanso Garden and Shinedogawa Park”

Rikugien Garden

Rikugien Garden (六義園) has to be one of our favourite Japanese gardens in Tokyo.  It’s got it all; cherry blossoms, autumn colors, a reasonably priced tea house, stunning lake and lots of interesting paths to take. Budget travel tips Sakura Hot Spring is a 5 minute walk away, so it’s best to combine the two.Continue reading “Rikugien Garden”