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”

Kichijoji

Kichijoji is a nice place to spend a cheap day, just walking around and doing an odd bit of shopping, eating or relaxing in the park.  It’s the most interesting suburban town outside central Tokyo, and has many things to keep all types of people occupied. Budget travel tips Make sure you have a printContinue reading “Kichijoji”

Former Yasuda Garden

The Former Yasuda Garden (旧安田庭園) is a medium sized traditional Japanese garden night next to the Edo-Tokyo Museum. While not the biggest, it is a very beautiful garden and most importantly it’s free! Budget travel tips It’s only a minute or two from Edo-Tokyo Museum, so it’s an easy walk. Former Yasuda Garden is a nice place toContinue reading “Former Yasuda Garden”

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”

Hida Furukawa

Hida Furukawa is a nice little day trip from Takayama.  It is a compact town with some nice traditional streets showing off some rather beautiful, very Japanese architecture.  It’s quieter and calmer than Takayama. Budget travel tips Download this useful town map or get one from the Tourist Information Center outside of Hidafurukawa Station south exit. It’s bestContinue reading “Hida Furukawa”

Takayama

Takayama is a beautiful town in the Japanese Alps.  It is famous for it’s festivals, markets and old-fashioned atmosphere.  It makes for a nice trip away from cities such as Kyoto or Nagoya. Budget travel tips Pick up a free map of the area at the Tourist Information Office (see map) opposite the station. CutContinue reading “Takayama”

Kintetsu Rail Pass

The Kintetsu Rail Pass is a great alternative to the Japan Rail Pass if you want to travel extensively around the Kansai region (Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Ise).  It offers unlimited use of Kintetsu trains (and buses depending on the pass type) for 5 days. What does it cost? Rail Pass Wide (with airport access and buses):Continue reading “Kintetsu Rail Pass”

Monkey Hot Spring! Monkey Park in Nagano, Japan

The monkey hot spring in Yudanaka, Nagano has to be one of my highlights in Japan.  The area is full of countless monkeys jumping about, and of course enjoying hot springs!  Here are some photos from my trip. The entrance is pretty easy to find!  It’s a nice easy walk along the stream from here.Continue reading “Monkey Hot Spring! Monkey Park in Nagano, Japan”

Miyajima

Miyajima is yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site near Osaka and Hiroshima.  It’s often near the top of the list for most travelers, and offers and easy to access and peaceful rest from the big city. Budget travel tips Everywhere is within walking distance of each other, so you probably don’t need to worry about buses. Things to do OtoriiContinue reading “Miyajima”