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”

Nyuto Onsen

Nyuto Onsen (乳頭温泉) is one of the most famous hot spring towns in Japan, with it’s silky white water and traditionally styled hot spring buildings. It’s a great place to spend some time relaxing or hiking in Tohoku. Budget travel tips Most hot springs only open from 10AM to 2/3PM for non-staying guests. Bring a towel,Continue reading “Nyuto Onsen”

Lake Tazawa

Lake Tazawa (田沢湖) is a luminous blue lake in Tohoku and the deepest lake in Japan. It’s a great place to spend a morning or afternoon. Even during the busy holidays, it remains a quiet and relaxing place to visit. Budget travel tips Be super careful with train times, as local trains to Lake Tazawa are not veryContinue reading “Lake Tazawa”

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”

See the cherry blossoms before it’s too late! At Rikugien Garden

Rikugien Garden is one of the main parks in Tokyo, and is therefore great for cherry blossoms (sakura).  We went there to take some pics, before enjoying the special sakura bath at the nearby Sakura Hot Spring. By that we mean pink silky water! We followed the easy to use recommended course for cherry blossomContinue reading “See the cherry blossoms before it’s too late! At Rikugien Garden”

Stunning Sakura! Cherry Blossoms in Ueno Park, Tokyo

Ueno Park is one of the most popular free places to go for cherry blossom viewing.  It gets really, really crowded, but there are so many different types of cherry blossom trees in many different areas, so it’s a must visit if you are in Japan during the cherry blossom season. There is a nice route aroundContinue reading “Stunning Sakura! Cherry Blossoms in Ueno Park, Tokyo”

Sakura has started! Shinjuku Gyoen Garden Cherry Blossoms

Shinjuku Gyoen Garden is one of the best places to enjoy the cherry blossoms in Tokyo.  I recently went there to see if ‘sakura‘ had already started.  Many of the trees were already in full bloom, while others were nearly, nearly there.  This tree greets you at the Okubo entrance. Some of the trees wereContinue reading “Sakura has started! Shinjuku Gyoen Garden Cherry Blossoms”

The best cherry blossom spots in Tokyo

Here are some of the best places for Sakura in Tokyo: Ueno Park A huge park with seemingly hundreds of cherry blossom trees.  Very, very busy, but great atmosphere. Ueno travel guide. Shinjuku Gyoen Garden A very easy to access park.  Much quieter than the other main parks. Shinjuku Gyoen Garden travel guide Inokashira ParkContinue reading “The best cherry blossom spots in Tokyo”

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”