Pure, Beautiful Shrines of Ise – Day 1

The Ise Shrines (Ise Jingu) are some of the most famous shrines in the whole of Japan, in the top 3 according to some.  It’s always a bit busy, but the shrines are so stunning, yet incredibly simple and almost minimalist in design.  No bright colours or gold here, this is a really classy place! Day 2Continue reading “Pure, Beautiful Shrines of Ise – Day 1”

Himeji

Himeji is most famous for it’s castle, which became a World Heritage Site in 1995.  It’s a great place to check out on the journey from Osaka to Hiroshima. Budget travel tips If you reserve a week in advance, you can get a free English language guided tour of Himeji Castle.  Contact the information centre (linkContinue reading “Himeji”

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”

Ise Shrines

The Ise shrines are often regarded to be in the top 3 shrine areas in Japan.  The simple, yet spectacular shrines really have to be seen with your own eyes to understand their beauty. Budget travel tips Try to be here outside the holidays, as Ise can get horribly busy. May be a good ideaContinue reading “Ise Shrines”

Japan Cherry Blossom Forecasts for 2014 (Updated)

Sakura (Cherry Blossoms) is fast approaching and the Japan Weather Association has just posted their updated forecasts for each area.  They will probably blossom a little earlier than usual this year. The best time for seeing the cherry blossoms are usually about a week after the expected opening.

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”

Beautiful temples in snowy mountains – Koyasan Day 2

After our first day in Koyasan, I we went to the west side to see the famous Buddhist temples and pilgrimage trails that have made this place a UNESCO World Heritage site. Day 1 report can be found here. This is Daimon, at the entrance to Koyasan’s west side. After Daimon, we went on aContinue reading “Beautiful temples in snowy mountains – Koyasan Day 2”

Koyasan World Heritage Ticket

The Koyasan World Heritage Ticket is the cheapest and easiest way to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Koyasan.  It provides a return ticket, including use of the cable car, and unlimited use of buses.  In addition it gets you discounts at the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a few of the souvenir shops. What does it cost?Continue reading “Koyasan World Heritage Ticket”

Koyasan

Koyasan will really take your breath away. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a town of Buddhist temples in the mountains south of Osaka.  Even if you have seen many temples before, Koyasan will really seem like it’s in another league with it’s huge structures and massive graveyard.  English support, maps and signs are great. Budget travel tips AlthoughContinue reading “Koyasan”