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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

Shin Saibashi Shopping Arcade

Shin Saibashi Shopping Arcade is the main shopping area in central Osaka.  It’s always busy, and is full of all kinds of shops and restaurants.  Expect to spend a while window shopping and finding some good bargains. Budget travel tips Come here for cheaper and more family friendly restaurants than Dotonbori Street. For a full days shopping, combineContinue reading “Shin Saibashi Shopping Arcade”

Dotonbori Canal

If you have seen a picture of Osaka before, it was probably of Dotonbori Canal.  The remodeled canal is an amazing area, and so much better now that you can walk along it’s banks.  Countless photo opportunities and lots of lights. Budget travel tips Best in the evening. Make sure you also check out Dotonbori Street whenContinue reading “Dotonbori Canal”

Obuse

Obuse is a lovely little town near Nagano.  The old-fashioned streets and countless interesting temples provide a great one day trip.  Obuse is a good place to visit on the way to Yudanaka  and the Monkey Park. Budget travel tips See our map below for a recommended walking route (red line).  This is the best way toContinue reading “Obuse”