Yudanaka

Yudanaka and nearby Shibu Onsen are traditional hot spring areas, full of interesting old buildings, restaurants and shrines.  The area is well known for it’s monkey park, where monkeys play in a hot spring. Budget travel tips Makes for a great side trip from Nagano or Matsumoto.  The train to Yudanaka also stops at Obuse, a stunning town toContinue reading “Yudanaka”

Showa Memorial Park

Showa Memorial Park is a huge ‘park of parks’ not far from Shinjuku.  There are all sorts of things to see and do, such Japanese gardens, attractions for children, cherry blossom areas, lakes and much more. Budget travel tips The free part may be enough for you. We got our Autumn Colours fix (pics here), andContinue reading “Showa Memorial Park”

Philosopher’s Walk

A famous and historic Kyoto walk, from Ginkaku-ji Temple to Nanzen-ji.  A number of other smaller but interesting shrines are dotted along the path. Time: 30 minutes How to get there Start at either Ginkaku-ji Temple to Nanzen-ji, then take the route below from there. Map

Nanzen-ji Temple

Designated a Monument of Japan, because of its beauty, Nanzen-ji Temple is a Buddhist temple complex at the start/end of the famous Philosopher’s Walk. Budget travel tips Combine this with a trip to Ginkaku-ji Temple, via the Philosopher’s Walk.  This should provide for a whole afternoon/morning’s sightseeing. Most of the temples in this complex have a charge, so justContinue reading “Nanzen-ji Temple”

Tokyo City Walk: East Tokyo Historical Walk

A nice route through the quiet, but traditional side of Tokyo.  This route takes you from Kiyosumi Garden and Fukugawa Edo Museum, via traditional neighborhoods, to Sumida river and the Edo-Tokyo museum. Can be used as a cycling route as well. Walking time: 3-4 hours Go to Monzen-nakacho Station on the Oedo Line (purple Metro line)Continue reading “Tokyo City Walk: East Tokyo Historical Walk”

Tokyo City Walk: Imperial Palace to Shibuya

A nice city walk from the political heart of Tokyo, via the swish neighbourhoods of Akasaka and Roppongi, then ending up in the hip areas of Harajuku and Shibuya. Can be used as a cycling route as well. Walking time: 3-4 hours Go to Sakuradamon station on the Yurakucho line (yellow Metro line) and leave from exit 2.Continue reading “Tokyo City Walk: Imperial Palace to Shibuya”

Kawagoe

Kawagoe (かわごえ/川越) is a beautiful traditional down less than an hour away from central Tokyo.  It features a famous authentic old tower and shopping street, which is why many people call it ‘Little Edo’ (Edo was the old name for Tokyo).  A great place for a nice one day trip away from the skyscrapers ofContinue reading “Kawagoe”

Shimo Kitazawa

Shimo Kitazawa (しもきたざわ/下北沢) is a trendy place town with plenty of second-hand shops, bars, record shops, interesting fashions and nice cafes and restaurants.  It’s where all the cool, young people hang out! Budget travel tips The best way to experience Shimo Kitazawa is to walk around randomly and just soak it in.  The streets areContinue reading “Shimo Kitazawa”