•  

    Japan Travel (632 articles)

  • Page 1 (from article 1 to 90)

    Travel notes on visiting Japan, travel reviews, sightseeing, tourist attractions, historical and cultural facts, travel photos, travel tips and more...
  •  

    Most popular Japan travel articles:

  •  

    Latest Japan travel articles:

  • 12 Apr 2014: Kyoto Tera-machi 

    Kyoto Tera-machi
    There are several cities in Japan where you can enjoy traditional streets with a high concentration of temples - the so-called Tera-machi, "Temple Towns". But none of them is as picturesque as ... »

    57 comments

    11 Apr 2014: Want to dress up like a Geisha? 

    Want to dress up like a Geisha?
    While visiting Kyoto, especially in Gion and Higashiyama, there are chances that you will meet a geisha (or, more probably, a maiko). But not anyone wearing their costume is genuine... Because if you ... »

    78 comments

    07 Apr 2014: Magical night view in Minato Mirai 

    Magical night view in Minato Mirai
    I always visit new places, about 80% of my trips are in regions never visited before, while the rest of 20% is reserved for the places which are dearest to me...Yokohama is one of these 20% ... »

    152 comments

    01 Apr 2014: Japanese garden, Sute-ishi 

    Japanese garden, Sute-ishi
    Various kinds of rocks are used in the Japanese gardens, always carefully selected and sometimes brought from hundreds of kilometers away, in order to perfectly match with the garden's landscape. For ... »

    116 comments

    28 Mar 2014: Akihabara pedestrian paradise at sunset 

    Akihabara pedestrian paradise at sunset
    The Akihabara district of Tokyo is a beautiful urban place at anytime of the day, but there is a specific moment of the day when it looks the best: at the beginning of the sunset, when there's still ... »

    148 comments

    24 Mar 2014: Old Gion Shidare Sakura 

    Old Gion Shidare Sakura
    The Japanese custom of hanami appeared long time ago, apparently during the Nara Period, so it has been practiced for at least 1300 years... But there are in Japan at least 2 cherry trees older than ... »

    179 comments

    22 Mar 2014: The cherry blossoms tunnel in Kyoto 

    The cherry blossoms tunnel in Kyoto
    Many artworks representing Japan are featuring trains and cherry blossoms. And in some places, the association of trains and cherry trees is more than a symbol... it's the real landscape. One ... »

    302 comments

    20 Mar 2014: Yozakura, Hanami special illumination 

    Yozakura, Hanami special illumination
    Even after you visited a cherry blossom venue, there may still be something new to enjoy... because by night-time, the blooming sakura trees are offering a completely new experience...Called ... »

    174 comments

    16 Mar 2014: Pleasure boats and cherry blossoms 

    Pleasure boats and cherry blossoms
    There are many ways to admire the cherry blossoms and I love to try them all... It's a great feeling to walk under the blooming sakura trees and it is also very enjoyable to do a hanami party, ... »

    238 comments

    15 Mar 2014: Hanami 

    Hanami
    Hanami means "flower viewing" (from hana "flower" and mi "see"), but there's a lot more to this Japanese tradition... On one side, there's meditation and sensitivity to ephemeral beauty... But, on ... »

    122 comments

    13 Mar 2014: Sakura Zensen, the Cherry blossoms front 

    Sakura Zensen, the Cherry blossoms front
    The climate of Japan varies widely from Okinawa to Hokkaido, so the cherry blossoming period begins as early as January in Okinawa, while the blooming period in Hokkaido starts no sooner than ... »

    307 comments

    10 Mar 2014: About Japan from... manhole covers, Shimonoseki Fugu 

    About Japan from... manhole covers, Shimonoseki Fugu
    While visiting a country, we are always on the lookout for new travel information, so we take at least a look any billboard, map or poster displayed...
    But in Japan there's a unique place that you ... »

    95 comments

    07 Mar 2014: A traditional house worthy of the Emperor, Chofu Mori Residence 

    A traditional house worthy of the Emperor, Chofu Mori Residence
    One of the few places in Japan that had the honor of accommodating the Emperor, the residence of the Mori family in Chōfu, Shimonoseki is an amazing example of Japanese simplicity and ... »

    92 comments

    27 Feb 2014: Japanese Yatai food stalls, travel tip 

    Japanese Yatai food stalls, travel tip
    One of the best things about visiting Japan is the food! Simply put, you can eat great food anywhere you go. Of course, especially in the tourist areas, you will be tempted by many fancy restaurants, ... »

    107 comments

    25 Feb 2014: Japanese Zen garden patterns, Stormy waves 

    Japanese Zen garden patterns, Stormy waves
    The third part of the "Japanese zen gardens raking patterns" series of articles Since there is no water in the karesansui dry landscape garden, the water is suggested by various patterns, drawn ... »

    105 comments

    24 Feb 2014: Kyoto must see, the beautiful traditional narrow street Ishibei-koji 

    Kyoto must see, the beautiful traditional narrow street Ishibei-koji
    Before the modernization that took place after the Meiji Restoration, the Japanese towns were places filled with narrow alleys, but today only few places have preserved the aspect of the old streets. ... »

    171 comments

    23 Feb 2014: The unique Hello Kitty of the Harimaya-bashi 

    The unique Hello Kitty of the Harimaya-bashi
    If you like Hello Kitty, you probably know that there are a lot of Hello Kitty items sold only in Japan... but even more interesting, there are items sold only in specific regions! So, if you're a ... »

    84 comments

    22 Feb 2014: Japanese superlatives - Spectacles Bridge, the oldest stone arch bridge 

    Japanese superlatives - Spectacles Bridge, the oldest stone arch bridge
    Built in 1634, the Meganebashi [眼鏡橋] "Spectacles Bridge" from Nagasaki is the oldest stone arch bridge in Japan and, even if it suffered some damage over the time, ... »

    95 comments

    21 Feb 2014: Another very Japanese phone booth 

    Another very Japanese phone booth
    I was writing some time ago about a Japanese phone booth located inside the Sumiyoshi Taisha from Osaka, with a roof design perfectly harmonized with the shrine's architecture. Recently, I ... »

    107 comments

    19 Feb 2014: Japanese Castle nicknames, Kumamoto the Ginkgo-nuts Castle 

    Japanese Castle nicknames, Kumamoto the Ginkgo-nuts Castle
    Many Japanese castles have meaningful nicknames, some because of their shape or color (like the Okayama Castle, called U-jō the "Crow Castle", or the Matsumoto Castle - Karasu-jō, which ... »

    118 comments

    17 Feb 2014: The Zen fish-shaped drum, Gyoban 

    The Zen fish-shaped drum, Gyoban
    In the Zen Buddhist temples from Japan, suspended in front of the entrance to the refectory, you will notice an odd object, a large wooden fish... This is actually a drum, called Gyoban, used to call ... »

    60 comments

    05 Feb 2014: Simply beautiful Japanese scenes, Sunrise over Tsukishima 

    Simply beautiful Japanese scenes, Sunrise over Tsukishima
    You know how much I love watching the city from above... I never miss the chance to visit a high-rise building, so I am really thrilled when I have the opportunity to be accommodated in a skyscraper. ... »

    140 comments

    29 Jan 2014: Japanese Narrow Buildings Photo 23, Restaurant in Fukushima, Osaka 

    Japanese Narrow Buildings Photo 23, Restaurant in Fukushima, Osaka
    The area south of the Fukushima Station from the Osaka Loop Line allowed me to discover several delightful small streets, filled with small traditional restaurants, including this oden restaurant ... »

    84 comments

    28 Jan 2014: The Kyoto style gas lamp 

    The Kyoto style gas lamp
    Before gas lighting was introduced to Japan at the beginning of the Meiji Period, the public illumination in Japan was provided by oil burning lanterns made of bamboo and covered by paper. Of ... »

    82 comments

    24 Jan 2014: Sanuki Fuji 

    Sanuki Fuji
    With its perfect cone, Mount Fuji inspired people all around Japan, so there's no wonder that several other Japanese mountains have names related to the beloved Fuji-san. One example is the Fuji from ... »

    38 comments

    19 Jan 2014: Amerikamura human shaped street lights 

    Amerikamura human shaped street lights
    The Amerikamura (or Amemura) area appeared in Osaka during the '70s, when a group of warehouses were transformed into shops selling merchandise from United States, especially clothing and vinyl ... »

    48 comments

    13 Jan 2014: Traditional Japanese clothing, Furisode 

    Traditional Japanese clothing, Furisode
    There are many types of kimono, mostly varying according to the tailoring, but the color and the decorations are also important, expressing the wearer's age or marital status.One of the most ... »

    85 comments

    10 Jan 2014: Travel tip, the Narita Express Tokyo Direct Ticket 

    Travel tip, the Narita Express Tokyo Direct Ticket
    As the battle heats up between the two rail companies offering transportation to and from the Narita Airport, we, the foreign tourists, have only to win.Until now, the lower price offered by the ... »

    35 comments

    07 Jan 2014: A vending machine per 23 people 

    A vending machine per 23 people
    Visiting Japan, one thing that everyone notices right away is the large number of vending machines... Of course, the most common are those selling soft drinks, coffee, beer, ice cream or snacks, but ... »

    55 comments

    05 Jan 2014: Rainbow Bridge, more beautiful than ever 

    Rainbow Bridge, more beautiful than ever
    Like on every trip to Japan, today I paid a visit to Odaiba, Tokyo... Although this is my 10th visit here, Odaiba is one of the places I never get tired of seeing and photographing.And to my ... »

    92 comments

    03 Jan 2014: African dunes? No, it's Japan, Tottori 

    African dunes? No, it's Japan, Tottori
    No, I'm not in Africa, neither on Tatooine... I am still in Japan, inside a unique place: Tottori Saikyo, the largest sand dunes in Japan! And they are large indeed, from the inside it is impossible ... »

    56 comments

    30 Dec 2013: The Ten Million Dollar Night View, Nagasaki 

    The Ten Million Dollar Night View, Nagasaki
    It is said that the top 3 night views in Japan are the following: from Mount Rokku towards Kobe, from Mount Hakodate towards the city and from Mount Inasa towards Nagasaki, the last one also having a ... »

    37 comments

    21 Dec 2013: The giant rubber duck 

    The giant rubber duck
    This year, the world famous Rubber Duck created by the Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman is again in Osaka, friendly and happily floating nearby the Hotarumachi Pier, "spreading joy around the world" ... »

    46 comments

    18 Dec 2013: Midtown Christmas Starlight Garden, travel tip 

    Midtown Christmas Starlight Garden, travel tip
    Surprisingly for the Western visitor, Japan has actually two winter illuminations: some of them are used just for Christmas, being lit only until December 25, while others are designed especially for ... »

    54 comments

    16 Dec 2013: My 10th visit to Japan starts today! 

    My 10th visit to Japan starts today!
    There are special times to visit a country and that's even more true for Japan! My favorites are the cherry-blossom period, the summer, when most of the matsuri and fireworks festivals are taking ... »

    49 comments

    13 Dec 2013: Simply beautiful Japanese scenes, Exposed roots on Mount Kurama 

    Simply beautiful Japanese scenes, Exposed roots on Mount Kurama
    To achieve the perfect exposed root in a bonsai, the bonsai artist works painstakingly for decades, the result being an amazing plant which is an art masterpiece at the same time...... but the ... »

    47 comments

    10 Dec 2013: Origami diorama masterpieces, a great place to see and a bit of history 

    Origami diorama masterpieces, a great place to see and a bit of history
    In Japan, the first historical mention of an object made by paper folding - origami (ori means "folding" and kami "paper") - was in a poem from 1680 by Ihara Saikaku, referring to the origami ... »

    63 comments

    21 Nov 2013: Tokyo Christmas Illuminations, Baccarat Eternal Lights 

    Tokyo Christmas Illuminations, Baccarat Eternal Lights
    Every year at the beginning of November, in Tokyo, at the Yebisu Garden Place is powered one of the largest chandeliers in the world: the 5 meters-tall and 3 meters-wide marvel was made by the French ... »

    48 comments

    19 Nov 2013: Start of winter illuminations in Japan 

    Start of winter illuminations in Japan
    The winter holidays lighting starts early in Japan, in some places as soon as mid-November. Some of these light shows are available only until Christmas, while others are kept on long after the New ... »

    42 comments

    11 Nov 2013: Beautiful night in Odaiba 

    Beautiful night in Odaiba
    Odaiba is well known as one of the greatest shopping and entertainment districts in Tokyo, a place for all ages, filled with malls, parks, a huge ferris wheel, an onsen and even a life-size Gundam ... »

    32 comments

    03 Nov 2013: Shinkyo, an extra-ordinary bridge 

    Shinkyo, an extra-ordinary bridge
    The construction of Shinkyo, the first bridge over the Daiya river in Nikko, is linked to an interesting legend and the bridge was considered sacred.That's why when it was rebuilt in the form we ... »

    40 comments

    01 Nov 2013: ICOCA 10 years anniversary and some travel tips 

    ICOCA 10 years anniversary and some travel tips
    Even if, after all these years, I am used to all the Japanese train tickets, I still prefer using a smart card. Besides the worry-free usage, without calculating the price and the distance traveled, ... »

    31 comments

    25 Oct 2013: Tokyo Big Sight's modern garden 

    Tokyo Big Sight's modern garden
    Many of the modern Japanese gardens are inspired by the tradition, either by the dry Zen gardens or by the promenade gardens, like this one, located nearby the famous Tokyo Big Sight from Odaiba. ... »

    37 comments

    24 Oct 2013: Simply beautiful Japanese scenes, Colorful lights in Yokohama 

    Simply beautiful Japanese scenes, Colorful lights in Yokohama
    Before starting my visit to Japan, I'm always "doing my lessons": I like to know very well what I will see, what to expect... I search for photos, check the Google Street View and so on... But ... »

    59 comments

    03 Oct 2013: Romantic night in Kyoto 

    Romantic night in Kyoto
    While I'm in Japan I barely stay in the hotel other than to sleep. Even in the evening, when I need to relax, I prefer going to a place with a beautiful view, where I can take some photos... you know ... »

    77 comments

    30 Sep 2013: Ryoan-ji's earthen wall 

    Ryoan-ji's earthen wall
    Inside a Japanese Zen garden there is harmony not only in shapes but also in colors. And searching for perfection, some Japanese masters controlled even the light shining and reflections... For ... »

    44 comments

    28 Sep 2013: Shinto Shrines, Taisha 

    Shinto Shrines, Taisha
    If you looked at the names of the Shinto shrines, you noticed that they are always composed of two or three words, apparently without rules. However, the name of the shrine can give a hint to the ... »

    33 comments

    19 Sep 2013: Kyoto tourist traps, Ponto-cho 

    Kyoto tourist traps, Ponto-cho
    Many people, even some experienced travelers, are considering that a tourist trap is a place that should be avoided, a loss of time and money - but that's not true, in many cases, even if the place ... »

    81 comments

    18 Sep 2013: Jimotsu, the Water Jar and the Wish Granting Jewel 

    Jimotsu, the Water Jar and the Wish Granting Jewel
    In the Buddhist iconography, the hand gesture known as mudra and the ritual objects (jimotsu or jibutsu) held by the deities are all associated with a spiritual meaning and, just by looking at these ... »

    33 comments

    16 Sep 2013: Kyoto Higashiyama roofs, traditional Kawara tiles 

    Kyoto Higashiyama roofs, traditional Kawara tiles
    The ceramic roof tiles known as kawara were first used in Japan 1400 years ago, for the roofs of the Buddhist temples. At the time the houses, the Shinto shrines and even the Imperial Palace were ... »

    39 comments

    14 Sep 2013: Japanese Companies, Matsumoto Kiyoshi 

    Japanese Companies, Matsumoto Kiyoshi
    Although I only visit Japan about two times per year, during the last years I became accustomed to many daily life routines in Japan. Part of the routine is buying daily-use commodities like ... »

    30 comments

    13 Sep 2013: Traditional Japanese house, Tatami and some superstitions 

    Traditional Japanese house, Tatami and some superstitions
    Tatami, the traditional floor covering is still omnipresent in the Japanese homes, even in Western-style villas or in modern block apartments. The tatami mat has a long history: in the beginning, it ... »

    55 comments

    08 Sep 2013: Popular souvenirs in Kyoto, Yatsuhashi delicacy 

    Popular souvenirs in Kyoto, Yatsuhashi delicacy
    The traditional Japanese confectioneries are made only with ingredients from plants (rice, azuki bean, matcha tea, fruits), without eggs or milk. There are many types, some specific to the area, some ... »

    44 comments

    06 Sep 2013: Japanese gardens, Tobi-ishi path 

    Japanese gardens, Tobi-ishi path
    Before entering to a chashitsu tea room, the visitor has to cross a small garden (roji). This garden includes a stone lantern, a small water basin (tsukubai), a few evergreen trees or shrubs and a ... »

    48 comments

    03 Sep 2013: Japan trip anniversary, the first memories from Japan 

    Japan trip anniversary, the first memories from Japan
    Today marks exactly 6 years since my first visit to Japan... so I'm a little nostalgic... One of my first memories from Japan is this street, Edo Dori from Asakusa, Tokyo, the first experience I had ... »

    55 comments

    02 Sep 2013: Japanese modern architecture, Osaka Maritime Museum Glass Dome 

    Japanese modern architecture, Osaka Maritime Museum Glass Dome
    Seen from the sea, the glass dome of the Osaka Maritime Museum looks like it's floating... Built in 2000 on reclaimed land in the Osaka Bay, this 1200 tons geodesic dome is 35 meters tall and 70 ... »

    48 comments

    29 Aug 2013: Mizu-kake Matsuri 

    Mizu-kake Matsuri
    In the midst of the summer, on the streets of Fukagawa, Tokyo, nearby the Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine, you can witness Mizu-kake Matsuri, a festival renowned in all Japan, one of the three major Edo ... »

    43 comments

    23 Aug 2013: Shibuya Station Green Frog 

    Shibuya Station Green Frog
    In the always crowded Shibuya, one of the most popular meeting places is an old train wagon, affectionately called the "Green frog" - Ao-gaeru.Ao-gaeru was originally a Series 5000 rail car ... »

    47 comments

    22 Aug 2013: Sugidama, the Sake indicator 

    Sugidama, the Sake indicator
    Visiting the traditional areas, in front of some shops, you may notice unusual spheres made of a wood-like material, sometimes over half a meter wide. At the first glance you may think these are some ... »

    71 comments

    17 Aug 2013: Monzen-machi, the Japanese temple town 

    Monzen-machi, the Japanese temple town
    Similar to the towns developed around castles, there are towns in Japan developed around the large temples or shrines. Called monzen-machi "temple towns", they developed during the Edo Period, when ... »

    26 comments

    16 Aug 2013: Summer tourist attractions in Osaka Bay, Tempozan Harbor Village 

    Summer tourist attractions in Osaka Bay, Tempozan Harbor Village
    After several visits to Osaka during hot summer days, one of my favorite places became the Osaka Bay's Tempozan Harbor Village. I haven't grown tired yet of visiting the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, one ... »

    37 comments

    15 Aug 2013: Dancing to stop the rain, Mizudome-no-Mai 

    Dancing to stop the rain, Mizudome-no-Mai
    The rainy season in the Kanto area, tsuyu ("plum rain"), takes place approximately between June 8 and July 20. Sometimes in the past the heavy rains led to flash flooding and one such flooding, 700 ... »

    55 comments

    06 Aug 2013: Hiroshima Day, 68 years 

    Hiroshima Day, 68 years
    I was greatly impressed by the monuments of Hiroshima, equally by those built by man and by those created by nature, like the hibaku jumoku, the atomic bombing survivor trees. All these monuments ... »

    46 comments

    03 Aug 2013: Special Place of Scenic Beauty, Amanohashidate 

    Special Place of Scenic Beauty, Amanohashidate
    One of the most interesting lists created by the Agency for Cultural Affairs in order to protect the cultural heritage of Japan is "Places of Scenic Beauty" (meisho), including 333 destinations. ... »

    40 comments

    31 Jul 2013: Japanese gardens, Chisen-kanshou-shiki teien in Kyoto 

    Japanese gardens, Chisen-kanshou-shiki teien in Kyoto
    Zen gardens are not the only Japanese gardens made to be admired as a whole... Chisen-kanshō-shiki teien is a type of garden with pond (literally meaning "pond appreciation style"), designed ... »

    36 comments

    27 Jul 2013: Daruma Kushikatsu Restaurant 

    Daruma Kushikatsu Restaurant
    Famous for its good and reasonably priced food, the Dotonbori street from Namba, Osaka is also renowned for its eye-catching signs and billboards.
    Some of them are simply impossible to ignore, like ... »

    34 comments

    23 Jul 2013: Old Japanese stories, Kinryu-no-mai and a travel tip 

    Old Japanese stories, Kinryu-no-mai and a travel tip
    Some of the most beautiful legends from Japan are related to dragons living in lakes or rivers, especially when there's a temple or a shrine nearby. One of the oldest is this story from ... »

    42 comments

    20 Jul 2013: Tokaido stories, Kita-san and Yaji-san 

    Tokaido stories, Kita-san and Yaji-san
    During the Edo Period the Tōkaidō road became the most important route from Japan, connecting the capital Kyoto to Edo, the Tokugawa shogunate's city. The 476 kilometers are today traveled ... »

    43 comments

    19 Jul 2013: Jouka-machi, the Japanese castle town 

    Jouka-machi, the Japanese castle town
    The advent of the castles as we know them today, during the Sengoku Period, lead to the development of jouka-machi, the "town below the castle". Inhabited mostly by samurai, but also by craftsmen and ... »

    35 comments

    18 Jul 2013: Night walk through thousands of gates 

    Night walk through thousands of gates
    There are several places in Japan where I like to return again and again, for new photographic experiences. One of these places is the breathtaking row of torii gates from Fushimi, Kyoto.I ... »

    77 comments

    16 Jul 2013: Japanese Edo village 

    Japanese Edo village
    The first open-air museum in Japan was opened in 1956 in Toyonaka city, Osaka: the Open-Air Museum of Old Japanese Farm Houses. Since then, several other museums appeared, showcasing region specific ... »

    53 comments

    12 Jul 2013: Shinkansen, a glimpse of history 

    Shinkansen, a glimpse of history
    The first high-speed Shinkansen train was inaugurated in 1964, but the Shinkansen brand is a little older. The word Shinkansen 「新幹線」 (meaning "new trunk line") was ... »

    32 comments

    10 Jul 2013: The non-golden floor of the golden Kinkaku-ji 

    The non-golden floor of the golden Kinkaku-ji
    Because of its world-famous golden pavilion, the Rokuon-ji Temple from Kyoto is known as Kinkaku-ji, the Temple of the Golden Pavilion. Together with the garden and the pond surrounding it, ... »

    49 comments

    08 Jul 2013: Japanese architecture, Nippon Budokan 

    Japanese architecture, Nippon Budokan
    In 1964, the inauguration of two buildings designed by the Japanese architect Mamoru Yamada have sparked a lot of controversy...
    If the lighthouse shape of the Kyoto Tower was criticized by being ... »

    30 comments

    05 Jul 2013: Kyoto Tofuku-ji Zen garden, the Elysian islands 

    Kyoto Tofuku-ji Zen garden, the Elysian islands
    The first major project of Mirei Shigemori, one of the most famed Japanese landscape architects, were the four gardens of Tofuku-ji, the Zen temple from Higashiyama, Kyoto.In today's photo you ... »

    38 comments

    03 Jul 2013: Heron, symbol of Buddhist meditation 

    Heron, symbol of Buddhist meditation
    Almost every Japanese garden pond is inhabited by Japanese carps (koi) and turtles... both species well beloved by the Japanese people, the koi being a symbol of courage and perseverance while the ... »

    34 comments

    01 Jul 2013: Rainy season in Japan, Travel tip 

    Rainy season in Japan, Travel tip
    Right now, most of Japan is right in the middle of the rainy season, but the exact period varies from a province to another. The rainy season, tsuyu ("plum rain", named like that because it takes ... »

    48 comments

    29 Jun 2013: Steep alley in Higashiyama, Kyoto 

    Steep alley in Higashiyama, Kyoto
    For a city concerned about preserving its tradition (see the Kyoto Tower controversy), Kyoto has actually only a few well preserved traditional areas. Much of Kyoto's charm comes from its huge number ... »

    40 comments

    28 Jun 2013: Japanese traditional architecture, Kurazukuri fireproof house 

    Japanese traditional architecture, Kurazukuri fireproof house
    The traditional Japanese house is built of wood, which makes it earthquake resistant but very dangerous when it comes to fire. Because of the fire threat, the valuables and the food reserves were ... »

    47 comments

    24 Jun 2013: The place with the highest commercial land price, Ginza Meidi-ya 

    The place with the highest commercial land price, Ginza Meidi-ya
    It is common knowledge that the price of land in Japan is extremely high, but have you ever wondered how much can the price go up? The most expensive land parcel in Tokyo goes to the astronomical ... »

    36 comments

    23 Jun 2013: The largest tomb in Tokyo 

    The largest tomb in Tokyo
    Close to the Tokyo Tower, between the Daitoku-in Mausoleum Somon Gate and the Prince Park Tower Hotel, there's a green park, completely covered by trees.Although it impossible to clearly see it, ... »

    46 comments

    21 Jun 2013: Japanese castle types, Yamajiro 

    Japanese castle types, Yamajiro
    Amongst the 3 types of Japanese castles (mountain castles - yamajiro, hilltop castles - hirayamajiro and flatland castles - hirajiro), the easiest to defend were the yamajiro. Taking advantage of the ... »

    33 comments

    20 Jun 2013: Japanese spiritual architecture, Double-helix staircase 

    Japanese spiritual architecture, Double-helix staircase
    The double-helix staircase is an architectural element found often in the Western architecture, but quite rare in Japan. In Aizu-Wakamatsu you can visit a unique wooden temple-tower, Sazae-do, built ... »

    65 comments

    17 Jun 2013: Japanese architecture, Kanazawa Station 

    Japanese architecture, Kanazawa Station
    Continuing an architectural tradition which began in 1914 with the construction of the Tokyo Station, Japan still builds impressive train stations, designed to inspire the traveler.I already ... »

    54 comments

    16 Jun 2013: Perfect view of Mount Bandai, the Fuji from Aizu 

    Perfect view of  Mount Bandai, the Fuji from Aizu
    Japan offers a great number of beautiful scenic places and, over time, the Japanese people selected them, creating top lists like the famous "Three Great Gardens of Japan" (Nihon Sanmeien) or the ... »

    33 comments

    13 Jun 2013: Japan Rail Pass alternatives 

    Japan Rail Pass alternatives
    After I wrote about the Japan Rail Pass prices and advantages, I received quite a lot of questions about particular situations, especially for smaller trips that don't include large distances. ... »

    54 comments

    12 Jun 2013: Japanese traditional architecture, the last tower of Tsuruga Castle 

    Japanese traditional architecture, the last tower of Tsuruga Castle
    After it was conquered by the Imperial Army at the end of the Boshin War, Tsuruga-jo, the castle from Aizu-Wakamatsu was demolished by the order of the Emperor in 1874. But one of the castle's ... »

    48 comments

    11 Jun 2013: Sanjo Ohashi, Kyoto 

    Sanjo Ohashi, Kyoto
    Have you noticed that many traditional Japanese bridges are decorated with the same bulbous ornaments? These are giboshi and they are inspired by the Buddhist tradition, their shape representing a ... »

    42 comments

    09 Jun 2013: Kyoto Mibu-dera unusual stupa 

    Kyoto Mibu-dera unusual stupa
    Stupas are interesting religious constructions, shaped like a mound and containing Buddhist relics, often found in the Buddhist countries but quite rare in Japan. However, an original and unusual ... »

    29 comments

    30 May 2013: Traditional Japanese castle interior, Maruoka 

    Traditional Japanese castle interior, Maruoka
    One of my favorite things to do when I visit the tenshu of an original Japanese castle is to climb the wooden stairs... Extremely steep, narrow and with the steps placed far apart, they are part of ... »

    73 comments