Events ‘In & Around’ Tokyo – February 2018

1/28-3/25 Tsubaki Matsuri, Oshima Island, Tokyo. Camelia festival. Various species of camelia are in bloom during the festival period. Daily from 9:30-15:30. Oshima locals perform at Tsubaki Plaza. There is also a night festival (Yomatsuri) in the passenger waiting room in Motomachi Port. Access: 1) Yurikamome Monorail Line to Takeshiba Station, then walk to Takeshiba … More Events ‘In & Around’ Tokyo – February 2018

Best ‘Ascendable’ Tokyo Area Giant Buddhist Statues

There are two main types of giant Buddhist statues in Japan, Daibutsu (Giant Buddha) and Dai-Kannon (Giant Goddess of Mercy). Older statues are made of bronze or stone.  Newer ones tower over local landscapes, are made of reinforced concrete, and can be explored – internally. Five impressive ‘ascendable’ statues surround Tokyo and all are worth … More Best ‘Ascendable’ Tokyo Area Giant Buddhist Statues

Four ‘Easy’ Winter Overnight Trips from Tokyo

With Japan’s compact size and amazing transportation system, there are thousands of possible overnight trips from Tokyo. However, there are dramatic differences in cost, ease of access, and foreigner-friendliness. Here is a list of the most foreigner-friendly locations close to Tokyo that seem a world away, but are actually easy to reach & explore. #1 … More Four ‘Easy’ Winter Overnight Trips from Tokyo

3 Day Self-Drive Vacation in Kyushu’s Kumamoto

Only two hours from Tokyo by plane, Kumamoto Prefecture, on the island of Kyushu, is a fantastic choice for a two night / three day get-away.  Although the sightseeing choices are endless, here is an itinerary that I personally enjoyed and would recommend to those who really enjoy driving.  As Kumamoto does not get much … More 3 Day Self-Drive Vacation in Kyushu’s Kumamoto

Touring Historic Homes in Yokohama – December is best!

Many lovely Western homes, built in the early 1900’s, can be found in the Yamate area of Yokohama. Some have been converted into museums and cafes.  Seven historic homes are now owned by the government and are open to the public, free of charge. Although they can be explored year-round, the best time to visit … More Touring Historic Homes in Yokohama – December is best!

Hiking & Sightseeing in Oku-Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture

To experience a foreigner-friendly beginner hike with amazing views, especially in autumn, head to Oku-Nikko, or ‘Inner Nikko’, in Tochigi Prefecture. Although possible to do in a day trip, I highly recommend an overnight stay in order to experience more of what the area has to offer.  From Tokyo, it also takes over three hours … More Hiking & Sightseeing in Oku-Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture

Kinchakuda Red Spider Lily Festival, Saitama Prefecture

Every year, from mid-September to mid-October, a park in Koma, Saitama Prefecture turns vivid red when approximately 500,000 red spider lilies spring up from the ground in a forested area cris-crossed by walking paths.   It is a wonderful day trip from Tokyo and is easy to access by mass transportation. Use hyperdia.com to find … More Kinchakuda Red Spider Lily Festival, Saitama Prefecture