The Hakone Circuit

If you have only one day to visit Hakone and are traveling by mass transportation, the ‘Hakone Circuit’ is the best way to see many of the area’s top sights. Starting and ending in Hakone Yumoto, travel is in a circle, with no backtracking, and is easy to follow even if you don’t speak or … More The Hakone Circuit

‘Maguro-lovers’ day trip to Misaki Port & Jogashima

Only 90 minutes from Shinagawa, the quiet town of Misaki is an easy and enjoyable day trip from Tokyo. As a base for maguro fishermen, this is ‘the’ place to enjoy tasty, (incredibly) reasonable tuna. Misaki is a ‘rough around the edges’ fishing port that has a lot of charm. Nearby Jogashima boasts a scenic … More ‘Maguro-lovers’ day trip to Misaki Port & Jogashima

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

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

World Heritage Site hunting in Shingu, Wakayama 

Recently, many foreign tourists travel to Wakayama Prefecture to visit Mt.Koya and the famous Kumano Kaido. Most are unaware of Shingu, a lovely little city that has its own collection of impressive sightseeing spots, including sections of the famous path and other related World Heritage Sites. Most of Shingu’s attractions are centrally located and can … More World Heritage Site hunting in Shingu, Wakayama