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 

Self-guided Tour:  Hiking Mt. Mitake’s Rock Garden

Mt. Mitake is one of Tokyo’s best one-day hiking destinations. A hike here can be tailored to many skill levels, but is especially good for beginners as there is a lot to see without too much difficulty. After traveling by train or car into the mountainous Westernmost section of Tokyo, take a scenic cable car … More Self-guided Tour:  Hiking Mt. Mitake’s Rock Garden

‘The City of Stone’ Oya, Tochigi

The town of Oya, near Tochigi Prefecture’s capital, Utsunomiya, is relatively unknown but is an excellent day trip from Tokyo. Oya-ishi, a porous stone created from ash and lava, has been quarried in the area for centuries. It is mostly extracted from underground, so the town’s landscape has not been scarred. However, man-made arches, holes, … More ‘The City of Stone’ Oya, Tochigi

Nokogiriyama, Chiba           ‘The Sawtooth Mountain’

There are many wonderful hikes in and around Tokyo, but my favorite is Nokogiriyama in Chiba Prefecture. Nokogiri means ‘sawtooth’ and is so named due to jagged rock face that was exposed in the Edo Era when it was a quarry. If you prefer an easier hike, travel by ropeway to the top of the … More Nokogiriyama, Chiba           ‘The Sawtooth Mountain’

Kyoto ‘Must See’                Kodaiji Night Illuminations

Kodaiji is one of Kyoto’s best temples, established in 1606 by Kita-no-Mandokoro in memory of her late husband, the feudal lord Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Kita-no-Mandokoro’s nickname was ‘Nene’, and the cobblestone street lined with traditional shops and restaurants that runs just below the temple bears her name ‘Nene-no-michi’ (Nene’s street). Kodaiji is open daily from 9:00 … More Kyoto ‘Must See’                Kodaiji Night Illuminations