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

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 

Touring Shikoku’s Kagawa Prefecture (after Naoshima)

The Seto Inland Sea’s ‘art island’, Naoshima, is now on the bucket list of many tourists. Most visit the island and then head off to another famous location on the Japanese main island of Honshu. Unfortunately, they miss the opportunity to explore many fantastic lesser known sightseeing spots in the rest of Kagawa Prefecture. If … More Touring Shikoku’s Kagawa Prefecture (after Naoshima)

‘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