Tokyo Day Trips: My ‘Top 10’ Lesser-known Favorites

Train lines and highways head out of Tokyo in all directions – giving residents and visitors access to hundreds of interesting day-trip destinations. This is a list of my favorite lesser-known spots, in alphabetical order. I’ve noted whether or not it is possible to travel there by mass transportation or if a car is necessary. … More Tokyo Day Trips: My ‘Top 10’ Lesser-known Favorites

‘Little Kyoto’ – Tsuwano, Shimane Prefecture

Many of Japan’s best tourist destinations have been preserved due to their locations well off the beaten path. The town of Tsuwano sits in a valley in western Shimane Prefecture near the border with Yamaguchi Prefecture. It is known as the Little Kyoto of the San-in Region and is highly recommended for travelers willing to … More ‘Little Kyoto’ – Tsuwano, Shimane Prefecture

One Night in Matsumoto

Matsumoto, a lovely small-sized city in Nagano Prefecture, is home to one of Japan’s most beautiful castles and is well worth a visit.Matsumoto-jo has the oldest donjon remaining in Japan – construction began in 1592. It is one of five castles designated a ‘National Treasure of Japan’. It has also earned the name, Karasu-jo, or … More One Night in Matsumoto

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)

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