Kawazu-zakura are unique hybrid cherry trees that bloom earlier, and for much longer, than the famous Somei Yoshino species. For an entire month, usually from around February 10 to March 10, a festival showcases 8,000 trees that line the Kawazu River in Southern Izu. Although it takes about 2 – 2 1/2 hours to reach … More Izu’s Kawazu-zakura Festival – Early Blooming Cherry Blossoms
Spending a day swimming at the beach is a wonderful way to escape the heat and humidity of Tokyo’s summer. Suprisingly, Tokyo does has two beaches of its own. Special events, like beach volleyball tournaments, are held at Odaiba Beach and children play at the water’s edge. However, water quality is poor, which makes swimming … More Summer in Tokyo – Escape to the Beach
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
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
There are many places in the Tokyo area where one can view azeleas (つつじ, tsutsuji) in bloom. The flowers are usually at their most beautiful in mid-April to mid-May; and at higher elevations, into early June. Below is a list of some of the best locations to see them. CENTRAL TOKYO 1). Nezu Shrine, Bunkyo … More Azelea Viewing in Tokyo & its surroundings
Omihachiman is overlooked by almost all non-Japanese traveling to the Kansai region. Located only one hour by train from Osaka Station or 40 minutes from Kyoto Station, the town has a lot to offer without the crowds of its more famous neighbors. In the 16th century, Hidetsugu Toyotomi (nephew of the powerful daimyo Hideyoshi Toyotomi) … More Top 10 – Historic Omihachiman
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
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!