3 Day Self-Drive Vacation in Kyushu’s Kumamoto

Only two hours from Tokyo by plane, Kumamoto Prefecture, on the island of Kyushu, is a fantastic choice for a two night / three day get-away.  Although the sightseeing choices are endless, here is an itinerary that I personally enjoyed and would recommend to those who really enjoy driving.  As Kumamoto does not get much … More 3 Day Self-Drive Vacation in Kyushu’s Kumamoto

Touring Historic Homes in Yokohama – December is best!

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!

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

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’