Izu’s Kawazu-zakura Festival – Early Blooming Cherry Blossoms

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

‘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

‘Meguro’s Best’ – Cherry Blossom River Walk & (Much) More

Cherry blossom viewing is especially popular along the Meguro River. Most people don’t realize, however, that there are many interesting sightseeing spots to visit along, or near, the route – the Meguro Sky Garden, Sugekari Park, the Sato Sakura Museum, Rakanji Temple, Meguro Fudo-son, Meguro Gajoen, etc.  Here is a detailed, do-it-yourself tour of ‘Meguro’s … More ‘Meguro’s Best’ – Cherry Blossom River Walk & (Much) More

Best ‘Ascendable’ Tokyo Area Giant Buddhist Statues

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

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