The sacred pools: Oshino Hakkai

The area around Mount Fuji holds many natural phenomenon due to the past eruptions of Mount Fuji carving out the landscape, changing the biggest lake in the world into the five lakes of Fuji. Oshino Hakkai was created thanks to the same eruption which split the great lake. What remained were eight pools filled with … Continue reading The sacred pools: Oshino Hakkai

The castle on lake Biwa: Hikone castle

Castles played an important role in Japans history, right up until the Meiji restoration and the modernisation of Japan. Sadly, through war, fires, and in the name of progress, many Japanese castles were destroyed. Today, although Japan boasts a large number of castle keeps, only 12 are those that have remained through the years. Hikone … Continue reading The castle on lake Biwa: Hikone castle

Chasing the cherry blossom: Getting the most out of sakura season in Japan!

Japan has an amazingly deferential relationship with nature, protecting the stunning environment that the islands of Japan home. One of the most intrinsically tied aspects of Japanese culture and nature is the cherry blossom phenomenon. If you have spent any time reading about, studying or visiting in Japan you will have seen the numerous references … Continue reading Chasing the cherry blossom: Getting the most out of sakura season in Japan!

Shiraito Falls- the widest waterfall in Japan

In the Fuji Five lakes region of Japan, in Shizuoka prefecture there is another aspect of the World Heritage list, the waterfall Shiraito. Part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu national park Shiraito falls is situated to the west of Mount Fuji, about a 1 hour drive from Kawaguchiko, or it can be accessed by bus, although this … Continue reading Shiraito Falls- the widest waterfall in Japan

Exploring Japan after dark

In most countries great tourist attractions or areas of great beauty close at 5pm, tourism is over for the night and everything is barred shut, this is especially true in the UK where I live. So with this mentality I traveled to Japan, visiting the tourist destinations during the day and used the evenings for … Continue reading Exploring Japan after dark

Fushimi Inari Taisha: The never ending gates

When you think of Japan a few images may come to mind, towering sky scrapers, robot waiters, sushi, or the bright vermillion gates of shinto shrines. One place in Japan is especially famous for these gates in Fushimi Inari Taisha which is for the shinto shrine of Inari, goddess of the harvest, situated in Kyoto. … Continue reading Fushimi Inari Taisha: The never ending gates

Fujigoko: Mount Fuji’s Five Lakes

Mount Fuji is one of the most recognisable icons of Japan and over the centuries has influenced Japan's art, culture and religion. Listed as one of Japans world heritage sites, Mount Fuji is one of Japans holiest mountains, visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year. Not only is Mount Fuji so famous but … Continue reading Fujigoko: Mount Fuji’s Five Lakes

The white heron castle of Himeji

You might not know the name but you probably recognise the image. Himeji castle is one of the top tourist destinations in Japan and the most visited castle in Japan! Himeji castle is often said to be the finest Japanese castle. Himeji castle was first constructed in 1333 and expanded over the years, even being … Continue reading The white heron castle of Himeji

The black crow castle of Matsumoto

Japan has a rich history of castle building, it is estimated that at one point there were 5,000 castles across Japan. The castles were originally built as fortifications for military defense along important routes or in strategic locations. These castles were traditionally made of a wooden frame with stone fortifications. Many Japanese castles were destroyed … Continue reading The black crow castle of Matsumoto

The most disappointing “waterfall” in all of Japan

Japan is well known for its mountains, streams and general amazing nature so you would expect to find great sights around every corner. In April of this year we climbed Mount Takao (climbed may be a bit of an exaggeration) to try and see the elusive Mount Fuji and maybe find a tengu! ┬áMount Takao … Continue reading The most disappointing “waterfall” in all of Japan