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5 of the right vegan consuming locations in Japan

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Touring as a vegetarian is troublesome, having to elucidate hen isn’t a vegetarian weight reduction plan (having a look at you, Europe). Touring as a vegan is much more sturdy. Notably to Japan that places non-vegetarian produce on the guts of its gastronomy. It’s possible you’ll fashion a refined fusion of varied Umami in Japanese meals custom, accentuated by meat and […]

The publish 5 of the best vegan restaurants in Japan appeared first on A Luxury Travel Blog.



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37 Locations to Eat in Tokyo

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people sharing plates of sushi
On a whim, I went to Tokyo for every week. My mates and I had been speaking a few food-themed journey to town for years, and after convincing them that now was the time to cash in all our miles, we discovered ourselves on the airport on a chilly November day with one aim: to eat as a lot as humanly attainable.

Like me, they’d been to Tokyo earlier than and every had an inventory of locations to eat at. Together with our mixed lists, I had obtained ideas from mates, readers, and considered one of my favourite foodies, Mark Weins of Migrationology.

Even consuming 4 to 6 meals a day, I used to be barely in a position to scratch the floor of the checklist of suggestions. Nonetheless, I needed to share the mixed ideas of the community and my very own investigations with you. (These I ate at are denoted by a star.)

Afuri Yebisu (1 Chome-1-7 Ebisu, 117 Bldg. 1F, Shibuya 150-0013, +81 Three-5795-0750, afuri.com) – Tom (@tjdj311 on Instagram) really helpful this for yuzu-flavored ramen.

*Bifteck Kawamura Ginza (6 Chome-5-1 Ginza, Ginza MST Bldg. 8F, Chuo, 104-0061, +81 Three-6252-5011, bifteck.co.jp) – On the suggestion of our resort’s concierge, we went there in our quest for Wagyu beef. The steak mainly melted in my mouth and exploded with taste. Nonetheless, I don’t assume I’d return, as I discovered it a bit too high-end and overpriced for me. The décor is unbelievable, the service excessive, and the wine checklist world-class — however all that’s greater than I wanted. That stated, if you wish to spend cash on scrumptious steak with out-of-this-world service, you may’t go improper right here.

BrewDog Roppongi (5 Chome-Three-2 Roppongi, Minato, 106-0032, +81 Three-6447-4160, brewdogbar.jp) – Really useful by Matt Chandler (@mchandler07 on Twitter), this bar has 20 craft beers on faucet, 10 of that are brewed on website. So in the event you’re uninterested in sake and need some fancy beer, you in all probability can’t go improper right here!

CoCo Ichibanya (1 Chome-2-12 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku, 160-0023, +81 Three-3345-0775) – Really useful by Char (@charmatcha on Twitter), this ramen restaurant is meant to supply hearty and filling ramen in addition to good rooster and pork curry in a quick service surroundings. I haven’t been right here, however I’ve been to related locations previously.

*Genki Sushi (24-Eight Udagawacho, Shibuya, 150-0042, +81 Three-3461-1281, genkisushi.co.jp) – Yummy sushi, really helpful by Jeremiah Cooper (@jeremiahcooperphotography on Instagram). There wasn’t something fancy in regards to the place — it simply had stable, satisfying sushi. Very attentive service too!

Ginza Kagari (Four Chome-1-2 Ginza, Chuo, 104-0061, +81 Three-3561-0717) – Bethany (@bjbitler on Instagram) suggests coming right here for unbelievable rooster broth ramen.

Japanese ramen dish

*Ginza Sushi-Dokoro Shin (7 Chome-12-Four Ginza, Method Honest Bldg. 1F, Chuo, 104-0061, +03-3543-9339) – A spectacular sushi spot in Ginza. It was among the finest I ate at. The parts are big. Go for lunch, once you get extra bang on your buck. And positively get the uni — yummy! (Instructed by Mark Weins)

*Ichiran Shibuya (1 Chome-22-7 Jinnan, Shibuya, 150-0041, +81 Three-3463-3667, en.ichiran.com/index.php) – Really useful by many individuals, this ramen spot served among the finest meals I had my whole journey. The thick, flavorful broth is to die for. I additionally like the way you eat in your individual little non-public sales space. Funky. Count on a wait throughout peak lunch and dinner occasions.

*Isakaya Juban (2 Chome-1-2 Azabujuban, Minato, 106-0045, +81 Three-3451-6873, izakayajuban.com) – A little bit hole-in-the-wall izakaya restaurant (assume Japanese tapas) with locals getting drunk on sake and consuming tasty small plates. I used to be massive fan of their salmon and grilled squid. They’ve a small English menu, however judging how my buddy ordered for me, I feel it doesn’t checklist all the pieces, so in the event you see one thing, level at it and get it!

JBS Bar (Jazz, Blues, Soul) (1 Chome-17-10 Dogenzaka, Shibuya, 150-0043, +81 Three-3461-7788) – A cool bar (really helpful by Anna Klebine on Fb) that’s mainly a one-man store stuffed with information, whiskey, and smoke. It’s tucked away on the second degree of an workplace/purchasing plaza.

*Kakimaru (6 Chome-1-6 Roppongi, Minato, 106-0032, +81-Three-5413-3689) – Whereas catching up with my buddy, we discovered this superior place. There was an older couple subsequent to us and a marriage occasion getting drunk throughout from us. Because the night time went on, the couple helped us choose meals (strive the speciality crab dish, it’s served within the shell and to die for), and the marriage occasion saved asking how we beloved Japan and refilling our sake glasses, sang songs, and talked baseball. It was an incredible expertise. The meals can also be excellent. Remember to get the oysters. Observe: Whereas Google Maps will checklist the restaurant as Kakimaru, once you go there the restaurant will likely be known as Uohama.

Kanda Matsuya (1 Chome-13 Kanda Sudacho, Chiyoda, 101-0041, +81 Three-3251-1556, kanda-matsuya.jp) – Bethany (@bjbitler on Instagram) additionally really helpful this for genuine soba noodle dishes.

fresh sushi

*Kyubey (Eight Chome-7-6 Ginza, Chuo, 104-0061, +81 Three-3571-6523) – Instructed by my mates, this restaurant (which has a few places) provided the fanciest sushi I had in Tokyo. You sit on the bar and are served regardless of the chef decides to deliver (that is known as omakase). It was costly (at $150 USD) however value each penny. Check out this video where the shrimp they served me is still moving.

Masaru (1 Chome-32-2 Asakusa, Taito, 111-0032, +81 Three-3841-8356) – Daina (@headedanywhere on Instagram) really helpful this as a superb possibility for tempura dishes.

*Reminiscence Lane (Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku, +81 Three-3342-1589, shinjuku-omoide.com) – On this tiny alley of yakitori joints, some require an entrance payment, however they’re all value it. I ate at about three of them, however I don’t bear in mind any of the particular restaurant names.

Mutekiya (1 Chome-17-1, Minami Ikebukuro, 1F Sakimoto Bldg., Toshima 171-0022, +81 Three-3982-7656, mutekiya.com) – Carly Sabo (@carly_sabo on Instagram) really helpful this spot for its wonderful ramen. Honmarumen is its hottest dish.

Narisawa (2 Chome-6-15 Minami Aoyama, Minato, 107-0062, +81 Three-5785-0799, narisawa-yoshihiro.com) – One of many highest rated sushi eating places in Tokyo. This was prompt to me by many individuals and, very sadly, I didn’t make it right here however you in all probability ought to! I doubt it’s low cost although!

*Ostrea Oyster Bar and Restaurant (Eight Chome-9-15 Ginza, 8F Jewelboxginza, Chuo, 104-0061, +81 Three-3573-0711, ostrea.jp) – I discovered this whereas wandering Ginza, and being an oyster lover, went in for some large oysters. Japanese oysters are massive and meaty, and those right here have been no completely different. Additionally they lacked a really briny, oceany style to them (I favor my oysters to be extra candy than salty). The restaurant doesn’t get too busy, so that you received’t have a wait.

chopsticks and a bowl of noodles

Robotic Restaurant (1 Chrome-7-1 Kabukicho B2f, Shinjuku, 160-0021, +81 Three-3200-5500, shinjuku-robot.com) – There are a number of bizarre eating places in Tokyo, and I used to be unhappy I didn’t get to this one. Dinner comes with a present that includes robots, lasers, monsters, and dancers. It was really helpful by nearly everybody.

Rokurinsha (1 Chome-9-1 Marunouchi, Tokyo Station Ichibangai B1F, Chiyoda, 100-0005, +81 Three-3286-0166, rokurinsha.com) – Positioned on Tokyo Station’s “ramen highway,” this tasty ramen restaurant is well to identify: it has the longest line. I didn’t eat right here as I didn’t wish to wait; I went to at least one additional down the “highway” and it wasn’t tremendous good. I imply it wasn’t unhealthy, however it made me want I had waited right here!

Shin Udon (2 Chome-20-16 Yoyogi, 1F Soma Bldg., Shibuya, 151-0053, +81 Three-6276-7816, udonshin.com) – Really useful by Macaera (@macaera on Twitter), that is presupposed to be nice for tasty udon noodles at an reasonably priced worth.

Sometaro Okonomiyaki (2 Chome-2-2 Nishiasakusa, Taito, 111-0035, +81 Three-3844-9502) – Housed inside an vintage constructing, it’s well-known for its okonomiyaki (a Japanese savory pancake). Really useful by Mark Wiens.

*Standing Sushi Bar (1 Chome-12-12 Nishishinjuku, Kasai Bldg. 1F, Shinjuku, 160-0023, +81 Three-3349-1739, uogashi-nihonichi.com) – Really useful by my different meals guru Jodi, this standing sushi location is considered one of many on the town. It’s nice for a fast chunk: you stand, eat sushi, and get out. It has a sturdy menu, so you may get something you need, and a meal right here will solely set you again round 1,000 yen ($9 USD).

Sushi Yuu (1 Chome-Four-15 Nishiazabu, Minato, 106-0031, +81 Three-3403-6467, sushiyuu.com) – Lauren Michelle Stow (@lstoweaway on Instagram) raved, “Sushi Yuu was probably the perfect culinary expertise I’ve ever had. Costly, however value it. Make a reservation and ask to take a seat on the bar. Shimazaki-san makes the meal extraordinarily private and solutions all of your fish-related questions.”

fancy sushi

*Sushi Zanmai (11 Chome-9-Four Tsukiji, Chuo, 104-0045, +03-3541-1117) – This sushi restaurant has places over town. I ended up consuming on the one within the fish market on considered one of my final days there. The fish was contemporary, the servings have been massive, and the workers was attentive. I can’t communicate for the opposite places, however this one will get very crowded round lunchtime (count on a 30-minute wait).

*Tenmatsu Tempura (1 Chome-Eight-2 Nihonbashimuromachi, Chuo, 103-0022, +81 Three-3241-5840, tenmatsu.com/english.html) – The tempura right here is well-known for its lightness. It’s a small institution with set tempura menus. The workers doesn’t communicate nice English (the clientele was largely Japanese businessmen), however they have been tremendous pleasant and accommodating, and the meals is excellent.

Tonkatsu Maisen Aoyama Honten (Four Chome-Eight-5 Jingumae, Shibuya, 150-0001, +81 120-428-485, mai-sen.com/restaurant) – A legendary tonkatsu place. Allyson (@wanderwithheart on Instagram) really helpful this one.

Tonkatsu Tonki (1 Chome-1-2 Shimomeguro, Meguro, 153-0064, +81 Three-3491-9928) – Really useful by Kimberly Ann (@kimberly_ann113 on Instagram), this restaurant focuses on pork tonkatsu.

Tonkatsu Wako (1 Chome-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda, 100-0005, +81 Three-3214-6987, wako-group.co.jp/shop/detail/3147) – This restaurant seemingly makes the perfect tonkatsu on the town. Megan (@megameg71 on Instagram) prompt it; put her suggestion to the check.

busy merchants at the Tokyo fish market

*Tsukiji Fish Market (5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji, Chuo, 104-0045, +81 Three-3542-1111, tsukiji-market.or.jp) – This world-famous fish market, whose public sale powers a lot of the world’s sushi provide, is really breathtaking. You possibly can’t get in earlier than 10am as of late, and once you do, many of the distributors are already breaking down, however it’s lovely to stroll via. Throughout you’re fish with colours and shapes you didn’t know existed. I’ve by no means had seen extra seafood I couldn’t determine. Many of the eating places close by supply their meals proper from the market. Some must-eats in and across the market:

  • *Nakaya (5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji, Tsukiji Ichiba Jonai Eight, Chuo 104-0045, +81 Three-3541-0211, tsukijigourmet.or.jp/46_nakaya/index.htm) – Positioned within the Fish Market itself, it’s an incredible place to go for a sashimi rice bowl breakfast. I beloved the uni salmon bowl. (One other Migrationology suggestion)
  • Sushi Dai (5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji, Tsukiji Fish Market sixth Bldg., Chuo, 104-0045, +81 Three-3547-6797, tsukiji-sushidai.com/shop/honkan.html) – As it’s the most well-known sushi spot available in the market, individuals line up at 4am for when it opens, and wait occasions can last as long as three hours. I hear it’s good, however frankly, in a metropolis with a lot good fish, I wouldn’t wait three hours for a meal.
  • *Sushi restaurant with no English title – Probably the greatest worth meals I had the entire journey, it included a scrumptious 15-piece sushi lunch (1,200 yen, or $10.76 USD), with big cuts of fish and a tasty miso soup. The restaurant is small, so attempt to keep away from peak consuming occasions. There’s no actual good signage, however it’s the one restaurant-looking place on the road. (One other Migrationology suggestion)
  • *Tsjukiki Dontaku (5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji, Bldg. No. 6, Chuo, 104-0045, +81 Three-3541-9408) – A number of doorways down from Sushi Dai, this restaurant has an incredible omakase (although barely costly at 2,500 yen ($22.40 USD)), however the service and fish have been impeccable — the uni and mackerel have been a number of the greatest I had all week. And there’s hardly a wait.

Tsuta Japanese Soba Noodles (1 Chome-14-1 Sugamo, Toshima, 170-0002, +81 Three-3943-1007, ameblo.jp/yuki-onishi) – One other suggestion from Tom (@tjdj311 on Instagram); it has a Michelin star so the noodles are in all probability fairly out of this world. Additionally they use truffle-infused ramen oil.

Yakitori Ton Ton (2 Chome-1-10 Yurakucho, Chiyoda, 100-0006, +81 Three-3508-9454) – This tiny stall close to the railroad in Yurakucho focuses on skewered pork and rooster. Instructed by Mark Wiens.

***Whereas I can’t vouch for each suggestion on this checklist, I by no means ate a horrible meal in Tokyo (though there have been some “meh” eating places that didn’t make the checklist). I believe that it’s exhausting to eat a nasty meal in Tokyo, the place even the worst factor is ten occasions higher than what you discover again dwelling!

So the following time you end up in Tokyo, you received’t be wanting meals choices! Half the enjoyable of journey is attempting one thing new. (If it’s someplace I didn’t make it to, let me understand how it’s!)

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Because of everybody who gave me suggestions. And particular due to Mark for being my Tokyo meals ninja. You possibly can test his blog for extra posts on Tokyo and meals generally.

The put up 37 Places to Eat in Tokyo appeared first on Nomadic Matt's Travel Site.





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Two Weeks in Japan: A Detailed Itinerary

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Takayama, one of the best stops on our Japan 2 week itinerary

Throughout our two weeks in Japan we skilled as a lot as doable of what the nation has to supply. From the neon lights of Tokyo to the picket teahouses of Kanazawa; from driving go-karts dressed as Mario characters to the solemn and tranquil tea ceremony; from steaming bowls of low cost ramen to beautiful kaiseki delicacies; from temples, mountains and rice paddies to bullet trains, skyscrapers and arcades. We fell in love with the nation much more than on our first go to.

Our Japan Itinerary

  • Tokyo – 5 nights
  • Nikko – 1 evening
  • Hakone – 1 evening
  • Takayama – 2 nights
  • Kanazawa – 2 nights
  • Tokyo – 5 nights

Our Japan journey was on the finish of September till mid-October and was really for 16 nights, however you would simply minimize this all the way down to 14 by spending much less time in Tokyo.

Our Japan itinerary included 5 nights in Tokyo, six nights travelling with a 7 Day Japan Rail Pass, and ended with 5 extra nights in Tokyo. We spent over three weeks in Kyoto on our final journey so we didn’t go to this time, however if you’re travelling to Japan for the primary time, I extremely advocate substituting the second Tokyo stick with Kyoto because it actually is a must-see.

On the finish of this put up I’ve included different instructed locations for those who resolve to get a 14 Day Rail Cross on your two weeks in Japan and add extra locations to your itinerary and scale back the time spent in Tokyo or Kyoto.

As Japan is pricey and there’s a lot to do, we moved at a a lot faster tempo than regular. The week travelling with a rail go was particularly exhausting and we might simply have added an additional evening (or two) to all over the place we visited. That stated, we don’t remorse our itinerary as we had a tremendous time and liked all over the place we visited.

Japan Two Week Itinerary Map

This map exhibits our Japan two week itinerary with blue markers and different potential locations to think about with crimson markers.

Getting Round Japan

Trains are one of the best ways to get round Japan and we travelled with a 7 day Japan Rail Pass. Though the passes appear costly (a 7 day go is $250) they are going to normally prevent cash if you’re travelling to many locations, particularly for those who take the quick bullet trains (which you wish to!). We saved $150 per individual for this itinerary!

You need to use the Hyperdia web site to seek out prepare occasions and prices and examine these to the price of a go. If the fee is shut then get the go because it’s a lot simpler having the ability to hop on and off trains if you like and never fear about buying tickets.

You might want to e book Japan Rail Passes prematurely earlier than you arrive in Japan. You’ll obtain an alternate order within the mail that you just then alternate for the go in Japan. We booked ours with JRailPass.com who ship wherever on this planet, together with to your Japan resort for those who’ve left it to the final minute. We obtained ours delivered to a resort in Bali.

See my detailed information on tips on how to calculate whether a Japan Rail Pass is worth it together with every thing it is advisable know to make use of the go. 

Days 1 – 5 Tokyo

Memory Lane in Shinjuku, Tokyo

Reminiscence Lane, an atmospheric road of tiny eating places in Shinjuku

It’s simple to spend 5 days in Tokyo, but when time is proscribed you would scale back your keep to a few. It’s an enormous sprawling metropolis so it’s greatest to focus your explorations on neighbourhoods. Listed below are a few of my suggestions and you may see my information to the coolest things to do in Tokyo for extra particulars.

Shinjuku Day: Store in big electronics shops like BIC Digicam and the meals basements of malls like Takashimaya. Stroll across the lovely Shinjuku Gyoen Nationwide Backyard.

Shinjuku Evening: See the insane Robot Restaurant show. Eat in a tiny restaurant on atmospheric Reminiscence Lane. See the skyline view from the free Tokyo Metropolitan Authorities Constructing. Bar hop on the Golden Gai.

Shibuya and Harajuku: Stroll throughout the well-known Shibuya Crossing. Gawp on the loopy fashions of Takeshita Road. Take pleasure in gorgeous ukiyo-e woodblock prints on the Ota Memorial Museum of Artwork. Go to the Meiji Shrine in Yoyogi Park.

Asakusa: Step again into outdated Japan and get your fortune advised at Sensoji Temple adopted by a meal in a conventional restaurant (we had a 12-course vegetarian feast at Bon).

I additionally advocate:

  • Spending a day on the magical DisneySea.
  • Visiting the Ghibli Museum if you’re a Studio Ghibli fan (e book far prematurely).
  • Taking a two-hour Maricar tour in Roppongi driving the Tokyo streets in a go-kart dressed as Mario characters!
Dressing up as Mario characters and driving a Maricar go-kart is one of the many fun things to do in Tokyo

Dressing up as Mario characters and driving a Maricar go-kart!

Tokyo Transport

The Narita Express train is the best method to get from Narita airport to Shinjuku, Shibuya and Tokyo stations. It prices 2990 yen ($26) and takes 87 minutes to Shinjuku. You need to have a seat reservation however you will get this if you purchase the ticket from the machine or counter within the airport station.

The Japan Rail Cross is legitimate on this line however if you’re following this itinerary with a 7 day go you received’t wish to activate it till the day you allow Tokyo.

Purchase a Suica card to make use of as a ticket on all trains and metro traces in Tokyo. It’s also possible to use it for lockers, merchandising machines, and even in lots of retailers. If you happen to return it on the finish of your keep you’ll get the 500 yen deposit again.

If you’ll be utilizing a Japan Rail Pass throughout your keep ensure you swap your alternate order for a go and activate it at one of many JR places of work in prepare stations. You may’t change the beginning date upon getting accomplished this.

The place to Keep in Tokyo

Shinjuku is our favourite area to stay in Tokyo because it has glorious transport hyperlinks, good meals, and most of the sights above are in strolling distance. Shibuya is one other handy base however we discovered it too crowded.

We stayed in an Airbnb studio apartment a 10-minute stroll from Shinjuku Station. It was small (all over the place is in Tokyo) however snug and well-equipped with quick WiFi and a washer. Our host despatched us glorious instructions and we have been capable of self-check-in by choosing up the important thing from the mailbox. We discovered Airbnb higher worth than motels in Tokyo and there’s a lot of selection.

If you’re on the lookout for luxurious, the Park Hyatt has an awesome location in Shinjuku and implausible views. It’s the place the movie Misplaced in Translation was filmed.

The place to Eat in Tokyo

Vegetarian ramen at Afuri, Tokyo

Vegan ramen at Afuri

There may be a lot wonderful meals in Tokyo from low cost eats to fantastic eating. Whilst vegetarians we ate very well with some planning. See my put up on our favourite Tokyo vegetarian restaurants. The spotlight was Bon which serves beautiful multi-course Zen Buddhist delicacies in non-public tatami rooms—it’s an expertise greater than only a meal.

Day 6 Nikko

Toshogu Shrine in Nikko, the first stop after Tokyo on our two week trip in Japan

Toshogu Shrine in Nikko

On Day 6 we activated our Japan Rail Pass and headed off early to Nikko, a temple city within the mountains just a few hours north of Tokyo. Many individuals go to on a day journey from Tokyo however because it’s a reasonably lengthy journey we determined to remain the evening.

The air felt cool and contemporary and it was pretty to see mountains after Tokyo’s concrete jungle. From the prepare stations it’s a 30-minute stroll alongside the principle highway to the brilliant crimson Shinkyo bridge and the temples begin up the forest coated hill simply past. Nikko’s shrines and temples are a UNESCO world heritage website.

Toshogu Shrine is essentially the most well-known Nikko attraction and is the ultimate resting place of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founding father of the Tokugawa Shogunate that dominated Japan for over 250 years till 1868. It’s one of the vital gorgeous temples I’ve ever visited with greater than a dozen intricately adorned crimson and gold buildings amongst big cedar bushes (some over one thousand years outdated). However on a Sunday it was overwhelmingly busy and we didn’t keep lengthy.

Fortunately Nikko has many different shrines to discover which are a lot quieter than Toshogu. Though they’re much less spectacular we had a extra fulfilling expertise at Futarasan-jinja shrine, Taiyuinbyo temple, and up the mountain at Takino shrine.

The quiet Takino shrine in Nikko on our two week trip to Japan

The quiet Takino shrine in Nikko

Though half a day on the temples was sufficient for us, it will have been higher to go to Toshogu very first thing within the morning earlier than the day trippers arrived. With extra time we might even have accomplished some close by hikes.

Nikko Transport

Nikko has two prepare stations which are a couple of minutes stroll from one another. Tobu Nikko Station is served by Tobu Railway trains and Japan Rail Passes can’t be used on this line, so with a rail go you’ll arrive on the JR Nikko station. There are lockers at each stations the place you may go away baggage.

From Tokyo I like to recommend getting the bullet prepare from Tokyo Station to Utsunomiya then altering for the native prepare to Nikko—there have been even pleasant workers at Utsunomiya exhibiting us the place to go. The entire journey takes about two hours.

Don’t make the error we did on the best way there and take the JR Shonan-Shinjuku line from Shinjuku to Utsunomiya. It is a native line so is busy and never very snug for the lengthy journey. It took us three hours to get to Nikko.

The Nikko prepare stations are a few 30-minute stroll from the temple space or you may take the bus. We walked all over the place. I like to recommend choosing up a vacationer map from the prepare station as not all of the temple indicators are in English.

The place to Keep in Nikko

We stayed at Nikko Park Lodge Tobu Station which has a handy location near the prepare stations. We selected the costliest triple room with non-public toilet, however there are cheaper rooms with shared toilet. The decor was reasonably dated, however the mattress was snug and it was spacious by Japanese requirements with a double mattress, single mattress, armchair, and kitchenette (though no plates or pans have been supplied). Breakfast prices further however there’s a giant grocery store shut by.

The place to Eat in Nikko

Yuba (tofu skin) set lunch at vegan cafe Yasai Cafe Meguri in Nikko

Yuba (tofu pores and skin) set lunch at Yasai Cafe Meguri

We had lunch at Yasai Cafe Meguri, a vegan cafe in an outdated artwork gallery with an attractive painted ceiling. It’s on the principle highway not removed from the temples—search for the signal that claims “Oriental Nice Arts & Curios”. It will get rave evaluations and is usually absolutely booked, though at 11.30 am we had no issues getting in. We every had one of many two lunch units that include miso soup, salad, and some greens—Simon had avocado, tomato and seaweed on rice and I had the native speciality yuba (tofu pores and skin) filled with rice. It was good and wholesome however not excellent and somewhat costly at 1600 yen ($14).

Many eating places in Nikko shut within the night so Komekichi Kozushi was an awesome discover only a few minutes stroll from our resort (and the prepare stations). This small family-run sushi place has two tables, counter seating and a tatami room the place we ate. It was the primary sushi place we present in Japan that had loads of vegetarian choices on the English menu together with pickled plum, pickled greens, natto, cucumber, and egg.

They even have an English information to sushi etiquette, so that you don’t make a pretend pas like dipping the rice finish of your sushi in soy sauce. We liked the pickled vegetable sushi and particularly the inari zushi—tofu filled with rice. At 700 yen ($6) a plate it was glorious worth.

For a snack, strive dango, grilled rice balls on a stick brushed with miso or soy and offered at just a few stands on the principle highway.

Day 7 Hakone

Mount Fuji from Lake Ashi in Hakone, one of the stops on our two week Japan itinerary

Mount Fuji from Lake Ashi in Hakone

Hakone is an space encompassing Lake Ashi and the mountains round Gora. It’s identified for its views of Mount Fuji, sizzling springs, and the distinctive loop that takes you to all of the sights on totally different types of transport.

We started at noon by Lake Ashi in Moto Hakone the place we have been staying. It was a cloudy day so our hopes of seeing the reclusive Mount Fuji have been dashed, however as we walked alongside the lake the enduring mountain appeared via the clouds. It lived as much as our expectations and the truth that it saved disappearing and reappearing via the day solely made the sight extra particular.

We hopped on the pirate ship (sure, actually!) to move throughout the lake for extra views of Mount Fuji and the encompassing mountains. At Togendai we switched to the ropeway (cable automobile) which took us up the mountain to Owakudani. We have been delighted to see Mount Fuji on the best way up and from the highest.

Owakudani is an energetic volcanic valley so steam and a foul odor rise from the yellow earth. The Japanese go loopy for black eggs which are cooked within the sizzling sulphur springs, however we handed.

The volcanic site Owakudani that's reached by the Hakone ropeway

The volcanic website Owakudani

From Owakudani you may proceed on the cable automobile to Sounzan then all the way down to Gora, however from there we might have needed to take the bus again to Moto Hakone, so it made extra sense for us to return the best way we got here and preserve having fun with the Fuji views.

We obtained off the boat a cease early at Hakone Machi and walked the two km again to our resort which took us via the historic Cedar Avenue. We spent the remainder of the afternoon soaking in an onsen and having fun with our fantastic ryokan room at Hotel Musashiya.

Within the morning we walked via the mist and drizzle to the close by Hakone-jinja shrine with its massive crimson torii gate overlooking the lake.

Hakone jinja shrine in Japan

Hakone jinja shrine

On our method again to Odawara station we continued with the loop by taking the bus to the Ninotaira Iriguchi cease and strolling to the Hakone Open Air Museum, which is a spotlight of the realm with out of doors sculptures, uncommon artwork installations, a Picasso gallery, and even a free sizzling spring foot tub. There are lockers for baggage.

From the close by Chokokuno-Mori station we took the Tozan mountain railway on a winding observe via the forest to Hakone Yumoto the place we switched trains to Odawara.

Though we managed to finish a lot of the Hakone loop in 24 hours we might have liked to remain an additional evening and have extra time to get pleasure from our lovely ryokan.

Hakone Transport

To get to Hakone from Nikko we needed to backtrack via Tokyo so it was an exhausting morning of journey. We left at 7.30 am and took the native prepare to Utsunomiya, the bullet prepare from there to Tokyo, and one other bullet prepare to Odawara.

In Odawara prepare station we purchased a Hakone Free Pass on the Odakyu Sightseeing Service Centre. The go prices 4000 yen ($35), is legitimate for 2 days, and can be utilized on the buses, pirate ship, cable automobile, and mountain railway.

As we have been staying in Moto Hakone we took the H bus there from Odawara which took about an hour on a windy mountain highway and arrived round 11 am.

The place to Keep in Hakone

Hotel Mushashiya ryokan in Hakone

Our room at Lodge Mushashiya ryokan overlooking Lake Ashi in Hakone

As Hakone is a big space it may be complicated deciding which city to remain in. A very powerful factor is to remain someplace with good transport hyperlinks. We determined to remain by Lake Ashi to have a second likelihood of seeing Mount Fuji within the morning.

We stayed in a ryokan (conventional inn) referred to as Hotel Musashiya on the shores of Lake Ashi in Moto Hakone. Though it appears like a contemporary resort from the skin, the minimalist tatami rooms are conventional with futon beds (which are cleared away throughout the day), a low desk and chairs, and unusually a small ensuite toilet. We had a stunning view of Lake Ashi from our room and there are additionally lake views from the onsens (sizzling spring baths) and lounge (the place there’s WiFi).

In typical Japanese fashion the onsens are public with out of doors and indoor baths for women and men. As soon as I obtained over my worry of public nudity it was a splendidly enjoyable expertise to soak within the sizzling water and I felt blissed out our complete keep.

Hotel Musashiya was by far our favorite place we stayed in Japan and I extremely advocate it.

The place to Eat in Hakone

Vegetarian choices are restricted in Hakone. After we arrived in Moto Hakone we had a fast lunch at Bakery and Table—you may select from various rolls (filled with cheese, potato, and so on) and pastries and take them upstairs to eat overlooking Lake Ashi.

Dinner and breakfast have been included at Lodge Musashiya they usually have been completely happy to cater for vegetarians. Dinner was served in our room and was an actual feast—tempura, rice, miso soup, yuba, pickles, vegetable and tofu hotpot, eggplant and mushrooms in a scrumptious sauce, Caprese salad, matcha pudding, and plum wine.

Days eight – 9 Takayama

Takayama street leading to the Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine

Takayama road resulting in the Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine

Takayama is considered one of my favorite locations in Japan. It’s a small city on the sting of the Japan Alps with a superbly preserved historic centre of picket homes, temples, neatly formed bushes, and vibrant crimson bridges over the river. There’s a lot to do within the space we might simply have spent longer than two nights right here (a theme of our journey!).

Our highlights included wandering the outdated city within the early morning earlier than the crowds arrived, shopping for scrumptious apples and pears from the morning markets, seeing the extravagant, vibrant floats on the Competition Floats Exhibition Corridor, and visiting the Hida People Village, a show of conventional thatched homes from the realm.

Traditional grass roof houses at the Hida Folk Village in Takayama with autumn colours

Conventional grass roof homes on the Hida People Village

We additionally spent a day in close by Hida Furukawa, an lovable city that’s effectively value a go to. We did a superb (and straightforward) biking tour with Satoyama Experience the place we biked via the gorgeous countryside previous rice fields and idyllic villages and learnt concerning the traditions of the realm.

Cycling past golden rice fields with Satoyama Experience in Hida Furukawa

Biking previous golden rice fields with Satoyama Expertise

Takayama Transport

From Hakone to Takayama we took the two.08 pm bullet prepare from Odawara to Nagoya then modified to the Restricted Categorical Large View Hida prepare to Takayama which has massive home windows to reap the benefits of the gorgeous river and mountain views. We arrived in Takayama simply after 6 pm.

Takayama is a small city so we walked all over the place besides after we took the 15-minute prepare experience to Cover Furukawa for our biking journey.

The place to Keep in Takayama

We stayed at Super Hotel Hida Takayama, a enterprise resort near the station and a 10-minute stroll from the outdated city. Our room was tiny however had every thing we would have liked—ensuite, desk, fridge, kettle, WiFi, and free breakfast buffet. There’s even an onsen however we didn’t have time to make use of it. 

Takayama is good for experiencing a conventional inn or ryokan. If we had the funds we might have stayed someplace extra atmospheric just like the extremely rated Oyado Koto No Yume

The place to Eat in Takayama

Vegetarian hoba miso at Suzuya, Takayama

Vegetarian hoba miso at Suzuya

Our favorite place to eat in Takayama was Heinraku, a tiny restaurant run by the friendliest woman we’ve ever met! There’s a a number of web page vegetarian part on the menu with a mixture of Chinese language and Japanese dishes together with native specialities just like the scrumptious Hida miso ramen. The chile tofu and vegetable gyoza have been additionally glorious and don’t miss their home made plum wine.

Suzuya is an effective place to strive native specialities. They do a tasty vegetarian model of hoba miso the place greens and tofu are cooked at your desk on a big magnolia leaf unfold with miso paste.

Fukutaro is a cute cafe that makes glorious gohei mochi, mashed rice grilled on a skewer with sesame sauce.

Mitarashi-dango is one other native dish to strive—small, virtually creamy rice balls grilled with soy. The Jinya Dango stand close to Jinya Mae market makes one of the best on the town.

Days 10 – 11 Kanazawa

Kazuemachi geisha area in Kanazawa, Japan

Kazuemachi geisha space in Kanazawa

At first glimpse Kanazawa looks like one other Japanese concrete metropolis however if you start to discover you’ll uncover a number of the most lovely gardens within the nation in addition to three geisha districts with preserved picket buildings.

Higashi Chaya is the most important geisha space the place geisha used to carry out and entertain visitors within the picket teahouses courting again to 1820. It’s lovely however crowded with vacationers and memento retailers. We most well-liked the quieter geisha areas of Kazuemachi and Nishi Chaya.

Kenroku-en Backyard is likely one of the high three gardens in Japan. It’s identified to get crowded however we had it virtually to ourselves at 7.30 am. The gardens are pretty however they might be higher within the spring or autumn.

I really most well-liked the tiny however beautiful Gyokusen-en Gardens which has all of the basic Japanese backyard components in a small package deal—moss coated rocks, stone lanterns, carp-filled ponds, a picket teahouse, and maple bushes starting to show crimson.

 Gyokusen-en gardens in Kanazawa

Gyokusen-en gardens in Kanazawa

One of many highlights of our journey was the tea ceremony with did with Ms Nishida who’s from the fifth era of the household who owns the gardens. Carrying a chic kimono she took us via the rituals of the ceremony, beginning with washing our arms and mouths to purify ourselves.

Within the tatami room we have been served a candy mochi (rice cake) whereas she fastidiously ready the brilliant inexperienced matcha tea by whisking the powder with sizzling water in a small bowl. We learnt the phrases to say to our host and different visitors earlier than ingesting the tea and tips on how to study the tea bowl afterwards to understand each element. We then made our personal tea for one another. It was a relaxing expertise and engaging perception into Japanese tradition.

Tea ceremony at Gyokusen-en gardens in Kanazawa

Tea ceremony at Gyokusen-en gardens

To e book the tea ceremony call the gardens or e mail [email protected] a minimum of three days prematurely (response by e mail is sluggish). It prices 3000 yen ($26) together with entrance to the gardens.

Kanazawa Transport

After spending the morning in Takayama we took the 1.15 pm prepare to Toyama—one other lovely journey previous mountains, rivers, and rice fields—the place we switched to the bullet prepare to Kanazawa. The journey took two hours.

Kanazawa is a big metropolis so we needed to take a 10-minute bus experience from the prepare station to the Katamachi space the place we have been staying. From there we might stroll to all the principle sights.

The place to Keep in Kanazawa

Smile Hotel Kanazawa was the most cost effective ensuite room I discovered within the centre of Kanazawa. It’s a normal enterprise resort with all the standard services however our room was bigger than in Takayama (with entry to the mattress on either side!). The situation was handy because it was a 15 to 30 minute stroll to all of the sights.

The place to Eat in Kanazawa

We struggled to seek out Japanese vegetarian meals in Kanazawa so ended up consuming Western meals.

Taste and Scent is a principally vegetarian cafe close to the Ninja Temple. The 800 yen ($7) set lunch with rice and a wide range of salads and vegetable dishes was excellent.

Slow Luck is a tiny place with 4 tables run by two younger Japanese guys. They make inventive Italian-influenced dishes utilizing natural farm greens. There’s a vegetarian part of the menu they usually provide you with a survey to fill in with what you may’t eat. The meals was wonderful together with grilled greens with a beautiful basil dip and a skinny, crispy pizza topped with pesto, potato, and mascarpone cheese that was so good we ordered one other one.

Oriental Brewery within the Higashi Chaya space serves craft beer brewed in-house and glorious beer yeast french fries. The pizzas appeared good too.

Days 12 – 16 Tokyo (or Kyoto)

On the final day of our rail go we took the bullet prepare from Kanazawa to Tokyo (2.5 hours direct) the place we stayed in an Airbnb in Shibuya for the final 5 nights of our journey.

If it’s your first journey to Japan I like to recommend travelling from Kanazawa to Kyoto (2.5 hours direct) as an alternative and spending a minimum of three nights there. You might then fly out from close by Osaka airport or take the bullet prepare again to Tokyo.

Different Japan Locations

Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto

Don’t miss the temples and shrines of Kyoto like Fushimi Inari

When you have extra time or resolve to get a 14 Day Japan Rail Cross and spend extra time travelling and fewer in Tokyo, you would contemplate these locations that we loved on our final journey:

  • Kyoto – A must-see with many gorgeous temples and other attractions to discover.
  • Nara – Lovely temples which are a simple day journey from Kyoto.
  • Koya-san – A temple city within the mountains just a few hours from Osaka the place you may stay the night in a Zen Buddhist temple.
  • Tsumago – An image-perfect conventional village of picket homes within the Kiso Valley.
  • Hiroshima – To see the shifting Peace Memorial Park.

Two Weeks in Japan Finances

Simon and I at a tea ceremony in Kanazawa

The tea ceremony in Kanazawa was dear however definitely worth the splurge

We spent £180 ($238) a day for 2 folks staying in mid-range lodging with non-public bogs and one splurge on a stunning ryokan in Hakone. Our common value of lodging was £65 ($87) an evening.

We ate out for all our meals and spent £42 ($55) a day on meals. Most meals have been round $20 however we had just a few costly meals like Bon in Tokyo. We travelled with a rail pass for per week and by trains and metro in Tokyo and averaged £38 ($50) a day on transport. We did loads of actions and spent £24 ($32) a day on leisure.

You might actually journey in Japan for much less by staying in rooms with shared bogs (or in hostel dorm rooms), cooking for your self (or consuming within the low cost ramen joints), specializing in free actions, and travelling at a slower tempo to scale back transport prices.

It’s also possible to see our put up on how much it costs to travel in Japan from our final journey in 2011. We averaged £140 ($183) a day on a two week journey with one week in Tokyo and one week travelling round with a rail go. We have been extra funds acutely aware on that journey however nonetheless had splurges like ryokan and temple stays and two days at Tokyo Disney.

Costs haven’t really risen in Japan since then because the pound and particularly the greenback are stronger towards the yen now so that you get a greater alternate charge. 

Japan Journey Sources

  • Japan Rail Pass – Ensure you order your go on-line earlier than you go to Japan.
  • Journey Insurance coverage – Important in case something goes fallacious as Japanese healthcare is pricey. We used True Traveller as all the time—they’re one of the best deal we’ve discovered for UK/EU residents. World Nomads is one other well-respected firm we’ve used previously and is accessible worldwide.
  • Information E-book – We used the Lonely Planet Japan printed in August 2017.
  • Lodging – We used Airbnb for residences in Tokyo and Booking.com for motels all over the place else.
  • SIM card – We purchased a Umobile data SIM card from a merchandising machine at Narita airport.
  • Voyagin – For reserving enjoyable actions in Tokyo and past. They provide reductions on sights just like the Robot Restaurant and Maricar.

Japan Journey Weblog Posts

This two week Japan itinerary is the proper introduction to the nation for first-timers, and it’s additionally very best for second-time guests like us who wish to revisit Tokyo and/or Kyoto in addition to discover some new locations. We hope you get pleasure from this bizarre nation as a lot as we did!

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JapanTravel Books

15 Fascinating Books to Learn Earlier than Visiting Japan

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15 books about Japan to read before you visit

I all the time prefer to examine a vacation spot earlier than I go to and Japan is ideal for this. It has a singular and interesting tradition and studying extra about it earlier than you go to will improve your enjoyment of the nation.

There’s a big vary of books about Japan together with memoirs, novels, and books on Japanese tradition. Listed here are a few of my favourites:

Non-Fiction Books About Japan

A Geek in Japan, one of the best books about Japanese culture

1) A Geek in Japan: Discovering the Land of Manga, Anime, Zen, and the Tea Ceremony by Hector Garcia

A Geek in Japan is a superb introduction to Japanese tradition together with a short historical past of the nation that explains that the Japanese are so totally different as a result of they had been remoted from the remainder of the world for hundreds of years. The e-book covers each conventional tradition resembling sumo and tea ceremonies in addition to trendy Japanese enterprise and youth tradition.

A few of it’s a little dated—you received’t see many manga magazines anymore as everyone seems to be studying on their telephones—but it surely’s an fascinating learn and will assist keep away from cultural misunderstandings.

Lost Japan, one of the best books aboutJapan

2) Lost Japan by Alex Kerr

Half memoir, half exploration of Japanese tradition, Misplaced Japan was written by an American who has lived in Japan since he was a boy. He loves the nation however isn’t afraid to criticise how issues are altering and his fears that conventional Japanese tradition and humanities can be misplaced. His explorations embody thatched roof homes, Kabuki theatre, artwork, and calligraphy.
Untangling My Chopsticks, a memoir set in Kyoto, Japan

3) Untangling My Chopsticks: A Culinary Sojourn in Kyoto by Victoria Abbott Riccardi

Untangling My Chopsticks is a memoir by a younger American girl who travels to Kyoto to study tea kaiseki, the intricate multi-course meal that’s historically served earlier than a tea ceremony.

It’s an pleasurable learn and also you’ll be taught heaps about Japanese meals and tradition. As a vegetarian, I appreciated the ultimate part on shojin ryori, the Zen Buddhist vegetarian delicacies the place tea kaiseki originated.

Rice Noodle Fish, a book about Japanese food

4) Rice Noodle Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan’s Food Culture by Matt Goulding

It doesn’t make sense for a vegetarian like me to get pleasure from this e-book as I can eat nearly nothing described right here. Regardless of this, I discovered it a compelling perception into Japanese meals tradition from comfort shops to kaiseki and every thing in between. It explores why Japanese meals is so good—partly due to the shokunin cooks who dedicate their lives to cooking one kind of meals completely. This can be a must-read for foodies.
Yokohama Yankee, a book about foreigners in Japan

5) Yokohama Yankee: My Family’s Five Generations as Outsiders in Japan by Leslie Helm

Yokohama Yankee is an interesting have a look at life for foreigners in Japan starting with the creator’s great-grandfather who arrived within the nation from Germany within the mid-19th century, simply after it had opened as much as outsiders. Regardless of 5 generations of the Helm household residing in Japan, operating a enterprise there, and even marrying locals, they by no means really combine.
Geisha, A Life, a memoir about life as a geisha in Japan

6) Geisha, A Life by Mineko Iwasaki

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden is without doubt one of the most well-known novels about Japan. Golden used interviews with Iwasaki, the most effective geishas of her technology, to tell his work however she was sad with the end result that portrays geisha as prostitutes, which she denies.

Geisha, A Life is her response to the novel—an actual memoir of a geisha concerning the ups and downs of life as a well-known high-class dancer and entertainer in Gion, Kyoto. It’s not as dramatic because the novel and the writing is a bit of dry, however I used to be fascinated with this hidden world. Notice that within the UK the e-book known as Geisha of Gion.

Tokyo on Foot, a quirky illustrated guide to Tokyo, Japan

7) Tokyo on Foot: Travels in the City’s Most Colorful Neighborhoods by Florent Chavouet

For one thing totally different do that enjoyable and delightful illustrated memoir by a French man who strikes to Tokyo for six months. He paperwork his expertise by drawing Tokyo’s streets and folks and incorporates his observations about life in Japan. Whereas it’s not a journey information, it does offer you an introduction to town’s totally different neighbourhoods. The e book doesn’t work nicely on a daily Kindle however seems nice on an iPad.

Novels Set in Japan

Shogun, one of the best novels set in Japan

8) Shōgun by James Clavell

Shōgun is an epic novel about an English sailor who finally ends up on the shores of feudal Japan in 1600. At first he’s reviled as a barbarian foreigner however he step by step integrates into Japanese tradition, turns into a samurai, and falls in love.

It’s 1000 pages lengthy and it took me some time to get into, however after I did I couldn’t cease studying. Though it’s fiction, it’s based mostly on actual characters and is an interesting perception into samurai life.

A Tale for the Time Being, one of my favourite Japan reads.

9) A Tale for The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

I adored this novel a few Canadian author who finds the diary of a Japanese teenager washed up on the shores of her distant island. She turns into engrossed on this troubled teen’s life in Tokyo. The e-book covers subjects as wide-ranging as the character of time, Zen Buddhism, quantum mechanics, kamikaze pilots in WW2, cyberbullying, and the atmosphere.

It’s clever however readable, has partaking characters, and reveals a darker aspect of the customarily idealised Japan.

The Street of a Thousand Blossoms, historical fiction set in Japan

10) The Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiyama

The Road of a Thousand Blossoms is ready in Tokyo throughout WW2 and the twenty years after. It tells the story of two brothers, every with a ardour for a Japanese artwork type—sumo wrestling and creating Noh theatre masks—which might be steeped in custom.

We be taught of the household’s horrific struggles through the warfare and I realised how not often I’ve learn concerning the warfare from the opposite aspect’s perspective. It’s a novel about household, love, loss, custom, and the resilience of the human spirit.

Pachinko, a fascinating novel about Koreans in Japan

11) Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Pachinko is an excellent engrossing novel about 4 generations of a Korean household who moved to Japan within the early 20th century. As in Yokohama Yankee it was stunning to learn how tough it was for foreigners to combine into the nation and the way even third technology immigrants born in Japan had been refused citizenship and handled as inferior.

Novels by Japanese Authors

The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Murakami, one of the best Japanese authors.

12) Anything by Haruki Murakami

Murakami is probably the most well-known Japanese creator internationally and I extremely advocate studying not less than one in every of his books. You received’t essentially be taught a lot about Japan from them, however all his books are sensible and plenty of have a big dose of magical realism.

You may’t actually go fallacious. The Wind Up Bird Chronicle is a surreal basic, Norwegian Wood is extra life like fiction (and probably extra accessible), and I lately loved Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. As a runner and author, I’m additionally a giant fan of his memoir What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Snow Country a classic Japanese novel by author Yasunari Kawabata

15) Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata

One other basic Japanese e-book, Snow Nation is a stark and lyrical story of a love affair between a geisha at an remoted scorching spring resort and a rich dilettante who’s incapable of loving her. There’s not a lot motion; it’s extra about capturing moments like in a haiku poem.

Spring Snow by Japanese author Yukio Mishima

14) Spring Snow by Yukio Mishima

Spring Snow is one other coming of age love story by Mishima, simply as superbly written however extra advanced. It portrays the connection between the son of a nouveau-riche household and the daughter of an impoverished however aristocratic household firstly of the 20th century when society was turning into extra westernised. I’m trying ahead to studying the remainder of the books on this Sea of Fertility tetralogy.

The Sound of Waves, a classic Japanese novel by Yukio Mishima

13) The Sounds of Waves by Yukio Mishima

This basic Japanese novel is an easy however lovely coming of age story a few love affair between a poor younger fisherman and the daughter of a rich ship proprietor. It’s set on a small island in Japan within the mid 20th century and I beloved the glimpse into the every day lives of the fishermen and diving ladies together with prayers on the Shinto temple and gossiping on the bathhouse.

What are your favorite books about Japan or by Japanese authors? Go away a remark beneath.

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JapanTrain Travel

Is a Japan Rail Move Value It?

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A guide to whether a Japan rail pass is worth it.

Travelling by practice is likely one of the issues we love most about Japan. There’s an intensive community, the trains are spacious and cozy, they usually at all times run on time (we even made a one-minute connection!).

The one draw back is the worth. Shopping for a Japan Rail Move upfront can probably prevent enormous quantities of cash, although. On this publish, I’ll discover whether or not a Japan Rail Move is price it and share helpful suggestions for utilizing the move and travelling by practice in Japan.

What’s a Japan Rail Move?

A Japan Rail Pass is a ticket that gives limitless journey on all Japan Rail nationwide trains for a sure interval. Passes can be found for 7, 14 or 21 consecutive days and you may select between a typical and inexperienced (first-class) move.

Japan Rail Passes are solely out there to foreigners travelling on a vacationer visa and have to be purchased exterior Japan. You should buy your move on-line and get it delivered to your private home handle and even to your first Japan resort in case you’ve left it to the final minute.

Japan Rail Move Price

That is the price of every of the usual Japan Rail Passes in Japanese yen with the present approximate trade price in US and the price per day in .

Japan Rail Move Price in Yen Price in $ Price per Day in $
7 Day JR Rail Move ¥29,110 $251 $36
14 Day JR Rail Move ¥46,390 $403 $29
21 Day JR Rail Move ¥59,350 $515 $25

I don’t assume there’s any have to pay further for the Inexperienced Move to journey first-class as we discovered customary class comfy with loads of leg room, tables, and energy factors. The one time it is likely to be price contemplating is throughout vacation intervals equivalent to Golden Week in late April/early Might when customary class trains are busy (you can also make seat reservations although).

Which Trains Are The Japan Rail Move Legitimate On?

The Japan Rail Pass is legitimate on all Japan Rail trains however it might’t be used on trains operated by personal corporations.

This implies you possibly can’t take the quickest Nozomi or Mizuho shinkansen (bullet trains), however there are many different bullet trains and this by no means precipitated us an issue. For instance, when travelling from Tokyo to Kyoto you possibly can take the Hikari shinkansen which is just 20 minutes slower at 158 minutes than the Nozomi shinkansen which takes 138 minutes.

A super fast shinkansen (bullet train) in Japan that can be used with a Japan Rail Pass

An excellent quick shinkansen (bullet practice) in Japan

On our first journey we visited two locations that we couldn’t entry with our rail move. For the mountain temple city Koya-san we used our move to journey from Kyoto to Osaka after which purchased a ticket for the personal Nankai Railways practice. For the tiny city of Tsumago within the Kiso Valley we used our move to get from Nagoya to Nagiso then paid for the bus to Tsumago. Even with these further bills the rail move nonetheless saved us cash as we travelled on quite a few bullet trains.

On our current journey (see our two week Japan itinerary) we used our rail move to get in every single place besides Hakone the place we purchased a Hakone Free Move from Odawara practice station to discover the world by bus, practice, ferry, and cable automotive.

The one different slight concern was having to take a slower practice with one switch to get to Nikko as you possibly can’t use a move for the direct practice from Shinjuku to the Tobu Nikko station.

Hida Furukawa near Takayama

We have been ready to make use of our rail move for day journeys to locations like lovely Hida Furukawa from Takayama.

Is a Japan Rail Move Value It?

Whether or not a Japan Rail Move is price it for you is determined by your route. In case you’ll be travelling at a quick tempo to a lot of locations, particularly on the costly bullet trains, then it’s possible a rail move will prevent cash.

Even if you’re solely travelling from Tokyo to Kyoto and again inside every week the move can work out cheaper. The return journey on the shinkansen prices ¥26,160 (extra for a reserved seat). Add in the price of the Narita Categorical airport practice to Tokyo (¥2820 a technique) and also you’ll be spending ¥28,980 already. It should solely price you ¥130 extra to purchase the 7-day rail move, which you’ll be able to then use for native trains in Tokyo and facet journeys to locations like Kamakura and Nara.

If you’re travelling lengthy distances equivalent to Tokyo to Sapporo, a 7-day rail move is cheaper than the one-way rail ticket which prices ¥29,410.

To work out whether or not a Japan Rail Move is price it for you, it’s essential give you a possible itinerary after which calculate how a lot it will price to pay on your tickets as you go.

To get a tough concept use Japan Guide’s Japan Rail Calculator. It’s not 100% correct, however it’s fast and simple to make use of. 

The Japan Guide Rail Pass Calculator can be used to work out if a Japan Rail Pass is worth it

My tough calculation for our journey utilizing the Japan Information Rail Move Calculator

For an correct calculation put every leg of your journey into Hyperdia to see the prices. Be sure to untick Nozomi and personal railways to get the prices of JR routes (extra on utilizing Hyperdia beneath).

Using Hyperdia to calculate if a Japan Rail Pass saves you money

Utilizing Hyperdia to calculate the fare from Tokyo to Kyoto. Be sure to use the whole fare on the high (subsequent to Route 1 and so forth).

If the price of the move is just a bit greater than particular person tickets I like to recommend shopping for the move. It makes journey a lot simpler not having to purchase tickets and with the ability to hop on and off trains as you want. You may also use the move for some native journey (particularly in Tokyo) and day journeys.

Our Financial savings with a Japan Rail Move

For our current two week journey to Japan we flew out and in of Tokyo and used a 7-day Japan Rail Move to journey to Nikko, Hakone, Takayama, and Kanazawa—see our detailed Japan itinerary.

Listed here are the financial savings we made through the use of a Japan Rail Move. This features a facet journey from Takayama and utilizing the move for native trains in Tokyo on our remaining day with the move.

From To Price in Yen
Tokyo Shinjuku Nikko 5,380
Nikko Odawara (for Hakone) eight,200
Odawara Takayama 12,000
Takayama Hida-Furukawa (facet journey) 240
Hida-Furukawa Takayama 240
Takayama Kanazawa 5,610
Kanazawa Tokyo Station 13,920
Tokyo Station Shibuya (inside Tokyo) 200
Shibuya Takadanobaba (inside Tokyo) 170
Takadanobaba Shibuya (inside Tokyo) 170
Complete Price of Particular person Tickets   JP¥46,130
Price of seven Day Japan Rail Move   JP¥29,110
Saving   JP¥17,020

We saved over ¥17,000 or $150 per individual with the Japan Rail Move!

When To not Use a Japan Rail Move

If you’re flying into Tokyo and out from Osaka (or vice versa) and solely travelling to Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka a rail move might be dearer than the a technique shinkansen ticket from Tokyo to Kyoto. 

If you’re on a very tight funds and are travelling at a sluggish tempo, it might work out cheaper to take the bus. Willer affords buses passes from ¥10,000 for 3 days of journey inside two months. 

We a lot desire practice journey because it’s quicker, extra comfy and spacious, we are able to work on the tables, and I don’t get journey sick (an issue on the bus on Japan’s winding mountain roads).

If you’re solely travelling in a single space of Japan, equivalent to Kansai the place Osaka and Kyoto are, you would possibly wish to look right into a regional rail move as an alternative.

The gorgeous view on the Hida wide view train from Takayama to Toyama.

The attractive view on the practice from Takayama to Toyama.

The place to Purchase a Japan Rail Move

Japan Rail Passes are bought by some journey brokers exterior Japan however the simplest way to purchase a move is on-line. We purchased our passes from JRailPass.com who’re an official JR Rail Move vendor. You’ll obtain an trade order that you just trade for the move in Japan.

The acquisition was very simple. For every passenger you want the total title precisely because it’s written on their passport and their nationality. You’re additionally requested for an approximate arrival date in Japan however that is simply to allow them to ensure your passes will arrive on time. You don’t have to resolve the precise begin date of the move till you get to Japan.

The process for buying a Japan Rail Pass online

The shape to fill in when shopping for a Japan Rail Move on-line

Japan Rail Pass can ship passes worldwide they usually often arrive inside two working days, though ours took three days to Indonesia. There are further bank card and transport charges until your order is over $600 when there’s free transport to many international locations together with the US, UK, Canada and far of Europe.

Within the US the passes are despatched by UPS and worldwide they use FedEx Worldwide Precedence. You’re given a monitoring quantity to trace the progress of the supply.

In case you’ve left shopping for your move to the final minute, you may get it despatched to your first resort in Japan, though I might examine with the resort first. We had no issues getting ours delivered to a resort in Bali.

The trade order have to be exchanged inside three months so don’t order too far upfront.

Methods to Alternate a Japan Rail Move

You don’t obtain the move at first however an trade order that you could then trade on your move once you arrive in Japan. A booklet with data on the place you are able to do this comes with the trade order.

We exchanged ours on the JR Rail workplace in Shinjuku Station and it was fast and simple. We needed to fill in a brief type and present our trade order and passports (don’t neglect to convey yours). You need to select the beginning date for the move throughout the subsequent month and this may’t be modified.

If doable it’s finest to do that a day or so earlier than your first journey day so that you don’t have to fret about it on the day. In any other case, be sure to permit loads of time earlier than your practice departs in case there are queues.

Discovering Prepare Instances

The perfect web site for locating practice instances in Japan is Hyperdia. When you’ve executed your search untick the containers on the backside of the search outcomes for “NOZOMI / MIZUHO / HAYABUSA (SHINKANSEN)” and “Personal Railway” as these trains aren’t legitimate with a JR Rail Move.

Using Hyperdia to find trains that can be used with a Japan Rail Pass. These are the boxes to untick.

Untick the containers circled in crimson to seek out trains that can be utilized with a Japan Rail Move. You could possibly additionally untick Airplane however these not often come up.

Hyperdia additionally has a mobile app with a button you possibly can tick to look just for trains which can be legitimate with the move, however I didn’t discover this dependable.

The default order for search outcomes is by Time, however on extra difficult routes I typically selected Switch as an alternative to seek out trains which can be a bit slower however with fewer transfers.

Making Seat Reservations

You don’t have to make seat reservations to journey with a move on most trains—you possibly can simply hop on any unreserved automotive. Probably the most generally used practice that does require a seat reservation is the Narita Categorical from Narita Airport into Tokyo. If you wish to use your move on the airport practice you possibly can swap your trade order for a move and get the seat reservation on the airport JR workplace.

You would possibly wish to make seat reservations when travelling at busy instances and particularly throughout Japanese nationwide holidays—see a list of holiday dates here.

Seat reservations are free for rail move holders and might be made at any JR station ticket workplace. It doesn’t need to be the station you might be travelling from so it can save you time by getting just a few seat reservations directly. Smaller stations can have shorter queues.

All you need to do is present your move and provides them the practice time you need the reservation for. Workers might communicate English however I discovered it useful to jot down down the date, practice time and route I wished reservations for.

Methods to Use a Japan Rail Move

To make use of the Japan Rail Move all it’s essential do is get on an unreserved automotive and discover an empty seat. You possibly can’t use the automated gates to entry the practice platforms, so simply stroll previous the workplace window and present your move. You might also be requested to point out the move on the practice.

We discovered the Hyperdia app helpful for wanting up practice instances and departure platforms whereas we have been out. The app is free for 30 days, so obtain it simply earlier than your journey. After that it prices $2.99 for one month or $25.99 for a yr.

When you’re travelling on a bullet practice you possibly can see which automobiles are unreserved on the screens, after which discover the corresponding quantity on the platform to see the place to attend. The panels on the facet of the carriage will even say whether or not it’s reserved or unreserved.

Trains are at all times on time so a 10 minute switch time is okay. Hyperdia tells you the departure platforms so that you might be ready and head straight to the platform on your connection.

Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, Japan

The busy Shibuya Crossing exterior Shibuya practice station in Tokyo. There’s order within the chaos!

Japanese Prepare Etiquette

The Japanese are usually a quiet and respectful folks and it’s vital to comply with these guidelines when travelling by practice:

  • Be quiet – Preserve your quantity low when taking, don’t discuss in your cellphone and ensure it doesn’t beep or ring. We even noticed indicators warning you to not kind too loudly in your laptop computer!
  • No consuming – The exception is on bullet trains when shopping for a bento lunch field on the station is a giant a part of the expertise. On native trains we didn’t see anybody consuming or consuming something apart from water. 
  • Don’t smoke – Except there’s a chosen smoking automotive on the bullet trains.
  • Don’t sit within the precedence seating – On native trains these seats are designated for the aged, pregnant ladies, and other people with disabilities. If the practice is quiet you possibly can sit right here however be ready to surrender your seat if needed.
  • Queue – There are designated spots to attend for the practice marked on the platform, so be a part of the orderly queue.
  • Be affected person – Stand to the facet and look ahead to folks to get off the practice earlier than you get on.

Extra Studying to Plan Your Japan Journey

On each our journeys to Japan we discovered a JR Move saved us tons of of . Hopefully the information above will allow you to work out whether or not a Japan Rail Move is price it for you. Let me know you probably have any questions within the feedback beneath. 

Buy your Japan Rail Pass here.

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Is the Japan Rail Pass worth it for your trip? We break down our journey, how we reserved seats, and some general tips to make the most of your pass!



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The Full Information to Climbing Mount Fuji

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As the best and most well-known mountain peak in Japan, climbing Mount Fuji is among the adventures that must be on the bucket listing of each traveler in Japan! In any other case referred to as Fuji-san, it’s an lively volcano that’s thought to be considered one of Japan’s three sacred peaks and iconic websites. Regardless of standing at […]

Learn the unique submit The Complete Guide to Climbing Mount Fuji on The Planet D: Adventure Travel Blog.



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Why Shinjuku Is The Greatest Space to Keep in Tokyo

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Tokyo free view from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku, the best area to stay in Tokyo

It’s tough deciding the place to remain in Tokyo, particularly to your first time right here, because it’s such an enormous metropolis with many various neighbourhoods. Though it’s straightforward to get round by prepare and metro, I favor to stroll the place doable so wished to remain in an space with tons to do and attractive eats close by.

The primary precedence when selecting the perfect space to remain in Tokyo is sweet transport hyperlinks. The scale of town may be overwhelming and sights are unfold out, so that you want to have the ability to get round simply. Taxis are costly so it’s finest to make use of the trains and metro—there’s a large sophisticated community within the metropolis.

Ideally select someplace to remain on the JR Yamanote prepare line which makes a loop across the metropolis and lots of the principal sights are accessible from it.

On our final two visits, we additionally selected to remain inside strolling distance of a significant JR prepare station—Shinjuku and Shibuya—in order that arriving and leaving town could be straightforward, with out an additional prepare journey.

You’ll additionally lower your expenses on transport prices by selecting Tokyo lodging in an space with loads of issues to do, procuring, and eating places inside strolling distance.

We’ve stayed in three completely different areas on our three visits to Tokyo—Nishi Ogikubo, Shinjuku, and Shibuya. I believe Shinjuku is by far the perfect place to remain in Tokyo and right here’s why:

Why Shinjuku Is The Greatest Space to Keep in Tokyo

It Appears Like Basic Tokyo

The view from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku, the best place to stay in Tokyo

Shinjuku view from the Tokyo Metropolitan Authorities Constructing

Shinjuku is the fashionable Tokyo you dream of—a futuristic metropolis of neon lights, towering skyscrapers, enormous digital shops, noisy arcades, gaudy pachinko parlours, and busy prepare stations.

There’s an important mixture of enterprise, procuring, leisure, meals, and quiet parks. There’s a bustling ambiance and simply strolling the streets is thrilling—particularly in your first go to to town when you possibly can’t recover from the truth that you might be lastly right here!

There’s all the time a lot occurring, however we didn’t discover it overwhelmingly crowded, and there are quiet streets and parks to flee to. Shinjuku is the world’s busiest station, although, so keep away from it at rush hour.

Arcades near Shinjuku Station, Tokyo

Arcades close to Shinjuku Station

Reminiscence Lane

Memory Lane in Tokyo

Reminiscence Lane

One of many issues I like most about Shinjuku is the combo of recent and conventional. Reminiscence Lane (Omoide Yokocho) is my favorite road in Tokyo, and though it’s proper subsequent to Shinjuku Station and neon billboards tower over it, it feels such as you’ve stepped again in time as you wander the slender alleyways which have barely modified since WW2. It’s an important place to seize some yakitori from one of many tiny eating places that seat only a few folks on the counter.

Scrumptious Diversified Meals

Spicy vegan ramen in Tokyo at Shinjuku Gyoen Ramen Ouka

Spicy vegan ramen at Ramen Ouka

Shinjuku is likely one of the finest areas for foodies in Tokyo. At the same time as vegetarians we had an enormous quantity of alternative inside a 15-minute stroll of our Airbnb from high-end kaiseki to merchandising machine ramen joints. There’s something for each style and funds.

Listed here are our favorite locations to eat in Shinjuku:

  • Zen – Scrumptious okonomiyaki cooked on the grill in entrance of you with conventional and trendy varieties together with vegetarian choices.
  • Shinjuku Gyoen Ramen Ouka – Halal and vegan ramen ordered from a merchandising machine—the spicy ramen is so good!
  • Tsunahachi – Excessive-end tempura with out the excessive costs. Get the lunch set for the perfect deal.
  • Milk Land – A cute vegetarian cafe with an important worth lunch set.
  • Curry Home CoCo Ichibanya – The Reminiscence Lane department of this curry chain has a vegetarian menu.

See my guide to vegetarian restaurants in Tokyo for extra particulars.

Strolling Distance to Sights

Swinging guitarist at the Robot cafe in Tokyo

The insane Robotic Restaurant present

There are many issues to do in Shinjuku:

  • Tokyo Metropolitan Authorities Constructing – Get a free view of the Tokyo skyline. Within the mornings you would possibly see Mt Fuji and at evening you possibly can see town lit up.
  • Shinjuku Gyoen Nationwide Backyard – One among Tokyo’s most stunning parks.
  • Robotic Restaurant – Essentially the most insane present you’ll ever see. Learn our Robot Restaurant review.
  • Yoyogi Park and Harajuku – It’s a longish however nice stroll from Shinjuku. 

Learn my information to cool things to do in Tokyo for extra particulars.

Shinjuku is extraordinarily properly linked for exploring town. The prepare traces we discovered most helpful had been the Yamanote line which makes a loop round lots of the metropolis’s principal areas and the Chuo line which heads to Tokyo Station (for bullet trains) and out to the Ghibli Museum.

There are additionally metro traces, direct entry to the airport on the comfy Narita Categorical, and direct entry to Hakone (excellent if you wish to take a day journey to see Mount Fuji).

Golden Gai

Golden Gai in Shinjuku, Tokyo

The slender streets of the Golden Gai (earlier than it will get busy later within the evening).

If you’re searching for nightlife, Shinjuku has loads of choices. Essentially the most atmospheric place to bar hop is the distinctive Golden Gai, a community of slender lanes with dozens of tiny bars.

Buying

We’re not buyers however even we couldn’t resist exploring Shinjuku’s many shops. There are enormous electronics retailers like BIC Digicam and Yobobashi the place you’ll find an unimaginable vary of laptop and digital camera tools; department shops like Takashimaya and Isetan for garments, homeware, and implausible meals basements; and Uniqlo for reasonably priced however high quality fundamental clothes. There’s one thing for everybody from high-end vogue to low cost souvenirs.

Inexpensive Lodging

What stunned me most about Shinjuku is how reasonably priced lodging is contemplating it’s the perfect space to remain in Tokyo. Once more you have got one thing for everybody from luxurious motels to funds hostels plus a few of Japan’s extra quirky lodging like love motels, capsule motels and manga kissa.

Learn our Japan Accommodation Guide for particulars on the vary of choices.

The place to Keep in Shinjuku

When selecting the place to remain in Shinjuku, consider the completely different areas—west of the station is the enterprise space, east is for procuring and nightlife, and northeast is the Kabukicho purple gentle district and Golden Gai for nightlife and leisure. That is Japan, so the purple gentle district doesn’t really feel harmful and even that seedy, though we had been by no means there late at evening.

We stayed in east Shinjuku, near Shinjuku Gyoen Nationwide Backyard, which was the best location for us.

Airbnbs in Shinjuku

We discovered renting Airbnb apartments in Tokyo to be higher worth and extra handy than motels. The most cost effective are studio residences which can be very small (you need to pay rather a lot for house in Tokyo) however well-equipped.

We stayed in this Central Shinjuku apartment and had a tiny kitchen, washer, quick WiFi, comfortable chairs, and a semi-double (somewhat laborious) mattress. The useful host offered detailed directions on easy methods to discover the condominium which is in a quiet space a 10-minute stroll from Shinjuku Station and some minutes from two metro stations. We had been capable of self-check in by choosing up the keys from the mailbox. It value about $100 per evening together with service and cleansing charges.

Inns in Shinjuku

When you’d favor a resort in Shinjuku, listed below are some choices that look splendid:

Luxurious

  • Hotel Park Hyatt Tokyo – If my funds had been limitless I’d keep right here for luxurious rooms (from $500) and implausible views of town. It’s the place the film Misplaced in Translation was filmed and is likely one of the finest motels in Tokyo.

Mid-Vary

Funds

  • Imano Tokyo Hostel – Japanese-style double rooms with shared bogs from $74 and dorm beds from $30.

Search here for more hotels in Shinjuku.

The place to Keep in Tokyo: Different Areas to Contemplate

Though I like to recommend Shinjuku as the perfect place to remain in Tokyo for most individuals, you would possibly need to think about one in all these different neighbourhoods.

Normally, the west aspect of town together with Shinjuku and Shibuya are busy and trendy, and the east is quieter and extra conventional.

This map reveals the principle stations within the areas talked about under.

Shibuya

Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, Japan

The busy Shibuya Crossing

Like Shinjuku, Shibuya is a handy place to stick with good transport hyperlinks and plenty occurring. It’s dwelling to the well-known Shibuya Crossing and is fashionable for procuring and nightlife, particularly with youngsters. It’s in strolling distance of Yoyogi Park and Harajuku for various vogue retailers and youngsters in loopy outfits.

We didn’t like staying in Shibuya as a lot as Shinjuku, although. The crowds had been overwhelming, and though we stayed in a quiet space we needed to stroll down a busy road to get to the station. Lodging is costlier and we didn’t discover the meals pretty much as good.

We stayed in an Airbnb studio apartment a 10-minute stroll from Shibuya Station. It was tiny and somewhat darkish however well-equipped with a kitchen, washer, quick WiFi, desk, sofa, and double mattress. Self-check-in was straightforward. 

Inns are normally fairly costly in Shibuya (and much more so in Harajuku). Shibuya Hotel En has small rooms within the coronary heart of the motion from $125.

Search for hotels in Shibuya here.

Asakusa

Sensoji Temple, one of our favourite cool things to do in Tokyo

Sensoji Temple in Asakusa

If you’re questioning the place to remain in Tokyo on a funds, think about Asakusa, a quieter, extra conventional neighbourhood within the east of town. It’s dwelling to the well-known Sensoji temple and also you’ll discover many conventional eating places on this space. It’s somewhat out of the way in which, so it’ll take longer to get across the metropolis, however there are nonetheless many transport hyperlinks.

Asakusa has some good worth hostels like K’s House Hostel which has twin rooms with shared toilet from $65 and dorm beds from $20. 

Search for hotels in Asakusa here.

Tokyo Station

The largest benefit of staying close to Tokyo Station is the transport hyperlinks as you possibly can simply get across the metropolis in addition to take the bullet trains across the nation to locations like Kyoto. It’s additionally close to the Imperial Palace and park. There isn’t as a lot of an environment or many issues to do on this a part of town, although.

The five-star Marunouchi Hotel is likely one of the finest motels close to Tokyo Station. It’s only a few minutes stroll away and has double rooms from $250. 

Search for hotels near Tokyo Station here.

Off the Crushed Observe

When you don’t thoughts having to take the prepare to all of the sights it can save you cash, get more room, escape the crowds, and expertise native life by staying in a neighbourhood off-the-beaten-track. This will work properly for stays of per week or extra.

On our first week-long journey to Tokyo, we stayed in an important worth apartment in Nishi Ogikubo. We cherished the quiet however attention-grabbing neighbourhood with its vintage retailers, classic garments shops, and slender streets filled with tiny eating places. It was solely a 15-minute prepare journey from Shinjuku, however we did find yourself discovering the additional distance inconvenient.

Airbnb is a good way to seek out residences and personal rooms off-the-beaten-track.

Tokyo Suggestions

  • See our submit on 17 cool things to do in Tokyo.
  • For our meals suggestions see our information to the best vegetarian restaurants in Tokyo.
  • Ebook Tokyo lodging properly upfront if you’re travelling within the late March to mid-April cherry blossom season or November autumn foliage season. 
  • Get a Suica card to make use of on all trains and metro traces in Tokyo. It’s a lot simpler than determining which ticket you want for a selected line.
  • Use Google Maps and Hyperdia to examine prepare instances and distances and to see how far your lodging is from the locations you need to go to.

I undoubtedly suppose Shinjuku is the perfect place to remain in Tokyo, particularly for first-timers, because it’s reasonably priced, accessible, and has a lot occurring. However Tokyo is such an exquisite metropolis with nice transport hyperlinks so I’m certain you’ll have a implausible time wherever you select to remain.

The place is your favorite space to remain in Tokyo? Depart a remark under. 

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#TravelTheRainbow: Colourful locations from throughout the globe

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The world is a colourful place, and for those who’re not on the market exploring it, then generally it’s straightforward to overlook! So for those who’re cooped up in an workplace staring out the window at a bleak and dreary winter scene, listed below are some locations from throughout the globe to brighten up your day and encourage you to #TravelTheRainbow

Purple: Daigo-Ji Temple, Japan

Not solely is that this temple an absolute magnificence, nevertheless it’s additionally of giant cultural significance to Japan. It’s a chosen World Heritage Website, and offers the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism a spot of neighborhood and worship. For vacationers, it’s an incredible sight to behold. It’s located on a mountainside and surrounded by a wealth of nature to enrich its deep purple hues completely.

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Orange: Vermillion Cliffs, Arizona

There are such a lot of colourful, orange locations in Arizona’s huge desert that we struggled to slim it down to simply the one. Nonetheless, the USA’s house of the Grand Canyon additionally hides some lesser-known secrets and techniques, such because the Vermillion Cliffs with their spectacular swirls and twists. 

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Yellow: Dallol, Ethiopia

It’s scorching. It’s distant, nevertheless it’s a must-see. The volcanic scorching springs of the Dallol volcano seems as a neon yellow shade due to minerals and components equivalent to sulfur, iron and salt that are discovered among the many scorching magma. We will’t stress sufficient how essential it isn’t to get too shut, although. These swimming pools may be acidic and poisonous gases may even kill. Eeek – keep again!

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Pink: Lake Retba, Senegal

This isn’t a filter – there are just a few pink lakes on the planet, and Lake Retba is one in every of them. For those who’re fortunate sufficient to be heading by this African nation, you’ll see its pink coloring due to a sure form of algae. There’s true discoloration, which signifies that you don’t need to squint to see the hues. As a World Heritage Website, it’s turning into simpler to go to (it’s solely an hour from the nation’s capital). And you may even swim in it – you may float although, attributable to exceedingly excessive salt content material!

 

Inexperienced: Bali Rice Paddies

Making the pilgrimage to Indonesia? Seeing the rice paddies of Bali is sort of a ceremony of passage. Used actually for rising rice, they make unbelievable backdrops for all these Insta-snap reminiscences you’ll maintain lengthy after Instagram stops being a factor.

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 Blue: Nice Barrier Reef, Australia

Ah, Australia. Dwelling to among the bluest oceans on the planet, and loads of fishy pals residing in there. Visiting the Nice Barrier Reef needs to be on everybody’s bucket record; nevertheless it must be revered. Lately, conservation efforts have been robust. Nonetheless, it’s value transferring this one up in your bucket record in case you are dreaming of diving or snorkeling there. It may not be round perpetually. Unhappy face certainly.

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Indigo: Northern Lights, Iceland

Whereas there are numerous colours of the Northern Lights, and a good few locations to see them, maybe the indigo hues are the rarest and among the many most stunning. Venturing to Iceland doesn’t essentially assure that you simply’ll see them, nevertheless it definitely heightens your possibilities; and the landscapes are drop useless beautiful as effectively.

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Violet: The Lavender Fields of Provence

Flowers are fairly, certain, however they hardly ever flip heads just like the Lavender Fields of Provence in France. Not solely do the fields look superb, however there’s an unbelievable aroma right here, too. France – identical to plenty of Europe – is thought for its wealthy and idyllic lush surroundings. Simply watch out that you simply don’t get nod off picnicking close by. Lavender has lengthy been used as a sleep help!

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So if one in every of your New 12 months’s resolutions is to get out of your consolation zone, journey extra and expertise new cultures why not give one in every of these colourful and distinctive areas a attempt OR see all of them and form your personal rainbow impressed journey journey with STA Travel’s Multi-city flights!

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18 of the most effective international locations to go to in 2018

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Journey and tourism is one trade that has continued to thrive lately, constantly out-performing the worldwide financial system, and 2018 seems to be no exception. We spoke to quite a few consultants within the trade to search out out their opinions on the international locations to go to within the yr forward. And so listed here are 18 […]

The put up 18 of the best countries to visit in 2018 appeared first on A Luxury Travel Blog.



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The Better of Autumn in Japan – The place to Go & What to Do

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By Adam Groffman

Sure, Japan is totally as stunning as you’d count on it to be within the autumn. Certain, everybody is aware of about Japan’s cherry blossoms within the spring, however there are literally winter sorts of the exact same tress—they usually bloom in late November!

Autumn in Japan is a cacophony of colours. The long-lasting maple timber bloom in at the very least 5 completely different colours: greens, yellows, purples, oranges, reds, and even pinks. It’s not usually that you simply see superb nature—there are a handful of locations all over the world well-known for his or her autumn colours, and Japan is up close to the highest of that checklist.

Beneath, a mini information to among the locations I visited on this autumn journey to Japan—among the superb areas the place the colours have been as vibrant because the tradition, the place the climate was good, the surroundings breathtaking. Earlier than visiting Japan, I at all times imagined an island stuffed with crowded cities, skyscrapers, and neon lights. However to my shock, there are lots of stunning and pure landscapes all through Japan’s countryside.

Central Japan, or the Shoryudo area (made up of 9 completely different prefectures), affords unbelievable landscapes and surroundings by mountains areas and sweeping coastlines. Nevertheless it’s additionally an essential historic dwelling to a lot of Japanese tradition. So many features of that stereotypically Japanese notion we’ve bought again dwelling—they are often discovered within the Shoryudo. Samurais, paper-making crafts, seafood, saunas (onsen), huge cities (Nagoya) and extra.

If you happen to’re in search of a style of “genuine” Japan, it’s within the Shoryudo. And there’s no higher time to go to than throughout autumn when the landscapes are extra vibrant and colourful than you possibly can even think about.

eight Superb Locations to see Autumn in Japan

My journey to Japan included visits by the Aichi and Gifu Prefectures, a part of the Shoryudo area. See a few of my highlights right here—these locations that actually stood out for his or her pure magnificence.

• • •
Asuke Outdated City & Mt. Iimori

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One of the vital well-known spots within the Aichi Prefecture for autumn, Asuke is a small city within the shadow of a phenomenal mountain. A neighborhood market and picturesque streets make it a nice city to stroll by. There’s even an historic village the place you’ll discover individuals engaged on numerous Japanese crafts. It’s an informative and enjoyable technique to expertise a little bit of Japanese tradition. And the hike up Mt. Iimori is totally gorgeous. Asuke is a small a part of the bigger Toyota metropolis, so it’s pretty straightforward to seek out.

• • •
Asuke Fort

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A brief trip from the Asuke Outdated City, the historic Asuke Fort dates again to at the very least the 15th century. Set on prime of a mountain, the Fort is well accessible by strolling and affords panoramic views over the Asuke Outdated City under and the higher Toyota area. Set amongst a forest, the autumn colours from the Japanese maple timber make this a completely gorgeous vacation spot through the season.

• • •
Obara

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One other a part of the Toyota metropolis is the Obara city. That is a completely unbelievable and actually particular place to go to within the autumn as a result of it’s one spot in Japan the place you possibly can see each cherry blossoms (sakura) and the autumn foliage directly. The cherry blossoms in Obara bloom within the winter, so with that and the Japanese maples, it’s a really stunning combine of colours.

• • •
Okazaki Fort

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Situated nonetheless within the Aichi Prefecture, Okazaki Fort was constructed within the 15th century although it’s gone by a number of renovations and updates. The close by river makes up a part of the moat round Okazaki Fort, so the small lakes and open areas make it an ideal place for seeing a little bit of the autumn foliage. The property is sort of massive and from above, there’s a pleasant panoramic view out over the countryside and close by metropolis.

• • •
Nakasendo Path

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The Nakasendo path was as soon as a freeway that ran from Tokyo to Kyoto through the Edo Interval. Samurais and others used the Nakasendo route to maneuver between the 2 cities and would keep over in stations, or small villages and cities, alongside the route. The city of Nakatsugawa was as soon as an essential station alongside the Nakasendo path and in the present day it affords a glimpse into Japanese each day life. It’s place to begin alongside the Nakasendo path and is well accessible by way of practice from Nagoya. From Nakatsugawa, you may also go to Magome—an equally stunning hill-town well-known for its picturesque streets and native tradition..

At present, the Nakasendo is a mountaineering path that gives a glimpse of Japanese life by these station-towns in addition to stunning surroundings by the mountains and countryside. As a result of a lot of it goes by the character, you’ll discover many stunning spots throughout autumn.

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Gujo (Hachiman Fort)

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Situated in Gifu Prefecture, Gujo is a phenomenal little city set inside a valley. On one finish, the Gujo Hachiman Fort overlooks the city. Within the metropolis itself, you’ll discover a peaceable river lined with timber, that small-town mountain village feeling with cute cafés, retailers, and eating places, and loads of enjoyable and fascinating actions and issues to do. Wanting down on town from Gujo Hachiman Fort, town is within the form of a fish—there’s no finish to the great thing about this metropolis whether or not it’s within the pure environment or the man-made impact! Whereas Gujo is known for its summertime dance competition, town’s true colours come out within the autumn when town is alive with shade, surrounded by stunning mountains and mountaineering trails.

For one thing completely enjoyable and authentic, town of Gujo is known for its meals reproduction enterprise. Many Japanese eating places and companies have meals replicas or meals samples on show and the custom may be traced again to this city. You possibly can go to a meals reproduction manufacturing facility and make your personal by an easy-to-follow, family-friendly workshop!

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Mino

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A small, quiet city in Gifu Prefecture, Mino is a picturesque place to go to throughout autumn in Japan. The city is known for the manufacturing of Japanese washi paper and an annual gentle competition. The principle avenue of the city continues to be in the identical type and construct as through the Edo Interval, and some historic houses supply perception into Japanese historical past and tradition.

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Nagoya Fort

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The most important metropolis within the Shoryudo central Japan area, and Japan’s fourth largest metropolis by inhabitants, Nagoya is a crucial hub for the area. Arguably town’s most essential historic vacationer attraction is the Nagoya Fort—constructed within the 17th century, although largely destroyed within the 1940s through the struggle. It’s lately been renovated and rebuilt (with extra renovations coming), however its unbelievable top and gardens make it an excellent place for scenic views within the metropolis middle.

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Autumn in Japan – learn how to get there

It’s straightforward to go to Shoryudo throughout autumn in Japan. The area is well accessible from Japan’s different main vacationer hotspots; Kyoto and Tokyo are each inside attain by way of bullet trains. Chubu Centrair International Airport additionally providers the area. From the airport to downtown Nagoya is a fast and reasonably priced practice trip.

Observe: my go to to the Shoryudo area was sponsored by the regional tourism places of work and JTB. Comply with @travelsofadam on Instagram for extra journey updates!

The publish The Best of Autumn in Japan – Where to Go & What to Do appeared first on the Travels of Adam blog.





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