Travel

Articles and travel guides on famous and not so famous destinations in Japan

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  • Shikoku Travel Guide

    The Shikoku Region (四国地方 Shikoku-chihō) consists of Shikoku (lit. “four provinces”), the smallest of Japan’s four main islands, and numerous...
  • Doraemon Museum

    In the middle of a quiet residential area of Kawasaki’s Tama Ward, a new must-visit landmark has opened its gates: the Doraemon Museum officially...
  • Tokyo Subway Guide

    Tokyo’s subway map may look challenging, but it is very easy to negotiate. Each line has a different colour, there are alpha-numeric codes for...
  • Kanto Travel Guide

    The Kantō Region (関東地方 Kantō-chihō) is Japan’s most heavily populated region and the political, economic and cultural centre of the nation. It is...
  • Okinawa Travel Guide

    Composed of a chain of some sixty islands generally referred to as the Ryukyu Islands (琉球諸島 Ryūkyū-shotō), Okinawa is located south of Kyūshū and...
  • Regions of Japan

    Japan consists of eight regions. While these regions do not constitute administrative or political units, they play a traditional role in history,...
  • Kansai Travel Guide

    The Kansai Region (関西地方 Kansai-chihō), sometimes coterminous with the official geographical designation “Kinki Region” (近畿地方 Kinki-chihō),...
  • Chubu Travel Guide

    The Chūbu Region (中部地方 Chūbu-chihō) is the central part of Japan’s main island Honshū and consists of three subregions, Hokuriku on the Sea of...
  • Kyushu Travel Guide

    Kyushu (九州 Kyūshū, lit. “Nine Provinces”) comprises the following prefectures: Fukuoka (福岡県 Fukuoka-ken) Saga (佐賀県 Saga-ken) Kumamoto (熊本県...
  • Hokkaido Travel Guide

    Hokkaidō (北海道) is the northernmost and the second largest of Japan’s four main islands. It is separated from Honshū to the south by the Tsugaru...
  1. Wakasa-Onigajo Castle

    The ruins of Wakasa-Oniga Castle (若桜鬼ヶ城 Wakasa Onigajō) are located in Wakasa Town, Yazu District, Tottori Prefecture. The castle sits on top of Mt. Tsuruo and overlooks the Wakasa Highway that linked Harima (modern-day Hyōgo Prefecture) and Tajima (nowadays Kyōto Prefecture) to Inaba in southeastern Tottori. The map is based on Digital Japan Portal Web Site powered by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan. The castle is thought to be constructed by the local Yabe clan (矢部氏) in the 13th century. The power of the Yamana clan (山名氏) who ruled Inaba Province as shugo (military...
  2. Toyooka Travel Guide

    Toyooka (豊岡市) is located in northern Hyōgo Prefecture in the centre of the San'in Kaigan Geopark (山陰海岸ジオパーク). While the city stretches over 700 square kilometres after its merger with the surrounding towns of Hidaka, Izushi, Kinosaki, Takeno, and Tantō in 2005, the actual town centre is quite easy to explore. Kinosaki Onsen The first sight to see close to Toyooka Station is the morning market. The Aozora Ichiba (青空市場, "open-air market") offers rice and local produce, under the roof of Kōsetsu Ichiba (公設市場, "public market"), Japan’s oldest wooden market, visitors can buy flowers and local...
  3. Fukui Travel Guide

    Fukui Prefecture is located on the Sea of Japan in central Honshū and bounded by Ishikawa Prefecture on the north, Gifu Prefecture on the east, Shiga and Kyōto prefectures on the south, and the Sea of Japan on the west. It is geographically divided into the northern districts, corresponding to the southern part of the former province of Echizen (越前国 Echizen-no-kuni), and the southern districts, formerly Wakasa (若狭国 Wakasa-no-kuni). The northern district consists mostly of mountain ranges, with coastal plains and river valleys, and includes most of the land area and population. The...
  4. Nomura Samurai House

    The former residence of the Nomura family (野村家) is located in Nagamachi, the bukeyashiki or samurai quarter of Kanazawa, a quiet district characterised by its long straight mud-daub walls topped with traditional wooden slats called kobaita (小羽 板) and covered with straw mats (こも komo) in winter. The Nomura were chief retainers of the Maeda. Maeda Toshiie (前田 利家, 1538-1599), the first daimyō of Kaga Domain, bestowed a fief of one thousand koku upon Nomura Denbei Nobusada (野村伝兵衛信貞) which was later increased to 1,200 koku. Nobusada's descendants continued to serve as senior retainers and...
  5. Oyama Shrine Kanazawa

    Oyama Shrine (尾山神社 Oyama-jinja) is located in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, just west of Kanazawa Castle Park. It commemorates Maeda Toshiie (前田 利家, 1538-1599), the first daimyō of Kaga Domain and was constructed in 1599 by his son and successor, Maeda Toshinaga, at Utatsuyama (卯辰山). For that reason, it was formerly known as Utatsu Hachimangu Shrine. In 1873, it was moved to its current location, the site of a former Maeda family residence, and renamed Oyama Shrine. The surrounding Japanese garden was designed by Kobori Enshū (小堀遠州, 1579-1647), a famous aristocrat and horticulturist, and...
  6. Kanazawa Travel Guide

    Kanazawa (金沢) is the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture and the political, economic, and cultural centre of the Hokuriku Region. Kanazawa developed in the 15th century as a de facto autonomous temple town of the Ikkō sect. In 1580, the Ikkō movement was destroyed by Sakuma Morimasa, who built Kanazawa Castle. Later, the city was ruled by the powerful Maeda clan under whose rule the arts and learning prospered. Kanazawa is still famous for its Kutani ware (九谷焼 Kutani-yaki), maki-e (蒔絵, Japanese lacquerware), and Kaga yūzen (加賀友禅, printed silk fabrics). Kanazawa was not destroyed in World War II...
  7. Kinosaki Onsen

    Kinosaki Onsen (城崎温泉) is one of the oldest onsen resorts in Japan with a history that dates back to the 8th century. Kinosaki is located in northern Hyōgo Prefecture and was merged with Toyooka City (豊岡市) in 2005. The hot springs of Kinosaki are said to have healing properties, a fact that was discovered when storks were observed healing their wounds in the thermal spring water. View on Kinosaki Onsen and Maruyama River The picturesque town is relatively small and can be discovered on foot. Sights and things to do Staying at a ryokan and visiting some of the seven onsen in Kinosaki To...
  8. Kageishi Castle

    Kageishi Castle (景石城 Kageishi-jō) was located in former Inaba Province near the post station of Mochigase-shuku (用瀬宿) along Inaba Kaidō (因幡街道) at the confluence of Sendai River and Sajigawa River. Inaba Kaidō connected the province of Harima (modern-day Okayama Prefecture) with Tottori. The map was based on Digital Japan Portal Web Site powered by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan The Taiheiki (太平記, "Chronicle of Great Peace") written in the 14th century mentioned that the castle was held by Yamana Tokiuji (山名時氏, d.1372). Tokiuji was a retainer of Ashikaga Takauji and shugo...
  9. Kanazawa Castle Park

    Kanazawa Castle Park is located next to Kenroku-en. Originally, Kenroku-en was an outlying garden of the castle before it was opened to the public in 1871. Kanazawa Castle (金沢城 Kanazawa-jō) was the seat of the powerful Maeda clan who ruled the Kaga Domain for fourteen generations from 1583 until the end of the Edo Period. The castle was destroyed several times in battles (1592), by fires (1602, 1620, 1631, 1759, 1881) and by earthquakes (1858) but was continuously rebuilt and expanded. Due to its immense size, it was called 'the castle of 1,000 tatami'. The only original structure that...
  10. Kenrokuen Garden

    Kenroku-en (兼六園, "The Garden of the Six Attributes") is one of the three Great Gardens of Japan, along with Kairaku-en in Mito and Kōraku-en in Okayama. Kenroku-en is located in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, and was founded in the early 17th century the Maeda clan who ruled the Kaga Domain until the Meiji Restoration. Both, Maeda Toshitsune (前田利常, 1594-1658), the second Kaga daimyō, and Maeda Tsunanori (前田綱紀, 1643-1724) are credited as the founders of the gardens. Tsunanori, the third daimyō, is said to have built the Renchiochin house in 1676. The garden was greatly expanded by the 11th...
  11. Kawahara Castle

    Kawahara Castle (河原城 Kawahara-jō) is a hilltop castle located in the former town of Kawahara-machi about 10 kilometres south of Tottori City at the confluence of the Sendai and the Hatto rivers. Kawahara-machi was merged into Tottori City in 2004. The castle is also known as Maruyama Castle (丸山城). The main keep is magnificent but was reconstructed in 1994. The fortification was erected sometime before 1580 by Takeda Takanobu (武田高信). Later, the castle and the surrounding territory were controlled by Yamana Toyokuni (1548-1626) and served as an additional line of defence against the...
  12. Ukiyo-e Ota Memorial Museum of Art

    The Ukiyo-e Ōta Memorial Museum of Art (浮世絵 太田記念美術館 Ukiyo-e Ōta kinen bijutsukan) is a small museum located in Harajuku that houses the woodblock print (ukiyo-e) collection of Ōta Seizo V (1893-1977), a former president of Tōhō Insurance. He amassed over 12,000 pieces of prints that are presented on two small exhibition floors and frequently rotated. The collection comprises iconic works, such as Hiroshige's 'One Hundred Famous Views of Edo' and the 'Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō', Hokusai's 'Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji', and the art of countless other ukiyo-e masters including...
  13. Visiting a Japanese garden

    Japanese gardens are widely known for a particular design following a unique aesthetic and philosophical concept. Tokyo hosts several of these gardens to be visited and enjoyed not just by garden fanatics but also by the ordinary tourist to encounter a new garden design as well as the regular visitor in search of contemplation and relaxation. Japanese gardens are sometimes compared to the English garden. There are indeed some similar features such as interesting hills providing several perspectives as well as asymmetries in the garden elements. This produces the impression as if the garden...
  14. Ishikawa Travel Guide

    Ishikawa Prefecture (石川県 Ishikawa-ken) is located in the Chūbu region in central Honshū and bounded by the Sea of Japan on the west and the north, Toyama Bay and Toyama and Gifu prefectures on the east, and Fukui Prefecture on the south. It is divided into the Kaga region to the south and the Noto Peninsula to the north. There are several islets north of Noto in the Sea of Japan, the largest of which is Hegurajima. The southern part of Kaga is mostly mountainous, while the area around the capital Kanazawa forms the prefecture's largest plain. The Noto Peninsula is hilly, with an uneven...
  15. Sengakuji Temple

    Sengaku-ji (泉岳寺) is a Sōtō Zen Buddhist temple located in Minato-ku, Tōkyō, close to Sengakuji Station on Toei Asakusa Line and Shinagawa Station. The temple is famous because of its association with the Akō-gishi (the Forty-Seven Rōnin) who rest in the temple precinct along with their master Asano Naganori. The two main temples of Sōtō Zen Buddhism are Eihei-ji in Fukui Prefecture and Sōji-ji in Tsurumi, Yokohama. In 1612, Sengaku-ji was constructed near Edo Castle under Tokugawa Ieyasu. It was destroyed in the Okemachi Fire of 1641 and rebuilt by shōgun Tokugawa Iemitsu in the Takanawa...
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