When Is The Best Time Of Year To Visit Japan?

One of the most common Japan travel questions we hear around here is, “When is the best time of year to visit Japan?

The easy answer is of course that you should take advantage of any chance to visit, since each of Japan’s seasons is great in its own way!

[Read more…]

Japanese Onsen: An Introduction to Hot Springs in Japan

One of the highlights of traveling around Japan is a relaxing stay at a Japanese onsen (hot springs) resort.

Hot springs are common in many countries, but what makes Japan unique is the onsen culture, which blends an appreciation of nature with a sophisticated philosophy. Here is your guide to onsen – the different types, the best times and places to go, and the all-important onsen etiquette.

[Read more…]

Introduction to Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Route

The Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route is one of Japan’s most enchanting walks.

Deep in rural Wakayama Prefecture – but just a few hours south of Kyoto and Osaka – the UNESCO-recognized Kumano region is filled with spirituality and history, as well as beautiful landscapes, charming villages, hiking, and onsen (hot springs).

[Read more…]

Fukuoka: Japan’s Unsung Culinary Destination

The city of Fukuoka, also known as Hakata, is one of Japan’s unsung culinary destinations, not to mention one of the country’s most pleasant and livable urban centers.

[Read more…]

Specialty Coffee in Japan

While travelers to Japan typically dream of green tea and sake, coffee lovers from around the world are also starting to take note of Japan’s booming specialty coffee scene.

To take us deeper into the world of third wave coffee in Japan, we spoke with Tokyo-based American Eric Tessier. Tessier runs Tokyo Coffee, and is a great resource on the history and current trends of specialty coffee culture in Japan – not to mention great recommendations on where to go for a cup of coffee in Tokyo, Kyoto and Nagoya.

[Read more…]

All About Tea in Japan

Japan is home to one of the world’s most venerable tea cultures, and is a tea lover’s paradise.

Though best known for green tea, while traveling around Japan you will likely come across a surprising variety of teas, ranging from matcha powder (not to mention Kit Kats!) to tea made from sakura cherry blossoms.

[Read more…]

What You Need to Know About Japanese Whisky

While Japan is best known for sake worldwide, it also has a killer whisky industry that’s lauded by spirit connoisseurs.

Commercial whisky production in Japan began in October 1923, just a month after the massive Great Kanto Earthquake. With a parcel of land between Osaka and Kyoto, Shinjiro Torii built the now well-known Yamazaki Distillery, just outside Kyoto.

[Read more…]

Japan’s Best Art Destinations

Tokyo is packed with some of the world’s top museums and galleries, but further afield in Japan are even more fantastic art hubs. From art islands to immaculate gardens, these are some of Japan’s best art destinations — and four biennales and triennales not to be missed.

[Read more…]

Three Days in Kyoto

We’re excited to welcome our first-ever guest contributor, travel writer Sophie Friedman. We hope you enjoy Sophie-san’s Kyoto travel tips!

For the second year in a row, Travel+Leisure has named Kyoto the world’s best city.

One of the most culturally rich cities in the world, Kyoto was the capital of Japan for over a thousand years, and is what many travelers picture when envisioning Japan.

[Read more…]

Places We Love: Gokayama & Shirakawago

Japan has no shortage of charming mountain villages, and one of the best places to experience traditional rural Japan is deep in the Japanese Alps.

[Read more…]