Sword Art Online is a popular anime series that anime lovers from all around the world enjoy watching recently. Because of the growing popularity they started broadcasting the second series, Sword Art Online II, both in Japan and abroad at the same time from July 2014. The ending of the anime is sang by LiSA, whom MATCHA has been featuring on the magazine for a while. Her most famous song, crossing field, was downloaded more than three hundreds forty thousands times two years ago when the first series was shown on TV. Now LiSA and Sword Art Online are once again collaborating.Ending of the series II, ShirushiThe ending of the anime, Shirushi was broadcast on November 8th and also in other foreign countries. The song definitely has an atmosphere of the anime, and the ballad song is made with LiSA’s full of passion for music. Although the CD is going to be on sale on December 10th, you can listen to the song on her official website, Disco page. You can also use iTunes, mora, RecoChoku to get the song from online. The characters of Sword Art Online II, mother’s rosary, Asuna and Yuki are on the CD jacket. The limited edition of the CD jacket is the object of envy for the fans of the anime.InformationOfficial website: http://www.lxixsxa.com/Twitter：https://twitter.com/LiSA_OLiVEFacebook：https://www.facebook.com/lxixsxa.jpiTunes：https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/931903940Recochoku：http://recochoku.jp/artist/30127286/mora：http://mora.jp/artist/25868/all【LiSA 7th single, Shirushi】Dec 10th of 2014 on sale.【First-run limited edition production recording (CD+DVD)】Price: 1,600 Yen (plus tax)Product number: svwc70031-70032-Songs-01. ShirushiSongwriter: LiSA Composer: Kayoko Arranger: Syota Horie02. No More Time MachineSongwriter: Makoto Furuya Composer: Kousuke Noma Arranger: Yashikin03. crossing field –English ver.-Songwriting: Syo Watanabe Arranger: Toku Translator: Shinji Motoyama* The CD, Shirushi has a music video DVD.* A Booklet included.【Limited edition production recording (CD+DVD)】Price: 1,600 Yen (plus tax)Product number: svwc70033-70034Songs:01. ShirushiSongwriter: LiSA Composer: Kayoko Arranger: Syota Horie02. No More Time MachineSongwriter: Makoto Furuya Composer: Kousuke Noma Arranger: Yashikin03. Shirushi –Instrumental-04. No More Time Machine –Instrumental-* DVD of noncredit ending video of TV anime, Sword Art Online II, included.* Mini poster of illustration of the anime included.* All products are packed in a designed original case.【 CD 】Price: 1,200 Yen (plus tax)Product number: svwc70035Songs:01. ShirushiSongwriter: LiSA Composer: Kayoko Arranger: Syota Horie02. No More Time MachineSongwriter: Makoto Furuya Composer: Kousuke Noma Arranger: Yashikin03. crossing field –English ver.-Songwriting: Syo Watanabe Arranger: Toku Translator: Shinji Motoyama* Limited edition production version has different contents than First-run limited edition production version and regular CD.【Live Information】LiSA’s biggest live showNihon Budo-kan 2days live, LiVE is Smile Always ~PiNK&BLACK~Day: January 10th 2015 (Sat) Strawberry doughnut / January 11th Choco DoughnutVenue: Nihon Budo-kan (Tokyo)Contact: DISK GARAGE: 050 5533 0888 (operated on daytime from 12:00~19:00)
The eastern area of the shrine called Kiba, ‘ki’ meaning wood and ‘ba’ means space. This is the location where wooden building materials were kept during the Edo era, and is memorialized in an engraved monument showing workers of the time transporting these materials. What did you think of the atmosphere at Tomioka Hachimangu? Did you like the Edo era, old town feel to it? It’s a shrine that’s been worshipped by the locals since long ago, but recently it’s become more lively as more and more travelers pay their respects in the shrine grounds. On the main street is a monument for the Oozeki, who are the wrestlers that achieve the second highest ranking in sumo. You can learn more about the terms and history of sumo in Tips For Watching Sumo In Tokyo – Key Terms, Tickets And Schedule. Throughout Japan you will find a great number of Hachimangu shrines, 44,000 in fact, with 40 located in Tokyo. These shrines are dedicated to the god of battle, Yawata no Kami, who was revered by the samurai.Tomioka Hachimangu in the Koto ward of Tokyo is one of these Hachimangu shrines. Built in 1624, it’s a shrine with a long history. At the time it was built, it used over 20,000 meters squared of land and was the largest Hachimangu in Edo, the former name of Tokyo. Even today, you can still feel the Edo era and old town atmosphere within the grounds of Tomioka Hahimangu Shrine. Today let’s look at Tomioka Hachimangu and the sights around it.A History Rich Spot Just Beyond the Torii On the west side of the road is an unusual chozusho, a standard feature of all shrines where people must rinse their hands and mouth. At Tomioka Hachimangu, it’s also called a temizudokoro. This chozusho is unique in that it is a giant stone that was brought to Tokyo from Ehime prefecture in Shikoku.For how to use a common chozusho, take a look at How To Visit A Japanese Shrine.In Conclusion Next to this statue is a storage area known as the shinyoko, where two o-mikoshi are kept. Every year on August 15th, the Fukugawa Hachiman Festival is held. These miniature portable shrines, decorated with gold, silver, and diamonds are brought out and used during the festival.For most of the year, they are displayed within this storage area, but can be viewed through the windows.The Vermillion Pillars of the Inner Shrine Leave an Impression Within the grounds are seventeen subsidiary shrines that accompany the main shrine. The God of Sewing, The God of Comedy, The God of Harvest, The God Of Business, and various other gods are enshrined here. The main path to Tomioka Hachimangu is a large street called Eidai-dori, which stretches from east to west. On weekends, the sides of the streets are lined with food stands. As you walk up the stairs from the main street, you’ll see a vermillion building appear. This is Tomioka Hachimangu’s front and main shrine. The prayers methods used here are the same as at any shrine: make your offering, bow twice, clap your hands twice, pray silently, then bow once more at the end.Visit the Japanese Gardens and Subsidiary Shrines in the Torii On the east side of the main shrine is a Benten pond; a beautiful Japanese garden with a vermillion bridge going over the charming pond. There is a statue of Inou Tadataka located right inside the shrine gate. He was a surveyor during the Edo Period and was the first person to walk through all of Japan, completing the first full map of the nation. The precision of this map is such that it is not very different from maps made today. Even those raised using GPS are surprised at the skill displayed in this map. If you come to this old town area, please stop by Tomioka Hachimangu to offer your own prayers. Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine View InformationIf you want to know more about Fukugawa Fudo, which is right next to Tomioka Hachimangu, then take a look at Sutra Training at Fukagawa Fudo-do. Please also take a look at Fukagawa Edo Museum: Edo Fans Must Visit!, which introduce you to sightseeing spots within walking distance as well. Kanjinzumo (*1) held at Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine is believed to be the originator of sumo in the Edo era.*1 Kanjinzumo: Sumo wrestling performances performed after taking money from the audience. At the time, it was used as a means to fund the repair costs of Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples. Sumo wrestling was banned at one point because it was said to corrupt the public’s morals, but in 1684 the Edo Bakufu government gave Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine permission to hold sumo wrestling events. After that, sumo wrestling events were held in the shrine grounds in the spring and fall.Taking this into account, there is a monument within the shrine grounds where the names of the Yokozuna throughout history are engraved. The Yokozuna is the top position in sumo wrestling. There are even some paths with fifteen torii lined up in a row to pass under before you reach the actual subsidiary shrine itself.Edo Sumo Wrestling Originated from this Land
If you click the “Reservation Information Box” at the top of the page, you can check your bookings, cancel them, or send a message to the car rental company (available in English and Japanese). Your login ID and password should be found on the reservation completion page and also the confirmation email.Make sure you pay attention to the explanations given at the rental office.Make Your Trip One-Of-A-Kind With Tabirai Car RentalThat’s all you need to know about booking your car. No membership or credit card registration, and no worries! You’re ready to rent your car!Japan is known internationally for its high driving moral standards, and you’ll find that most drivers are respectful of others. Even if you don’t have any experience driving in this country, as long as you do some research about the traffic signs and directions to your destination, you should have no problems and be able to drive safely.So go book a car at Tabirai Car Rental and enjoy an amazing trip in Japan!InformationTabirai Car Rental (Tabirai Rent-a-Car)Japan Car RentalOkinawa Car RentalHokkaido Car RentalOsaka Car RentalFukuoka Car Rental Travel Freely With a Car!Sometimes, you may have the urge to travel the road less traveled. To step away from the usual tourist attractions that you’ve seen so many times on your Instagram feed. To venture out from the city to enjoy all the beauty that nature has to offer.In Japan, there are many amazing spots that can’t be accessed by public transportation. In order to fully enjoy these areas, the most convenient choice is to rent a car. If you’re traveling in a group, renting a car is easy on the wallet, plus you’ll have the freedom of changing your itinerary as much as you want while traveling.Today, we’ll be showing you how to use Tabirai Car Rental (Tabirai Rent-a-Car), an internet service that compares prices of major rent-a-car companies, letting users book their car at the lowest price available!Tabirai Car RentalTabirai Car Rental is a service provided by Pam Inc., based in Okinawa prefecture. Their service has been available in Japan for about 10 years, and with hopes of making renting a car easy for visitors from Taiwan and Hong Kong, their service also became available in traditional Chinese in May 2015.How to Use Tabirai Car Rental1. Select Your Pick-Up/Drop-Off Dates, Pick-Up/Drop-Off Locations, Vehicle Type, and SearchFirst, go to the page for your destination prefecture, where you will enter your preferred pick-up and drop-off dates, your pick-up and drop-off locations, and the vehicle type. You can also search from a map or by airport.2. Compare PricesWhen you search, a list of rental cars will come up and you can compare the prices offered by the different companies. If you can’t find a car to your liking, you can change your preferences a little and search again.3. Check the Car DetailsOnce you’ve found a nice car, you can continue to a more detailed page. Here you can select options like ETC and child safety seats. You can also note the address of your pick-up location. If you’re ok with the details of the vehicle, continue on to book the car.4. Enter Your Information and Book!Enter your name, email address, number of passengers etc. and click “Proceed to the confirmation.” Check that there are no mistakes in the information you just entered and confirm your booking!5. Go To The Designated Pick-Up OfficeAn email confirming your booking should be sent to your registered email (you can use the car even if the email doesn’t arrive for some reason). All you have to do now is stop by the pick-up location that you chose and you’re off! Easy!
Pictures courtesy of cafe marble BukkojiThe cafe serves drinks and food that are lovingly made in-house. The veggie quiche (520 yen with tax) is a simple dish that combines eggs with the natural sweetness of vegetables. It is both a hearty and heartwarming dish. (Pictured above is a quiche plate exclusively served at lunch, 900 yen with tax).You’ll feel the warmth emanating from the lovingly-preserved machiya and handmade food within the walls of this cozy cafe. cafe marble Bukkoji View Informationcafe2. omo cafe – Preserving an Exquisite Kyoto Town House with an Enclosed GardenPicture courtesy of omo cafeLocated slightly north of Nishiki Market (also known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen”), omo cafe is a two-story cafe housed inside a renovated kyo-machiya (a traditional wooden town house in Kyoto). Kyoto Sightseeing Guide – Don’t Miss On These Must-Visit Places! Kyoto’s Hidden Gems! 3 Local Cafes For Relaxing Teatime Pictures courtesy of cafe marble BukkojiSince the cafe is run by a design company, it comes at no surprise that special attention is paid to the interior, menu, and stamp cards. Kyoto’s HOTOKI: Experience Pottery With All Five Of Your Senses! Read also Pictures courtesy of omo cafeThe cafe has preserved many charming features of a traditional machiya, including a beautifully enclosed courtyard garden, an old safe, and a storage room (presently reused as a private room for customers).From the wooden tables to chairs, the cafe’s chic furniture creates a cozy atmosphere where visitors can relax.Picture courtesy of omo cafeThe omo cafe meal plate (1,550 yen with tax) is a popular choice. The plate is composed of an array of appetizers ranging from vegetables, meat, fish, a bowl of rice, and miso soup.Since the cooking staff have training in French cuisine, you can enjoy subtle flavors not commonly found in typical cafe dishes.Picture courtesy of omo cafeIf you visit the cafe during the summer, we recommend trying the shave ice (880 yen with tax) (the price may increase due to the consumption tax rise in October 2019).The in-house syrups are made from strawberries and mineral-rich beet sugar. The syrup’s subtle sweetness is a gentle accompaniment to this refreshing treat.Picture courtesy of omo cafeWhile savoring the cafe’s top-notch food and dessert, why not make yourself at home inside this cafe’s comfy atmosphere? omo cafe View Informationcafe3. Yukinoshita Kyoto – Indulge in Decadent and Fluffy PancakesPicture courtesy of Yukinoshita KyotoYukinoshita Kyoto is located slightly to the southeast of Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The cafe is located in a residential neighborhood. The entrance is on the second floor.The cafe interior has a warm wood-grain design that exudes an elegant and friendly atmosphere. The window seats offer a great view of the outside and are ideal if you want to get lost in your thoughts.Picture courtesy of Yukinoshita KyotoYukinoshita is beloved for their signature thick and fluffy yet firm, pancakes with honey and butter (850 yen with tax).The pancakes are made using eggs from Kokekokko Republic (“kokekokko” is a Japanese onomatopoeia for a rooster’s crow). These eggs are known for their firm yolks, which can be picked up using chopsticks! The milk gives the batter a delicious richness and sweetness and is sourced from cows raised in the nature-abundant city of Kyotango.Picture courtesy of Yukinoshita KyotoMade high-quality ingredients, it’s no surprise that these pancakes are a delight to the palate. The sweetness leaves a subtle aftertaste that will make you crave another bite.These flavors are very difficult to recreate at home, so we recommend a visit to experience these fluffy pancakes hot off the griddle. Yukinoshita View InformationcafeEnjoy a Quiet Moment at a Kominka Cafe in KyotoKyoto is overflowing with things to see and places to go. But why not take a moment from your busy travel schedule and visit one of these charming cafes? We guarantee you’ll love getting a dose of history inside these beautifully preserved buildings that offer flavorful food and drinks.Main image courtesy of cafe marble Visit a Traditional Japanese Cafe in KyotoWhile walking down a street in Japan, have you ever spotted a traditional-looking house that stands out from the surrounding buildings? That residence is likely a kominka: an old Japanese-style home.Kominka were residential buildings 50 to 100 years ago. Those that belonged to merchants were called machiya, and nagaya were traditional apartments for commoners.Although you may have seen one of these houses from the outside, have you ever stepped inside of one?In Kyoto, many kominka have undergone renovation to become cafes. This article will introduce three kominka cafes with a nostalgic ambience and great selection of desserts and main dishes.1. cafe marble Bukkoji – Lovingly Renovated 100-Year-Old MachiyaPicture courtesy of cafe marble BukkojiIf you walk past the streets of Shijo Karasuma, an area lined with department and clothing stores in Kyoto’s city center, you will find cafe marble on Bukkoji Street.You’ll also spot Bukkoji Temple right in front of you.Picture courtesy of cafe marble BukkojiThis cafe was created inside the office of Marble.co, when the company relocated to the old-style building.While preserving the one-of-a-kind features of a machiya dating back 100 years ago, it adds new elements such as a courtyard garden on the premises.
Kabukicho area, Shinjuku (新宿歌舞伎町)Did you know that there is a place here that will make anime fans happy, where you can enjoy your favourite anime songs with all of your heart?At “ANION STATION(アニ ON STATION)”, a customer participation model entertainment bar and cafe, you can listen to lots of anime songs to your own satisfaction whilst enjoying food and drink. It is also an anime song information transmission base where you can get new anime song gossip!On top of that, you can participate yourself, and there are many things that will make your heart pound!Now I will report on the fun cafe/bar, “ANION STATION”!What kind of place is “ANION STATION”?Inside, there is a full blown DJ booth, which is set up to really give you the impression that it is a radio recording studio.At the booth, the ANION DJs and ANION cheers staff members announce a performance that will definitely raise the roof if you love anime.Naturally, the music blaring at high volume is anime songs only. The only place you can enjoy lots of anime songs with a live show feeling is ANION STATION!You can even enjoy enthusiast’s songs that are far from famous, such as nostalgic anime songs, robot style, magical girl style, etc.As there is also free Wi-Fi set up inside, if you send a request through Twitter, you can also have your favourite anime songs played then and there!On top of that, at ANION STATION you can rent an original Cyalume light stick for free. If your favourite song starts playing you will end up waving your light stick like crazy!As the cafe and bar is full of glowing light sticks, it’s already stunning. It’s certain to get your heart pumping! Together with fellow anime song lovers, it is a fun place that really seems like an anime song live concert hall.The ANION cheers staff who liven the place up also have matching light sticks.The ANION cheers staff are only people who aim to become voice actors in the future, people who put effort into theatrics, etc. Since the girls personally love anime and are knowledgable on anime songs, they’re certain to get your heart racing!How to enjoy ANION STATIONAt ANION STATION there is a system of fee paying that depends on the usage time.11:00 – 16:00 is cafe time, and 16:00 – 23:00 is bar time. During bar time you can also enjoy alcohol.The usage charge during cafe time is 1000 yen per 60 minutes (tax included), and 1000 yen per 30 minutes in bar time (tax included). The fee includes unlimited soft drinks. It might get expensive due to the magic of wanting to stay for many hours!*Food, alcohol, and original drink charges are separate to the usage charge.*As time extension, etc., is not done vocally please take care with time management.Drinkable light sticks? Enter ANION’s original “Cyalume cocktail”!A drink you can only taste from ANION STATION’s original menu!Light sticks that you can change the color of however you like, depending on the scene and mood.Here they have ANION original Cyalume cocktails (500 yen inc. tax) modelled after the prismatic colors of the light sticks!As you can choose between alcoholic and non-alcoholic, you can order them in both cafe time and bar time.The flavour is probably different depending on the color, so you should definitely try them out!Other than the “Cyalume cocktail”, you can enjoy drinks that change each month. The menu is full to the brim!ANION is loaded with things to enjoy!But wait, there’s more! At ANION STATION, not only is there a cafe space and a DJ space, there is also a space for selling ANI N original goods, so you too can become a anime song DJ! There is also a booth for taking commemorative photos!Getting my own light stick! The commemorative photo booth is a room where you feel like you became a radio DJ. It’ll make such a fantastic memory.In addition, from now on at ANION STATION there will be many events and collaboration projects held.At the opening event the emperor of anime songs, Mizuki Ichiro (水木一郎), will be performing! There might even be the chance to meet him.Event and collaboration information will be posted on the official home page at any time. Look forward to it!ANION STATION, where you can be completely absorbed in your favourite anime song by yourself during cafe time, and party hard with friends during bar time.This is surely the new anime song holy land.There is no mistaking that you will be mad about ANION world.Informationアニ ON STATIONAddress: Tokyo, Shinjuku-ku, Kabukicho 1-17-10 Brick Building (ブリックビル), SHiDAX Shinjuku Central Road Club, B1Phone: 03-6228-0402Opening Hours: Cafe time 11:00 – 16:00 / Bar time 16:00 – 23:00Usage time/usage charge: Cafe time – 1000 yen per 60 minutes (tax included) / Bar time – 1000 yen per 30 minutes (tax included)Wi-Fi: Yes (information at every table)Credit Cards: NoLanguage: Japanese only (there are plans for multilingual support)Station: JR Shinjuku StationAccess: 5 minutes walk from JR Shinjuku Station East ExitOfficial HP：http://www.namco.co.jp/anion/ANION STATION FANSITE：http://anion.jp/ (you can reserve seats with the fansite)
In the city of Kamakura, which served as a political and cultural center of Japan from the 12th to the 14th century, there are still numerous magnificent shrines and temples. One such place is Kinpezan Suisenji, which has earned itself the title of The Temple of Flowers, thanks to the exceptionally beautiful floral and autumn foliage scenery one can experience upon visiting.Introducing Kinpezan Suisenji If you’re planning to visit Suisenji, hop on the bus bound for Daitonomiya from the eastern exit of Kamakura Station of JR Yokosuka Line and Enoshima Railway, and get off at the last station of Daitonomiya. After that, you just need to enjoy a little walk for around 10 to 15 minutes.What Not to Miss at Suisenji Suisenji GardenAs we have mentioned before, the only remaining traditional garden from the Kamakura Period is situated in Kamakura in this temple. As it was carved out of the bedrock, it is also considered an early example of one of the traditional styles of Japanese garden-making, the petite and refined so-called “Shoin-style” (or residential style) garden.TennyodoThere are two large caves carved out of two bedrocks in the temple grounds – Tennyodo in the northern part, and Zazendo, in the eastern part, each intended to serve as a place for practicing zazen (Zen meditation).Visitors can also admire a few other architectural and art structures found in front of the caves, such as lakes and bridges built over them.HondoUpon entering hondo, or the main temple building, you can appreciate some of the great works of the sculptors from different eras – the seated statue of Shakyamuni; the wooden seated sculpture of Muso Kokushi, said to have been carved during the Nanbokucho Period; and the wooden seated sculpture of Thousand-armed Kannon, said to be a donation to the temple by Mitsukuni Tokugawa, the lord of the Mito Domain, once part of Ibaraki prefecture during the Edo Period.If you take a look at the side of hondo, you will notice beautiful shoots of winter jasmine and winter cherry, considered to be a natural monument of the city of Kamakura.Dokomoku JizoDokomoku Jizo is a statue of Jizo deity, with a somewhat peculiar name, sitting on the left side of the temple grounds. The meaning of the word “dokomoku” is that “wherever one goes, there will be suffering”.There is an anecdote related to the Jizo statue – a long time ago, the guardian of the temple couldn’t bear the meager lifestyle of his anymore, so he tried to think of a way to escape that poor life; however, the Jizo deity appeared in his dream, and spoke the words “dokomoku, dokomoku”, meaning that “the suffering will be the same wherever he goes”, which made him give up on running, and keep protecting the temple from then on, as well. Zuisenji View Information The word “Kinpezan” originally means “the mountain of brocade folding screens (*1)”.In autumn, when leaves become fascinatingly vivid, the mountain surrounding Suisenji looks as if a folding screen has been decorated with stunningly colorful brocade.Still, Kinpezan Suisenji’s other name is “The Temple of Flowers”.Another almost magical happening occurs in spring – the path leading from the temple entrance becomes full of dashing mountain cherry trees, giving the impression of it being a floral cloister in some magical garden. But the magic doesn’t stop with the passing of seasons – in summer, there are hydrangea flowers enchanting the passengers, and during winter, visitors to the temple can take joy in the beautiful winter cherry trees, daffodils, and many other lovable blooms. The raw beauty of nature impresses the visitors throughout the whole year with its magnificent flora.*1 Byobu (Folding screen): a piece of folding furniture that has space partition or decorative purpose.The One and Only Japanese Garden from the Kamakura PeriodKinpezan Suisenji was built by Muso Kokushi back in 1327.Muso Kokushi had a major role in the prosperity of Rinzai Sect of Zen Buddhism during the Kamakura (*2), and the following Nanbokucho (*3), periods.The proof of his vast influence can be found in the fact that some of the prominent leaders and the most powerful men of the Nanbokucho Period, such as Emperor Go-Daigo and Takauji Ashikaga, put their utmost trust and confidence in him.According to the Zen doctrine, affection for beautiful gardens is considered to be a method that leads to the purification of one’s soul. It was this ideology that led Muso Kokushi to hollow the cliff in the vicinity of Suisenji to create a magnificent garden.This Suisenji Garden is of immeasurable historical value, as well, because it represents the only preserved Japanese traditional garden built during the Kamakura Period.By the end of the Edo Period (1603-1868), Suisenji was often visited by numerous eminent persons of literature and other cultural spheres of that period, and is said to have inspired many of them, starting of the great thinker Shoin Yoshida, and countless others, so even today you can find various commemorative plaques honoring their visit to the temple.There are two other “Suisenji” temples, one in Asakusa in Tokyo, and one in Kyoto, but it is important to remember that the both of those other temples actually belong to another sect of Buddhism called Jodoshu (or the Pure Land Sect). Let’s try not to get the three mixed up.*2 Kamakura Period: lasted from 1185 until 1333; a period during which the country’s government was situated in Kamakura and was led by the hand of samurai – the so-called Kamakura Bakufu.*3 Nanbokucho Period: lasted from 1336 until 1392; a period during which the samurai and the noble families fought over the right to govern the country (the hegemony right).How to Get to Suisenji
How To Travel To Kanazawa From Tokyo, Osaka Or Kyoto Read also Five Souvenirs To Check Out At The Kanazawa Station Mall AccessPicture courtesy of PixtaThe following is the list of routes from Tokyo to Kanazawa, and further on to Kaga Onsenkyo and Noto.From Tokyo to Kanazawa (Express Bus/Shinkansen)It will take about eight to nine hours on the express bus. On weekdays, the fare varies from 3,000 to 10,000 yen.The one-way Shinkansen fare from Tokyo Station to Kanazawa Station is 14,120 yen for a reserved seat and 13,600 yen for a non-reserved seat. The ride takes about two and a half hours, which makes it possible for a day trip.Hokuriku Arch PassThose planning to tour the Hokuriku Region for a week should use the Hokuriku Arch Pass. The fare is approximately 25,000 yen, and the seven-day pass allows unlimited rides on the Hokuriku Shinkansen and various express trains from Kansai, Narita and Haneda Airports.Please note that the fare differs slightly according to the place of purchase.A. Online Purchase (before entering Japan)Adults (over 12 years of age): 24,000 yenChildren (between 6 to 11 years old): 12,000 yenB. Purchase after entering JapanAdults: 25,000 yen; Children: 12,500 yen Ishikawa – Home to Scenic Kanazawa, Noto, and Kaga OnsenPicture courtesy of PixtaIshikawa Prefecture is located in the Hokuriku Region. Following the debut of the Hokuriku Shinkansen, day trips from Tokyo to this prefecture have become popular.Ishikawa is famous for its natural environment and culture, with a wide variety of sightseeing spots. It is also renowned for its fresh seafood, such as the crabs caught in the Japan Sea, and adorable Japanese confectionery.Traditional craftwork, namely lacquerware and gold leaf, is produced in Wajima City. For those hoping to experience fine cuisine and Japanese culture, Ishikawa is the place to visit.Various Areas in IshikawaKanazawaThis is an area that prospered as a jokamachi (castle town) of the Kaga Clan. Various sightseeing spots such as Kenrokuen, one of the three major Japanese gardens, and Higashi Chaya District, which boasts a well-preserved traditional townscape, are located here. This is an area filled with must-visit spots where you can experience Japanese culture.KagaThis is a well-known area in the Hokuriku with nature-abundant hot spring (onsen) resorts. There are four hot spring towns (Yamashiro, Yamanaka, Katayamazu, and Awazu), and those who love bathing in an onsen should drop by this area. Visitors can also relax in the area surrounding the onsen facilities, which are brimming with natural beauty.NotoWith its well-preserved natural environment, the Noto Peninsula is full of picturesque sights which are reminiscent of ancient Japan. There are spots such as the Chirihama Nagisa Driveway and the Shiroyone Senmaida, where visitors can take in the view of the ocean and the hills. The local seafood from the Sea of Japan is also superb.HakusanHakusan (Mt. Haku), one of the three major mountains in Japan, is located in the southern region of Ishikawa Prefecture. It is also famous for its scenic landscapes naturally created by the mountain and alpine plants. Welcoming visitors from all around Japan, Shirayama Hime Shrine is located at the foot of Mt. Haku and is a popular “power spot” for matchmaking.Kanazawa – Places to Visit in a Castle TownThe following is a list of recommended places to visit in Kanazawa.1. Kenrokuen GardenPicture courtesy of PixtaWhen the Japanese think of Kanazawa, they imagine the scenery at Kenroku-en.This is one of the three major Japanese gardens. It was built outside Kanazawa Castle by Maeda Tsunanori, the fifth lord of the Kaga Clan, during the Edo Period. It will take about one hour and a half to leisurely tour the vast garden.Picture courtesy of PixtaVisitors can enjoy a different scenery every season, such as the cherry blossoms in spring, irises in early summer, and the autumn leaves in fall. Yukitsuri, or “snow suspenders” used to protect the branches against heavy snow, can be seen during the winter.Kenrokuen Garden Kenrokuen Garden View Informationpark2. Higashi Chaya DistrictPicture courtesy of PixtaThose who want to view the traditional townscape should visit Higashi Chaya District. Buildings from the Edo Period are preserved in this district, creating a nostalgic atmosphere. Alongside cafes, there are stores handling Japanese confectionery and handicrafts lining the streets in this area. It might be fun to change into a rental kimono and take a stroll.Higashi Chaya District Higashiyama Higashi Chaya District View Information3. Ohmicho MarketPicture courtesy of PixtaOhmicho Market opened during the Edo Period. It is a bustling fish market, regarded as the “Kitchen of the Kanazawa Citizen.”There are about 180 stores in this market that handle not only seafood from the Sea of Japan but also Kaga Yasai, a brand of vegetables produced in Kanazawa. Don’t miss out on hearing the local residents using their regional dialect to negotiate the price with shopkeepers.Drawing a large number of customers, some of the market restaurants serve kaisen-don. These are rice bowls topped with fresh seafood straight from the fishmonger.Ohmicho Market Omicho Market View Information4. Myoryuji TemplePicture courtesy of PixtaMyoryuji is also known as the Ninja Temple. It is filled with many tricks such as a pitfall disguised as an offertory box, hidden staircases, a secret room behind a hanging scroll, and even an underground passage to Kanazawa Castle.The legend goes that these tricks were devised during the Edo Period in case the hostile Tokugawa Shogunate invaded the Kaga Clan. The layout of the temple is so complicated that visitors will be lost without a guide. This is the perfect place to experience the feeling of a stealth ninja.Myoryuji Temple Myouryuji (Ninja Temple) View Information*A reservation by telephone (+81-76-241-0888) is required to tour the temple. Be sure to ask a Japanese-speaking friend to make reservations.Kaga – An Oasis for Onsen LoversThe following is a list of popular places to visit in Kaga.5. Kaga Onsen-kyoKaga Onsen-kyo consists of four hot spring districts—Yamashiro, Yamanaka, Katayamazu, and Awazu, respectively—each boasting its own unique appeal.Kosoyu. Picture courtesy of PixtaAt Yamashiro Onsen, visitors can enjoy the retro atmosphere of the renovated public bathhouse Kosoyu, which was originally built in the Meiji Period.Shibayamagata. Picture courtesy of PixtaAt Katayamazu Onsen, don’t miss out on seeing Shibayamagata, a lagoon which is said to change its colors seven times a day.Those who plan to tour Kaga Onsen-kyo should purchase the Canbus One-day Ticket, which allows users to get on and off the bus freely.Kaga Onsen-kyo 加賀温泉郷 View Information*Canbus One-day Ticket: 1,000 yen/Two-day Ticket: 1,200 yenThe two-day ticket is valid for two consecutive days within a three-day period. Both prices are for adults.6. Kaga Traditional Handicraft Village Yunokuni no MoriPicture courtesy of PixtaAt Traditional Handicrafts Village Yunokuni no Mori, visitors can try their hands at various craftwork such as gold leaf pasting on lacquerware or stencil dyeing of the Kaga Yuzen kimono. There are more than fifty workshops related to the traditional craftwork of Ishikawa Prefecture to choose from.The natural environment surrounding the site is another appeal of this facility. Be sure to check out the thatched roof of the old house, originally built in the Meiji Period, which presents a glimpse of the old Japan.Kaga Traditional Handicraft Village Yunokuni no Mori Kaga Traditional Crafts Village Yunokuni no Mori View InformationOfficial website: https://yunokuni.jp/mori/?lang=en7. Kakusenkei GorgePicture courtesy of PixtaKakusenkei Gorge, located near Yamanaka Onsen, offers a sprawling scenic view that is said to be the best in the Hokuriku Region. It stretches for approximately 1.3 kilometers and visitors can enjoy a different scenery each season. Kakusenkei is also known as a place to enjoy the autumn leaves.Ayatori Bridge. Picture courtesy of PixtaThere are bridges to enjoy the view, such as the Korogi Bridge, which is made from hinoki (Japanese cypress), and the S-shaped Ayatori Bridge. Kakusenkei Kawadoko—a cafe located at the foot of Ayatori Bridge—is open from April to October, offering drinks and confectionery by the riverside.Kakusenkei Gorge Kakusenkei Gorges View InformationOfficial website: http://visitkaga.com/places_of_interest/yamanaka/kakusenkei.phpNoto – Appreciating the Beauty of NatureThe following are recommended places to visit in Noto.8. Chirihama Nagisa DrivewayPicture courtesy of PixtaChirihama Nagisa Driveway is the only road in Japan located on a sandy beach. Unlike other beaches, the fine grains of sand are packed tight by the seawater, which enables cars, motorbikes, and even bicycles to drive along the water’s edge.Some lucky visitors may be able to witness mystic views, such as the morning mist before sunrise or the sun setting on the horizon.Chirihama Nagisa Driveway Chirihama Nagisa Driveway View InformationOfficial website: https://www.hot-ishikawa.jp/spot/5818 (Japanese)9. Shiroyone SenmaidaPhotograph by PixtaShiroyone Senmaida offers a vast view of the rice paddies. With the Sea of Japan’s contrasting blue in the background, this magnificent sight of 1,004 rice paddies—spread out on a steep hill dropping fifty meters down—can only be seen in Noto.In the evening, the sunset is reflected on the rice paddies, which creates a fantastic view. Held during the winter, Aze no Kirameki (Senmaida Light Up) presents a gorgeous view of the illuminated rice paddies.Shiroyone Senmaida Shiroyone Senmaida Rice Terraces View Information10. Tsukumo BayPicture courtesy of PixtaTsukumo means “99 inlets” in Japanese and the bay was named according to its topography. The beautiful contrast between the clear blue water and the green Horai Island is one of the reasons it was chosen as one of the “100 Landscapes of Japan.”Picture courtesy of PixtaThe calm, clear bay is inhabited by fish, such as the horse mackerel and black porgy, along with seaweed and various marine plants. Visitors can also ride an excursion boat and feed the fish.Tsukumo Bay 九十九湾 View InformationOfficial website: http://www.notocho.jp/lan/en/sightseeing-spot/tsukumo/Hakusan – Alpine Plants and Spiritual SpotsDon’t miss the follsoing places in the Hakusan Area.11. Hakusan Alpine Botanical GardenPicture courtesy of PixtaHakusan Alpine Botanical Garden is located at the foot of Hakusan (Mt. Haku), a famous mountain in the Hokuriku Region. The garden is open from June to July every year, displaying fifty types of plants totaling up to 100,000. Visitors can enjoy rare alpine plants such as the orange-colored daylily.While most of the plants usually grow in higher altitude, tourists from all over Japan can gather at this botanical garden to enjoy the rare sight.Hakusan Alpine Botanical Garden Hakusan Alpine Plants Botanical Garden View Information12. Shirayama Hime ShrinePicture courtesy of PixtaShirayama Hime Shrine, which regards Hakusan as a holy mountain, is called “Shirayama-san” by the local residents.An 800-year old tree, which creates an awe-inspiring atmosphere, stands on the grounds. It is said that this shrine blesses visitors in many ways, such as in matchmaking. A large number of visitors gather from all over Japan on “Otsuitachi-mairi”—a visit to the shrine on the first day of each month.Shirayama Hime Shrine Shirayamahime Shrine View Information13. Tedori GorgePicture courtesy of PixtaTedori Gorge was created by the Tedori River, which runs through the southern Ishikawa region. This grand sight of stone walls are as high as twenty to thirty meters and stretch for eight kilometers.Visitors can edge close to Watagataki Falls, a waterfall rising to the height of 32 meters, and even feel the spray of water. In the summertime, the temperature in the gorge is lower than its surroundings, so a stroll on a hot day can be quite refreshing.Tedori Gorge Tedori Gorge View InformationOfficial website: http://www.city.hakusan.lg.jp/otherdata/sightseeing/sightseeing/area_hakusan/index.htmlIshikawa Cuisine – Three Dishes that You Shouldn’t MissWe introduce some of the dishes that you should definitely try when visiting Ishikawa.CrabPicture courtesy of PixtaVisitors should definitely try the Kanou-gani and Kohbako-gani. They are both snow crabs caught near the shores of Ishikawa, and when the male crab has grown to a certain size it is called Kanou-gani.Kanou-gani is famous for its firm texture. The female snow crab is called Kohbako-gani, which is well-known for its roe. The crab season starts annually from November 6 and ends around March 20.JibuniPicture courtesy of PixtaJibuni is one of the local cuisine called Kaga Ryori. Chicken, sprinkled with flour, is stewed with lily bulbs and served alongside wasabi (Japanese horseradish).Picture courtesy of PixtaKaga-ryori (Kaga cuisine) is served in the traditional craftwork vessels of Ishikawa, such as Wajima lacquerware and Kutani ware, which make it more appealing to the eye. Kagaya Kanazawa Store, located in Kanazawa Station, serves a Kaga-ryori lunch which includes jibuni at a moderate price of 1,500 to 2,000 yen (including tax).Kanazawa ConfectioneryKintsuba. Picture courtesy of PixtaAs tea ceremony prospered in Kanazawa, confection served with tea flourished as well. The Kanazawa confectionery is sweeter than those in other areas and has a touch of extravagance.Kintsuba (*1), made by Nakataya, and jiro-ame, made by Tawaraya—the oldest confection maker in Kanazawa—are some of the most notable traditional sweets. They all make great souvenirs, too!*1 Kintsuba: A confection of sweetened beans wrapped in a wheat-flour skin.Read also Kanazawa Sightseeing – The Perfect Two-Day Itinerary From Kanazawa to Kaga Onsenkyo by TrainTake the JR Hokuriku Main Line from Kanazawa Station. The one-way fare is 760 yen and the ride takes about an hour.A faster way to travel will be to use the JR Limited Express Shirasagi. The one-way fare is 1,510 yen and the ride takes about thirty minutes.From Kanazawa to Noto-Nakajima by TrainTake the IR Ishikawa Railway’s Limited Express Noto Kagaribi from Kanazawa Station to Wakura Onsen Station, and ride the Nanao Line along the Noto Railway to Noto-Nakajima Station. The one-way fare is 2,600 yen and takes an hour and 45 minutes.From Kanazawa to Hakusan by BusTake the Hakusan Tozan Bus from Kanazawa Station to Betto Deai, where the trailhead is located. The ride takes about two hours and the one-way fare is 2,200 yen.Visit Ishikawa, a Land Brimming with History and Nature!Ishikawa is a treasure trove of historic spots alongside places where you can observe majestic nature. If you have a chance to visit the Hokuriku region, definitely don’t miss out on checking out Ishikawa!Read also 4 Things to Do in the Historical City of Kanazawa, Ishikawa Kanazawa – 8 Places To Visit In The City Of Refined Japanese Culture
Kinkaku Ukimido Hall is where the Abe clan is worshiped. It is also referred to as the Nakamarodo Hall and at this hall, the nana-mairi is held. Nana-mairi is a prayer method where you go around the hall seven times and offer seven charms.It is said to keep away seven misfortunes in the present life.Ancient Japanese Tombs: the Kofun What Is Abe no Monjuin Temple? From the eastern kofun, there is an akasui (*3) fountain that has been pouring out continuously for hundreds of years. This spot is also called the Akai kofun.*3 Akasui: water that is offered to Buddha.Hakusando Hall: Favor in Matchmaking Photo courtesy of: Abe no Monjuin TempleThe Monju Bodhisattva statue is the honzon (*2) in the Abe Monjuin Temple. It stands at 7 meters tall and is the largest knight statue in Japan. It holds a sword of wisdom that cuts through any evil in its right hand, and in its left hand is a lotus flower.The statue of Monju Bodhisattva is riding a lion across the sea while being accompanied by four attendants and is referred to as the Tokai Monju (Monju Bodhisattva Crossing The Sea). All five statues are considered to be national treasures.*2 Honzon: the most important Buddha that is worshiped at the temple.Temple HighlightsMain Temple: Enjoy Green Tea and Japanese Sweets From the observatory, you can see the beautiful Yamato Sanzan (*5) along with a panoramic view of the mountains of Nara.*5 Yamato Sanzan: three mountains of Japan consisting of Unebi mountain, Miminashi mountain, and Amanokagu mountain.Basic Information on Abe no Monjuin TempleVisiting hours are from 9:00-17:00. Admission is required at the main hall and the Kinkaku Ukimido Hall Treasure Museum.Main Hall (with matcha green tea and Japanese sweets): Adults 700 yen, elementary school students 500 yen.Kinkaku Ukimido Hall Treasure Museum: Adults 700 yen, elementary school students 500 yen.If you wish to visit both, you should get the ticket to two places (adults 1200 yen, elementary school students 800 yen).Seasonal Events at Abe no Monjuin TempleAt each season, there is a Temple Treasure Day where the Buddhas of Abe no Monjuin Temple are displayed.On March 25th and 26th, there is the daihoyo (*6) of the Monju Bodhisattva called the Monju Oeshiki. On March 26th and November 23rd, a tea party is held as well.*6 Daihoyo: a Buddhist ceremony.Getting to Abe no Monjuin Temple Abe Monjuin Temple was made by Abe no Kurahashimaro in the year 645 as the Abe family’s Uji-dera (*1).The temple was formally referred to as Abedera Temple or Sukyoji Temple and was located 300 meters south-west of where it presently stands. The current temple was moved during the Kamakura Period (1185-1333).During the battle of 1563, it was once burnt to ashes, but in 1655, the main temple and the prayer hall was reconstructed to what you see today.*1 Ujidera: a temple constructed to pray for the family’s ancestors and family honor. It is often referred to as the name-family’s Ujidera or Name-clan’s Ujidera. In the modern times, people outside of the family can visit the temple. At this location, you can also see large dirt mound tombs called kofun. They are among some of the oldest tombs in Japan. At Abe no Monjuin temple, you enjoy cup of matcha green tea before giving your prayers. A cup of matcha green tea of knowledge, a special blend at this temple, and a handmade rakugan confectionery, made with Yoshino kudzu starch from Nara and sugar, is served.After taking a break with some tea and sweets, you will be guided around the temple and get an explanation of the Monju Bodhisattva.Unique Prayers at the Kinkaku Ukimido Hall The main temple is one of Sakurai city’s Important Cultural Properties. On the left-hand side, there is the reception desk and you can give your prayers before entering. Photo courtesy of: Abe no Monjuin TempleStones are piled up symmetrically inside. Despite it being built before modern machinery and engineering, it is built very precisely. This kofun is thought to be the tomb of Abe no Kurahashimaro. This is called the western kofun and there is another kofun in the east. Hakusando is a shrine where a new God was welcomed from Hakusan Shrine. Hakusan Shrine considered Mount Haku in Ishikawa prefecture to be a goshintai (*4). The deity that is worshiped here is Shirayama Kikuri Hime, who is the God of Matchmaking in Japanese mythology. It is said that this shrine offers blessing matchmaking or finding a partner.*4 Goshintai: a holy item or place where God resides and is worshiped.Observatory to See the Mountains of Nara and Abe no Seimei Hall At the observatory, you will find the Abe no Seimei Hall where the famous fortune teller and astrologer, Abe no Seimei is worshiped. It is said that Abe no Seimei climbed to this point to study the stars. The closest station to Abe no Monjuin Temple is Sakurai Station. It is about a twenty minute walk. There aren’t too many buses, but if you plan on going by bus, it takes around ten minutes from Sakurai Station and costs 190 yen.From Osaka (Umeda)From Osaka (Umeda), take the JR Kanjo Line bound for Kyobashi. At Tsuruhashi Station, transfer to the Kintetsu Osaka line.If you get on the express line bound for Nabari, Aoyama-cho or Isuzu, you will get to Sakurai Station in about an hour and fifteen minutes. It costs 800 yen.From KyotoFrom Kyoto, take the Kintetsu Kyoto line express bound for Kajihara Jingu-mae. At Yamatoyagi Station, transfer to the Kintetsu Osaka line.Get on the semi-express line bound for Haibara or the express line bound for Nabari, Uji Yamada, Aoyama-cho or Isuzu, you will get to Sakurai Station in about an hour and twenty minutes. It costs 940 yen.Tourist Spots Around Abe no Monjuin Temple After visiting Abe no Monjuin Temple, you can visit Hasedera Temple, Murouji Temple, and Okadera Temple to complete the Nara Yamato Temple pilgrimage. There is even a bus tour with a translator that goes to all four temples. If you’re interested, please visit their official website.In Sakurai city, you can also visit Danzai Shrine that has the world’s only thirteen-story high pagoda, or Oomiwa shrine that worships Mount Miwa.Why not enjoy the historical world of Nara through temples?** Travel times and expenses are based on publicly available information and are current as of August 2017. They may be subject to change.Interview in Cooperation with: Abe no Monjuin Temple Abe Monju-in View Information
The best spot to snap a picture of cherry blossoms, Mt. Fuji, and the five-story pagoda is at the observation deck seen on the lower right-hand corner in the photo above. The deck is located on a slope and the space is limited. Please be courteous to other people when taking photos.Note that in order to avoid crowds and for safety reasons, tripods for cameras and saving spots for other people is strictly prohibited. Be cautious of your surroundings when using selfie-sticks. When it gets extremely crowded, a your time may be limited to 5 minutes.How to Enjoy the Cherry Blossom Festival -2. Enjoy Local Food and MusicDuring the cherry blossom festival, there are snacks such as french fries and soft serve ice cream at stalls, and also information booths for visitors. There are English-speaking staff and guides written in English.On April 6 and 7, there was a local food and music festival called “Sakura Marche” with products from Fuji Yoshida City. Kanadorii GatesThere are plenty of unique eateries in Fuji Yoshida City where the Arakurayama Sengen Park is located. You can walk around while eating or drinking around Shinsekai Kanpai Street. There is also the Kanadorii gates (shown in the picture) that mark the start of the Yoshidaguchi Mountain Trail. Other sightseeing spots include Kitaguchi Hongu Sengen Shrine and Fuji-Q Highland Park where you can ride Guinness record-breaking thrill rides.Rifure Fuji Yoshida is another recommended spot to visit. There is a museum where you can learn the history of Mt. Fuji, try local delicacies at a beer factory and restaurant, and pick up a few souvenirs at the Michi no Eki Fuji Yoshida. This is a perfect spot to visit to spend time and explore.Access to the Cherry Blossom Festival at Arakurayama Sengen Park Barhopping And Ramen By Mt. Fuji – Explore Shinsekai Kanpai Street Picture courtesy of Fuji Yoshida CityThe spot to see Mt. Fuji, cherry blossoms and the five-story pagoda is from the observatory deck located behind the five-story pagoda. Please note that you need to climb 398 steps to the top of the observatory deck.How to Enjoy the Cherry Blossom Festival -1. Where and When to VisitWhen Is the Best Time to Visit? Yoshida StationTo get to the cherry blossom festival held at the Arakurayama Sengen Park, ride the JR Fujikyuko Line or the express bus from Shinjuku. It is a ten-minute walk from Shimoyoshida Station and a twenty-minute walk from Shimoyoshida bus stop. This article explains the details on how to get there.If you go by car, it is advised to use the temporary parking lot. There is a shuttle bus that will take you from the temporary parking lot to the festival. Considering parking fees and heavy traffic, it is recommended to use the train or public transportation to get there rather than by private vehicle.For more information regarding parking, shuttle buses and other ways to get to the park, please check the Arakurayama Sengen Park Cherry Blossom Festival website (Japanese only). Chureito Pagoda View InformationRead also Picture courtesy of Fuji Yoshida CityFestival-goers could enjoy local dishes such as Yoshida no Udon (*1) and Fujiyama Beer (*2) along with traditional woven products and crafts from Yamanashi.A stage event with a musical performance using Japanese drums allowed visitors to enjoy spring at Fuji Yoshida by seeing, listening and tasting to the wonderful treats.*1 Yoshida no Udon: A local dish of Fuji Yoshida City. It is a firm udon noodle made using the spring water from Mt. Fuji.*2 Fujiyama Beer: Beer made at the Fuji Yoshida brewery using natural spring water from Mt. Fuji.How to Enjoy the Cherry Blossom Festival -3. Have Fun at Nearby Sightseeing Spots! If you are going to the cherry blossom festival, you likely want to see and capture Mt. Fuji at its best condition. The recommended time to take photos is during the morning or at sunset. During this time, the air is the clearest and you have a higher chance of seeing Mt. Fuji without clouds or fog.However, there are many photographers who come the early morning and the observation deck can get crowded. The weekends get extremely crowded so it is advised to go between 8:00-10:00 or 17:00-18:00 on weekdays.Recommended Photo Spots What is the Arakurayama Sengen Park Cherry Blossom Festival?Located in Fuji Yoshida City in Yamanashi, Arakurayama Sengen Park is known for being a spectacular spot to see Mt. Fuji, cherry blossoms, and a five-story pagoda all at once.An ideal time to visit is during the cherry blossom season around early April. Catering to visitors who come for the stunning view, the park started the Arakurayama Sengen Park Cherry Blossom Festival in 2016. 2019 marks the fourth time of the event, which is held between Saturday, March 30 and Friday, April 19. Picture courtesy of Fuji Yoshida CityDuring the festival season, there are many outdoor food stalls and information booths on the shrine grounds. There’s also a food and music event in Fuji Yoshida City held during this time.Arakurayama Sengen Park Area GuideArakurayama Sengen Park extends across the mountain slope and is divided into the following areas:- The parking lot to Arakura Fuji Sengen Shrine grounds- The stairs from the shrine to the observatory deck- Chureito (five-story pagoda) and the observatory deck 5 Must-Visit Spots In Kawaguchiko – Mt. Fuji, Fuji-Q Highland, And Art Museums Mt. Fuji, Cherry Blossoms, And A Pagoda – Discover This Iconic Image In Japan! In cooperation with Fuji Yoshida City Hall – Mt. Fuji Division Mount Fuji – How To Climb Japan’s Famous Mountain Safely
Photo courtesy of: Atami Chamber of Commerce When this manju was created, it was imbued with wishes for human longevity and the development of Atami Onsen. It uses no preservatives or other additives, giving it a simple flavor. The homemade bean jam is wrapped in a thick, fluffy dough shell. One piece is 92 yen.Sold at: EnmeidoAddress: Shizuoka, Atami City, Kamijuku-cho 3-28Phone: 0557-81-2246Hours: 9:00-20:00（Until 21:00 on holidays）Closed: Wednesdays. some irregular holidays4. Atami Daidai Manju Photo courtesy of: Atami Chamber of Commerce This manju contains yam paste kneaded into dough, wrapped around bean jam. It has a particularly fluffy texture. It is themed around the Atami sakura, the earliest-blooming cherry blossom trees in Japan. The sakura scent and faint hint of salt lends a flavor accent to the manju.A pack of three is 330 yen, and a pack of six is 650 yen. You can buy them in various places, including the A-Plus antenna shop right outside Atami Station.7. Karinko Atami Photo courtesy of: Atami Chamber of CommerceThis manju is affiliated with the Kogashi Matsuri, a festival regularly held at Atami’s Kinomiya Shrine, which is a well-known power spot. It contains the special parched barley flour used in shrine offerings. The manju has a characteristic elegant sweetness and roasted barley aroma. A pack of three is 300 yen.Sold at: Kinomiya Kenko-panAddress: Shizuoka, Atami City, Fukumichi-machi 7-9Phone: 0557-81-3378Hours: 9:00-18:00Closed: WednesdayNon-Onsen Manju SouvenirsIn addition to onsen manju, Atami has sweets, seafood products and more.The special cake Izu-no-Odoriko, themed around Yasunari Kawabata’s famous work The Dancing Girl Of Izu (460 yen for 4 pcs, 780 yen for 7 pcs, 1080 yen for 10 pcs), as well as the plum monaka “Hana Mai”, are some of the snacks with quintessentially Japanese appearances.While there are many fish and seafood products available, most of them have limited shelf-lives or require refrigeration which means that you need to be careful when making your purchase. Photo courtesy of: Atami Chamber of Commerce In this manju, moderately sweet koshi-an bean jam is hidden behind the aromatic flavor of Okinawan brown sugar. Its crunchy, crisp outer texture is characteristic of this brand. Karinko Atami is the standout product of this manju shop, which has been standing for over four decades. A pack of four is 390 yen, and a pack of six is 600 yen.Sold at: RikyuAddress: Shizuoka, Atami City, Tawaramoto-cho 4-7Phone: 0557-81-5028Hours: 8:00-18:00Closed: ThursdayWebsite: Rikyu8. Kogashi Manju From Kinomiya Kenko-Pan Photo courtesy of: Atami Chamber of Commerce This manju uses azuki beans from Tokachi in Hokkaido. In order to get the best use out of the azuki bean flavor, the beans are diligently kneaded through a proprietary process before being wrapped in a soft, thin dough wrapper. One manju is 100 yen.Sold at: Izumi-yaAddress: Shizuoka, Atami City, Tawaramoto-cho 4-5Phone: 0557-81-4288Hours: 9:00-17:30Closed: Thursday3. Onsen Enmei (Long Life) Manju Photo courtesy of: Atami Chamber of Commerce Ever since 1960, the I-Ra Manju (160 yen for one piece) has been the flagship product of Abe Shoten, located on the Heiwa-dori Shopping Street. In addition to the manju’s aroma of brown sugar, it comes in three colors, resulting from the mixture of green tea and perilla into the dough. It is somewhat large, compared to the many smallish-sized varieties of onsen manju. The jam is tsubu-an, and is said to be filling.Sold at: Abe ShotenAddress: Shizuoka, Atami City, Tawaramoto-cho 5-7Phone: 0557-81-3731Hours: 9:00-18:00Closed: No fixed holidaysWebsite: Abe Shoten2. Usukawa (Thin Skin) Manju Sold at: Sakurai ShotenAddress: Atami City, Tawaramoto-cho 6-4Phone: 0557-83-5678Hours: 8:00-18:00Closed: Wednesdays (may close on national holidays)6. Atami Sakura Manju Through extensive trial and error, Sakurai Shoten were able to arrive at their unique flavor combination in this carefully-made manju. The tea-colored manju has slow-cooked tsubu-an jam, while the white manju has a lightly sweet koshi-an jam, each wrapped in a soft dough shell.Try the brown sugar, steamed chestnut and green tea manju varieties for yourself to taste the difference. Both the koshi-an and tsubu-an manju are 80 yen apiece. Photo courtesy of: Atami Chamber of Commerce This richly flavored manju contains an Atami specialty product, the bitter orange (“dai-dai”). Flesh, rind and juice from this fruit is kneaded into the white bean jam. The refreshing citrus aroma and the taste of white bean jam go perfectly together. A pack of three is 300 yen, and a pack of six is 600 yen.Sold at: Minami SeikaAddress: Shizuoka, Atami City, Kiyomizu-cho 6-27Phone: 0557-82-3806Hours: 9:00-19:00Closed: Wednesday5. Sakurai Shoten Atami Onsen Manju Souvenirs From AtamiAtami is a well-known onsen resort and beach area, located close enough to Tokyo for a day trip. It’s typical for visitors to bring back Atami’s staple souvenir, onsen manju.Manju are Japanese sweets, made of dough balls filled with bean jam. Strictly speaking, “onsen manju” are manju which have been cooked in steam from a hot spring, but the term widely refers to manju sold at onsen resort areas. Atami has many varieties of onsen manju, sold as souvenirs at hotels, ryokan inns, shopping streets and more.This time, we’ll introduce you to some particularly popular Atami onsen manju varieties.1. I-ra Manju At dried food stores, you can find dried bonito flakes, fish chips, senbei crackers and more, so if you’re interested, please check them out.Izu-No-Odoriko is sold at: Mase Seika, main branchAddress: Shizuoka, Atami City, Ajiro 400-1Phone: 0557-67-0111Ume Monaka “Hana Mai” is sold at: Ota-yaAddress: Shizuoka, Atami City, Chuo-cho 9-6Phone: 0557-81-4050If You’re Shopping In Atami, Visit the Heiwa-dori Shopping Street in Front of the Station The Heiwa-dori Shopping Street is just a one minute walk from Atami Station, and is lined with rows of restaurants, sweets shops, dried food stores, specialty shops and more.The manju sellers we introduced before – Sakurai Shoten, Abe Shoten, Izumi-ya, Rikyu and the like – are here on this street. There are also plenty of restaurants where you can enjoy the blessings of the sea, in the form of sashimi. The street is conveniently located for you to drop by on your way home and grab a few souvenirs. However, be aware that many shops may be closed after around 6 PM.Heiwa-dori Shopping StreetAddress: Shizuoka, Atami City, Tawaramoto-choOf course, you can buy onsen manju to take home, but we also recommend getting a freshly steamed manju from a store and eating it then and there. Piping-hot onsen manju are something you can only savor in Japan!
At Café Portofino, you’ll be able to enjoy the Toy Story Set (1,880 yen with tax).This set includes curly green lettuce, celery, and creamy pasta with a refreshing lemon flavor. It is inspired by Rex from “Toy Story.” The sausage and vegetable soup is inspired by Mr. Potato Head.For an additional 600 yen, you can receive a souvenir luncheon mat so you can enjoy home-cooked meals with Pixar characters! The Incredible Family Set is served at Casbah Food Court (1,580 yen with tax).Its features include a red, spicy curry served with black naan modeled after a black mask. This dish represents Mr. Incredible’s costume from “The Incredibles.” This is a gorgeous set finished off with a lemon mousse and raspberry jelly.You can also purchase a souvenir plate for an additional 1,000 yen. Original Author: takagiIn cooperation with Oriental Land Co., Ltd. Picture courtesy of ©DisneyThe popular Tower of Terror is converted into the Tower of Terror “Unlimited” for a limited period of time. The ride’s drop patterns have increased and the scariness of the ride has also doubled! If you’re a fan of spooky things, then definitely give this ride a challenge.Go and Rediscover the Charms of Pixar Playtime!Our writer, who has now participated in Pixar Playtime twice, felt like the 2019 event has upgraded even further from its previous year. The event is, of course, full of both event products and special menus!If you are a fan of Disney Pixar films like “Toy Story,” “Finding Nemo,” and “Monsters Inc.,” be sure to visit the park during this special event! Tokyo Disney Resort View Informationamusement_park Sweatshirt worn by the model: 3,600 yen with taxIf you want to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the park, then put on these limited edition apparel. This knitted beanie (2,600 yen with tax) is not only cute but will protect you from the cold.New Duffy and Friends Goods You’ll also find various surprises throughout the park!The board game-inspired program is one such example. Through the program, you can enjoy mini games centered around the “Cars” series, “Toy Story” series, “Ratatouille,” and “Up.” By buying the Colorful Chocolates with Mini Snack Case (800 yen each, with tax), you’ll be able to eat chocolates whenever you want. The mini snack case comes in two designs. The first is a capsule toy machine that will dispense colorful chocolates when you turn the level while the second is a case made in the shape of Mike from “Monsters Inc.”If you’re a Pixar fan, this these are goods you’ll want to carry around! From the “Monsters Inc.” series, we have the lovely Mike Cookie Sandwich (with chocolate ganache) (400 yen with tax). Sandwiched between the cookies are colorful chocolate sprinkles.The hot lychee drink (400 yen with tax) was inspired by Sulley and will also come with a souvenir coaster for an additional 400 yen. You can choose from three dessert selections for this set: a mixed berry mousse cake, panna cotta, or a cream roll cake. For another additional 210 yen, you can substitute your drink with the limited time green apple soda (with whipped cream). The drink contains mixed fruit jelly, allowing you to enjoy a bright appearance and jellied texture. This drink is 410 yen with tax and can also be purchased as an individual item outside of the set. Next is this special menu that can be eaten at Mamma Biscotti’s Bakery!This is a dessert consisting of pistachio and vanilla mousse topped with a Little Green Alien Bun. It also comes in a set with a souvenir cup for 780 yen with tax. Read also If you’re a Pixar fan, then you can’t overlook limited edition items! This time, nearly 100 different types of goods have been released for the event. You’ll definitely want to collect and buy them all if you’re a fan. Pixar Enters the World of Dreams for Pixar Playtime!Tokyo DisneySea is hosting a special event called “Pixar Playtime” from January 11 (Thursday) to March 25 (Monday), 2019.Among the many things to see and do during this limited-time event, make sure not to miss the interactive performance, “Pixar Playtime Pals.” Several Pixar characters appear on stage and encourage the audience to join in the performance.Booths with entertaining games and photo spots are also available during the event. Read this article to prepare for Pixar Playtime!Have Fun with Pixar Characters! Pixar Playtime Pals 6 ‘Only in Japan’ Souvenirs From Tokyo Disney Resort 35th Happiest Celebration At Tokyo Disneyland! A Must-See Special Event! The finale is especially exciting, as familiar Pixar characters appear on stage one after another.These characters include Woody, Jessie, Lotso, and Rex from the “Toy Story” film series, Mike and Sulley from the “Monsters Inc.” series, Grandpa Carl and Russel from “Up,” Joy and Sadness from “Inside Out.”If you are a fan of Disney Pixar films, this is your chance to interact with your favorite characters up-close and personal!The “Pixar Pals Steamer” Water Show How To Use A FASTPASS Ticket At Tokyo Disney Resort The first boat features Woody and Jessie from “Toy Story.” Mike and Sulley from “Monsters Inc.” board on the next boat and greet guests.Showtimes are printed on the TODAY pamphlets distributed near the park entrance. Be sure to check the showtimes beforehand if you’re interested.Into a Pixar World Inspired by Board Games! 6 Popular Snacks Only At Tokyo Disney Resort Pixar Playtime Pals is a participatory show where guests can play games with characters from Disney Pixar films. First, let’s enjoy the show together with characters from the “Toy Story” series!Guests will also move around during a scene with Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl, his wife, from the movie “The Incredibles.” “Finding Nemo” characters also make an appearance on stage. “Duffy’s Heartwarming Days” is another event at Tokyo DisneySea. Food items related to this event are sold at Cape Cod Cook-Off.The special set comes with a souvenir lunch case for 1,990 yen with tax. It includes a BLT hamburger, french fries, and a soft drink.Almost Too Cute to Eat! Toy-Like Desserts Sky blue and purple are two colors that represent Sulley from “Monsters Inc.” A 2019 limited souvenir plate will come together as a set with this Sulley roll cake (780 yen with tax). New products for Duffy’s Heartwarming Days have also been added to the Duffy and friends lineup. For the first time, craft supplies are also among the release of new products.You’ll be enchanted by these soft designs and pastel colors.Make Your Way to the Tower of Terror! Of course, don’t forget about taking pictures! Several limited-time photo spots await you at the American Waterfront, Port Discovery, and Lost River Delta.Adorable, Pixar-Filled FoodMany restaurants in the park are offering special menus during the event. These menus are complete with aesthetically adorable desserts and filling menu items.Special Dishes The chocolate and strawberry flavored Little Green Alien Buns have been newly reinvented with an added lemon cream flavor. You’ll become addicted to its springy texture and fragrance. It also comes in a set with a souvenir case for 980 yen with tax. You can also receive a Duffy souvenir cup with the Caramel Milk Tea (400 yen with tax), a seasonal winter hot drink, for an additional 1,200 yen. During the “Pixar Pals Steamer” show, characters will ride on two Transit Steamers and greet guests with a water show.The steamboats move quickly, so be sure not to miss it. Additionally, you can order the strawberry and cassis mousse to receive an adorable pink souvenir cup or the blueberry muffin for a souvenir plate (880 yen each with tax).Recommended Pixar Playtime Limited Edition Items
This is how streets in the Kawaramachi neighborhood usually look.It’s not a pedestrian’s paradise, as cars are normally using the roads too. Picture how big this crowd has to be to make cars disappear, and you can understand how bad the traffic jams get.The Scene at Gion, and the Centerpiece of the FestivalWe will introduce the main draw of the Gion Matsuri, the yamaboko floats.Here’s a look from far away.As you get closer,You get a clearer look at the entire design.This yamaboko, the naginata hoko, is one of the float varieties with 33 lanterns. It’s a foregone conclusion that one look at this float’s sheer size and ornamentation will steal your gaze, and because the float will traverse the city streets during the first Gion parade on the 17th, it won’t be hard to imagine its splendor. The children seated inside this yamaboko float are called hayashi-kata, and they conduct musical performances according to a characteristic rhythm known as konchikichin. These children must complete specific requirements before being allowed to perform in the float, so they have actually been carefully selected.Naturally, yamaboko floats and the music played by the hayashi-kata are only one part of the Gion Matsuri. However, a little prior knowledge about the festival will certainly help you enjoy the scene even more.Recommended articlesEnjoy The Japanese Summer Festivals From June To AugustSummer Flowers Reflected In Water! Seaside Fireworks FestivalsSee Japan’s Festivals Any Time – Omatsuri Museum, AsakusaLet MATCHA Design Your Trip To Japan! Part 2 – Travel Tips for KansaiFind Zen and Beauty at Kenninji, Kyoto’s Oldest Zen Temple City dwellers might think that this kind of crowd is normal, but the sheer volume of people who visit Kyotofor Gion Matsuri isn’t common at all. If you see this many people gathered in Kawaramachi, you’ll know that it’s definitely festival time. The Gion Matsuri, which starts at the beginning of July and lasts for about a month, is one of Japan’s three great festivals. During this time, the entire Kyoto city is bright with festival colors.During the rousing festival atmosphere, Mt. Yoiyama stands out for being particularly crowded from July 14th through 16th. This time, we will introduce you to scenes from that area, as well as the main attraction of the Gion Matsuri, the yamaboko festival floats.You Haven’t Heard About the Real Gion Matsuri Yet
All around the Yuyake Dandan you will find the famous Yanaka cats. These friendly ‘wild’ cats spend all their time relaxing and visiting those that come to these steps, so please say hello to them too!If you would like to try some delicious Japanese food, see unique little boutiques, an amazing sunset and lots of friendly cats, a trip to the Yanaka Ginza shopping street is perfect for you. Please make this a part of your trip to Tokyo, you won’t regret it.InformationYanaka GinzaAddress: Tokyo, Taito, Yanaka 3-13-1Hours: Vary by storeNearest Station: JR Nippori Station, Sendagi Station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line)Access: 5 minute walk from West Exit of JR Nippori Station, 3 minute walk from Sendagi StationPhone Number: 03-3821-9123Website: Yanaka Ginza (Japanese) Yanaka Ginza, a city where people and cats live together. This shopping street is a mere three minute walk from JR Nippori Station’s west exit. Thanks to its historical atmosphere, this shopping street has a much calmer and more relaxed air to it than what you will find in places like Shibuya or Shinjuku. If you would like to see some uniquely Japanese sights and try various delicious treats, a trip to Yanaka Ginza is a must.Delicious Foods on the GoThis 200m long shopping street has over 60 different stores to see.Here is a deli, selling different fried Japanese foods. You can pick up some croquettes here for as little as 30 yen each at this shop.There are greengrocers, fishmongers, butchers and other specialty food stores running along both sides of the street.This isn’t just a great place to find Japanese food though, there are also many little boutique stores tucked in along the way as well, such as this shop selling leather bags.The Yanaka Cats and Yuyake Dandan StairsAt the one end of the shopping street you will see a flight of stairs. Known as the Yuyake Dandan, the top of these steps offers a magnificent view of the sunset, which colors the area a vivid crimson on clear days. This is a famous photography spot, and you will find numerous people with their cameras here any day of the year.Domestic and international tourists alike come here to take photos of the street, and of the sunset as well.Some even stop to take commemorative photos of their trip too.
Aside from the products using beef, everything sold in this store is Halal certified so that even those of the Muslim faith can enjoy the ice cream, milk, and yogurt sold here.If you are making a purchase to take home and enjoy later or with friends, you can ask the staff to place a halal-friendly seal on your item too.This is Nakahora Pasture’s milk. The flavor is such that even those who aren’t fond of milk are able to drink it with ease, often to their own surprise. This milk It received the highest award available at the Local Milk Grand Prix.Next is their yogurt. It melts in your mouth without leaving behind a cloying aftertaste. Try it once and you’ll be hooked.This is the cafe menu at the Nakahora Pasture Matsuya Ginza store, which includes coffee floats, matcha floats, yogurts and soft serve ice cream.One of the more popular items on the menu is their soft serve ice cream. The melt-in-your-mouth silky flavor is to die for.If you find yourself in Ginza and want to try something refreshing, check out Nakahora Pasture’s free-range ice cream!InformationNakahora Pasture, Matsuya GinzaAddress: Tokyo, Chuo, Ginza 3-6-1 Matsuya Ginza B1FHours: 10:00-20:00Nearest Station: Ginza Station (銀座駅) Tokyo Metro linesAccess: from Exit A12 of Ginza station on Tokyo Metro Ginza, Marunouchi, or Hibiya linesWebsite: Nakahora Pasture (Japanese) In the polished and mature city of Ginza, there is a store that sells a certain popular soft ice cream. The shop is known as Nakahora Pasture Matsuya Ginza. It is on the first floor beneath Japan’s famous department store, Matsuya Ginza Main Store.Nakahora Pasture sells milk and dairy products from free range cows. Its products are trusted by the community and are safe for young children and new or pregnant mothers.
Enjoy the Rugby World Cup 2019 in Western JapanJapan’s western region of Kansai is hosting some of the most major matches in the Rugby World Cup 2019. In addition to its prominence in this international tournament, the surrounding areas and cities offer much to visitors. After enjoying the games, be sure to explore these great areas for an unforgettable trip.Rugby World Cup 2019 Official Website: https://www.rugbyworldcup.com/venues Picture courtesy of pixtaLocated in Higashi Osaka City, Hanazono Rugby Stadium is a major venue that boasts great access from Osaka and Kyoto. The venue has been used since 1929 for rugby matches, and was remodeled in 2018 for the World Rugby Cup 2019, making it a stadium with a long history and connection to sports that spectators will feel from the moment they step into the stadium.Access from Osaka and TokyoGuests coming from Osaka can reach the station in about 47 minutes. From JR Osaka Station, take the Osaka Loop Line bound for Tennoji. Transfer at JR Tsurubashi Station to the Kintetsu Nara Line, heading towards Higashi Hanazono. Get off at Higashi Hanazono Station and walk around 10 to 15 minutes to the stadium.For visitors coming from Tokyo, ride the Tokaido Sanyo Shinkansen to Shin-Osaka Station. Transfer to the Osaka Higashi Line bound for Nara. Ride until Kawauchi Eiwa Station and transfer to the Kintetsu Nara Line. Get off at Higashi Hanazono Station.Address: Higashi Osaka, Matsubara Minami 1-1-1 Google MapOfficial Website: http://hanazono-rugby-hos.com/ (Japanese)Famous Places to Visit in Osaka Rugby World Cup 2019 Tokyo Area Guide – Stadiums, Things To Do, And Food Decadent Kobe Beef For A Reasonable Price At Tanryu in Sannomiya Picture courtesy of PIXTAToyota Stadium (or City of Toyota Stadium) is a major venue located in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, just east of Nagoya. This huge stadium, used for rugby, soccer, and other sporting events has around 45,000 seats designed for spectators’ comfort and ideal viewing of the field. Surrounding the stadium is a landscaped park with restaurants and leisure space.Access from Tokyo, Nagoya, and OsakaTo get to the Toyota Stadium from Tokyo, ride the Tokaido Sanyo Shinkansen to Nagoya for around 1 hour and 39 minutes. At JR Nagoya Station, exit and transfer to the Meitetsu Nagoya Station. Ride the Meitetsu Nagoya Line for 20 minutes to Chiryu Station. Transfer to the Mikawa Line and get off at Toyotashi Station after 25 minutes. The station is a 15-minute walk from the station.If you are coming from Nagoya, use the route above, starting from Nagoya Station.Visitors coming from Osaka can get to the stadium using Shinkansen and train. Ride the Tokaido Sanyo Shinkansen for about 50 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station to Nagoya Station. After arriving at Nagoya Station, follow the same instructions above for visitors coming from Tokyo to reach the stadium.Address: Aichi, Toyota, Sengoku 7-2 Google MapOfficial Website: http://www.toyota-stadium.co.jp/en/Famous Places to Visit in Aichi Read also Ways To Travel From Tokyo To Nagoya! A Thorough Comparison Read also Read also A Family Trip From Centrair! LEGOLAND® Japan Resort And SCMAGLEV and Railway Park 2. Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Osaka Read also 2 Day Kobe Trip – Real Kobe Beef, Harbor Views, And Hot Springs! Reaching Himeji From Tokyo, Osaka And Kyoto – Routes And Souvenirs! 1. Toyota Stadium, Aichi Shinkansen – How To Buy Bullet Train Tickets 10 Top Places To Visit In Nara – Travel Guide To Japan’s Ancient Capital Kobe Misaki Stadium is about 15 minutes away from the heart of Kobe. Visitors have the option of visiting this large city and to travel to other popular destinations like including Himeji, famous for Himeji Castle, and Takarazuka, known for its arts and refined atmosphere.Located on the coast, Kobe is a large port city with a stunning coast, shopping, and delicious cuisine. From the strolling through the charming harbor and enjoying Kobe beef to riding a ropeway up sea-facing mountains like Mt. Rokko, there is much to do here. Take the train further west to reach Himeji, which has a traditional and relaxing castle-town atmosphere.Between Osaka and Kobe is Takarazuka, a large city known for the all-female performance theater, Takarazuka Revue, and the Osamu Tezuka Museum. Osaka – 15 Must See Spots, Both Famous And Little Known Top 5 Local Osaka Foods You Should Try In Dotonbori Kobe Area Guide – Sannomiya, Kitano, Bay Area, And Arima Onsen Dining in Osaka1. HarumiIf you are craving local Osaka food, come to Harumi for a meal. With options like okonomiyaki (a savory pancake with fillings and toppings you can choose) and takoyaki (cooked dough balls filled with octopus), eat here for a unique Osaka experience. Located just outside the park, it is a convenient option, too, for lunch or an early dinner.HarumiAddress: Osaka, Higashi Osaka, Yoshida 3-14-50 Google MapWebsite: https://tabelog.com/en/osaka/A2707/A270703/27062422/2. Tenri Stamina RamenLocated close to Higashi Hanazono Station, Tenri Stamina Ramen is a restaurant chain located in the Kansai area, originating from nearby Nara Prefecture. The menu has a variety of ramen and gyoza to satisfy all types of customers. This restaurant is ideal for small groups for lunch or dinner.Tenri Stamina RamenAddress: Osaka, Higashi Osaka, Yoshida 6-5-22 Tagami Grand Mansion Google MapWebsite: http://www.tenrisutaminaramen.com/ (Japanese)3. KagonoyaKagonoya is an all-you-can-eat shabu-shabu restaurant located throughout Japan. Diners can choose from a wide selection of meats, vegetables, and side dishes. There is a location near the north entrance of the rugby stadium with spacious tables that is open for lunch and dinner.KagonoyaAddress: Osaka, Higashi Osaka, Yoshida Honmachi 1-2-41 Google MapWebsite: https://kagonoya.food-kr.com/shop/detail/0528 (Japanese)3. Kobe Misaki Stadium, Hyogo Picture courtesy of PIXTAKobe Misaki Stadium, Hyogo (or Noevir Stadium Kobe) is a spacious sports stadium used mostly for rugby and soccer, located near central Kobe City. The seating is designed to give the audience a great view of the field, no matter where they sit. This is a convenient and state-of-the-art facility where spectators will have a high-quality experience.Access from Osaka and TokyoFrom Osaka, it takes less than an hour to get to Kobe Misaki Stadium. Ride the JR train on the Tokaido Sanyo Main Line from Osaka Station to Kobe Station. Then, take the Kobe Subway Kaigan Line from Harborland Station to Misaki koen Station for 6 minutes. The stadium is a 5-minute walk from the station.From Tokyo, ride the Tokaido Sanyo Shinkansen to Shin-Kobe Station. It takes around 2 hours and 41 minutes. At Shin-Kobe Station, transfer to the Kobe Subway Seishin-yamanote Line. Ride for 13 minutes to Shinnagata Station. Transfer to the Kaigan Line and get off at Misaki koen Station. Walk 5 minutes to reach the stadium.Address: Hyogo, Kobe, Hyogo, Misaki 1-2-2 Google MapOfficial Website: https://www.noevir-stadium.jp/ (Japanese)Famous Places to Visit in Hyogo This venue is in an ideal location, between the Osaka metropolis and Nara, an ancient capital of Japan with many World Heritage Site-designated temples and shrines. Spectators can enjoy day trips to both locations.In Osaka, visiting Osaka Castle, shopping at Shinsaibashi, and dining at Dotonbori, are popular activities. A day of play at Universal Studios Japan is also a great option. In Nara, travelers can marvel at a giant Buddha statue at Todaiji Temple, meet deer at Nara Park, and enjoy the historical atmosphere. There is so much to do, so definitely spend a few days exploring the area if you can. Read also Rugby World Cup 2019 Kyushu Guide – Stadiums, Things To Do, And Food Travel To Nagoya’s Little-Known Spots! Local Food, Markets, And Cafes Read also Visit The Amazing Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum In Takarazuka Nagoya Guide – The Best Things To Do, Food To Try, And Trip Itinerary Picture from Nagoya Guide – The Best Things To Do, Food To Try, And Trip ItineraryAichi Prefecture is home to a number of sightseeing destinations that will please all visitors. Nagoya, Japan’s third largest city, is within convenient access, and the city of Toyota has some activities and museums accessible from the stadium.Ride the Meitetsu train about an hour to get to Nagoya, a city with a stunning castle, great shopping, and unique Japanese food culture. There is also a Legoland that can provide great fun to families and groups.Car enthusiasts can tour the Toyota Kaikan Museum, a Toyota showroom with colorful and fun exhibits on cars and technology. A reservation made via the official website is required for tours.Another interesting option is going to Masuzuka Miso of Noda Miso Co., a miso shop and warehouse, for miso-making demonstrations. An advanced reservation is required. Read also Rugby World Cup 2019 Venues in Osaka, Kobe, and AichiHeld from September 20 to November 2, the Rugby World Cup 2019 is an international sporting event hosted in various parts of Japan. One area is in the western Kansai region, with stadiums in the Osaka and Kobe areas, and Aichi Prefecture.Read to find out more about these venues, access, sightseeing and activities, and where to eat. Enjoy the games and all the greater Kansai region has to offer while you visit for the big game.Kansai Venues1. Toyota Stadium, Aichi2. Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Osaka3. Kobe Misaki Stadium, Hyogo Rugby World Cup 2019 Kyushu Guide – Stadiums, Things To Do, And Food Where To Stay In Kansai – 6 Great Guesthouses In Osaka, Kyoto, And Kobe! Rugby World Cup 2019 Tokyo Area Guide – Stadiums, Things To Do, And Food Japan Travel Tips – 15 Things To Know Before You Come Dining in Hyogo1. Sushi HideSushi Hide is a sushi restaurant located between Misaki koen Station and the stadium. The menu has a large variety of fresh sushi of all types, making this ideal for seafood lovers. It is open for both lunch and dinner and is a convenient choice.Sushi HideAddress: Hyogo, Kobe, Hyogo, Misaki 2-2-7 Google MapWebsite: https://www.sushi-hide.com/2. ShinanoHead to Shinano for Japanese food of all types, including soba and udon noodles, tempura, and rice bowls. This restaurant has something everyone can enjoy, making it a great option for groups. It is a short walk from Noevir Stadium Kobe.ShinanoAddress: Hyogo, Kobe, Komatsudori 3-4-10 Google MapWebsite: http://www.k-shinano.com (Japanese)3. Kobe TanryuTrying famous Kobe beef for dinner after watching a rugby match is a great way to celebrate your team’s success. Kobe Tanryu is known for its high-quality, delicious cuts, and menus are available in English and Chinese. This is a restaurant suitable for special occasions due to the prices.Kobe TanryuAddress: Hyogo, Kobe, Chuo, Kitanagasa 1-10-9 Ikuta Shinmichi Building 1F Google MapWebsite: https://www.koubegyuu.com/en/shop/tanryu-sannomiya/ Dining in Aichi1. Verde RossoLocated just steps away from the stadium is Verde Rosso, an elegant restaurant serving lunch. Choose from rice, pasta, and curry rice dishes here while enjoying the refined environment. There is a children’s menu, making this a family-friendly spot.Verde RossoAddress: Aichi, Toyota, Sengoku 7-2 Google MapWebsite: http://www.toyota-stadium.co.jp/restaurant/ (Japanese)2. CoCo ICHIBANYA NishimachiCoCo ICHIBANYA is a national chain of Japanese curry restaurants that originated in Aichi Prefecture. With a large menu and multi-language support, this is a comfortable and delicious choice for lunch or dinner. This restaurant location is less than a 5-minute walk from Toyota Station.CoCo ICHIBANYA NishimachiAddress: Aichi, Toyota, Nishimachi 6-3-2 Google MapWebsite: https://tenpo.ichibanya.co.jp/search/shop/pc/detail.php?SCODE=1025 (Japanese)3. KirariFor dinner and drinks, try Kirari, a modern Japnese restaurant serving a variety of delicious tempura and sashimi. Located close to Toyota Station, it is an ideal place to stop before heading back to your accommodation or next destination.KirariAddress: Aichi, Toyota, Nishimachi 6-56 Google MapWebsite: https://tabiiro.jp/gourmet/s/300707-toyota-kirari/ (Japanese)
Tokyo Dome City keeps its illuminations from Christmas through to Valentine’s, but that doesn’t take away from their charm in the slightest. If anything the changing weather allows these lights to feel fresh whenever you see them. Tokyo Dome City View Informationamusement_parkEbisu: Yebisu Garden PlaceYebisu Garden Place is a shopping and office complex located in Ebisu, a short train ride away from the ever-popular Shibuya Station. If you are looking for a present, want to have a romantic dinner, or just want to stroll about under the illuminations, then this is the place to go.If you are going to be meeting your date in Ebisu, you might want to meet here, at the Marionette Clock Square, as it can easily be reached via the Ebisu Skywalk from the station.The central plaza of Yebisu Garden Place is always beautifully decorated for the season, with the theme changing annually. You are sure to find yourself in a romantic wonderland of light when you visit here. Yebisu Garden Place View Informationshopping_mallTokyo Skytree Town SolamachiThe main square of Tokyo Solamachi is located right under Tokyo SkyTree, and is full of charming illuminated trees. This is an excellent place to take a romantic photo with your significant other.A great shopping and dining spot as well, Solamachi has numerous services and facilities that can assist you with almost any need. Floor guides are available online in English, Japanese, Mandarin, and Korean. There is also free Wi-Fi, a currency exchange booth, coin lockers, ATM, and other services to make your Valentine’s date even more convenient. Yebisu Garden Place View Informationshopping_mallRomantic Shrines In Tokyo and Around JapanIf you are looking for love and would like a little help from the Shinto deities of Japan, then there are three shrines in the Tokyo area that we would like to recommend to you.Tokyo – Imado Shrine Valentine’s Day is a significant event in Japan that has been celebrated since the post-war period by the masses. However, the ways in which it is celebrated in Japan differ from most of the Valentine’s Day celebrations around the world.If you are planning a romantic date, but aren’t sure where to start, this is the guide for you. First, we will take a look at fun Valentine’s events and romantic illuminations taking place in Tokyo, and finally at some shrines located in various regions in Japan which are guaranteed to help the lovelorn find their match.Valentine’s EventsTokyo TowerValentine’s Day might mean chocolates, sweets, drinks, dinner. You might be feeling a little full after a day like that! You might even be inspired to exercise after such a rich day, and Tokyo Tower is an ideal place to do so in.On February 13th and 14th, Tokyo Tower has a special Love Step Up event, wherein you and your partner can take the 600 steps up to the first observation deck and enjoy the sights of the city together. The stunning night views of the city and the sweetly lit-up tower are sure to cap off your romantic Valentine’s Day in the best way possible.On these days, Tokyo Tower is illuminated in alternating colors of pink and red. The illumination will start from sundown and finish at 10 pm,offering the most enticing view. Tokyo Tower View InformationKorakuen/Suidobashi: Tokyo Dome City Photo from: Imado Shrine, Find Love at the Home of the Maneki-neko Imado Shrine View InformationKawagoe, Saitama Prefecture: Hikawa Shrine Photo from: Hikawa Shrine In Kawagoe – 8 Things To Do To Improve Your Luck In LoveSaitama prefecture is located less than an hour’s train ride away from Tokyo and is a place full of natural wonders, delicious foods, and a famous match-making shrine. Hikawa Shrine has been granting love-related prayers from its worshippers for about 1500 years, and if you visit in the morning, you might be able to receive your very own sacred match-making stone. Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine View InformationChikugo, Fukuoka Prefecture: Koi no Ki Shrine Photo from: A Shrine Covered In Hearts! Fukuoka’s Love Shrine “Koi no Ki”Fukuoka is considered by many to be the gateway to Japan’s westernmost region, Kyushu and is known for its exciting blend of old and new Japan. Although quite the distance from Tokyo, here you will find the peculiar, one-of-a-kind shrine, Koi no Ki Shrine. This pink, heart-covered shrine is for those seriously seeking love, and with many charms, fortunes, and statues to gather inspiration and luck from, you’re sure to feel blessed after visiting this shrine. Koinoki Shrine View InformationIn ConclusionWhat are you waiting for? Let’s head out and enjoy these fun Valentine’s spots!You May Also LikeJapanese Encyclopedia: Valentine’s DayA Shrine Covered In Hearts! Fukuoka’s Love Shrine – Koi no KiHikawa Shrine In Kawagoe – 8 Things To Do To Improve Your Luck In Love
Higiriyaki is a sweet Japanese snack that is made from a flour batter like a pancake, and filled with a rich azuki-an red bean paste. Sawai Honpo located in Matsuyama city in Ehime is where higiriyaki is made and sold. It is the staple treat of the people of Matsuyama.Higiriyaki was first sold at the temple grounds of Higiri Zenjoji Temple nearly one hundred years ago in Matsuyama. The name derives from the Higiri Jizo God that is worshiped at the temple. It has been loved by the people of the city ever since it first began being sold.Freshly baked higiriyaki has a nice crispy outside with a soft cake-y inside. The taste is very simple at first, yet the rich flavors of the azuki paste make this snack irresistible.The secret to its delicious taste comes from the carefully selected ingredients. Out of the numerous types of flour available, they have found the one that best suits the higiriyaki. The egg used in the batter is from a local farm in Ehime. According to the temperature and humidity of the day, the batter is adjusted to keep the same consistency.The azuki and white bean pastes are made in-house and have a special way of cooking it. If you want to try a freshly made higiriyaki, the only place to eat it is in Matsuyama! In this article, we would like to introduce one of the best higiriyaki shops.Higiriyaki to Eat-in and Take-out Hop on the tram bound for Dogo Onsen from JR Matsuyama Station and get off at Ookaido Station. Take a five minute walk down the Ookaido Shopping Street until you find a Seven Eleven at the first intersection.Across the street from the Seven Eleven is the Higiri-chaya Ookaido Branch. The large eye-catching text in red reads ‘higiriyaki’. The entrance to the shop is shown in the photo above with the green noren entrance curtains.At this shop, you can take away the sweets or eat in the shop as well. If you want take away, there are samples in the showcase so it may be best to check the different varieties before selecting what you want.Why not pick up some higiriyaki and eat as you go or take a break and enjoy it in a relaxing indoor cafe? The shop’s interior is done in a classic Japanese style using matcha green colors and warm brown wood tones. Higiriyaki: A Traditional Treat Loved by Locals
Okayama Station. Picture courtesy of Okayama Prefectural Tourism FederationDirect flights from Taiwan arrive at Okayama Airport in the evenings. On your first day, why not head to Okayama Station and partake in some shopping and food around the station. You’ll have time afterward to prepare for the second day of your trip.15:05 Arrive at Okayama Airport16:00 Take the bus from Okayama Airport16:30 Arrive at Okayama Station17:00 – 19:00 Shopping at Ekimae Shopping Street, AEON MALL, etc.Dinner Go to a teppan (iron plate) restaurant to eat Chiya BeefDay Two: Sightseeing Around the Okayama Area Picture courtesy of Okayama Prefectural Tourism FederationKorakuen, located next to Okayama Castle, is one of Japan’s three famous gardens alongside Kanazawa’s Kenrokuen and the Kairakuen in Mito. This wonderful garden called a “daimyo garden” was commissioned by the hanshu (*2) that governed the land during the Edo period.It was awarded three stars in the Michelin Green Guide Japan for its picturesque scenery adorned with tsukiyama (*3), canals, and tearooms. Take a stroll in the lush green lawns embellished in seasonal flowers, including cherry blossoms and azaleas, and enjoy a drink of tea. It will take one to two hours to stroll through the gardens.*2 Han: a domain ruled by a daimyo in the Edo period. A hanshu is the lord of that domain.*3 Tsukiyama: an area in a Japanese garden where earth and rocks are piled together to resemble a mountain. KorakuenAddress: Okayama, Kita, Korakuen 1-5 Google MapOfficial Website: https://okayama-korakuen.jp/section/english/3. Chiya Beef – Okayama Brand Beef for Lunch Picture courtesy of Okayama Prefectural Tourism FederationChiya Beef, a local brand of wagyu beef, is a must-have meal in Okayama. Characterized by its well-balanced fat and high-quality red meat, it is a very rare type of beef.If you’re near Okayama Station, there are popular restaurants where you can savor Chiya Beef such as Yakiniku J’s En, a five-minute walk from the station’s west exit, or Niku no Hosoda (Japanese), a five-minute walk from the east exit. There are some hotel restaurants near the station that also serve this Okayama brand of wagyu.4. Kibitsu Shrine – Okayama’s Best Spiritual Spot Picture courtesy of Okayama Prefectural Tourism FederationIf you have some time, then the Ohara Museum of Art is another tourist spot you’ll want to keep in mind. This museum exhibits a collection of Western art valued around the world, such as the acclaimed artists El Greco and Paul Gauguin—not to mention, it’s a symbol of the town.Ohara Museum of ArtAddress: Okayama, Kurashiki, Chuo 1-1-15 Google MapOfficial Website: https://www.ohara.or.jp/en/3. Must-Visit Cafés in Okayama A Castle In The Sky! Bicchu Matsuyama Castle In Okayama Day Two:Travel to Okayama’s Signature Tourist Spots A Brief Guide For Your Next Stop After Korakuen – Okayama Castle! OKAYAMA: Enjoy The Bikan Area At Guest house U-Rin-An 4. Kurashiki Denim Street – A Collection of Denim Items Picture courtesy of Okayama Prefectural Tourism FederationYou also can’t forget about the seafood from the Seto Inland Sea. Kakioko is popular soul food famed for its luxurious taste. This flavorful fried dish is a specialty of Hinase, Bizen in Okayama and is essentially an okonomiyaki filled with generous amounts of oysters.Okonomiyaki Mori is a popular restaurant if you’re looking for shops near Okayama Station. Picture courtesy of Kurashiki Denim StreetThe street is brimming with fashion items, which naturally includes jeans, denim dresses, jackets, bags, and accessories. You’re sure to find an item that will catch your eye! Picture courtesy of Kurashiki Denim StreetKurashiki is known as the birthplace of Japanese denim. Kojima, situated south of the city, is the center of these Japan-made denim items. Its charm lies in the seamless sewing and beautiful shades of blue.Lined with shops along the Kurashiki River, Kurashiki Denim Street is where these domestically produced denim products are packed together on display. Picture courtesy of Okayama Prefectural Tourism FederationAlongside denim, Kurashiki Hampu is another specialty product of this scenic city. “Hampu” is a canvas cloth that has been used for ship sails since the late Edo period. Now, it is used in various products from canvas tote bags to oil painting canvases. Approximately 70% of the material is made domestically in Kurashiki and Kurashiki Hampu is synonymous with high-quality canvas cloth.You’ll also find Kurashiki Hampu shops in the Bikan Historical Quarter so please check them out. Colorful bags from BAISTONE Kurashiki Bikan are fashionable and can be worn by people of all ages.6. Mitsui Outlet Park Kurashiki – Immerse Yourself in Shopping Picture courtesy of AEON MALL OkayamaAEON MALL Okayama is where 350 shops—including fashion, general goods, food, and more—and various facilities are concentrated in one building right by Okayama Station.The restaurants, in particular, exceed over 70 in number. You can casually enjoy Japanese dishes like sushi or shabu-shabu at many of these restaurants, which is perfect for families. There are also over 60 duty-free shops with free Wi-Fi available. The mall is a five-minute walk through an underground passage from the JR Okayama Station ticket gates.For those interested in shopping, Sun Station Terrace Okayama is also recommended. Situated inside Okayama Station, the shopping mall has a full selection of well-known local shops that serve regional cuisines and wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets).There are also several shopping streets in the area between Okayama Station and Okayama Castle. At night, izakayas (Japanese pubs) and restaurants are bustling with activity. Along the way, you’ll spot Okayama Ekimae Shopping Street, the retro Hokancho Shopping Street, and Omotecho Shopping Street lined with long-established shops. If you have some spare time, please take a stroll!AEON MALL OkayamaAddress: Okayama, Okayama, Kita, Shimoishii 1-2-1 Google MapOfficial Website: https://en.aeonmall.global/mall/okayama-aeonmall/6. Savor Okayama Soul Food for Dinner Picture courtesy of Okayama Prefectural Tourism FederationFor day two, visit signature sightseeing spots near Okayama Station, including the Okayama Castle, Korakuen Garden, and Kibitsu Shrine. Please indulge in some tasty Okayama soul food for lunch and dinner!Morning Walk around Okayama Castle, Korakuen GardenLunch Take the tram to a demi katsudon restaurant in the cityAfternoon Go to Kibitsu ShrineDinner Eat kakioko at an okonomiyaki shop in front of the station, then barhop around popular izakayas in the shopping districtDay Three: Sightseeing in Kurashiki 【OKAYAMA】Kurashiki Bikan – Where 300 Years of History Still Linger Get Your Okayama Souvenirs Here! Our Top 4 Souvenir Spots Picture from OKAYAMA – Hop On A Tram To Get To Popular Tourist Destinations, Korakuen And Okayama Castle!Next, we’ll guide you through Okayama City—home to numerous famous and historical spots such as Okayama Castle and Korakuen Garden.It’s most convenient to use the tram when traveling around central sightseeing spots like Okayama Castle. Take the Higashiyama Line and exit at Shiroshita bus stop to arrive within a ten-minute walk from Okayama Castle and Korakuen Garden. The fare is also a reasonable price of 100 yen.Read also Picture courtesy of Okayama Prefectural Tourism FederationOhara House Katalyzer is an old building that introduces the history and valuable records of the Ohara family, who sustained the cotton-spinning industry in Kurashiki. A book café is also located inside so you can drink coffee while relishing in the structure’s ambience.Read also Picture courtesy of Okayama Prefectural Tourism FederationManabe Island, located in the Seto Inland Sea region, has garnered popularity as the “cat island.” You’ll encounter more cats than people here. Please enjoy yourself by taking pictures and petting the cats while also being mindful of not causing harm to the island’s natural environment.Eight regular passenger vessels operate every day from Kasaoka Station, which is accessible in 40 minutes on the JR San’yo Main Line from Okayama Station. To reach the island, disembark the ship at Honura Port, where plenty of restaurants and observatories are nearby.Manabe Island (Honura Port)Google MapOfficial Website: https://www.kasaoka-kankou.jp/en/island/manabeshima/A Recommended 4-Day Okayama Travel ItineraryFor those visiting Okayama from Taiwan, we’ve created a four-day travel plan that conveniently fits the arrival timeline from Taoyuan International Airport. If you’ll be arriving on a direct flight, it will be easier to travel around various sites with this recommended plan.Day One: Travel and Shopping Picture courtesy of Okayama Prefectural Tourism FederationFor day three, take the whole day to enjoy sightseeing in Kurashiki! Travel around the Bikan Historical Quarter, head to traditional cafes, then enjoy some retail therapy while shopping at the outlet mall.Morning – Afternoon Explore and have lunch in the Kurashiki Bikan Historical QuarterEvening Shopping at Mitsui Outlet Park KurashikiDay Four: More Shopping and TravelingThere will be some free time in the morning on your last day. It would be a great idea to go searching for souvenirs at AEON MALL or in the station building. Then head to the airport on an afternoon bus.Morning Search for souvenirs at AEON MALL Okayama and Okayama Station Building followed by lunch12:30 Head to the airport on a bus via Okayama StationWhat about Access from Osaka, Tokyo, and Hiroshima? Picture courtesy of Yuurin-anThere are numerous fashionable cafés renovated from old Japanese homes in the Bikan Historical Quarter. We’ll introduce a couple of shops that have been gaining popularity.First, Yuurin-an (Japanese) is a modern Japanese café located inside a renovated townhouse that simultaneously operates as a guesthouse. Many international tourists visit the shop for their “Happy Pudding”: a specialty sweet decorated with a drawing of an adorable smiley face. They also have menus available in other languages, such as Chinese, so visitors can order with ease. 【OKAYAMA】Enjoy Bara-zushi at Azuma-zushi in Okayama Station From Museums To Shopping! A Model Itinerary For Kurashiki Picture courtesy of Mitsui Outlet Park KurashikiAfter a round of sightseeing in Bikan Historical Quarter, head over to Mitsui Outlet Park Kurashiki. It is conveniently located just three minutes on foot from the North Exit of Kurashiki Station.Here, you’ll find various services available for international tourists including a special coupon when you show your passport. The outlet is complete with brands from around the world with over 50 stores offering duty-free services. Definitely stop by the outlet if you’re looking to enjoy some shopping!Mitsui Outlet Park KurashikiAddress: Okayama, Kurashiki, Kotobukicho 12-3 Google MapOfficial Website: https://mitsui-shopping-park.com/mop/kurashiki/english/Read also 2. Hiruzen Highlands – Taste Freshly Squeezed Milk! Picture courtesy of Okayama Prefectural Tourism FederationOther regional favorites include Okayama Barazushi, a dish made of various ingredients including seafood, mushrooms, and vegetables arranged on top of sushi rice, and Mamakari Zushi, made with small fish marinated in vinegar. Regional seafood dishes from the Seto Inland Sea are definitely something you’ll want to try!Read also Picture courtesy of Okayama Prefectural Tourism FederationThere are various ways to access Okayama but the most convenient is by flying into Okayama Momotaro Airport.In any event, a low-cost Taiwanese airline called tigerair, which currently has routes to major cities in Japan, also operates direct flights into Okayama. As of June 2019, there is one flight per day for the outbound and inbound routes between Taiwan’s Taoyuan county and Okayama.Limousine buses departing from the airport will arrive at Okayama Station in 30 minutes (760 yen one-way) or Kurashiki Station in about 35 minutes (1,130 yen one-way).Okayama Momotaro Airport Website: https://www.okayama-airport.org/en/Day One:Fully Enjoy Sightseeing around Kurashiki!First, we’ll introduce a one day plan for traveling around Kurashiki, a town famous for its traditional streets and culture. Kurashiki is situated at the center of Okayama and is filled with things to see including the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter, which is lined with rows of historical structures, art museums, and more.1. The Old Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter Picture courtesy of Okayama Prefectural Tourism FederationFirst, you must take a fifteen-minute ride on the JR Kibi Line from Okayama Station. Kibitsu Shrine, Okayama’s best spiritual spot, is ten minutes on foot from Kibitsu Station. The shrine is said to be where the famous Japanese folktale “Momotaro” (*4) alongside legends of ogre extermination originated.The inner shrine is the only one of its kind in Japan and built in an unusual style that consists of two overlapping sanctuaries. The building is full of many things to see, including a beautiful 400-meter-long corridor that stretches out from the inner shrine. The shrine is believed to have various blessings—including matchmaking, easy childbirth, and longevity—so be sure to make a visit.*4 Momotaro: a story about a boy hero named Momotaro born from a peach who goes on to exterminate ogres together with a monkey, a pheasant, and a dog. It is a widely known folk tale in Japan. Kibitsu ShrineAddress: Okayama, Okayama, Kita, Kibitsu 931 Google MapOfficial Website: http://www.kibitujinja.com/ (Japanese)5. AEON MALL Okayama – Shopping Right by the Station Denim Bun. Picture courtesy of Kurashiki Denim StreetThere are even original drinks and desserts in an eye-catching denim hue that are local specialties of the area. Tapioca drinks and soft-serve ice cream also showcase this beautiful indigo blue. The Denim Bun, which is gaining popularity for its bold color, is an item you’ll definitely want to sample.Kurashiki Denim StreetAddress: Okayama, Kurashiki, Chuo 1-10-11 Google Map5. Kurashiki Hampu – Timeless Pieces of Canvas Okayama – Splendid Views of the Seto Inland Sea!Okayama has a warm climate and faces out towards the Seto Inland Sea. While it is home to many local specialties, it is famous for its delicious fruit.In this article, we’ll introduce a two-day travel itinerary to iconic places such as Kurashiki in Okayama Prefecture. We’ve also compiled a list of spots with scenic views that you’ll want to share on your Instagram—even if you need to travel a bit further. Alluring shops and local cuisine have also been added to this article. This will surely become a satisfying trip where you can enjoy both Japanese scenery and flavors.Direct International Flights to Okayama Picture courtesy of Okayama Prefectural Tourism FederationIf you’re visiting Kurashiki for the first time, then you definitely should stop by the Bikan Historical Quarter. This historical district flourished from the Edo to Meiji period because it was a trade distribution center. Traditional Japanese structures, such as warehouses and townhouses, have been preserved mainly along Kurashiki River.These structures are presently being reused as small stores, cafés, and museums, while some are still being used as homes. To access the Bikan Historical Quarter, it is about one kilometer from Kurashiki Station and approximately a ten-minute walk.2. Explore the Town on Small Boats Access from OsakaTraveling on the San’yo Shinkansen from Osaka is convenient because you won’t need to transfer. It will take about 50 minutes (5,500 yen for unreserved seats) on the Nozomi train from Shin-Osaka to Okayama.Access from TokyoFrom Tokyo, there are a total of ten flights operated by various companies bound for Okayama Airport via Haneda Airport.The Shinkansen (bullet train) will take approximately three hours and 20 minutes. However, if you travel by plane, it will only take one hour and fifteen minutes. For more affordable prices and efficiency, there are also night buses that depart from Shinjuku around 21:00 and arrive at Okayama Station the next morning.Access from HiroshimaBecause Hiroshima is situated in the same San’yo region as Okayama, it’s a popular tourist city you’ll also want to visit on your trip.From Hiroshima Station, it will take about three hours by conventional train lines to arrive at Okayama Station while only 40 minutes by shinkansen. Ten roundtrip express buses are also available everyday—priced at 2,900 yen and 5,200 yen for a one-way and roundtrip ticket, respectively. The bus will normally take about two hours and 30 minutes. Three Little-Known Scenic Spots Of The Seto Inland Sea Picture courtesy of Okayama Prefectural Tourism FederationThe famous Okayama Castle is also nicknamed the “Crow Castle” for its black appearance. A breathtaking view overlooking the city of Okayama will extend before you from the tenshukaku (*1) on the sixth floor.Inside the castle keep, you’ll find information on Naoie Ukita, who governed this area during the Sengoku period, and historical records of the Ikeda family who served as castle lords for following generations. Kimono wearing experiences that allow visitors to try on clothing from this time period are also conducted for free, making it a perfect commemoration of your trip.*1 Tenshukaku: the highest structure built in a Japanese castle. It is the symbol of that castle. Okayama CastleAddress: Okayama, Okayama, Kita, Marunouchi 2-3-1 Google MapOfficial Website: https://okayama-kanko.net/ujo/english/index.htmlRead also Picture courtesy of Okayama Prefectural Tourism FederationHiruzen Highlands is a highland area surrounded by mountains in the northernmost part of Okayama. It is famous for prosperous dairy farming.Hiruzen Jersey Land is an especially popular spot where you can interact with Jersey cows and enjoy farm food. Please try their soft serve ice cream made with freshly squeezed milk alongside their savory offerings of steak and cheese fondue. There are also other facilities on this idyllic venue, such as an amusement park, herb garden, hot spring, and campsite. It takes about two hours by car from Okayama City.Hiruzen HighlandsAddress: Okayama, Maniwa, Hiruzen-Kamifukuda Google MapOfficial Website: https://www.maniwa.or.jp/en/destinations/index.html#D_HiruzenArea3. Manabe Island – The Cat Island of the Seto Inland Sea 1. Okayama Castle – A Towering Jet Black Keep Picture courtesy of Okayama Prefectural Tourism FederationWhen night rolls around, please try the local food in downtown Okayama. Demi Katsudon is a regional dish consisting of a donburi (rice bowl) topped with pork cutlet and covered in a demi-glace sauce. While its served in many restaurants and cafés, Ajitsukasa Nomura and Yamato are popular and well-known for their versions of the dish. There are often customers lined outside the door, but these restaurants are definitely worth the wait. Enjoy Your Visit to Okayama!Okayama is brimming with alluring sightseeing spots, including Kurashiki and much more. Don’t forget to try juices and cakes made from peaches, grapes, and other specialty fruits if they’re in season!Because this prefecture isn’t as crowded as Tokyo or Osaka, you’ll be able to comfortably enjoy a relaxing trip steeped in nature, history, and local flavors.Main image courtesy of Okayama Prefectural Tourism FederationRead also 2. Korakuen – One of Japan’s Three Famous Gardens 【OKAYAMA】Hop on a tram to get to the popular tourist destinations, “Korakuen”and “Okayama castle” ! Picture courtesy of Okayama Prefectural Tourism FederationIf you’re interested in leisurely sightseeing, boat tours are held along the Kurashiki River, which runs through the Bikan Historical Quarter. A boatman will guide you through the river flanked with willow trees that give the tour a touch of elegance. Please enjoy a scenic boat ride when the weather permits.Kurashiki River Boat Dock Google Map Picture courtesy of Okayama Prefectural Tourism FederationBitchu Matsuyama Castle, located in the northwestern part of the prefecture, is famously ranked as one of Japan’s three great mountain castles. Also called the “Castle in the Sky,” it is visited by many people for the breathtaking view. Head to the observatory to gaze at the castle that appears to be floating above the clouds like pictured above. You’ll have a higher chance of seeing this view if you visit the castle early in the morning on a clear day with a large temperature difference, especially from late October to early December.It will take two hours from Okayama Station by train and bus to get to the castle. To arrive at the castle tower—located 430 meters above sea level—you’ll have to walk for an additional 20 minutes on a slope lined by steep rocks. Taxis (Bitchu Matsuyama Castle Sightseeing Shared Cloud Taxi) that take you to the observatory from the nearest station, Bitchu-Takahashi Station, also operate during the season.Bitchu Matsuyama CastleAddress: Okayama, Takahashi, Uchisange 1 Google MapRead also Amazing Sights and Healing Spots in Okayama1. Bitchu Matsuyama Castle – A Castle in the Clouds
Stores of famous fashion brands such as FOREVER21, COACH, ZARA can be found along Inokashira Street. This picture was taken at the entrance of the main street in the Center-gai area.The main street was named “Basketball Street” in 2011 for several reasons. One motivation for changing the name of the street was to improve the stereotype associated with this neighborhood. Apparently, the area in question used to be considered dangerous, despite community policing and beautification efforts. By the word “basketball” people are reminded of healthy, young spirit that the street ideally symbolizes.The other reason why the main street is named “Basketball Street” is because it leads to National Yoyogi Second Gym, which used to be a sacred ground for basketball games. The street consists of a strange mix of various stores. The street is lively, and the pedestrians are mostly people in their 20s, 30s or even younger. You will find karaoke facilities at every corner of the street. These stores are full of cool fashion items, office supplies and housekeeping items. Go and check out the items are on display!Inokashira, a Street for More Mature VisitorsWalk on along the large street between the Scramble Crossing and MEN’S 109, then turn left between Seibu Department Store Bldg. and modi. Shibuya LOFT offers a variety of office supplies, gadgets and housekeeping items.InformationNearest Station: Shibuya Hachiko ExitHours: 10:00-21:00, may vary Center-gai Street is a commercial district that extends approximately 300 m from QFRONT on the famous Scramble Crossing to the Tokyu Department Store. The street is packed with karaoke facilities, restaurants, clothing shops, and other stores.Recently Renamed “Basketball Street” Inokashira Street starts here. Café and restaurants are tightly packed in these narrow streets. Relatively speaking, these streets are a lot quieter than those in the Center-gai.