The Shimanami Kaidō – “islands and waves sea route” – is a cycle route that runs from Honshu to Shikoku, across the inland sea. If you like cycling, it’s unmissable.
The thing about Hiroshima is this: you know what to expect. Everybody knows of Hiroshima, and the Peace Park, memorials and museum have to be a top priority for any visitor. But there’s also so much more to see: the beautiful boulevards, the trams, the parks, and Miyajima. Oh, and did I mention okonomiyaki? Not […]
Kinosaki is a picturesque little town on the north cost of Kansai. Getting there’s a bit of a trek, but your journey is rewarded by some beautiful canals, several excellent onsen and tasty seafood. I visited, largely by accident, in late 2011. Kinosaki is a huge domestic tourist draw, and you can see why: it’s full […]
Before Tokyo was Tokyo, Kyoto was the capital city of Japan – today it’s a large, modern city scattered with reminders of that period in the form of castles, a palace and – especially – temples. If you’re interested in history it, along with nearby Nara, are an essential stop on any trip through the Kansai […]
Nara, the capital of Japan before even Kyoto, is all about the parkland, temples and slightly hazardous deer (see also Miyajima). If you’re interested in Japan’s history or fascinated by beautiful temples – or even if you just want to see the world’s biggest bronze buddha, it’s well worth a trip.
Prior to March 2011, most people outside of Japan probably hadn’t heard of Fukushima. Today everybody has heard of it, but few people are visiting. This is a great shame, for many reasons. The name itself is something of a problem. Fukushima is the prefecture, a city within it, and also the namesake of the […]
Sendai is one the biggest city in Tohoku (northern Honshu), and the capital of Miyagi-Ken. It’s historic – dating back to around 1600, and with the remains of a castle – but, from the moment you exit its enormous station, the whole place feels bustling and modern. If you want to explore the Tohoku region, it’s […]
Lake Tazawa is a beautiful, almost circular, lake in Akita-ken – if you picture the top half of Honshu, from Aomori at the top down to Tokyo, it’s maybe one quarter of the way down. I visited in late 2012. Getting near the lake is easy: use the Akita mini-shinkansen, which if you’re coming from […]
At the very top of Honshu you’ll find Aomori – the coastal city that was, for a long time, the gateway to Hokkaido. And nearby, a short trip to the West, there’s the beautiful inland town of Hirosaki – home of a surprising Apple-themed tourist industry. I visited both in late 2012. Getting There Getting […]