Matsuyama, the capital of Ehime prefecture, is located up on the North-West coast of Shikoku. It’s a well-connected and busy city, but I passed through en-route to the Shimanami Kaidō with just one key goal: to get to the famous Dōgo Onsen and have a soak. As it happened, things ended up a lot more interesting […]
The Iya Valley might be the part of Shikoku most visited by people wanting to see the remote countryside, but the far South of the island, around Cape Ashizuri, feels like the most remote part. It’s rugged, beautiful, hardly touristed and well worth a day of your time – if you can get there. Arriving and Transport This […]
There are two types of visitor to Japan: those who’ve never visited an onsen, and those who, having visited one, end up slightly obsessed with visiting more and more of them. Having stumbled into the latter camp on my very first trip, I’d say an onsen (or two, or ten) is an unmissable part of any […]
Otaru lies to the northeast of Sapporo, and in the winter is on the train route to the ski resort of Niseko. In spring or summer, though, it’s a major domestic tourism destination. I visited overnight in May 2014. To get to Otaru, take a futsuu train from Sapporo’s JR station – it’s not far, and […]
About half way between Hakodate and Sapporo you’ll find an almost circular lake with a handful of islands in the middle, and on the southern shore of that lake the resort town of Toyako Onsen. Lonely Planet describes it as “faded”, which is a pretty fair description, but if you’re a fan of either onsen or hiking (or, ideally, both) it’s well worth a stop.
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 […]
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 […]