Amanohashidate (天橋立), elected to be one of the Three Views of Japan (日本三景, Nihon Sankei), is one of the celebrated scenic sites in Japan that most Japanese would love to visit at least once in their life. The place is just stunning throughout the year. There is cherry blossom in spring, maple leaves in autumn, the area is even more beautiful when the sandbar and the surrounding area are covered in white snow!Read more
If you ever wonder whether there is a spot that is naturally cool in Kyoto, then read on! Mt. Kurama and Kibune located at the northernmost part of Kyoto are where the locals head to when they want to escape the summer heat. Having the Kawadoko (川床) dining at Kibune on the platform built above the river after wandering around the area is the best way to spend a summer day in Kyoto!Read more
Japan really is a great island country for its fantastic sceneries. One of them is the Takeda Castle Ruins (竹田城) located up in Mt. Kojōzan (古城山) in Hyōgo Prefecture (兵庫県). Castle ruins may not sound too exciting or appealing to some people, but the location and its rich history got it ranked as one of the Top 100 Castles in Japan! It has also been listed as one of the designated National Important Cultural Properties!Read more
Kobe (神戸), a fashionable port city only a 30 minutes train ride from Osaka, has many hidden gems that many international visitors aren’t aware of. As a international trading port since 1868, many choose to pass it by when they visit Kansai because the city seems to be filled with western elements that aren’t unique to Japan. But what they don’t know is, there are quite a few traditional Japanese attractions in Kobe that are worth visiting. And, even with those western inspirations, the people of Kobe have added to them their own creative spin to create an experience not available anywhere else in the world!Read more
Mt. Ōjigatake is a mountain with various oddly shaped rocks on the border between the two cities – Tamano (玉野) and Kurashiki (倉敷) in Okayama prefecture. The view of the Seto Inland Sea along the hiking trail and from the summit is what makes the mountain a popular spot among the locals. This is especially the case when a thousand or so cherry blossoms colours one part of the mountain with its light pink petals from mid-March to early April (*´ω｀).
It is also one of the best paragliding sites in Japan. When the weather is good, you will see paragliders taking off towards the magnificent Seto Inland Sea!Read more
If you are after some hidden gems in the Chūgoku area, then come to Sōja City (総社市) in Okayama Prefecture the beautiful nature spots that the non-locals might not be aware of. Apart from the scenic places, you will also find a castle that used to house demons. And at the other side of the city, there is this shrine that has the most unique wooden plaques in Japan!Read more
Many people know about Okayama because of the famous black Okayama Castle and the garden Kōrakuen that was chosen to be one of the Three Great Gardens in Japan. But the city is more than just these two top destinations. There is a shrine where you can hear a god’s answer in a boiling pot, a museum full of waving cats made of various materials, the temple where the Naked Festival takes place in February each year, and much more!Read more
Mt. Rokkō (六甲山) and Mt. Maya (摩耶山) are the two mountains northeast of Kobe City and are a popular weekend getaway destination for both locals and international travellers. The mountains aren’t your typical natural beauty, as they also display Japan’s best night city views. In summer, it is a great escape from the summer heat in big cities. On top of that, one of Japan’s top three hot spring towns – Arima Onsen (有馬温泉) is only 12 minutes away by ropeway from Mt. Rokkō!Read more
Arima Onsen (有馬温泉) is one of the three most famous onsen towns in Japan. Located just 30 minutes from Kobe, the town that is known for the moisturising and relaxing hot spring is also filled with a range of leisure activities to keep you entertained! Arima Onsen is also known as a summer resort as the area is cooler compared to the city centre because it is at the valley of Mt. Rokkō (六甲山). On the other hand, if you come to Kansai in winter looking for some snow, it is where you want to go if you can’t find any in Osaka or Kobe!Read more
A lot of people know that Itsukushima Shrine, the shrine that has a torii gate standing in the middle of the sea, is a World Heritage Site. But do you know it isn’t just the shrine itself that was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site?
And when you ask where to find deer in Japan, most people will tell you to go to Nara. But what about Miyajima? There are also deer walking freely around this sacred island, and the deer can be a lot more friendly and cheeky than those in Nara (≧▽≦).Read more