Kinosaki Onsen (城崎温泉) at northern Hyōgo Prefecture has become more and more popular among tourists across Japan and around the world. And it won’t be hard to understand the reason at all once you have seen the Michelin two-star rated scenery from Mt. Daishi (大師山) and other historical and cultural charms of the hot spring resort that has prospered for more than 1,300 years!Read more
The Seto Inland Sea (瀬戸内海) is famous for its magnificent scenery. But another reason that it is so well-known to the world is because of the Setouchi Triennale, also known as the Setouchi International Art Festival. This contemporary art festival is held every three years across the islands in the Seto Inland Sea. Even after the festival, many of the artworks are permanently displayed on the islands for those that couldn’t join the event to admire!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
Tamano city (玉野市) in Okayama prefecture is a great place to visit for outdoor activity enthusiasts as well as any art connoisseurs. From the gigantic “smiley rock” at the top of the mountain to the large fish sculpture made of items washed ashore, the artistic spirits of the Tamano citizens can be observed throughout the city! Bouldering and paragliding activities are available at the summit of one of the mountains. The same summit also acts as an idyllic lookout towards the renowned sunsets over the Seto Inland Sea (=ﾟωﾟ)ﾉ.Read more
Kojima District (児島郡) in Kurashiki City Okayama Prefecture is Japan’s denim mecca. As soon as you step out of the JR train, you will be surprised by the amount of jeans-related decoration throughout the district.
But Kojima is more than just the Kojima Jeans Street. The sunset from Mt. Washu (鷲羽山) was chosen to be the 100 Best Sunsets In Japan. The 6.3 km promenade with a starting point close to JR Kojima Station is another attraction that cyclists and hikers come to Kojima for. And if you love Japanese student uniforms, have a free cosplay session at the Kojima Student Uniform Museum!Read more
Lake Tazawa (田沢湖), with a depth of 422.4 meters, is the deepest lake in Japan. The 6 kilometers wide caldera lake was formed due to a volcano eruption. Because of its depth, the lake can absorb a lot of heat in summer that even in the snowy winter, the surface of the lake will never be frozen!
Similar to Lake Towada, there are campsites and water-related leisure facilities that will definitely attract a lot of outdoor sports lovers. The Tatsuko statue at the lakeshore is the symbol of Lake Tazawa. The view of its golden colour contrasting the surrounding clear blue water is another reason for tourists to list Lake Tazawa in their itineraries!Read more
Hiruzen Highlands (蒜山高原), also known as Hiruzen Plateau is one of the best highland resorts in Western Japan. It is reminiscent of Karuizawa near Tokyo. While it might be less fashionable in terms of architecture, it has a lot more capacity for you to enjoy nature. At the same time, there are still stylish boutique shops for you to visit just when you start missing the urban life (´▽｀*). Renowned as a summer resort, cycling through the 29-kilometre well-maintained bike road is the most enjoyable activity to avoid the summer heat!Read more
Obuse is a lovely town in Nagano prefecture that is famous for delicious chestnuts and ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai from the 18th century. And, it is on your way to Jigokudani Monkey Park (=ﾟωﾟ)ﾉ.
While the main street of Obuse is within 10 minutes walk from Obuse Station, to really explore Obuse properly, you will want to be able to travel easily within a 2km radius from the station.Read more