Explore Japan's essential sites and hidden gems
Japan Rail Pass Exchange Offices
Japan Rail Pass Exchange Offices: the major offices throughout Japan where an Exchange Order can be exchanged for a Japan Rail Pass. Below are a few of the 51 offices throughout Japan where the Exc
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The most beautiful autumn illuminations in Kyoto
If you're visiting Kyoto during the fall, know that you are in the right place at the right time!
How to go from Sendai to Morioka?
From Sendai to Morioka, you will find outstanding views of rural Japan to the left and right of the train.
Osaka Loop Line
The Osaka Loop Line in one of the many convenient train lines that runs through the metropolitan Osaka area.
How to go from Tokyo to Sendai?
Located just an hour and a half away from Tokyo by Shinkansen, Sendai is known for its tree-lined streets and Tanabata festival. A variety of sightseeing spots are abound on the way, too!
Top 5 of the most beautiful autumn illuminations in Japan
Very popular in Japan, autumnal illuminations arrive at the same time as the Koyo and embellish the moment when the leaves turn red.
Resumption of tourism in Japan : What You Need to Know !
This is it! After more than two years of waiting, Japan has finally relaxed all restrictions for travelers since the 11st of October.
Located in the Aichi Expo Memorial Park, near the city of Nagoya, Ghibli Park is the most prominent attraction of the end of the year.
Sendai subway has two lines: the north-south Namboku Line and the east-west Tozai Line. Sendai Station is the major intersection of the two lines.
Things to take to Japan
For a short journey or for a long vacation, prepare your bag properly to have a successful trip!
Here is a list of the essentials to have in your bag in Japan.
Things to do in Tohoku
The Tohoku region is famous for its modern and traditional activities, which allow discovering the vastness of the region.
10 Things to check before leaving
Your trip to Japan is coming up and you want to be sure you do not forget anything? Here is a checklist of the 10 essential things to prepare before the big departure!
Kansai Thru Pass
The Kansai Thru Pass allows unlimited travel on buses, trains, and subways in the Kansai region in western and central Japan.
How to go from Okayama to Matsue?
Japan has always boasted a very rich historical background, and the itinerary from Okayama to Matsue is especially representative of that.
The Tohoku region consists of the north east part of the main island of Honshu including the six prefectures of Aomori, Akita, Iwate, Yamagata, Miyagi and Fukushima.
Using the metro in Tokyo
It is impossible to do without the subway to explore a city as large as Tokyo.
The brightly painted Yasaka-jinja Shrine is one of the city's best known and most popular landmarks, especially the two-story vermilion entrance gate at the end of Shijo-dori Avenue.
If you want to optimize your time when taking the train in Japan, you should plan your routes well in advance (and ensure that you order your Japan Rail Pass prior to departing for Japan).
Autumn Leaves Viewing Places
This fall, Japan Experience shares its selection of the best places to enjoy the Japanese phenomenon of kōyō, when the natural landscape is transformed and the leaves turn red.
5 new places to discover in Japan in 2022
As Japan prepares to welcome foreign visitors once again, we invite you to discover 5 new magical and extravagant places, which are opening their doors this year.
The JR Yamanote Line
The JR Yamanote line runs in a loop around Tokyo; a full circuit takes about an hour.
Mountain hikes near Tokyo
Not far from the capital, there are some nice hikes to do in a day to escape Tokyo's crowds and neon lights. Mount Takao is the most famous, but there are many others ...
Naoshima Island Tour
There are no temples, shrines or medieval castles to visit on this island in the Japanese inland sea (Setouchi), but seven spaces dedicated to contemporary art, bathed in sunshine.
How to go from Beppu to Aso?
The journey from Beppu to Aso will take you through Japan's volcanic areas.
KYOTOGRAPHY is the Kyoto International Photography Festival, now recognized as one of the world's leading photographic events.
Coronavirus - Update about your cancellation
Were you traveling to Japan with Japan Experience? Here is the information on how to get a credit note or refund.
In Japan, there are more than 100 000 different family names! This is much more than in China and Korea, even though they are Japan's neighbors.
Wakayama Electric Railway
Wakayama Electric Railway (Dentetsu) is a private railway that runs from Wakayama city to Kishi in Kinokawa.
The words to know to take the train in Japan
As an essential means of transport, the train will take you to the four corners of Japan safely, quickly, and punctually... as long as you choose your route carefully.
How to go from Kyoto to Nara ?
Discover how to go from Kyoto to Nara and its famous temples from Kyoto.
Cute Character Trains In Japan
Character Trains In Japan: see a listing of Japan's many cute character trains with special liveries and interiors such as the Anpanman train, Tama train and Yokai train.
Yosakoi Soran Matsuri Festival
The Yosakoi festival takes place every year, in June, in the city of Sapporo on the island of Hokkaido.
Smartphone Apps for Your Japan Rail Travel
Check out a few of our favorite apps to use when traveling Japan by rail! Order your JR Pass today - available in 7-, 14-, and 21-day passes.
How to go from Tokyo to Nagoya ?
Discover the Tokaido Line and reach Nagoya with your Japan Rail Pass
How to go from Matsumoto to Nagoya ?
This train line between Matsumoto and Nagoya is covered by the Japan Rail Pass and runs through the Kiso Valley, along the route of the Nakasendo Highway, the old postal route between Edo (Tokyo) a
How to go from Oita to Miyazaki ?
Running down the east coast of Kyushu the journey between Oita and Miyazaki on the Limited express Nichirin or Nichirin Seagaia is a contrast of mountain and sea.
How to go from Shingu to Osaka ?
The Kuroshio is the most frequent train, connecting Kii peninsula, Kyoto, Shin-Osaka and Tennoji.
The bakeneko, the legend of the "monster cat"
At the origin of a centuries-old superstition, the bakeneko or "monster-cat" is both feared and celebrated...Its long tail allows it to stand up, and it is even said to have the gift of ra
The different types of roads in Japan
Before you get behind the wheel, learn more about the different types of roads in Japan.
How to go from Kanazawa to Kyoto ?
Discover with your Japan Rail Pass the route between Kanazawa and Kyoto, it follows the northern coast of japan, before heading south along Lake Biwa. If you have time, make a stop at Fukui.
Cherry blossoms in Japan - Forecast 2022
The blooming of cherry blossoms, called sakura in japanese, announces the arriving of Spring. Incarnating ephemerality, they unveil their beauty for only two weeks.
Japanese Food Glossary
Here is an A-Z glossary of Japanese food words and phrases.
Practical tips on JR PASS
Japan is the country of trains, with probably the densest network in the world, the highest traffic... It has therefore developed a culture of train travel unique in the world.
Direct access to Mont Fuji from Shinjuku
Starting from March 16, a new train reach Kawaguchiko Station directly from Shinjuku Station : the Limited Express FUJI EXCURSION.
Navigating Yokohama Station
Yokohama Station is about half an hour from Tokyo with a Japan Rail Pass. It provides access to Chinatown, Landmark Tower and Minato Mirai district close to the sea.
Harajuku station along the JR Yamanote Line
Harajuku station (JY19) is a key station in Tokyo served by the Yamanote Line.
As of April , 2022, Hyperdia has stopped in updating its timetable details on route search service.
How to go from Fukuoka to Kumamoto ?
Let's discover the journey between Fukuoka and Kumanoto !
Venus Fort is part of the Palette Town complex in Tokyo's waterside Odaiba district, and is one of the many attractions the area offers.
MORI Building Digital Art Museum: EPSON TeamLab Borderless
The MORI Building Digital Art Museum is a jewel of TeamLab, a Japanese artistic collective that continues to gain in popularity.
The Chuo Main Line is a Japan Rail-operated railway line that goes between Tokyo and Nagoya, and is not to be confused with the Chuo Line (Rapid), which is the special section of the line that serv
Chuo Line Subway
The Chuo Line in Osaka is a municipal subway running west-east from Cosmosquare at Osaka Port to Nagata Station through Hommachi and north central Osaka.
Nakagin Capsule Tower
South of the Ginza district, near Shinbashi, is a unique building that stands out in the landscape of Tokyo skyscrapers, the Nakagin Capsule Tower.
Nozomi Shinkansen Train
The Nozomi is the super-express bullet train service on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line, faster than the Kodama and Hikari services, and is the only shinkansen service not covered by the Japan Rail Pas
Tokyo Subway Tickets
Read information on the various Tokyo subway tickets available including Pasmo and Suica IC cards, one-day tickets and special tickets for foreign visitors.
On the artificial island of Odaiba, Venus Fort shopping mall presents another side of Japan, an extravagant facet advocating delusions of grandeur.
Kyoto Bus & Subway Travel Cards & Passes
Kyoto Bus & Subway Travel Cards & Passes: see a listing of all the bus and subway passes available for visitors to and residents of Kyoto.
One day visit to Nara
Spend a day in Nara to see where the arts, architecture and Buddhist religion first flourished.
The original religion of Japan is Shinto, worshiping the forces of nature.
Hiragana and Katakana : How to learn Japanese ?
Taught to Japanese students in their first year of school from the age of six, hiragana and katakana are the essentials prerequisites for learning the Japanese language.
Jean Freund, the author behind the Travel Book : Le Bon Voyage Japan
From the Japanese megalopolis to the vineyards of Alsace, the Chinese countryside and the Mongolian steppes, Jean Freund fills his Moleskine notebooks with his stories. He likes to take the
Whether you are traveling or residing in Japan, here are some practical tips to make your visit to the local Post Office easier.
Yoyogi Park in Shinjuku is the ideal stop after a studious morning spent visiting temples and shrines. You will feel carefree upon leaving the park, which has a festive atmosphere.
Kyoto Imperial Palace
Emperors, empresses, princes and concubines lived for centuries behind the walls of Kyoto-gosho. Today the former imperial palace welcomes visitors and transports them back in time.
Shopping at a supermarket
When visiting Japan, you might have to do some shopping at a supermarket, but don't be intimidated! Here's a guide to what to expect when shopping at a supermarket in Japan...
Tokyo Imperial Palace 皇居
The Imperial Palace, or Kokyo, is centrally located in Chiyoda ward, Tokyo, very near Tokyo Station. Kokyo is home to the Emperor of Japan and his family, and is where Edo Castle once stood.
The New National Stadium in Tokyo
The National Stadium is a sports complex located in Kasumigaoka, Tokyo.
Where to park in Japan ?
Given the urban density of most of the cities in Japan, and the speed with which the authorities notice illegally parked cars, it is very unlikely that you will easily find somewhere when p
Japanese service stations
In Japan, the customer is king, and this is true for drivers filling up their car at a Japanese gas station.
Tips on renting a car in Japan
In Japan, traveling by car is the ideal solution for those who wish to venture off the beaten track or who dream of a personalized itinerary.
Road signs and driving regulations in Japan
Learn all about road signs and driving rules in Japan before you get behind the wheel!
With Japan Experience, discover everything there is to know before taking a highway in Japan and get ready to explore the country!
The most beautiful Japanese roads
Stroll through rice paddies, tea fields, or pine forests... Wind through the mountains and along the valleys towards the most remote spa towns.
The National Crafts Museum
Recently moved from its original location in Tokyo to Kanazawa in the Ishikawa prefecture, the National Crafts Museum is a great asset in the conservation and promotion of Japanese crafts.
The cherry blossoms through art
With the arrival of spring, the streets, gardens and mountains of Japan welcome the cherry blossoms and the whole archipelago is covered in pink for a few days, a few weeks.
Tenryuji is the most important temple in the Arashiyama area of west Kyoto.
From fashionable clothing accessories in Japan during the Edo period, they have become popular collector's items around the world. But what are netsuke and where can you get them?
Koishikawa Shokubutsuen Garden
With more than 16 hectares, Koishikawa Shokubutsuen stands out as an essential garden in the Japanese capital.
Ten Japanese Christmas Gift Ideas
Since we are still not able to travel to Japan this year, why not make travel those who dreamed of discovering Japan by giving them Christmas gifts from the Land of the Rising Sun?
Kiyomizu-dera, 'Pure Water Temple' in Kyoto
Kiyomizu-dera is a very popular place to visit for visitors who want to discover Kyoto's history.
A permanent fixture on the streets of Japan, Koban or police boxes, are there to help bring order to their designated neighborhood as well as help lost tourists.
In Japan, Taxis are expensive, yet very useful when you've got heavy luggage or you missed the last train. Here are Japan Experience's tips and advice for taking a taxi in Japan.
Hama-Rikyu Gardens, Tokyo
Located in the Shiodome district these beautiful gardens, with its 25 hectares, are a retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle.
In Japanese, nabe (pronounced "nah-beh") simply means pot. Nabe ryori (pot cooking) has become a generic term for meals cooked in a pot - vegetables, meat and noodles or rice cooked at the table in
Hakone Open Air Museum
This unusual museum is experienced by way of a walk through a hundred sculptures in a natural setting.
Tokyo Big Sight
The Tokyo Big Sight (Tokyo International Exhibition Center) in Odaiba Tokyo is one of the country's premier exhibition arenas and convention centers, a venue for a busy calendar of events.
Here you can experience Japanese technology in all its forms: Robots, Space exploration and a planetarium. Welcome to the future.
Sado Island Guide
The history of Sado Island, north of Nagano, is one of both a land of exile and the gold rush. Today, it is primarily a destination for seasoned hikers and a center of taiko drumming.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this Byodoin temple is considered the height of expression of the aristocratic art of the Heian Period (794-1185).
Awaji island (Awaji-shima) in Japan's Inland Sea is linked to Honshu island via Akashi Kaikyo Ohashi Bridge, and to Shikoku island via the Naruto Ohashi Bridge.
The 7,000 works from the collection of Kaichiro Nezu are exhibited within an oasis of peace and greenery, a few minutes from Omotesando.
Located in the heart of the Japanese Alps, Kamikochi Valley with its breathtaking views and scenery will create a lasting memory.
Sumiyoshi Taisha, in southern Osaka, is claimed to be one of the oldest shrines in Japan.
Located in the south-east of Kyoto, Tofukuji is a large open temple complex, with 23 sub temples. The temple is famous for its stone and moss gardens and has the largest Zen temple gate in Japan.
Katsura Rikyu Imperial Villa Kyoto
Katsura Rikyu, situated in southwest Kyoto, is one of the two Imperial Villas in the ancient capital (the other is Shugakuin Imperial Villa).
Sanjusangendo, in the Higashiyama district, is a Buddhist temple with a well guarded secret interior. Discover its celebrated works of art.
Steeped in history, the Toji complex spans the years from its expansion in the ninth century to its current collaboration with the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art in France.
Destroyed during the Second World War, all that remained of Tokugawa's prestigious castle was the main keep. But gradually, the palace is rising from the ashes.
This huge skyscraper offers visitors a stunning 360° view of the old fishing port, Yokohama.
A city transformed by international trade, the Yamate and Motomachi neighborhoods give Yokohama a western feel.
If you're looking for the quintessential Japan don't miss Nanzenji.
The shrine is dedicated to the two most important Japanese emperors and built to celebrate the Kyoto 1100th anniversary and named Heian, the city's former name.
Daitokuji Temple Kyoto
Daitokuji is a functioning Rinzai Zen temple complex in northwest Kyoto.
The Philosopher's Path, Kyoto
Running from Nanzenji Temple to Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion) in the northeast of Kyoto, the Philosopher's Walk is a roughly 2 km path that follows the beautiful Shishigatani Canal lined with many ch
A preserved old merchant town, pretty Kurashiki's historic warehouses, have been converted into museums, boutiques and restaurants.
This Buddhist temple of the Edo era (1603 - 1868) was the scene for one of the most famous samurai stories, 47 Ronin.
Spring, summer, fall, and winter, Japanese festivals are held throughout the year and celebrated up and down the country. The type of festival varies from region and season.
The Edo Period (1603-1868)
This period saw 260 years of peace thanks to a strong political regime, unprecedented urban development, a flourishing culture, and refined arts; this is the Edo Period (1603-1868).
Shodo Japanese Calligraphy
In Japanese, shodo literally means “the way of writing’. More than just an aesthetic, it’s an expression of the inner spirit of the calligrapher.
Nakano Broadway, Tokyo
Nakano, or Nakano Broadway, in Tokyo is a temple for otaku, Japanese pop-culture superfans, where you will find manga, anime, figurines and robots.
Kusatsu Onsen is one of Japan's most famous hot spring resorts. Located in Gunma Prefecture, north-west of Tokyo, it attracts onsen lovers all year round.
Ueno Zoo located in Tokyo’s Ueno Park is the oldest zoo in Japan.
Between its embassies and its excellent restaurants, Akasaka, located North of Roppongi, is one of the most exclusive areas in Tokyo.
Going down the avenue, which is on its way up, makes wanderers and shoppers at the luxury brands and architecture.
Ueno Park, in Taito ward, is home to Tokyo's most famous cherry trees, art galleries, museums, temples, a zoo, street entertainers, the odd proselytizer, and more than the odd crow.
Oji's Inari Matsuri
North of the capital, Oji is a small district full of charm.
One stop from Shibuya, the Daikanyama area brings together fashion boutiques, terraces, restaurants and bookstores. The perfect place to explore and escape the excesses of the capital.
Todaiji incites interest by its imposing statue of Buddha, its status as the first sacred Buddhist site in the province can not be put aside. The grandeur of this site commands respect.
On first impressions, Shinagawa is in an impersonal business district full of skyscrapers. However, this old fishing village once the water's edge has a rich history to discover.
Discover Japanese history through architecture, from the time of the Tokugawa shogun to warehouses from the Meiji period and the architecture of the Taisho era.
Karuizawa is a resort town, with beautiful scenery, museums and hiking trails for those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle.
At the heart of an arrangement of memorial buildings for soldiers who died whilst fighting for the Emperor. The shrine seems so peaceful yet Yasukuni Jinja became very controversial.
Kissaten, Japanese retro cafes
In the land of green tea, there is no shortage of coffee enthusiasts or "Kissaten", coffee shops. Imported to Japan in the late 1800s and the first cafe opened in the early 1900s.
Commonly mistranslated as 'vertical pinball,' pachinko is a noisy, smoky, time-consuming, and hypnotic form of gambling that plays a huge part in the Japanese economy.
Electricity in Japan
Plugs, voltages, adapters: Everything you need to know about using electricity in Japan for your trip.
Find out more about Japanese currency, yen, where to withdraw cash and other tips you need for your trip to Japan.
5 free views of Tokyo
With its countless buildings, its two towers, and Mount Fuji as a backdrop, Tokyo is stunning when seen from the sky.
What city can boast having an impressive stadium, an amusement park and a spa with natural hot springs, all in one location and in the center of the city? Tokyo of course!
Shinjuku Gyoen Park
Shinjuku Gyoen Park, nicknamed the ‘urban oasis’, is one of the largest parks in Tokyo.
Kokyo, Imperial Palace
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Located in the heart of Tokyo in a wooded area of over 100,000 trees, Meiji-Jingu is one of Japan’s most famous shrines and is dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken.
Roppongi is well known for its nightlife. As well as it’s nightlife it offers excellent shopping, dining and museums for visitors to enjoy.
Formerly residential, the exciting Shinjuku area, dominated by the city hall, by the famous architect Kenzo Tange (1913-2005), is a concentration of skyscrapers and department stores.
Abashiri, Hokkaido Guide
Abashiri is located on the coast of the Okhotsk Sea, 350 km from Sapporo, northeast of Hokkaido.
Fushimi Inari Taisha
South of Kyoto, the torii of Fushimi Inari Taisha, traditional gates at the entrance to Shinto shrines, lined up in their thousands on the mountainside. This is a must-visit place in Kyoto
Travel to Hokkaido Island
For the Japanese, Hokkaido is synonymous with wide-open spaces and wild nature.
Ryoanji Temple Kyoto
Ryoanji Temple located in the northwest of Kyoto is home to Japan's best known stone garden. Now a World Heritage Site this a must see attraction in Kyoto.
Located in the western part of Tokushima Prefecture on Shikoku Island, the region of Iya is a Japanese jungle.
When it comes to Japan's most beautiful gardens, Korakuen garden is regarded as one of the best, along with Kenrokuen in Kanazawa and Kairakuen in Mito.
Kofukuji temple was the family temple of the powerful Fujiwara family and is considered one of the finest museums of sacred Japanese sculpture from the seventh to the thirteenth century.
Kumamoto is said to have one of Japan's biggest and most impressive castles in the country. It is a true reflection of Japan's ancient castles.
Tokyo International Forum
The Tokyo International Forum is a vast convention center, concert venue and exhibition space in the Marunouchi district of Tokyo, bordering the lively Yurakucho area, near Tokyo S
Voices calling out from behind their stalls, traders dealing with customers. The smell of fresh fish, spices and candy tempt passersby. Welcome to Ameyayokocho.
Saihoji (Kokedera) Temple
Plants mark the passing of the seasons. Here, nearly 120 varieties of moss have created a color palette of infinite varieties of yellow and green. Welcome to the Kokedera Moss Temple.
Located in southeast Kyoto Daigoji Temple was founded by Shobo in 874. Now a World Heritage Site the temple is a great place to see the changing of the leaves.
Kanazawa Castle is just across the Ishikawa Bridge from Kanazawa's prime attraction, the Kenrokuen Garden. Both sites are must-sees on a visit to Kanazawa in Ishikawa Prefecture.
Okochi Sanso Villa
The late great silent movie actor Denjiro Okochi was a major star from the 1920's until his death in 1962.
Matsushima is famous for its view of over the bay, considered one of Japan's Three Great Sights. However, it offers visitors ancient cultural treasures as well.
Iriomote Island is the largest island of the Yaeyama Islands (Yaeyama-shoto), the group of 19 sub-tropical islands in the deep south western waters of Okinawa Prefecture (Ryukyu Is
Located in a beautiful part of Higashiyama Ward, Kodaiji sits atop a slight hill. The temple is a jewel of Momoyama Period architecture.
Hiroshima Peace Park
The symbol of a national tragedy and now preserved as a peace memorial, dedicated to promoting peace and looking to a brighter future.
Flighting robots, futuristics choreography and other scenes of science fiction: the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku features performances straight out of anime movies.
Kichijoji gets a passing mention in most guidebooks for Inokashira Koen, a park celebrated for its spring cherry blossom viewing.
Hozu River Boat Cruise
Take a traditional boat along the Hozu River to Arashiyama, a relaxing way to see this beautiful part of Kyoto.
Abeno Harukas in Abeno ward, Osaka, is Japan's tallest building at 300m, 4m taller than the next tallest building in Japan. Its observation deck offers a fantastic view of Osaka.
Mount Mitake, located in Ome, in western Tokyo and part of the Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park, is one of Tokyo's favorite day trip destinations, rivaling the popularity of Mount Takao.
Yufuin is a small town of around 36,000 people nestled in the picturesque valley below Mount Yufu-dake near Beppu on the southern island of Kyushu.
A trip to Japan is simply not complete without a visit to one of the many karaoke bars or boxes available. You have not sampled karaoke properly until you have experienced it in Japan.
Kujukushima National Park
Located in Sasebo, in Nagasaki prefecture, it is one of the most beautiful panoramas in Japan.
Autumn and winter flowers in Japan
We often think of sunny days when we talk about flowers, but what about winter? In Japan, flowers grow year-round.
Biei Blue Pond, Hokkaido
In recent years, the blue pond of Biei, Aoi-ike, has become a must-visit sight on Hokkaido Island in northern Japan. But why is the pond so blue?
Kyushu Island in southern Japan
Kyushu offers an endless variety of landscapes from cities to volcanoes, to hot springs and islands.
Pilgrimage hikes in Japan
The pilgrimage has been a popular exercise in Japan for many centuries.
The Seto Inland Sea
The six most beautiful lakes in eastern Hokkaido
These six large lakes in eastern Hokkaido will not fail to surprise and amaze you with beautiful scenery that you will not forget. Explore these majestic lakes in northern Japan.
With its Mediterranean landscapes planted with olive trees along the Inland Sea of Japan (Setouchi), its mountainous landform, rice terraces, lush forests and long white sand beaches, Shikoku delig
The differences between temples and shrines
Shinto altars in Buddhist temples, Buddhist statues in Shinto shrines, the places of worship of the two great religions in Japan are sometimes mixed.
Todai-ji, the temple to the great Buddha of Nara
The Todai-ji is an important Buddhist temple located in the heart of the city of Nara, in Kansai.
The Maneki Neko, Japanese lucky cat
With a stoic or laughing air, a malicious cat invites you, with a sign of the paw, to enter such a shop or a restaurant.
Public transportation in Osaka?
Subway, train, bus... As in all major Japanese cities, public transport in Osaka is abundant and very efficient. A short guide to finding your way around in the capital of Kansai, Osaka.
Driving in Japan
Put in drive and let the road guide you: driving in Japan is an experience not to be missed when you want to get off the beaten track... provided that you know where your wheels will take you!
Obi city tour
Nicknamed the "little Kyoto" of Kyushu, Obi is a small castle town attached to the city of Nichinan, in the south of Miyazaki prefecture.
Ukiyo-e, Japanese prints
Ukiyo-e is an artistic movement that reached its peak during the Edo period (1603 - 1868).
The most beautiful natural phenomena of Japan
Besides the blooming sakura and the blushing leaves during the koyo season; events well known to tourists visiting Japan, however, Japan also has many other natural wonders!
10 things to see in Mie Prefecture
Famous for its beautiful temples, Mie is one of the most sacred prefectures in Japan.
10 of the best national parks in Japan
In Japan, national parks have been classified by the Ministry of the Environment since 1934.
The 'Married Couple Rocks' of Meoto Iwa
Meoto Iwa, literally "Married Couple Rocks" or "Husband and Wife Rocks," are sacred rocks located in the sea near Futami, a small town in Ise, Mie
15 Interesting Facts About the Japanese Language
Japanese is a fascinating language for a Westerner, made up of multiple ideograms, many homophones and a grammar far very different from other languages.
Lake Utonai, a blue gem on the island of Hokkaido
Located an hour and a half from Sapporo, Lake Utonai is a small blue pearl lost in the middle of the Hokkaido countryside.
The Japanese summer is hot. Very hot! Inside, the air conditioning may offer a break, but outside, you might find it hard to find a corner in the shade.
Located in the heart of the Japanese Alps, Kamikochi valley remains, for those lucky enough to have gone there, a lasting memory.
What to do in Tokyo when you suffer from jet lag?
With ten or more hours of time difference, flights from the West can sometimes cause some inconvenience when you arrive on Japanese soil.
5 Japanese Villages to Visit
The image of Japan for many is often futuristic with crowded cities but Japan also has its small ancient villages, a more rural and quiet side of Japan, the heart of Japan.
The Kii Peninsula
The Kii Peninsula is the largest peninsula on Honshu and stretches south-east from Osaka and is considered Kansai's spiritual heart.
The art of Japanese calligraphy
In Japanese, "shodo" literally means "the way of writing". More than an aesthetic, it is above all a true art of living.
Mountains in Japan
Occupying more than 70% of the territory, mountains in Japan are omnipresent and there are few places from which it is impossible to admire them.
Miyazaki is a pleasant city located in the Miyazaki prefecture, in the southeast of the island of Kyushu.
"Washed again in Kurama, we had ascended to the sky without uttering a word, our hands knotted, riveted to the immense trees, drunk with azure and light. "
Time difference in Japan
After a long flight, crossing international time zones comes the jet lag... Here are some remedies to sleepless nights.
Withdrawing money in Japan: 10 Things to Know
Please note: Most Japanese merchants refuse foreign credit cards ... Some tips for never running out of cash during your trip.
Where to buy a yukata without breaking the bank in Tokyo?
Much lighter than the kimono, the yukata is an essential item of clothing for the summer season.
Gion & Higashiyama in Kyoto
The traditional neighborhood of Gion along with its Geisha has contributed to making Kyoto famous. Despite an urban metamorphosis, the spirit of Kyoto positively asserts itself here.
The Miura Peninsula, seaside coast near Tokyo
Only about an hour by train from Tokyo, the Miura Peninsula, little known to visitors, is a rustic region bordered by rugged coastlines and spectacular views of Mount Fuji.
The best excursions around Osaka
If you spend a few days in Osaka, you may want to venture out of the city.
Japanese art of Butoh
Born in Japan at the end of the 1950s, the Butoh dance expresses the suffering and problems in the society of the time.
Japan, the land of the rising sun: meaning and origin
Who has not once asked this question: why do we speak of the land of the rising sun to designate Japan?
Everything there is to know about the concept of "God / Kami" in Japanese
"GOD" AS REPRESENTED IN THE WORLD OF ABRAHAMIC RELIGIONS, A SINGLE BEING, CREATOR OF THE WORLD, TRANSCENDENT, DOES NOT EXIST IN THE SHINTOIST RELIGION.
Tsukemen are the ideal dish for anyone who cannot do without noodles during the hot and humid summers of the Japanese archipelago.
Emperors, empresses, princes, and concubines... lived for centuries behind the walls of Kyoto-gosho, the ancient Imperial Palace of Japan.
Takigyô: "the asceticism of the waterfall"
Spiritual research, challenge or simple curiosity, takigyô or "asceticism under the waterfall", a practice of religious origin which consists of remaining for a few minutes under the jets
The many facets of Yoyogi Koen Park
The Yoyogi Park will be the ideal stop after a studious morning visiting temples and shrines.
In the heart of Kansai, Wakayama, capital of the prefecture of the same name, offers its riches to passing visitors.
The international manga museum
The Kyoto International Manga Museum invites you to discover or rediscover, far from Western clichés, an art in its own right in Japanese culture: manga.
Visiting Odaiba with children
Odaiba has been transformed, a small fortress in Tokyo Bay, built in 1853, has been transformed into a man-made island entirely dedicated to entertainment and relaxation. Today, Odaiba is a family-
The Byodo-in Temple
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, recently renovate in 2014, the Byodo-in is located in the center of the small town of Uji, not far from Kyoto.
Five not-so-unusual objects to discover
Overseas, Japan is renowned for its unusual objects.
Shinjuku's Golden Gai District
Six narrow and crowded alleys, sometimes linked by even narrower passages, some two hundred tiny and outdated stalls, a bit decrepit: welcome to Golden Gai.
Visit of Ôkunoshima island
Ôkunoshima, declared " kyukamura ", literally "village to rest", is a small island located off the coast of Hiroshima Prefecture in the Setouchi Sea (Inland Sea of Japan).
Wabi-sabi, a spiritual and aesthetic concept
Live a simple life, accept and appreciate the imperfection of oneself and especially of the world around us: this is how the outlines of wabi-sabi could be drawn, a Japanese aesthetic and
Shinsekai district tour
Although its name means New World, Shinsekai Quarter is the unmistakably retro charm of Osaka that you absolutely must visit.
Karaoke, a mass leisure for Japanese music lovers
In Japan, karaoke is more than just entertainment: it is a real institution, a mass hobby, and an extremely popular activity.
Kaiseki ryori, Japanese gourmet cuisine
Japanese cuisine is renowned around the world and one of its most refined and sought-after expressions bears the name of Kaiseki ryori , the Japanese gourmet meal comprised of several cour
Kamakura: a Japanese Zen city
Kamakura is often called "the city of the samurai" because the former political capital of Japan was established and then controlled by warlords for nearly three centuries.
The rakan, the greatest disciples of Buddha
The rakan, the enlightened disciples of Buddha, have been the subject of very popular devotion since the time of Edo.
Pure Land Gardens at Shitennoji Temple
The Pure Land Gardens at Shitennoji Temple in Osaka are a representation of a landscape called a Pure Land, a mythical landscape common to Mahayana Buddhism in East Asia.
Kawagoe, journey to the Edo period
From buildings linked to the famous Tokugawa shoguns, warehouses from the Meiji era, passing through the typical constructions of the Taisho era, stroll through the stree
The practice of bonsai in Japan is an ancient art
Originating in China, this 1,500-year-old practice is now considered inseparable from Japanese aesthetics. Her horticulture requires knowledge and dedication.
Shinrin-yoku: forest bathing
Silvotherapy ("forest bathing") is now known and practiced in many countries around the globe.
Let's Zazen, by Jake Adelstein
Who said Zen was only for Buddhist monks? Jake Adelstein, the author of Tokyo Vice who has lived in Tokyo for more than thirty years, shares his practice of mindful meditation, zazen.
The most beautiful Japanese Zen gardens
The Zen garden is one of the iconic images of Japan: these dry gardens, composed of sand, rocks, moss, are present in many Zen temples in the country.
What are the best bakeries in Tokyo?
In the land of sushi, bakeries abound. There are said to be more than 10,000 throughout Japan and several thousand in Tokyo. It is difficult to make a selection as there are so many good bakeries.
The passion for bonsai in Tokyo: between shops and museums
Even in the immense Tokyo, it is not easy to satisfy your passion for bonsai ... From the shop to the museum, here are the tips of Vivre le Japon!
Tondabayashi guide: Tondabayashi in Osaka Prefecture includes the Jinaimachi district, a well preserved historic village that dates back to the 16th century.
Explore Japan in summer 2020
Japan has closed its borders to many countries and the most popular sites are now deserted. This is a perfect opportunity for the lucky ones living in Japan or who can travel and explore these plac
This small neighborhood in the town of Takamatsu on the island of Shikoku is home to some 270 bonsai specialists who alone produce 80% of the country's bonsai pines.
Toyooka City Guide
Toyooka City Guide: Toyooka is located in northern Hyogo Prefecture and includes sites that are part of the UNESCO San'in Kaigan Global Geopark west from Tottori.
Spiritual retreats in Japan
Far from the religious approach, Zen Buddhism is attracting more and more people concerned about their well-being.
Tokyo City Hall, Shinjuku Twin Towers Observatory
The Empire State Building is to New York what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris. But what about the city of Tokyo? Which building really makes the identity of the Japanese capital?
Amidst lush vegetation stands the Daichi-ji zen temple.
Recharge your batteries with Zen
Zen Buddhism is known around the world for its relaxation practices. The proper name has even become an adjective in everyday language, synonymous with "calm".
Heian Shrine Gardens
Heian Shrine Gardens: the Shin-en Gardens of Kyoto's Heian Shrine cover about 8 acres and were designed by Ogawa Jihei and later Mirei Shigemori.
In the footsteps of Japanese volcanoes
Located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Japan has 110 active volcanos, such as the renowned Mount Fuji.
Spiritual Retreats Near Tokyo
With its many buildings and bustling center, hectic Tokyo is not necessarily the city that we think of when we talk about spiritual retreats in Japan.
Nikko National Park Travel Guide
Nikkô is very famous for its Tôshô-gu temple, but it is above all a very vast mountainous natural area, with multiple hiking trails. Ideal destination for a one or two day excursion near Tokyo.
The 100-yen shop in Japan
The "100-yen shop" is an institution in Japan. They cover the needs of daily life for only 110 yen! You can also find very inexpensive stationery and souvenirs to bring back from Japan.
The village of Asuka, the first capital of Japan
The village of Asuka was the first known capital of Japan but is today less known.
Hita guide, Oita, Kyushu: Hita is often called the Kyoto of Kyushu due to its atmospheric historic streets which were in part indeed originally modeled after Kyoto.
Kashihara Guide: Imai Town is an area of preserved Edo and Meiji period buildings in Yagi, Nara near Kashihara Shrine.
Sengakuji temple and its 47 samurai
This Buddhist temple from the Edo era (1603-1868) was the theater of one of the most famous samurai stories.
Harajuku, the fashion district of Tokyo
Frequently visited by young people in their trendsetting clothing, Harajuku is a continually evolving area where excentric fashion meets luxury stores and vintage stores.
How to enjoy Japan during the rainy season?
From mid-June to early July, it is the rainy season in Japan (known as Tsuyu). Wind, humidity, and heat, this time of year is often shunned by visitors.
Easy-to-read manga for Japanese beginners
Have you been studying Japanese at evening classes? Have you installed apps to test your hiragana and kanji on your commute? Do you have a notebook with lines of words written fiercely?
Shinkansen: Reservation for suitcases and bulky luggage
From May 2020, passengers of the Tokaido-Sanyo-Kyushu Shinkansen are required to reserve a special seat with an area to store oversized or bulky luggage when they wish to travel with suitcases with
Best Onsen in Kyoto
Best Onsen in Kyoto: the city is more known for its temples but there are places to enjoy a hot spring experience in Kurama and Kyoto's many public baths.
Attending a tea ceremony in Japan
The tea ceremony is a real traditional art in Japan, during which you get to try matcha green tea accompanied by a traditional sweet.
Shinjuku Garden, a breath of fresh air in Tokyo
Shinjuku Garden, nicknamed "urban oasis", is one of the most important parks in the capital.
Tokyo for otakus
The otaku are young people (or not so young) who devote their time and their money to their interest: the world of manga, animes, figurines, idols, and video games.
Travel in the footsteps of My Neighbor Totoro
Many places in Japan have been an inspiration to Hayao Miyazaki's movie "My Neighbor Totoro". From Mei and Satsuki's house, the two heroes of the film, to the forest of Sayama Hills.
Sometimes crazy but alway trendy and avant-garde, Japanese fashion is a source of inspiration for designers around the world.
Studio Ghibli is a Japanese animation film studio.
The Arashiyama district in Kyoto
Located west of Kyoto, the small district of Arashiyama has gained great popularity with tourists.
Where to admire hydrangeas in Tokyo?
Emblematic flowers of the rainy season, hydrangeas, or "ajisai " in Japanese, herald the arrival of summer and the end of spring.
The Melon Pan, the Japanese brioche
By its round and generous shape, the melon pan invites you to indulge. Its cracked appearance looks like a melon, but does it taste like it?
Kyushu's Best Onsen Hot Springs
Kyushu's Best Onsen Hot Springs: see a listing of the best onsen resorts in Kyushu including Yamada Bessou and Takegawara Onsen in Beppu and Otobaru Waterfall.
Cosplay in japan
Cosplay has become an element of the everyday landscape in Japan.
Where to eat the best ramen in Tokyo?
Ramen, a specialty noodle in broth, is one of the classics of popular Japanese cuisine.
Kyoto station, a Japanese architectural gem
Kyoto Station is often the gateway for a trip to Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan.
Top Ten Not So Famous or Hidden Gardens in Japan
Top Ten Not So Famous or Hidden Gardens in Japan: we introduce ten not-so-famous gardens in Japan. These beautiful gardens live in the shadow of the top 10.
Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage
The Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage is an ancient pilgrimage route of 33 Buddhist temples, centered on Kyoto. It is most probably the oldest pilgrimage in Japan.
The different kinds of manga
Manga covers a very large number of genres and is intended for almost every audiences in Japan. From adventure manga for teens to darker and more violent tales, there is something for everyone.
Senjafuda: maps of the 1000 temples
Japanese Buddhist temples are known for their sobriety.
Aokigahara, a thousand-year-old Japanese forest
Aokigahara, aka, the Sea of Trees, is a forest on the northwestern foot of Mount Fuji. Locally, it is also known as Jukai or "Sea of Trees" because of its high density of trees but is also
The Kanto region
A major region of Japan, home to the megalopolis of Tokyo and Yokohama, the Kanto region alone concentrates almost a third of the Japanese population!
Wagashi, traditional Japanese sweets
The term wagashi refers to traditional Japanese sweets. Usually small, the size of just a few mouthfuls, they come in many shapes, textures and using various ingredients.
Geishas, guardians of Japanese arts
The word geisha literally means "artisan".
7 anecdotes about Mount Fuji
Mount Fuji is THE most famous mountain in Japan, its particular appearance of an isolated mountain with symmetrical coasts and a snow-capped crater has made it an emblematic place of the archipelag
The festival of Tanabata matsuri in Japan
Around July 7 or August 7, depending on the region, the Japanese celebrate the Star Festival, during the Tanabata matsuri, born from the fusion of Japanese and Chinese legends.
The Jomon period (13,000 BC to 400 BC)
Prehistory is divided into two sub-periods in Japan. The Paleolithic, which begins almost 40,000 years ago BC, and the so-called Jomon period, which begins almost 13,000 years before our era.
Amakusa Islands Guide
The Amakusa Islands are a group of beautiful islands between Kumamoto and Nagasaki prefectures, and have played a major part in the history of Christianity in Japan.
The Yayoi period (400 BC to 300 AD)
The Yayoi period (400 BC to 300 AD) is a pivotal period in the history of Japan during which Japan starts cultivating rice and the first sedentary communities appear.
The Sengoku period (1477 - 1573)
The Sengoku period (1477 - 1573) marked a turning point in the history of Japan.
How to say thank you in Japanese
The famous Arigatô gozaimasu is not the only way to say thank you in Japanese. Let's take a look at some expressions that can express your gratitude in Japanese.
Getting around Tokyo with the Yamanote line
With its circular route connecting all the major stations of the Japanese capital, the Yamanote-sen is the essential line for getting around Tokyo.
Kyoto Tour Two Days in Kyoto Itinerary
Kyoto Tour: Two Days in Kyoto Itinerary: For those travelers to Kyoto who have just 2 days to see the ancient capital's many sites, what to do? What to choose? What to weed out?
5 Famous Japanese Legends
Legends have served as a means of rationalizing the world and providing clarity for the habits and customs of a given culture.
Takeshita dori: the iconic street of Harajuku
Takeshita dori: the crazy alley in Harajuku. Colorful crowd, costumed, grimaced, with colored hair, discolored; vintage, avant-garde or cosplay shops.
Japanese History: Simplified Timeline
The history of Japan is both rich and old, and it is often difficult to situate the many Japanese historical sites in time. To simplify, here is a simplified chronology of the History of Japan.
Takanawa Gateway Station
Takanawa Gateway is the 30th station of the JR Yamanote Line. Designed by the famous Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, its construction began in February 2017.
Counting in Japanese
To know how to count in Japanese, it is not enough to learn Japanese numbers. In reality, it all depends on what you are counting!
The sea in Japan
The sea (海 umi), an element of openness to the world, but also of isolation, has played a fundamental role in the history and development of Japan.
Mount Fuji in History, Culture and Art
Mount Fuji occupies a special place in the Japanese imagination, for the singular beauty of its symmetrical slopes and its snow-capped top and for the religious activity which developed there.
Sumo, Japanese Wrestling
Sumo is a paradox of brute force and the height of civilization. A handful of seconds combines well-mastered rituals and extreme violence.
Hanami, Cherry Blossom Season in Japan
In Japan, the beginning of spring means hanami - hana 花, "flower", and mi 見, "look".
Hokekyoji Temple Cherry Blossom
Hokekyoji Temple near Tokyo is an important Nichiren-sect temple famous for its cherry blossom in season and several historical temple halls and pagoda.
Top Ten Parks and Gardens in Japan
Top Ten Parks and Gardens in Japan: see a listing of the best Japanese gardens and parks including Kenrokuen, Korakuen, Kairakuen, Rikugien and Katsura Rikyu Imperial Villa.
The Edo period (1603-1868)
This period saw 250 years of peace thanks to a strong political regime, an unprecedented urban development, a flourishing culture and arts of exceptional refinement; this is the Edo period (1603-18
Japanese writing: kanas, kanjis and calligraphy
The mystery of the Japanese language, specifically writing, fascinates foreigners for its complexity of composition. Ambiguous yet subtle and delicate...
The Kutsuna archipelago: the island of Gogo-shima
Located in the Seto Inland Sea, Gogoshima is part of the Kutsuna archipelago which includes about 30 islands, 9 of which are inhabited.
Festival in Asakusa: Tori no ichi
The rooster market is a typically Japanese traditional event where Kumade, "lucky rakes", are sold in a colorful and lively atmosphere.
Dango: the kawaii mochi balls
The dango is a small ball of mochi served in a skewer.
Tokyo: the Ginza district
High-end boutique addicts love the chic and shocking district of Ginza. Enthusiasts of contemporary architecture come to admire buildings tending to an innovative perfection of lines and shapes.
The Heian period (794 - 1185)
The Heian period began in 794 with the installation of the imperial capital in Kyoto and ended in 1185 with the birth of the Kamakura shogunate.
Otaimatsu Festival Nara
Otaimatsu Festival Nara: the Otaimatsu Fire Ceremony at Nigastsu-do Temple in Nara takes place in March; young monks carry huge, flaming torches around the open balcony of the temple.
The best karaoke places to sing in Tokyo
Want to push the song? During your visit to the Japanese capital, be sure to try the famous karaoke bars, emblems of Japanese leisure.
Johana Hikiyama Matsuri Festival
One of the capital's most popular districts, both tourists and locals shop here before going to Senso-ji temple.
Okonomiyaki: A Japanese Omelet
A cross between an omelet and a pancake, cooked with numerous ingredients and drizzled with a thick, savoury sauce. Okonomiyaki is a typical treat of Osaka, Hiroshima and Tokyo.
The Japanese Alps
In the Chûbu region, between Kansai and Kanto, stand the Japanese Alps: a large and majestic mountain range whose various mountains exceed 3000 meters in altitude.
Takahashi guide: Takahashi is a small castle town in the mountains of Okayama Prefecture. Highlights include Bitchu-Matsuyama Castle, Raikyuji Temple and Ishibiya-cho.
Hachioji is a city of about 580,000 inhabitants, located in the southwest of the Tama region west of central Tokyo; sights include Gokuraku-ji Temple and the Hachioji Castle ruins.
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