Hokkaido

Take a walk on Otaru canal! You can feel the history in a nostalgic port town.

One of the famous sightseeing spots, “Otaru” in Japan. The townscape with historical architectures and fresh seafood meals is very popular. The reason why Otaru became a successful tourists’ place is thanks to a historical background. Around 1888, Otaru was an entrance of Hokkaido and flourished as a port of international tradings. There are many banks and trading companies including Bank of Japan in Otaru. Otaru was once called “Wall street of North”, but after the defeat in war and a scarcity of herring, the town went into a gradual decline due to the economic depression. However, the period of economy depression triggered the success of Otaru. Those historical buildings…

Kyoto

It is like the Buddhist’s paradise! Enjoy the beauty of “Byodoin Phoenix Hall”

Byodoin Phoenix Hall in Kyoto is known as a picture on 10 yen coin. It was built in Heian era which is over 1000 years ago. It has a valuable feature influenced by the aristocratic culture.  Symmetric vermilion Byodoin Phoenix Hall floating on a pond is very beautiful and people from all over the world come to see it.  Not only the building but also the beauty of nature and historical statues of Buddha are worth to see! I’d like to introduce must-see spots in Byodoin Phoenix Hall which has over 1000 years of history.

Tochigi

You can take a day trip from Tokyo! Historical charms of “Nikko Toshogu” [World Heritage]

Nikko is very easy to access from Tokyo and a great place for a day trip since it takes only two hours and 30 minutes from Tokyo. The most well-known sightseeing place in Nikko is Nikko Toshogu. Probably most people know about the three monkeys but there might be people who don’t know about the background and the history. This time, I would like to introduce the history and must-see spots in Nikko Toshogu.

Hokkaido

At a famous hot spring in Hokkaido, Noboribetsu, indulge yourself in hot springs and take a tour in inferno!

Japanese people love hot spring. According to a survey, it is 85% of entire population that visit onsen (hot spring) at least once or more a year in Japan. To heal illness or injuries by soaking in hot spring is called Toji, but Japan being a volcanic country that it has so many hot springs (almost 3500 hot spring areas around the nation,) and the fact that there is consciousness that you can be healthy by simply soaking yourself in hot spring, may be reasons why there are so many people who love hot spring in Japan.   In such a hot spring nation aka Japan, it is Hokkaido where…

Hiroshima

What is the best part of a mystical world heritage, “Itsukushima Shrine”? Why was it built in the ocean?

Miyajima in Hiroshima is famous for a shrine, “Itsukushima shrine”. This beautiful shrine standing in the ocean was registered as a world heritage and is also one of the three great views in Japan.  Recently, Miyajima is one of the most popular places where not only Japanese tourists but also foreign tourists visit.  I actually have been there for a couple of times. Depending on the tide, the atmosphere is different every time I visit.  Miyajima where there is Itsukushima shrine is a spiritual place as “an island of god”. Itsukushima shrine was built on “an island of god”. Why was it built in the ocean? Also, I would like…

富士山Yamanashi

Even if you’re a woman and alone, no worries! Make use of tour program, rent climbing tools, and enjoy climbing Fuji mountain!

Fujisan (Fuji mountain.) It is the highest mountain in Japan that any Japanese people know about, and it is the symbol of Japan that is pretty famous around the world. But doesn’t it give you an impression that it would not so easy to climb the highest mountain of Japan?  Every once a while I hear some stories such as “every year, when climbing season arrives, I’d like to try climbing the Fuji mountain, but somehow I end up not going after all” or, “it must be very hard to climb Fuji Mountain, so I would not dare trying.”  Last year, when I was having a really bad times in…

箱根彫刻の森美術館Kanagawa

Enjoy art on a mountain in Hakone…The Hakone Open-Air Museum

I love traveling and I currently live in Hakone. I have lived in Hakone, an internationally famous sightseeing place, since March, 1996. I even have visited Hakone a couple of times before I started living. I visited Hakone for a school trip in April 1974. I went to Owakudani(a volcanic valley), Lake Ashinoko where you can feel a cold yet refreshing wind, Hakone Sekisho(a checkpoint during Edo era) and then “The Hakone open-air museum”, which I will introduce this time. Under the blue sky and being surrounded by green mountains, there are various art statues and pieces. I was very amazed that there is such a museum in Hakone. I…

美浜アメリカンビレッジOkinawa

It’s like the West Coast of the USA! How to enjoy Mihama American Village 120%!

Is this overseas? ! No, here is one taken in Okinawa, Mihama American Village! Speaking of Okinawa, people may imagine there as sea, marine sports, Churaumi Aquarium, Shuri castle, etc. are the first things to come up with. So, are there many people planning to travel Okinawa in search of blue sky and sea, white sand beach, summer resort using summer vacation? When you visit Okinawa, you must see the fusion of Okinawa and America which is retro pop American style of  “Mihama American Villeage”. In this article, not only the classic spot, but also I spent in Okinawa from the time I was born, will carefully select and introduce…

旭山動物園Hokkaido

“Asahiyama Zoo” attracts adults as well. The active display that show animal’s energetic attitude is popular

Hokkaido located in the northernmost part of Japan. Asahikawa city in the middle of it is a city with a population of approximately 340,000 people. Here, there is a zoo where the number of visitors has become the number one nationwide, surpassing the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo, a population of over 9 million people. That is “Asahikawa-city Asahiyama Zoo”. Why is the zoo so popular as it cannot be said that access is easy? The secret lies in meeting “animals’ living figures” by attempting to reproduce the original animal life of “the active display”. We will introduce the charm of Asahiyama zoo which overturns the image of the conventional ones.