Journey to Japan
Collected by Vanessa Petersen, AFAR Local Expert
These highlights make me excited about the possibility of moving to Japan next year. Thank you fellow travels for these beautiful glimpses of Japan!
1-1 Chiyoda, Tokyo 100-8111, Japan
Even in the middle of winter, the Imperial Palace Gardens are well worth a stroll. There are plants from all the prefectures of Japan, and the bamboo is lush year-round. The palace is about a 10-minute walk from Tokyo Station, and it's a...
Japan, 〒381-0401 長野県下高井郡山ノ内町平穏６８４５
I left tropical Southeast Asia for Japan in the dead of winter for one reason - to see snow monkeys. I'd always seen pictures like the one above, of zen macaques in steaming hot springs surrounded by snow, and had no idea how accessible they were...
Japan, 〒444-0022 Aichi-ken, Okazaki-shi, Asahichō, 3 Chome−１ 岡崎市役所東庁舎2F
It's officially springtime in Japan and the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Okazaki Castle was a quintessential spot for viewing the blossoms against traditional Japanese architecture and gardens. The Castle was originally built in the late...
1-2 Nakajimachō, Naka-ku, Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima-ken 730-0811, Japan
A super talented barista in Caffe Ponte near Hiroshima Peace Park inscribed a message of peace and love on my morning latte. For the last 67 years the city of Hiroshima has devoted itself to the causes of peace and nuclear non-proliferation.
Japan, 〒603-8361 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Kita-ku, Kinkakujichō, 1
Built in the 14th century as a villa for a powerful shogun, Kinkaku-ji temple, commonly referred to as the Golden Pavilion, is an easy bus ride from the main bus terminal in Kyoto. The temple is one of the most popular buildings in...
Japan, 〒601-1111 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Sakyō-ku, Kuramahonmachi, 1074番地
This was a great day trip that allowed us to temporarily leave behind the amazing urban part of Kyoto. We took the train to Kibune (the second to last stop on the Eiden Eizan main line). Then there's about a 20-30m walk uphill, with no shortage of...
Arashiyama Genrokuzancho, Ukyō-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 616-0007, Japan
In western Kyoto, there is a very large forest of bamboo. As you can see in the photo, the shoots grow very tall, making those who stroll by look quite small. I'm sure there are times when this road is crowded, but when we were there, people were...
Lake Chūzenji, Chugushi, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture 321-1661, Japan
The Chuzenji Temple in Oku-nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, was originally founded in 784 by a Buddhist monk known as Shodo-shonin and is located on the shore of Lake Chuzenji, which is approximately 1,300 meters above sea level. In the middle of the...
Nara, Nara Prefecture, Japan
When traveling in Japan I like to stay in ryokans, a type of traditional Japanese inn that originated in the Edo period. Breakfast and dinner are usually included in the ryokan price so even though it may seem expensive it actually is a deal. You...
80-1 Motohakone, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa-ken 250-0522, Japan
Just a stone’s throw from Lake Ashi at the foot of Mt. Fuji lies Hakone Jinja, a wonderfully old Shinto shrine nestled among the forests that dot the surrounding hinterlands. The tree-lined approach by foot through the red torii gate lends a...