The Japan Travel Guide | Everything You Need To Know

Travel Guides for Japan

Japan is the epitome of beautiful manners. Personally I beleive that Japan is so easy to travel not just because of the amazing infrastructure, but also because everyone will help you. I can't speak Japanese and a lot of the people I asked for help (when I needed it) couldn't speak English, but I always managed to get some really great assistance.  From the floating Torii Gate of Miyajima to the hectic streets of Tokyo there is something for everyone in Japan.


 


3 Must Do's For Japan

My Ryoken in Shibu Onsen

A Ryoken Stay

I stayed at Hishiya Torazo Ryoken in Shibu Onsen a gorgeous little village right near the Snow Monkey Park. A Ryoken experience includes a Japanese Tatami matt room and traditional Japanese breakfast and dinner. The private Onsens like this one have their own hot springs so you don't have to leave your accommodation to partake. It was Feb & freezing so I was the only one! It isn't cheap (around $250 AUD per night) but is a real treat! 

Hiroshima Bomb Domb

The Hiroshima Bomb Dome

Like all war museums this one is VERY confronting but if you ask me its a must do in Japan. The museum itself has headsets that you wear and it walks you through that day from pre-bomb to the immediate aftermath. It follows different people of different ages and is extremely upsetting but very worth it. I had this lovely elderly Japanese man follow me patting my arm and telling me it was OK which you can read about in this post about my visit to Hiroshima Peace Museum . It is brutal but I consider it necessary. 

The statues at Otagi Nenbutsu-ji

The Temples of Arashiyama

A lot of people head out to Arashiyama for a look at the bamboo forest and the monkeys. There is this gorgeous little train that you get and the village is very cute. If you like walking like I do, make sure you get all the way out to Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple (maps are easy to come by) so you can see the 1200 completely unique statues. They were all carved by different people and are amazing to see. One has a tennis racket, some are laughing and one is even sticking out his tongue. This article will show you the best things to do in Arashiyama


More Things To Do In Japan

As I've mentioned you can spend months in Japan and still not see a super high percentage of their tourist destinations. However, this list below should give you a good place to start. 

  • Abashiri for the drift ice
  • Miyajima Island (Itsukushima Shrine). Hike to the top of Mount Misen and get the cable car down.
  • Hike the paths of Fushimi Inari Shrine Kyoto
  • Find a doorway and sit and survey the scenery and hopefully see a Geisha in Gion.
  • The Philosopher's Walk Kyoto
  • If you are a meat eater, have a steak in Kobe
  • Battleship Island off Nagasaki
  • The fish market in Hakodate
  • The Snow Monkeys of Yamanouchi
  • Mount Fuji
  • The Snow Festival in Sapporo (if you are there in winter)
  • Kumamoto Castle
  • Mount Aso, Kumamoto for some great hiking trails (in good weather)
  • Sendai – a very traditional Japanese city

My Fave Photo From Japan

My very own Geisha portrait.

I spent a week in Kyoto and that was the perfect amount of time. I climbed the Tori Gates every day for exercise (a few hours to the top and back), ate some amazing food, did almost everything on offer and had an afternoon free on my last day. I had read that Gion was the district to check out on Sunday afternoons so I headed off hoping to just have a wander, eat a good meal (it was my last day so I was going to splurge on something other than ramen!) and just watch the world go by.

However – within half an hour it became clear that not only was I not the only one that read Sunday afternoons is a good time but that is your best chance of seeing a Geisha. OMG people are so very rude. There wasn't too many around but tourist where running after them, thrusting camera's in their faces and being so very obnoxious. I was so disappointed in people and was sitting on a set of stairs thinking about whether I would stick it out for a big longer or go back to the hostel and repack my bag, when out of the doorway right next to me walked this very gorgeous women. I only had my phone so it's not the best quality but I love how I managed to get her profile. And I didn't bother her at all. I got a break in the human traffic and the photo gods smiled down on me again.