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Dogo Onsen: Wrapped in History and Charm

Just a short tram ride from Matsuyama city center in Ehime is Dogo Onsen, Japan’s oldest hot spring. Its main bath house has been the inspiration for the Studio Ghibli film Spirited Away (2001). But despite a famous pedigree, the...

Things To See And Do In Nozawa Onsen (That Don’t Involve Snow!)

Nestled deep in the beech covered folds of northern Nagano prefecture, Nozawa Onsen is a picturesque village, home to 4,000 people. Sitting at the foot of Mount Kenashi, it comes alive in winter with one of the...

Nozawa Onsen Stamp Trail: A Great Summertime Activity

If there’s one thing that comes to mind when I think of Japanese tourism, it’s stamps. All over the country, there are small tables set up at attractions with an ink-pad and intricately designed stamp for visitors...

Nozawa Onsen’s Free Hot Springs (Soto-yu)

Nozawa Onsen’s heavy snowfall and abundant powder have attracted the winter sports crowds for over half a century, cementing its reputation as a world-class ski resort. But before skiing was introduced to this part of the world,...

Fuji Hakone Guesthouse: Affordable Luxury in Hakone

Onsens, shrines, nature, Mt. Fuji views—Hakone has a lot to offer travelers. However, a quick search on Booking.com will make the frugal traveler stay away, as a single night in a Hakone hotel can cost hundreds of dollars. Shockingly, some of these...

Ancient History and Supreme Relaxation at Arima Onsen

A blissful soak in an onsen is a must-do experience in Japan. However, not everybody has the time or money to splurge on a stay in a ryokan. For those wanting an authentic and picturesque hot spring day trip, Arima Onsen is...

Mt. Mitake: A One-Day Itinerary for Nature and Serenity

When the excitement of Tokyo has gotten to be too much, head to the mountains to recharge in nature. My favorite mountain is Mt. Mitake, close enough to be accessed during a day trip from Tokyo yet still feeling worlds away. Originally...

Why you should visit Jigokudani (Hell Valley) in Noboribetsu Onsen

Twenty thousand years ago, the eruption of Hokkaido’s Mt. Hiyoriyama changed the surrounding landscape forever. The force of it rippled for kilometres to form an eerie, steaming volcanic zone with hissing geysers and a thick sulphurous odour....

Looking for an Overnight Trip from Tokyo? Our Guide to Lake Kawaguchiko

While many of Tokyo’s visitors flock to Hakone, Lake Kawaguchiko to its North is a true gem. With its bevvy of cosy hot-spring inns, art museums, and cultural activities, it’s the perfect overnight trip from Tokyo. Most importantly, it’s the best place...

The Jogasaki Coast: Hiking through Volcanic Cliffs and Quiet Capes

After a morning spent witnessing volcanic archery and visiting a capybara onsen, my fiancé and I were off to the Jogasaki Coast, our next destination in the Ito Peninsula. A stretch of jagged 10-meter high cliffs threaded with hiking trails, it offers...

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