The best travel destinations in Hokkaido

The best travel destinations in Hokkaido

The northernmost island of Japan is hardly the first choice of travel destination for foreign tourists, and few Japanese tourists make it very far north either. But Hokkaido's famed untamed wildness is a genuine magnet for the more adventurous kinds of travelers, who can't resist the cultural and natural attractions of the island. The more touristy areas of Hokkaido have many examples of those most beloved Japanese tourist spots: hot springs, and Hokkaido becomes quite a popular destination ... [ read more ]

The best places for cherry blossom viewing in Japan

The best places for cherry blossom viewing in Japan

In the same vein that people in New England like to watch the brilliant fall foliage in their state, in Japan watching the pink explosion of the blooming cherry trees in Spring is something that few people would miss. Hanami (literally flower viewing in Japanese) is the tradition of admiring the beauty of sakura (Japanese cherry trees) or plum trees that bloom for a few short weeks in May. Hanami doesn't merely mean taking a walk in the park and throwing a look every now and then in the dire... [ read more ]

The most beautiful castles in Japan

The most beautiful castles in Japan

Feudal Japan was definitely not the coziest, nicest place to live for most of the population, but if you happened to be a powerful feudal lord, then you lived in glory and luxury, even if you often didn't live long. As for the rest of the people, they could console themselves with the magnificent displays of wealth of the their social superiors. Japanese castles, many of which date back to the Middle Ages, are the pinnacle of Japanese architecture, style and taste. Most of them have luckily ... [ read more ]