Category Archives: Japan

Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo and Maihama

Top photo is the Cherry Blossoms’ tunnel in Maihama, close to Tokyo Disney Land.  This is 1 km Cherry Blossom tunnel along a river. You can walk 10 minutes from Maihama station.


There are so many beautiful cherry blossoms: “Somei-yoshino”.  It blooms only one or two weeks at the same time in the beginning of April.


This year (2015), it started blooming from 30th March, its peak will be 5th April, I think. There are some large cherry blossom trees in this Maihama town.


You can walk or drive under this cherry blossom tunnel.


Also, “Kasai Rinkai Park” is very famous cherry blossoms park in Tokyo.  “Kasai Rinkai Koen” station is next to Maihama station. You can enjoy BBQ if you reserve BBQ area. Also, there is good aquarium in this park.

=> Cherry Blossoms in Kawazu, Japan



Nikko Tosho-gu Shrine and Ryuokyo valley

Nikko Tosho-gu Shrine (Shinto shrine)  is one of the most famous Shinto-shrine in Japan. It is located at Nikko, it takes 2 hours from Tokyo. As top photo, there is the impressive big shrine (Tohshoh-gu Yohmei-gate). Fine sculptures are  carved around these constructions as follows .


Most famous sculpture of Nikko is, following “three wise monkeys”.  This Nikko Monkeys are teaching “Should not hear, speak and see evils while young”. It is a traditional symbol in Chinese and Japanese culture.


After hundreds of stone steps, you can approach to the grave of Tokugawa Ieyasu who is the most famous Shogun (General) in Japan history. Following bronze urn contains the remains of Ieyasu.


In Nikko Tosyo-gu Shrine, you can also see the  five-story Pagoda. Each story represents Earth, Water, Fire, Wind and Ether – in ascending order.


When you visit to Nikko Tosyogu, you should also visit to Kegon-no-Taki (Waterfall). Its height is about 100m and there is very impressive nature.


I recommend you to stay at Nikko because there are so many wonderful Japanese style hotels with Hot-Spa, in Kinugawa. If you can stay, you can go to Ryuo-kyo valley. There are beautiful river and good hiking trail in this Japan national park.


Also, at this Kinugawa river, you can enjoy River Cruise !


It is also very beautiful in Autumn Leaves season !




Itsukushima Shinto Shrine – Miyajima in Hiroshima, Japan

Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, located in Miyajima Island, Hiroshima, Japan, is not only on the UNESCO World Heritage List but designated as one of the Three Scenic Spots in Japan. The foundation of the buildings of the shrine is laid under the seabed, and thereby the shrine looks floating on the sea.



It takes about four hours to travel from Tokyo to Hiroshima by Shinkansen bullet train.

miyajima_map >>> Discover Gourmet Japan

>>> Japanese Best Rice

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Miyajima is also famous for its Shamoji, a rice scoop, made from sacred trees in the island. The following photo shows a huge Shamoji at the approach to Itsukushima Shrine.


>>>Shamoji Shop

Following photo is “Iwaso” it is famous traditional Japanese Hotel (Ryokan).


In this Iwaso, there is a good restaurant for “Anago jyu (conger bowl)”. It is very soft and good taste.


You can climb “Misen” which is mountain of Miyajima, using rope-way (cable-way). You can see various small island in Seto-island-sea.


Momiji-manjyu (bun with a bean-jam filling) is the most famous sweets from Hiroshima. There are so many small Momiji-manjyu factory in Miyajima. You can eat it when it is still hot.


Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima is famous for floating red Torii in the sea. When it is lowest water, you can walk and touch it. This shrine is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Japanese government has designated as National Treasures.



>>> Discover Gourmet Japan

>>> Japanese Best Rice

>>>Japanese SAKE Shop


Autumn Leaves in Karuizawa, Japan

Here are photos of autumn leaves seen in Kumobaike pond, Karuizawa, Nagano. Karuizawa is very famous place as one of Japan’s summer resorts close to Tokyo, but it is also a nice spot to visit in autumn.


A monitoring camera, Karuizawa-Kusabana-kan, is watching the pond all through the year. You can decide when you should visit the pond, seeing the current color of the leaves.

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It takes only one hour to travel from Tokyo station to Karuizawa station by JR Shinkansen Super Express.  You can fully enjoy Kumobaike pond as one-day trip, but of course I would like to recommend staying in Karuizawa for a few days. You can find a vast outlet mall in front of Karuizawa station, where many people gather to spend a nice holiday. If unfamiliar with volcanoes, you can learn a lot about it at the sight of Oni-oshi-dashi.

The beauty of red leaves is amazing. Have fun , taking an hour walk around Kumobaike pond!


There are so many ducks on lake. It is so beautiful because red leafs reflects to lake surface.


If you walk from Karuizawa station to Kumoba-ike, you can find so many red trees around road.


I think, Karuizawa Kumoba-ike is the most beautiful autumn leaves in eastern Japan.



>>> Discover Gourmet Japan