New Year with newer beginnings. 2014 is the harbinger of 2015. So, here we are enlisting posts that are par excellence. Posts that have brilliantly cast a spell and mesmerized your imaginations. Having led you to view them, add them to your bucket-list of unexplored destinations, savor the memories of visits with friends and loved ones; and/or led you to admire the beauty of Japan. Let's begin the countdown.....
10. How About a Fantastic Illumination Event?! – Nabana-no-sato Mie prefecture
Let there be light. And...LIGHT it is!
Nabana-no-Sato in Mie prefecture is home to one of the best illumination events in Japan. From seasonal flowers sketching a colourful picture to the rainbow illuminations of Hikari-no-tunnel, there is something in store for all throughout the year.
Wondering if you have missed the event this Winter? Not yet, the Winter Illumination Event, Toka-no-kyoen continues until March, 2015.
9. Get in touch with nature in Fukuoka with these great autumn-leaf viewing spots
'There is no blue without yellow and without orange'- van Gogh.
Come Autumn and one can glimpse at the different hues of yellow and orange against the blue sky. Indeed yellow is the colour of the mind and the intellect. Its turning me into a poet and if I am not wrong it did it to you too. Hence the ranking.
Fukuoka with its beautiful mountains and gorges offers some of the best autumn-leaf viewing spots that you shouldn't miss during the fall season. Visit the Komyozen-ji Temple, Hyugami-kyo Gorge or Mount Hiko; you are spoiled for choice. And if your eyes are tired of the yellow and the orange add a tinge of red at Fujie’s Gyorauken and Kawachi Fuji-en (Wisteria Garden).
8. Experience a Traditional Stay in a Kyoto Machiya
KYOTO - the name itself is a crowd-puller. This countdown is proof enough. We don't have one but five on the list. Every other tourist must have been to Kyoto, I'm sure. Often considered as the cultural center of Japan, Kyoto is only about 2 hours away from Tokyo by Shinkansen. Moreover, the rich tradition is visible in its architecture too.
Machiyas, traditional wooden townhouses have been a major architectural style in Japan since a long time. They have now been transformed for tourism for accommodating tourists and providing them the cultural charm that Kyoto has been luring them for. Minoya-cho, Oku Tamaya-cho, Sujiya-cho, Nishijin Isa-cho and Oku Zaimoku-cho Machiya are to name a few.
7. Best Autumn-leaf Viewing Spots in Kyoto that Make You Want to Visit Them All!
Next comes Autumn bringing with it, the 'Kouyou'. Here too Kyoto has given other places a tough competition, making it to #7. So spend time in a Machiya and blend the experience with 'Kouyou' or Autumn leaf viewing. Kyoto does have it all. Visit the Nanzen-ji temple during the day or the Kodaiji temple and the Shoren-in Monseki after sunset. The picturesque views will leave you spell-bound and craving to visit them all.
6. The 20 Best Places to See in Kyoto – Part 1
Kyoto is considered as the heart of Japanese culture. No wonder that this historically and culturally rich city is a very popular destination for tourists. First look - Temple Town will surely come to mind. Be it the tourist-packed Kiyomizu-dera, the Fushimi Inari or the Heien and the Tenryuji temple, it has everything; Gold (Kinkakuji) or Silver (Ginkakuji). Japanese culture and tradition at its best.
5. 10 Best Autumn-Leaf Viewing Spots in Kyushu – Saga and Nagasaki
Breathe easy.....before we skip to the next. Its time to explore Kyushu - and believe me these are surely the best Autumn Hot-spots at Saga and Nagasaki prefectures. The autumn hues blended with natural landscape creates an aura of its own. Personal recommendation, Todoroki-kyo Gorge (Nagasaki), with an ethereal view of the momiji leaves and waterfalls around them. Daikozenji temple (Saga) is next with breathtaking views of 500 maple trees in mystical hues of red, yellow and orange.
4. 5-best Must-see illuminated Autumn-leaf Viewing Spots in Kyoto!
And, we are back to Kyoto. Illuminated autumn leaves does call for an applause. Though the autumn leaves are marvelous in the day, you can enjoy fantastic views a bit differently in the evening. The beautifully illuminated maple trees in blazing red at Kiyomizu-dera Temple; reflections of momiji leaves at Sohonzan (Grand head temple) Eikan-do Zenrin-ji Temple; a 100m tunnel of maple trees at Nison-in temple will etch memories and bring you back to Kyoto for more.
3. The 20 Best Places to See in Kyoto – Part 2
Kyoto has much more to offer its tourists. But this will indeed help you to create a quick itinerary. This one is a complete package with a glimpse of culture, nature, architecture et al. Get close to nature at Koke-dera Temple (Moss Temple) or if you are bored of visiting the temples take a night walk on the Togetsukyo bridge, be it in spring or in autumn it always has magical sceneries. For the philosophical few, stroll along the Tetsugaku-no-Michi or the Philosopher’s Walk with its spectacular cherry blossom scenery.
Do not miss an inch of Kyoto!
2. Tokyo Vegefood Festa 2014 in Yoyogi Park
VEGETARIAN or VEGAN is indeed the in thing. So are the number of tourists seeking for vegetarian/vegan food. Hence #2 is the Tokyo Vegefood Fiesta. Overheard friends, it was indeed a plethora of food in all forms that not only lured the vegetarians but also food-lovers. About 100 food stands and shops did provide mouth-watering vegan food, healthy organic vegetables, natural products, etc. One could also try out the popular macrobiotic diet and raw food! Events featured workshops and stage talks.
1. Experience A Fantastic Blue Illumination in Nakameguro, Tokyo!
TOKYO it is. This urbane city has in it; while it can surprise some, it leaves others spellbound. Illumination at Nakameguro has carried its viewers to a world of fantasy and romance. Inspired by the lue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra) in Capri, Italy; the banks of Meguro River, dressed in pink in spring was dramatically changed into a beautiful blue landscape. Nakameguro - the Blue Grotto hence made it to #1
We begin with LIGHT and we end with LIGHT! The message is conveyed. Have an ENLIGHTENED year ahead !