Many of these temples have magnificent gardens in their precincts that are sanctuaries of peace and tranquillity from all the crowds and noise of the big cities in Japan. In this article, I will highlight some of the less well-known temple gardens in Nara that offer you a chance to experience this peace and tranquillity for yourself.
Besides getting to know more about Japan through major cities like Tokyo or Osaka, Japanese culture also can be seen from historical prefectures, such as Ishikawa Prefecture, located in Japan's central Honshu. To visit Kanazawa, capital city of Ishikawa Prefecture, is to explore the well-preserved Edo Period districts, samurai culture as well as Japanese handicrafts products and beautiful nature.
Japan is home to one of the largest indoor bird & botanical parks in the world, and moreover, it’s not in Tokyo. It’s in Shimane, little old Shimane. If you’ve never been swarmed by a flock of tiny, flamingo-like birds, put it on your bucket list now.
Red and pink poppies swayed gently in the breeze for as far as I could see. The bright crimson against the brilliant green stems and leaves were a stunning sight. This alone made the visit worthwhile.
Situated on the banks of the Edogawa, Shibamata is at the exact point where Chiba becomes Tokyo. Although quite small, and rather sleepy, this is a top spot to see a traditional side to Japan that can be difficult to find further into the capital.
There is no better time than spring to spend the day outside. Especially these days, when cherry trees are in full bloom, we are all drawn towards green and quiet spots, we all want to witness nature's awakening and feel the inevitable melancholy caused by the view of fragile flowers giving in to the breeze.
If you have time in Nagoya, that big and under-appreciated metropolis on the Tokaido shinkansen line, you can use the opportunity to do a quick jaunt up to Inuyama Castle (犬山城, Inuyamajō), the smallest (and supposedly oldest) original castle of them all.