But Omiya is more than just a gateway between differing versions of Japan. Omiya is quintessential Japan. With shrines dating back thousands of years to being the centre of bonsai culture, the city is a rich treasure trove of art, culture and history.
Kesennuma is a beautiful coastal city in Miyagi prefecture in northern Japan. With Kesennuma having a population of a little over 65,000 people and best known for its fishing industry, one may wonder what it has to offer the average person. Lucky for me, the people of Kesennuma are so kind and ecstatic to share Japanese culture with others! Here are some of the things I’ve found so far!
While there are numerous charming sights to see in Karuizawa, two of the worthy visiting spots to check are the Onioshidashi Park by Mt. Asama and the Shiraito Waterfalls.
In English, it means ‘Bank of Deities’. Though not as popular as the famous ‘Takato Castle’, Rokudō no Tsutsumi is arguably the better option for your ‘hanami’ or flower viewing party in the spring time. And, though access is granted all year round, it is in spring that this small and seemingly insipid pond really shines.
Let me show you an area that often stays unnoticed, but holds so much fun, beauty, history and great relaxing spots. The city of Nanjo is located in the south-eastern part of Okinawa. It lies right on the ocean has much history to share and has a beautiful view of the coast line. Here are my five tips for a daytrip to Nanjo.
What some may not be aware of, however, are the equally beautiful but less famous Japanese plum blossoms! Plum blossoms, like cherry blossoms are a signal for the beginning of spring, and though they are often overshadowed by the popular cherry blossoms, the flowers are stunning in their own right. Though they are similar in some ways they are also quite different in appearance, variations and blooming period.
The area to the west of Kyoto main station has gone through major changes in recent years. Ume Koji Park has seen the construction of the popular Kyoto Aquarium, the upgrading and renovation of Kyoto Railway Museum, a new café in the park and new children’s playground. These changes have brought in many more visitors to the area and because of this, a new station has just opened between Kyoto and Tambaguchi, Ume Koji Nishi Kyoto.
Suwa Lake, has 3 cities around it; Suwa, Shimo Suwa, and Okaya. It has a surface area of around 13 km2, it takes about 30 minutes to go around the whole place by car. The closest stations near the lake are; Kami-Suwa Station and Okaya Station. If you’re from Tokyo, you can take the train from Chuo Line that goes to Matsumoto from Takao Station or Otsuki Station in Yamanashi.
Visitors to Okinawa seek out the ancient castle ruins of the island that tell the stories of the Kings of the Ryukyu era. The most famous one surely is the majestic Castle Park of Shuri. But before the political base was built there, it resided in Urasoe, on a hill that would later on become known to American soldiers as Hacksaw Ridge during World War II.
Take yourself into a fairytale world. Funabashi H.C Andersen Park is located in Funabashi, Chiba. The park is named after the famous fairytale writer, Hans Christian Andersen who was born in Odense, Denmark.
Anyone who comes here with kids quickly realizes that Okinawa is pretty much one big playground. Parks, parks, everywhere! And they are HUGE! I'm talking ropeways, slides with vertical drops, trampolines, jungle gyms to climb up and through, ziplines, rock climbing, and the list goes on and on. And all completely free and open to the public!
Nagasaki is a fascinating prefecture with a long and colourful history. It was the first part of Japan where foreign explorers were allowed to trade with and has thus been a testing ground for the future of the country.