You don’t have to go far to experience the ancient, living practice of Kannon Pilgrimage. One of Japan’s three major Kannon pilgrimages is just eighty minutes by train from Tokyo!
Dejima is located to the south of Nagasaki City and is easily accessed by tram. I got off the tram and was instantly surprised, as I was expecting to see Dejima on the seaside as it once was. However, I soon realized Dejima is no longer an island.
Kagoshima city holds a large number of interesting historical sites, but few of them are as big as Sengan-en, a sprawling Japanese garden and house on the northern edge of the city. It is one of Kagoshima’s most popular tourist spots and aside from the attraction within the gardens itself, it commands a wonderful view of Sakurajima, Kagoshima’s iconic volcano.
In the ordered days of the Edo Period, the northern parts of Japan were considered untamed lands of deep mountains and wild forests. One of the ways of entering this region was via the Nikko Kaido highway leading from Edo, now known as Tokyo, to Nikko. The early staging point for a journey on this famous road was Soka.
Even today, Beppu accounts for at least one tenths of Japan’s onsen production by volume. But although the place is a famous among the Japanese, and an increasingly popular destination for Korean and Chinese tourists, it is still relatively unknown to Western tourists in spite of its long history.
Depending on where you begin, a cedar-lined 1.7 km path (2,446 steps to be precise) leads either to the main shrine (三神合祭殿) at the summit, or to Gojunoto, a five-story pagoda that is registered as a national treasure.
Kakazu is such a famous historic battle ground, that regularly tour groups visit and explore the area. The extremely steep hills of the area were defended by the Japanese troops during the war.
One of the most pleasant surprises to emerge from my countryside break was to be introduced to some of Japan’s most beautiful, creative and inspiring works of traditional, hand-made art.
With each picture being 3 meters high, you would feel like being inside a Meiji Period picture book!