Writer: John Asano

John Asano is a blogger, traveler and freelance writer living in Gifu, Japan. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, he has lived in Japan now for over 12 years. John loves nothing better than picking up his camera and exploring all the amazing sights and attractions that Japan has to offer. He writes about the must see sights and attractions in Japan at Japan Travel Advice, as well as about Japanese culture and modern life on his blog Japan Australia.

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5 Lesser Known Japanese Cities

Most visitors to Japan like to visit the best-known spots, or what I call the “Big 5” destinations, which are Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Hiroshima. While these are all must see places in Japan, some of the smaller cities like Kanazawa and Kawagoe are often overlooked, and usually do not make it onto a tourist’s itinerary. I recommend checking out these “Next 5” destinations, which aren’t as big or well known as the “Big 5”, but pack a punch and offer you some amazing experiences and memories of Japan.

The Hidden Temple Gardens of Nara

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.

Discover Japan’s Fountain of Youth at Yoro Falls

Yoro Falls is a beautiful waterfall located in Yoro Town on the western edge of Gifu Prefecture. The spectacular waterfall is 32 meters in height and 4 meters wide, and has been famous since ancient times for its pure spring water and scenic beauty. It is ranked one of the “Top 100 Most Beautiful Waterfalls” in Japan.

The Venice of Japan: Ine no Funaya

Many places can claim to be the Venice of Japan from Kurashiki in Okayama Prefecture with its white-walled storehouses and picturesque canal to Ogaki in Gifu Prefecture famous for its old waterways. Recently a new off the beaten track destination has risen to challenge the title from Kyoto Prefecture.

Shop ’til You Drop at Jazz Dream Nagashima

If you are a shopaholic searching for a bargain or just need some retail therapy, I have just the place for you where you can fulfil all your shopping fantasies in one shop till you drop fun location. Jazz Dream Nagashima, officially known as Mitsui Outlet Park Jazz Dream Nagashima is an outlet mall located in Kuwana City, Mie Prefecture, just a short distance away from Nagoya. It is the biggest outlet mall in Japan and offers around 240 stores…

Top 5 Spring Food and Drinks in Japan

Japan is famous for its seasonal food and drinks with spring one of the best times of the year to sample these delicious treats. In Japan, spring is seen as a time of hope and new beginnings and carries with it the promise of warmer weather, beautiful colours and “hanami” or cherry blossom viewing.

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