History

Sawara: Chiba’s Charming River Town That Time Forgot

If you’re looking to escape the fast pace of the big cities, fewer places are better than the serene Sawara’s Historical District. Once an important trading town, this area of Chiba has kept its rustic charm while remaining a welcoming haven for weary visitors and those searching for power spots.

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Nature & Outdoor

Witness the Wondrous Striped Cliffs of Chiba’s Byobugaura

While it may be easier to call Byobugaura Cliffs the “Dover of the Orient,” no words could properly convey the serenity of this colorful jagged landscape lining the Chiba coastline.

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History

Step Back in Time in the Historic Townscape of Kawagoe

Known for unique clay warehouses, the former castle town of Kawagoe has so much in store for visitors to Saitama. Learn about the historical area and chomp on traditional treats while wearing a kimono on this special cultural activity.

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Nature & Outdoor

Rappelling & Riding Rapids in Minakami

Several exhilarating ways to reconnect with nature and shake off the months of sitting at home can be found at Minakami, one of Japan’s premiere spots for white water rafting and canyoning.

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Relaxing Stay

The Steamy Secret Behind Gunma’s Popular Onsen Resort

Of the 2,982 or so onsen (natural hot spring baths) in Japan, Kusatsu Onsen in Gunma has been rated number one of the Top 100 Onsen selected by travel pros for the past 17 years in a row. Come learn how this small town has become one of the most popular onsen resort towns in the country, fielding around 3 million visitors annually.

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Nature & Outdoor

Take a Scenic Stroll Through Shosenkyo Gorge

Grab a sturdy pair of hiking boots and get ready to explore the dazzling leaves and intriguing rock formations of Shosenkyo Gorge, only 90 minutes by train from Tokyo.

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History

Strolling the Atmospheric Streets of Narai-Juku

Walk along a route once used by pilgrims, aristocrats, and merchants in ancient Japan as you wander the Nagano streets of Narai-juku, one of the best-preserved stations of the Nakasendo route that connected Tokyo to Kyoto.

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Art & Culture

Behold the Black Beauty of Matsumoto Castle

Only two hours from Tokyo by train lies Matsumoto, home to one of the best-preserved castles in Japan. Matsumoto Castle is a National Treasure of Japan, and one you have to see with your own eyes.

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Nature & Outdoor

Hit the Fabled Powder Slopes of Hakuba

As any snow junkie in Japan might tell you, few locales on earth can compare to the powder slopes of the Land of the Rising Sun. And the Happo-One resort is up there with the very best.

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Nature & Outdoor

Head to Hell’s Valley for Scenery and Monkeys

Although Jigokudani changes dramatically depending on the season, one of the most popular times to visit is winter, when there is a chance to see the monkeys that inhabit the valley soak in a hot spring to warm up!

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Relaxing Stay

Have a Soak in a Hidden Hot Spring

Extream Onsen tours aim to bring you the pure, naturally heated water of Fukushima surrounded by gorgeous views 1,250 meters above sea level. Take time to relax at a hidden onsen so deep in the midst of nature that even some locals don’t know about it.

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Art & Culture

Spot Art in its Natural Habitat in Niigata

A perfect blend of art, culture, and nature only two hours from Tokyo, exploring Niigata’s rich tapestry of outdoor exhibitions makes the ultimate itinerary for the adventurous art lover. (Photo: Ma Yansong /MAD Architects, 「Tunnel of Light」 (Echigo-Tsumari Art Field)Photo by YAMADA Tsutomu)

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Relaxing Stay

Onsen Culture Deep in the Japanese Alps

Completely encompassed by the breathtaking Japanese Alps, the Echigo Yuzawa region showcases Japan’s onsen culture at its finest. We’ve got the scoop to get you out the door and into the soothing hot springs of Niigata.

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History

Experience the Classical Beauty & Culture of Kairakuen Garden & Kodokan Mito Han School

You’re invited to escape the crowds of the major cities and journey to Ibaraki Prefecture, where you can take a carefree walk of one of Japan’s most famous gardens, before learning about the culture and etiquette of Japan.

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Relaxing Stay

Enjoy a Sunny Seaside Stay in Oarai Hotel

If you’re tired of the crowds and noise that are a side effect of big city living, Ibaraki is home to a stunning getaway right on the beach. Open your eyes to sunshine and sand by heading out to Oarai.

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Relaxing Stay

Touring the Untouched Natural Beauty of Lake Chuzenji

Everywhere you look around Nikko’s Lake Chuzenji promises to offer unrivaled views of nature at its finest. From verdant forests to volcanic mountains, there’s plenty to see, and just as much to do, in the area.

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Relaxing Stay

Getting Good Vibes at Mystical Mount Nokogiri and Nihonji Temple

Less than two hours away from Tokyo lies an area of natural marvel: Mount Nokogiri. Enjoy thrilling views along the mountainside, and ogle at the Kannon statue carved right into the mountain! History buffs will do the same when they come across Nihonji, an ancient Buddhist temple. (Photo by Tsubasa Muroi.)

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Art & Culture

An Entire Village Dedicated to Bonsai Art

Learn how the art form of bonsai came to be at Omiya Bonsai Village, just a quick trip from Tokyo. (Photo: ©STIB)

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Relaxing Stay

Harness the Healing Waters of Hakone

Shake off the chill of winter, or any season for that matter, with a dip in the refreshing hot spring waters of Hakone. A quick day trip from Tokyo is just what the doctor ordered for weary travelers who need a break from the Tokyo streets.

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Art & Culture

Art & Nature Combine at Enoura Observatory

An art project in and of itself, the Enoura Observatory is a great place to get off the beaten path. The facility combines the artistic sensibilities of Japanese art and design with the beauty of nature. This brainchild of Hiroshi Sugimoto is a location where one can explore the origins of art. (Photo: Winter Solstice Observation Tunnel and Optical Glass Stage ©Odawara Art Foundation)

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Relaxing Stay

Take in the Cool Summer Breeze at Kiyosato Terrace

As the 1,100-meter-long Panorama Lift allows visitors to escape the summer heat of nearby Tokyo, Sun Meadows Kiyosato proves to be a popular spot for visitors to soak up the mountain sun while comfortably cooling off.

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Nature & Outdoor

A Cool Tour Around the Hot Spring Areas of Hakone

Experience the exhilarating beauty of Kanagawa, taking in the shimmering of Lake Ashi and Mount Fuji’s might, with a Hakone Mountain Ripper tour. After cycling or hiking with an experienced guide, you’ll truly have earned a long soak in the hot springs.

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Nature & Outdoor

Getting the Entire Nagatoro Experience

With no shortage of things to try in Saitama’s Nagatoro region, you might find yourself overwhelmed by choosing what to do first. We’re here to help you plan a trip full of fun activities and fresh food.

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Nature & Outdoor

Scenic Cycling on the Tsukuba-Kasumigaura Ring Ring Road

Get some fresh air and a fresh new perspective with a cycling tour through the natural wonder of Ibaraki. From the stunning and shimmering Lake Kasumigaura to the majesty of Mount Tsukuba, there’s simply no shortage of sights along the Ring Ring Road.

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Nature & Outdoor

Spotting the Seasonal Colors of Ashikaga Flower Park

With a full range of colors on display, Ashikaga Flower Park is stunning no matter the time of year. Marvel at the orange tulips, blue hydrangeas and the purple wisterias of one of Tochigi Prefecture’s best-kept secrets.

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History

Wishing for Prosperity at Furumine Shrine

Head out to Tochigi’s mountainous Furumine Shrine, where you can wish for good luck or good health under the stunning colors of fall, or any time of the year.

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Nature & Outdoor

Outdoor Adventures in Tokyo’s Backyard: Okutama & Mt. Takao

You don’t have to leave Tokyo to find unparalleled natural beauty and outdoor activities! Mt. Takao and Okutama together are the perfect backyard for nature lovers.

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