Japan Travel Guides for Backpackers

One day itinerary in Kamakura, Japan

A little background on Kamakura The political centre of medieval Japan, Kamakura is located in Kanagawa prefecture, just south from Tokyo. Surrounded by forests and hills on the north, west and east, and by the Sagami bay on the south, Kamakura is described as a ‘natural fortress’. Though small by today’s standards (Kamakura is home to approximately one hundred seventy thousand residents), the now-resort town used to be the de facto capital of Japan, as it was the most populated settlement and the seat of the shogunate during the Kamakura period. I have visited several cities in Japan, and explored some better […]
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Visiting Arashiyama? Don't Miss the Iwatayama Monkey Park!

If you’ve ever considered traveling to Japan, you have certainly encountered the pictures of a towering bamboo forest. This forest is located in Arashiyama, Kyoto, Japan and it is definitely gorgeous. It’s a picture-perfect destination for sure, but did you know that there is more to see than just these forests? After you’ve taken in the sights and snapped the perfect selfie, make your way across the large bridge. Check out the gift shops and try some of the locally popular matcha (green tea) flavored ice cream. Follow the signs up the mountain and be ready to have a truly […]
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Visit Nagoya, the forgotten city of Japan!

I bet you’ve barely heard of Nagoya! The city has the reputation of being one of the most boring of Japan and I guess lost between Tokyo and Osaka on the way to Kyoto, it is easy to overlook. And yet, travelers have no idea of what they are missing! As a former resident of Nagoya, I want to show you why it should be on your to-do list! Why should you visit Nagoya? History of the city In the 17th century, Nagoya was the capital of the Owari region and was the home of Tokugawa Ieyasu, who is known for […]
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Alternative Things To Do in Japan

Have you been on trips where you enjoyed yourself and the place but felt like you have just been to the same spots as everyone else?  Or maybe, you’ve been to this country before but would like to try and experience new things?  You’re not alone.  More and more frequent travellers are getting savvy and want to personalize their trips, but, not knowing where to start, may still end up following the plethora of guides out there.  Nothing wrong with that per se, but in the spirit of adventure and to satisfy wanderlust, I’ve come up with a few alternatives […]
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Layover in Narita: A Quick Transit & Stay Cultural Tour

If you ever find yourself with a half-day or so layover transiting through Narita airport in Japan (the airport most commonly used for Tokyo), be sure to take full advantage of the Transit & Stay Program. There are eleven free tours covering all of Narita’s must-see and must-do attractions, ranging from shopping to eating to traditional culture to visiting the countryside. Some include a volunteer guide while others are self-guided.   The best tour to choose I chose to do Tour 1 and visited Narita town and Narita-san Shinsho-ji Temple without a guide. (If you want a free tour guide, […]
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Nagasaki – A Budget Friendly Destination in Japan

I have been to over ten different prefectures in Japan, and Nagasaki City is by far the most traveler friendly place I have visited to date. All of the main sites are centrally located and easily accessible by tram. The maps at the tram stations are explicit and equipped with English. Plus, you can buy a day pass for the tram for only 500 yen (less than $5) at any tourist place and most hostels you might find yourself staying in. So, what is there to do? Nagasaki is home to many unique buildings, museums, and views. As a port […]
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EASY HIKING ADVENTURES AROUND TOKYO

During my everyday life in Tokyo, I happened to meet a lot of travelers who, attracted by the worldwide fame of this buzzing metropolis, fly to Japan and venture to explore the city’s restless streets. Akiba’s Electric Town with its cheap electronic shops, manga & anime stores; Harajuku, the heart of Tokyo’s fashion; the popular shopping and entertainment area of Shibuya with its iconic Scramble Crossing; Roppongi and its never-ending nightlife; the luxurious Ginza area and many more. I’ve no doubt that all these famous spots will make you fall in love with Japan’s unique capital, especially if you are […]
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The Ultimate Guide to Japanese Hot Springs

The combination of communal bathing and flat-out nudity make Japanese onsens one of the stranger experiences for many travellers visiting this wonderful country. These places are often far too easy to overlook and miss out on, due mainly to their birthday suit dress code. This is a shame because once you get past all of that, you will discover that onsens are supremely relaxing, not to mention the long list of health benefits of these public hot springs/baths. I was just as confused as you probably are before I first went to Japan. If only I’d had a guide like this […]
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Hidden Waterfalls in Osaka and Mie

I always find the best adventures in places that are not extremely well-known. You know, the places that are mind-blowingly gorgeous, but not crawling with tourists (other than yourself!) so you can easily take pictures and soak it in. As I’ve lived in Kansai (the central area of Japan,) I’ve asked locals what places they would recommend seeing. I have a particular affinity for waterfalls, so I may have asked about them more than once. I just find waterfalls are especially impressive and beautiful. Something about the calming sound of a waterfall just pulls me in. Here in Japan, that […]
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A hike to a magnificent view of Kyoto City

Since I have been living in Kyoto almost three years now, I do have to say, Kyoto is not just about temples and shrines. Indeed, those famous shrines and temples are worth visiting, however, once is enough. Most of the time, the places just get too crowded and noisy. Kyoto is only beautiful in a more mysterious way. I came from Taipei, Taiwan, a city size bigger than Kyoto. To me, Kyoto can only be recognised as a town. In the beginning, I was frustrated by how little stuff you can do within this city. There is only one major […]
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Fly In and Out of Tokyo to Climb Mt.Fuji in 40 Hours

Things to Know Before You Go Climbing Season What?! There’s a climbing season for Fuji!?  Yes, those were my exact thoughts too!  The climbing seasons starts July 1st and goes until September 10 every year.  If you go outside of the climbing season, you will need to apply for a permit. 1000¥ Mountain Donation (NOT optional) There are two points on the trail where someone will come collect your mandatory donation.  The first point is at the start of the trail at Station 5 where you will see a booth on the right-hand side.  They will most definitely stop you!  In […]
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Karuizawa: Activities for every season

Karuizawa is one of Japan’s hidden natural treasures. Located in Japan’s Honshu island, in Nagano Prefecture, this little town is best known for winter sports, recreation activities, golf, whiskey, and hot springs. It is on the foot of Mount Asama and boasts scenic gorge with a feast of colors every season. Surrounded by forests and mountain peaks, Karuizawa offers tranquility and peace from the bustle of Tokyo (and other such big cities). Each of the four seasons of Karuizawa – whether Summer, Fall, Spring or Winter – promises activities that help you explore the best of Nagano Prefecture, and give […]
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3 Days in Tokyo, Japan: A Travel Blog

My boyfriend and I visited Tokyo, Japan last November 2017 for our 10th anniversary (yey!) It was a trip we’ve been wanting for a long time and then finally, we were able to make it and it was beyond wonderful! Fast facts: Tokyo is the capital of Japan and is one of the largest and most populous cities in the world. It is composed of 23 wards and is the seat of the Emperor of Japan and the country’s government (Wikipedia). I’d like to start with how the city made me feel. Well, I was taken aback. I never expected much […]
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Top 3 Places to Go for Japanese Cuisine

In the Philippines, the language of love is pretty obvious, it's feeding people. If you travel to the Philippines and you make friends, the main form of bonding is through eating; whether it is eating out or dining in, we Filipinos make sure to keep our loved ones full of food. This is also why the Philippines has so many types of food, our cuisine is not limited to recipes from our home country, we also have a variety of food from other countries. One country that has a huge following of restaurants in the Philippines is Japan. Though not […]
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Winter Holiday in Hokkaido Japan for 7 days 5 nights

A Winter Holiday in Hokkaido with only AUD828 I would love to share my experience on how I spent only AUD 828 for a beautiful snowy winter holiday in the northernmost area in Japan which is Hokkaido. With only AUD 828, this has included the flight ticket, the accommodations, the transportation fees and also the food! You might think that with this amount, we were staying in dormitory or hostel, but no, we were staying in a 4-star hotel and also a 3-star hotel. With this amount, we also ate delicious food throughout the trip. Besides staying in Sapporo (the […]
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Niseko: a snow lovers dream

Picture your idea of snowy paradise. Where is it? Canada? France? America? I bet Japan wouldn’t be in your visual, right? Let me tell you right now, it should be.   Niseko, located on the northern island of Japan, is fast becoming known for its light, deep and fluffy powder. There are about 5,000 permanent residents there, not including the neighbouring town of Kutchan. Oh, and one of the things I love about Niseko and Kutchan is that their mascots are a skiing and a boarding potato….Hokkaido is known for its delicious spuds.   A paradise of four snow resorts […]
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Japan's Nara Park: Deer-Central

Why go to Nara Park? Nara Park is famous as one of the most picturesque and oldest parks in Japan. It is a sprawling 502 hectares of beautiful sights and is home to many cultural landmarks of the City of Nara. But what the park is famous for is the 1,200 residents of the Park: Deer. That's right, Nara Park is best known as the Deer Park of Japan. Established in the late 19th century, the park is in Japan's first capital city. Nara is recognized to be the birthplace of the country's high culture. It is home to Japan's […]
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Secrets Of Gion: Exploring The Geisha Town Of Kyoto, Japan

Discovering The World Of Geisha You've never been to Kyoto if you haven't been to Gion. Made internationally famous by the controversially critiqued book and movie adaptation, Memoirs Of A Geisha, Gion hides away the secretive world of the Japanese geisha. However, it wasn't Memoirs that hooked me in on this mysterious town. Only after reading Geisha Of Gion by Mineko Iwasaki, an autobiography of the former Geisha that Memoirs is based on, I wished for the day that I could see for myself every sight that the author so beautifully painted in words. The day finally arrived for me – my […]
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Cherry Blossom and Japanese Culture

Who has travelled to Japan? It is different compared to the Western world, this is for sure. When I have to explain my friends how Japan is, I always try to make a comparison between India and Japan. And I love both of these countries. However, they are the complete contrary. While India is rather dirty, everything is very cheap, a lot of poor people and very delicious vegetarian food, Japan is ultra clean, a lot of very well-dressed people and a lot of fish food and compared to Western prices, not cheap. Naming it, if you are a fish […]
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What too see your first time in Tokyo

When I decided to visit Japan, I was afraid of getting lost and being overwhelmed by the masses of people. This was especially true concerning Tokyo, the capital city of Japan with a population of 13 million. I am coming from a small country, and the city where I live my whole life has only around half a million people, so it sounded kind of intimidating. To my surprise, there was really nothing to worry about. Tokyo is easy to navigate, the English signs are everywhere, and the people are kind. There were indeed many people, and the trains could […]
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Tokyo Food Guide

Tokyo Food Guide If you are a lover of sushi, consider yourself a foodie, or if you're just looking to try something new, Tokyo is the perfect destination for you. With restaurants of every variety on nearly every corner, you never have to look too far. Sushi One of the most popular dishes in Japan is sushi, and it is a must try as a visitor to the country. There are traditional sit down sushi restaurants and sushi-go-rounds, where your food is delivered to you on a conveyor belt. These restaurants can be found all over Tokyo. One common chain […]
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OSAKA Amazing Pass: A ticket for having more fun with less cost

If you are planning a trip that you would like to stay in OSAKA for deep travel, do not miss to add this ticket/the pass on your list. Osaka is the biggest city in western Japan, has more than 2 million population. In this kind of busy city, it has a very convenient underground system but complicating. Well, if you are not good at the direction… You can stay here for 1 to 7 days and make your unique experience in this modern city. ONE DAY PASS AND TWO DAY PASS I have been to Osaka last year. There were […]
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Exploring Japan: Top 4 Unique Things To Do

Once the Imperial capital of Japan, Kyoto is now a popular destination for world travelers who have their eyes set on Japan. Most people who visit usually plan a detailed itinerary, making sure they see all the famous sights in Kyoto. The city is one of the few left in Japan that has carefully preserved many of their prewar traditional buildings. However, the rise of modernization has unquestionably paved way for newer and modern buildings. Despite this transformation, Kyoto continues to remain an important cultural and religious center for the Japanese. The enigmatic city embraces new and old traditions, carrying the […]
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Japan: More Than Just Mangas and Animes

JaFun from the mountains to the megalopolis   When you hear the word Japan, anyone can immediately associate it with ramen, kimono, sakura, geishas among many other words which we have used in daily conversations. However, I would like to target some readers who want another perspective of what Japan can offer rather than the obvious.  So, what else is there really, you ask?   Japanese Architecture: Preservation and Innovation My goal is not to bore you about this topic if it is not your cup of tea. At least know general ideas and take a moment to appreciate them. […]
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