All About Japan

Hikone Castle: A National Treasure at 410

2017 marks the 410th birthday of Hikone Castle, one of just 12 remaining original-construction castles in Japan. Join us as we take a look inside!

Breathing New Life into Old Kyoto

Kyoto is famous for its rich history, including temples and palaces that have existed for more than a millennium, but there are some new and exciting sites around the former capital that are sure to delight people of all ages.

Top 10 Historical Hotels & 'Ryokan' Inns

Stay at an accommodation that once served Japanese feudal lords or one that has been around since the Edo Period!

Same-Sex Couples Can Now Be Foster Parents

One of the most populous cities in Japan has granted a same-sex male couple the right to raise a foster child. Is this a one-off, or has the precedent been set?

The Best 'Hanami' Spots in Each Prefecture

Enjoy the best of the cherry blossom viewing season with this list of the top spots to see sakura around the country.

The Weeping Willow Plum Trees of Mie

The city of Suzuka, in Mie Prefecture, has a garden that opens its gates after nightfall, allowing guests to see the gorgeous blossoms in a whole new light.

Munch on Tiny Pancakes-on-a-Stick

The newest craze of skewered food in Japan is not a type of meat, but a dessert!

Fun & Weird Temples in Kyoto

Already done all the big spots in Kyoto—or just sick of the crowds? These fun and weird temples and shrines are definitely not going to be listed in your typical tourist guide!

Top 10 LGBT+ Pride Events Outside Tokyo

While Tokyo Rainbow Pride is probably Japan's best-known pride extravaganza, there are plenty of rainbow flags flying across the country. Here are Japan's best-kept-secret prides!

Venture out to the LGBT-Friendly City of Osaka

It's well known that opinions about same-sex marriage and rights are still divided in Japan. But Osaka seems to be ahead of the curve.

What's the Difference Between Tokyo & Osaka?

Debating between visiting Japan's two most prominent cities? Tokyo's got the bright lights, but Osaka's got the character. Here's a comparison to help you choose between the two!

The 11 Best Things to See in Golden Week

Golden Week is the biggest holiday of the year in Japan, and these 11 spots and events each offer something unique that can only be experienced at this time of year. You don't want to miss them!

Visit the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto

The intense shine of the Golden Pavilion reflects on calm waters, reminding us why this temple is considered a part of our World Heritage.

This Ramen's on Fire... Literally!

Think you can take on the flaming ramen challenge? Then head over to Japan's ancient capital, Kyoto!

Go Back in Time on Historic Streets of Gion

Gion, the traditional entertainment and geisha district of Kyoto, is famous for its streets and picturesque alleys that retain the atmosphere of the past.

JR Explained

When talking about Japanese trains, surely Japan Railways (JR) comes to mind. But did you know that JR isn't one single company, but six?

#Followmeto Couple Capture the Beauty of Japan

This well-known Instagram duo is leading us by the hand on a spectacular journey to some of Japan’s most famous sights.

Get the Best Seats on the Shinkansen

Japanese bullet trains, or Shinkansen, offer three types of seats for your traveling ease. Check this out for a helpful description of each as you plan your next train trip around Japan!

How to Hang with Glamorous Geisha in Kyoto

So just who are these mysterious geisha, and how do you meet them? Having spent time with geisha in Kyoto, we can help you unveil their mystery!

Top 5 Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots in Hyogo

When viewing the cherry blossoms in the Kansai region, it would be easy to get lost in the beauty of Kyoto and Osaka and forget Hyogo Prefecture. But these sites are well worth traveling to as well. Check out our Top 5 picks!

know-before-you-go