All About Japan

Jindaiji Temple and Environs: Hidden Historical Gem Not Far From Central Tokyo

A short hop from central Tokyo is the neighborhood of Jindaiji, a pleasant green area with Tokyo's second oldest temple, appealing soba shops, and a shop celebrating the beloved artist Mizuki Shigeru.

The Roots of Tottori's History and Culture in Japanese Mythology

Tottori Prefecture is located in the northeastern part of Japan’s Chugoku region, on the western edge of the main island of Honshu. Long and narrow, it runs from east to west along the Sea of Japan.

Recent Non-Fiction Books About Japan That You Must Read

Looking for your next great read about Japan? Here's a selection of some of the best non-fiction books—from memoirs to culinary explorations—published in the 2020s.

A Samurai History Tour: Japan’s Most Famous Battlefield and a Remarkable Castle

The Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 was a decisive clash of warlords that led to the unification of Japan. Today, you can visit significant historical spots, including a state-of-the art museum about the battle, and a castle dating from those dramatic times.

Volcanic Playground: Exploring Kyushu’s Fiery Shimabara Peninsula

The Shimabara Peninsula is a little-touristed corner of Nagasaki with something for everyone: volcanic hikes, hot springs and beaches, eye-popping vistas and historical sites.

A Day Trip Exploring Japan's Feudal History in Mito City

The city of Mito is within easy access of Tokyo or Narita Airport, perfect for a day trip.

From Ancient Ruins to 20th Century Homes: Five Historical Parks in Japan

Japan has a number of historical parks that feature buildings and items from prehistorical times to reconstructed Meiji-era neighborhoods. Here are five of the best historical parks!

Aizu Wakamatsu Lives by the Code of its Samurai Past

A visit to Aizu Wakamatsu is a chance to study the samurai code that emphasized honor, respect and ethical behavior.

Tottori Folk Crafts: Traditions Passed Down Over Generations

Tottori Prefecture is located in the northeastern part of Japan’s Chugoku region, on the western edge of the main island of Honshu. Long and narrow, it runs from east to west along the Sea of Japan.

Japan's Open Air Folk House Museum: Fascinating, Photogenic, Foreigner-Friendly

Historic homes and rural lifestyles are the focus of this sprawling outdoor museum near Tokyo.

Trekking Ancient Trails Along Tokamachi's Amazing Rice Terraces

The terraced rice fields of Tokamachi Tanada have been called one of the most beautiful scenic spots in Japan. Here's a hike that follows ancient trails through the spectacular landscape.

Day Walk of Ryogoku: Sumo, Swords, Souvenirs, and Wild Boar

Tokyo's Ryogoku district is closely associated with sumo, but there's plenty more to see and do here in this traditional area of downtown Tokyo.

Why I Love Imari Ware (and Want You to Love It Too)

Arts writer Alice Gordenker shares her appreciation for the Japanese porcelain that has captivated the world for more than 400 years.

Water, Rocks, Plants, and More: Five Types of Japanese Gardens

There’s more to Japanese gardens than beautiful landscaping. Come stroll through the history of five types of gardens you should explore on your next trip.

The City of Himeji: More than Just a Castle

Himeji is a major destination for many visitors to Japan thanks to its spectacular castle, but there is far more to experience in this compact city, filled with history, regional foods, and friendly locals!

Idyllic Etajima: Inland Sea Getaway

This inland sea island flies under the radar of most travelers, making it the perfect place to escape.

The Most Important Japanese Shrine You've Never Heard Of

While Usa Jingu Shrine is the most prestigious shine of the Shinto religion after Ise Jingu Shrine, it is little known, even among many Japanese. But it is an important part of Japan's religious history, and gateway to the fascinating Kunisaki peninsula.

The Perfect Weekend in Okayama

One of a series of Perfect Weekends in Japanese cities. Lovers of art, food, history, and nature will all find something to help them spend a fantastic weekend in Okayama.

A 5-Day Pilgrimage on the Kumano Kodo Nakahechi Route

The Kumano Kodo Nakahechi course is a majestic pilgrimage trail in Wakayama Prefecture where you can explore historic temples and shrines, dine on local delicacies, and rejuvenate in soothing hot springs.

Running an Innovative Guesthouse in Japan's Mountain Sanctuary

An interview with Ryochi Takai, the owner of a guesthouse in Koya-san, the renowned Buddhist temple sanctuary in the mountains of Wakayama prefecture.

know-before-you-go