Matsumoto in central Nagano Prefecture is surrounded by the beauty of the snow-covered Japanese Alps and as such has great access to majestic slopes for skiing and snowboarding. The castle town is…

It was the first time we’d sat in an outdoor Japanese bath while it rained. But considering where we were – tucked away in the jungle-like mountains of western Shizuoka – it…

As fall settles in and you think about getting out and enjoying the nice weather and the trees, there is one region in particular that you might want to consider. The Yatsugatake…

“Oh look, it’s a heart!” I hear a child say to their parents. It is quickly followed by “And that one is a butterfly.” But it is not just the kids talking…

Seen as the gateway to the Northern Japanese Alps and the Sea of Japan, Toyama is a captivating, laid-back city in the Hokuriku region that celebrates its past while embracing the future.…

Affectionately known as “little Kyoto,” Kanazawa is a rustic city in northern Honshu’s Chubu region. Although not part of the Kansai region, it’s a train ride away from Osaka (just under three…

Yuzawa Quattro provides the familiar comfort of a Four Seasons with the aesthetic of a traditional Japanese homestay. Each individually themed suite comes equipped with comfy luxurious beds, a private open-air hot spring bath and balcony, and modern facilities like LCD TVs, Bose audio system, free Wi-Fi and a coffee machine. A traditional Japanese multi-course dinner is served every night, and guests can request a Western-style breakfast served in their room. Easily accessable, the Four Seasons Yuzawa Quattro is a 5-minute walk from JR Echigo-yuzawa Shinkansen (bullet train) Station. Free pick-up services are offered from the station and luggage storage services are offered for free as well. Ski equipment rental is available onsite, and Yuzawa Kogen Ski Resort and NASPA Ski Garden are both within a 10-minute drive.   Address: 〒949-6101 Niigata Prefecture, Minamiuonuma District, Yuzawa, 1926-4 Website: www.quattro-yuzawa.jp Tel: 03-5379-5668

The Key Highland Izu is ideal for honeymoons or just some self-pampering. Toast Champagne or local Izu sake at the 5-star resort's lounge or dine at the on-site gourmet restaurant where chefs create signature cuisine using fresh local seafood and produce. Take a dip in the luxurious seasonal outdoor swimming pool or stroll through the beautiful, sprawling gardens to truly escape at this paradise located in the onsen resort town of Ito. Each accommodation comes equipped with air-conditioning, a flat-screen TV, electric tea kettle and mini-fridge. Select rooms offer a private balcony while all guests are welcome to take advantage of the resort's outdoor terrace. Just a 100-minute train ride from Tokyo, The Key Highland Izu also offers free shuttle rides from Shizuoka Airport. Address: 413-0232 Shizuoka, Ito, Yawatano 1253-25 Website: highland-izu  Tel: 0288-76-2032

Address: 436-25 Okuhida Onsengo Nakao, Takayama, Gifu Website: www.nakaodaira.co.jp/en    Tel: 0578-89-2568

Address: 4035-552 Kitayama, Chino-shi, Nagano Website: www.kaorukaze.net    Tel: 0266-67-2292

For a truly traditional and luxurious Japanese experience, stay at Ochiairo Murakami ryokan, a registered Tangible Cultural Property. The mixture of Taisho, Meiji, and Showa styles takes you on a unique experience back in time, allowing you to appreciate historic Japanese architecture and the artisans’ attention to detail such as in the intricate patterns of the shoji sliding doors. With both Japanese- and Western-style rooms, hot spring baths and superb Japanese meals, this ryokan has all the ingredients to make this an unforgettable experience. Address:  1887-1 Yugashima, Shizuoka, Izu Website: www.ochiairo.co.jp Tel: 0558-85-0014

There’s an old Japanese proverb that says, “You can leave without your lunchbox, but never leave without your umbrella.” In Kanazawa (pictured above), a city where it rains about 160 days out…

UAN Kanazawa hotel opened in December 2017 in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, and is centrally located just a short walk away from the Omi-cho market and Kanazawa Castle. Perhaps the first thing that strikes guests when they step into the hotel is the spacious “Hare-no-ma” lounge. Inspired by the design of Kanazawa’s countless tea houses, the space is meant to serve as a luxurious “living room” for guests, where they can rest, relax, and stretch out. The 47 guest rooms at UAN Kanazawa are a perfect extension of the elegance that can be found in the lounge area: each one is spacious and elegantly appointed. There are a variety of room types available, with comfortable spaces that will suit everyone from single travelers to families of four, and some rooms feature private terraces and courtyards. Address: 6-30 Oyamamachi, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa-ken Website: www.uan-kanazawa.com/en   Tel: 076-260-0111

When you take the ski lift up to the very top of the mountains at snowy Happo-one ski resort in Hakuba Valley, the clouds form a wispy blanket below you, hiding all…

Aichi Prefecture is known for being the home of Japan’s industrial powerhouse, Nagoya, but on a recent trip to the area – where we got to explore a number of the prefecture’s leading…