In April 2019, I embarked on a flight from France to Tokyo to do a cycling adventure all around Japan. Cycling at dawn, eating at convenience stores and bathing in hot springs,…

Iwate and Fukushima are Tohoku’s two largest prefectures and offer innumerable opportunities for exploring vast natural environments and the crafts that artisans have made from their resources. Both regions have rich historic…

As an avid solo hiker, I am always on the lookout for destinations in Japan that combine wild and majestic landscapes with easy access and safety. Although wild landscapes and easy access…

Since the beginning of foreign trade in Japan, Nagasaki Prefecture has been an important link between the country and East Asia. When you aren’t learning about history, what is there to do…

Living in central Tokyo, it can sometimes be easy to forget that Japan is not just an endless metropolis full of bright lights, flashing neon signs and convenience stores. I for one…

For first-time visitors to Tohoku, Miyagi Prefecture is often at the top of the list. It lies within easy reach of Tokyo and is a convenient stepping stone to the rest of…

Mount Fuji, perhaps Japan’s most famous symbol, has fascinated people for millennia. Even today, appreciation for this sacred mountain ranges from adoration to downright obsession. It has inspired everything from Katsushika Hokusai’s…

Onsen (hot springs) have been hailed for their healing power since ancient times in Japan. In the Nara period (710-794), soaking in one meant restoration of balance as well as physical and…

JAPAN RAIL CAFE TOKYO in Tokyo Station is a place where travelers' paths intersect. It is a great base for your next adventure, whether you grab a cup of matcha, use the WiFi or have JR staff help you with your trip planning. Their Travel Information Counter has multilingual staff who can tell you how to make the most of the JR EAST pass. JAPAN RAIL CAFE TOKYO with TW hosted six workshops on six Tohoku prefectures last year. This year, on June 26 and 27, there were six more events where we invited foreign residents to see, taste and learn about the highlights of Tohoku. TW's senior editor Lisa Wallin is our Tohoku Ambassador. At these events, she shared her insider tips with the participants — from personal recommendations to hidden temples that are not listed on Google maps. In addition to inspiring wanderlust, these events had a hands-on traditional craft workshop and an omiyage bag with some of the tastiest products each prefecture is proud of. The participants got as close to traveling without traveling as possible. When it's safe to travel many are planning to go to Tohoku. They shared with us that the vast nature and tranquil charm of Tohoku are exactly what they are craving. That's in line with current travel trends of staying closer to home and exploring nature instead of bustling cities. Those inspired to travel to Tohoku found out it's convenient to get there, especially now that JR have made their popular money-saving passes available to foreign residents living in Japan. JR EAST offers a great travel deal with their JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area) and JR EAST PASS (Nagano and Niigata area), among other passes to other parts of Japan. Not to be confused with the JR EAST Welcome Rail Pass 2020 from last year, these new passes are similar and are available from April 2021 to all foreign passport holders (regardless of visa status). [Sponsored post]

When English archaeologist William Gowland coined the term “Japanese Alps” in the late 1800s, he was originally referring to the Hida Mountains, now commonly known as the Northern Alps. Here on the…

Iconic waterfalls, untouched nature, and Shinto legends: this is all known about Miyazaki Prefecture. Thanks to its tropical location and warm seas, this oasis on the east coast of Kyushu is also…

Yamagata Prefecture boasts endless mountain landscapes, an abundance of terraced rice fields, 70 percent of Japan’s annual cherry yield and not a lot else. Or so the humble rural idyll would have you believe.…