Along with the iconic orange torii-tunnels of the Fushimi Inari Taisha, the picturesque Gion District, and the dozens of gorgeous temples, one of the hallmarks of Kyoto are its machiya, or townhouses.…

Many towns in rural Japan struggle with attracting more tourists, but have found it difficult to make it happen. Kimino, a small town in Wakayama states it has a total of zero international…

Looking for a new way to appreciate spring’s sakura? Plan a road (or train) trip that takes you from Fukuoka all the way to Hakodate, and you’ll catch the flowers as they bloom…

These are the kinds of questions that keep us up at night. Say you’re a town about 20km away from Nara, and you’re trying to get people to come by and pay…

The Japan Meteorological Corporation (JMC) has just released its annual Cherry Blossom Flowering Forecast Map. And you know what that means: it’s time to start planning your hanami holiday. There’s plenty of information online…

Host to the foremost sacred location in Japan, Ise Jingu, and home to the most revered deity in the land, the sun goddess Amaterasu, Ise Shima in Mie Prefecture may from this…

Feel like doing your first shrine visit of the year on a grand scale? Try one of these two spots. Even people who don’t make their way to visit a shrine during…

Like the city in which it’s based, Kyoto International Film and Art Festival revels in the glorious past. Kyoto is the spiritual home of film in Japan. It’s where the industry started,…

Wakayama Electric Railway has found a fitting feline to replace Tama, the late Kishi Station mascot and stationmaster. After Tama—the kitty who first revitalized the failing railway by drawing throngs of visitors who came to…

Shrouded beneath the thick branches of the Nachi Primeval Forest, the Kumano Kodo—the most sacred pilgrimage trail in Japan today—zigzags through the Kii Mountains of the Wakayama Peninsula. The five ancient routes…

Perhaps the earliest example of the concept of “kawaii” (the quality of cuteness in Japanese culture), kokeshi are the traditional hand-crafted wooden dolls produced in the Tohoku region since the 1800’s. By Chris…

A budding tourism agency in Akita is connecting foreign travelers with the anime-inspiring heart of the country. You could say Ghibli’s movies were responsible for the founding of Akita’s Travel Design. At…