When Blue Brew Taproom opened in October 2020 in Kochi’s Niyodogawa-cho selling the artisanal beers of Mukai Craft Brewing, it marked a major milestone for Ken Mukai. It had taken Mukai 18…

Whether you are seeking a relaxing or invigorating getaway, the Hotel Indigo Hakone Gora is the perfect destination to reawaken your senses. Waiting at the end of the Hakone Tozan mountain railway…

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. This is the best place in Tokyo to learn all about the Tohoku area, a beautiful and vast stretch of several prefectures to the north. JAPAN RAIL CAFE TOKYO with TW hosted six workshops on six Tohoku prefectures last year. This year, on March 27 and 28, there were six more events where they invited foreign residents to see, taste and learn about the highlights of Tohoku. Each event showed participants some of the best travel spots (with an accent on where to see cherry blossoms) and provided an introduction to the special JR trains that can take you there. Presenters then introduced a traditional craft, and each event ended with an online sake brewery tour and sake tasting. Several participants expressed regret for overlooking Tohoku up until now, but they seemed determined to travel there as soon as possible. Those inspired to travel to Tohoku found out it's very convenient to get there, especially now that JR have made their popular money-saving passes available to foreign residents too. 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). "I've had my eyes on Tohoku for a while, and this pass will make my trip possible," one participant shared with us, and she went to plan her trip with the JAPAN RAIL CAFE TOKYO staff at the tourist information counter. "I want to swim in this lake" and "I'm definitely booking a seat on the foot onsen train," were remarks expressed by other enthusiastic participants. Though cherry blossom season will be soon be over, any time of the year is a great time to start planning a Tohoku excursion.

Saga prefecture, where you’ll find gleamingly fresh seafood, premium-quality beef and exquisitely fragrant fields of tea and rice, should appear on any Kyushu itinerary. Stretching from the protected bay waters of the…

While that may not be on the cards yet, here is a bucket list of unmissable experiences on each of the Amami Islands for when you can. Amami Oshima The largest of…

Green tea and hot spring baths are some of Japan’s most prized resources, and you will find an abundance of both in Saga prefecture’s Ureshino—a city blessed with lush, rolling tea fields…

Just over two and half hours away from Tokyo on the Shinkansen, the two connecting prefectures in Tohoku boast some of the best powder snow in the country, which can be savored…

Along the coast from Himeji and situated beside the Seto Inland Sea, you’ll find the lesser-known but just as spectacular Ako city. This trove of stunning sites includes castle ruins, hot springs…

My first glimpses of Iwami – the western region of mountainous Shimane Prefecture – went by in a whirl. The train from Yamaguchi sped through ancient samurai towns, sun-soaked valleys and stunning…

Nature enthusiasts in Japan have a special place in their hearts for the northern region of Tohoku, whether they prefer untouched beaches or high-altitude hiking trails. At the very tip of Japan’s…

Foodie or not, a trip to Kagawa prefecture means inhaling as many udon noodle bowls as possible while in the Udon Kingdom. Going on food-focused tours you can even learn to make…

Known as the “Sake Kingdom” of Japan, few prefectures can compete with Fukushima when it comes to nihonshu. A region boasting some of the country’s highest quality rice and crystal clear locally…