Category Archives: TRAVEL

We travel to a mysterious power spot in Okinawa, where a “heart rock” floats in the sea

Mother Nature attempts to reclaim the path at this rugged tourist site filled with mystery and beauty. Japan’s southernmost prefecture of Okinawa stretches out over a chain of about 150 islands, all varying in size and each with a unique appeal. And while some of these islands are more remote than others, a few of […]

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Samurai Gardens of Kitsuki

Kitsuki is a small, historic castle town in Oita. It is claimed to be the smallest castle in Japan. To the west of the castle, on a high bluff overlooking the town, is a former samurai district. About half a dozen of these former samurai homes are open to the public, and as these were fairly high ranking sanurai, their homes were large and included gardens.For this post I have chosen to focus on

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The Views From The Kurushima Kaikyo Bridge

The Kurushima Kaikyo Suspension Bridge(s) are the last of the bridges on the Shimanami Kaido, the road that connects Honshu with Shikoku across a series of island-hopping bridges. A post about this amazing structure I posted earlier.The views across the island -studded Inland Sea are great from any highish point and the bridges tend to get quite high, so………The Inland Sea was once the major

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Girls’ Weekend in Dogo Onsen, Matsuyama

Girls' Weekend in Dogo Onsen, Matsuyama

Autumn is an ideal time to travel in Japan, and my friend Yuuka and I had been thinking of taking a weekend getaway trip. We wanted somewhere that combined traditional culture, unique sights, and chances for relaxation, all within easy reach of Tokyo.

Although we hadn’t made up our minds yet, the hot spring resort town of Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture was a place we were considering. After all, it was one of the inspirations for Hayao Miyazaki’s award-winning anime Spirited Away. Then we attended a wonderful event in Tokyo called “Flowers by Naked 2020 Matsuyama/Dogo Night”, featuring a cool new project with digital art in Dogo Onsen. We were both impressed and so it was settled—Dogo Onsen was the destination for our joshi tabi.

What’s joshi tabi? Glad you asked! It’s the Japanese equivalent of a “girls’ trip” and an extremely popular way for women to travel. A typical joshi tabi trip with girlfriends includes sightseeing, great food, and plenty of time for wandering around at leisure. Dogo Onsen ticked all these boxes and so much more!

The history of Dogo Onsen

Dating back some 3,000 years, Dogo Onsen is thought to be Japan’s oldest hot spring town and today, it’s a popular destination with both Japanese and international tourists alike. The centerpiece is the stately Dogo Onsen Honkan, a lovely wooden bathhouse built in 1894.

Girls' Weekend in Dogo Onsen, Matsuyama

Adorning the roof of the bathhouse is a white egret, which plays a role in the region’s folklore. After some local people observed a bird bathing its injured leg for relief in some hot springs, they discovered the healing powers of the water. Today, Dōgo Onsen is one of …continue reading


Kanjizaiji Temple 40 on the Shikoku Pilgrimage

On December 26th, 2011, my 25th day of walking teh famous Shikoku Pilgrimage, I crossed the border into Ehime and reached temple number 40, Kanjizaiji.According to the founding legend, Kobo Daishi visited here and carved three statues, one of them of Yakushi Nyori, the temples Honzon. It is a “hidden buddha” and only shown to the public every 50 years, the next time being 2034.The buildings are

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2 Days in Takayama Itinerary: Discover Old-World Charm & Culture

The city is popularly known as Hida–Takayama (飛騨高山) in reference to the old Hida Province to differentiate it from other places named Takayama” ~ Wikipedia. What things should you include when creating a Takayama itinerary? I’ll give you some ideas: Indulge in mouth watering wagyu? Check. Enjoy sampling some of Japan’s best sake? Check. Explore centuries-old […]

The post 2 Days in Takayama Itinerary: Discover Old-World Charm & Culture appeared first on The Invisible Tourist.

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Jizo & Dragons at Taisanji Temple

Taisanji Temple is a mountaintop temple in Tokushima is that is both the first of the extra “bangai” temples over above thye standard 88, and also the first temple on the 36 temple Shikoku Fudo Myo Pilgrimagr which was the pilgrimage I was walking when I visited Taisanji.There wasn’t an awful lot of statuary there, but several of the Jizo statues were lit with the late afternoon sun and made for

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New Japan Rail Pass for non-Japanese passport holders coming soon

Limited-time pass offers huge discounts on train travel in and around Tokyo. Japan’s tourism industry has been under significant strain this year, with latest figures from the Japan National Tourism Organisation recording just 8,700 foreign arrivals in August, compared to 2.5 million in August last year. With international tourist numbers hitting record lows, the central government has […]

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6 Reasons Why I Love Tokyo

1. My campus is a fashion capital

I finished my undergraduate degree in 2017 and I was mid-way through a working holiday. I was living the life doing English teacher jobs but I knew that I wanted to do something more. I applied for the Global Fashion Concentration degree at Bunka Gakuen University—and I got in! It shares a campus with the world-renowned Bunka Fashion College whose alumni include Yohji Yamamoto and Kenzo Takada (founder of the fashion brand Kenzo). It’s teeming with creativity and well-dressed students!

Every day feels like a runway and I always feel so underdressed. But, every day is also super exciting because I’m surrounded by future designers, buyers, and top fashion creatives so it’s a great place to network and get inspiration. I also, occasionally, get to model some outrageous (and nine times out of ten, super heavy!) designs for runway shows.

2. My fashion magazine is based in Tokyo

I grew up looking at (not reading, that would come later) Japanese fashion magazines like Fruits and Kera. One look at Hirari Ikeda, and boom! I was in love. I knew I wanted to create something just as important.
The Comm is an idea that came to me when I was on my year abroad at Waseda University. Japanese street fashion is so liberating and fun, but a lot of things get lost in translation and they end up becoming dogma. I wanted to open up the lines of communication (we have a super fancy word for it: cultural mediation) so I started the magazine with the aim of providing a resource that was accessible and jam-packed …continue reading