Osaka Travel Blog – A Complete Travel Guide to Plan Your Trip

Tattoo-Friendly Onsen In Osaka and Kyoto

Osaka Travel Blog – For first-timers heading to Osaka, this complete travel guide is all you need to plan your trip. It covers all the questions you might have about entering and exploring this wonderful city in Western Japan, and includes helpful tips on how you can make the most of your stay here. Whether you’re planning to stay over the course of a week and want to include day trips from the city centre, or you’ve only got a spare few day and need to max out your hours in the day, we’ve got the necessary information below for you to make the most of your visit.

Osaka Travel Blog – The Accommodation

One of the biggest questions that most travellers to new places ask is “Where is the best spot to stay?”.

Of course, the answer will vary for different types of travellers; some people thrive on the never-ending buzz of the crowds and actually prefer staying smack bang in the city so that the white noise of conversations never really drowns out; others will prefer staying at a location that’s relatively convenient on the outskirts of town so that they can get as much peace and quiet as possible, and don’t mind a little bit of extra traveling. Others still, will not care where they stay as long as it provides easy access to everything that they want to do.

We’ve curated a short but detailed list of areas of Osaka that you might want to familiarise yourself with, as they are some of the most popular destinations in Osaka. We’ve also recommended some highly rated accommodation in each area which might interest you also.

Check out our blog post to choose the best area guide for your accommodation in Osaka: Where To Stay In Osaka >>

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Tokyo Imperial Palace: All You Need to Know

As a popular and historic tourist attraction in Tokyo, Imperial Palace is visited by numerous visitors all year round. The current Imperial Palace is built on the former Edo Castle grounds and is surrounded by a moat and large stone walls. It contains several buildings, including some residences for the Imperial Family. It will be impossible to visit these parts of the park-like area, but there are many ways to enjoy the palace buildings and parts of the grounds. For locals the loop around the Imperial Palace is a popular running spot, where they can enjoy a 5km running course around the scenic palace and its natural surroundings. Despite its […] …continue reading


Buddhism in Japan – Brief History and Best Buddhist Temples to Visit

Together with Japan’s indigenous religion Shintoism, Buddhism is strongly embedded in the Japanese culture. Despite the majority of the Japanese people not considering themselves to be Buddhist, or belonging to any particular religion at all, the two religions are strongly reflected in the daily lives of Japanese people. Temples and shrines are located everywhere, between the skyscrapers of the city of Tokyo as well as on the top of remote mountains. When travelling to other countries that you have never been to before, exploring the local culture and religion will help you to understand the country better. It will be easier to enjoy your time better by knowing the stories […] …continue reading


The 11 Best Japanese Gardens

Japanese gardens are breathtaking. One of the core principles of Shintoism, Japan’s native religion, is to respect and appreciate nature. To this end, Japan has some of the best gardens imaginable. There are traditional gardens that take one back to feudal Japan as they walk on the same trails as ancient samurai warriors and philosophers. And there are modern gardens that borrow design queues from European parks and other international sources. Here is a compilation of 11 of the best gardens to visit across Japan. 1. Kenroku-en (Ishikawa) Kenroku-en is located in Kanazawa in Ishikawa Prefecture. It is considered one of The Three Great Gardens of Japan. It was created […] …continue reading


Shimoda Japan – A Complete Travel Guide To Visit This Beautiful City In Izu Peninsula

Shimoda Japan - Ogawa Ryokan 1

Shimoda Japan – The Izu Peninsula is one of the most popular weekend getaways from Tokyo. Located southwest of the main city, it is only a relatively short train ride away from the hustle and bustle of Japan’s capital.

Across the entire peninsula, you can expect to witness stunning coastlines lined with beaches and jagged rock formations, and mountain peaks and troughs in the near distance wherever you go.

In particular at Shimoda, you can also engage in the interesting experience of learning about a significant and integral part of Japanese modern history.

Shimoda is arguably one of the most popular resort towns located along the peninsula. It’s characterised by its easy-going atmosphere all-year-round, popular beaches that are perfect for splashing and surfing in summer, and simply being a relaxing getaway for you and your loved ones.

How To Get To Shimoda

Shimoda Japan - Izukyu Train Station
Izukyu-Shimoda Train Station

Shimoda is directly connected to Tokyo via an express train. From Tokyo, simply hop on the JR limited express Odoriko train and you’ll be there in 2.5 hours. It will cost 6,000 yen one way.

If you are coming from neighbouring towns such as Ito or Atami, it is even quicker!

Shimoda Japan - Izukyu Train Pass

From Ito, we recommend using the Izukyu Line Pass. There are three versions of this pass: 1 day, 2 days, and 3 days. This pass will allow …continue reading


Shuzenji Onsen – A Secret Hot Spring Town in Shizuoka Prefecture

Hostel in Shuzenji Onsen - Hostel Knot 2

The quaint onsen town of Shuzenji has long stayed off the path of popularity and tourist crowds, but if you’re looking for a short and wholesome getaway to get away from the noise, leisurely explore on foot, and get lost in Japan’s nature, Shuzenji Onsen might be a great option. Located in the hillier district of Izu Peninsula, don’t expect to see vast ocean views here; instead, you will be blessed with historic buildings and stunning forests.

It’s a town where there is not an extensive list of activities to do, but that is the beauty of it: you can explore the town on your own terms, and whatever activity you do want to do, you know has not been altered by the commercial touch. Shuzenji Onsen is a pure and authentic Japanese experience that goes hand in hand with rest and relaxation.

One of the reasons why people choose to visit this small town is because its appeal has, in the past, helped creatives get in touch with themselves and come out on the other side more inspired and refreshed. It’s also got a history that involves a monk creating an onsen bath out of his own tool, the death of a famous intelligent shogun, and is the birthplace of one of the most quintessential Japanese ingredients ever to grace the face of this earth: wasabi.

How To Get To Shuzenji Onsen?

From Tokyo Station, take the Tokaido-Sanyo bullet train to Mishima station, and alight here to change for the Sunzu line for Shuzenji station. Both train rides will take roughly 90-minutes and they are covered by your JR Pass. From Shuzenji station, you will need to catch the Izu Hakone bus to Shuzenji Onsen (10-minutes).

Where To Stay in Shuzenji …continue reading


Things to Do in Kiyosumi Shirakawa

Kiyosumi Shirakawa (清澄白河) is a historic downtown district in the Fukagawa (深川) area located in eastern Tokyo. In the Edo Period (1603-1868), the area was home to merchants and other working-class specialists. Due to its low ground level and large lower class population, it was aptly named “Low Town”. Much of Tokyo has gone under development but Kiyosumi Shirakawa has managed to keep its original charms. Many of the old charms still shrine through today and many artisans have created their own home in the town. The town has become increasingly popular for its art spaces, coffee cafes, and cycling pathways. So to help you escape the hustle and bustle […] …continue reading


Japan’s 10 Most Beautiful Lakes

Japan is a blessed country with natural sights and spectacular views that can take anyone’s breath away. This includes some of the most amazing lakes in the world. Take a boat across to enjoy stunning views of the surrounding nature like giant mountains and seasonal foliage. Visitors can also enjoy fishing and even swimming in the lakes during the summer season. If you’re interested in seeing some of the best water Japan has to offer we put together a list of the 10 most beautiful lakes in Japan. Lake Chuzenji (Tochigi) Located in Japan’s sacred Buddhist city Nikko, Lake Chuzenji serves as a popular tourist destination in the area. Nikko […] …continue reading


Ito Japan – Travel Tips To Explore This Relaxing Onsen Town In Izu Peninsula

K's House Ito Onsen - Historical Ryokan Hostel 1

Ito Japan – The Izu Peninsula is located on the gorgeous coastline southwest of Tokyo. Located only a few measly hours away by train, this is one of the most popular getaways for Tokyoites throughout the year, but especially in summer.

The Izu Peninsula is characterised by beautiful traditional hot springs, stunning coastlines, multiple beaches, and mountainous scenery. What makes it the perfect getaway throughout the year is that its climate is always on the mild side, and thus you won’t feel the extremes of summer or winter here.

Ito Onsen Town is located along the eastern side of the Izu Peninsula. It’s flanked by Atami and Shimoda, and together they make up the most developed cities across the peninsula. Because of this, you can expect there to be many activities (however laidback they are) to participate in and relax here.

Whilst Ito does offer developments that make it easy to access and find accommodation, it’s the mix of Old Japan through historic ryokans and untouched hilly terrain that make it a standout destination.

Read on as we detail all that Ito has to offer! But first, let’s have a look at what Ito looks like in this virtual tour:

How To Get To Ito

Ito can be accessed directly from Tokyo station. Simply hop on the JR Odoriko limited express train for 1.5 hours and you’re there! This method will cost only 4,500 yen one-way.

If you are traveling from the nearby Atami, there are multiple trains leaving the station that will only take 20-minutes and cost 330 yen one way.

Both train rides are fully covered by the JR Pass (as well as the JR Tokyo Wide Pass, JR East Nagano Pass, JR East Tohoku Pass, and JR East South Hokkaido Pass).

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Experience Gunma’s Kusatsu Onsen – One of the Best Hot Springs in Japan

Kusatsu Onsen (草津温泉) is ranked as one of the top three hot springs in Japan due to its high water quality and history. Only three hours away from Tokyo, this quiet onsen town makes for a perfect weekend getaway from the busy life of the city. The water is thought to warm the body and kill harmful bacteria. Kusatsu Onsen is a wonderful spot where you can enjoy high-quality hot springs, ryokan, delicious food, and a beautiful nighttime view. Kusatsu is also known for the World Heritage Sites Tomioka Silk Mill, and Minakami. Located at an altitude of 1,200 meters above sea level, the temperature around Kusatsu is around 7-8 […] …continue reading