Sleep like a samurai – Travel provider offers one-night stay in a Japanese castle

Free package includes dinner modeled after meals eaten by feudal lords. Although I spent several years working in the hotel industry, my personal travel style makes me pretty flexible as far as picking as accommodations are concerned. As long as the location is good and the room clean, I don’t need a whole lot of other amenities, especially if […]

The palm tree in Kyoto and the shoguns: A story of which came 1st

KYOTO–Decked out in its distinctive winter coat, a tropical sago palm in the Ninomaru Garden of historic Nijo Castle here is stopping tourists in their tracks. What, many visitors seem to be asking, is going on? It is simply that gardeners at the UNESCO World Heritage site in the city’s Nakagyo Ward want to protect […]

5 emerging destinations to explore in Japan

Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. Chances are you’d heard travellers mention these three cities when they talk about their trip to Japan. But there’s more to Japan than its major metropolises. TripAdvisor has revealed that the Japanese cities of Kanazawa, Ishigaki, Takayama, Nagasaki and Fujikawaguchiko-machi have been growing in popularity each year among international tourists. Here […]

Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura: the samurai era in town and country

A friend I’ve known for more than 20 years is now president of the Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura cultural theme park in the Kinugawa Onsen area of Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture. That friend, Ryoichi Yuki, is also an actor and singer who is well known for playing historical roles, and — being 43 years old, handsome, […]

Explore Japan’s history in the seaside town of Kamakura

Vibrant, fast-paced Tokyo is renowned the world over, but visitors in Japan looking for a more laid-back destination can head to the seaside town of Kamakura. Just a 45-minute train ride from Tokyo via the JR Yokosuka line, Kamakura was recommended by my Japan-based relatives. It was a good way to gain a perspective of […]


Togakushi Village and the nearby Togakushi Shrine are situated in the north of Nagano within the Joshinetsu National Park – just 45 minutes drive from Myokokogen, Nozawa Onsen or Nagano City. This volcanic area has an altitude of 1,200m and is located at the foot of the two volcanoes, Togakushi and Iizuna. About Togakushi Village, Togakushi […]


One of my top recommended places for those of you planning a trip to Japan, Mt. Koya (AKA Koyasan) is a must see and must go-to in my book. Whether you’re looking to get away from it all, relax, or just be amazed, Mt. Koya is pretty much the most perfect place ever. I certainly […]