Unique Places in Japan

  • Off The Beaten Path
    by Ewingjr98
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by Ewingjr98
  • Himeki Shrine Grants Wishes About Love
    Himeki Shrine Grants Wishes About Love
    by taigaa001

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Japan

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    Hamura Sakura Festival

    by Ewingjr98 Written Apr 17, 2014

    Each year in April, the town of Hamura, on the western edge of Tokyo, hosts a Cherry Blossom Festival. This small event features 200 massive cherry trees towering over the ancient Tamagawa Waterway. Along the canal, you will also find 40 or so vendors during the festival, selling food, drinks and toys. At night the trees are lit with bright pink lanterns all along the canal.

    The Tamagawa Waterway fed Edo Castle and to the city of Edo, the predecessor of modern Tokyo. The water was needed because the Tokugawa shogunate had moved the household to Edo in 1600, though the capital did not move until centuries later. As the city expanded, water was in short supply, so six canals were constructed to feed water to the city and its inhabitants. Two brothers named Shoemon and Seiemon are credited with building the canal, as well as operating and maintaining the waterway. They were called the Tamagawa brothers, and their statue stands next to the Hamura Dam.

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    Ome Plum Blossom Festival

    by Ewingjr98 Written Mar 29, 2014

    Plums are the first flowers to bloom in the early spring in Japan, around February or March, well before the famous cherry blossoms appear. Since the Nara era, in the 700s, plum blossoms were celebrated as the spring flower.

    Ome Plum Blossom Festival, or the Yoshino Baigo Plum Festival, takes place in Ome Ume-no-koen Park. There are more than 1,500 trees with 120 plum varieties in colors from white to pink to yellow.

    Entrance to the Ome Ume-no-koen Park is 200 Yen per adult. Parking is very limited around the park, and will cost between 500 and 1000 Yen per car, when it's busy, all fo the parking lots will fill up.

    Address: 4-527 Baigo, Ome-shi, Tokyo
    Directions: JR Ome Line Hinatawada and Futamatao stations
    Website: http://www.omekanko.gr.jp/ume/

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    Lake Okutama

    by Ewingjr98 Written Jan 22, 2013

    Lake Okutama, formed by Ogochi Dam, lies at the far western edge of Tokyo in the town of Okutama, Nishitama District. The large lake was constructed from 1938 to 1957, and it is the largest source of water for the city of Tokyo. At the time of its completion the Ogochi Dam was the world's largest, with a dam height of 149 meters and a length of 353 meters. The construction of the dam displaced 6,000 people and submerged nine shrines, which were replaced by Ogouchi-jinja Shrine, located on a peninsula jutting into the lake.

    The north shore of the lake is famous for its Some 10,000 cherry trees which bloom during mid-April each year.

    The lake is accessible by car from Tokyo with a two hour drive. You can also take the Chuo Line JR train to Tachikawa, then switch to the Ome Line to Okutma or a number of other stations near the lake.

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    Mt Fuji-Hakone circular trip

    by sheherezad Written Apr 24, 2012

    I had looked into this possibility and was planning to do it my third day in Tokyo (take the shinkansen to Mt Fuji nearest station and from Mt Fuji go to Hakone/Odawara on a circular trip in order to do both since the two locations are adjacent to one another) but the local JR agent at Tokyo station advised me against it coz of the imminent typhoon then, so this is another option to doing either alone.

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    Ferry to South Korea!

    by Pixiekatten Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    If you got the time and just a little bit extra cash go to Shimonoseki and enjoy a night or two there. Wonderful view of the Kanmon Straits from the youth hostel. (See pic.)

    The ferry for Busan leaves at 7pm and is an overnight trip. Even though the ferry reaches South Korea very early in the morning everyone has to deboard at 8.30. A roundtrip ticket gives you 10% off the price in total. However bying the return ticket in Busan might end up even cheaper still.

    Price:
    approx US$150/120 EUROS/£85. Students get 10% off!

    There's also a highspeed ferry leaving from Hakata for Busan. It takes only 3hrs and cost not that much more. There's 2 daily. One at 12.15pm and one at 3.45pm.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Cruise

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    Okayama Orient Museum

    by Paul2001 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    If you want a break from things Japanese while in Okayama then think about visiting the Okayama Orient Museum. This is a collection of artifacts from Iran and Iraq featuring 1,947 works of art mostly from the Persian Empires. That means this museum is not exactly for everyone but I quite interested in archeology so off I went. Also it was 37C that day and I wanted to get out of the heat.
    The exhibits here are very well displayed including English labels. Therefore it was quite educational. The collection was the work of Mr. Shinjiro Yasuhara, the original director of the museum. Such museums dedicated to the arts outside of Japan are a rarity in this country and it was a surprised to find such a quality museum located here.
    The Okayama Orient Museum is located at
    9-31 Tenjin-cho, Okayama. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 5pm and is closed on Monday. It cost 300 yen to visit the museum.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture
    • Family Travel

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    Zao - hot springs, skiiing and snow monsters!

    by naruto Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    I always like visiting Japan during the winter. Four years ago I visited a wintry Hokkaido, and this time around, I visited the less-touristy north region of Tohoku.

    Yamagata-ken has a great ski resort called Zao Onsen. It is a great place to ski, to have a nice hot soak in the hot springs, and have beautiful scenery as well. The snow monsters of Zao and the Okama Crater Lake are two of its popular sights.

    GETTING THERE: Take a JR train to Yamagata station. Then a bus from the bus-stop outside the station will take u on a 40 min ride to Zao

    Related to:
    • Skiing and Boarding
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Mountain Climbing

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    Kuwanoki-no-taki Waterfalls, Shingu Wakayama

    by SandiM Updated Dec 3, 2010

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    This information is current as of November 2010. I wanted to visit one of Japan's top 100 waterfalls and chose Kuwanoki-no-taki, near Shingu city, Wakayama prefecture. To get there, the bus leaves from across the street from the train station, about 50 steps away. There are 3 buses a day to the bus stop where you start your walk to Kuwanoki no taki. They are at 6:50am and 12:50pm and the last at 16:35. The bus fare is about 580yen and the ride is a meager 25mins long. Your stop is called "Oga" (also spelled Ouga). Get off, cross the road, and go over the bridge and start walking. The path is faint but easy enough, there are rocky parts and some stairs. I stopped to take photos so it took me about 1/2 hr to get to the falls. There is a metal platform straddling some rocks, so you can get awesome photos from that or climb around some closer rocks for more photos. I recommend taking the 12:50pm bus since if you go too early, the sun hasn't been able to come over the towering rocks of the upper falls yet. As I started to leave, the sun was in a better position (around 10am), but even later would have been grand. I'll just need to go back and do it again next year...The bus going back to Shingu arrives at the opposite bus stop at 13:25, and since I didn't want to wait that long, I opted to hike down the hill back to the main road. The scenery was amazing! I walked a bit then turned around and looked up--there's another grand waterfall high in the cliffs above the road. Didn't see a path to get up there, though...At the next bus stop, called 'Shizen-pool-mae' there was a parking lot with restroom facilities, the ever-present vending machine, and a nifty suspension bridge that led to who knows where (i didn't have time to follow it!). I kept to the road going further back to the main road and found a bus stop that showed a bus was coming sooner than the bus I was originally on, so I waited for it. See the photos attached. So, there are options for getting back to town if you walk maybe a grand total of 3/4 of a mile back to the main road. It was worth it!

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Road Trip
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Japanese wildlife

    by Gili_S Written Mar 12, 2010

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    Japan has many national parks and very unique and interesting wild life. In this trip I only explore the tip of this side of Japan and I added here few nice photos of some water birds I caught up with.

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    Kawaguchiko

    by Gili_S Written Mar 10, 2010

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    The town of Kawaguchiko is located to the south of Tokyo. it is popular destination for tourism with its beautiful lake and with a fantastic view of mount Fuji. It is also great place to visit in the countryside to enjoy the Japanese nature.

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    Go out of the city

    by Gili_S Written Mar 10, 2010

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    If you have the chance to go out of the city and explore the country, do that. Japan is not only cities, shopping and restaurants, it is also beautiful country with great nature and culture to discover.

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    Local train waterfall

    by theworldnomad Written Oct 26, 2009

    Minoo Is a beatifull small city located in the outskirts of Osaka, it's main atraction is a small waterfall located at the end of a 30 minute walk through a beatifull forest inhabitated by monkeys.
    This is a very local experience in a town with almost no tourism at all. Its slow paced and friendly people with be glad to know why you are visiting their town.

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    • Hiking and Walking

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    Tama of Wakayama--For Cat-Lovers only!

    by SandiM Written Jul 24, 2009

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    If you are a cat-lover, then as a daytrip from Osaka or Kyoto, may I suggest you take a sidetrip to the lovely towns of Wakayama and Kishi? Just minutes from Wakayama, Kishi is the last stop on one of the tiny train lines from Wakayama. The story goes: a stray cat wandered into the town of Kishi and made its home out of the then-abandoned rail conductor's booth. The stop at Kishi had all but become defunct--no one travelled here and the stop was about to be shut down. However, thanks to Tama, a calico tabby, things began to brighten up! Tama allowed himself to be rigged up in a train conductor's hat, and posed for photo shoots (I'm not joking, I saw him!). Of course, the tourism industry in this tiny little village blossomed like a thunderstorm in July! Now, everyone wants to meet Tama, and have their photo taken with him! There is a souvenir shop connected to this station, and they sell Tama books, buttons, paper products, and more! Even the 2-car specially designed TAMA DENSHA train is rigged out in Tama -design (you have to see it to believe it!). Everyone travels the 30min journey just to see the cat (who is usually sleeping in his booth) and after snapping a few photos and cooing over the cat & its new feline buddies, the hop back on the train back to Wakayama (since there aren't many service in Kishi itself). But, oh, what a journey and what a memory!!

    Related to:
    • Trains
    • Family Travel

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    Odaiba

    by uss_yorktown Written Jun 4, 2009

    A small beach that can be reached by boat or Metro in less than half an hour. Nice for a couple of hours of relaxation. After that you can enjoy more shopping or let the kids have fun at joypolis.
    There is also a smaller version of Lady Liberty.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Windsurfing
    • Family Travel

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    Cherry Blossom

    by hopang Updated Jan 20, 2009

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    Sakura is the Japanese word for cherry trees and their blossoms. Cherry trees are planted in Japan for their beauty. Many schools and public buildings have cherry trees planted at their premises. The most popular variety of cherry blossom in Japan is Somei Yoshino.

    The photos on the right were taken at Tokaiji traditional garden at Daibutsu-den in Nara. Don't miss the cherry blossom when you are in Japan especially in spring!

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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Japan Off The Beaten Path

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