Japan Off The Beaten Path

  • Yokosuka - Day Trip
    by Ewingjr98
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by Ewingjr98
  • Cherry Blossoms of Keizenji Temple
    Cherry Blossoms of Keizenji Temple
    by taigaa001

Japan Off The Beaten Path

  • Day Trip out of Tokyo

    Tokyo Off The Beaten Path

    In the mountains of Saitama Prefecture, west of Tokyo, is the beautiful town of Chichibu, a city famous for nature and an anime cartoon called Anohana. We visited in the spring, and were fortunate to find the beautiful shibazakura in early bloom at Hitsujiyama Park. Here you can see beautiful fields of pink and white moss phlox in bloom in April...

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  • Ohara Area

    Kyoto Off The Beaten Path

    Ohara is a major stomping ground for Japanese 'aki-front' followers; when the nation gets bored of pining for cherry blossoms and instead glues its eyes to NHK for the first news reports of Kyoto's maple leaves turning autumn red.

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  • Sightseeing outside Osaka

    Osaka Off The Beaten Path

    Osaka is just two hours from Hiroshima by bullet train, making this a practical option for a day trip – especially if you have a JR Pass as we did and can travel “for free”. So on our second day here that is what we opted to do, and had an excellent day out. There are some that consider a visit to Hiroshima to be a bit macabre, but we didn’t feel...

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  • Shirotori Park

    Nagoya Off The Beaten Path

    Shiratori Park is a huge park located opposite to Atsuta Jingu Park connected by Atsuta Memorial Bridge. It has Nagoya International Convention Hall, kids' playground and Shirotori Teien, a Japanese garden.

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  • Yokosuka - Day Trip

    Yokohama Off The Beaten Path

    Hemi Anjin Street is the name of the shopping street at Hemi Station on the Keikyu Main Line. The street is named for Miura Anjin, or William Adams, the first Western samurai in Japan (he arrived in Japan in 1600 and was granted land in this area due to his service to the shogunate). The covered street, just a few steps around the corner from the...

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  • Pachinko Parlor

    Shinjuku Off The Beaten Path

    If you're ever in Japan, do see if you understand why the folks over there are crazy over Pachinko! Pop by one of these shops with those little slot machines and watch grown men and women hynoptise themselves - simply by watching little metal balls dribble down an upright maze.For information, the little balls are collected at the end of the game...

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  • Shrines and Temples

    Tokyo Off The Beaten Path

    The story of the main Senso-ji temple in Asakusa tells us that two brothers found a statue of the Buddhist god Kannon in the Sumida River. Senso-ji has since become one of the largest and most revered temples in Tokyo. Nearby Senso-ji is a small temple called Komagatado Hall. This hall supposedly marks the spot on the river where the fishermen...

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  • Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple

    Kyoto Off The Beaten Path

    Otagi Nenbutsu-ji, beautiful buddhist stone sculptures. In Arashiyama, go to Adashino Nenbutsu-ji, where one can walk the bamboo grove. pass this temple, follow the walking path north,till one reaches the orange torri, walk through it and continue walking for another 10 mins. the Otagi temple is on your left side, hill slope. the Otagi Nenbutsu-ji...

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  • temples & shrines

    Osaka Off The Beaten Path

    We came accidentally to this small garden with a shrine and a cemetery inside and had a look around: Shinko-in Temple A ceremony had started shortly after we came and we were invited to participate. We took off our shoes and sat on small chairs and listened to the singing and praying, before we finally left after some 10 minutes or so. We had a...

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  • Chubu Centrair International Airport

    Nagoya Off The Beaten Path

    Royce chocolates are the true luxe Japanese chocolate brand (comparable to the Godiva and Varlrhona brand of France and Belgium) while the Meiji Chocolates which is one of their competitors and is more known around Asia is the more affordable brand. Royce factories are in Sapporo but they have many branches around japan and in the asian region....

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  • Mok Mok Wak Wak Yokohama Yoyo

    Yokohama Off The Beaten Path

    You will find this giant steel-sculpture on a small square between the modern skyscrapers next tothe Landmark Tower and it looks a bit like several trumpets that were knoted togeather. I dont know anything about the artist, who made this, but it looked nice and interesting !

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  • Harajuku

    Shinjuku Off The Beaten Path

    Just south of Shinjuku is another famous area in Tokyo known as Harajuku. You can witness ultra modern fashion worn by teenagers at Harajuku as well as shopping and the famous Meiji Shrine. More information and photos are at my VT Harajuku page.

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  • Local People and Lives

    Tokyo Off The Beaten Path

    Don't speak much or any Japanese and looking to meet some friendly Japanese people who do? Com Inn is a cozy, little English conversation cafe in Ebisu, near the Doutor building. Most of the time it serves as both a school for Japanese or as a place where Japanese talk to foreigners to improve their listening and speaking skills. But twice a...

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  • General

    Kyoto Off The Beaten Path

    Kyoto is not really a very large city, although there are many places to visit! The bus, train, and subway system really makes most of the city very easy to access. What many people consider to be "off the beaten path" are lesser visited sites, but they are actually very easy to access and very much "ON the path"! Because of this, I have put my...

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  • shopping

    Osaka Off The Beaten Path

    This almost went in as a "warning" tip, but I think seeing things like this are essential if you want to get a good sense of a foreign country. On Sundays there is a flea market west of the pedestrian overpass by Tennoji Station called the "Thieves' Market." They will have a lot of strange things for sale: replica pistols, toys, Japanese...

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  • Italian Village - Closed

    Nagoya Off The Beaten Path

    Venice? Trieste? Genoa? Nope, none of these. This is "Villagio Italia", and Italian-themed shopping complex by Nagoya harbor. I must say they have done a pretty good job. There are food and fashion stores, bars, restaurants and even a chapel. It covers an enormous area - 53,000 square meters - and you can easily spend an afternoon wandering around....

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  • Casa d'Angela

    Yokohama Off The Beaten Path

    Casa D'Angela is a wedding-bureau that rather looked like a posh palace for me in the first moment. In Europe we are not used to such buildings, so we had a look inside and were able to take some photos late in the evening, when the building was still open but no festivities going on any more. The receptionist there was very friendly and also a bit...

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  • Central Post Office

    Shinjuku Off The Beaten Path

    If you happen to be at the Tokyo sub-way station, do look across the road and you will see a huge and historical building which is the central post office of Tokyo. Also if you are ctaching the Hato Bus service to other parts of Japan, their bus terminal is conveniently located just next to the Tokyo sub-way station (see photo).

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  • Experience

    Tokyo Off The Beaten Path

    It is common to see the beautiful Mt Fuji from the window of the Bullet train (direction: Kyoto, Osaka). It is particularly a superb experience to see the snow-covered Mt. Fuji in early Spring (April). The first picture is rare: Mt Fuji surrounded by a cloud ring!! The second is Mt Fuji captured from a rice filed near Gotenba (a resort city...

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  • Otsu City

    Kyoto Off The Beaten Path

    Lake Biwa is the largest lake in Japan and among the top largest lakes in the world. It is actually surrounded by a few prefectures, one of which is Shiga. All the usual lake activities can be found there, like canoeing etc. The lake is also the place where they hold the national school rowing boats competition.

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  • culture & history

    Osaka Off The Beaten Path

    This little gem hides in a sub-urban area of Osaka. Located in the heart of Hattori-Ryoukuchi Park. It contains a collection of 11 old Japanese Farmhouses from all over Japan. Most of them are Gassho-zukuri, or straw thatched roofs, similar to the ones in Shirakawa-go. The museum is not crowded, and have the occasional painters and artists doing...

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  • Marunouchi and Shikemichi

    Nagoya Off The Beaten Path

    Marunouchi at the southwest of Nagoya Castle has a lot of office buildings, banks including Nagoya Branch of Bank of Japan and some major hotels such as Nagoya Marunochi Tokyu Inn Hotel. The advantage of taking a lodge in Marunouchi district is you can enjoy the morning walk or jog around the Sannomaru Outer Moat, which is also a popular walking...

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  • Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum

    Yokohama Off The Beaten Path

    The interesting part is that at the underground there is a nice reconstruction of a Japanese town in the forties, with fake facades of houses and shops and real ramen-ya where you can sample the noodles (but nothing is included in the price of the entrance ticket!)

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  • Kabukicho

    Shinjuku Off The Beaten Path

    I took a stroll around in Kabuki-Cho ( The infamous red-light district of Shinjuku) but so much for the sleeze. Instead of finding night-walkers, I found a store that sells Chihuahuas for US$1500+ and other exotic pets. Hmmm, strange. Well perhaps not so strange, it was only much, much later that I found out that rich business liked to buy these...

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  • Parks, Yards, Gardens and Squares

    Tokyo Off The Beaten Path

    General Nogi Maresuke was a famous Japanese general who fought for the Emperor during the samurai rebellions (1877) and also in the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895), where he led Japanese forces in the successful attack on Port Arther and the invasion of Taiwan. He commanded some 95,000 men in the Third Army in the Russo-Japanese War...

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  • Fushimi Inari Shrine

    Kyoto Off The Beaten Path

    Two train stops south out of Kyoto, a brilliant walk right from Fushimi station takes you to the temple of Fushimi-Inari, and continuing up the hill through 10,000 red torii dedicated by companies to the gods of business. Once you reach the top, the descent on the other (northern) side is much more wild and unkept, and the trail comes out by some...

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  • Tokoname -Day Trip

    Nagoya Off The Beaten Path

    If you want to see a 'real' man-made island, check out Shin Maiko Beach. It's a small island about a half-km across the water from Shin-Maiko, and just north of Centrair Airport. There's a lot of open park space and there's a big, young forest growing there. There's also a small beach and plenty of walkways. There's a rest facility and a couple of...

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  • Ichirizuka Mound of Shinano

    Yokohama Off The Beaten Path

    Ichirizuka mounds serve as milestones placed in every 4 kilometer mark in Old Tokaido Road. Most of the mounds are erected in pairs both on right and left sides of the road. A large number of such mounds are lost mainly because of post-war urban development. Ichirizuka Mound of Shinano in Yokohama is one of the lucky cases and what is amazing is...

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  • Overview

    Shinjuku Off The Beaten Path

    Check out the unusual variety of fresh seafood for sale in Shinjuku. Even if you're not eating them, it's worth taking a look. For the life of me, I still can't indentify the fish in the picture, so if you happen to know the name, pls write to me... Bpacker's Shinjuku Page

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  • Shinjuku

    Tokyo Off The Beaten Path

    P!ss Alley, or Memory Lane, is one of Tokyo's best street food areas. Though covering a very small area, they somehow packed about 40 restaurants into this alley, plus another 10 or so on the parallel alley to the east. This alley earned its name appropriately, as it was originally a narrow alley with numerous restaurants, but no restrooms, so...

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  • Hozu River

    Kyoto Off The Beaten Path

    Old Cliffie is a bit too old for white-knuckle pastimes such as bungee jumping or whitewater rafting. But he did enjoy the 'Hozugawa Kudari' - trip down the river Hozu - near Kyoto. Take the train (20 minutes) from Kyoto to Kameoka, from where it's a ten-minute walk to the river. The trip lasts just under two hours along a deep, twisting gorge...

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  • Inuyama

    Nagoya Off The Beaten Path

    It's a bit of a trek north of Nagoya, but Inuyuma Castle is worth seeing. The castle has the oldest original tower, built in the 1500's. It's quite small, but it's really interesting inside. You get the feel of being in a real castle, not just a tourist trap. There are breathtaking views of the mountains, the river, and Inuyama from the tower. The...

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  • Hakone- Day Trip

    Yokohama Off The Beaten Path

    Neat Hakone, the hot springs resort, there is geothermal activity. At one of these spots it is customery to eat a egg that is hard boiled in the sulfer water. The egg turns black. You are said to gain seven years good luck.

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  • Imperial Palace

    Shinjuku Off The Beaten Path

    The Imperial Palace is a famous landmark in Tokyo and it is within walking distance West of Ginza. It seems that tourists are not allowed to enter the palace premises, but we can get a good glimpse of the palace and the surrounding towers, gardens and moat from the outside.

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  • Odaiba & Ariake

    Tokyo Off The Beaten Path

    What greeted me next was quite a surprise (even for a liberal thinker such as myself!) & even though I had mentally prepared for it. A sea of women of all ages and a few girls, were changing out of their yukatas in readiness for the best part-the bathing ritual. Here, I was handed a big towel & a small towel & had brought along a 100 yen coin for...

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  • Hyogo Prefecture

    Kyoto Off The Beaten Path

    Many say that one will not need to visit any other castle after seeing the most beautiful castle of Japan, the Himeji Castle. Although a bit far from Kyoto than other nearby places, this castle is worth a visit. It is white in colour and a World Heritage Site too. The main highlight of Himeji is this castle. NOTE : Please refer to my Himeji Page...

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  • Nakasendo Walk -Day Trip

    Nagoya Off The Beaten Path

    Follow Nakasendo trail through rural Japan on foot and by train to Kyoto. A secret side of Japan to the outside world. Stunning vistas from mountain passes and lots of Nature. First stop would be Matsumoto castle. To get a taste of it do a daytrip there and find out whether you'd like it. See travelogue in my Japan page.

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  • Indian Water Tower(Drinking Fountain)

    Yokohama Off The Beaten Path

    I saw this interesting small pavillon close to the cruise-port and on my way to the large ship M.S.Hikawa Maru that is docked there as a museum-ship. This pavillon reminds me a lot of similar ones that I saw in Turkey, but this one actually was built by the Indian Community in memory of their countrymen who had lost their lives in an earthquake in...

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  • Shinjuku Central Park

    Shinjuku Off The Beaten Path

    I was pleasantly surprised when I took a walk in Shinjuku Park in Winter. The maple trees were still in their autumn coats. You can take a stroll in the park but take note of the many homeless locals in the park. Bpacker's Shinjuku Page

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  • Ikebukuro

    Tokyo Off The Beaten Path

    The world's biggest car showroom is just under the railway bridge in front of sunshine city. On five floors you can see all Toyotas cars, including some that only seem to be made for the Japanese market. It also includes historical stuff, good exhibitions about Formula 1, safety and loads of interactive exhibits - which are excellent, especially...

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  • Arashiyama

    Kyoto Off The Beaten Path

    If you fancy something different to do in Kyoto or simply suffering from temple fatigue and like animals, how about a trip to the Monkey Park at Arashiyama. You enter the park strolling up a steep mountain path, when you get to the top you get to the feeding area which has an incredible view of Kyoto and lots of monkeys (the park has around 170...

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  • Toyota - Day Trip

    Nagoya Off The Beaten Path

    Ok, so this is definitely off the beaten path. If you're in Nagoya in July, I suggest you make a visit to the Oiden festival. Oiden means something like 'welcome, please come and have fun'. Many people parade around the main square in Toyota, singing and dancing to the same song, over and over. You can see people wearing almost nothing, beating...

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  • Minato Mirai

    Yokohama Off The Beaten Path

    Strolling along the area of Minato Mirai by night and marvel the lights and scenes of the vicinity. Bar hopping (Hard Rock cafe would be a choice), dine, shop or just feel the cold breeze of the Yokohama bay.

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  • Ginza

    Tokyo Off The Beaten Path

    I stumbled across this small shop on my way back to Ginza from the fish market. I was drawn in and I couldn't help it - it's so beautiful. It's only like 5 mins walk from all the Ginza glitz and it's a small family-run handmade jewelry business and they make everything in their basement workshop - which you can see from peep-holes in the glass...

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  • Nanzenji Temple

    Kyoto Off The Beaten Path

    This is a huge temple complex situated in the eastern part of Kyoto at the foot of the hills, and can be considered off the beaten track as it doesn't seem to get as much visitors as the other more "celebrated" world heritage site. Nanzenji Temple is a very attractive temple situated on the Philosopher's Walk route and entrance into the temple...

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Japan Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of Japan off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Japan sightseeing.
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