Buses and Taxis

All licensed commercial vehicles including buses and taxies have green license plates with letters and numbers in white.

If you see any hired vehicle with a white license plate with green lettering, they are operating without licenses.


> Local Buses バス

In Tokyo, Osaka and some other large cities, buses serve as a secondary means of public transportation, complementing the train and subway networks. In cities with less dense train networks like Kyoto, buses are the main means of public transportation. Buses also serve smaller towns, the countryside and national parks.

Most local buses are operated by one driver only. You pay the fare as you enter the bus. Most local buses charge one price per ride.


> Highway Buses 高速バス

Highway buses provide alternative means of long distance transportation to rail and air. So-called Highway Buses operates between cities like Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka overnight at very reasonable prices. On top of the savings, you will be able to skip one night at the hotel. Buses are clean and comfortable and some are equipped with flat beds.


> Shuttle Buses シャトルバス

You see many shuttle buses at any international airports. Those buses provides reasonable price transportation to and from airport to destinations like hotels and train stations. For instance, the shuttle bus from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station runs between 1,100 ~ 3,300 yen depending on the company. Shuttle bus fare includes toll charges as well. There is no tipping for this service.


> Tour Buses ツアーバス

If you wish to tour specific places, there usually are tour buses to take you there and back. There are many tourists that can provide you with the tour bus services. Ask your travel agent or look online to find the tour bus companies. There are tour buses operating with English and other languages as well.


> Taxis タクシー

Taxis in Japan are very clean with most cabs open left rear door by the drivers. Taxi fairs start around 400 yen to 800 per the first 2km. Because of the heavy traffics in metro Tokyo and other cities, taxis may not be the fastest transportation. In large cites with a good subway system people tend to travel by subway to save time and money. If you ask a taxi to use toll roads, the toll will be added to your total charge. No tipping is needed for a taxi ride.

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Power Spots


“Power spots” are places believed to endow visitors with refreshing or healing energy. In Japan, the concept generally centers around feng shui principles and sites where the Earth’s energy is said to well up—meaning many power spots are tied to ancient shrines, creation myths and Shugendo mountain worship.


> Meiji Jingu

Meiji Shrine, located in Shibuya, Tokyo, is the Shinto shrine that is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken. The shrine does not contain the emperor’s grave, which is located at Fushimi-momoyama, south of Kyoto.


> Mount Asahidake

Mount Asahi is a mountain located in the town of Higashikawa, Hokkaido and the tallest mountain in the Japanese island of Hokkaido. It is part of the Daisetsuzan Volcanic Group of the Ishikari Mountains, it is located in the northern part of the Daisetsuzan National Park.


> Nikkō Tōshō-gū

Nikkō Tōshō-gū is a Tōshō-gū Shinto shrine located in Nikkō, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. Together with Futarasan Shrine and Rinnō-ji, it forms the Shrines and Temples of Nikkō UNESCO World Heritage Site, with 42 structures of the shrine included in the nomination.


> Yakushima

Yakushima is an island in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan, known for its wildlife and cedar forests. In the northwest is Nagata Inaka-hama, a beach with seasonal loggerhead turtle nesting grounds. The central Mt. Miyanoura is marked by the Arakawa trail and the ancient Jōmon Sugi tree. In the east, Yakusugi Museum has exhibits about the region’s cedar forests. The western shore is home to towering Ōko-no-taki waterfall.


> Mount Aso

Mount Aso is the largest active volcano in Japan, and is among the largest in the world. It stands in Aso Kujū National Park in Kumamoto Prefecture, on the island of Kyushu. Its peak is 1,592 metres above sea level.


> Kumano Nachi Taisha

Kumano Nachi Taisha is a Shinto shrine and part of the UNESCO-designated World Heritage Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range of Japan. The Kumano Kodō route connects it to other sites under the same classification, which are primarily located in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan.


> Lake Biwa

Lake Biwa is a large freshwater lake in Shiga Prefecture, northeast of Kyoto. It’s known for its abundant fish population, migratory water birds and wetland regions. Its shoreline is home to resorts and beaches like Ōmi-Maiko. Around the lake are historic sites including the 17th-century Hikone castle and the 8th-century Buddhist temple complex Enryaku-ji. Lake Biwa Museum has cultural and natural history exhibits.


> Three Mountains of Dewa

The Three Mountains of Dewa refer to the three sacred mountains of Mount Haguro, Mount Gassan and Mount Yudono, which are clustered together in the ancient province of Dewa.


> Atsuta Jingu

Atsuta Shrine is a Shinto shrine traditionally believed to have been established during the reign of Emperor Keikō located in Atsuta-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture in Japan. The shrine is familiarly known as Atsuta-Sama or simply as Miya.


> Mount Hiei

Mount Hiei is a mountain to the northeast of Kyoto, lying on the border between the Kyoto and Shiga Prefectures, Japan. The temple of Enryaku-ji, the first outpost of the Japanese Tendai sect of Buddhism, was founded atop Mount Hiei by Saichō in 788.


> Okunoin Cemetery

Okunoin (奥の院) is located in the Mount Koya (高野山・Koyasan) region of Wakayama Prefecture. This is the site of a vast religious community founded by the priest Kukai, posthumously known as Kobo Daishi, who lived from the eighth to ninth centuries. Kukai was the founder of the Shingon Buddhist sect, and Okunoin is his mausoleum, where is he is believed to be not dead, but in a state of eternal meditation.


> Mount Osore

Mount Osore is the name of a Buddhist temple and folk religion pilgrimage destination in the center of remote Shimokita Peninsula of Aomori Prefecture, in the northern Tōhoku region of northern Japan.


> Kurama-dera

Kurama-dera is a temple in the far north of Kyoto, Japan which houses some National Treasures of Japan. It was a member of the Tendai sect and subordinate to Shōren-in from the 12th century until 1949 when it founded its own religious body. The object of worship is esoteric and unique to the temple.


> Suwa Taisha

Suwa Grand Shrine, historically also known as Suwa Shrine or Suwa Daimyōjin, is a group of Shinto shrines in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. The shrine complex is considered to be one of the oldest shrines in existence, being implied by the Nihon Shoki to already stand in the late 7th century.


> Mount Fuji

Japan’s Mt. Fuji is an active volcano about 100 kilometers southwest of Tokyo. Commonly called “Fuji-san,” it’s the country’s tallest peak, at 3,776 meters. A pilgrimage site for centuries, it’s considered one of Japan’s 3 sacred mountains, and summit hikes remain a popular activity. Its iconic profile is the subject of numerous works of art, notably Edo Period prints by Hokusai and Hiroshige.


> Ise Jingu

The Ise Grand Shrine, located in the city of Ise, Mie Prefecture of Japan, is a Shinto shrine dedicated to the sun goddess Amaterasu. Officially known simply as Jingū, Ise Jingū is a shrine complex composed of a large number of Shinto shrines centered on two main shrines, Naikū and Gekū.


> Togakushi Shrine

The Togakushi Shrine is a Shinto shrine in Togakushi, Nagano Prefecture, Japan. The shrine is at the base of Mount Togakushi in Myōkō-Togakushi Renzan National Park. Togakushi Shrine consists of five shrines, known as the lower, middle, and upper shrine area, each area about 2 km apart.


> Izumo Taisha

Izumo-taisha, officially Izumo Ōyashiro, is one of the most ancient and important Shinto shrines in Japan. No record gives the date of establishment. Located in Izumo, Shimane Prefecture, it is home to two major festivals.


> Amanoiwato Shrine

Amanoiwato-jinja (天岩戸神社) is a Shinto shrine located in Takachiho, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan. It is dedicated to the sun goddess Amaterasu and sits above the gorge containing Ama-no-Iwato, the cave where, according to Japanese legend, the goddess hid after battle with her brother, plunging the world into darkness until lured out by the spirit of merriment Ame-no-Uzume.


> Kirishima Jingu

Kirishima-Jingū, also called Takachiho-no-mine-jina is a Shinto shrine located in Kirishima, Kagoshima prefecture, Japan. It is dedicated to Konohanasakuya-hime, Hoori, Toyotama-hime, Ugayafukiaezu, Tamayori-bime and Ninigi-no-Mikoto.


> Takachiho Gorge

Takachiho Gorge (高千穂峡, Takachiho-kyō) is a narrow chasm cut through the rock by the Gokase River. The nearly sheer cliffs lining the gorge are made of slow forming volcanic basalt columns which resemble the scales of a dragon where the stone twisted and flowed as it formed.


> Lake Akan

Lake Akan is a lake in Kushiro, Hokkaidō, Japan. It is located in Akan National Park and is a Ramsar Site.


> Mount Tate

Mount Tate, commonly referred to as simply Tateyama, is a mountain located in the southeastern area of Toyama Prefecture, Japan. It is one of the tallest mountains in the Hida Mountains at 3,015 m and, along with Mount Fuji and Mount Haku, it is one of Japan’s “Three Holy Mountains”.


> Mount Kurama

Mount Kurama is a mountain to the north-west of the city of Kyoto. It is the birthplace of the Reiki practice, and is said to be the home of Sōjōbō, King of the Tengu. It was supposedly the Tengu who taught swordsmanship to Minamoto no Yoshitsune.


> Akiyoshido Cave

Akiyoshidai Kokutei Kōen (秋吉台国定公園) is a Quasi-National Park in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan. It was founded on 1 November 1955 and has an area of 45.02 km².


> Samukawa Shrine

Samukawa Shrine is a Shinto shrine in the town of Samukawa in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. This shrine is one of the most famous shrines around Tokyo, where about 2 million people visit each year.






Source: Wikipedia

Source: Top 20 Power Spots in Japan

Hanami / Cherry Blossom Viewing


“Hanami (cherry blossom viewing)” in Japan often involves a picnic party to enjoy cherry blossoms as well as food and drinks. People have a Hanami party with friends, family or colleagues under the cherry tree and have fun. It seems the dazzling cherry blossoms in full bloom make many people get higher than usual.


Hanami takes place wherever there are cherry trees … but here are some of the most famous Hamami spots in Japan. You need to check when the cherry blossom seasons are from the sites like Japanese Meteorological Agency and CHERRY BLOSSOM FORECAST.


> Kumamoto Castle

Kumamoto Castle is a hilltop Japanese castle located in Chūō-ku, Kumamoto, in Kumamoto Prefecture. It was a large and well fortified castle. The castle keep is a concrete reconstruction built in 1960, but several ancillary wooden buildings remain of the original castle.


> Shinjuku Gyoen

Shinjuku Gyo-en is a large park and garden in Shinjuku and Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. It was originally a residence of the Naitō family in the Edo period. Afterwards, it became a garden under the management of the Imperial Household Agency of Japan


> Kema Sakuranomiya Park

Sprawling city park on the banks of the Osaka River with landscaped greens & cherry blossom trees.


> Mount Yoshino

Yoshino Mountain is a mountain located in the town of Yoshino in Yoshino District, Nara Prefecture, Japan. In 2004 it was designated as part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the name Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range.


> Hirosaki Castle

Hirosaki Castle is a hirayama-style Japanese castle constructed in 1611. It was the seat of the Tsugaru clan, a 47,000 koku tozama daimyō clan who ruled over Hirosaki Domain, Mutsu Province, in what is now central Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, Japan. It was also referred to as Takaoka Castle.


> Hanamiyama Park

The park was originally called Claremont Park after the avenue on its east side, but renamed in 1912 after the Committee of Japanese Residents of New York donated 2,500 cherry blossom trees to the city.


> Goryōkaku

Goryōkaku is a park declared as a Special Historical Site, being a part of the Hakodate city museum. and a citizens’ favorite spot for cherry-blossom viewing in spring.


> Odawara Castle

Odawara Castle is a landmark in the city of Odawara in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.


> Philosopher’s Walk

The Philosopher’s Walk is a pedestrian path that follows a cherry-tree-lined canal in Kyoto, between Ginkaku-ji and Nanzen-ji. The route is so-named because the influential 20th-century Japanese philosopher and Kyoto University professor Nishida Kitaro is thought to have used it for daily meditation.


> Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle is a hilltop Japanese castle complex situated in the city of Himeji which is located in the Hyōgo Prefecture of Japan.


> Sumida Park

Sumida Park is a public park in Sumida and Taitō, Tokyo, Japan. Cherry blossoms can be seen in spring, and the Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival is held in July. There are about 700 cherry trees in Sumida Park on both sides of the Sumida River, and they were planted by Tokugawa Yoshimune.


> Yoyogi Park

Yoyogi Park is a park in Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan, located adjacent to Harajuku Station and Meiji Shrine.


> Ueno Park

Ueno Park (上野公園, Ueno Kōen) is a large public park next to Ueno Station in central Tokyo.


> Chidorigafuchi Green Way

Opened to the public in 1949, these picturesque gardens were once part of the Imperial Palace.


> Yasukuni Shrine

The Imperial Shrine of Yasukuni, informally known as the Yasukuni Shrine, is a Shinto shrine located in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. It was founded by Emperor Meiji in June 1869 and commemorates those who died in service of Japan from the Boshin War of 1868–1869 to the First Indochina War of 1946–1954.


> Yaesu Sakura Dori

Yaesu Sakura Street or Yaesu Sakura Dori (八重洲さくら通り) is one of the most popular places to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo.


> Imperial Palace

The Tokyo Imperial Palace (皇居 Kōkyo, literally “Imperial Residence”) is the primary residence of the Emperor of Japan.


> Meguro River

The Meguro River is a river which flows through Tokyo, Japan. Its tributaries include the Kitazawa River and the Karasuyama River. The river flows into Tokyo Bay near the Tennōzu Isle Station. The river is 7.82 km in length and passes through Setagaya, Meguro and Shinagawa wards.


> Rikugien Gardens

Rikugi-en is a Tokyo metropolitan park in Bunkyō-ku. The name Rikugi-en means Garden of the Six Principles of Poetry which comes from the idea of the six elements in waka poetry while en means garden or park. The park consists of a small pond, trees, and a hill.


> Okawa River

Okawa River flows through central Osaka and is a must-visit spot for hanami during cherry blossom season. Approximately 4,800 cherry blossom trees bloom along the river. You can immerse yourself in spring with the light pink color that transforms this area during the flowering season.


> Expo ’70 Commemorative Park

The Expo Commemoration Park or Expo ’70 Commemorative Park is a park in Suita, Japan. It is north of Osaka. The park is the former site of Expo ’70, a World’s Fair held between March 15 and September 13, 1970. It is about 264 ha of lawn and forest, and has education and recreation facilities.


> Japan Mint

The Japan Mint is an Independent Administrative Institution of the Japanese government, responsible for producing and circulating the coins of Japan. The agency has its head office in Osaka with branches in Tokyo and Hiroshima.


> Kishiwada Castle

Kishiwada Castle, or Chikiri Castle, was erected by Hidemasa Koide in 1597. Nobukatsu, ruler of Okabe Mino, took possession of the castle in 1640 from Takatsuki. The Okabe family maintained its position for 13 generations.


> Katsuō-ji Temple

Katsuō-ji is a Buddhist temple in Minō city, north of Osaka, Japan. According to an English language brochure given out at the temple, the site was first occupied late in the Nara period by two priests, Zenchū and Zensan. The Miroku-ji temple was erected in 765 CE. The name “Katsuō-ji” was given by the Emperor Seiwa.





Source: Wikipedia



If you are a skier, here are some places you might want to visit in Japan.


> Appi Kogen

The Appi Kogen Ski Resort is one of the largest ski resorts in Japan, operated by Iwate Hotel & Resort, adjacent to the Towada-Hachimantai National Park. The resort is most famous for its ski slopes, but it also has a guest ranch, golf courses, tennis courts, soccer fields, sports clubs, hot springs, and others.


> Asahi-dake

Mount Asahi is a mountain located in the town of Higashikawa, Hokkaido and the tallest mountain in the Japanese island of Hokkaido. It is part of the Daisetsuzan Volcanic Group of the Ishikari Mountains, it is located in the northern part of the Daisetsuzan National Park.


> Furano

Furano is a city in Japan’s Hokkaido prefecture noted for its lavender fields, such as Farm Tomita with views of Mount Tokachi. Besides lavender, poppies, lilies and sunflowers also grow in the Nakafurano area. In winter, the 2 connecting peaks at nearby Furano Ski Resort host skiing and snowboarding events. The Furano Ropeway, one of the resort’s gondolas with panoramas over the valley, stays open all year.


> Hakuba

Hakuba is a village in the Japanese Alps, just outside the city of Nagano, which was host of the 1998 Winter Olympics. A winter sports hub, Hakuba encompasses mountain resorts with terrain for skiing, snowboarding and hiking. The Hakuba Ski Jumping Stadium, built for the 1998 games, is at the base of the Happo-one resort. Hakuba village offers a lively après-ski scene and hot springs.


> Niseko

Niseko is a town on Japan’s northern Hokkaido Island, near the dormant volcano of Mt. Yotei. Major ski centers like Niseko Mt. Resort Grand Hirafu occupy the slopes of Mt. Niseko-Annupuri. The surrounding mountains are dotted with numerous hot spring resorts, known as onsen. The Shiribetsu River is known for its white-water rapids. The area also features several golf courses against a backdrop of snow-capped peaks.


> Nozawa Onsen

Nozawaonsen is a village located in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 October 2016, the village had an estimated population of 3,480 and a population density of 60 persons per km². Its total area is 57.96 square kilometres


> Rusutsu

Rusutsu is a village located in Shiribeshi Subprefecture, Hokkaido, Japan. As of September 2016, the village has an estimated population of 1,940. The total area is 119.92 km².


> Sapporo Teine

Sapporo Teine is a recreational center in Teine-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. It comprises many facilities, such as the ski resort, the Teineyama Ropeway, and the Sapporo Teine Golf Club fields. The ski resort has a summit elevation of 1,023 metres, located on Mt. Teine, in western Sapporo.


> Tomamu

Tomamu (トマム) is a modern, high class ski resort in central Hokkaido, about 90 minutes by train south of Sapporo. … In addition to beginner slopes and groomed trails, Tomamu has courses aimed at enthusiast skiers including expert runs, a well maintained terrain park, and sanctioned tree skiing within resort boundaries.


> Yuzawa

The Joetsu Shinkansen runs through Yuzawa, with Echigo Yuzawa station serving as the main entrance to the ski resorts. … One of the ski resorts in Yuzawa, GALA Yuzawa Snow Resort, is directly accessible from Gala Yuzawa station. This makes it very easy to reach from the shinkansen.


> Meiho

Meiho Ski Resort is easy to access! From Centrair airport. Approximately 130 minutes. From Nagoya station. Approximately 100 minutes. from Takayama city downtown. Approximately. 60 minutes.


> Kiroro

Kiroro Resort in Hokkaido Japan is a destination resort with upscale facilities and infrastructure, and Puki Yuki blesses the Kiroro Ski Resort with a mighty lot of powder.


> Naeba

Naeba Ski Resort is a ski resort on the eastern slope of Mount Takenoko in Yuzawa, Niigata Prefecture. This ski resort was formerly run by Kokudo, and currently is run by Prince Hotel, which merged with Kokudo in 2006.


> Myoko Kogen

The Myoko Kogen Ski Resort Area is made up of nine main mountain resorts: Myoko Akakura Onsen, Ikenotaira Onsen, Myoko Suginohara, Seki Onsen, Akakura Kanko (a.k.a. … Myoko Kogen is truly the place to ski ‘The Heart of Japan’.


> Zao Onsen

The Yamagata Zao Onsen Ski Resort is the largest ski resort in Tōhoku region, Japan, operated by Zao Onsen Tourism Association. The resort is mostly famous for its ski slopes in winter, but trekking is also popular sports in summer season.


> Tanigawadake Tenjindaira

Tanigawadake Tenjindaira in Japan (located in the Gunma prefecture) is a medium sized ski resort with 8 ski lifts that offers skiers an impressive 750 metres (2460 feet) of vertical descent.





Source: Wikipedia



Places to shop in Japan.


> 7-Eleven Japan セブン・イレブン

7-Eleven Inc. is a Japanese-owned American international chain of convenience stores, headquartered in Dallas, Texas. … Its parent company since 2005, Seven-Eleven Japan Co., Ltd., operates, franchises, and licenses 67,480 stores in 17 countries as of December 2018.


> Family Mart Japan ファミリーマート(ファミマ)

FamilyMart Co., Ltd. (株式会社ファミリーマート Kabushikigaisha Famirīmāto) is a Japanese convenience store franchise chain. FamilyMart is Japan’s second largest convenience store chain, behind 7-Eleven. … There are some stores in Japan with the name Circle K Sunkus under the operation of FamilyMart.


> Lawson Japan ローソン

Lawson, Inc. (株式会社ローソン Kabushiki Kaisha Rōson, TYO: 2651) is a convenience store franchise chain in Japan. The store originated in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, but today exists as a Japanese company.


> Daiso ダイソー100円ショップ

100-yen shops are common Japanese shops in the vein of American dollar stores. Stocking a variety of items from clothing to stationery, housewares to food, each item is priced at precisely 100 yen. This price is considered attractive to Japanese consumers because it can be paid for with a single 100-yen coin.


> Don Quijote ドン・キホーテ

Don Quijote Co., Ltd. (株式会社ドン・キホーテ Kabushiki gaisha Don Kihōte) is a discount chain store that has over 160 locations throughout Japan, 4 in Singapore, 1 in Thailand (branded as Don Don Donki) and 2 in Hawaii. It carries a wide range of products, from basic groceries to electronics to clothing.


> Akihabara Electric Town 秋葉原電気街

Akihabara is a buzzing shopping hub famed for its electronics retailers, ranging from tiny stalls to vast department stores like Yodobashi Multimedia Akiba. Venues specializing in manga, anime and video games include Tokyo Anime Center, for exhibits and souvenirs, and Radio Kaikan with its 10 floors of toys, trading cards and collectibles. Staff dressed as maids or butlers serve tea and desserts at nearby maid cafes.


> Tokyo Ginza 東京銀座

Ginza (銀座) is a district of Chūō, Tokyo, located south of Yaesu and Kyōbashi, west of Tsukiji, east of Yūrakuchō and Uchisaiwaichō, and north of Shinbashi. It is a popular upscale shopping area of Tokyo, with numerous internationally renowned department stores, boutiques, restaurants and coffeehouses located in its vicinity. It is considered one of the most expensive, elegant, and luxurious streets in the world.


> Tokyo Asakusa 東京浅草

Asakusa retains the vibe of an older Tokyo, with traditional craft shops and street-food stalls along Nakamise Street near the ancient Sensō-ji temple. Mid-19th-century Hanayashiki amusement park has thrill rides and cafes, while riverside Kuritsu Sumida Park hosts regular festivals and firework displays. Casual izakaya bars dot the neighborhood, along with yakitori restaurants serving grilled meat skewers and beer.


> Tokyo Shibuya 東京渋谷

Shibuya (渋谷区 Shibuya-ku) is a special ward in Tokyo, Japan. A major commercial and business center, it houses the two busiest railway stations in the world, Shinjuku Station (southern half) and Shibuya Station.


> Tokyo Harajuku 東京原宿

Buzzing Harajuku is renowned for its colorful street art and fashion scene, with quirky vintage clothing stores and cosplay shops along Takeshita Street, and more traditional, upmarket boutiques lining leafy Omotesando Avenue. Small bars and trendy cafes fill the surrounding lanes, while cultural hotspots include the Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, which hosts cutting-edge temporary exhibitions.


> Tokyo Shinjuku 東京新宿

Shinjuku is a special ward in Tokyo, Japan. It is a major commercial and administrative centre, housing the northern half of the busiest railway station in the world and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, the administration centre for the government of Tokyo.


> AEON イオン

ÆON Co., Ltd, commonly written as AEON Co., Ltd., is the holding company of ÆON Group. … and supermarkets to shopping malls and specialty stores, including Talbots. ÆON is Japan’s single-largest shopping mall developer and operator.


> Ito-Yokado イトーヨーカドー

Ito-Yokado is a Japanese general merchandise store, part of Seven & I Holdings Co. As of March 2013, there are 178 Ito-Yokado stores operating in Japan.


> Mitsukoshi 三越

Mitsukoshi, Ltd. is an international department store chain with headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. It is a subsidiary of Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, which also owns the Isetan department store chain.


> Daimaru 大丸

Daimaru is a Japanese department store chain, principally located in the Kansai region of Japan. The chain is operated by Daimaru Matsuzakaya Department Stores, a subsidiary of J. Front Retailing. At one time Daimaru was an independent company, The Daimaru, Inc., headquartered in Chūō-ku, Osaka.


> Takashimaya 高島屋

Takashimaya Co., Ltd. is a Japanese company that operates a department store chain carrying a wide array of products, ranging from wedding dresses and other apparel to electronics and flatware. Takashimaya was listed at #1197 on the Forbes Global 2000 list for 2006.


> Isetan 伊勢丹

Isetan is a Japanese department store. Based in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Isetan has branches throughout Japan and South East Asia, including in Bangkok, Jinan, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Shanghai, Singapore and Tianjin, and formerly in Hong Kong, Kaohsiung, London, and Vienna.


> Seibu Department Stores 西武百貨店

The Seibu Department Stores, Ltd. (株式会社西武百貨店 Kabushiki-gaisha Seibu Hyakkaten) is a Japanese department store. The first store to trade under the name opened its doors in 1949. Seibu is typical of Japanese department stores with a wide variety of stores doing business on several floors. The company is now a subsidiary of Seven & I Holdings Co., Ltd..


> Sogo そごう

Sogo Co., Ltd. (株式会社そごう Kabushiki Kaisha Sogō) is a department store chain that operates an extensive network of branches in Japan. It once owned stores in locations as diverse as Beijing in mainland China, Causeway Bay in Hong Kong, Taipei in Taiwan, Jakarta & Surabaya in Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Singapore, Bangkok in Thailand, London in United Kingdom, but most of these international branches are now closed or operated by independent franchisees.


> Hankyu Department Stores 阪急百貨店

Hankyu Department Store (阪急百貨店 Hankyū Hyakkaten) is a Japanese department store chain owned by Hankyu Hanshin Department Stores, Incorporated (株式会社阪急阪神百貨店 Kabushiki-gaisha Hankyū Hanshin Hyakkaten), a subsidiary of H2O Retailing Corporation.


> Tokyu Hands 東急ハンズ

Tokyu Hands Inc., known as Tokyu Hands, is a Japanese department store. Tokyu Hands is part of the Tokyu Department Store, its first store opened in Shibuya, Tokyo in 1976. Tokyu Hands got its start as a DIY store, hence the logo with two hands, and the emphasis on crafts and materials for projects.


> Marui マルイ

Marui Co., Ltd. is a Japanese retail company which operates a chain of department stores in Tokyo as well in other major Japanese cities. They are best known for their women’s fashion and accessories, which are aimed at the 25–35 age range. In 2003–4 the company generated US$2.75 billion in revenues


> Shibuya 109 渋谷 109

109 is a department store in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. The store is operated by Tokyu Malls Development, a subsidiary of the Tokyu Group.


> PARCO パルコ

Parco Co., Ltd. (株式会社パルコ Kabushiki-gaisha Paruko) is a chain of department stores primarily in Japan. The first store was established in Tokyo on February 13, 1953, and since then the company has opened stores in cities all over Japan.


Onsen / Hot Springs


Following sections are designed to give you famous Onsen / Hot Springs in Japan.


> Arima Onsen 有馬温泉

Arima Onsen is an onsen, or hot springs in Kita-ku, Kobe, Japan. This Onsen is still a hidden treasure of modern Kobe, behind Mount Rokkō. It attracts many Japanese who want tranquility with beautiful natural surroundings and yet easy access from the busy cities in the Kansai metropolitan area including Osaka.


> Kusatsu Onsen 草津温泉

Kusatsu Onsen is a hot spring resort located in Gunma Prefecture, Japan, northwest of Tokyo. It is a popular tourist destination. There are 13 public baths at Kusatsu Onsen. The small bathhouses that are free for both town residents and tourists are managed by the townspeople themselves.


> Dōgo Onsen 道後温泉

Dōgo Onsen is a hot spring in the city of Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture on the island of Shikoku, Japan.
Did you know: Dōgo Onsen is one of the oldest onsen hot springs in Japan, with a history stretching back over 1000 years.


> Hakone Onsen 箱根温泉

It is one of the popular hot spring areas located only one hour and a half away from Tokyo by car or train. There are many day spa facilities you can go to easily and many shops to go in and buy souvenirs. Along the two rivers called Hayakawa River and Sukumogawa River, you will see different tastes of accommodations from historic and well established ones or purely Japanese homey style to large scaled resort hotels.


> Hakone Miyanoshita Onsen 箱根宮ノ下温泉

Miyanoshita is an onsen in the town of Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. The hot springs have been an attraction for tourists and pleasure-seekers for hundreds of years going back to the beginning of the Edo period. The town is situated on a plateau in the Hayakawa River valley.


> Noboribetsu Onsen 登別温泉

It is recognized as the best Onsen in Hokkaido as far as access, notability, history, and quality goes. Hot spring quality includes sulfur and hydrogen sulfide which soften and lighten your skin, and also includes iron spring which has tremendous effect on your fatigue.


> Shibu Onsen 渋温泉

It is one of the famous and unique Hot Spring resorts located in Nagano. Especially Jigokudani Noen Koen (Jigokudani Wild monkey park) is the only hot spring in a world where you can see wild monkey enjoy bathing.


> Ibusuki Onsen 指宿温泉

Ibusuki Onsen is a group of hot springs in the east of Ibusuki, Kagoshima in Japan, which includes Surigahama Onsen, Yajigayu Onsen, and Nigatsuden Onsen. 2,850,000 people visited in 2003, and 910,000 people stayed there. 90% of the water is used for industry.


> Beppu Onsen 別府温泉

Beppu Onsen is a group of hot springs in the city of Beppu, Ōita in Japan. Beppu Onsen is divided into eight major hot spring areas known as “Beppu Hatto”. The most significant characteristic of Beppu’s hot springs is the richness of its resources.


> Yufuin Onsen 由布院温泉

It is one of the popular hot spring areas located only one hour and a half away from Tokyo by car or train. There are many day spa facilities you can go to easily and many shops to go in and buy souvenirs. Along the two rivers called Hayakawa River and Sukumogawa River, you will see different tastes of accommodations from historic and well established ones or purely Japanese homey style to large scaled resort hotels.


Source: WiKI Pedia



Following sections are designed to give you where to go in Japan and when. This is not designed to cover all the places in Japan. It is a beginner’s guide to Japan.


> January 1月

  • New Year’s Day 元旦
    January 1.

  • Hakone Ekiden 箱根駅伝
    It is officially called Tokyo-Hakone Round-Trip College Ekiden Race (東京箱根間往復大学駅伝競走 Tōkyō Hakone kan Ōfuku Daigaku Ekiden Kyōsō), is one of the most prominent university ekiden (relay marathon) races of the year held between Tokyo and Hakone in Japan on January 2 and 3. The race is telecast on Nippon Television.

  • Ebessan えべっさん
    Nishinomiya Jinja (西宮神社 nishinomiyajinja) is a Shinto shrine in Nishinomiya, Hyōgo, Japan. It is the head shrine of the Ebisu sect of Shinto, and it is said that there are about 3,500 shrines under it. Locals call the shrine “Ebessan”. It is famous for the Tōka-Ebisu festival, which is held on January 10 every year.

  • Coming of Age Day 成人の日
    Monday between January 8 ~ 14


> February 2月

  • Foundation Day 建国記念の日
    February 11


> March 3月

  • Tokyo Marathon 東京マラソン
    The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. The latest edition of the race took place on 3 March 2019. It is sponsored by Tokyo Metro. Beginning of March. Please check the website for the schedule.

  • Vernal Equinox Day 春分の日
    One day between March 19 ~ 22


> April 4月

  • Showa Day 昭和の日
    April 29


> May 5月

  • Constitution Memorial Day 憲法記念日
    May 3

  • Greenery Day みどりの日
    May 4

  • Children’s Day こどもの日
    May 5

  • Kanda Matsuri 神田祭
    The Kanda Matsuri is one of Tokyo’s three most famous festivals, along with the Sanno Matsuri and Fukagawa Matsuri. It takes place in mid May in odd numbered years, alternating with the Sanno Matsuri which is held in even numbered years. The Kanda Festival consists of numerous events held over an entire week, but the main action usually happens over the weekend closest to May 15. The highlights are a day-long procession through central Tokyo on Saturday, and parades of portable shrines (mikoshi) by the various neighborhoods on Sunday.

  • Sanja Matsuri 三社祭
    Sanja Matsuri, or Sanja Festival, is one of the three great Shinto festivals in Tokyo. It is considered one of the wildest and largest. The festival is held in honor of Hinokuma Hamanari, Hinokuma Takenari, and Hajino Nakatomo, the three men who established and founded the Sensō-ji Buddhist temple. May 17 ~ 18


> June 6月


> July 7月

  • Mt. Fuji Opening 富士山山開き
    The Mount Fuji climbing season opened on July 1 on the Yamanashi side. About 150 climbers were at the summit to view the sunrise. The Shizuoka side will open to climbers on July 10.
  • Marine Day 海の日
    Third Monday of July


  • Gion Matsuri 祇園祭
    The Gion Festival takes place annually in Kyoto and is one of the most famous festivals in Japan. It lasts for the entire month of July and culminates in a parade, the Yamaboko Junkō on July 17 and July 24. It takes its name from the Gion district of the city.


  • Osaka Tenjin Matsuri天神祭
    The Tenjin Festival (天神祭, Tenjin Matsuri) of Osaka is ranked as one of Japan’s top three festivals, along with the Gion Matsuri of Kyoto and the Kanda Matsuri of Tokyo. The festival started in the 10th century and today takes place on July 24 and 25 every year. The main celebrations are held on the festival’s second day, July 25, including a land procession and a river procession with fireworks.


> August 8月

  • Fuji Mountain Climbing Ekiden 富士登山駅伝
    Fuji mountain climbing Ekiden is a relay to and from the foot of Mt. Fuji and the summit, held in Gotemba City , Shizuoka Prefecture. It will be held on the first Sunday of August. It is the largest Ekiden in the world. August 1.


  • Aomori Nebuta Matsuri 青森ねぶた祭り
    The Aomori Nebuta Matsuri is a Japanese summer festival that takes place in Aomori, Aomori Prefecture, Japan in early August. The festival attracts the most tourists of any of the country’s nebuta festivals, and is counted among the three largest festivals in the Tōhoku region. First part of August.

  • Sendai Tanabata Matsuri 仙台七夕まつり
    Tanabata festivals, also known as “star festivals”, are held across Japan on the 7th day of the 7th month of the year, when, according to Chinese legend, the two stars Altair and Vega cross paths. Due to differences between the lunar calendar and the solar calendar, modern tanabata festivals take place either in July or August.
    The Sendai Tanabata Matsuri (仙台七夕まつり), held every year on August 6-8, is one of the largest and most famous tanabata celebrations in Japan. Together, with Akita’s Kanto Matsuri and Aomori’s Nebuta Matsuri, it makes up the Tohoku Sandai Matsuri (Three Great Festivals of the Tohoku Region).

  • Mountain Day 山の日
    August 11


  • Awa Dance Festival 阿波おどり
    The Awa Dance Festival is held from 12 to 15 August as part of the Obon festival in Tokushima Prefecture on Shikoku in Japan. Awa Odori is the largest dance festival in Japan, attracting over 1.3 million tourists every year.


  • Asakusa Samba Carnival 浅草サンバカーニバル
    The Asakusa Samba Carnival is one of Tokyo’s more lively and popular summer festivals. It attracts 500000 visitors each year. Last Saturday of August.

> September 9月

  • Respect for the Aged Day 敬老の日
    Third Monday of September

  • Autumn Equinox Day 秋分の日
    One day between September 22 ~ 24


> October 10月

  • Health and Sports Day 体育の日
    Second Monday of October


> November 11月

  • Tori no Ichi 酉の市
    Tori no Ichi Fair (open-air market) is a famous annual event in November on the day of the Tori (Rooster) in Chinese calendar and this event has continued to today since the Edo period.

    Tori no Ichi is held at Temple of Tori (Juzaisan Chokoku-ji) in Asakusa, Tokyo or various shrines of Washi (Eagle) and many people come there to pray for health, a good fortune and good business. Event will take place on three different days in November.

  • Culture Day 文化の日
    November 3

  • Labor Thanksgiving Day 勤労感謝の日
    November 23


> December 12月

  • Emperor’s Birthday 天皇誕生日
    December 23



* Days written in RED are Japanese National Holidays.



Following sections are designed to give you where to go in Japan. This is not designed to cover all the places in Japan. It is a beginner’s guide to Japan.


> Tokyo 東京

  • Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden 新宿御苑
  • Tokyo Skytree 東京スカイツリー
  • Tokyo Tower and Roppongi 東京タワーと六本木
  • Odaiba and Rainbow Bridge お台場とレインボーブリッジ
  • Asakusa Sensoji 浅草浅草寺
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings 東京都庁舎
  • Ginza 銀座
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan  両国国技館
  • Harajyuku Takeshita Dori 原宿竹下通り
  • Shinjyuku Kabukicho 新宿歌舞伎町
  • Akihabara Electric Town 秋葉原電気街
  • Tokyo Disneyland 東京ディズニーランド
  • Kokyo Imperial Palace 皇居
  • Ueno Koen and Zoo 上野公園と動物園
  • Tsukiki and Toyosu Fish Market 築地&豊洲魚市場
  • Samurai Museum サムライ ミュージアム
  • Nezu Museum 根津美術館


> Near Tokyo 東京近辺

  • Yokohama 横浜
  • Kamakura 鎌倉
  • Nikko 日光
  • Hakone 箱根
  • Mt. Fuji 富士山


> Miyagi 宮城県

  • Zao Fox Village  蔵王きつね村


> Chiba 千葉県

  • Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple  成田山 新勝寺


> Kanagawa 神奈川県

  • Hase-dera Temple 長谷寺
  • The Hakone Open-Air Museum 箱根彫刻の森美術館


> Nagano 長野県

  • Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park (Nagano) 地獄谷野猿公苑
  • Zenkō-ji Temple 善光寺


> Yamanashi 山梨県

  • Aokigahara Suicide Forest 青木ヶ原樹海


> Gifu 岐阜県

  • The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses  白川郷合掌造り集落


> Tochigi 栃木県

  • Nikko Tosho-gu  日光東照宮


> Aichi 愛知県

  • Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology (Aichi) トヨタ産業技術記念館


> Toyama 富山県

  • Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route  立山黒部アルペンルート


> Ishikawa 石川県

  • Kenrokuen Garden 兼六園


> Kyoto 京都

  • Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine 伏見稲荷大社
  • Kinkakuji Temple 金閣寺
  • Byodoin Temple 平等院
  • Sanjusangendo Temple 三十三間堂
  • Eikando Zenrinji Temple 永観堂禅林寺
  • Kyoto Station Building 京都駅ビル
  • Sanzen-in Temple 三千院
  • Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺
  • Toji 東寺


> Osaka 大坂

  • Abeno Harukas あべのハルカス
  • Kuromon Ichiba 黒門市場
  • Tsutenkaku 通天閣
  • Osaka Jyo 大阪城
  • Universal Studio Japan ユニバーサル・スタジオ・ジャパン
  • Doutonbori 道頓堀
  • Houzenji Yokocho 法善寺横丁
  • Kaiyukan 海遊館
  • Umeda 梅田


> Near Osaka 大阪近辺

  • Kyoto 京都
  • Nara 奈良
  • Kobe 神戸
  • Sakai 堺
  • Nada 灘
  • Rokko Mountains 六甲山
  • Osaka Bay and Setonaikai 大阪湾と瀬戸内海


> Mie 三重県

  • Ise Grand Shrine 伊勢神宮


> Hyogo 兵庫県

  • Kitano Ijinkan-Gai 北野異人館街
  • Himeji Castle 姫路城
  • Port of Kobe 神戸港


> Nara 奈良県

  • Todai-ji Temple  東大寺
  • Nara Park  奈良公園


> Wakayama 和歌山県

  • Koyasan Okunoin 高野山奥之院


> Tottori 鳥取県

  • Tottori Sand Dunes 鳥取砂丘


> Shimane 島根県

  • Izumo-taisha 出雲大社


> Ehime 愛媛県

  • Aoshima / Cat Island 猫島


> Hiroshima 広島

  • Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum 広島平和記念資料館
  • Miyajima (Itsukushima Shrine) 宮島 (厳島神社)


> Yamaguchi 山口県

  • Akiyoshidai Kokutei Kōen 秋吉台国定公園


> Kagawa 香川県

  • Ritsurin Garden 栗林公園

> Kagoshima 鹿児島県

  • Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley 白谷雲水峡


Dessert / Sweets

Here are some of the Japanese desserts and sweets you should try when you visit Japan.


> Wagashi 和菓子

Wagashi are traditional Japanese confections that are often served with tea, especially the types made of mochi, anko, and fruits. Wagashi are typically made from plant-based ingredients.


> Manjū まんじゅう

Manjū is a popular traditional Japanese confection. There are many varieties of manjū, but most have an outside made from flour, rice powder, kudzu and buckwheat and a filling of anko, usually made from boiled adzuki beans and sugar. Manjū is sometimes made with other fillings like chestnut jam.


> Botamichi / Ohagi ぼたもち / おはぎ

Botamochi is a Japanese sweet made with glutinous rice, rice and sweet azuki paste. It is made by soaking glutinous rice mixed rice for approximately 1 hour. The rice is then cooked, and a thick azuki paste is hand-packed around pre-formed balls of rice.


> Yōkan 羊羹

Yōkan is a thick, jellied Japanese dessert made of red bean paste, agar, and sugar. It is usually sold in a block form, and eaten in slices. There are two main types: neri yōkan and mizu yōkan. “Mizu” means “water”, and indicates that it is made with more water than usual.


> Uirō ういろう

Uirō, also known as uirō-mochi, is a traditional Japanese steamed cake made of rice flour and sugar. It is chewy, similar to mochi, and subtly sweet. Flavors include azuki bean paste, green tea, yuzu, strawberry and chestnut.


> Imagawayaki 今川焼き

Imagawayaki is a Japanese dessert often found at Japanese festivals as well as outside Japan. It is made of batter in a special pan (similar to a waffle iron but without the honeycomb pattern), and filled with sweet azuki bean paste, although it is becoming increasingly popular to use a wider variety of fillings such as vanilla custard, different fruit custards and preserves, curry, different meat and vegetable fillings, potato and mayonnaise.


> Dorayaki どら焼き

Dorayaki is a type of Japanese confection, a red-bean pancake which consists of two small pancake-like patties made from castella wrapped around a filling of sweet azuki bean paste.


> Taiyaki たいやき

Taiyaki is a Japanese fish-shaped cake. It imitates the shape of the Tai, which it is named after. The most common filling is red bean paste that is made from sweetened azuki beans. Other common fillings may be custard, chocolate, cheese, or sweet potato.


> Karintō かりんと

Karinto is a traditional Japanese snack food. Sweet and deep-fried, it is made primarily of flour, yeast, and brown sugar. It has a deep brown and pitted appearance, and takes the form of a bite-sized pillow or short cylinder.


> Castella カステラ

Castella is a popular Japanese sponge cake made of sugar, flour, eggs, and starch syrup. Now a specialty of Nagasaki, the cake was brought to Japan by Portuguese merchants in the 16th century. The name is derived from Portuguese Pão de Castela, meaning “bread from Castile”.


> Baumkuchen バームクーヘン

Baumkuchen is a German variety of spit cake. It is a traditional pastry of many European countries, and also a popular snack and dessert in Japan. The characteristic rings, which resemble tree rings when sliced, give the cake its German name, Baumkuchen, which literally translates to “tree cake”.


> Amanattō 甘納豆

Amanattō is a Japanese traditional confectionery made of adzuki or other beans, covered with refined sugar after simmering with sugar syrup and drying. It was developed by Hosoda Yasubei during the Bunkyū years in the Edo period. He opened a wagashi store in Tokyo, which he named for his childhood name: Eitaro.


> Kakigōri かき氷

Kakigōri is a Japanese shaved ice dessert flavored with syrup and a sweetener, often condensed milk.


> Dango だんご

Dango is a Japanese dumpling and sweet made from mochiko, related to mochi. It is often served with green tea. Dango is eaten year-round, but the different varieties are traditionally eaten in given seasons. Three to five dango are often served on a skewer.


> Daifuku だいふく

Daifukumochi, or Daifuku, is a Japanese confection consisting of a small round mochi stuffed with sweet filling, most commonly anko, sweetened red bean paste made from azuki beans. Daifuku comes in many varieties. The most common is white-, pale green-, or pale pink-colored mochi filled with anko.


> Kuzumochi くず餅

Kuzumochi are mochi cakes made of kuzuko. It is traditionally served chilled, topped with kuromitsu and kinako.


> Anmitsu あんみつ

Anmitsu is a Japanese dessert that has been popular for many decades. It is made of small cubes of agar jelly, a white translucent jelly made from red algae. The agar is dissolved with water to make the jelly.


> Warabimochi わらび餅

Warabimochi is a jelly-like confection made from bracken starch and covered or dipped in kinako. It differs from true mochi made from glutinous rice. It is popular in the summertime, especially in the Kansai region and Okinawa, and often sold from trucks, similar to an ice cream truck in Western countries.


> Shiruko しるこ

Shiruko, or oshiruko with the honorific “o”, is a traditional Japanese dessert. It is a sweet porridge of azuki beans boiled and crushed, served in a bowl with mochi. There are different styles of shiruko, such as shiruko with chestnuts, or with glutinous rice flour dumplings instead of mochi.


> Mitarashi Dango みたらし団子

Mitarashi dango is a type of dango skewered onto sticks in groups of 3–5 and covered with a sweet soy sauce glaze. It is characterized by its glassy glaze and burnt fragrance. Mitarashi dango originates from the Kamo Mitarashi Tea House in the Shimogamo area of Sakyo ward of Kyoto, Japan.


> Yatsuhashi 八ツ橋

Yatsuhashi is a Japanese confectionery sold mainly as a souvenir sweet. It is one of the best known meibutsu of Kyoto. It is made from glutinous rice flour, sugar and cinnamon. Baked, it is similar to senbei.



Source: https://en.wikipedia.org