Japan’s 8 Best-Preserved Castle Towns

Original surviving Japanese castles are a rarity. Only a dozen retain their original keeps, though there are many more that lie in ruins or have been reconstructed. Beyond the castles, however, many historic castle...

Gero Hot Spring – Gero Onsen Yamagataya

Private-use hot springs: Yes Rooms with open-air baths: Yes Named one of Japan’s top three onsens back in the Edo era, this region is still renowned for its ancient hot springs, with footbaths, public spas,...

Hida Takayama Hot Spring – Hanaougi Bettei Iiyama

Private-use hot springs: Yes Rooms with open-air baths: Yes Just a 50-min bus ride from World Heritage site Shirakawa-go, explore Hida Takayama’s charming townscape at this secluded 17-room ryokan. Hanaougi Bettei Iiyama offers a personal...

Gifu

Gifu: The Land of Clear Waters Strategically located in central Japan, Gifu-ken (岐阜県, Gifu prefecture) is made up of five (unofficial) regions and is famous for its beautiful mountain towns, clear waters, traditional cormorant fishing...

World Heritage (5): Shirakawa-go & Gokayama

Shirakawa-go & Gokayama: Fairy tale-like farmhouse villages  Like a scene straight out of a fairy tale, the twinkling towns of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama possess a magical beauty that moves with the seasons. Surrounded by steep rugged mountains and...

Japan’s No.1 Restaurant As Rated By Local Foodies

"If someone would have told me to dance, I would have probably been spinning around the restaurant like a crazy man" -a tabelog reviewer lucky enough to have dined at Yanagiya Don't let the unassuming facade of Yanagiya...

Ukai: A 3-in-1 Truly “U”-nique Experience

To enjoy Japan’s culture, cuisine and scenery, try a Ukai river cruise. “Ukai” literally means the rearing of cormorants and refers to a traditional fishing method deploying these long-necked aquatic birds to hunt for river...