Nijo Castle in Kyoto

Japan is everything you may have heard and much, much more. Traditional simplicity, temples and monasteries; High tech massive cities; Friendly people. It is all here.

Where to Stay

I would strongly suggest that, given the choice, you try to stay in a Japanese Ryokan or “local inn”. It is here you will have a much more authentic Japanese experience. Ryokan are generally traditional Japanese accommodation complete with baths and tatami mats throughout (and fantastic evening meals). Do not, however, expect to find terribly good Ryokan in the centre of large cities. Ryokan there are more like hotels.

Getting Around

If you speak English getting around is not as difficult as you might think with most transportation having both English and Japanese in use. Having a bit of Japanese for greetings and general politeness IS a good idea though.

Things to See

Mount Fuji (Fuji-san or Fuji-Yama)

The image of mount Fuji with it's almost perfect conical shape is very much the symbol of Japan both past and present. It is said that on a clear day you can even see Fuji from Tokyo but since clear days are hard to come by…


It is possible to climb to the top of Fuji but this takes about 6 hours (from the last station, the fifth, accessible by road) but should only be attempted by those fit enough…

A bit of a surprise is the development on the mountain itself with both a small tourist village as well as hotels and a shrine.

Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture

This is an area of outstanding beauty not far from Mount Fuji. Situated around Lake Ashi one of the things to do is to go to the top of a local mountain by the Hakone Ropeway to see if you can spot Mount Fuji in the distance and, of course, enjoy the views.

Hakone Ropeway

A boat trip on Lake Ashi is also a very pleasant way to spend a few hours (well, minutes since the lake is not that big…).

Hakone Shrine


Just a few pictures from travelling around…

Who need's a menu?

Burn, baby, burn!

Always a picture of an automated toilet...

Further Information

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