Otaru ⁻ 小樽

Hokkaidō island hosts a port-town with a unique European atmosphere: we are now introducing Otaru, 30 minutes by train from Sapporo! What kind of city is Otaru? In the port-town of Otaru there are many things to see: among those, we suggest the Canal area, which maintains well the shape of the old days. On its sides ware-houses made by bricks lay one next to the other. Today they are restaurants, museums and souvenir shops. The pavement along the canal has been renewed and some art pieces can be seen while walking. Noticing how the canal changes during the day is also interesting: at night gas lamps enlighten it here and there creating a romantic atmosphere. In winter the fallen snow create a majestic landscape. On the eastern side of the canal Sakaimachi-doori takes place: here you can still find the old merchants’ shops. Otaru’s economy flourished during the time when Japan colonized Hokkaidō. Many companies established their headquarters right in this town. The western-styled buildings are many. One of these is the Nihon-ginkō, which is nowadays an accessible museum. We suggest you to see the Music Box Museum also: here you can find many music boxes and souvenirs are also being sold. This is a popular spot in Otaru. There are also shops selling glass statues nearby. On the western side of the canal lays an important heritage, a building which hosts the Kyūnihon–yūsen company. In its square a gorgeous fountain takes place. The western-styled rooms of the building are nowa museum. Close to this area you can find the Otaru-shi General Museum: it is mainly about railways but also about Otaru’s history in general. Outside you can see many trains and get on a steam locomotive. We recommend you the Otaru Aquarium. In winter you can behold the march of penguins here! Access To understand about access to the city, click here! Impressions We could behold the sea of Japan from the train, during the journey from Sapporo to Otaru. Otaru Station‘s building has a perceptible retro atmosphere: high ceilings and many windows create a wide environment. We got out of the station and started walking along the central avenue, so we saw several western-style buildings. Along the street there is a famous pastry shop on a shopping arcade called Miyako-doori. By proceeding on the main avenue we came by an abandoned railway line across the street: …

Nikkō – 日光

Have you ever been to the Tōshō-gū Shrine, in Nikkō city? Registered as World Heritage site, it is a huge shintō shrine located in a rich natural environment, about 150 km north to Tōkyō. What’s special about Nikkō?  If we talk about Nikkō’s symbol, Tōshō-gū Shrine comes immediately to our minds. Many shrines …

Miyajima > Access

Back to the article   [mappress mapid=”47″]   Miyajima is part of Hatsukaichi city, in Hiroshima Prefecture. You can reach it by using Hiroshima as starting point, accessible from the whole country by Shinkansen. The Nozomi Shinkansen gets to Hiroshima in about 4 hours from Tōkyō (or 80 minutes from Ōsaka). From Hakata (Kyūshū) one hour is required. If you come from Sapporo, Sendai, Naha etc. take …

3.11 – Thinking back to that day…

March 11th has got a something special meaning today. On March 11th 2011, a tremendous earthquake and tsunami struck Tōhoku region in Japan, and the connected Fukushima nuclear accident made suffer thousands of Japanese people. Sadly, for many of them this sorrow is still continuing nowadays. In addiction, especially related with the …

Sakata city – Access

Back to the main article   Sakata is located in the west area of Yamagata Prefecture, it requires some time to be reached. [mappress mapid=”49″]   By train Since Sakata is not provided with the Shinkansen line, it is not possible to reach it directly from Tōkyō. The quickest way to …

Minatomirai > Access

Back to the main article [mappress mapid=”43″]   Minato Mirai 21 is a place easy to get to, here you find the 2 closest stations to this area: 1) The first one is JR Sakuragi-chō Station, on Keihin-Tōhoku and Yokohama Lines. If you take the JR lines from Tōkyō, take the Tōkaidō (Ueno-Tōkyō) Line first and then change on the Keihin-Tōhoku line at Yokohama Station. 2) The second station is Minato Mirai Station. Since there is a direct access with Minato Mirai Line, getting to the area from Ikebukuro, Shinjuku and Shibuya is easy. Minato Mirai Station is located underground, at Landmark Plaza. You can also check the directions on the article about Yokohama China Town, a few blocks southern to Minato …

Tokashiki-jima > Access

Back to the main article> [mappress mapid=”57″]   First of all you must go to Naha, in Okinawa Prefecture. There are several ferries departing from Kyūshū island, and travelling by plane is also confortable. Naha Airport is connected to Japan’s major airports (Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Nagoya, Sendai, Sapporo etc…) with direct …