East Japan

East Japan includes Tokyo and its surrounding prefectures. This region of Japan is also known as Kanto.

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Aman Resorts Tokyo

The Aman Tokyo is the most recent luxury hotel to open in Tokyo. Located on the top 6 floors of the Otemachi Tower, it offers panoramic views of Tokyo’s skyline, with 84 rooms and suites overlooking the Imperial palace and Tokyo bay. The Aman Tokyo Spa and wellness programmes offer the chance to relax and…

Type: East Japan  |  Category: East Japan, Tokyo  |  Tags: , , ,

Atami

Atami is a seaside resort at the northeastern end of the Izu Peninsula, about an hour west of Tokyo by bullet train. Although it was much developed during the bubble economy of the 1980s, with many hotels and ryokan built along the coastline, today many of these hotels lie empty and the area is trying…

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Conrad Tokyo

Tokyo‘s Conrad Hotel is one of Japan’s best, with impeccable service, incredible views, and irresistibly luxurious rooms. Of Tokyo’s luxury hotels, the Conrad leans furthest towards a boutique hotel aesthetic, without compromising style and comfort. With a range of rooms and suites with garden or city views, the deeply comfortable rooms are designed with relaxation…

Type: East Japan  |  Category: East Japan, Tokyo  |  Tags: , , , , ,

Edo Wonderland

Edo Wonderland near Nikko is a wonderfully old-fashioned theme park offering more than a glimpse into life in old Edo. As well as live performances which include sword fights and other staged combat with incredibly talented ninja actors, the park also celebrates several seasonal festivals. Actors in traditional costumes wander the old-style streets, giving a…

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Fuji Five Lakes

The Fuji Five Lakes area is found at the northern base of Mount Fuji around Lakes Kawaguchiko, Saiko, Yamanakako, Shojiko and Motosuko. It is one of the best places to see fabulous views of Mount Fuji from a close distance and also a good base for those wishing to climb the mountain. Hiking, camping, fishing…

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Futarasan Shrine

Futarasan is really a shrine in three parts, the main part of which is next to the Tōshō-gū Shrine. The beautiful red Futarasan Shrine is dedicated to Nikkō’s mountains, in particular the long-dormant volcano, Mount Nantai, and makes up the third part in Nikkō’s World Heritage trinity. Don’t miss the sacred red Shinkyo bridge, which…

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Hachiman-gu Shrine

Properly known as Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū, this imposing shrine is Kamakura’s most important Shinto shrine, and on holidays and festivals this is made apparent by the happy crowds of visitors. The shrine grounds are particularly lovely, including as they do a pond (the lotus blossom in mid-summer) and Japanese-style bridges, and the wide steps leading up…

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Hakone

Perhaps the most famous of the fifty three stations on the old Tokaido Road from Kyoto to Edo, Hakone is most famous for its peaceful lake, steaming hot springs, and above all, for its views of Mount Fuji. Within easy reach of Tokyo, Hakone is a popular holiday spot, and a number of museums and…

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Hakone Circular Route

The traditional route around the Hakone area officially starts in Hakone-Yumoto, from where the narrow-gauge Hakone-Tozan train switchbacks up forested hills to the resort town of Gōra. For the best views and thinnest crowds, we recommend an early start from Gōra by funicular railway, which takes you to the cable car station. The cable car…

Type: East Japan  |  Category: East Japan, Kanto  |  Tags: , ,

Hakone Open Air Museum

Chōkoku-no-mori, (“the sculpture forest”), an intriguingly-named station on the Hakone Tozan railway line, is home to the Hakone Open Air Museum. The museum houses over 300 works by Picasso alone, as well as sculptures by many other famous artists, including Henry Moore, Rodin, and Miro. We highly recommend taking advantage of the hot spring foot…

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Hasedera Temple

Hase-dera Temple is marked by the steep stairs that wind up the slopes of one of Kamakura’s many hills, and by the thousands of Jizō statues which surround them. Despite the temple’s popularity, it remains a moving spot to visit, and we highly recommend leaving time to explore the grounds with their statues and ponds…

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Ikaho

Ikaho Onsen is a hot spring resort nestled in the misty hills of Gunma Prefecture, about an hour by car from the Shinkansen Station at Takasaki and two from Tokyo. The forested hills behind Ikaho Onsen make up Ikaho Shinrin Koen, or Ikaho Forest Park, 224 forested hectares encompassing several small peaks, valleys, and beautifully…

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KAI Kawaji

At this quiet getaway nestled along a scenic wooded ravine, relax in lush hot-spring baths and enjoy sweets made with freshly ground flour and grain at the traditional water mill. Enjoy the finest relaxation in KAI Kawaji’s hinoki open-air baths (a cypresswood bath) and rock open-air baths. All the rooms of this stylish ryokan resort…

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KAI Nikko

KAI Nikko is an exclusive Japanese hot springs accomodation in Nikko’s Chuzenji onsen. Guests at this luxurious resort ryokan can gaze out over Lake Chuzenji from their rooms, which feature classic architecture and traditional touches in a contemporary style. Guests can also enjoy seasonal Japanese cuisine, and the resort’s private open-air baths and sauna.

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Kaichoro Ryokan

One of the newest of Japan’s top ryokan, Ikaho Onsen’s Kaichoro is perhaps the most luxurious: flawless rooms meld the best of Japanese and Western architecture, secluded open-air onsen baths are ensuite to all suites, and exquisite French Kaiseki dinners are unparalleled at all but a handful of the world’s best restaurants. The Kaichoro’s recent…

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Kamakura

About 50km south west of Tokyo, the lovely seaside town of Kamakura is known for its large variety of shrines and temples, as well as a giant bronze Buddha. The Buddha, the second largest in Japan, was once housed in a grand temple, but a tsunami tore down the building in the 15th century, and…

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Kamakura Great Buddha

Kamakura’s great Buddha, or Daibutsu, is undoubtedly the town’s most famous sight and dominates the grounds of Kōtoku-in temple. The 13.35m bronze statue was cast in 1252 and originally located inside a large temple building, however after being destroyed many times by typhoons and a tidal wave in the 14th and 15th centuries, since 1495…

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Kinnotake

One of the most luxurious ryokans in the area, Hakone Kinnotake was inspired by Japan’s famous 10th century folktale “Taketori Monogatari”, in which the beautiful and mysterious Princess Kaguya is discovered in the stalk of a bamboo plant, and eventually returns to the moon. Kinnotake boasts 10 uniquely designed rooms and suites looking out on…

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Lake Chuzenji

A short drive behind the town of Nikko proper the Nikkō national park begins, at the heart of which is Lake Chūzenji. Formed when the now extinct Mount Nantai last erupted, the lake area is refreshingly cool in the summer, and once acted as a summer residence for foreign embassies to Tokyo. There are walking…

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Mandarin Oriental Tokyo

The Mandarin Oriental is one of Tokyo’s premier hotels, providing a luxury stay in one of the world’s busiest and most exciting cities. The hotel is located on the top floors of the Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower, and offers spectacular views of the city both from its rooms and restaurants. This hotel has 4 restaurants ranging…

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Mashiko

Mashiko is located in the southeastern part of Tochigi, and it falls in the Prefectural Nature Park which spreads across the northern reaches of the Kanto Plain. The town is known throughout Japan and the world as a production centre of pottery. The origin of Mashiko ceramics can be traced to the middle of the…

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Mt Fuji

Reaching its conical and often snow-capped volcanic peak 3,776 metres into the sky, Mount Fuji, or Fuji-san in Japanese, is Japan’s highest mountain – and in many ways its symbolic heart. Though dormant, Mount Fuji is respected, and revered, in a country very much tied to Shinto roots in which kami, or gods, inhabit natural…

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Nikko

Nikkō is best known for its spectacular shrines and temples built during the Tokugawa Shogunate, particularly the Tosho-gu Shrine, which is dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu himself. Unlike the more austere shrines in other regions, the Nikko shrines are heavily carved and brightly decorated, and bear a particularly famous painting of a sleeping cat, as well…

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Odakyu Hotel de Yama

Odakyu Hotel de Yama is nestled on the shores of Lake Ashi, with superb views of Mt Fuji from the extensive gardens. Mt Fuji is one of those iconic images but regular visitors to Japan will tell you that it often becomes shrouded in cloud. The view is usually clearest in the early morning; staying…

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Park Hyatt Tokyo

The film ‘Lost in Translation’ was filmed at the Park Hyatt and this is the most internationally famous hotel in Japan. Located in Shinjuku, a modern and bustling area which is also one of the main transport hubs for the whole of Tokyo. The city views from all windows are incredible and on a day…

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Rinno-ji Temple

Not far from the famous Tōshō-gū Shrine and the Futarasan Shrine is Rinnō-ji Temple, Nikkō’s most important Buddhist Temple. The temple dates back to the eight century, and is famed for its three statues, which are said to be Buddhist Incarnations of the native Shinto mountain deities enshrined at Futarasan Shrine, and are the largest…

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Shunki Reitaisai (Tōshō-gū Festival)

On 17th & 18th May, Nikko‘s famous Tōshō-gū shrine holds a legendary festival in the honour of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate in the Edo era. A huge procession takes 1000 samurai from one end of Nikko to the other, reflecting Tokugawa Ieyasu’s final wish: upon his death in 1616, the legendary…

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The Taya Caves

From roughly between the years 1200 to 1700, Shingon Buddhist monks excavated an underground maze of tunnels behind Josenji Temple near Kamakura as a site for spiritual training. Dark, silent corridors lead to small, domed meditation chambers with walls and ceilings carved with fantastic creatures and Buddhist images, and on down to the spring room…

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Tōshō-gū Shrine

The Tōshō-gū Shrine is Nikko’s main attraction, and is dedicated to the first of the Tokugawa Shoguns, Tokugawa Ieyasu himself. Unlike more austere shrines elsewhere in Japan, the Tōshō-gū Shrine is elaborately carved, decorated, and gilt. Most famous of the painted carvings are those of a sleeping cat, as well as the three wise monkeys…

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Yama No Chaya

Yama-no-chaya is a refined, luxurious ryokan which enjoys beautiful natural surroundings. The traditional wooden buildings are hidden in a leafy grove right by the Tonosawa hot spring. The ryokan has 5 large communal hot spring baths, each in exquisite settings, indoors and outdoors. Many rooms enjoy a view of the surrounding mountains and forest. The…

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Yokohama

With a population of over three million people, Yokohama is Japan’s second largest city. Yokohama’s port was one of the first to be opened up to foreign trade in 1859, and consequently it has grown from a small fishing village to one of Japan’s major ports. Yokohama has one of the world’s largest Chinatowns, with…

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