• 5 Trains for Seeing Cherry Blossoms in Tohoku: Enjoy Japan's Spring Scenery

    Every year in early April, cherry blossoms start blooming in Japan’s northeastern Tohoku region. Here, trains run through a landscape of floating pink petals, allowing you to enjoy many scenic spots for railways and cherry blossoms! Such views are available in-between Funaoka Station and Ogawara Station on the Tohoku Main Line, Fukushima Prefecture’s Aizu Railway, Aomori Prefecture’s Tsugaru Railway, as well as from the slope car in Miyagi Prefecture’s Funaoka Castle Park. When visiting the Toho

  • Unique Hokkaido Winery Stays: Plan a Northern Getaway for Some Wine, Delicious Cuisine, and a Change of Scenery

    Japan offers a variety of wines, from inexpensive brands to high-end quality bottles. Up until 1980, mainly grapes indigenous to the country (Koshu) were used, but since then, European grapes have been introduced to the process, which created new tasting wines. As many travelers will attest, a fun way to enjoy sampling a variety of great wines is to stay overnight at or near the winery! One of the most famous regions for wines in Hokkaido is Furano; however, the production of grapes and wine is

  • Must-See Sakura Ranking: Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots in Japan

    There are an overwhelming number of breathtaking cherry blossom spots in Japan, and it can be hard to decide where to visit first! In 2018, the Japanese arm of TripAdvisor has looked at all comments registered in Japanese and created a one-of-a-kind ranking: the top 100 cherry blossom spots in Japan! Spring’s soft, warm wind isn’t only known to lift both mood and spirits but also awakens Japan’s cherry trees from their winter slumber, dying their branches in colors ranging from vivid to pale pin

  • Secrets to Shopping in Japan: Guide to Annual Sales in Japan & Where to Shop

    People who want to visit and enjoy shopping in Japan often hear this one particular sentence from friends and acquaintances: “But Japan is really expensive!” There's some truth to this, as particularly touristy areas in Japan – with Tokyo being the most famous example – can have somewhat inflated prices. That doesn’t mean that there’s no shopping bargain to be made if you know when to strike! So, when is the best time to go shopping in Japan? Let’s look at all the secrets behind a successful Jap

  • Hotel Report: Slip Back in Time at the Historic NIPPONIA Chichibu Monzenmachi

    You’ll no doubt want to spend time amongst historical, authentic Japanese architecture during your stay in Japan. In recent years, more and more old-fashioned, disused stores and homes are being renovated into accommodations, attracting both Japanese and international visitors alike for their nostalgic charms and serene atmospheres. Here, we’ll introduce one such place to stay - NIPPONIA Chichibu Monzenmachi. Located among the culturally-rich, ancient townscape, nature, and hot springs of Chichi

  • mesm Tokyo, Autograph Collection: Mesmerize Your Senses at Tokyo Bay's Luxury Hotel

    One of the world’s most famous cities, Tokyo attracted over 15 million foreign visitors in 2019, just before the pandemic (according to Tokyo government statistics), all wanting to get a piece of Japanese culture, the neon-lit streets, and the delicious food. The megacity is also home to some of the world’s finest hotels, where you can enjoy state-of-the-art and innovative architecture and design intertwined with the deep-rooted Japanese culture. One of Tokyo’s luxury hotels, mesm Tokyo, Autogra

  • New Attractions in Japan: Studio Ghibli, Harry Potter, and More (2023-2024)

    From Ghibli Park, to a theme park based on Harry Potter, to new shopping centers, you can expect lots of new landmarks to appear in the upcoming year around Tokyo Station, Shinjuku Station, and more! Despite the unfortunate closings of several other locations, these new attractions give us much to look forward to! Here we introduce the latest on upcoming tourist attractions that are set to open, close, or renew in 2022 and beyond. main image: ©Studio Ghibli

  • Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan: Staying at the World's Oldest Hotel & Onsen Ryokan

    Japan is full of places with long histories and well-preserved traditions that have withstood the test of time. Through careful preservation, many still retain their old-fashioned atmospheres that modern structures do not have. This is a unique part of Japan, which values its history and traditions. And today's plan will introduce one highly-recommended spot you won't want to skip during your next visit to Japan! Here, we'll check out Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, a traditional inn in Yamanashi Pref

  • 15 Luxury, Family-Friendly Hotels in Okinawa Perfect for Your Next Vacation

    Okinawa is “the” tropical paradise in Japan, where many associate it with romance and relaxation. But can it be enjoyed with kids? Sure thing! LIVE JAPAN has listed out 15 luxury hotel getaways on Okinawa’s main island that are also family-friendly for all ages: to help you enjoy with kids - and a little bit without. Check out our information on Okinawa and our list of hotels below; and be sure to book your next tropical getaway without having to leave the country! Main image:

  • This Japanese Dessert Shop is Offering Beautiful Cakes - in Vending Machine Drink Cans (Taste Test)

    Risotteria®︎GAKU in Shibuya, Tokyo, began selling the “Shortcake Can,” which naturally picked up steam on Japanese social media to become an online sensation. Essentially, this product is an authentic shortcake delicately arranged inside a clear plastic can, with the eye-catching cross-section appearing entrancingly beautiful and incredibly unique. In July, sales began in Sapporo, with a specially made Sapporo-only vending machine selling shortcake cans 24 hours a day, allowing locals to get the

  • 6 Best Beautiful Beaches Near Osaka: Dreamy Summer Destinations in Kansai

    There are numerous beaches near Osaka, spread around the Kansai region, with gleaming white sands and crystal waters that contrast with the clear blue summer sky. Included among these spectacular Kansai-area destinations are, Keino Matsubara on Hyogo’s Awaji Island, Shirarahama in Wakayama, Makino Sunny Beach on the shores of Lake Biwa in Shiga, and Osaka’s new Sen’nan Marble Beach and Sennan Long Park.

  • Lost in Another World! 6 Scenic Summer Seascapes in Tohoku

    With relatively cool temperatures and many spectacular natural landscapes, Japan's Tohoku region is the perfect destination for a summer getaway! Consisting of six prefectures in the country's northeast – Aomori, Akita, Iwate, Yamagata, Miyagi, and Fukushima – this area is filled with hidden gems. Here we'll introduce some of Tohoku's top scenic summer spots, from dynamic cliffs to quiet coves where you can swim in the sea.

  • Once You Try It, You’ll Be Hooked! 3 New Products from Ministop’s Yamitsuki Kitchen

    Ministop has grown its fan base by offering a service style that’s a combination of a convenience store and a fast-food restaurant. Fast food is made fresh inside of this community-based convenience store. What’s more, it’s also popular for providing an eat-in area (*not available in some stores) where you can enjoy your purchases on the spot. In March 2021, Ministop started its very popular Yamitsuki Kitchen series. This series offers carefully prepared side dishes that make for great additions

  • Adorable Japanese Character “Pompompurin” Gets a Maid Makeover in Harajuku: On-site Report

    Pompompurin Cafe, one of the epic Sanrio character cafes, reopened in April 2021 on Harajuku’s iconic Takeshita Street with the maids from Akihabara’s legendary “@Home Cafe.” The combination of cute maids and the adorable Pompompurin is a kawaii-overdose we couldn’t resist! From the original menu to a commemorative photo, we’ll let you in on everything you can do at this one-of-a-kind Harajuku experience!

  • 10 Absolutely Adorable Animals in Hokkaido You May Encounter on a Lucky Day!

    Residents of Hokkaido share the land with a great variety of wildlife, some of which can even be seen hanging out in urban districts! But when it comes to animals in nature, Hokkaido and Honshu (the main island of Japan) are separated by a faunal boundary line known as Blakiston's Line. This means that some animal species can only be found in Hokkaido and not Honshu, and vice versa! Here's a list of 10 adorable Hokkaido animals you can look out for during your trip here that will add some fun and excitement in between bouts of sightseeing!

  • 5 Hokkaido Hotels to Social Distance in Style!

    Lockdowns, quarantine, social distancing - the travel bans of 2020 and 2021 have ground travel to a halt. But is that really the case? If you're already in Japan, there's still plenty of safe, sensible travel opportunities allowing you to escape the crowded cities for the tranquil and isolated Japanese countryside. Surrounded by nature and with a sparse population, the northern island of Hokkaido is the perfect location for a social distance holiday! With ample private space and coronavirus countermeasures firmly in place, you'll be able to unwind and make fresh holiday memories in peace. To help plan your Japan social distance getaway, we've picked out 5 Hokkaido accommodations offering all this and more!

  • Fresh Winter Delicacies! 9 Seasonal Hokkaido Foods

    From seafood to vegetables, Hokkaido is one of Japan's leading produce powerhouses. But with each season bringing in a new specialty, deciding what to eat when can be tricky business! Despite the brutal cold, Hokkaido's food machine doesn't slow down in winter. However, to get the best, you've got to know where to go. While the popular horsehair crab and sea urchin can be relished year-round, the best location to try it changes between December and January. Knowing insider tips like this will help take your Hokkaido gourmet gallivanting to the next level! Read on for more!

  • 10 Best Cherry Blossom Spots in Nara & When To See Sakura Festivals!

    Nara's cherry blossom (sakura) season usually starts from the last week of March and into the first two weeks of April. This region, home to spectacular natural scenery, is one of Japan's popular destinations for blossoms. The Somei Yoshino cherry tree, a variety developed in the last century, lends a mysterious beauty to the region. As you plan your cherry blossom viewing trip, here are ten of Nara’s best blossom spots, ranging from some of the most well-known to the more obscure, along with information on the best time to visit and local festivals.

  • 3 Traditional Ryokan in Nara - Enjoy Natural Hot Springs and Scenery!

    1300 years of history have made the historic area of Nara what it is today. You’ll want to stay a night or two and enjoy the many attractions this city has to offer. Included are the many shrines and temples designated as national treasures and World Heritage Sites. You can also enjoy the charming neighborhood townscapes. Out of the many places to stay, we have chosen three unique traditional Japanese ryokan inns that are located in the center of Nara. Here, natural hot springs, open-air baths, great scenery, and merchant homes that embody the charm of Naramachi, a former merchant district in the center of Nara, are offered. These inns have also taken countermeasures against Covid-19, so you can enjoy your stay with ease.

  • 3 Yakiniku Restaurants in Sapporo with the Best Japanese Beef Around!

    Want to treat yourself? Yakiniku is one of the best options when you want to indulge, and Sapporo is packed with restaurants that will help you do just that. Here we'll introduce three Japanese yakiniku restaurants in Sapporo that serve carefully-selected Wagyu beef, including Hokkaido's famous Japanese black beef. All of the following restaurants are properly maintained so you won't have to worry about infection, smoke, or poor ventilation.

  • These Japanese Bath Salts Bring Popular Hot Springs From Tohoku Into Your Very Own Bathtub!

    Japan as a country is big on onsen hot springs and bath culture. This is quite well-reflected in the nearly 3,000 hot spring resorts that can be found throughout the country, as well as the nation's long history of adoration for natural hot springs. The different healing effects a hot spring can have on a person's mind and body depending on the quality of the water is certainly one of the main reasons for its enduring popularity. One of the regions in Japan with a relatively greater density of hot springs is the Tohoku region, which includes well-known prefectures such as Fukushima, Aomori, and Akita. Since traveling too far from home isn't recommended in current conditions, here's a great way to bring the famous baths of Tohoku right into your very own home and bathtub: Japanese bath salts! The following recommendations have all been thoroughly tested before making it onto the list, so that we can help you tour the best onsen in Tohoku without leaving the comfort of your own bathroom!

  • 10 Best Osaka Cherry Blossom Spots: When & Where to See Sakura Festivals!

    Osaka cherry blossoms reach full bloom from late March to early April every year. Osaka has a delightful mix of cherry blossom viewing locations that offer a representative slice of Kanasi with historical sites, modern neighborhoods, and mountainous surroundings. We've compiled a list of some of Osaka's most popular viewing spots, along with the best time to visit and festival info for your convenience.

  • 10 Best Kyoto Cherry Blossom Spots: When To See Them & Sakura Festival Dates

    Formerly Japan's capital for over a millennium, Kyoto is full of famous temples, shrines, and places of note that appear in classic literature. Many of these places are famous for seeing Kyoto cherry blossoms and are typically characterized by having weeping cherry trees and double-flowered cherry trees. Tourists are treated to the city's unique, luxurious annual blossom viewing when the trees reach full bloom in early April. Here are ten locations carefully selected from among Kyoto's many famous cherry blossom sites, along with information on the best time for viewing and associated festivals for your reference when visiting the ancient capital.

  • 3 Recommended Tokyo Hotels in the Covid Era: Accommodation and More!

    Life has changed in Japan over the past year, and hotels have also adjusted their philosophy with the times. There are now more places where you can enjoy not only comfortable accommodation but further attractive reasons to stay. Among them, are three hotels in Tokyo’s suburbs that offer unique services like anime appreciation parties and manuscript writing packs. After spending much of the past year at home, you can now spend a fulfilling time changing your mood while concentrating on hobbies and work in extraordinary hotels, secure that coronavirus countermeasures are in place.

  • How Long Should You Stay in Japan? These 6 Visitors Share Why They Regret Not Traveling Longer

    Whether you’re thinking of stopping in Japan on a tour of Asia, or you want to visit a few different places within Japan, it can be hard to decide exactly how much time you need in each spot. There’s so much to do and so much to see! Especially among Taiwanese – seeing as they are about a four-hour flight away – there are some tourists who only spend a few nights in Japan, but they’ve told us that they really regret not staying longer! So, what is it that made them love Japan so much, they didn’t want to go back home?

  • Top 10 Travel Goods for Tokyo Travelers: Improve Your Trip and Even Your Flight Home!

    Traveling is one of the best things ever, but let’s be honest – it can also be terribly exhausting. Fret not, though, as Japan is known as the land of ingenuous goodies to make life cuter and a lot more convenient! Head over to Tokyu Hands, a department store chain that’ll supply you with pretty much everything, from stationery to souvenirs and kitchen goods. Of course, Tokyu Hands also offers a large variety of travel goods! We spoke to the store’s staff to get some insider recommendations about the things that are absolutely indispensable for a more comfortable travel experience.