Latest Posts

  • Earths Enchanted Islands: An Insiders guide

    In this blog post, we take a behind-the-scenes look at the recent BBC2 documentary series entitled 'Japan: Earth's Enchanted Islands'. Here at InsideJapan Tours, we have an amazingly talented and knowledgeable team of individuals. One ex-staff member in particular, Ester De Roij, is someone who has gone on to use her knowledge and passion for Japan elsewhere, by combining it with her other passion for wildlife photography. Ester left us to join a small TV company called the BBC, maybe you’ve heard of it? Her new job as a researcher took her back to Japan, but this time it was to film the BBC2 series, "Japan: Earth's Enchanted Islands" - something a bit different to the usual 'wacky Japan' programmes you may have seen in the past. Now that the series has ended, Ester has come back ...

  • Top 7 Things Not to Miss in Okinawa

    Okinawa, the southern island chain of Japan, is a terrific destination for both the experienced traveler looking to expand their understanding of the country, or anyone looking to experience a Japanese-style island venue. Often called the “Hawaii of Japan,” Okinawa has a distinct history and culture from the mainland, offering an assortment of new and interesting sights and experiences. After living and working in Okinawa for a year and a half, I have compiled the following seven key sites that everyone should experience as part of their journey to understand this incredible region of Japan. Here's our Top 7 Things Not to Miss in Okinawa: 7. Okinawa Prefectural Museum/ Shuri Castle The island chain now known as the prefecture Okinawa is intimately connected with Japan i ...

  • Top 9 things to do (and one thing not to do) in Naha

    This week it was my intention to spend a couple of days on Zamami - a reputedly paradisic island to the west of Okinawa-Honto. Arriving in Naha after work on Thursday it quickly became apparent that my plans were going to be scuppered, and that all flights and ferries out of Okinawa had been cancelled due to a typhoon. Thanks a bunch typhoon. So instead of snorkeling and sunbathing to my heart's content, I spent a wet and windy couple of days sheltering indoors in Naha. The upside of all this is that I managed to explore a couple of areas of the city that I probably wouldn't have visited otherwise, and to gather some recommendations from some of the locals! Here's my list of top things to do if you ever find yourself in Naha, well, top 9 things to do (and one thing not to do) in Naha ...

  • 5 Best Parks in Tokyo

    When you visit Japan, the parks in Tokyo are worth taking time to explore. They provide peaceful green sanctuaries in which people seek refreshment from the city's exciting bustle, and they represent the heart of Japan's love of natural beauty. Here are the 5 best parks in Tokyo: Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a gorgeous urban oasis among the skyscrapers, a mere ten-minute walk from Asia’s busiest transport hub, Shinjuku Station. This imperial garden, originally built for royalty and then rebuilt by the Japanese government after the second world war, features landscaping in French formal and English landscape styles as well as a traditional Japanese section. During cherry blossom season, the park’s 1500 cherry trees of different varieties draw crowds from all over Japan. Yoyogi Pa ...

  • The Railway Museum

    Last year Japan Railway celebrated 50 years since the inauguration of the world-famous Shinkansen (Bullet Train). Originally built in time for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the Shinkansen made travel faster (cutting the travel time between Tokyo and Osaka in half) as well as rapidly expanding the number of passengers between the two major economic hubs of Japan. The Shinkansen is still going strong today. It runs in an almost ridiculously timely manner. It is still considered a major event not merely in Japanese railway history, but as an announcement to the world of Japanese capabilities less than two decades after emerging from the ashes of the Second World War. In light of this fifty-year benchmark, I made my way to the Railway Museum (tetsudo-hakubutsukan, entrance 1000yen) at Omiya Station ...


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