Spring Beginnings: 6 Seasonal Flowers Other Than Sakura

Spring Beginnings: 6 Seasonal Flowers Other Than Sakura

Flowers herald the beginning of spring, and in Japan, no flower is more synonymous with spring than the beloved cherry blossom (桜 sakura). However, other than these pretty, pink blossoms, Japan has so many other colourful flowers to enjoy in spring. After a long and cold winter, the sight of flowers blooming is a sign of spring arriving, when the weather starts to warm up and colours return to the land. 

Part of the beauty of enjoying flowers is their fleetingness and ephemeral nature: the flowers only bloom for a few days each season, but that short season is simply unforgettable. Let's take a look at six spring flowers and when to catch them!


Nemophila (ネモフィラ)

Have you heard of nemophila (ネモフィラ)? With small, blue petals and a white centre, they are also known as "baby blue eyes". Blue flowers are considered rare in nature, so imagine these flowers carpeting the ground: such a sight to behold! Here are two places to enjoy nemophila:

 

Uminonakamichi Seaside Park (海の中道海浜公園)

Nemophila at Uminanokamichi Seaside Park in Fukuoka, JapanNemophila at Uminonakamichi Seaside Park. | Photo by photoAC

Located in Fukuoka Prefecture on the island of Kyushu, the Uminonakamichi Seaside Park (海の中道海浜公園) is home to Flower Hill (花の丘), where 1.2 million nemophila flowers cover 12,000sqm of land. Best enjoyed from mid to late April, the splendid sight of these beautiful baby blue blossoms together with the sapphire skies is fantasy-like and calming!

 

Uminonakamichi Seaside Park (海の中道海浜公園)
Viewing period: mid to late April (varies each year)
Address: 18-25 Saitozaki, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 811-0321
Access: Right outside JR Uminonakamichi Station (海ノ中道駅)

 

Hitachi Seaside Park (ひたち海浜公園)

Nemophila at Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki, JapanNemophila at Hitachi Seaside Park. | Photo by 茨城県庁

One of the best places in Japan to view nemophila, Miharashi Hill (みはらしの丘) at Hitachi Seaside Park (ひたち海浜公園) in Ibaraki Prefecture transforms into a dreamy scene reminiscent of a faraway fantasy when it is covered with over 5.3 million of these beautiful blue flowers, with late April being the best time to see them. 

 

Hitachi Seaside Park (ひたち海浜公園)
Viewing period: mid-April to early May (varies each year)
Address: 605-4 Onuma-aza, Mawatari, Hitachinaka, Ibaraki 312-0012
Access: 20-minute bus ride from JR Katsuta Station (勝田駅)

 

Azaleas (つつじ)

Another flower that not many visitors might be familiar with is azaleas (つつじ tsutsuji), flowering shrubs that have vivid and vibrant colours, usually in shades of orange and pink. Whether they’re groomed into round shrubs, or growing wildly on the mountainside, these bright flowers are a brilliant sight to behold.

 

Mount Tokusenjo (徳仙丈山)

Wild azaleas at Mount TokusenjoWild azaleas at Mount Tokusenjo. | Photo by photoAC

One of Japan's most famous azalea viewing spots, Mount Tokusenjo (徳仙丈山) is a 711m-high mountain in Miyagi Prefecture’s Kesennuma City. Around 500,000 azaleas grow naturally around the mountaintop, creating a spectacular sea of red when the flowers are in bloom. A hike around the mountain trail to see the azaleas takes around 2.5 hours for a round trip. Be overwhelmed by the grandeur and scale of the bright red azaleas, which spread across the side of the mountain!

 

Mount Tokusenjo (徳仙丈山)
Viewing period: mid to late May (varies each year)
Address: Akaiwamonomi, Kesennuma, Miyagi 988-0165
Access: 45-minute bus ride from JR Kesennuma Station (気仙沼駅)

 

Tsurimine Park (鶴峯公園)

Azalea shrubs in Tsurumine ParkAzalea shrubs in Tsurumine Park. | Photo by photoAC

Home to over over 30,000 azalea bushes of 30 varieties, every year from early to mid-May Nagano Prefecture’s Tsurumine Park (鶴峯公園) comes alive with gorgeous round azalea shrubs in varying shades of red, orange, pink, and purple.

The park was a generous donation from a wealthy benefactor, so as a gesture of gratitude, the villagers decided to adorn the park with 300 azalea bushes. However, a miscommunication arose during the ordering process: when indicating their desired quantity with three fingers, it was misconstrued as an order for "three freight cars' worth" due to the esteemed status of the land donor. Unable to be returned, the three freight cars’ worth of azaleas were meticulously planted throughout Tsurumine Park, turning it into a floral paradise for generations to enjoy!

 

Tsurimine Park (鶴峯公園)
Viewing period: early to mid-May (varies each year)
Address: 3-13 Kawagishigami, Okaya, Nagano 394-0048
Access: 25-minute walk or 5-minute taxi ride from JR Okaya Station (岡谷駅)

 

Wisteria (藤)

Wisteria (藤 fuji) grows on vines, so older wisteria trees need to be supported in a way that lets their vines hang downwards, creating gorgeous curtains of flowers. Here are the top two places to enjoy dreamy pastel purple wisteria curtains:

 

Kawachi Wisteria Garden (河内藤園)

Wisteria tunnel at Kawachi Wisteria Garden in KyushuWisteria tunnel at Kawachi Wisteria Garden. | Photo by photoAC

Known for its two 100m-long wisteria tunnels, the Kawachi Wisteria Garden (河内藤園) in Fukuoka Prefecture offers dreamy displays of wisteria flowers in shades of purple and white that look like they’re straight out of an Impressionist painting. The best time to enjoy the flowers is around late April to early May. Due to the park’s growing popularity in recent years, advanced ticket purchase is required; tickets are not available for sale on site.

 

Kawachi Wisteria Garden (河内藤園)
Viewing period: late April to early May (varies each year)
Address: 2-2-48 Kawachi, Yahatahigashi-ku, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka 805-0045
Access: 20-minute taxi ride from JR Yahata Station (八幡駅)

 

Ashikaga Flower Park (あしかがフラワーパーク)

An illuminated wisteria tree is the highlight of Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi, JapanIllumination of a large wisteria tree at Ashikaga Flower Park. | Photo by photoAC

At Ashikaga Flower Park (あしかがフラワーパーク ) in Tochigi Prefecture, the undisputed star of the park is the giant old wisteria tree. Estimated to be around 150 years old, this tree is prized by the park as the “Most Beautiful Great Wisteria in the World”, and creates a large umbrella of purple flowers when in bloom. In the evenings during the blooming period, the trees are illuminated from below, creating an even more magical sight. Aside from the popular purple wisteria that bloom from mid-April to early May, the park also has white and yellow wisteria that bloom from early to late May.

 

Ashikaga Flower Park (あしかがフラワーパーク)
Viewing period:

Pale purple wisteria: mid to late April (varies each year)
Deep purple wisteria: late April to early May (varies each year)
White wisteria: early to mid-May (varies each year)
Yellow wisteria: mid to late May (varies each year)

Address: 607 Hasama-cho, Ashikaga, Tochigi 329-4216
Access: Across the street from JR Ashikaga Flower Park Station (あしかがフラワーパーク駅)

 

 

Shibazakura (芝桜)

Known as "pink moss phlox" in English, shibazakura (芝桜) is a type of groundcover with small flowers that carpet the ground when in bloom. Despite its name, shibazakura is not a type of sakura, but is so named because it looks like pink sakura flowers growing from the ground (shiba means lawn). Here are two places close to Tokyo where you can enjoy shibazakura:

 

Fuji Shibazakura Festival (富士芝桜まつり)

Shibazakura and Mount FujiView of shibazakura and Mount Fuji. | Photo by Carissa Loh

As an iconic symbol of Japan, and with an almost symmetrical peak, having Mount Fuji in view makes any scenery better. Over at Lake Motosu (本栖湖), the Fuji Shibazakura Festival (富士芝桜まつり) is held from mid-April to late May, with late April to early May being the best time to see them. The festival showcases 500,000 shibazakura flowers of 8 varieties covering the grounds in vivid shades of pink, purple, and white, creating amazing scenery that rivals the splendour of cherry blossoms. 

Read up about the Fuji Shibazakura Festival in more detail over at our sister website JR Times!

 

Fuji Shibazakura Festival (富士芝桜まつり)
Viewing period: late-April to early May (varies each year)
Address: 212 Motosu, Fujikawaguchiko, Minamitsuru, Yamanashi 401-0337
Access: 40-minute bus ride from Kawaguchiko Station (河口湖駅)

 

Hitsujiyama Park Shibazakura Hill (羊山公園芝桜の丘)

Shibazakura in Chichibu, SaitamaShibazakura at Hitsujiyama Park Shibazakura Hill. | Photo by photoAC

Saitama is a prefecture right beside Tokyo, and is quick and convenient for a day trip over the weekend. If you’re planning to catch shibazakura, you can do so at Hitsujiyama Park (羊山公園), where the Shibazakura Hill (芝桜の丘 ) boasts 400,000 shibazakura flowers planted in colourful patterns for visitors to enjoy.

 

Hitsujiyama Park Shibazakura Hill (羊山公園芝桜の丘)
Viewing period: late April to early May (varies each year)
Address: 6360 Omiya, Chichibu, Saitama 368-0023
Access: 20-minute walk from Seibu Railway Seibu-Chichibu Station (西武秩父駅) or Chichibu Railway Ohanabatake Station (御花畑駅)

 

Tulips (チューリップ)

Tulips (チューリップ) were brought over to Japan from Europe in the 19th century, and these lovely flowers are the prefectural flowers of both Toyama Prefecture and Niigata Prefecture. Toyama Prefecture is the largest producer of tulips in Japan, while Niigata Prefecture is not only the second largest producer, but also the first place in Japan to produce tulip bulbs. Let’s take a look at some of the best places to enjoy them:

 

Tonami Tulip Fair (となみチューリップフェア)

Tulips at the Tonami Tulip FairTulips at the Tonami Tulip Fair. | Photo by Carissa Loh

Toyama Prefecture’s Tonami City is the top tulip producer in Japan, and hosts the annual Tonami Tulip Fair (となみチューリップフェア) in late April to early May. The 2-week-long fair lets visitors admire 3 million colourful tulips in 300 varieties across the grounds of Tonami Tulip Park. Enjoy a panoramic view from the Tulip Tower’s observation deck, stroll through a Dutch-style garden, a waterwheel garden, walk through a tulip wall, admire tulips of all shapes and colours, and more!

 

Tonami Tulip Fair (となみチューリップフェア)
Viewing period: late April to early May (varies each year)
Address: 100-1 Nakamura, Tonami, Toyama 939-1382
Access: 15-minute walk from JR Tonami Station (砺波駅)

 

Gosen City Tulip Festival (五泉市チューリップ 祭り)

ulip field at the Gosen City Tulip Festival in Niigata

Tulip field at the Gosen City Tulip Festival. | Photo by 新潟県観光協会

Over in Niigata Prefecture is the Gosen City Tulip Festival (五泉市チューリップ祭り), one of Japan’s most well-known tulip festivals. As they are susceptible to disease in the soil, it is not recommended to cultivate tulips continuously in the same field, so the Gosen City Tulip Festival is held at different fields every year, in a cycle of about 5 years. Frolic among 1.5 million tulips of various colours blooming from mid to late April, and enjoy a festive atmosphere with the food and drink stalls around.

 

Gosen City Tulip Festival (五泉市チューリップ 祭り)
Viewing period: mid to late April (varies each year)
Address: Ipponsugi, Sumoto, Gosen, Niigata 959-1601
Access: 10-minute taxi ride from JR Gosen Station (五泉駅)

 

Rapeseed blossoms (菜の花)

Surround yourself in a field of happiness amidst the vibrant brilliance of rapeseed blossoms (菜の花nanohana ). Also known as canola blossoms, these flowers bloom a bright shade of yellow, a colour often linked with happiness.

 

Iiyama Nanohana Festival (いいやま菜の花まつり)

Nanohana blossoms with the Japanese Alps in the backgroundRapeseed blossoms at the Iiyama Nanohana Festival. | Photo by Shinshu Iiyama Tourism Bureau

Usually held in late April to early May, the Iiyama Nanohana Festival (いいやま菜の花まつり) in Nagano Prefecture lets you enjoy fields of rapeseed blossoms together with stunning views of Nagano’s scenic countryside, against a backdrop of snow-covered mountains in the distance. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to catch the last of the pretty pink cherry blossom trees blooming in tandem with the cheery yellow rapeseed blossoms!

 

Iiyama Nanohana Festival (いいやま菜の花まつり)
Viewing period: late April to early May (varies each year)
Address: 413 Mizuho, Iiyama, Nagano 389-2322 
Access: 25-minute bus ride from JR Iiyama Station (飯山駅)

 

Nanohana Festival in Yokohama (菜の花フェスティバルinよこはま)

Rapeseed blossoms at the Nanohana Festival in Yokohama.Rapeseed blossoms at the Nanohana Festival in Yokohama. | Photo by 青森県観光連盟

Over in a quiet town in mainland Japan’s northernmost prefecture of Aomori is one of the country’s largest expanses of rapeseed blossom fields, which had a record of 128 hectares. This town is called Yokohama (not to be confused with the city near Tokyo), and every year in mid-May it hosts the Nanohana Festival in Yokohama (菜の花フェスティバルinよこはま). Rapeseed blossoms grow to be quite tall, and one of the festival’s highlights is the rapeseed blossom maze.

 

Nanohana Festival in Yokohama (菜の花フェスティバルinよこはま)
Viewing period: mid to late May (varies each year)
Address: Mameda, Yokohama, Kamikita, Aomori 039-4114
Access: 10-minute taxi ride from JR Mutsu-Yokohama Station (陸奥横浜駅)

 

Enjoy Spring with JAPAN RAIL CLUB

With so many spring flowers to admire and spring activities to try, there’s no better time to visit Japan than in spring.

 

Enjoy spring-motif Japanese snacks with JAPAN RAIL CLUB's Omiyage Snack Box

Not travelling to Japan in time for spring this year? Worry not; usher in spring right at your doorstep with JAPAN RAIL CLUB’s Omiyage Snack Box! Exclusive to the month of April 2024, this month’s snack box features an exciting variety of spring-themed snacks from Japan such as the Sakura Karinto by Tokyo-based maker Marui Suzuki, and Plum Blend Coffee by renowned Saza Coffee. 

Subscribe by 30 April 2024 to enjoy discounts of up to USD33 when you apply the promo code “SPRING14” on the checkout page. In addition to this month’s seasonal box, you can expect to receive a wide range of Japanese treats from all corners of Japan every month through your subscription with us. Have a happy spring and remember to always stop and smell the flowers~

Meet the author

Carissa Loh

Having visited all 47 prefectures of Japan, Carissa's next goal in life is to ride all of Japan's sightseeing trains and climb all its 100 Famous Mountains. Sounds like a dream? Check back in 50 years.

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抹茶饗宴:日本綠茶探索指南

你知道嗎?日本是世界第二大綠茶生產國,僅次於中國,而靜岡縣的茶就占全國生產量約40%。 一般來說,茶葉會經過蒸、揉和乾燥等過程來製作成飲用茶。採摘後的茶葉會被蒸熟以停止氧化,以保持茶葉的鮮綠色、營養和清新的香氣。

So Much Matcha: An Essential Guide to Green Tea in Japan
Sue Lynn

So Much Matcha: An Essential Guide to Green Tea...

High in anti-oxidants and packed with anti-inflammatory properties, green tea (緑茶) is one of Japan’s most popular beverages and an important part of its culture, and can be found all...

Carissa Loh Culture

So Much Matcha: An Essential Guide to Green Tea...

High in anti-oxidants and packed with anti-inflammatory properties, green tea (緑茶) is one of Japan’s...

製茶故事:京都舞妓之茶本舖
Sue Lynn

製茶故事:京都舞妓之茶本舖

當提到日本的綠茶,大家都知道日本京都是茶文化的中心。 綠茶一開始是在西元9世紀,由幾個佛教僧侶從中國引進到日本的。在日本人的生活中,綠茶已經成為一種有著許多用途而且對人體健康的飲品。 作為日本文化的一部分,抹茶、煎茶和玉露等的綠茶品種也提供了多樣的口味選擇和體驗。例如傳統的日本茶道,不僅喝茶能帶來健康,茶道更成為了日本獨一無二的文化。

Sue Lynn Maker's Story

製茶故事:京都舞妓之茶本舖

當提到日本的綠茶,大家都知道日本京都是茶文化的中心。 綠茶一開始是在西元9世紀,由幾個佛教僧侶從中國引進到日本的。在日本人的生活中,綠茶已經成為一種有著許多用途而且對人體健康的飲品。 作為日本文化的一部分,抹茶、煎茶和玉露等的綠茶品種也提供了多樣的口味選擇和體驗。例如傳統的日本茶道,不僅喝茶能帶來健康,茶道更成為了日本獨一無二的文化。

Maker's Story: Gyokuro Tea from Kyoto by Maikonocha Honpo
Sue Lynn

Maker's Story: Gyokuro Tea from Kyoto by Maikon...

When it comes to green tea from Japan, Kyoto stands as the hub of tea culture. Originally introduced by returning Buddhist monks from their travels in China in the 9th...

Sue Lynn Food

Maker's Story: Gyokuro Tea from Kyoto by Maikon...

When it comes to green tea from Japan, Kyoto stands as the hub of tea...

Maker’s Story: Premium Matcha Products from Uji, Kyoto by Kyoeiseicha
Sue Lynn

Maker’s Story: Premium Matcha Products from Uji...

This May, JAPAN RAIL CLUB celebrates the joy that matcha brings to our lives with the special “So Much Matcha” Omiyage Snack Box. May marks the start of the traditional...

Sue Lynn Maker's Story

Maker’s Story: Premium Matcha Products from Uji...

This May, JAPAN RAIL CLUB celebrates the joy that matcha brings to our lives with...

綠之日快樂!一起來探索日本新綠季節中五個不能錯過的景點
Sue Lynn

綠之日快樂!一起來探索日本新綠季節中五個不能錯過的景點

在日本眾多節慶與珍貴傳統之中,有一個特別關於自然崇敬的慶典——綠之日。這個國定假日訂於每年五月四日,見證了日本與自然的深厚連結,也提醒人們欣賞這個70%都是山區的島國上,那些美麗的綠色景觀。

Carissa Loh Culture

綠之日快樂!一起來探索日本新綠季節中五個不能錯過的景點

在日本眾多節慶與珍貴傳統之中,有一個特別關於自然崇敬的慶典——綠之日。這個國定假日訂於每年五月四日,見證了日本與自然的深厚連結,也提醒人們欣賞這個70%都是山區的島國上,那些美麗的綠色景觀。

Happy Greenery Day: 5 Must-Visit Places to Explore During Japan's Shinryoku Season
Sue Lynn

Happy Greenery Day: 5 Must-Visit Places to Expl...

Nestled amongst Japan’s vibrant festivities and cherished traditions lies a celebration rooted in reverence for nature―Midori-no-Hi (みどりの日 Greenery Day). Observed annually on 4 May, this national holiday is a testament...

Carissa Loh Culture

Happy Greenery Day: 5 Must-Visit Places to Expl...

Nestled amongst Japan’s vibrant festivities and cherished traditions lies a celebration rooted in reverence for...

Fresh From Hokkaido: A Guide to Sapporo Central Wholesale Market
Sue Lynn

Fresh From Hokkaido: A Guide to Sapporo Central...

Hokkaido is Japan’s food paradise as the northernmost part of the country is the top producer of agricultural products and seafood: the vast lands covering Japan’s second largest island and...

Wendy Ng

Fresh From Hokkaido: A Guide to Sapporo Central...

Hokkaido is Japan’s food paradise as the northernmost part of the country is the top...

Nihon Sankei (日本三景): The Three Scenic Views of Japan
Sue Lynn

Nihon Sankei (日本三景): The Three Scenic Views of ...

Japan is an island nation that has always been known for its stunningly beautiful landscapes but even amongst these, there are three locations that rise above the others and are...

Dawn Sim Nature

Nihon Sankei (日本三景): The Three Scenic Views of ...

Japan is an island nation that has always been known for its stunningly beautiful landscapes...

Japan celebrates Golden Week between April 29 to May 5
Sue Lynn

Golden Week: Exploring Japan's Week-Long Festiv...

What is Golden Week? Golden Week (ゴールデンウィーク or 黄金週間 Ogon Shukan), recognised as one of Japan's most prominent and bustling holiday periods, usually spans from late April to early May...

Dawn Sim Culture

Golden Week: Exploring Japan's Week-Long Festiv...

What is Golden Week? Golden Week (ゴールデンウィーク or 黄金週間 Ogon Shukan), recognised as one of...

春暖花開:櫻花之外的六種當季花卉
Sue Lynn

春暖花開:櫻花之外的六種當季花卉

賞花的樂趣之一,就是它們轉瞬即逝的特性:花期每季只有幾天,但那短暫幾天卻難忘極了。來看看六種春天當季花卉,以及賞花最佳時機!

Carissa Loh Nature

春暖花開:櫻花之外的六種當季花卉

賞花的樂趣之一,就是它們轉瞬即逝的特性:花期每季只有幾天,但那短暫幾天卻難忘極了。來看看六種春天當季花卉,以及賞花最佳時機!

Spring Beginnings: 6 Seasonal Flowers Other Than Sakura
Sue Lynn

Spring Beginnings: 6 Seasonal Flowers Other Tha...

Flowers herald the beginning of spring, and in Japan, no flower is more synonymous with spring than the beloved cherry blossom (桜 sakura). However, other than these pretty, pink blossoms,...

Carissa Loh Nature

Spring Beginnings: 6 Seasonal Flowers Other Tha...

Flowers herald the beginning of spring, and in Japan, no flower is more synonymous with...

Spring Beginnings: 7 Things to Do in Japan in April and May
Sue Lynn

Spring Beginnings: 7 Things to Do in Japan in A...

Cherry blossoms, or sakura, are flowers symbolic of spring, often alluded to the promise of a new beginning in many Japanese literature. | Photo by Dawn Sim   A symbol...

Dawn Sim Spring

Spring Beginnings: 7 Things to Do in Japan in A...

Cherry blossoms, or sakura, are flowers symbolic of spring, often alluded to the promise of...

Spring Beginnings: 6 Must-Try Spring Foods in Japan
Sue Lynn

Spring Beginnings: 6 Must-Try Spring Foods in J...

Spring in Japan is a time for celebration as the season marks new beginnings. Other than the mesmerising cherry blossoms painting the landscape, spring is the best season to experience...

Wendy Ng Food

Spring Beginnings: 6 Must-Try Spring Foods in J...

Spring in Japan is a time for celebration as the season marks new beginnings. Other...

Spring Beginnings: 6 Must-Visit Spring Festivals in Japan
Sue Lynn

Spring Beginnings: 6 Must-Visit Spring Festival...

Photo by cyesuta (CC BY-SA 2.0)   Spring is a season of new beginnings, bringing with it beautiful flowers, comfortable temperatures, and a time of celebration. While most travellers head...

Carissa Loh Festival

Spring Beginnings: 6 Must-Visit Spring Festival...

Photo by cyesuta (CC BY-SA 2.0)   Spring is a season of new beginnings, bringing...

Castle Day (6 April): 10 Must-Visit Castles in Japan
Sue Lynn

Castle Day (6 April): 10 Must-Visit Castles in ...

Matsue Castle in spring. | Photo by 島根県観光連盟 Japan, a nation celebrated for its rich history and enduring cultural heritage, is particularly famous for its magnificent Japanese castles (お城 oshiro)....

Carissa Loh Culture

Castle Day (6 April): 10 Must-Visit Castles in ...

Matsue Castle in spring. | Photo by 島根県観光連盟 Japan, a nation celebrated for its rich...

Sakura Karinto and Marui Suzuki
Sue Lynn

Maker’s Story: Seasonal Karinto Snacks from Tok...

April marks the official arrival of spring in Japan, and one of the cherished traditions of celebrating this season is to enjoy “ohanami” (お花見)! Ohanami means “flower-viewing”, and this is...

Sue Lynn Maker's Story

Maker’s Story: Seasonal Karinto Snacks from Tok...

April marks the official arrival of spring in Japan, and one of the cherished traditions...

A Guide to Sakura in Tohoku: Best Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots in Northeast Japan
Sue Lynn

A Guide to Sakura in Tohoku: Best Cherry Blosso...

Hirosaki Castle Park | Photo by Aomori Prefecture Cherry blossoms or sakura (桜) herald the start of springtime in Japan. Spring is the prettiest and most enjoyable season with radiant...

Wendy Ng Spring

A Guide to Sakura in Tohoku: Best Cherry Blosso...

Hirosaki Castle Park | Photo by Aomori Prefecture Cherry blossoms or sakura (桜) herald the...

A Guide to Japanese Shochu: A Tasting Tour of Shochu Distilleries in Miyazaki
Sue Lynn

A Guide to Japanese Shochu: A Tasting Tour of S...

Shochu (焼酎) is one of the most consumed alcoholic beverages in Japan and the Japanese drink more shochu than sake. Considered to be Japan's national spirit, Shochu is gaining great...

Wendy Ng

A Guide to Japanese Shochu: A Tasting Tour of S...

Shochu (焼酎) is one of the most consumed alcoholic beverages in Japan and the Japanese...

Tohoku: A Tale of Tradition through its Cultural Icons
Sue Lynn

Tohoku: A Tale of Tradition through its Cultura...

Statues of the Namahage located in Oga Peninsula. | Photo by PhotoAC Steeped in tradition, Tohoku (東北), the northeastern part of Japan comprising of six prefectures – Aomori (青森), Akita...

Dawn Sim Culture

Tohoku: A Tale of Tradition through its Cultura...

Statues of the Namahage located in Oga Peninsula. | Photo by PhotoAC Steeped in tradition,...

Tasty Tohoku Treats: 6 Must-Try Food from Northeast Japan
Sue Lynn

Tasty Tohoku Treats: 6 Must-Try Food from North...

Japan is a food paradise and beyond the major cities and well-trodden travel routes, you can unearth more culinary treasures spread throughout the country if you venture into the less...

Wendy Ng Food

Tasty Tohoku Treats: 6 Must-Try Food from North...

Japan is a food paradise and beyond the major cities and well-trodden travel routes, you...

Sakura 2024: 5 Must-Visit Cherry Blossom Spots in Tokyo for Ohanami
Sue Lynn

Sakura 2024: 5 Must-Visit Cherry Blossom Spots ...

If you have visited Tokyo between late March and early April, then chances are you have witnessed the enchanting sight of cherry blossoms (桜 sakura) in full bloom. A cherry...

Carissa Loh Culture

Sakura 2024: 5 Must-Visit Cherry Blossom Spots ...

If you have visited Tokyo between late March and early April, then chances are you...

Tasty Tohoku Treats: 6 Must-Buy Souvenirs from Tohoku
Sue Lynn

Tasty Tohoku Treats: 6 Must-Buy Souvenirs from ...

Located on the north-eastern part of mainland Japan, Tohoku (東北) is made up of six prefectures, and is a treasure trove of beautiful nature and fascinating history. It’s a wonderful...

Carissa Loh Food

Tasty Tohoku Treats: 6 Must-Buy Souvenirs from ...

Located on the north-eastern part of mainland Japan, Tohoku (東北) is made up of six...

Omiyage Day (8 March): Exploring Japan's Souvenir & Gift-Giving Culture
Sue Lynn

Omiyage Day (8 March): Exploring Japan's Souven...

Have you heard of omiyage (お土産)? If you’ve been to Japan, then you have probably seen the colourful and beautifully packaged boxes of local confectionery filling the gift shops along...

Carissa Loh Culture

Omiyage Day (8 March): Exploring Japan's Souven...

Have you heard of omiyage (お土産)? If you’ve been to Japan, then you have probably...

March Maker's Story: Hand-grilled Rice Crackers from Akita by Kanaeya
Sue Lynn

March Maker's Story: Hand-grilled Rice Crackers...

The Tohoku Region is home to some of Japan’s best untouched nature. Take Akita as an example, a prefecture where lush landscapes meet premium rice fields. Renowned for its exceptional...

Sue Lynn Maker's Story

March Maker's Story: Hand-grilled Rice Crackers...

The Tohoku Region is home to some of Japan’s best untouched nature. Take Akita as...

March Maker’s Story: Obuse Chestnut Snacks from Takachiho (Winner of JR East Omiyage Grand Prix 2023 - Koshin’etsu Area Prize)
Sue Lynn

March Maker’s Story: Obuse Chestnut Snacks from...

If you have been to Japan, you will understand the universal struggle of finding the perfect souvenir or omiyage (お土産) to bring home for your loved ones and colleagues. While...

Sue Lynn Maker's Story

March Maker’s Story: Obuse Chestnut Snacks from...

If you have been to Japan, you will understand the universal struggle of finding the...

Hina Matsuri (3 March): Japan’s Spring Festival Celebrating Girls’ Day
Sue Lynn

Hina Matsuri (3 March): Japan’s Spring Festival...

Displaying exquisitely made hina-ningyo dressed in traditional Heian attire is the main activity associated with the Hina Matsuri | ©photoAC Have you ever heard of Japan’s Hina Matsuri (雛祭)? Otherwise known...

Dawn Sim Culture

Hina Matsuri (3 March): Japan’s Spring Festival...

Displaying exquisitely made hina-ningyo dressed in traditional Heian attire is the main activity associated with the...

Inspired by Izu: Exploring Izu Peninsula Through The Eyes of Japanese Writers
Sue Lynn

Inspired by Izu: Exploring Izu Peninsula Throug...

If you are a fan of Japanese literature, take a walk in the footsteps of literary giants and look no further than Izu Peninsula (伊豆半島), which lies just about 1-2...

Dawn Sim Travel

Inspired by Izu: Exploring Izu Peninsula Throug...

If you are a fan of Japanese literature, take a walk in the footsteps of...

Mount Fuji with tea plantation in the foreground
Sue Lynn

Mount Fuji Day (23 February): 5 Ways to Enjoy J...

Standing at 3,776m above sea level, the almost perfectly symmetrical Mount Fuji (富士山 Fujisan) is Japan’s highest mountain, and has become a symbol of the country, recognised worldwide for its...

Carissa Loh Travel

Mount Fuji Day (23 February): 5 Ways to Enjoy J...

Standing at 3,776m above sea level, the almost perfectly symmetrical Mount Fuji (富士山 Fujisan) is...

Happy Cat Day (22 February): 5 Cat Islands in Japan to Meet Feline Friends
Sue Lynn

Happy Cat Day (22 February): 5 Cat Islands in J...

Are you a cat (猫 neko) lover? If you’ve been to Japan, you might have noticed how beloved cats are over there. Think maneki-neko (招き猫) cat figurines that beckon luck,...

Carissa Loh Culture

Happy Cat Day (22 February): 5 Cat Islands in J...

Are you a cat (猫 neko) lover? If you’ve been to Japan, you might have...

In the Mood for Love: Romancing on Valentine’s Day in Japan
Sue Lynn

In the Mood for Love: Romancing on Valentine’s ...

Love is in the air in February with Valentine’s Day! On 14 February, Valentine’s Day is universally celebrated across the globe where presents like chocolates, candies, and flowers are gifted...

Wendy Ng Culture

In the Mood for Love: Romancing on Valentine’s ...

Love is in the air in February with Valentine’s Day! On 14 February, Valentine’s Day...

Romance Izu in the Air: 5 Romantic Spots in the Izu Peninsula
Sue Lynn

Romance Izu in the Air: 5 Romantic Spots in the...

With so many captivating attractions, you can spend days exploring the Izu Peninsula with your loved one, but where to start? Here are our top five picks for romantic dating...

Carissa Loh Travel

Romance Izu in the Air: 5 Romantic Spots in the...

With so many captivating attractions, you can spend days exploring the Izu Peninsula with your...

A Side Trip to Saitama: Discovering “Little Edo”, Cafes, and the Railway Museum
Sue Lynn

A Side Trip to Saitama: Discovering “Little Edo...

Located just about half an hour north of Central Tokyo, Ōmiya Station (大宮駅 Ōmiya-eki) is the gateway to the neighbouring Saitama Prefecture (埼玉県). It is also a stop on more...

JAPANKURU Travel

A Side Trip to Saitama: Discovering “Little Edo...

Located just about half an hour north of Central Tokyo, Ōmiya Station (大宮駅 Ōmiya-eki) is...