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

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

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 designated as the most scenic spots of the nation:

  • Matsushima (松島) in Miyagi Prefecture (宮城県),
  • Amanohashidate (天橋立) in Kyoto Prefecture (京都府), and
  • Miyajima (宮島) in Hiroshima Prefecture (広島県).

Together, they are known as Nihon Sankei (日本三景), or the Three Scenic Views of Japan. Shunsai Hayashi, a Confucian scholar who lived during the Edo Period (1603–1868) bestowed unparalleled praise upon these three locations in his book “Observations About the Remains of Japan’s Civil Affairs” (日本国事跡考), leading to the widespread fame that these places enjoy today.

The breathtaking panoramas, distinguished by the sea and verdant landscapes, have enchanted innumerable individuals, and have been enshrined in the works of poets, artists and writers throughout history.


Journey Across the Three Seas 

Matsushima and its pine clad islandsA common characteristic shared by all three scenic locations are the large bodies of water surrounding them. | Photo by PhotoAC

Though situated in distinct regions of Japan, these three scenic views share the common trait of being enveloped by bodies of water. Therefore, a pilgrimage to these destinations is often referred to as the “journey across the three seas”, each offering unique perspectives of Japan: in Matsushima, one can behold the magnificent expanse of the Pacific Ocean (太平洋); in Amanohashidate, the tumultuous waters of the Sea of Japan (日本海); and in Miyajima, the serene and peaceful Seto Inland Sea (瀬戸内海)

Now, let's take a journey to these top three views of Japan!

 

1. Matsushima (松島)

A panoramic view of Matsushima Bay in early autumnA panoramic view of Matsushima Bay in early autumn. | Photo by Adobe Stock

Featured in Oku no Hosomichi (おくのほそ道), a book written by the renowned haiku poet Matsuo Basho, Matsushima Bay boasts 260 pine clad islands, captivating viewers with a beauty so sophisticated that left even the esteemed poet speechless. With its allure dating back to the Heian Period (794–1185), Matsushima is a historic scenic destination that offers visitors the opportunity to experience the same stirring emotions that Basho felt during his visit.

 

Matsushima’s Four Panoramic Views 

Sunset at MatsushimaSokan, viewed from mount Otakamori during sunset. | Photo by Adobe Stock

While touring by boat provides an excellent vantage point for observing Matsushima Bay as a whole, there are four specific locations renowned as prime spots for panoramic views of these islands, collectively referred to as the Shitaikan (四大観 Four Panoramic Views). Each of these locations is distinguished by a nickname that encapsulates its unique perspective. 


  • Sokan (壮観 The Grand View): Mount Otakamori (大高森) in the east showcases a complete panoramic perspective of Matsushima Bay and Saga Gorge (嵯峨渓). 
  • Reikan (麗観 The Beautiful View): Standing at an elevation of 116.8m above sea level, Mount Tomiyama (富山) provides the highest viewpoint, offering visitors a serene and graceful perspective of Matsushima Bay from the tranquil surroundings of Ogyoji Temple (大仰寺)'s garden. 
  • Ikan (偉観 The Dynamic View): From the cliffs of Yogasaki (代々崎) at the northern tip of Shichigahama Town (七ヶ浜町), one can enjoy views of the bay and Shiogama Port (塩釜港), where ships elegantly navigate their way through and around the islets. 
  • Yukan (幽観 The Mysterious View): From the peak of Ogitani (扇谷), the inlet leading to Matsushima Bay stretches out resembling a folding fan. Not only does one get to enjoy Matsushima Bay in its entirety, but also the breathtaking sunrises that extend over the bay.

 

Matsushima’s Golden Road 

The Golden Road of Matsushima features a full moon's light reflected on the waters of MatsushimaThe sight of a stunning golden path forming under the full moon was what drew Basho to Matsushima. | Photo by Adobe Stock

On nights with a full moon, a radiant path of golden moonlight emerges, forming a luminous road over the bay towards the moon, thus the name “The Golden Road”. As the moon ascends to its zenith, this pathway transitions from gold to silver. In this glistening, ethereal realm, the islands and pine trees appear as mere silhouettes against the backdrop of the sky and water. This picturesque landscape was what had drawn Basho to Matsushima. 

Evoking the atmosphere of traditional ukiyo-e paintings, this romantic scenery played a significant role in the recognition of the moon over Matsushima as one of Japan's “100 Famous Moons” in 2016.

 

Godaido Temple: Remnants of Azuchi Momoyama Period

Godaido Temple, the symbol of Matsushima and Tohoku's oldest structureGodaido Temple, the symbol of Matsushima and the oldest structure in the Tohoku Region built in the Azuchi Momoyama architectural style. | Photo by Adobe Stock

On the central island, linked to the mainland by vermilion footbridges, stands a hallmark of Matsushima: the Godaido Temple (五大堂). Legend has it that it was originally established by Tamuramaro Sakanoue in 807 and subsequently reconstructed by Masamune Date, the founding figure of the Sendai domain in 1604. The temple houses the statues of the five Kings of Wisdom (五大明王 Godai Myo-o), which are revealed to the public only once every 33 years, with the upcoming exhibition slated for 2039. 

Hosting Tohoku's oldest structure in the Azuchi Momoyama Period (1568–1600) architectural style, Godaido Temple holds the distinction of being designated as an Important Cultural Property.

 

Getting to Matsushima

Matsushimakaigan StationThe newly-renovated Matsushimakaigan Station in Matshushima | Photo by Star train / CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED

From Tokyo Station, take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Sendai Station (approx. 1.5 hours). Transfer to the Senseki Line at Sendai Station and get off at Matsushimakaigan Station (approx. 40 minutes). The entire journey from Tokyo Station to Matsushimakaigan Station is covered by the Nationwide JAPAN RAIL PASS, JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area), and JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass.

 

Matsushima Bay Cruise (松島島巡り観光船)
Address: 85 Matsushima-chonai, Matsushima, Miyagi-gun, Miyagi 981-0213
Access: Matsushima Pier (松島島巡り観光船乗り場) is a 2-minute walk from Matsushimakaigan Station (松島海岸駅).

 

2. Amanohashidate (天橋立)

Amanohashidate, the “bridge over heaven” in Northern KyotoAmanohashidate, also known as the “bridge over heaven”, is a natural land bridge stretching over Miyazu Bay in Northern Kyoto. | Photo by Dawn Sim

Amanohashidate, a pine-covered sandbar stretching across the mouth of Miyazu Bay (宮津湾) in the picturesque coastal area of Northern Kyoto Prefecture, is a natural land bridge formed by the convergence of the Sea of Japan and the sediments from the Noda River (野田川) flowing into the Aso Sea (阿蘇海). 

Legend describes this phenomenon as a bridge crafted by the deity Izanagi no Mikoto, intending to visit his beloved, the goddess Izanami no Mikoto, from the heavens. However, the bridge ultimately collapsed into the sea, giving rise to Amanohashidate, which translates to “bridge over heaven”.

 

Walk Along the Famous Sandbar

Amanohashidate Shrine lies along the sandbar of Amano HashidateAmanohashidate Jinja lies along the sandbar of Amanohashidate and is believed to be a power spot where one could pray for the fulfillment of love. | Photo by PhotoAC

This sandbar, 3.6km in length, was formed through the gradual accumulation of sand over time, and is adorned with approximately 5,000 pine trees. A leisurely stroll along this expanse typically takes around 45 minutes on foot, or about 15 minutes by bicycle.

Along the route lies the Amanohashidate Shrine (天橋立神社), renowned as one of the power spots in the Tango (丹後) area, and also popular among couples praying for the fulfillment of love. 

Adjacent to this shrine is a mysterious well known as Isoshimizu (磯清水) that gushes freshwater despite being surrounded by the sea. It is also recognised as one of Japan’s “100 Famous Waters”, so be sure to check it out! Numerous benches are scattered along the path, inviting visitors to pause, take breaks, and relish the serene ambience of the bay. 

 

The Dragons of Amanohashidate

Panoramic view of Amanohashidate as seen from the observation deck of Amanohashidate View LandPanoramic view of Amanohashidate as seen from the observation deck of Amanohashidate View Land. | Photo by Dawn Sim

Two of the most renowned spots for admiring the panoramic views are Amanohashidate View Land (天橋立ビューランド) to the south and Kasamatsu Park (傘松公園) to the north. At Amanohashidate View Land's observation deck, accessible via a monorail or lift, visitors can expect to find the mata-nozoki (股のぞき) platform. This is where you can bend forward to observe the scenery upside down through your legs, inverting heaven and earth and creating a captivating illusion known as Hiryukan (飛龍観) or Flying Dragon View, wherein the sandbar appears like a dragon soaring through the sky. 

Conversely, at Kasamatsu Park, another mata-nozoki platform offers a different perspective of Amanohashidate, with the imagery of a dragon seemingly ascending to the heavens, thus earning the name Shoryukan (昇龍観) or Rising Dragon View.

 

Bodhisattva of Wisdom 

Chionji Temple in AmanohashidateHome to the Buddhist deity of wisdom, Chionji Temple, located in the southern tip of Amanohashidate is a popular spot among students who seek academic excellence. | Photo by Adobe Stock)

At the southern tip of Amanohashidate stands Chionji Temple (智恩寺), immortalized in the Amanohashidate-zu painting by the renowned Japanese ink painter, Sesshu, five centuries ago. It is home to one of Japan’s “Three Important Statues of Monju Bosatsu”, the Buddhist deity of wisdom and intellect.

Revered as a symbol of wisdom, this temple attracts numerous students and visitors who seek blessings for academic excellence. Omikuji (おみくじ) fortunes, shaped like folding fans, can be purchased and hung on the pine trees dotting the temple grounds. 

Additionally, visitors can explore other notable structures within the temple premises, such as a grand entrance gate constructed over seven years by 8,780 carpenters, and a two-story tahoto (多宝塔) style pagoda dating back to the 1500s, designated as a National Important Cultural Property.

 

Getting to Amanohashidate

Amanohashidate StationAmanohashidate Station | Photo by Wei-Te Wong / CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED

From Kyoto Station, take the Limited Express Hashidate train to Amanohashidate Station (approx. 2 hours 15 minutes). The entire journey from Kyoto Station to Amanohashidate Station is covered by the Nationwide JAPAN RAIL PASS and selected JR West Rail Passes including the JR-WEST All Area Pass, Kansai WIDE Area Pass, and Sanyo-San'in Area Pass.

 

Amanohashidate Sandbar (天橋立砂浜)
Address: Monju, Miyazu, Kyoto 626-0001, Japan
Access: 7-minute walk from Amanohashidate Station (天橋立駅)

 

3. Miyajima (宮島)

Giant torii gate of MiyajimaDuring low tide, one can get up close and personal with the gigantic torii gate in Miyajima Island. | Photo by Dawn Sim

The last of Japan's Three Scenic Views, and arguably the most renowned among them, leads us to Miyajima in Hiroshima Prefecture. Revered for centuries as a sacred site of Shinto, Miyajima has preserved the ambiance of an Edo Period post station, continuing to welcome pilgrims even in contemporary times.

This location also served as the inspiration for numerous iconic prints by the celebrated woodblock artist Hiroshige Utagawa, including “Low Tide at Miyajima in Aki Province” (安芸宮島汐干) from the series “One Hundred Famous Views in the Various Provinces” (諸国名所百景).

 

A Sacred Land

Itsukushima Shrine, the symbol of MiyajimaItsukushima Jinja, a symbol of Miyajima and a national treasure designated as a World Heritage Site. | Photo by PhotoAC

Regarded as a quintessential symbol of Miyajima, Itsukushima Shrine (厳島神社) attained its current grandeur in 1168 under the fervent patronage of Taira no Kiyomori, a general in the late Heian Period. The expansive grounds of Itsukushima are interconnected by a 108-room corridor, encompassing various shrines, a noh (能) theatre stage, and music rooms amongst other structures.

Architecturally, the shrine embodies the aesthetic beauty of the Heian period, featuring vermilion-lacquered roofs and cypress bark roofing, reminiscent of the Shinden-zukuri style prominent in noble residences of that era. 

Checking the tide schedule during your visit allows you to witness the ever-changing scenery of Itsukushima Shrine and even enables you to approach the monumental torii gate up close.


Miyajima’s Pristine Nature

The view of the Seto Naikai from the summit of MisensanFrom the top of Mount Misen, one can catch a glimpse of the unparalleled beauty of the Seto Inland Sea. | Photo by Dawn Sim

The essence of Miyajima lies within the beauty of its untouched primeval forest on Mount Misen (弥山) and the charming streets that reminds one of the atmosphere of the Edo Period. Due to its historical status as a place of worship, Miyajima has retained its pristine environment over the centuries. Until the Kamakura Period (1185–1333), Miyajima was strictly off-limits to the public, contributing to the preservation of its unique variety of nature and flora which were not found on nearby islands. 

From the summit, visitors can enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of the Seto Inland Sea, a view that rightfully earned Miyajima its esteemed status as one of Japan’s Three Scenic Views.

 

The Origin of Buddhism in Miyajima

Henjo Cave in Daisho-in TempleHenjo Cave in the temple grounds of Daisho-in, home to 88 Buddhist icons representing the temples of the Shikoku Pilgrimage. | Photo by PhotoAC

Located at the foot of Mount Misen, Daisho-in (大聖院) is a Buddhist temple founded by the monk Kukai during the first year of the Daido Era, marking the beginning of Buddhism's presence on the island. Esteemed as one of the principal temples of Shingon Buddhism, Daisho-in is dedicated to Benzaiten, the goddess associated with music, art, and water. 

Within the temple grounds, visitors encounter a multitude of statues depicting guardian deities of children. Further exploration of the temple complex leads to Henjo Cave (遍照窟), housing 88 Buddhist icons symbolizing the temples of the Shikoku Pilgrimage (四国巡礼).

 

Getting to Miyajima

Hiroden Miyajimaguchi Station
Hiroden-Miyajimaguchi Station | Photo by S.Raika / CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED

From Hiroshima Station, take the local train on the Sanyo Line to Miyajimaguchi Station (approx. 30 minutes) or the Hiroden Streetcar to Hiroden-Miyajimaguchi Station (approx. 1 hour). Walk over to the nearby Miyajima Ferry Terminal. From there, it takes about 10 minutes by ferry to reach the island of Miyajima. The entire journey from Hiroshima Station to Miyajima (JR West Miyajima Ferry ride included) is covered by the Nationwide JAPAN RAIL PASS and selected JR West Rail Passes including the JR-WEST All Area Pass, Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass, and Sanyo-San'in Area Pass. Note that the Hiroden Streetcar is not covered by any of the rail passes above.

 

Miyajima Ferry Terminal (宮島口旅客ターミナル)
Address: Miyajimacho, Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima 739-0588, Japan
Access: 3-minute walk from Miyajimaguchi Station (宮島口駅) / 1-minute walk from Hiroden-Miyajimaguchi Station (広電宮島口駅)
Ferry Opening Hours: 06:25 to 22:42

 

Discover The Best of Japan with JAPAN RAIL CLUB

Spring Beginnings Omiyage Snack Box by JAPAN RAIL CLUB


An inextricable part of Japanese history and culture, these iconic landscapes represent the essence of Japanese travel, captivating and fascinating people throughout the ages, and have garnered enduring love from locals and tourists alike. Why not add these breathtaking sights to your next itinerary and immerse yourself in the beauty that has mesmerized countless individuals for centuries?

If you can’t quite scratch the travel itch, keep a look out for JAPAN RAIL CLUB’s unique snack boxes from Japan! JAPAN RAIL CLUB is a subscription membership service by East Japan Railway Company, aiming to bring you the best of Japan’s gastronomic adventures to your doorstep every month. 

From seasonal treats like Sakura Mochi to local secrets like Oranda Senbei rice crackers, each month’s Omiyage Snack Box promises a delicious quest like no other. Subscribe to our 6-month plan by 30 April and receive up to USD33 discount by entering the promo code “SPRING14” at checkout. Happy snacking!

Meet the author

Dawn Sim

An avid lover of nature, photography, and Japanese literature, you will find Dawn (@oyakodawn) either lost in the midst of a historical pilgrimage route or in any local book cafes from the north all the way to the south of Japan. Dawn has lived in Kyoto for a year and still can’t get enough of its cultural and historical richness - not to mention the hipster cafes that serve to satisfy their coffee addiction!

Hungry for more?

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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...

February Maker’s Story: Shizuoka-grown Wasabi by Kameya Foods
Sue Lynn

February Maker’s Story: Shizuoka-grown Wasabi b...

Are you familiar with wasabi (わさび)? Made from the Wasabia japonica plant, wasabi or the Japanese horseradish is a unique spice native to Japan and is a staple in Japanese...

Sue Lynn Maker's Story

February Maker’s Story: Shizuoka-grown Wasabi b...

Are you familiar with wasabi (わさび)? Made from the Wasabia japonica plant, wasabi or the...

Winter Wonderland: 7 Snowiest Cities in Japan and Must-do Activities
Sue Lynn

Winter Wonderland: 7 Snowiest Cities in Japan a...

Winter season in Japan boasts some of its most amazing and picturesque sceneries, especially in regions lying alongside the Sea of Japan (日本海), otherwise known as Yukiguni (雪国), or Snow...

Dawn Sim Festival

Winter Wonderland: 7 Snowiest Cities in Japan a...

Winter season in Japan boasts some of its most amazing and picturesque sceneries, especially in...

Winter Wonders: 8 Winter Foods & Delicacies to Enjoy in Japan
Sue Lynn

Winter Wonders: 8 Winter Foods & Delicacies to ...

Winter in Japan is not just a season to enjoy snow activities and festivals; it’s also a time to indulge in winter cuisine as Japan is blessed with bountiful harvest...

Wendy Ng Food

Winter Wonders: 8 Winter Foods & Delicacies to ...

Winter in Japan is not just a season to enjoy snow activities and festivals; it’s...