Monday August 22, 2011
Kamakura is a popular tourist destination in Kanagawa prefecture. The city offers both scenic beauty and interesting historical sites. It's located about 30 miles southwest of central Tokyo and can be a good day-trip destination if you want to get away from the big city. By JR train, it takes about one hour from Tokyo Station to Kamakura Station. Famous tourist attractions are the Great Buddha of Kamakura in Kotokuin Temple and Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. When you go to the shrine from Kamakura Station, the front approach called Wakamiya-oji street is lined with many restaurants, local food and souvenir shops, and more. Enjoy walking along the street, eating and shopping.
Saturday August 13, 2011
Many open-air beer restaurants are open during the summer on rooftops or gardens of department stores, hotels, parks, and so on. It's a symbol of summer in Japan. People enjoy drinking beer with various food after a hot and exhausting day. If you like beer, how about stopping by beer gardens in major cities? They are fun places to go for a drink after all the sightseeing and shopping in Japan.
Saturday August 6, 2011
Although there are regional differences, obon is observed from August 13-16 in most areas of Japan. As it's the time of year to pray for the spirits of ancesters, obon is an important family gathering time for the Japanese. To commemorate the ancester spirits, obon traditions, such as bon odori (folk dance) and toro nagashi (floating lanterns) are widely practiced. If you plan to travel in Japan in summer, please note that obon is one of the busiest travel seasons of the year.
Wednesday August 3, 2011
Are you visiting Hokkaido this summer? Sapporo, Hokkaido's capital city, is holding the annual Sapporo Summer Festival in Odori Park until August 20 in 2011. The event features many beer gardens which are open through August 15. Also, Hokkai Bon Odori Dance is held in the evening from August 14-20. Many tourists and locals gather and dance around the yagura tower built in the park. Other fun even is an open-air market, Sapporo Bazzar, which takes place from August 18-20. Sapporo can be reached within one hour from New Chitose Airport, and it's a good time to visit there.
Odori Park Photo (c) Shizuko Mishima, licensed to About.com