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Steeped in Tradition

Japan and tea go together, like, well, Japan and sushi. But tea is not just a drink to be sipped. In Japan, tea -- mainly ocha, loose green tea, or matcha, green tea powder -- is a lifestyle and includes rituals, ceremonies, celebrations, and unrelenting university research. It's also, at its most basic level, a thing to be planted and picked. Here we look at the tea-picking tours of Japan.

Natural Attractions in Japan

Tiny Takamatsu's Big on Small Wonders


Deep in the countryside of Kagawa prefecture, a few hours from Osaka, are two small neighboring areas that produce 80 percent of Japan's pine bonsai. Tens of thousands of the dwarfed plants grow there in hundreds of nurseries that span as many acres, creating miniature forests of magnificently manicured and manipulated trees. Here's your guide to the small wonders of bonsai in Kinashi and Kokubunji.

Farms and Gardens
Japan Travel Spotlight10

B.Y.O.B.: Bring Your Own Barbecue

Looking to cook up a good time in Tokyo? Then bring your own barbecue. But you better know where. Here's the top spots to grill your own steak in Japan's capital city.

Branching Out: Top Bonsai Destinations in Japan

Bonsai may have roots in ancient China, but Japan owns its tradition of the living art form. And for fans of the craft, plenty of bonsai festivals and destinations await on the archipelago. Here's your guide to bonsai in Japan.

Tokyo Gas Museum Is Illuminating

It wasn't until the late 19th century that Japan warmed up to the gas energy revolution, brightening streets in Osaka and Tokyo with gas-powered lamps by the early 1870s. And throughout the years, gas has played an important role in the nation's development. This history is documented at the Tokyo Gas Museum in Kodaira.

Kyoto: Geisha, Gion and the Golden Temple

Though Kyoto is a small city of 1.5 million, it's dense with destinations: It has dozens of temples and shrines and 17 World Heritage sites. So, if you've only got days in the old capital city, you might not know where to begin. Here's a short list of sights to whet your appetite.

"Heritage Sites" Offers Picture of Perfect Japan

John Dougill, a professor at a Kyoto university and author, draws you into the wonders of Japan's World Heritage Sites in his aptly titled book, "Japan's World Heritage Sites." The images, helpful maps and sidebars, along with fact-rich text, make this a necessary resource for students of Japanese culture and history, or anyone planning a trip to the nation.

Don't Get Bitten on Your Trip to Japan

There's a very rare chance you'd get bitten by a snake in Japan, but the risk is still real. Venomous snakes can be found throughout the archipelago, and here's what you need to know to stay safe.

Quick Kyoto: 6 Spots to See in the Historic City

Gion,with its quaint streets, old wooden buildings, and traditional shops, is considered the heart of Kyoto.

Going off the Peak

Most people save their vacation time for the summer, but this isn't always the best idea when heading to Japan. Some of the best times to travel to the archipelago are during the cool of November or March -- and even the chilly months in between can save you money on airline tickets and hotel rooms and the hassle of competing with other tourists for the best spots and views. Here are tips to traveling off the peak.

Hot Tips For Summer Travel

Getting ready for your summer trip to Japan? Here are five tips you need to know to have a good time in the Land of the Rising Sun.

One-Stop Shopping in Shinjuku

Shinjuku station is the world's busiest rail station -- with well over 3 million people passing through each day. But it's also an underground maze of shopping and dining.

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