VISIT – HAKODATE

Hakodate, Hokkaido’s third-largest city, is now one of its most important because this is where the vast agricultural prefecture is connected to the mainland by the Seikan Tunnel, a 53.85km-long engineering marvel that sits 23.3km under the Tsugaru Strait seabed.  Marc Atchison, Visit Japan website HAKODATE HAPPENINGS THE gloomy clouds that have been hugging HakodateContinue reading “VISIT – HAKODATE”

Tokyo’s quirkiest hotels …

→ Top five properties that will make your stay ultra cool in Tokyo … JAPAN is one destination guaranteed to hand travellers a healthy dose of culture shock with many of the capital city’s hotels charismatically categorised as quirky. So if you fancy being welcomed by a robot, sleeping in an airplane’s first-class suite butContinue reading “Tokyo’s quirkiest hotels …”

British Embassy Villa …

Where … The British Embassy Villa on the edge of Lake Chuzenji in Japan’s Okunikko When … Thursday, July 12, 2018 and 9.33am What … This is the British Embassy Villa which was built in 1892 – and recently renovated – by the UK’s chief diplomat at the time. Lake Chuzenji served as Tokyo’s hillContinue reading “British Embassy Villa …”

Kita-In Temple …

Where … Kawagoe’s Kita-In Temple When … Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at 11.43am What … Japanese garden love at Kawagoe’s Kita -In Temple. A few centuries ago, after another one of Kawagoe’s big fires, half the city was turned to ashes and the emperor at the time decided to cheer the locals up by givingContinue reading “Kita-In Temple …”

Lake Towada …

Where … Lake Towada, near the northern tip of Japan’s Honshu Island. When … Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at 3.25pm What … Lake Towada, the largest caldera pond on Japan’s main island, is part of the Towada National Park and marks the border between Akita and Aomori prefectures. It is famous for the “autumn colour”Continue reading “Lake Towada …”

Stepping into Japanese tradition …

IT’S easy to see why the residents of Ogimachi were able to live their traditional lifestyle for so long. The Japanese village, which has been on the UNESCO World Heritage register since 1995, sits on a plot of flat river-side land at the foot of steep hills and towering peaks and this geological barrier makesContinue reading “Stepping into Japanese tradition …”

Flying Kangaroo hops to Tokyo …

AUSTRALIANS now have another flight option for reaching Tokyo with the first Qantas service between Melbourne and Tokyo’s Narita Airport departing on December 16. The daily hop, which will use upgraded Airbus A330-300 aircraft featuring a two-class cabin with Qantas’ signature Marc Newson interiors, departs Melbourne at 9:15am and leaves Narita at 7pm for theContinue reading “Flying Kangaroo hops to Tokyo …”

Where to wander …

THERE are more ways than ever to explore a holiday destination – trams, horse-drawn carts, Segways, vintage cars, bicycles – but there are some streets that should be seen on foot so pack your walking shoes and prepare to pound the pavement. Budapest Budapest’s Andrassy Ut stretches 2.5km from Heroes Square to Erzsebet Square withContinue reading “Where to wander …”

Top-floor tipples …

ASIA has sky-high socialising down to a fine art. Right around the region there are rooftop bars perched in lofty locations that provide the perfect place to match a casual drink with a remarkable view after – or even during – a day playing tourist. 1. Singapore’s 1-Altitude, occupying the 63rd floor at One RafflesContinue reading “Top-floor tipples …”

More than an airport …

AKIKO Ishibashi has seen great change since moving to Narita City in 1972. When the young bride arrived in the Japanese settlement to join new husband Kikutaro, and work in his family’s famous restaurant, the destination was a sleepy rural settlement with a modest main street and a few residential roads surrounded by vast hectaresContinue reading “More than an airport …”

Capital of contradiction …

IN Japan the locals I meet are reluctant to talk about private matters such as marital status and offspring yet they’re completely at ease getting naked to soak in a pool of scalding spring water with assorted associates and neighbours. This is a land where it’s considered rude to chatter on a mobile phone whileContinue reading “Capital of contradiction …”

See time stand still …

EVER hear of a place called Matsuyama? No, neither had I until it appeared on the itinerary for this trip to Japan with Jetstar. The low-cost carrier had arranged for a group of travel writers to see some of regional Japan after completing the airline’s inaugural flight from Melbourne to Tokyo, and had flown theContinue reading “See time stand still …”