Near the mountains in Suzuka, Mie Prefecture, lie two sites of quite different flower power. The Tsubaki Shrine (椿大神社), whose name means camellia shrine, is one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan, while the Suzuka Forest Park (鈴鹿森園) is a explosion of glorious pink blossoms every March as 200 weeping plum trees herald spring’s […]
There’s just something magically timeless about a traditional Japanese garden blanketed in heavy snow. With the new shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo commencing services this weekend, this garden will be just 2.5hrs from Toyko!
Train buffs and hikers alike can follow the old abandoned JR Fukuchiyama line for six kilometres through the Mukogawa Gorge (武庫川渓谷) in the mountains between Osaka and Kobe for a nostalgic adventure into Japan’s industrial past. The trail runs between Takedao (武田尾) and Namaze (生瀬) Stations on the new JR Fukuchiyama Line which runs from […]
“Demons out! Luck in!” That’s what people across Japan were chanting on February 3 as they hurled roasted soybeans all over the place to celebrate Setsubun (節分). Setsubun is the first day of spring according to the old lunar calendar in Japan and on it’s the day to make a fresh start and banish any […]
In the southern Kyoto suburb of Fushimi, sake breweries stand alongside the world famous Fushimi Inari Taisha, the head Inari Shinto Shrine in Japan. This shrine was made famous globally after featuring as a location in the movie Memoirs of a Geisha.
Seven years after my first visit, Takayama is just as cold as I remember. The heart of this mountain town is the preserved merchant houses of the old town dating back to the Edo Period (1603-1868). Today, these streets are filled wit sake breweries, local artisan shops and food stalls.
Typical Sea of Japan scenery around the south-west side of the Noto Peninsular at a place called Ganmon (巌門) in Ishikawa Prefecture. Ganmon features in a woodblock print by the master artisan Ando Hiroshige. I can’t wait to explore more of the peninsular on my bicylce once the weather warms up!
The towns along the Sea of Japan around Fukui and Kanazawa welcomed in 2015 with more than enough fresh snow. Happy Year of the Sheep everyone! Look forward to plenty more posts this year on Inaka Biking now that I’m back on deck with a new laptop after my faithful Sony Vaio Z decided to […]
Cut off from the world for centuries by formidable mountain ranges and harsh winters, the tiny villages of Shirakawago and Gokayama have managed to hang on to their traditional way of life into the 21st century. Today, these villages are the only places in all of Japan where the traditional ‘gassho style’ farm houses still […]
Exploring the stunning Whitsunday Islands aboard the handsome Derwent Hunter, a lovingly restored tall ship crafted in Tasmania in 1946. The day was full of snorkeling with sea turtles and shoals of technicolor reef fish, exploring beautiful coral reefs, lounging on white coral cays and plenty high seas adventure with the crew and fellow passengers. […]
Home to the beach with the whitest sand in the world, there is no comparing the stunning Whitsunday Islands to anywhere else in the world. This island group contains 74 unspoilt gems to explore and it’s less than a two hour flight from Brisbane. The Whitsundays are the perfect spot to experience great snorkeling […]