Historic Sites • Points of Interest & Landmarks
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- At first look Himeji Castle is a big empty building but with the right information it is a cultural, architectural, and historical wonder. We were fortunate to see it with few if any crowds. We were even more fortunate to chance upon a tour guide from VeGA, the Volunteer Guide Association of Himeji Castle. Ito-san approached us and at first I thought it was a scam. I then remembered I was in Japan and they just don't do that. Look for the blue armband near the ticket window. Because I know about Japanese and castle history, and we had plenty of time, she gave us a three hour tour for free. In flawless English no less. They tailor the tour to the person so if I had only a little time or really didn't know much, it would have gone much quicker.
Our tour was, by far, one of the best tours I have ever received at any historical site ever. I appreciate that she took to talk to us and we never felt rushed. She tailored the tour to my knowledge level. I could see that she was pleasantly surprised at my level of knowledge regarding castles, Japan, Japanese history, and the film You Only Live Twice. She was an excellent ambassador for her city and the nation of Japan.
The Volunteer Guide Association of Himeji Castle (VEGA) is an amazing resource for people to understand and connect with Himeji-jo and the city of Himeji. As a visitor to their country, I appreciate that locals would volunteer their time, on their days off, to provide instruction and insights into one of Japan's twelve remaining original castles. VEGA is a valuable asset to the castle itself, the city of Himeji, and the nation of Japan. What is more, they provide these tours not only to other Japanese but, in nearly flawless English, to foreign visitors as well. My wife and I will be forever grateful to VEGA for such a memorable day.Written July 10, 2022This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- We’ve seen many homes and gardens in Japan and Senganen was one of the most impressive. The house is not just historic it is gorgeous. The staff are helpful (some English spoken) and clearly proud to be working there. The gardens are really remarkable with ponds, small buildings, fountains and great walking areas. It’s March and there are lots of trees and flowers in bloom but it must be gorgeous most of the year. There’s a lot of English signage which is helpful along with young, enthusiastic staff. The shops are interesting with local traditional sweets along with beautiful crafts. We aren’t so fond of cut glass but the production here is a quite remarkable. Expensive and wonderful. We spent 3-4 hours wandering around and having lunch in the cafe - which was also quite good. Keep a watch for someone ordering one of the deserts with tea - the making of the tea is an interesting exhibition.Written March 23, 2020This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- This is a beautiful Lake with great views of Mt. Fuji and the area around. There are many nice walking paths around the lake.Written December 2, 2021This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- In a nation of great gardens -- Okayama's Korakuen, Kanazawa's Kenrokuen, not to mention temple gardens such as the Tenryu-ji in Arashiyama, or the Moss Garden at Saihoji Temple in Kyoto -- it's still not surprising to say that Ritsurin Koen in Takamatsu in Shikoku is the standout.
It's a place one can visit over and over and still desire to return to -- its three great lakes, its stream, its tea-houses, its groves, its sculptured trees, its rocks, its islands. It's a place one can never tire of. It's the place one visits first in Japan if one can -- I have been fortunate, and visited many, many times. And will visit again...
Do take the journey over the Inland Sea -- you will carry Ritsurin in your mind life-long. You will return!Written July 2, 2022
- Just a magnificent place with a very beautiful castle and a remarkable mountain view. I totally recommend it to everyone!Written July 14, 2021
- I am a tourist so I had no idea about the earthquake that devastated Kumamoto in 2016. Still today, you can see the aftermath of the earthquake on the castle. I am so glad they are restoring it to its former beauty. You can see many areas that still have a lot of work needed but the areas that have been restored like the main keep are stunning. I find Kumamoto Castle to be one of the most beautiful in Japan. The castle and grounds are massive. I can't wait to visit again in the future when everything is back in order.Written February 27, 2021
- It's a city park with nice, quiet and wooded paths and a couple of ponds. There's a mini zoo, a petting zoo, a playground and an amphitheater. There is also a dinosaur park and playground featuring the Tyrannosaurus, a Triceratops and a Brachiosaurus, seemingly to scale.Written December 21, 2018
- They’ve got everything. From waterplay to a very tall and long slide. Pretty flowers all around the park.
My kids love to go here!!Written June 18, 2018
- Furano is usually known for flower beds but I believe this area in Biei won't be behind in terms of beauty. I recommend buying cool sliced very sweet melons sold in the nearby show while enjoying the sceneryWritten August 29, 2020
- A very nice one-day trip from Kyoto. There are many options to sleep on site, but it is not strictly necessary: you can arrive at about 10am by train, visit the sights and leave by mid-afternoon. That's enough time.
You can go visit Amanohashidate Viewland, which can be reached by monorail or cable chair (that was fun!), where you'll have access to beautiful views of the coast, activities for children, food & drinks, etc. 30-60 minutes are more than enough. Near the beach there are souvenir shops and restaurants. Be advised: in July 2021, all restaurants and shops were closed by 8 pm (possibly earlier). To be fair, there were very few visitors, and none at night. But there was a lights & music show on the beach between 7 and 9 pm.
You can walk all along the beach to the other side: it takes about 30/45 minutes. Or you can rent bicycles, or take the ferry, or a fast water taxi. On the other side there's a couple more shops, a temple and another viewpoint up the mountain.Written July 23, 2021
- I always wonder why people are walking so slowly on the bridge and catch the rail so carefully, because it does not look so dangerous. But you will feel differently when you are walking on it, try it yourself.
看來一點也不危險的祖谷藤蔓橋，但當真正踏上橋面卻是另一回事，難怪見到遊人都用力握緊藤蔓，一步一步慢慢過橋。要拍攝這橋的風景，最理想就是在橋下的小河邊，可以把後面的山景也入鏡。Written December 23, 2019
- Just a walk around this place was so enjoyable with clear blue sky on the sunny day.
I was just a week before the perfect blooming season. However Sakura was in full bloom and village itself is friendly with small shops and tea houses.
Winter must be beautiful and chilling cold .Written June 7, 2019
- We wanted to see a mass of plum blossoms and this seemed like a good bet, but it took us 2 1/2 hours to get there (from Higashi Nakano) by car (apparently 3 by train), and by then the sun had unfortunately turned to cloud and light drizzle. I had expected a more natural patch of trees spread over a hillside (as cherries trees sometimes do) and was disappointed to find that it was all planted (accompanied by loud PA announcements!) However, once I got over that initial disappointment (and the drizzle chased many visitors away!), we wandered through the expansive network of trails and quite enjoyed the beauty of the unique way in which the lichen-covered branches on plump trees grow, as well as the variety of colors and shapes. Certainly worth visiting if you are in the area or combine it with something else, but would I do a round trip from Tokyo again just to see the blossoms? Probably not.
Sent from my iPadWritten February 22, 2019
- Tokoname City Pottery Footpath offers two self-guided walks that are very well posted. We took the shorter walk which took just over an hour at a leisurely pace. Sections of the walk have walls consisting of Meiji era clay pipes. The brick chimneys and old klins line the paths and there were a lot of English explanations along the way to keep things interesting. There are plenty of workshops that sell the pottery along the way although most are very expensive.Written January 27, 2020
- Winter of 2018 is HUGE in many parts of Japan, but visitors to Tokyo and the Kanto areas are not seeing much of the white stuff, but even if you are short on time and resources, you can still put in a day or two of skiing, boarding, even sledding for the kids. Yamanashi is landlocked and surrounded by mountains, including Mt. Fuji, the Southern Alps and the Yatsugatake highlands. Sun Meadows is one of 3-4 local (and small compared to Hakuba etc) ski slopes that also caters to boarders and has a cute sledding slope with a stand-up ski-lift easy even for the youngest. Only one Black Diamond slope, and that too easy-peezy, but slopes are well-groomed and when we were there two weekends ago, a good pile-up of light powder. Sun Meadows lies just above the little town of Kiyosato, accessible by JR East's quaint Koumi Line put-put train that connects Kobuchizawa to Saku, with high-speed train connections to Tokyo. The area boasts a world-class Suntory whiskey distillery at Hakushu, a fine micro-brew called Touchdown, and a high-end sake brewery in the valley called Shichiken. If you just have a day or two to spare in winter, consider Sun Meadows, and try to book rooms at Seisenryo, a special inn created by American educator (and sportsman) Paul Rusch in the 1930s. He introduced football, lacrosse and curling to Japan. Enjoy the visit with family or friends.Written February 19, 2018