Past Top Stories

November 2015:
Rail Pass News
Several rail passes will be changed or newly introduced over the coming months.
We Love Japan Tour 2015
Introducing Japan's Hidden Beauties.
October 2015:
2015 Tokyo Motor Show
Held until November 8 at Tokyo Big Sight.
New Bus Route: Toyama-Shirakawago
A new bus will start operating between Toyama and Shirakawago from December 1, 2015.
Cosplay at Haco Stadium Tokyo
A new establishment for cosplayers to take photographs in various settings.
September 2015:
Nakanojo Biennale 2015
Contemporary art festival held in rural Gunma Prefecture until October 12.
Nature and hot springs at Naruko Onsen
A trip report from Naruko Onsen in Miyagi Prefecture.
Traditional culture and hot springs of the Aizu region
A trip report from the Aizu region of Fukushima Prefecture.
August 2015:
Kyoto booked out?
How to find a hotel room in Kyoto during the autumn colors.
Echigo Tsumari Art Triennale 2015
The intriguing modern art festival in Niigata Prefecture is held until September 13.
July 2015:
Japan's Newest World Heritage Site
Highlighting the country's rapid development into Asia's first industrial power within just half a century.
June 2015:
Takumi no Waza
Craftsmanship exhibition at the Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi department store in Tokyo.
Four Years After The Tsunami
Open-ended series about the recovery of the tsunami-hit coast.
May 2015:
New Rail Pass
From July 2015, a new rail pass for travelers from Nagoya to Ise and Kumano becomes available.
Glass Teahouse with a view
Yoshioka Tokujin unveils his latest work: a transparent glass teahouse with a million dollar view over Kyoto.
April 2015:
Wisterias at the Kawachi Fuji Garden
Report from the popular flower park in Kitakyushu.
Best Scenic Rides in Japan
Best Scenic Rides in Japan
This year's snow wall measures 19 meters
This year's snow wall measures 19 meters
Missed the cherry blossoms in Tokyo?
Where to see the cherry blossoms if you missed them in Tokyo.
Missed the cherry blossoms in Kyoto?
Where to see the cherry blossoms if you missed them in Kyoto.
March 2015:
2015 Cherry Blossoms
Forecast and reports from across Japan.
February 2015:
Kyoto booked out?
Some tips on how to find a hotel room in Kyoto during the busy cherry blossom season.
Crabs, Peonies and Castle Cruises
A winter trip to Matsue, the capital of Shimane Prefecture along the Sea of Japan coast.
Trial Run to Kanazawa
Riding the Hokuriku Shinkansen to Kanazawa ahead of its March opening.
Exploring the revitalized Nihonbashi District
Thanks to tasteful, recent redevelopment, Tokyo's Nihonbashi district is increasingly becoming an attractive sightseeing spot.
January 2015:
Yet another new rail pass
Available from March 14, the Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass will be one of the more interesting rail passes on sale.
Arrival of Ryuhyo
Drift ice was first spotted on January 12 off the coast of Hokkaido, 9 days earlier than average.
NEX Tokyo Direct Ticket
This great deal for foreign tourists will be turned into a round trip version from March 14 and drop a little bit in value.
December 2014:
Japan during New Year
Visiting Japan during New Year can be rewarding as well as frustrating. To prevent negative surprises, read our advice.
Seasonal Illuminations
See illumination reports from Sagamiko, Osaka, Kobe, Sendai, Ashikaga and Tokyo.
Hokuriku Shinkansen Extension
On March 14, the Hokuriku Shinkansen was extended from Nagano to Kanazawa, reducing travel times to various destinations.
Autumn Color Report 2014
Covering the seasonal colors from the peaks of Hokkaido to the gardens and parks of Tokyo and Kyoto.
November 2014:
New Rail Passes for Western Honshu
March 2015 will see three new passes, two improved passes and two discontinued passes.
Which pass is best for Kansai?
The large selection of passes for Osaka, Kyoto and surroundings leaves many visitors confused.
Kyoto booked out?
Tips on how to find a hotel room in Kyoto during the autumn color season.
August 2014:
New Rail Pass for Nozomi
A new rail pass has become available for the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen, but it generally underperforms the Japan Rail Pass.
Kusatsu Onsen Beautification
The hot spring town north of Tokyo keeps becoming more attractive thanks to various beautification projects.
July 2014:
Tabimori - travel app for Japan
A new, free smartphone application including speech translation, route planner, weather forecast and more.
June 2014:
Toranomon Hills opens
Opened on June 11, Toranomon Hills is Tokyo's newest landmark and tallest building.
Tomioka Silk Mill - World Heritage
Japan's newest world heritage site is centered around the country's first modern silk factory.
Ginzan Onsen
One of Japan's prettiest, old-fashioned onsen towns was finally added to our sightseeing guide.
May 2014:
Three Years After The Tsunami
Part seven in our open-ended series about the recovery of the tsunami-hit coast of the Tohoku Region.
Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route
Until mid June, it is possible to walk along the route's deep snow corridor.
April 2014:
Best Hiking in Japan
A list of recommended hiking destinations across Japan for easy walking to multi-day trekking.
Shopping around Osaka
Exploring the wide range of shopping opportunities around Osaka Station from the newest malls to the local shopping arcades.
March 2014:
Haneda Airport expands
The international terminal increased in size, and intercontinental flights started operating during daytime from March 30.
Japan's 100 Famous Views
A book based on user ratings went on sale in Japan: The 100 Most Famous Views of Japan selected by foreigners.
Kyoto booked out?
Some tips on how to find a hotel room in Kyoto during the busy cherry blossom season.
Abeno Harukas opens
Japan's tallest skyscraper opened in Osaka on March 7. It features an elegant observation deck 300 meters above the city.
Early Tokyo Blossom Report
A visit to Tokyo to view early flowering plum and cherry blossoms on March 4.
February 2014:
New Rail Passes
In May, two new JR passes have become available: Hokuriku Area Pass and Sanin Okayama Area Pass
Sounkyo Ice Waterfall Festival
Spectacular ice structures can be seen at this winter festival in the center of Hokkaido until late March.
January 2014:
Nagano Snow Resort Pass
A new seasonal bus and rail pass for skiers and snow seekers visiting northern Nagano Prefecture.
Cherry Blossom Report 2014
The coverage of the 2014 cherry blossom season.
Quiet port town in Hiroshima Prefecture featured in Ponyo and The Wolverine.
Best Museums of Japan
Listing some of Japan's best and most unique museums.
December 2013:
NEX Tokyo Direct Ticket
A new discount ticket lets foreign tourists ride the Narita Express for just 1500 yen.
Mastercards accepted again
From January 10, 2014, ATMs at 7-Eleven stores resumed accepting Mastercard and Cirrus cards.
Japan during New Year
Visiting Japan during New Year can be rewarding as well as frustrating. To prevent negative surprises, read our advice.
Autumn Color Report 2013
Covering the seasonal colors from the peaks of Hokkaido to the parks of Tokyo and Kyoto.
Where to find snow in Japan?
A list of some of the best places to enjoy the white season in Japan.
November 2013:
Two And A Half Years After The Tsunami
Part six in our open-ended series about the recovery of the tsunami-hit coast of the Tohoku Region.
Tokyo Illuminations 2013
From around early November, Tokyo starts to be lit up by various seasonal illumination displays.
September 2013:
Nakanojo Biennale 2013
Contemporary art festival which was held in a rural town north of Tokyo this autumn.
August 2013:
From where to view Mount Fuji
A list of some of the best places to view the iconic volcano from.
Miyama - Experience Rural Japan
Idyllic town in the mountains north of Kyoto with an atmosphere of old-fashioned, rural Japan.
Exploring Tokyo: Around the Tokyo Imperial Palace
A walk around the Tokyo Imperial Palace in the center of the capital.
We Love Japan Tour 2013
The first We Love Japan Tour was successfully completed on November 2. The next tour is planned for 2015.
July 2013:
Ise Shrine Rebuilding
In October, the deities of the Ise Shrines moved into their newly built homes in a ceremony repeated every 20 years since the 7th century.
Nagoya Castle gets back its palace
A first part of the reconstructed palace was opened to the public in May 2013.
Countdown to the Gion Matsuri
Many smaller events lead up to the festival's main procession on July 17.
June 2013:
Mount Fuji registered as World Heritage Site
The iconic mountain's registration increases Japan's number of world heritage sites to seventeen.
2014 Shirakawago Light-up dates announced
The dates for the highly popular light-up events in Shirakawago for winter 2014 were announced.
New JR East Pass Revealed
A flexible 5-day pass has become available on July 1, 2013, replacing all the previously available passes.
Tohoku Rokkonsai 2013
Report from the festival that combines the Tohoku Region's six major summer festivals into a single, spectacular super-festival.
May 2013:
Izumo Taisha Sengu
Japan's second most important shrine gets a major overhaul every 60 years. This May, its resident deity moved back into the freshly renovated main hall.
Tottori Sand Museum 2013
The unique Sand Museum next to Tottori's sand dunes changes its exhibition once per year. This year's theme is South East Asia.
Fuji Shibazakura Festival
The pink moss at the foot of Mount Fuji is now at its best. The festival continues until June 2.
April 2013:
New bath house opens in Kusatsu Onsen
A visit to the celebrated hot spring resort where a new public bath house was opened on April 25.
Two Years After The Tsunami
Part five in our open-ended series about the recovery of the tsunami-hit coast of the Tohoku Region.
ATMs stop accepting certain cards
ATMs stopped accepting certain Maestro cards. At 7-Eleven ATMs, Mastercards and Cirrus are also affected.
Golden Week 2013
This year's Golden Week lasts through May 6. May 3 to 6 will be particularly busy.
Northern Kanto Flower Report
A visit to five flower parks in the prefectures north of Tokyo.
March 2013:
Visiting Shodoshima for the Setouchi Triennale
A photo report from the festival's largest island venue, Shodoshima.
Arriving in Tokyo too late for the cherry blossoms?
Some advice on how to see the blossoms if you miss them in Tokyo.
Tokyo Early Cherry Blossom Report
Checking the buds and early blooming cherry tree varieties in some of Tokyo's popular hanami spots on March 12.
Setouchi Triennale 2013
In the second edition of this wonderful festival, modern art will be scattered across a dozen small islands in the pleasant Seto Inland Sea.
Higashiyama Hanatoro 2013
From March 8 to 17, Kyoto's historic Higashiyama District is lit up by thousands of lanterns in the evenings.
February 2013:
Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival
Kawazu on the Izu Peninsula is one of the first places to see and celebrate cherry blossoms.
Tokyo Plum Blossom Report
Early spring visit to some of Tokyo's gardens and shrines.
Tokamachi Snow Festival
Report from the 64th annual snow festival held in Tokamachi, Niigata Prefecture.
Zao Snow Monsters
Photo report from the ski resort of Zao Onsen, where trees turn into monsters.
Yokote Kamakura Festival
Report from the snow house festival in Akita Prefecture.
2013 Asahikawa Winter Festival Report
Snow and ice sculptures on display through February 11.
2013 Sapporo Snow Festival Report
Giant snow and ice sculptures on display through February 11.
January 2013:
Winter visit to Shirakawago
The snowy village is lit up on selected weekends in January and February.
Early arrival of the Ryuhyo
The first drift ice reached Hokkaido on January 11, two weeks earlier than average.
2013 Cherry Blossom Forecast
The blossoms are predicted to open early in Western Japan, according to average schedule elsewhere.
Winter Visit to Manza Onsen
A trip to the sulfur baths in the snow covered mountains of Gunma.
Japan's Best Ski Resorts
Our list of Japan's leading ski and snowboard resorts.
Tokyo New Year Report
A visit to the Imperial Palace, Meiji Shrine and Sensoji Temple.
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