Japan In Brief

Quick Reservation

Region

Comfort members

  • Membership Number

x close

 

x close

 

x close

 

Comfort members

  • Membership Number

Quick Reservation

Region

x close

 

x close

 

x close

 

Quick Reservation

Region

x close

 

x close

 

x close

 

Recommended sightseeing spots

Kawazu

Japan is a nation famous for its food. Yet, while most visitors know to expect dishes like sushi and ramen, few have the opportunity to experience the unique local flavors that are at the heart of Japanese gourmet. If you’re interested in experiencing the distinctive regional flavors of Japan, you should pay a visit to the town of Kawazu in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Shimoda

Located on the Pacific Coast of Japan’s Izu Peninsula sits a small town called Shimoda. You would be forgiven for overlooking the place – nestled alongside the quiet hills of Shizuoka Prefecture, it looks like the kind of secluded town where nothing much really happens. You might be forgiven for thinking so, but I would encourage you not to make that mistake! Shimoda has a plethora of interesting activities to enjoy, all of which will make your trip to Japan uniquely memorable.


Togakushi's Lake Kagami-ike The best way to see the magnificent Togakushi Range

Togakushi's Lake Kagami-ike       The best way to see the magnificent Togakushi Range

Many visitors to Nagano City's Togakushi District come for the soba, or for a visit to its Shinto shrines. Go a little off the beaten path and you'll find the breathtakingly beautiful Kagami-ike, an artificial reservoir that offers a delightful reflection of the Togakushi Mountain Range.

Nagano Tokyu REI Hotel

Nagano

1-28-3, Minamichitose, Nagano-shi, Nagano 380-0823 

  • 1 minute on foot from JR Nagano Station

  • 30 minutes from Nagano exit on the Joshin-etsu Expressway

  • 30 minutes from Suzakanaganohigashi exit on the Joshin-etsu Expressway

Distance from hotel

about 40 minitus by car from Nagano Tokyu REI Hotel

Jigokudani Monkey Park Monkeys soak up the warmth of the hot spring baths

Jigokudani Monkey Park Monkeys soak up the warmth of the hot spring baths

Nagano's Jigokudani Park is home to the famous Japanese Macaque, the northernmost species of monkey in the world. The park is open year-round, but the best time to go is during the winter, when the monkeys soak up the warmth of the natural hot spring baths.

Every day, dozens of monkeys gather around the baths to soak, relax, and play. Unlike their wild brothers and sisters, the park monkeys are not shy or aggressive at all, and will pose for photos or generally just mingle with the hundreds of humans who visit each day.

The 1.6km hike into the park takes around 20 to 25 minutes in the winter, due to the heavy snow. Once inside, monkeys will greet you at every turn as they forage for food in the snow or just walk around the park. The main attraction is the hot spring, where dozens of tourists from all over the world gather around the water's edge to get a shot of the monkeys. The alpha monkey gets special treatment in the bath, by being groomed and cared for by his underlings. Babies frolic and leap and play in and around the water while the adults sleep and relax and enjoy the soak. Outside the springs, monkeys huddle together in little balls of fur for warmth. The snow, the mountain terrain, the steamy waters, and of course the monkeys all make for a truly magical experience.

Nagano Tokyu REI Hotel

Nagano

1-28-3, Minamichitose, Nagano-shi, Nagano 380-0823 

  • 1 minute on foot from JR Nagano Station

  • 30 minutes from Nagano exit on the Joshin-etsu Expressway

  • 30 minutes from Suzakanaganohigashi exit on the Joshin-etsu Expressway

Distance from hotel

about 1 hour by car from Nagano Tokyu REI Hotel

Gorgeous Views: Utsukushi-ga-hara A panoramic view of the mountains of Nagano

Gorgeous Views: Utsukushi-ga-hara A panoramic view of the mountains of Nagano

The Utsukushi-ga-hara Highlands of Nagano offer spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. The name "Usukushi-ga-hara" literally means beautiful plateau. Although there are many hiking paths for those seeking some trekking, beautiful views can be seen after only a 20 minute walk from the parking lot.

Also, be sure to check out the open-air museum! Fresh air and art make for a great combination.

Ueda Tokyu REI Hotel

Ueda

4-24-1, Tenjin, Ueda-shi, Nagano 386-0025 

  • In front of JR Ueda Station (Onsen Exit)

  • Nearest interchange: 15 minutes from Ueda Sugadaira Exit on the Joshinetsu Expressway

Distance from hotel

about 1 hour by car from Ueda Tokyu REI Hotel

Lake Shirakaba in Nagano Scenic lake named after silver birch trees

Lake Shirakaba in Nagano Scenic lake named after silver birch trees

Shirakaba is Japanese for 'silver birch', and there are many silver birches growing around this pretty artificial lake in Nagano Prefecture. There is a walking track around the lake, and amusement park at one end, and a small shrine with a red torii standing in the water. Mount Tateshina overlooks the lake, and there are swan boats and canoes for hire if you feel like getting out on the water.

Ueda Tokyu REI Hotel

Ueda

4-24-1, Tenjin, Ueda-shi, Nagano 386-0025 

  • In front of JR Ueda Station (Onsen Exit)

  • Nearest interchange: 15 minutes from Ueda Sugadaira Exit on the Joshinetsu Expressway

Distance from hotel

about 1 hour by car from Ueda Tokyu REI Hotel

Tateyama's Snow Walls Stroll through Tateyama's snow valley in spring

Tateyama's Snow Walls Stroll through Tateyama's snow valley in spring

Visit Toyama's snow corridor of Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, near Murodo Terminal. It is a place where you can feel as if you have truly gone to another place. We can surround ourselves with walls of snow, breathe the crisp mountain air, and enjoy a walk down the snow valley. The snow walls near Murodo are open for walking each spring. This year the walkway officially closed June 10th, but you can pass through other areas with snow throughout June. I went up there May 12th.

Toyama Excel Hotel Tokyu

Toyama

CIC Building, 1-2-3, Shintomi-cho, Toyama-shi, Toyama 930-0002 

  • In front of JR Toyama Station

  • 20 minutes by car from Toyama Airport

  • 25 minutes by airport bus from Toyama Airport to Toyama station

Distance from hotel

about 1 hour by train from Toyama Excel Hotel Tokyu

Wolf Children Ame and Yuki's house Beautifully preserved Japanese house in the mountains

Wolf Children Ame and Yuki's house       Beautifully preserved Japanese house in the mountains

About a 5 minute drive from Nisseki-ji sits the house which was used as the family home of Hana, Yuki and Ame from the 2012 animation, Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki – or to go by it's English name, Wolf Children.

Toyama Excel Hotel Tokyu

Toyama

CIC Building, 1-2-3, Shintomi-cho, Toyama-shi, Toyama 930-0002 

  • In front of JR Toyama Station

  • 20 minutes by car from Toyama Airport

  • 25 minutes by airport bus from Toyama Airport to Toyama station

Distance from hotel

about 45 mitutes by car from Toyama Excel Hotel Tokyu

Higashi Chaya Geisha Area, Kanazawa Higashi Chaya, the closest you can get to time travel

Higashi Chaya Geisha Area, Kanazawa     Higashi Chaya, the closest you can get to time travel

My attraction to Japan has always been in its preservation of its history and culture of old. While there is no shortage of this in Japan, I believe preservation of the past is best exemplified in the city of Kanazawa.
Kanazawa, located in Ishikawa Prefecture, off the Japan Sea is famous for crab, high quality sake and it is rich in history. Ruled by the Maeda clan for over 300 years, some of its more notable sites are Kenroku-en Garden and Kanazawa Castle.

Kanazawa Tokyu Hotel

kanazawa

2-1-1, Korinbo, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa 920-0961 

  • About 7 minutes by car from Kanazawa Station

  • About 10 minutes by bus from Kanazawa Station via Korinbo

  • 45 minutes by airport bus from Komatsu Airport to Korinbo

Distance from hotel

about 15 minutes by car from Kanazawa Tokyu Hotel

21st Century Contemporary Art Modern art museum for the entire family in Kanazawa

21st Century Contemporary Art Modern art museum for the entire family in Kanazawa

Kanazawa is well known for its handicrafts and historic sights including Kenroku-en Garden, the Chayamachi geisha districts, and Kanazawa Castle, but amidst the traditional lies the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, a spectacular collection of international and Japanese modern art.

Open since 2004, this is one of Japan’s most popular contemporary art museums. The museum building is innovatively designed by the famed architectural firm SANAA, also responsible for international works including the Dior Omotesando and Issey Miyake stores in Tokyo, the Louvre-Lens in France and the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. The low set circular building, surrounded by glass on all sides, was designed to have no specific entrance or exit. Exhibitions on the outside and the inside of the museum seem to flow seamlessly into one another given the transparency of the walls. For a contemporary art museum, the space is remarkably child friendly, with many of the exhibits interactive and playful in theme.

There is a permanent collection of art by a variety of international contemporary artists. Notable permanent exhibitions include the Swimming Pool, a unique visual experience by Argentinian Artist Leandro Erlich and Olafur Eliasson’s Colour Activity House, an outdoor exhibit consisting of colored panels that allow for viewing the world in different shades of color. The permanent exhibitions are located in the outer perimeter of the circular building. There are also temporary exhibitions that rotate periodically and are situated in the interior of the building. In addition, there is a children’s art workshop, a gift shop, a library, and a café on site with an English menu.

The museum is located near Kenroku-en Garden and is easily accessible through the Kanazawa Loop Bus. The closest stop is Hirosaka, Stop 10 on the Loop bus route. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and open until 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The public spaces including the restaurant are open until 10 p.m. The museum is closed on Mondays. Admission is 1000 yen for the temporary exhibitions, whereas the permanent exhibitions located in the public spaces are free of charge.

Kanazawa Tokyu Hotel

kanazawa

2-1-1, Korinbo, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa 920-0961 

  • About 7 minutes by car from Kanazawa Station

  • About 10 minutes by bus from Kanazawa Station via Korinbo

  • 45 minutes by airport bus from Komatsu Airport to Korinbo

Distance from hotel

about 6 minutes by walk from Kanazawa Tokyu Hotel

Nagoya Castle Summer Festival Party at the castle

Nagoya Castle Summer Festival     Party at the castle

Summer in Japan can be as hard on the locals as it is on travelers. The heat and humidity bear down during the day, making being outside unpleasant. In recognition of that, the Nagoya Castle Festival doesn’t start until 5, when the sun is well on its way down for the day.