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[Movie] Ashikaga Flower Park: a Breathtaking Wisteria Wonderland and a CNN Dream Destination

Tochigi Suburbs Parks

If you’ve heard of CNN’s “Dream Destinations,” you might have heard about Ashikaga Flower Park, the only location in Japan chosen by the program. The park is home to an ancient wisteria tree that boasts an age of 150 years, taking you to a world that almost looks like the colorful jungle from the movie Avatar. The fairytale-like scenery is so beautiful and enigmatic, it almost seems unreal. And yet, the stunning blooms gently sway in the wind right above your head. Japan’s wisteria season is from mid-April to mid-May, closely following the cherry blossoms, so if you’re planning to have a full-on springtime adventure, you cannot miss out on this amazing phenomenon!

3 Chill Cafés in Kiyosumi Shirakawa - Tokyo's Coffee Town!

Ningyocho / Monzen-Nakacho / Kasai Old Towns (Shitamachi)

A recently trendy area, Kiyosumi Shirakawa is a laid-back café-lovers paradise and answer to the mainstream coffee shops. Although its café heritage isn't necessarily new, the area garnered interest after Tokyo's first Blue Bottle Coffee opened its doors in 2015. Now, in addition to some of the popular chains when have since set up shop, a number of private cafés continue to attract coffee aficionados and tourists alike, becoming quiet spaces to relax while seeing sights on Tokyo's east side. We visited three popular private cafés and share what they're all about below!

Blooming Ambassadors - The Heartwarming History Behind 'Sunlight' Sakura

Spring

Sakura—the renowned cherry blossom—has always held a very prominent place within Japanese culture. As the symbol of beauty as well as mortality, the philosophy of the pale blossoms could, and does, fill volumes upon volumes of books. And these books could be filled with the stories behind the sakura themselves. There is a man who has his very own thoughts about the phenomenon of the annual cherry blossom. Following his father’s footsteps, Terumi Takaoka cultivates his own variety of the tree—and sends seedlings all over the world, as symbols of peace and friendship between nations. This particular cherry blossom variety is called Yoko, which means “sunlight.” This is the story behind this legendary beauty.

[2018] Indoor "Camping" and More! 5 Spots to Stay in Tokyo That Aren't Hotels

Shinjuku Other Amusement

With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics coming up soon, the number of travelers to Japan is continually increasing. With an increase in travelers comes a rise in demand for accommodation as well, but did you know that there are other options than hotels? From the more obvious capsule hotels and hostels to 24-hour internet cafes or baths, you can enjoy your time without going over your budget. In this article, we are going to tell you some of the places you can use to stay other than hotels.

Easy Access from Haneda Airport – Buses, Trains, and Taxis

Haneda

Located in Southern Tokyo’s Ota Ward, Haneda Airport – or Tokyo International Airport – is one of Tokyo’s two airports, Narita being the second one. It is an important hub, connecting domestic flights to international ones, with hundreds of travelers and tourists arriving and departing on a daily base. Four main means of transportation connect the national and international hub to Tokyo’s inner city: train, bus, taxi, and monorail. Let’s take a closer look.

Nogi Shrine – Discovering Modern-Day Shinto and the Real Last Samurai

Roppongi Shrines

Nestled between the busy nightlife district of Roppongi and the stylish commercial area of Akasaka lies a place of modern-day Shinto worship, dedicated to someone who can be called Japan’s real last samurai: Nogi Shrine. Right as I left Tokyo Metro’s Nogizaka Station, I was greeted by a large white torii, the gate that marks the entrance to Shinto shrines all across Japan, as well as two statues of komainu, or lion-dogs, the protectors of the precincts. The noise of the metropolis was quelled by this very atmosphere as soon as I took my first steps onto the shrine grounds – it almost felt like entering an entirely different world. Large trees cast their cooling shadow on me, the air felt fresh and clean, and the soft murmuring of the water in the temizuya, the basin used for ritual purification before prayer, welcomed me to an entirely different part of modern Tokyo.

Choice Spots

  • Akihabara
  • Asakusa
  • Ginza
  • Harajuku
  • Ikebukuro
  • Roppongi
  • Shibuya
  • Shinjuku
  • Tokyo Station
  • Tsukiji
  • Ueno

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