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JNTO FamTrip 2015: Himeji Castle

In late September and early October, Unique Japan Tours joined a familiarization trip organised by the Japan National Tourist Organisation. The purpose of these trips is to introduce new, unique places in Japan to promote trips there. The familiarization trip (or “famtrip”) we joined took us from Okayama and Kurashiki, down into Tokushima, to Shodoshima […]

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Towns of Japan: Kawayu Onsen

Towns of Japan: Kawayu Onsen

The Kumano Kodo is a religious experience in itself, a multi-day mountain hike (though you can also go by bus), following in the footsteps of royalty, visiting some of the most magnificent temples and shrines on the islands of Japan. Towards the end of the hike, along the Oto River, is a unique onsen town. […]

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Unique Japan Tours Takayama Old Streets Sake Shop Brewery

Cities of Japan – Takayama

Unique Japan Tours loves Takayama. It’s a beautiful city, located high in the Hida mountains (hence why it’s sometimes called Hida-Takayama). After the hustle and bustle of modern Tokyo, Takayama is a welcome reprieve. A merchant city famed for it’s timber and carpenters, the city thrived under the direct control of the Shogun during the […]

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Unique Japan Tours Kumano Kodo Naichi Waterfall

Japanese Pilgrimage Route: The Kumano Kodo

The Kumano Kodo are a series of pilgrimage trails, located in the Kansai region of Japan, south of Kyoto and Nara. Kumano is the name of the area, and “kodo” means the “old ways”, so the name literally translates as the old ways of Kumano. The trails were, and still are, used by pilgrims visiting […]

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Unique Japan Tours Tsumago Magome Town

Samurai Postal Routes: The Nakasendo, Tsumago & Magome

In our last blog post we talked about the Gokaido, the five routes built in the Edo period of Japan, which connected the capital of Edo, modern Tokyo, with the outer provinces of the country. We also talked about the Tokaido, one of the two routes connecting the old capital of Kyoto with the new […]

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Unique Japan Tours Tokaido Hoeido 26 Nissaka 26 Station

Samurai Postal Routes: Gokaido and Tokaido

In 1601, soon after he came into power, the Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu started to build five routes connecting the capital of Edo (modern day Tokyo), with the other provinces. These routes were essential for the success of the Sankin-Kotai system, where lords would have to alternate years of living in Edo with their home provinces. […]

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Japanese New Year – New Year in Japan

With the Christmas holiday season coming to a close, we are approaching the close of the year and the celebration that entails. Where as Christmas in Japan is more of an excuse for couples to have another date, New Years (know in Japan as shougatsu or 正月) is more important. What does New Years look […]

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