Mini Guide to Japan

Main Cities and Towns


Tokyo is Japan’s capital and with over 13 million citizens, it’s the most populated urban area in the world. What was once a fishing village is now a powerful financial center bustling with skyscrapers, neon lights, and the latest technologies. With an amazing transportation system, travelers can spend the morning gazing at massive shopping malls and still have time to visit the many shrines telling the old stories of the city.

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Shirakawa-Go has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995 and you just need to see some pictures to understand why. It’s a fairytale village, which was built in the gasshō architectural style. The design helped to easily shed the snow from the roofs and the attic was used to house silkworm. It’s the perfect place to visit if you’re looking for a truly authentic cultural immersion.

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Kyoto was once Japan’s capital (for over 1000 years) and is regarded by some as the country’s most beautiful city. It has a strong cultural heritage with many temples, shrines, and palaces constructed for monks, emperors, and shoguns. Kyoto managed to keep its architectural wonders as it was one of the few cities that was not bombed during World War II. There are many self-guided walks around the city including highlights such as the Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine.

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Nara is one of Japan’s ancient capital cities. Due to the strong influence of Buddhism, the city grew culturally creating many buildings (shrines and temples), which are nowadays considered treasures of Japan.

Travelers can visit Nara Park, which has dozens of friendly deer and visit Tōdai-ji, which was the largest wooden building in the world until 1998. The temple houses Daibutsu, the second-largest Buddha statue in Japan.

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If you’ve always been fascinated by the Onsen, the Japanese bathing experience, then Beppu is the place to visit. It has an unusually high number of hot springs and therefore several onsens to choose from. Just make sure you learn the correct bathing etiquette, so you don’t disrespect the locals.

You can also visit the “Eight Hells,” which are several volcanic pits and one geyser that goes off roughly every half an hour.




This Is the Fastest Way to Get through Customs

No one enjoys lines, and custom lines are some of the worst. The hundreds of confused flyers with paperwork in hand is daunting, but what if I told you that you can bypass that line for free – without paying for Global Entry? Whether you travel internationally 30 times a year or once a year, you’ll love the app. The Mobile Passport Control app speeds up the process of filling out and processing your U.S. immigration paperwork. This little-known app gets you your own line, away from the crowds, and lets you get to baggage claim that much quicker – likely before your baggage!

14 Ways to Spot a Frequent Traveler

The moment someone goes on their first trip and gets a taste of freedom and adventure, everything changes. They yearn for more travel, and the more they do it, the more experienced they become. It eventually gets to a point where travel is part of their lives, and it pretty much influences every decision they make. Even though you can find many different types of travelers and styles of traveling, there are some characteristics all frequent travelers share.

The Best Gifts for Travelers

If you’re a traveler, chances are you’ve spent the last few holidays receiving kitschy, travel-themed gifts from friends and loved ones while wishing they had given you something more useful, like airport lounge passes or an Airbnb gift card. While there are some gifts like cash, and airline tickets that will always be useful, there are a few items that we’ve sourced that have amazing reputations and are appreciated by even the most minimalist travelers.

How to Become a UNESCO World Heritage Site

If you’re an active traveler or live in a uniquely historic part of the world, chances are you’ve been exposed to UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This phrase is thrown around frequently. When we first hear it, the first thing that comes to mind is that it must represent something historic and old. Many UNESCO World Heritage Sites are famous buildings, landmarks, or areas that are renowned because of their beauty and historical significance.

Up in the Night Sky: Most Iconic Constellations

Space, time, and the universe can seem like a big topic to understand, especially if you have very little experience. One way that people approach this complex topic is by cultivating an appreciation of constellations. There are several constellations that are easily visible from Earth on a clear night. By slowly working your way up…

Styles of Wrestling from Around the World

Most of us are familiar with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). This brand rose in popularity within the 1980s, thanks to the likes of Hulk Hogan and “Macho Man” Randy Savage, who placed wrestling on the pop culture map. As time wore on, the WWE has built a mass marketing and entertainment empire through their larger-than-life personalities, including the likes of Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, and Triple H. Still, why some out there can state the WWE does profile some wrestling, it is a far cry from the true techniques that are involved in the sport itself.