Mini Guide to Japan

Interesting Sites and Natural Wonders

Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan and is located in the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. It’s 3776 meters high and almost a perfect volcanic cone, making it a feast for the eyes.

Japanese people consider it a sacred mountain and those willing to climb must first visit Murayama Sengen Jinja temple, which is over 1000 years old. The official climbing season happens during July and August and it takes four to eight hours for the average person.

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Hirosaki Castle

Hirosaki Castle is one of Japan’s original 12 castles that wasn’t destroyed during World War II. The castle started being built in 1603 by the Tsugaru Clan lord and it was only finished in 1611. It used to have a five-story tower, but in 1627, the castle was struck by lightning and it burned down. The new three-story tower was built in 1810 to replace it.

The castle housed the Tsugaru Clan for many generations and has museums with samurai swords, armors, and helmets from the era.

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Shiretoko National Park

This national park is located in the northeast part of Japan, the Shiretoko Peninsula. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005. You’ll probably need to hire a car to explore the region as local transport is limited. The highlights are Shiretoko Five Lakes and Kamuiwakka Falls, considered one of Japan’s best natural wonders.

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Miyajima is a nickname for Itsukushima, which means “shrine island.” The place is considered one of Japan’s top three scenic sites with its preserved Edo-era look. There are plenty of wild deer around, but most travelers visit the island to see the “floating torii,” which is thought to be the “gate” to Itsukushima.

It’s also possible to take the two-hour hike up Mt. Misen for amazing views of the island.

Luciano Mortula – LGM /

Kenroku-en Garden

Kenroku-en Garden is an extremely beautiful traditional Japanese garden located in Kanazawa. It’s a great example of the engineering feats of the Edo era, where many kilometers of pipes were used upstream to fill the ponds and streams of the garden.

Inside the grounds you can see Seisonkaku Villa, which was built by a Maeda Lord for his mother using daimyō architectural style.

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Keep Your Flight Boarding Pass and Get Discounts on Your Vacation

After boarding a flight, most people just stuff their boarding pass into their carry-on and forget about it. By doing this, you’re missing out on potential savings. Many airlines offer discounts and freebies for those who keep their boarding pass. Depending on where you land, you could score savings on tourist attractions, restaurants, wine, or even airport transfers.

The Most Common Scams from Around the World

There’s nothing like traversing the world and exploring new countries and cultures, but sometimes the experience is spoiled by dishonorable people preying on uninformed travelers. If you make an effort to learn about the classic scams, you’re unlikely to fall victim to them and can just enjoy the positive side of your trip. To help, here’s a list of common scams around the world for you to get acquainted with.

How to Make Friends During Your Trip

One of the biggest fears of people who want to embark on a solo trip is being alone. They think meeting new people will be a struggle, and if they can’t find a partner to travel with, they just cancel or postpone their adventure. The truth is that with a little bit of planning and initiative, it’s actually harder to be alone than you think. The travel community is extremely welcoming and one doesn’t need to try hard to be part of it.

Around the World in Holiday Baking

Every December, millions of pounds of butter, sugar, and flour contribute to the creation of spectacular treats for holiday celebrations. Even if you’re not ordinarily a baker, many people venture into the kitchen before the holidays to make sure that they’ve got plenty of treats to offer to family and friends.

The Most Unusual McDonald’s Menu Items from Around the World

If you’re a fast-food connoisseur, chances are you’re already familiar with the McDonald’s menu that’s typical in North America. They bring in new choices fairly frequently. However, most people stick with their usual order of Big Macs, Quarter Pounders, fries, McFlurries, and Apple Pies. It’s familiar food, and the bulk of the menu is essentially…

Big Brother China: A Look at China’s Social Credit System

This work of fiction is about to become a reality for the 1.4 billion residents of China where the government plans to roll out a “Social Credit System”. The Chinese government says it’s an attempt to raise “awareness for integrities and the level of credibility within society” through the use of mass surveillance and data collection.