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.

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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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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.

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.

Why You Should Travel While You’re Still Young

If you’re worried about embarking on a travel adventure and wondering whether it’ll negatively affect your life, the simple answer is “no, it won’t.” In fact, when you stop to take a closer look at it, the benefits considerably outweigh the risks. While in the past it may have looked like a frivolous undertaking, nowadays it’s considered a character-defining experience. If you have the chance to travel now, take it without thinking as your future-self will be forever grateful for the lessons, friends, and memories you will make.

Most Intense Long-Distance Marathons (Not for the Faint of Heart)

For those among us who love a challenge, these long-distance marathons and outdoor challenges are activities that can only be attempted after years of training, with the right gear, and only by those who are mentally ready to undergo such a feat. Here are some of the most intense and challenging marathons in the world.