Outdoor in Kyoto
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A Walk Around Maizuru
- Maizuru is a city unlike anywhere else in Japan. Home to incredible fish markets and a slew of hidden spiritual hotspots, there’s no better way to explore the area in depth than by getting around on foot. If you’ve visited the famous red brick sites and viewed the landscape of the city from the Gorou Sky Tower, it’s time for the intimate walking tour. Here’s our guide. A Walk Around Maizuru The best way to kick start your walk through the city of Maizuru is by visiting the Maizuru Fish Market which takes place along the coast at the city’s roadside station Michi-no-Eki Maizuru Port. Constantly abuzz with local fishermen and chefs buying and selling fresh catches from the neighbouring ocean, the energy here is simply electric. Known as the largest fish market in Kyoto, it can be considered essentially the heart and soul of the prefecture’s seafood. Pick out some fresh fish to start your day and once you have made your purchase, ask for it to be cooked right there in front of you. Now you’ve filled up you should be ready to go and check out some of the best local sites of Maizuru. A Walk Around Maizuru Sitting an easy 10-minute walk from Nishi-Maizuru Station is Asashiro Jinja aka Asashiro Shrine, an iconic local site. Established in 672, it’s said that this temple has watched over the city of Maizuru throughout its history. Every four years, the shrine hosts Yoshiwara no tachifuri, a traditional sword practicing performance. Throughout the year locals make the pilgrimage to worship this shrine and pray for good fortune. A Walk Around Maizuru ©NAVITIME JAPAN. Travel Info Check out our travel tips to make your trip better!
Where to Pick Autumn Fruit in Japan
- Japan is famous for really delicious fruit. Rather than eat the expensive stuff from speciality shops and supermarkets, why not pick your own fresh from the tree? Seasonal foods are a big deal in Japanese culture. On top of that, Japanese fruit tends to be of really high quality. One interesting twist to put on your trip is to get out of the big city and pick fresh fruit. It’s a nice activity to add on to your onsen stay as well. You can pick all kinds of fruit all over the country, but we chose 5 autumn fruits and the 5 prefectures most famous for them.Generally speaking, there are two basic systems for picking fruit so the two Japanese words you’ll need to know for this are 食べ放題 tabehodai (all you can eat) and ～狩り gari (picking). The former is usually unlimited, the latter tends to have a time limit. Alright then, let’s look at some farms! Grapes Grapes in Yamanashi Japanese name: ぶどう budoSeason: August to OctoberKatsunuma, Yamanashi is the grape capital of Japan. If you’re in Yamanashi to visit Mt. Fuji, why not enjoy some grapey goodness? Katsunuma Grapark (combining the words “grape” and “park”) grows over 16 varieties and offers 2 plans. One is a tabehodai (1000 yen for normal species, 2000 yen for high end ones) – all you can eat, no time limit, but you can’t take anything with you. The other is the budo-gari plan – 100 yen per 100 grams of normal grapes, 200 yen per 100 grams for the premium kind. While you’re in town, you also might want to pop into the ぶどうの国文化館 Budo no Kuni Culture Hall and learn about the history of Katsunuma, grape cultivation, and wine production.Katsunuma Budokyo Station is 10 minutes from Yamanashi Station by train. Just take a bus or taxi another 15 minutes to Katsunuma Grapark. Apples Apples in Aomori Japanese name: りんご ringoSeason: September to NovemberIn Japan, Aomori is synonymous with apples. In fact, 70% of all apples in Japan are produced here. At Aomori Sightseeing Apple Garden they grow 26 varieties on roughly 250 trees. They have 2 plans. One, you can pick 3 apples for 300 yen. Two, if you’re feeling like a glutton, you can do a one hour tabehodai for 1000 yen. They also grow pears, chestnuts, peaches, prunes, and cherries, but the cost varies if you want to pick other fruit.It’s a 30 minute drive from Aomori City. If you’re limited to public transit, at Aomori Station take the Aomori Shiei Bus (Tamogino Line) bound for Tamogino Station. Get off at Ringo-en Mae, and walk 5 minutes the apple orchard. The Japanese name is Aomori Kanko Ringo-en, just in case you have to ask for directions. Pears Pears in Funabashi Japanese name: 梨 nashiSeason: August to NovemberYou might be familiar with Funassyi, the hilarious unofficial mascot of Funabashi, Chiba. That’s because there are a lot of pear growers in Funabashi. Unfortunately, only one of them allows nashi-gari and its a bit inconvenient, but that’s OK all of Chiba Prefecture is famous for pears. Takadai-en grows 4 types of pears and offers a simple system: 650 per kilogram. If your group plans on spending more than 1000 yen per person, you’ll need to make a reservation. But, c’mon. Nobody needs that many pears on vacation.Take the train to Matsudo Station and use the East Exit. Hop on the Shin-Keisei Bus bound for Rikodai Danchi to the last stop. Walk 5 minutes and – boom! – you’re there. Mikan Mikan in Shizuoka Japanese name: みかん mikanSeason: October to DecemberShizuoka’s moderate climate in autumn and winter is perfect for growing mikan (Mandarin oranges) along the coast. If you’re enjoying an onsen, make a little time to pick some of these juicy little guys. Nishijima No-en in Atami offers 2 plans. For 300 yen, you have an unlimited tabehodai. Or you can pick as much as you want to take home at 250 yen per kilogram.It’s a 7 minute walk from Ajiro Station, or at Atami Station, take the Tokai Bus headed for Ajiro. Get off at Minami-Atami Shisho-Mae. Persimmons Persimmons in Nara Japanese name: 柿 kakiSeason: October and NovemberNara is the largest producer of persimmons in Japan. There are 2 types, astringent and non-astringent – both of which are usually eaten in different ways. If you want to take a break from sightseeing, Yamashiro Taga Fruits Line is a popular spot for picking persimmons (they also have mikan and grapes). They have an 800 yen tabehodai plan with no time limit. Of course, you can buy some to take home at market price (varies year to year).The farm is located 15 minutes from Nara by train. Just go to Yamashiro Taga Station and walk about 10 minutes and you’re there.Posts by Marky Star ©NAVITIME JAPAN. Travel Info Check out our travel tips to make your trip better!
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Its wooden tea houses, shuffling geisha, and spiritual sights have seen Kyoto hailed as the heart of traditional Japan, a world apart from ultramodern Tokyo. Despite being the Japanese capital for over a century, Kyoto escaped destruction during World War II, leaving behind a fascinating history which can be felt at every turn, from the fully gold-plated Kinkakuji Temple down to traditional customs such as geisha performances and tea ceremonies, which are still practiced to this day.
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