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  • Staying in a Japanese ryokan: a first-timer’s guide

    Staying in a Japanese ryokan: a first-timer’s guide

    June 12th, 2017Ros Walford
    insert_drive_file Article8 min read

    It’s a cliché to say that Japan is a land of contrasts – but, in terms of accommodation, it really is. There are some weird and many wonderful places to stay, from personal capsules and love hotels to lodgings in five-star luxury. But there’s one type of accommodation that has preserved its tradition for centuries: the... Read more »

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  • Uncovering Tokyo’s nightlife: a neighbourhood guide

    Uncovering Tokyo’s nightlife: a neighbourhood guide

    June 9th, 2017Rebecca Hallett
    insert_drive_file Article9 min read

    Until recently, running a club in Japan was a risky business. The fueihō laws, created in 1948, put restrictions on any small venue where patrons had to “actively seek out pleasure” – including dancing. Though usually these laws weren’t enforced, any club or bar owners caught by police letting their patrons bust a move could face... Read more »

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  • A Rough Guide to: the Japanese tea ceremony

    A Rough Guide to: the Japanese tea ceremony

    May 15th, 2017Ros Walford
    insert_drive_file Article8 min read

    Hushed voices, the scratch of a bamboo whisk, then a bow, a nod and a bowl of steaming matcha is handed around. Any delicate sounds in the room are amplified by the formality of the occasion – so quiet you can hear people holding their breath – which heightens the sense that something very important is... Read more »

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  • Eating Kyushu: a guide to Japan’s secret foodie hotspot

    Eating Kyushu: a guide to Japan’s secret foodie hotspot

    March 29th, 2017Ros Walford
    insert_drive_file Article8 min read

    Kyūshū, the most southerly of Japan’s four main islands, is pretty much left alone by tourists. Yet, the island – only a bullet-train ride from Tokyo – is one of the country’s culinary hotspots. Proximity to mainland Asia and historical legacies from trade with the British, Dutch and Portuguese has led to a fusion of styles.... Read more »

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  • 11 tips for backpacking Japan

    11 tips for backpacking Japan

    December 12th, 2016Tamatha Roman
    insert_drive_file Article6 min read

    With its tech-centric entertainment, ancient temples, lightning fast rail system and traditional art forms, Japan offers a fascinating mix of the new and the old. Between rural Hokkaido and the tropical islands of Okinawa, you’re bound to find something to embrace as a curious backpacker. And with the following insider tips, backpacking Japan can be both memorable... Read more »

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  • Japan travel tips: 13 things to know before you go

    Japan travel tips: 13 things to know before you go

    November 14th, 2016Freya Godfrey
    insert_drive_file Article5 min read

    With its glittering royal palaces, ancient temples and sacred shrines as well as sandy beaches, some of the world’s best skiing and beautiful national parks, Japan is a country you’ll want to return to again and again. It’s also a very traditional place with a strict etiquette; if you’re visiting for the first time, follow our... Read more »

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  • Where to stay in Tokyo: an area by area guide

    Where to stay in Tokyo: an area by area guide

    November 11th, 2016Rough Guides Editors
    insert_drive_file Article8 min read

    As the biggest city in the world, it’s unsurprising that Tokyo is crammed full of different places to stay – and with each district boasting its own character, choosing which part of the city to use as your base can be a hard decision. Are you after the full Tokyo experience, with a view from a... Read more »

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  • What happens when you blend English tradition with Japanese craftsmanship

    What happens when you blend English tradition with Japanese craftsmanship

    October 6th, 2016Rebecca Hallett
    insert_drive_file Article2 min read

    In a delicious meeting of two worlds, the most English of drinks has been combined with Japanese craftsmanship to create a premium craft gin, KI NO BI (“the beauty of the seasons”). Made with famously pure Fushimi water, the gin uses a rice-spirit base combined with a range of uniquely Japanese flavours – yuzu, sanshō... Read more »

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  • Tokyo or Kyoto: where to visit first

    Tokyo or Kyoto: where to visit first

    September 26th, 2016Rebecca Hallett
    insert_drive_file Article7 min read

    Where first, Tokyo or Kyoto – it should be an easy choice, right? They’re polar opposites, after all: Tokyo is a land of neon and skyscrapers, the archetypal metropolis; Kyoto is full of kimono-clad geisha, temples and tea ceremonies. So just decide whether you want your first glimpse of Japan to be cutting-edge modernity or high-brow... Read more »

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  • Sapporo: Japan’s unsung city

    Sapporo: Japan’s unsung city

    September 12th, 2016Rebecca Hallett
    insert_drive_file Article6 min read

    Japan is a country that lives up to your expectations. Tokyo is as frenetic and exciting as you’d hope; Kyoto is full of historic shrines and temples; Ōsaka is brash, bright and foodie. But the problem with visiting world-famous cities whose reputations precede them is that… well, their reputations have preceded them. If you really want... Read more »

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  • Everything you need to know about Japan’s bullet trains

    Everything you need to know about Japan’s bullet trains

    August 17th, 2016Rebecca Hallett
    insert_drive_file Article6 min read

    Surely one of Japan’s most iconic images is an impossibly fast bullet train (or “shinkansen”) speeding past snow-capped Mount Fuji – you know the photo. Clichéd as it is, it captures that most Japanese of phenomena, the seamless blending of the ancient and the modern. Beautiful views aside, the bullet train really is one of those must-do... Read more »

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  • Avoid the crowds: 6 ways to get off the tourist trail in northern Japan

    Avoid the crowds: 6 ways to get off the tourist trail in northern Japan

    August 11th, 2016Rebecca Hallett
    insert_drive_file Article8 min read

    Japan is a country full of incredible sights: the ancient temples of Kyoto and Nara; Tokyo’s glittering streets; the floating shrine gate at Miyajima; Beppu’s red, steaming hot springs. The only problem with this list of alluring sights? It completely ignores half the country. So it’s time to look a little further up on the... Read more »

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