Hokkaido Japan

A spacious island located at Japan’s northern extremity with festivals throughout the seasons. A region with an abundance of natural beauty.

Hokkaido is an island at Japan’s northern extremity, surrounded by sea in all directions. It is an extensive land, accounting for 22% of Japan’s total land area. Low humidity makes the summers pleasant, while in winter you can enjoy winter sports. The island is gaining popularity as a tourist destination throughout the four seasons.

In Hokkaido you can enjoy the magnificence of nature to your heart’s content: Daisetsu-zan National Park, which forms the roof of Hokkaido; the secluded Shiretoko-hanto Peninsula; Kushiro Marsh, home to many precious living things such as Japanese cranes; Shikotsu-Toya National Park, which is full of volcanoes and lakes; and the ever-changing Shakotan-kaigan Coast. There are also numerous hot springs, like the Noboribetsu-onsen, Jozan-kei-onsen and Soun-kyo-onsen, where you can enjoy a leisurely bath to help you get over the fatigue of your journey.

The Sapporo Snow-matsuri Festival and Monbetsu Ice Floes-matsuri Festival are held in winter. In summer enjoy the Furano Lavender-matsuri Festival, as well as port festivals in every coastal town held to pray for a good catch and safe fishing. Hokkaido boasts of over 1,200 festivals and events held throughout the year. Ice floes arrive in Abashiri every year in late January. A tourist icebreaker departs from Wakkanai Port, enabling you to see the beautiful, rough blue ice floes.

 

Furano

“Navel town,” located in the center of Hokkaido. Its beautiful rich fields of lavender tempt tourists with their fragrance.

Furano is situated along the middle reaches of the Sorachi-gawa River in the central part of Hokkaido and it belongs to Furano-Ashibetsu Nature Park. Because of its geographical position, which is almost right in the middle of Hokkaido, Furano has a unique nickname – “the navel town.” Every summer, a humorous navel festival is held in Furano, during which about 3,000 participants draw funny faces on their bellies and dance around in the main street.

 

Lake Toya

A beautiful lakeside spa resort. Enjoy watching the spirals of white smoke emanating from the Mt.Usu volcano.

Lake Toya, which is situated in the southwestern part of Hokkaido, belongs to Shikotsu-Toya National Park. This caldera lake lies 11km east and west, 9km south and north and measuring 43km around. The active volcano that stands proudly near the lake with white smoke rising above it is Mt.Usu. It is one of the most active volcanoes, with repeated eruptions on a cycle of between 30 and 50 years. Its most recent eruption was in 2000. Live craters and the remains produced by volcano eruption can be closely observed. It was registered in world Geopark for the first time in Japan in 2010. Lake Toya hot spring, which stretches out along the lake, is one of the best spa resorts in Hokkaido. Various events such as fireworks are held throughout the year. The G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit was held in 2008. Many people from around the world gathered at Lake Toya. Abundant in nature, it is an excellent place to exchange world view on the global environment and climate change. There are many places of interest around Lake Toya including the Volcano Science Museum where they show visual images of the eruption that occurred in 1977 and 2000, complete with a special sound system.

Lake Toya is an ice-free lake. It never freezes, even in winter when the temperature falls quite drastically. The beauty of the ice-free lake can therefore be admired anytime during the year. There are big and small four islands called Nakajima in the middle of the lake, and on it is the Toyako Forest Museum, which is a part of the sightseeing boat route. Trout and smelt fishing are very popular sports in and around the lake. There are also fully facilitated camping sites.

Furano’s natural beauty can be appreciated throughout the seasons of the year – beautiful stardust in the winter sky, charming ‘mizubasho,’ Japanese skunk cabbage flowers along the roadside in spring, the inviting fragrance of lavender in summer, and the gloriously red and yellow tinted leaves in fall. The name “Furano” actually originates from the Ainu (an ethnic group indigenous to Hokkaido) word ‘furanui’ – meaning fragrant flame. Furano created the Furano Lavender-no-Mori lavender field to commemorate the 80th anniversary of its municipal government. Many people visit the lavender field in summer when the lavender bloom is at its best. Taking a stroll along the path through the forest of sweetly scented lavender is really a must when you visit Furano in summer.

You can also enjoy outdoor activities in Furano all year round. Rafting trips down the Sorachi-gawa River and hot-air balloon flights are organized by the Alpine Visitor Center, and the nearby Kita-no-Mine is a popular ski resort in winter.

Sapporo

A large clock tower and trendy shopping center. Odori Avenue Park is the location of a magnificent snow festival.

Sapporo in western Hokkaido is divided up in a grid pattern, and is the largest city on the island. Odori Avenue Park stretches from east to west in the center of the city, and is a symbol of the city – full of art objects, fountains, lilac and acacia plants and lots of flowerbeds. To the north stand trading companies, financial institutions and local government offices, while to the south is a large underground shopping mall, which as the city’s main shopping center is always busy. It is connected directly to Sapporo Station, which is the transportation hub for all of Hokkaido and the place to board JR lines, the subway, and both local and tourist buses.

The city contains many essential sights: the Sapporo City Clock, which has been marking time for over a century; the old Hokkaido government building, a neo-baroque building known as “Red Brick” that is lit up after dark; and the poplars outside Hokkaido University (formerly Hokkaido Agricultural College).

Odori Avenue Park is more than 1,400 meters long. In summer it is full of beer gardens, while in winter it becomes the location for a snow festival. During the festival, this big park is lined with magnificent snow statues and beautiful ice statues.

 

Otaru

The town’s nostalgic, old-fashioned mood is enhanced by its architecture and layout. A beautiful large canal flows through it.

Otaru is situated in the western part of Hokkaido, facing Ishikari Bay. It has developed and prospered as “the sea entrance of Hokkaido” over the last 100 years and it has gained the nickname “Wall Street of the North.” The glassworks shops, coffee shops, restaurants and shopping malls along the canal have been converted from stone-built or brick-built warehouses, which were used for storage in the days when commerce flourished and the canal was crowded with jostling barges. When night falls, oil lamps on the cobbled streets are lit, and the town evokes a gentle, nostalgic mood.

Otaru’s nickname is “the town of hills” as there are so many hills, including Jigoku-zaka (hell hill) – a very steep slope, and the long, winding Funami-zaka. Mt. Tengu-yama that towers behind Otaru is a popular ski resort in winter. There is an observation point on Mt. Tengu-yama, and the panoramic view including the whole of Otaru and its port area is absolutely wonderful. There are also cable cars to take you to the mountaintop.

 

Hakodate

A vibrant and active morning seafood market. A unique blend of Japanese and Western architecture exists in the city.

Located in the southwest of Hokkaido and facing the Tsugaru Strait, Hakodate developed as a port town for trade with foreign countries at the end of the 19th century, and is a gateway connecting Hokkaido with Honshu by the Seikan Tunnel.

A morning market is held at the bay area near the railway station, where more than 360 stalls packed tightly together attract shoppers with freshly caught squid, scallops, salmon eggs, Atka mackerel, and many other kinds of fresh fish and shellfish. A five-minute walk will take you to the moored Seikan Strait ferryboat, named the Mashu-maru Memorial Ship, which used to link Aomori in Honshu with Hokkaido. There is a restaurant and a coffee shop at its bow where you can spend a nice, relaxing time viewing the scenery around the port.

The area around Motomachi maintains a congenial blend of Japanese and Western cultures, being home to the Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward, an important cultural property, the old British Consulate with its tea lounge, Haristo Sei-kyokai, a Russian Orthodox church, as well as the Higashi-Hongan-ji Temple, a branch temple of the Higashi-Hongan-ji Temple in Kyoto. At the waterfront overlooking the Hakodate-ko Port, there is a shopping mall inside remodeled red brick warehouses, the Old Kanamori Haberdashery Museum and the Hakodate Beer Hall.

 

Noboribetsu

Plumes of volcanic gas and hot springs are huge attractions. Broadleaf trees sway boldly in Noboribetsu Primeval Forest.

Noboribetsu in southwestern Hokkaido is the location of the Noboribetsu-onsen, Karurusu-onsen, Shin-Noboritbetsu-onsen hot springs, and has a rich variety of scenery including forests, lakes and marshes. It has been designated a part of Shikotsu-Toya National Park.

The Noboribetsu-onsen is one of Hokkaido’s best-known hot springs, and is surrounded by a virgin forest 200 meters above sea level. It has 9 different kinds of water, containing minerals such as hydrogen sulfide, salt, and iron. The quality of these minerals results in the spa being ranked among the world’s most exceptional hot springs.

The most impressive scene at the hot spring is the Jigoku Valley (hell valley), where yellowy gray volcanic gas seeps from the surface of the rocks. This makes the whole place smell strongly of sulfur, and gives it an image like that of hell. The valley is a 450-meter-diameter mouth of a volcano, which produces 3,000 liters of hot water per minute.

In the northeastern part of the hot spring grow many sorts of broad-leafed trees, including oaks, and a bamboo grass called ‘kuma-zasa.’ The area is called Noboribetsu Primeval Forest, and has been designated as a natural monument. To the east is Shihorei-Peak , from which you can view Lake Kuttara-ko, with its clear water said to be the second most transparent in Japan.

 

Asahikawa

A thriving world of art, filled with sculptures. Set against the magnificent background of Daisetsu-zan mountain range.

Asahikawa is located almost in the center of Hokkaido, and is the second largest city in the prefecture after Sapporo. The city is full of natural splendor, with the magnificent Mt. Daisetsu-zan in the background and 120 rivers flowing through it. It is also the gateway for tourism to Soun Gorge and the Furano area. Asahikawa’s thriving art world has led it to be called a town for art. Sculptures that made a famous sculptor dot the shopping park along Heiwa-dori Avenue, the road that leads straight from Asahikawa Station.

Situated on a hill overlooking the town, the Hokkaido Traditional Arts and Crafts Village is full of buildings resembling castles from the Middle Ages in Europe, and has the atmosphere of an amusement park. There is a gallery of works made using the world-famous Yukara-ori, the traditional textile fabric of Hokkaido, from which you can get a better understanding of traditional Japanese fabric.

Japan’s northernmost Zoo, Asahiyama Zoo is a one of the highlight of the city. The concept of the zoo is to provide an environment where each species can use their abilities and a space where each animal can relax. Visitors enjoy watching diving polar bear, a spotted seal swim in the narrow tunnel and more very close at hand.

Also, Asahikawa has a ramen-noodle area the equal to that found in Sapporo, and its countless ramen-noodle restaurants are always busy.

 

Biei

Beautiful flowers, trees, and snow are all what astonishes visitors. Biei is one of the most popular sightseeing spots in Hokkaido, a prefecture that welcomes many tourists.

The town of Biei is located almost at the center of Hokkaido, in the hilly district at the foot of the Tokachi-dake Mountain Range (Daisetsu-zan National Park). It was only in the 1970s that the town became regarded as one of the best sightseeing spots in Hokkaido. Shinzo Maeda, a leading Japanese landscape photographer with a worldwide reputation, once visited Biei and was very moved by its beautiful scenery, as well as by the wonderful views of hills in the neighboring town of Kami-Furano. Since then, he visited Biei repeatedly over 10 years to take photographs, which were used for photo collections, post cards, posters, films, TV commercials, etc., making the views of town well known throughout Japan. On a hill in Biei, in a former elementary school building, the Takushinkan photo gallery is open to the public and exhibits Maeda’s excellent works, which greatly impress visitors.

The attractiveness of Biei, where as many as 1.2 million people visit every year, is represented by its spectacular views of flowers found in areas named “Road of Patchwork,” “Hills of Seasonal Colors (Shikisai-no-oka),” and “Hills of Zerubu,” as well as by the views from the hills overlooking the horizon.

You will be astonished by the magnificent views of colorful flowers such as lavenders, sunflowers, poppies, cosmoses, and purple salvias, blooming just like beautiful patchworks. You can walk through these flowers at some locations. One of the best viewpoints is where you can see poplars and oaks standing imposingly on a vast green field. By taking a sightseeing taxi, or by renting a bicycle, you can go to see around these special trees used in TV commercials and posters, such as “Tree of Ken and Mary,” “Tree of Seven Stars,” and “Tree of Parent and Child.”

If you like outdoor activities, you will love all nature has to offer in Biei. In summer, you can stroll in wild woods, climb trees, walk along the river, go canoeing or camping, or play golf. In winter, the town is transformed by snow, whose magnificent appearance will astonish you as you ride on a snow buggy or snowmobile

 

Abashiri

Abashiri boasts of the breathtakingly beautiful Koshimizu Gensei-kaen garden. The town becomes surrounded by ice floes in winter.

Abashiri, the largest town on the Okhotsk Coast of northeastern Hokkaido, is a product of fishing and tourism. In addition to an abundance of seasonal seafood available throughout the year, it is also blessed with natural beauty, such as primeval flower gardens, lakes and ice floes.

Abashiri has lots of places to enjoy: Koshimizu Gensei-kaen (wild flower preserve), where about 40 kinds of flowers bloom in spring and summer; Lake Notori-ko, where coral weed makes the surface red as if a carpet had been laid over it; Lake Saroma-ko, which is separated from the sea by a long, thin sandbar; and Lake Tofutsu-ko, famous for its swans.

Mt. Tento-zan in the suburbs is a great place from which to view Abashiri. In the Okhotsk Ryuhyo-kan (ice floe museum) you can see real ice floes even in the middle of summer, and experience a temperature of minus 15 degrees Celsius. You can also see a type of conch there called a clione, whose back is plumed like a fairy tale angel, and is known as the “angel of the ice floes.”

Ice floes arrive in Abashiri every year in late January. A tourist icebreaker departs from Wakkanai Port, enabling you to see the beautiful, rough blue ice floes.

 

Tokachi Obihiro

Various activites and attractions to enjoy, including canoeing, hot-air ballooning, and the hot spring baths around the Lake Shikaribetsu-ko area.

Obihiro occupies the central part of the Tokachi Plain along the middle reaches of the Tokachi-gawa River in the southeastern part of Hokkaido, and it is the region’s center of politics, economics and logistics. The city center is divided into sections like a checkerboard, which imitates the layout of Washington, D.C. in the United States, so it is therefore very easy to get around even if you are very new to the city.

The magnificent Midori-ga-oka-koen Park and Suiko-en Garden, which are located one kilometer from the city center, are proud of their 50 hectares of green area. The Obihiro Centennial Memorial Hall in the park was built in 1982 and contains many references to and much information about Obihiro’s history. Wildlife habitats that symbolize the nature of Tokachi are also on display there. There is also a memorial museum near the park dedicated to Naomi Uemura – the great mountaineer. In summer, an idyllic view is created when some 1,500 cows are put out to pasture at the Yachiyo Public Farm.

Lake Shikaribetsu-ko is another place for you to visit. This beautiful lake is situated at the southeastern tip of Taisetsu-zan National Park and is surrounded by a primeval forest of white fir and spruce trees. Canoeing and hot-air ballooning can be enjoyed on the southwestern side of Lake Shikaribetsu-ko.

The Tokachi-onsen Hot Spring is an ideal place for you to relax. It is famous for its high quality spring water – very smooth to the skin, which bubbles out of the center of Tokachi Plain. It is a very popular spa resort that links the scenic Taisetsu and Akan areas.

 

Kushiro

A misty port town that exudes an aura of illusion. Kushiro Marsh, Japan’s largest marshland.

Kushiro, which is well known as “the town of mist,” is situated in the southeastern part of Hokkaido, facing the Pacific Ocean. Kushiro plays a leading role in the politics, economics and culture of eastern Hokkaido. The marine products industry of Kushiro has flourished since the early 20th century, and the long and narrow city centering on Kushiro Port still retains many features of the streets of the early 20th century port town. Takuboku Ishikawa, a famous poet and novelist, lived in Kushiro during those days, so there is also a literary atmosphere to the city.

A monument to Takuboku Ishikawa can be found in Yonemachi Park, where you can enjoy a fantastic view of Kushiro Port from an observation point. If you would like to treat yourself to a gourmet meal or enjoy shopping, Kushiro Fishermen’s Wharf MOO is the place to go. This is a very popular place for both the local people and visitors, and there is always a lively, cheerful and welcoming atmosphere.

In the north of Kushiro is Japan’s largest marshland, Kushiro Marsh, which stretches out over the majority of the Kushiro Plain. Kushiro Marsh is listed as a national park. Kushiro Tancho Nature Park is known as the site of the first successful artificial breeding of tancho cranes (Japanese cranes), which are designated as special natural monuments. There are currently about 20 tancho cranes residing in the park. They can be seen all year round.

 

Akan

Magnificent natural beauty and an awe-inspiring landscape. Spherical shaped moss enhances the mystery of this natural wonder.

Akan National Park is a mountainous park that stretches across the eastern part of Hokkaido. The park includes a group of volcanoes, such as Mt. Meakan-dake, Mt. Oakan-dake and Mt. Akan-Fuji, which are situated around three famous volcanic lakes: Akan-ko; Kussharo-ko; and Mashu-ko. Akan National Park is a very popular destination offering magnificent panoramic views and hot spring baths. Since the park is situated inland, the temperature fluctuates rather sharply – it may rise as high as 30 degrees Celsius on a hot summer’s day, but it can also fall to as low as 10 degrees Celsius during the early morning hours and at night due to the radiative cooling phenomenon. This phenomenon often produces a sea of beautiful clouds that can be viewed from high elevations. Glittery stardust that completely fills the night sky and spectacular soft rime provide further delights for the eyes in winter.

Lake Akan-ko is a lake of mystery and beauty. It is well known for ‘marimo’ – a curious looking species of moss that grows into large green balls, a natural monument that is unique to the lake. The elegant Mt. Oakan-dake overlooks the eastern shore of Lake Akan-ko. Lake Mashu-ko is internationally famous for having the highest level of clarity in the world. There is also a primeval forest of spruce and white fir trees located nearby. Akan National Park attracts many visitors throughout the year with its magnificent scenic wonderland.

Those who visit Akan National Park can also see traditional Ainu (an ethnic group indigenous to Hokkaido) dances at their ‘kotan’ (village), and enjoy outdoor activities such as canoeing, mountain bike tours and camping. The hot spring baths on the lakeside will surely help you to unwind and relax at the end of an exciting day.

 

Niseko

Niseko, its all here! from romantic getaways in the resort hotels of the area, to back country camping, a wealth of outdoor activities for everyone in the family, this is one part of Japan that you can truly say is an area of endless discovery, every time you visit it will be different and something fresh will certainly catch your eyes.

Niseko is located in the Southwestern part of Hokkaido, in an alpine region that is dominated by Mt. Yotei (Yotei National Park) to the east and Mt Annupuri to the west. Niseko is conveniently located 100 kms from Sapporo which is Hokkaido’s largest city. The Niseko district has earned a reputation as one of the best ski area’s in the world, home to the Annupuri Ski Resort and the Niseko Village Ski Resort the resort is gaining momentum on the world stage.

However it is not just winter that is popular in Niseko, the summer’s are also very special and the district stands out as a all year round outdoor activity destination. The name Niseko is derived from the ethnic Ainu language of Hokkaido. Niseko Annupuri translates to “Mountain with a river, which runs around the bottom of a sheer cliff” The weather is typical inland weather, with an annual average temperature of 6.3 degrees Celsius, the deepest snow in winter is 200cm in depth.

Niseko is beautiful throughout every season of the year. The summer brings with it a variety of outdoor pursuits like climbing, canoeing, rafting and other outdoor activities. Winter brings with it not only beautiful scenery but also a variety of extreme winter sports. The area has a vast variety of Hot Springs on offer throughout the year however these are best enjoyed after skiing and really add value to your Niseko experience.

In Spring through to Summer (July to late August) the area is carpeted in colorful flowers, one of the most photographed scenes in Niseko is the ‘Famous Twin Cherry Blossom’ scene, it is 2 Large Cherry Blossom trees in the middle of a green field on the top of a small mound with Mt. Yotei in the background.

The walkways and treks around the district are world class. The views of Mt Yotei from the observation deck at the 1000 metre level on Mt Annupuri are absolutely out of this world, take a gondola up the mountain in the morning and enjoy the sensation of floating on clouds as the entire valley below is covered in cloud with Mt. Yotei the regions famous landmark majestically standing out above the clouds. From the viewpoint it is a very short 1.3 km walk to the Summit of Mt Annupuri, to get the feeling of truly being on top of the world. This is a great trek for everyone.

The Winter months bring with them a world of excitement with vast Ski Slopes and Powder Snow, You can enjoy world class skiing, a vast variety of Restaurants and Ski lessons. Ski Lessons are available for everyone from beginners to professionals.

Tokyo

One of the most populous cities in the world. A thriving center of economy, culture and industry.

Tokyo consists of the southwestern part of the Kanto region, the Izu Islands, and the Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, and the place where over 13 million people live, making it one of the most populous cities in the world. When the Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu established a government there in the early 17th century, the area started to develop, spreading out around his residence, Edo Castle. Most of the city was devastated by the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, and then again by the bombing in the WWII, however, Tokyo was able to achieve a remarkably rapid recovery both times.

Tokyo is not only the political and economical center of Japan, it has also emerged as a center of the world economy and culture. There are a number of attractions in Tokyo that should not be missed. There are large-scale downtown areas, including Ginza where famous shops from around the world stand side by side, the sleepless Shinjuku that has become the “new city center of Tokyo,” Asakusa which is reminiscent of the traditional Edo (the former name of Tokyo), and Shibuya that starts the trends for the young people. Other unique areas include the computer town Akihabara, a dense retail area where numerous electronic shops compete against each other, attracting many shoppers from Japan and overseas, and Tsukiji, an open-air wholesale food market catering to shops and consumers everywhere in Japan.

Osaka

Osaka Castle with its huge lawn park. The bustling Umeda Underground Mall and Namba are also main attractions.

Osaka prefecture located in the center of Kinki region in the Midwest Japan covers the smallest prefecture land area in Japan, but boasts of largest population and highest population density second only after the capital, Tokyo. Mountains surround three sides of the prefecture and the west faces the arc-shaped Osaka Bay. Since it is close to former capitals of Japan Kyoto and Nara, it prospered as an important point for land and water transportation as well as a commercial city.

In the Osaka City is the Osaka Castle with a five-layer donjon as its core, on a lawn park that stretches for about 60,000 square meters. During the cherry blossom season in the spring, this park is especially crowded with hanami (cherry blossom viewing) crowd. Osaka’s north gate, Umeda, has a gigantic stretch of underground mall that houses many restaurants, fashion and sundry goods stores.

In contrast to Kita with Umeda as its core, Minami is an area with core cities Namba, a popular business and shopping district, and Dotonbori with many restaurants on both sides of Dotonbori-gawa River. Minami is known as a town of public entertainment and has many theaters and cinemas.

Tenpo-zan Harbor Village, which has a 112 meter-high Ferris wheel, shopping mall and Kaiyukan Aquarium, one of the biggest aquarium in the world, and ATC(Asia Pacific Trade Center), Japan’s largest outlet mall, are also popular. Suntory Museum Tempozan will close thier doors on Dec. 2010.

Kyoto

The former capital of Japan, famous worldwide for its temples and shrines. Kyoto was the center of politics and culture for 1,100 years.

Kyoto Prefecture stretches out from the southeast to the northwest in the central and northern parts of the Kansai region. It has four geographical features, the saw-toothed coastal area around Maizuru Bay in the northeast, the Tanba Mountains around its center, the Kyoto Basin in the southeast, and the Yamashiro Basin.

Kyoto became the capital of Japan in the 8th century. It flourished as the center for Japanese politics, economy and culture for some 1,100 years, until the capital functions were transferred to Tokyo in the mid-19th century. There remain many temples and shrines in Kyoto that were built during this long period. Seventeen historic sites including, Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Nijo Castle, are inscribed as World Cultural Heritage Sites.

You may meet some ‘maiko,’ young dancing entertainers, who walk in long hanging-sleeved kimono in the Gion district, see the townscape characterized with popular 19th century style latticework, and visit the Nishijin where they weave traditional ‘Nishijin-ori’ textiles with vividly colored threads. The festivals in Kyoto are famous not only in Japan, but are also known worldwide. The three major festivals of Kyoto are the Aoi-matsuri Festival in early summer, the Gion-matsuri Festival in mid-summer and the Jidai-matsuri Festival in fall. There is also the Gozan-no-Okuribi, more commonly known as Daimonji-yaki, held on the night of Urabon (August 16th). During this festival numerous torches are ignited on the five mountains surrounding Kyoto, with the flames laid out to form a letter or figure. It is a summer event known both at home and abroad.

 

Mount Fuji

The highest mountain in Japan with a beautiful cone shape. The center of mountain worship since ancient days.

Mt. Fuji is 3,776 meters high and is the highest mountain in Japan, situated at the border of two prefectures, Shizuoka and Yamanashi. With unrivaled magnificence and a beautiful cone shape, Mt. Fuji has often been selected as the subject of paintings and literature. It is the world-famous as a symbol of Japan.

At the foot of Mt. Fuji are Fuji-Goko (Fuji’s Five Lakes), Aoki-ga-hara-jukai (a sea of trees that is dark even during the day), and Kitaguchi-Hongu Fuji-Sengen-jinja Shrine (which was constructed to calm the eruption of Mt. Fuji). The Fire Festival of Yoshida, held at the end of the summer as a ritual for closing the climbing season for Mt. Fuji, is one of the three most peculiar festivals in Japan.

Mt. Fuji has long been the center of mountain worship of ancient Japan. Today, it is a popular mountain to climb, and many people climb Mt. Fuji to watch the sunrise called Goraiko from the top. Access to the 5th station is well maintained, so you can go up to this point and thoroughly enjoy the magnificence of Mt. Fuji by just looking at the beautiful sight and its surrounding environment close at hand in all seasons without having to climb all the way to the top.

 

Gifu

UNESCO World Heritage Site, Historic towns, hot springs, cormorant fishing, local dancing, and the gorgeous Takayama Festival.

Located in the center of Honshu, with more than 80% of its total area occupied by forests, the Prefecture spreads out from the mountainous Hida region to the flat Nobi Plains downstream from the Kiso-sansen (Three Kiso Rivers). The Hida Mountain Range, rising to a height of 3,000 meters above sea level, is part of Chubu-Sangaku National Park. The Ryohaku Mountains, with a vast forest of Japanese beech and alpine plants, are part of Haku-san National Park. The rows of traditional thatched roof houses at the World Heritage Site Shirakawa-go, located at the foot of Mt. Haku-san, are a must-see!

Gifu Prefecture abounds with places of natural beauty, such as Ena Valley, which is dotted with interesting rock formations and Gero hot spring, a popular spa resort that dates back to about the 10th century.

Visitors to Gifu shouldn’t miss the traditional cormorant fishing, which has a history of about 1,300 years in the area and takes place on the Nagara River between May 11th and October 15th.

Takayama, with its historic streets and alleyways, is known for the gorgeous Takayama Festival. Every summer, Gujo Hachiman becomes the stage for the Gujo-odori dance, which continues for 32 nights. Visitors can relax in Gifu’s tranquil scenery and be fascinated by its traditional festivals.

 

Kumamoto

Aso, one of the world’s largest calderas. Amakusa-Gokyo bridges and a saw-toothed coast add to the splendor.

Kumamoto is situated in the center of Kyushu at the western end of Japan. Mt. Aso-san stands in the east and the Chikuhi Mountains lie to the north, while the Shira-kawa River, the Kuma-gawa River, and other rivers flow from the mountains to the western part of the lower current area, forming the Kumamoto Plain and Yashiro Plain. The Uto-hanto Peninsula juts out to the southwest from the Kyushu mainland, and the Amakusa Islands lie beyond the peninsula.

Kumamoto has two national parks, namely Aso-Kuju and Unzen-Amakusa, and two quasi-national parks, namely Mt. Yabahita-hiko-san and the Kyushu Central Mountains. The total area of these natural parks occupies 20 percent of the prefecture. The Aso district has an active volcano, Mt. Aso-san, with one of the largest calderas in the world and many hot springs. The Amakusa district has the Amakusa-Gokyo (five bridges), historic sites with tragic stories of Christian martyrs, and scenic sites of the islands and a saw-toothed coast. The central mountainous area attracts people with its valleys, virgin forests, and beautiful mountain sights.

Other must-sees in Kumamoto include Kumamoto City with Kumamoto Castle noted for its stonewalls with ‘musha-gaeshi,’ a special defense designed to prevent enemy attacks, and the Suizenji-joju-en Garden, hot spring villages and valleys in the basin of the Kikuchi-gawa River, which empties into Shimabara Bay, and the Hitoyoshi and Kuma area with abundant historical sites from the 12th to 14th centuries.

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Hong Kong Disneyland

You can never be sure what mysteries will be unlocked during your visit to Mystic Point Hong Kong Disneyland’s latest and exclusive attraction. This summer, Lord Henry Mystic, an eccentric explorer has graciously opened his home to everyone. Here, visitors can ride in his latest invention, the ‘Mystic Magneto-Electric Carriage’, to view his acquisitions from around the world. At Mystic Point, you can’t always trust your senses. Discover for yourself what is real and what is not!

Grizzly Gulch takes guests on an entirely new and original experience which has been developed exclusively for Hong Kong Disneyland. Board the Big Grizzly Mountain “Runaway Mine Cars” and embark on an out-of-control runaway journey throughout a spectacular and amazing wilderness landscape.

Join in the soakingly good merriment in Geyser Gulch, and complete your exploration with the fascinating Grizzly Gulch Welcome Wagon Show and endless Wild West photo fun. Watch out for the mischievous grizzly bears and tricky water hazards!

Exclusive to Asia, Toy Story Land treats guests of all ages to an unforgettable experience. Join the toys from your favourite Toy Story films for playtime in Andy’s backyard where everyone can explore this oversized world with its three larger-than-life attractions.

Andy’s speediest toy car RC Racer is sure to get your adrenaline pumping as you race along a 27-meter-high U-shaped coaster. Join the high flying adventure with the Toy Soldier Parachute Drop, and howl with laughter on the rollicking Slinky Dog Spin

Non-stop Fun from Day to Night! There are a lot more magical memories awaiting families in Hong Kong Disneyland, where you will embark on a magical journey through four themed lands: Main Street USA, Fantasyland, Adventureland and Tomorrowland.
Must-see attractions include Flights of Fantasy Parade, which will take you up, up and away on a sky-high celebration with your favourite Disney characters singing and dancing along Main Street USA; Mickey’s PhilharMagic in which Donald Duck relives the most memorable moments of Disney’s animated films in 3D; The Golden Mickeys, a Broadway-style musical show featuring Mickey and his friends; and also Fantasy Gardens where Mickey, Minnie and Goofy make surprise appearances to meet and greet with guests – so don’t forget your camera and autograph book.

Want thrills and laughs in space? Hop on an exhilarating ride like Space Mountain, or help Buzz Lightyear fight against aliens in Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. and ride in a boat at it’s a small world for a journey across the colourful globe where you’ll encounter more than 100 brightly costumed and animated dolls.

Take the Disneyland Railroad for a relaxing journey around the park, or learn the secret of how to draw Mickey Mouse and his friends in the Animation Academy. Also make sure you stick around to catch the Disney in the Stars Fireworks at night.
The two Disney-themed hotels also give you a home to go back to at the end of the day. Enjoy a fabulous international buffet with Disney characters and be on the lookout for Goofy who drops by the hotel pool now and again for a refreshing dip. Be sure to put this amazing adventure into your holiday plans!

Hong Kong Disneyland celebrates every season with a unique mix of attractions and entertainment designed for both Chinese and Western occasions, such as the Chinese New Year Celebrations, Disney’s Haunted Halloween, Sparkling Christmas and summer events.

Ocean Park Hong Kong

Opened in 1977, Ocean Park Hong Kong is a marine-life theme park featuring animal exhibits, thrill rides and shows. In 2012, its impressive ability to offer guests a world-class experience that blends entertainment with education and conservation was confirmed when it became the first Asian winner of the biannual Applause Award, the most prestigious award in the amusement and theme park industry.

The park is located on the southern side of Hong Kong Island, covering more than 870,000 square metres. The Waterfront and The Summit areas are connected by the Cable Car and Ocean Express funicular train.

Polar Adventure – Explore the North and South poles in one day. Ocean Park’s newest attraction, Polar adventure lets you explore the North and South poles from the exhilaration of a bob sled ride, to the wonder of meeting king penguins up close. You’ll also see long-tusked Pacific walruses, spotted seals, arctic foxes, snowy owls and other extraordinary animals. And when you need a break, Tuxedos Restaurant serves refreshments with a view of more than 70 penguins frolicking on the ice.

Old Hong Kong, brings the unique culture of Hong Kong in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s back to life. Savour the sights and sounds of yesteryear aboard the Heritage Tram! Be mesmerised by the colour and buzz of life in accurate recreations of old streets and scenes. Take a trip into nostalgia and take home some antique souvenirs to keep the memories alive!

Thrill Mountain, in this zone, guests can dangle off a cliff on the floorless roller coaster, Hair Raiser, or hang upside down while swinging on The Flash. Soar with The Aviator to feel the sensation of flight, before knocking around on bumper cars. Don’t leave without a ride on Rev Rooster, a high speed and energetic classic.

Hop aboard a raft and become immersed in the exotic sounds of a tropical rainforest. On this journey, you’ll encounter some of the most fascinating animals in the world! Catch the antics of the world’s smallest monkey, the Pygmy Marmoset; or see weirdly wonderful critters, including the Capybara, the world’s largest rodent, and Kinkajou; as well as the Green Aracari, the world’s smallest toucan.

Aqua City is a world-class marine themed area that will redefine your underwater experience. Here you can watch Symbio, a multi-sensory show featuring the world’s first 360-degree water screen. You can also embark on a journey of exploration into the Grand Aquarium featuring 5000 fish from over 400 species and other aquatic wonders. View them from the world’s largest aquarium dome, which has a diameter of 5.5 metres, or through an 8×13 metres giant viewing panel. Make sure you drop by Neptune’s Restaurant for Hong Kong’s first aquarium dining experience!

At the Amazing Asian Animals exhibit you can visit some of Asia’s rarest animals. Take an interactive journey of discovery at the Giant Panda Adventure where you’ll get to know some of Asia’s most precious native animals, including giant pandas, red pandas, Chinese giant salamanders and Chinese alligators. Admire the spectacular display of goldfish at the Goldfish Treasures exhibit, or visit the colourful birds and playful Asian small-clawed otters at Panda Village.

Other popular attractions include Sea Jelly Spectacular, The Abyss turbo drop, Mine Train roller coaster and the show at Ocean Theatre are also not to be missed.
During festive seasons, Ocean Park Hong Kong will organize special events, such as Halloween Bash, Asia’s biggest Halloween party, and Summer Splash water play activities.

Ocean Park Hong Kong is committed to promoting and supporting animal conservation in Hong Kong and throughout Asia. . Part of the proceeds from admission tickets and some retail items will go to the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong, to support wildlife conservation projects.

Beyond Hong Kong – Macau

Seamlessly blending Portuguese and Chinese culture, Macau is a city of unique charm, exemplified by the UNESCO World Heritage site status of its historic centre. Dramatically contrasting with the centre’s old-world charm are the city’s world-class hotels and resorts, expansive tourism and entertainment facilities, luxurious shopping malls and state-of-the-art convention and exhibition venues.
Macau also offers mouth-watering cuisine, glittering night views and a calendar packed full of events, including the Macau Arts Festival, Macau International Dragon Boat Races, Macau International Fireworks Display Contest, Macau Food Festival and Macau Grand Prix.

Ruins of St. Paul’s
The Ruins of St. Paul’s jointly refer to the facade of what was originally the Church of Mater Dei (built in 1602–1640 and destroyed by fire in 1835) and the ruins of St. Paul’s College, which stood adjacent to the church. As a whole, the Church of Mater Dei, St. Paul’s College and Mount Fortress (see below) were all Jesuit constructions and formed Macau’s ‘acropolis’. The archaeological remains of St. Paul’s College stand witness to what was Asia’s first Western-style university offering an elaborate academic programme. Nowadays, the Ruins of St. Paul’s symbolically function as an altar to the city.

A-Ma Temple
The A-Ma Temple existed long before the city of Macau came into being. It consists of the Gate Pavilion, the Memorial Arch, the Prayer Hall, the Hall of Benevolence, the Hall of Guanyin, and Zhengjiao Chanlin (a Buddhist pavilion). The variety of pavilions here that are dedicated to the worship of different deities within a unified complex make A-Ma Temple an exemplary representation of the true diversity of Chinese culture, inspired by Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism and multiple folk beliefs.

Mount Fortress
Built in conjunction with the Jesuits from 1617 to 1626, this was once Macau’s principal military defence structure. The fortress was equipped with cannons, military barracks, wells and an arsenal that held sufficient ammunition and supplies to endure a siege lasting up to two years. The fortress covers an area of 10,000 square metres and is in the shape of a trapezoid. The four corners of the fortress protrude to form bulwarks.

Check out our Hong Kong tour package website.


As the capital of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing is the nation’s center of government, economy, culture, and international activities, as well as serving as a transportation hub to the entire country. Read more about Beijing Tourist Attractions.

The city of Chengde is approximately 143 miles from Beijing. In addition to being one of the first ancient cities to be recorded by the government, it is also one of the ten esteemed national-class scenic spots. There are many places of interest in and around Chengde, such as the magnificent Mountain Resort and the Eight Outer Monasteries. Chengde has convenient transportation, and easily accessible by either train or long-distance bus. Tourist trains and regular buses shuttle between Chengde and Beijing on a daily basis.Read more about Chengde Tourist Attractions.

Chengdu, located in the western Sichuan Plain, is the capital of Sichuan Province. It covers an area of approximately 3 million acres, and it comprises 5 districts, 12 counties with a total population of 9.6 million. It is a well-known city with a longstanding history and civilization. As early as 500,000 years, was a major transportation hub for telecommunications in southwestern China. Read more about Chengdu Tourist Attractions and China Jiuzhaigou Tour.

Kunming, an ancient cultural city, is the capital of Yunnan Province. It is situated 6,213 feet above sea level, with an annual average temperature of 58 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to its advantageous geographical location, Kunming has become one of the major Southeast Asian transportation hubs. Kunming is known for its rich tourist resources, mild climate, beautiful plateau landscape, long history, and ethnic folklore. It is known as the Kingdom of Animals, Plants, and Non-Ferrous Metals. Read more about Kunming Tourist Attractions.

Shanghai, located along the coast of the East China Sea and the southern banks of the mouth of the Yangtze River, is a city under the direct jurisdiction of the Central Government. It is the largest metropolis in China and one of the most historically significant cities. It is a flourishing international metropolis, known worldwide for its highly developed industrial, commercial and financial components. Read more about Shanghai Tourist Attractions.

Check out our China package tour website.

Phnom Penh – French Built City

The capital of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, is located at the confluence of three rivers – the Mekong, the Bassac and Tonle Sap. The city is divided into three sections – the north, an attractive residential area; the south or the French part of the city with its ministries, banks and colonial houses; and the centre or the heart with its narrow lanes, markets, foods stalls and shops.

Over the past four years, the city has undergone tremendous changes – businesses are springing up constantly and tourism is once again booming. Cambodia has one of the most liberal investment laws to further boost managed to retain its charm and character – cyclos that weave through traffic with ease, broad boulevards, old colonial buildings, parks and green spaces that reminds one of the country’s French heritage, and above all its people who always have a smile for you.

A stone’s throw away from the Tonle Sap is the royal Palace built on the site of the Banteay Kev, a citadel built in 1813. The Palace grounds contain several buildings: the Throne Room of Prasat Tevea Vinichhay which is used for the coronation of kings, official receptions and traditional ceremonies; the Chan Chhaya Pavilion which is a venue for dance performances; the king’s official residence called the Khemarin; the Napoleon Pavilion and the spectacular Silver Pagoda. This pagoda is worth exploring. It owes its name to the 5,000 silver tiles weighing 1kg each which cover the entire floor.

The emerald Buddha sits on a pedestal high atop the dias. In front of the dias stands a life-size Buddha made of solid gold and weighs 75kg. It is decked with precious gems including diamonds, the largest of which is 25 carats. Also on display at the sides are the coronation apparel and numerous miniature Buddha in gold and silver.

The walls surrounding the compound which is the oldest part of the palace, are covered with frescos depicting scenes from the Khmer version of the Ramayana.

Angkor Wat – 7th Wonder of the World

ANGKOR WAT was listed in World Wonder List

Angkor Wat, in its beauty and state of preservation, is unrivaled. Its mightiness and magnificence bespeak a pomp and a luxury surpassing that of a Pharaoh or a Shah Jahan, an impressiveness greater than that of the Pyramids, an artistic distinctiveness as fine as that of the Taj Mahal. Angkor Wat is located about six kilometers (four miles) north of Siem Reap, south of Angkor Thom. Entry and exit to Angkor Wat can only be access from its west gate.

Angkor Wat was built in the first half of the 12th century (113-5BC). Estimated construction time of the temple is 30 years by King Suryavarman II, dedicated to Vishnu (Hindu), replica of Angkor Thom style of art.

Angkor Wat, the largest monument of the Angkor group and the best preserved, is an architectural masterpiece. Its perfection in composition, balance, proportions, relief’s and sculpture make it one of the finest monuments in the world.

Wat is the Khmer name for temple (the French spelling is “vat “), which was probably added to “Angkor “when it became a Theravada Buddhist monument, most likely in the sixteenth century. After 1432 when the capital moved to Phnom Penh, Angkor Wat was cared for by Buddhist monks.

It is generally accepted that Angkor Wat was a funerary temple for King Suryavarman II and oriented to the west to conform to the symbolism between the setting sun and death. The bas-reliefs, designed for viewing from left to right in the order of Hindu funereal ritual, support this function.

Siem Reap

Siem Reap province is located in northwest Cambodia. It is the major tourist hub in Cambodia, as it is the closest city to the world famous temples of Angkor (the Angkor temple complex is north of the city). The provincial capital is also called Siem Reap and is located in the South of the province on the shores of the Tonle Sap Lake, the greatest sweet water reserve in whole Southeast Asia. The name of the city literally means Siamese defeated, referring to the victory of the Khmer Empire over the army of the Thai kingdom in the 17th century.

At the turn of the millennium Siem Reap was a Cambodian provincial town with few facilities, minor surfaced roads and little in the way of nightlife. Tourism industry catered largely to hardy backpackers willing to brave the tortuous road from the Thai border on the tailgate of a local pick-up truck. There were a couple of large hotels and a handful of budget guesthouses. Tuk-tuks and taxis were non-existent and the trusty motodup was the chosen means of touring the temples of Angkor.

The proximity of the Angkorian ruins turned Siem Reap into a boomtown in less than half a decade. Huge, expensive hotels have sprung up everywhere and budget hotels have mushroomed. Property values have soared to European levels and tourism has become a vast, lucrative industry. The Siem Reap of today is barely recognizable from the Siem Reap of the year 2000.

Though some of the town’s previous ramshackle charm may have been lost the developments of the last few years have brought livelihoods, if not significant wealth, to a good number of its citizens. This has been at a cost to the underprivileged people living within and beyond the town’s limits that now pay inflated prices at the central markets and continue to survive on poorly paid subsistence farming and fishing. If Cambodia is a country of contrasts Siem Reap is the embodiment of those contrasts. Despite the massive shift in its economic fortunes, Siem Reap remains a safe, friendly and pleasant town. There is an endless choice of places to stay or dine and a host of possible activities awaiting the visitor.

Check out our Cambodia tour package website.

The miracle of Italy is that all its treasures come packaged in a gorgeous country of majestic mountains, placid lakes, idyllic islands, splendid cities and wonderful walled villages. An ideal climate plus warm and gracious people make Italy a perfect destination for an active vacation, the art lover, the gourmand, the hedonist combined, why not, with business.

 

 

Active Holidays

Doing nothing is not easy! For active holidaymakers  Italy features a wide variety of distraction to choose from, when you want to gain new strength and energy from your adventures and activities.

Art Cities

The great artistic legacy of Italy, unequalled anywhere in the world, is not only distributed throughout the major cities and their famous museums; one can say in truth that there is no Italian city, however modest, which does not contain and cherish some share of this wealth of art. Indeed, many of them can be considered real treasures – so beautiful and valuable are the works they contain. The artistic riches of Italy’s main cities have already been described.

Food & Wine

The gentle lifestyle of Italy is partly a product of its civilized eating habits: eating and drinking in tranquility at least once a day are a norm here.

Alternative Vacation

Do you want to tailor yourself a different vacation ? Italy offers a variety of opportunities. Why don’t try your hands at pottery or blowing glass ? Why not experience ancient music classes or test yourself in cooking or learning italian ? and a lot more…

Thermal Spa

The culture linking spas and health runs throughout the history of mankind. “For more than 600 years the only doctors the Romans ever saw where their spas” Pliny observed. Ideas on how to spend your leisure time, proposing a new kind of holiday looking after both body and soul.

Meetings & Incentives

Old castles and modern hotels, magnificent villas and beautiful holiday resorts – Italy offers a wide choice of prestigious localities and venues, all fully equipped, for a perfect combination of work and pleasure.

 

Places Attractions Switzerland

What do you think of when you think of Switzerland? Is it the dramatic landscapes and quaint country settings? Or is it the unique French, German and Italian cultural influences? Maybe it’s the historic castles and heritage?

During summer…

Welcome to the holiday destination that can still offer its guests authentic experiences, from the sight of a spectacular mountain panorama and the fragrance of an Alpine meadow to a refreshing dip in a natural pool. And the people of Switzerland are no less authentic than the landscape. Helping to drive the cattle up to the mountain pastures, watching a bout or two of traditional Swiss wrestling or a visit to an Alpine dairy are just a few of the innumerable authentic and unforgettable experiences to be had here.

During winter…

Whoever comes to Switzerland on holiday makes a return to nature – when enjoying a breathtaking snowshoe tour through a forest magically blanketed in snow, for example; or, after an exciting day on skis, reliving the day’s pleasures with friends over a fondue.

Swiss cities…

Swiss cities never fail to impress visitors by their scope. Nowhere are attractions, cultural centres, innovative gastronomy, insider’s tips and new favourite places in such close proximity as in Switzerland . Explore our cities on foot and discover their charm and authenticity

Whatever it is, Switzerland has something special for you. Whether your idea of the perfect vacation is hiking in a world of breathtaking vistas or pampering yourself in the lap of luxury.

Check out our Europe package tour website.

Gold Coast

Australia’s Gold Coast is a modern city of glittering high-rise buildings, built around superb beaches, including the world renowned ‘Surfers Paradise’.

Australia’s sixth largest city, and the second largest in the state of Queensland, the Gold Coast is where the ‘bikini’ was born. Along with endless stretches of golden beaches, there are international theme parks, designer boutiques, luxurious spa retreats, world-class golf courses, award-winning restaurants, upmarket bars and lively nightclubs.

The ongoing buzz is continued through a series of festivals and events almost every month of the year showcasing some of Australia’s best sporting talent.

See surf life saving champions in action; join Australia’s iron men and women the ‘Coolangatta Classic’ ocean swim; and watch the world’s best surfers compete at the Quicksilver & Roxy Pro.

The Gold Coast is also the gateway to some of Queensland’s best natural attractions. Whale-watch, island-hop and discover the area’s Aboriginal culture. Travel west you’ll find one of Australia’s most biologically diverse regions, the lush rainforest-cloaked hinterland with World Heritage-listed national parks such as Lamington, Border Ranges, Main Range and Nightcap.

Head south to the Queensland-New South Wales border where you’ll find Coolangatta and Tweed Heads and the picturesque beauty of the Mt Warning National Park.

Take the Great Sunshine Way to Brisbane, Fraser Island and Bundaberg; or the Pacific Coast Touring Route from Brisbane to Cairns. Along the way you will soon discover the treasures that make this coast as precious as gold.

Brisbane

 

Discover Brisbane, Queensland’s subtropical capital city and the gateway to its many attractions.

Plan your Brisbane holiday using our three-day itinerary. Laze in the lush gardens of South Bank, check out the Brisbane shopping scene and day trip to sandy Moreton Island. For something different, take on adventure along the Brisbane River.

Learn about Queensland’s iconic places and the scenic journeys you can take there. Drive the Great Sunshine Way to the Gold Coast, Fraser Island and Noosa. Stretch your legs on the Gold Coast Great Hinterland Walk. Or follow the Pacific Coast Touring Route all the way north to Cairns and the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef.

We’ve also got ideas to help you plan your Australian holiday from Brisbane. Sail through the Whitsundays, or hike through the primeval Daintree Rainforest. Fly to Sydney or drive southward along the Pacific Coast Touring Route via the new-age beach paradise of Byron Bay.

Sydney

Discover Sydney, Australia’s famous harbour city and the capital of New South Wales.

Plan your Sydney holiday using our three-day itinerary, which takes in the attractions around Sydney Harbour, beaches and inner-city precincts. Read up on the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains and the Six Foot Track bushwalk.

Learn about other places to visit in New South Wales and scenic journeys you can take from Sydney. Drive the Pacific Coast Touring Route north to Brisbane past the Hunter Valley, Port Stephens and bohemian Byron Bay. Or head south to Melbourne via the pure white beaches of Jervis Bay.

Check out Australia’s other cities and get ideas for the rest of your Australian holiday. Melbourne, the Great Ocean Road and Australia’s Red Centre are all possible in a three-week holiday from Sydney.

For more Sydney holiday ideas, read our articles on the Hunter Valley, Sydney’s sparkling beaches, the Bondi to Bronte walk and the annual Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

Melbourne

 

Find all you need to know about Melbourne in Australia, the capital of Victoria and a vibrant hub of style, sport, culture and dining.

Plan your Melbourne holiday using our three-day itinerary, which includes Melbourne’s cultural attractions, the Yarra River and St Kilda Beach. Find out more about Victoria’s attractions you can visit from Melbourne, and the spectacular journeys you can take. Drive the Great Ocean Road to the Twelve Apostles and Victoria’s world-class surf beaches. Challenge yourself on the mountainous Great Alpine Walk or drive the Great Alpine Road through the Australian Alps and Gippsland.

Learn about Australia’s other cities and get ideas for the rest of your Australian holiday. From Melbourne, you can fly or take the ferry to Tasmania, drive the Pacific Coastal route to Sydney or along the Great Ocean Road to Adelaide.

Finally, match your Melbourne travel plans with one of the city’s world-famous events, such as the Australian Grand Prix, the Australian Open Tennis or the Melbourne Cup.

Check out our Australia package tour website.

Travelling has been part of all our lives for a very long time, the urge to travel not seeming to go off or fade away even as decades roll by.

An issue that is constantly brought up is whether we have enough money to travel. This is a problem faced especially by the younger generation, who can’t seem to budget their money in terms of fun, and practicality. According to Forbes, young travellers alone, spent $217 billion in 2012.

Fortunately, there are solutions, and the easiest is group travel. Travelling in a  group, especially when you go for tours organised by professional travel agents, really saves you a lot of money. Not only do they find the best places to stay and eat, you also have the luxury of sitting back and relaxing, as your destinations are the best and hand-picked for you!

Besides, there are loads of other good things that come with group travel. For one, you’ll never be lonely, and when you’re surrounded by those close to you, it just becomes ten times more fun. You can have great bonding moments during the trip, especially when travelling with family and close friends, and perhaps even have a couple of inside jokes as you truly get to know your travel companions.

Travelling in low season, is also a sure way to keep your budget in check. Cheaper travel, accommodation, and tickets for tourist spots, will save a chunk of your money, that would have been otherwise needlessly spent.

Group travel during these times, will further reduce your expenses. Buying several tickets usually entitles you to a discount, and for other expenses, everyone pitches in, usually ending up with you not spending on a whim during a holiday.

When travelling in a group, the most plausible choices of companions are either friends or family. Group travel with your family is a great choice, because you can spend quality time together, outside the typical setting of your living room. Plus you can get that perfect picturesque family photo on a scenic vacation, rather than spending money for a professional photographer. Plus, the good memories and a relaxing vacation of course!

Hello Holidays is an amazing travel agency which also offers group travel with their specialties being travelling all across Asia. In Japan, from travelling to see the mighty Mount Fuji, to seeing delicate sakuras, group tavel makes everything better and more enjoyable.

See all that Hello Holidays (http://helloholidays.com.my/tours/) has to offer – various options of group travel at your fingertips, just for you and your family to enjoy, as they advise you on how to save your money and plan your next trip.

Osaka can be considered as one of the places in which many foreigners should visit as the destination for their long-awaited vacations. Here are some of the reasons why you too should visit Osaka today!

The city is home to both historically valuable and pleasing locations for tourists to visit. The most famous spot is the Osaka Castle in which the building holds a major role in the unification of Japan. A highlight of the attraction is that it is one of the best locations for to glimpse the traditional cherry blossom trees blooming during spring season or as it is called locally as hanami.

Another beauty of Osaka is the Shitennoji Temple which is the first Buddhist temple and the Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine which is the oldest shrine in the whole of Japan. A true must see to experience the Buddhist culture in Japan.

In addition to that, the city is known for its passion in culinary to the point that a local expression was created to describe the eccentric feeling. Kuidaore is an expression to eat oneself to ruins and bankruptcy where one spends too much in devouring delicious delicacies. Osaka takes the expression to the heart as the street of Dotonbori offers food enthusiasts the local specialties of the city which are takoyaki (grilled octopus in bitesizes) and okonomiyaki (mixed grilled ingredients).

All-in-all, the beauty of Osaka is that it vibrates an atmospheric feeling of festivity and celebrations through its love for food and appreciation of traditional culture. However, if tourists have scoped through the entirety of Osaka and are still wanting more sightseeing, then neighboring cities to Osaka are as exciting. It only takes 15 minutes to get from Osaka to Kyoto, which is the capital of Japan, through the high quality bullet train service. Kobe, Nara, Nagoya, and Wakayama are also within kilometers from Osaka as these highlighted areas also offer their own uniqueness to the Japanese experience.

Think it’s impossible to visit all these wonderful places without feeling overwhelmed or rushed? No need to worry as Hello Holidays is here to help!

Hello Holidays provides detailed planning of the trip’s itinerary which includes preparations in the bookings of hotels and meals throughout the day. These packaged tours are all for the convenience of tourists and maximizing the local experience whilst in the county. Head to (http://helloholidays.com.my/tours/8days-6nights-osaka-shirakawa-kyoto-mt-fuji-tokyo-japan-discovery-tour-famous-hot-spring-japan-cuisine-culture-discovery/) and you soon could be on the next flight to Osaka!

 

Japan is one of the most futuristic countries in the world with its mighty towers, prestigious services  and beautiful sceneries. It is a tourist hotspot year round because people from different parts of the world come to witness the beauty of Japan.

Kyoto is a city in Japan on the island of Honshu. Once the capital of Japan, Kyoto has many attractions. Kyoto is famous for its traditions and culture, especially for its old fashioned Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. Other than that Kyoto’s attractions also consists of its food, for example the traditional kaiseki dining.

Kaiseki is a style of traditional, multi-course dinner in Japan that is prepared by using small and intricate dishes. Kaiseki is a Japanese word that is originated from ‘kaichu’ which means kimono pocket and ‘seki’ which means stone. This description is a basic explanation of the purposeful plating of the kaiseki dishes. Kyoto is well-known for its kaiseki since it was the city of the imperial court. Although traditional kaiseki can be expensive, if one would like to experience the true Kyoto flavour, it will be a worthy spend.

One of Kyoto’s attractions include a Shinto shrine, which roughly translates to ‘a way of the gods’. A Shinto shrine is a building that was used in the early 8th century for safekeeping of sacred objects. The ancestors in the Shinto shrines are called ‘kami’. Shrines were built to attract these ‘kami’ to ensure successful harvest. The structure of a Shinto shrine consists of stone lanterns, wooden plaques and intricate gates. It is clear from its structure that the Shinto shrines had Buddisht influences. One of the most famous Shinto shrine in Kyoto is the Fushimi Inari Taisha with its beautiful high arches and striking colours, it definitely will be a fulfilling visit.

Many tourists also come to Kyoto, especially during spring time, to witness the blooming of the Sakura trees. It is one of the biggest highlights of going to Japan and one of Kyoto’s attractions. The blooming of the Sakura trees are treated with high regard in Kyoto, and all over Japan, and is said to be a magical experience that is perfect for tourists.

Another famous one of Kyoto’s Attractions is the Kiyomizudera Temple, a World Heritage. It is the oldest temple is Japan, a famous sight listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. A beautiful opportunity and a must see sight for all who visit Kyoto as you look over the beautiful scenery of Kyoto at the observatory deck. Whatever the season, the Kiyomizudera Temple is always ever-waiting and beautiful, with cherry blossoms tress in spring and Maple leaves in autumn, waiting to just take your breath away.

What are you waiting for? These are just a few of Kyoto’s many, many attractions and reasons on why you too should now, pack your bags, get your passports ready and start travelling to Kyoto!

All in all, to have a safe and memorable trip with no stress and hassles to worry about, get Hello Holidays, a company that strives to ensure their customers are provided with the best service in order to have a fulfilling trip, to organize your trip to Kyoto! Check out their website to view the services that they provide at (http://helloholidays.com.my/tours/8days-6nights-osaka-shirakawa-kyoto-mt-fuji-tokyo-japan-discovery-tour-famous-hot-spring-japan-cuisine-culture-discovery/)

Originally, the Japanese language had no word for nature. Nature is a blessing and a friend to the Japanese and they consider themselves integrated with it. Hokkaido, the land of the aborigines of Japan, also known as the Ainu who practices harmonious living with nature is the main reason for the vast size island having huge capacity of captivating scenery to be one of the alluring destinations to the hearts of many travellers who take on a Hokkaido tour.

So why should you go on a Hokkaido tour?

For first timers, take note that travelling enhances our personality by getting us to discover more about ourselves. Hokkaido, being the second largest island of Japan with variety of choices and access to beautiful nature such as Ginga waterfall, Lake Shikotsu, Shikisanooka flower land to enchant your senses is perfect for rest and relaxation. When your senses are at ease, naturally you will become open to different experiences. Getting your Hokkaido tour fully planned and prepared by an efficient tour agency is amazing – all you then have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy your amazing holiday!

Furthermore, Hokkaido is known for its volcanic mountains with amazing national parks. While you are on your Hokkaido Tour, you can feel the adrenaline rush of being on a volcanic island, exploring the volcanic and scenic beauties.

At the same time, don’t forget to indulge in this magnificent food kingdom which will definitely be introduced to you on your Hokkaido Tour as you try unique and delicious Japanese food on your stay here at Hokkaido. Never ever miss out the Hokkaido’s food! You can kill two birds with one stone by understanding the culture, at the same time savouring it.

As Japanese people are very health-conscious and fit, you can observe how their food is soupy and very vegetarian friendly, making it a healthy AND tasty choice for your tummy. Don’t worry, not all the food served is vegetarian! Hokkaido also serves meat dishes (Jingisukan) named after great rulers such as Genghis Khan. You will discover many new dishes on your Hokkaido tour, feeds both your taste buds and brain. It will be amazing to learn how the Japanese’s philosophy integrated into their food culture.

Life just seems better when we are relaxed. There’s always a first time for everything, take baby steps into your new travelling adventure. Let the expert take care of your of planning your Hokkaido Tour for you, making it a promising, exquisitely beautiful first time for you.

Hello Holidays (http://helloholidays.com.my/tours/7days-5nights-hokkaido-sakura-famous-hot-spring-crab-cuisine-flower-festival/) is an amazing travel agency who walks the talk and also offer tour packages to Hokkaido that eases those butterflies in your stomach, helps you plan a safe and pleasant trip, as your race the streets on your Hokkaido Tour.