10 Reasons to Visit Japan This Summer!

From festival fun to amazing sights, here are 10 reasons why you should make Japan your summer travel destination. 

Japan is a fantastic destination for a truly memorable holiday and many people in the country rely on tourism for their livelihoods. Here we give you just 10 of the many great reasons to holiday in Japan this summer.

1. Fireworks! Nothing puts the crowning touch on a summer day than a night of fireworks. While fireworks aren’t unique to Japan, there’s something special about seeing them bursting above temples and shrines or near other iconic landmarks.

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2. Geisha Beer Gardens – From July until early September, visitors to Japan’s ancient capital of Kyoto can kick back and relax in the company of geisha at a number of beer gardens. An evening with a geisha is usually a pricey luxury, but in a beer garden all it costs is the price of a few drinks and snacks.

3. Hiking – Japan is famous for its bustling modern cities – but it’s also home to some of the world’s most stunning areas of natural beauty. My Tokyo Guide offer holidays combining the best of Japan’s cultural destinations with off-the-beaten-track walking or Hiking Tours. From village-to-village walking along the Kiso Valley or hiking the volcanoes of Kyushu, travellers can experience Japan’s nature up-close. Walking in Japan is made all the more enjoyable by the abundance of natural hot springs and the freshest Japanese food, beautifully prepared by your hosts.

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4. Bullet Trains – 2011 is an exciting year in Japan for train enthusiasts. The final section of track linking Japan’s bullet train network from the southern tip of Kagoshima to Aomori in the north opened in March. Also in March, the new Hayabusa E5 Shinkansen – Japan’s fastest bullet train to date – launched on the Tohoku region route. Services were temporarily suspended after the quake, but the full line has been back up and running since 29 April. Visitors to Japan can enjoy unlimited journeys on the trains using the money-saving 7, 14 or 21 day Japan Rail Pass.

Bullet5. BA now flies to Haneda Airport – British Airways resumed its new London to Tokyo Haneda Airport service on 30 May, after temporarily suspending the service following the earthquake. BA is the only airline that offers direct flights from London to Tokyo’s central Haneda Airport. The airport is located within Tokyo, and it only takes 19 minutes by train to get to the city centre. To find out more about BA’s services to Tokyo’s Narita and Haneda airports, visit ba.com.

jairlines6. Beaches – Visiting Japan doesn’t have to mean giving up your summer beach holiday. The 160 islands of Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture boast a subtropical climate, coral reefs, emerald seas and sunny skies. Its rich cultural heritage differs markedly from that found in mainland Japan. For those without the time to travel that far, great beaches can be found just an hour-and-a-half by train south of Tokyo on the Izu Peninsula.

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7. Relaxed locals – Summer is when you’ll find the locals at their most laid back. Like London, people take time off, work shorter hours and celebrate the warm weather in beer gardens. This summer workplaces in Japan are introducing “Super Cool Biz” relaxed dress codes to decrease the need for air conditioning. So this summer, more than ever, Tokyo will be in relaxation mode.

cropped-wallpaper_3_1600x12001.jpg8. Festivals – Every town, village and city has at least one festival a year. In summer you can choose from music, firework and more traditional cultural festivals. Some of the top ones are:
* Fuji Rock Festival (29-31 July) – this year’s line-up includes Glasvegas, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Beach House, CSS, Warpaint and Mogwai);
* Summer Sonic (13-14 August) this year featuring Jessie J, Yelle, Ne-Yo, Friendly Fires, Tinie Tempah, The Strokes, Beady Eye and the Village People).

* Tokyo’s Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival (Last Sat in July) – unlike fireworks displays in most other parts of the world, many in Japan are a competition held between rival pyrotechnic groups. Each group tries to out-do the last, and the result is an incredible variety of fireworks, not just in different colours and patterns, but forming shapes as complicated as characters from Japanese animation or kanji.

* Kanto Matsuri, Akita – A spectacular festival featuring young men balancing huge 60kg lantern poles on their shoulders, foreheads, hips or hands.

9. Climb Mt. Fuji – This 3,776 meter high dormant volcano is world-famous as a symbol of Japan. July and August is the official climbing season. During these two months the mountain is usually free of snow, the weather is relatively mild, access by public transportation is easy and the mountain huts are open. For more information on Mt. Fuji climbs click Mt Fuji Climbs. To enjoy Mt. Fuji at a more leisurely pace, the best thing to do is spend a night in a ryokan in Hakone or the Fuji Five Lakes area and enjoy its splendid views from a rotenburo (outdoor hot spring spa).

710. Hot Springs –

Japan is a country full of amazing hot springs that attract visitors from far and wide:

An onsen (温泉) is a Japanese hot spring; the term also extends to cover the bathing facilities and traditional inns frequently situated around a hot spring. As a volcanically active country, Japan has thousands of onsens scattered throughout all of its major islands. Surprisingly, these hot springs are not the same. A variety of hot springs can be found ..

天成園hotspring_img1For more information on tailored made itineraries click here. #mytokyoguide #japanfestival #mtfuji #bullettrain #japanhike

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Top 5 Japan hikes with views of Mt. Fuji.

Can’t wait for the Mt. Fuji Climbing Season?
Here are the Top 5 Japan hikes with views of Mt. Fuji.

​Mt. Fuji is by far Japan’s most famous and Iconic Mountain However, one important point to note is when you are hiking Mt. Fuji you can’t actually see Mt. Fuji. Therefore, I would like to suggest some easy alternatives to hiking Mt. Fuji that will give you a great view of Mt. Fuji and you can hike these throughout the year.

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Mt. Mitake Waterfall

#1 Mt. Mitake (Mount Mitake)
Mt. Mitake, located about 50 kms Northeast of Shinjuku, Mt. Mitake is still considered inside the Tokyo ward.  The summit is 929 meters high and is covered with beautiful forested area with a picturesque stream, lots of moss covered stones and two nearby waterfalls. Like most mountain in Japan there is also a rope-way that takes you half-way up the mountain. It takes less than an hour to reach the summit after getting off the rope-way. Once you reach the summit you can hike another hour and reach Mt. Otake (1,267 meters).

Access: Mitake station from Shinjuku Station using the JR Chou Line
(Change at Ome Station to local Ome Line) Fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass

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Mt. Mitsutoge Summit View

#2 Mt. Mitsutoge (Mount Mitsutoge)
Mt. Mitsutoge, located in Yamanashi prefecture where half of Mt. Fuji is located offers by far the best view of Mt. Fuji. The Mt. Mitsutoge summit is 1785m and it is a more difficult high than Mt. Mitake. The summit top of Mt. Mitsutoge offers 360 degree panoramic views of Mt. Fuji, Lake Kawaguchi and the surrounding areas. The hike is difficult in some places and is moderately long (4 – 6 hours return depending on your route choice) but is well worth it for the amazing views and the serenity at the top. There are several trials but starting from Mitsutoge Station trail and end the hike a Kawaguchi Lake us highly recommend if you have a full day: The descending Kawaguchi Lake trail passes through Mt. Shimoyama, Mt. Kinashiyama and Mt. Tenjo (Mt. Kachi Kachi), Before reaching Kawaguchi lake.

Access: Mitsutoge Station and Kawaguchi Stations are both accessible from Shinjuku Station using the JR Chou Line: Fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass.

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Mt. Takao Trail

#3 Mt. Takao (Mount Takao)
Just a one-hour trip west from Tokyo, the sacred Mt. Takao offers a unique blend of Japanese culture and beautiful nature. The area boasts a variety of hiking courses, historic temples and an exhilarating view from the summit.In 2007, the famous Michelin Travel Guide, named Mt. Takao a three-star winning mountain and one of the best places to discover the “real Japan”. Mt. Takao, designated as a national park forest state, is covered with a natural mixed forest of old aged coniferous, beech and broad-leaved trees which remain vertically untouched from ancient times. The area is especially beautiful in autumn when the leaves turn color.

The summit 600 meters above sea level provides an exhilarating panoramic scenery of Tokyo and the surrounding Kanto mountains of Chichibu, Nikko, Tanzawa, and Mt. Fuji on a clear day. There are six well-maintained hiking courses starting from the foot of Mt. Takao-san and leading up to the summit, each with a different theme, allowing visitors to learn about the nature of Takao. You can also ride halfway up the mountain by cable car or lift, so that the remaining climb to the top is not so difficult. Near the cable car terminal is the Takao-san Natural Zoo and Botanical Garden, where you will be greeted by monkeys that range freely throughout the area. Hiking on Mt.Takao is an all-year-round destination; After reaching the top serious hikers can continue on to Mt. Jinba (857m) for a whole day of hiking.

Access: Mt. Takao Station from Shinjuku Station using the JR Chou or Keio Line: Fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass

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Mt. Jinba

#4 Mt. Jinba (Mount Jinba)
Mt. Jinba is located in nearby Kanagawa prefecture and is a higher (at 854 meters) mountain and more changing climb than the more famous Mt. Takao (at 599 meters). Even less people know that you can actually climb from Mt. Takao to Mt. Jinba (or vice versa) in one day. The 7-hour hike, is not as challenging as say a Mt. Fuji climb, however it is a longer hike (18 kms) and easy to get lost if you cannot read Japanese, so it is not recommended you try this trail alone, trying with someone that has done the trail before or getting a guide to go with you is best.

Access: Mt. Takao Station from Shinjuku Station using the JR Chou or Keio Line: than take bus to Jinba-Kogen-Shita bus stop and start you hike from here:

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Mt. Tenjo (Mt. Kachi Kachi)

#5 Mt. Tenjo (Mount Tenjo)
Mt. Tenjo. also, known as Mt. Kachi Kachi is 1104m high and located in Yamanashi-prefecture, was already mentioned with #2 Mt. Mitsutoge. However, as it offers the closest and clearest views of Mt. Fuji, I would like to include this mountain as a completely separate climb; like Mt.  Mitsutoge, Mt. Tenjo offers 360 degree panoramic views of Mt. Fuji, Lake Kawaguchi and the surrounding areas. However, Mt. Tenjo can be easily hiked in much less time around 3~4 hours, starting and ending from Kawaguchiko Station. The Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway takes you near the peak of Mount Tenjo from the Eastern Shores of Lake Kawaguchiko however by doing so you miss many of the scenic viewpoints of Mt. Fuji accessible along the trail to the summit.

Access: Kawaguchi Station accessible from Shinjuku Station using the JR Chou Line: Fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass

A more difficult alternative includes  Mt. Akadake at 2,899m Aka-dake is the highest peak of the Yatsuga-dake range: #mttakao, #mtjinba, #mtfujiviews #mttenjo, #mtmitake, #mtmitsutoge #mytokyoguide #mtfuji

For more information on Japan hikes please contact us at My Tokyo Guide

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Tokyo Cherry Blossom & Spring Hiking

The weather is finally getting warming in Tokyo and throughout Japan, which means the Sakura Cherry Flowers will soon blossom and the mountains will soon be bursting with weekend hikers and full time explorers.

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Check out the latest Cherry Blossom 2019 Forecast

Top 10 Spots to View Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo

Tokyo’s Best Cherry Blossom Tours

Best Cherry Blossoms sites in Japan

Also with the rising temperature more and more individuals tend to exploring the mountain areas in Japan. Although Mt. Fuji is not available for 2-Day hikes until June and 1-Day hikes until May there are many other mountains around Japan that are available to hike in Spring.

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Speaking of Mt. Fuji, now is the time to start your Mt. Fuji Planning. Conquering Mt. Fuji is at the top of many people’s bucket lists and with the climbing season only a couple of months away, it is not too early to begin planning for your 2019 Mt. Fuji climb. Planning ahead will help you make the right choices and there are several key points to consider when planning your Mt. Fuji climb:

See our 3 step Mt. Fuji Climbing Tips and Mt. Fuji Climbing Map Below

CIMG1592There are numerous day hikes to enjoy the unique natural ecosystem all year round. Including Hoei Crater hike, Mt. Fuji Pilgrim hike, Mt. Kachi Kachi hike and for those climbers in top physical condition a 1-Day Summit hike is also possible during the climbing season.

For more information on Mt. Fuji Hikes, Cherry Blossom Tours please Contact Us:

#mytokyoguide #cherryblossomtours #mtfujihikes #mtfujisummithikes #mtfujioffseasonclimb

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Mt. Fuji Climbing Point Access

Getting to Mt. Fuji:

fuji01Numerous first timers to Japan often make the same mistake, assuming Mt. Fuji is easily accessible, when in fact most do not understand the vast area Mt. Fuji actually covers and often fail to plan accordingly. The Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park is 1,227 square kilometers, larger than both the area of Singapore or Hong Kong.

There are four distinctive climbing routes on Mt. Fuji and several different ways to access these Mt. Fuji climbing routes. For the purpose of climbing Mt. Fuji, there are three Key Access Points:

1.North Mt. Fuji – Kawaguchi Lake Station Access Point:
– You get can to here by Bus or Local JR Train
– From Kawaguchi Lake Station, there are regular buses to the Yoshida Trail 5th Station

2. East Mt. Fuji – Gotemba Station Access Point:
– You can get here by Romance car or local JR train or Bus.
– From Gotemba Station there are climbing buses to the Gotemba and Fujinomiya 5th stations

3. South Mt. Fuji – Shin-Fuji Station Access Point
– This is the only area on Mt. Fuji you can access by bullet Train
– You can get there by Bullet Train from Kyoto, Tokyo, Yokohama and Hakone (Odawara)
– From Shin-Fuji Station there are climbing buses to the Fujinomiya 5th station (Summer Only)

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Using the South Access Point: There are Bullet Train Climbs available during the summer climb season.
Mt. Fuji Bullet Train Climbs 

​Climbing Mt. Fuji is hard enough without having to wait in traffic, the journey to or from Mt. Fuji from Tokyo can take up to 3hrs in peak summer traffic. On the other hand, the super-fast bullet train only takes 50 mins and there is never any traffic. Relax in the perfectly spotless, comfortable bullet train after your Mt. Fuji climb. Your special transport will meet you at the Mt. Fuji bullet train station and take you direct to Mt. Fuji 5th station, after your climb adventure your transport will return you to the Mt. Fuji bullet train station so you can continue your journey of exploring Japan. ​​

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Tour Notes:
* Mt. Fuji climbs are available from May to Oct:
* For more information on Mt. Fuji Climbs please Contact Us:

 

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New My Tokyo Guide Website​

We are excited to announce that our new and refreshed website is live. The newly updated My Tokyo Guide site focuses on what we do best, Outdoor adventures and Mt. Fuji Climbs and Tours.  View Announcement in your Browser at  https://bit.ly/2GfKHBH

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We encourage adventures to contact us through the website and sign up for our climbing newsletter at Climbing Mt. Fuji

Accepting Reservations

We are also now accepting reservations for the 2019 Mt. Fuji Climbing, 2019 Japan Tour, 2019 Japan Ski Season!    Continue to My Tokyo Guide or all details.

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Climbing Mt. Fuji “The Complete Guidebook”

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The 4th Edition of Climbing Mt. Fuji ” A Complete Guidebook” is a “must read” for anyone who wishes to be successful in climbing Mt. Fuji. Don’t be fooled by the apparent simplicity of the mountain – it is a tough and grueling climb and the guidebook explains all there is to know about it. The guidebook is a comprehensive and easy to read recipe for what it takes physically and psychologically to get to the summit of this amazing but unpredictable mountain. The guidebook covers all facets of preparation, equipment, training and most importantly, altitude.

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The 4th edition of Climbing Mt. Fuji ” A Complete Guidebook” is your complete preparation package and the only guidebook you will need to design your Mt. Fuji climb. As a way of saying “Thank you” we have teamed up with our Mt. Fuji partners to offer special Mt. Fuji climbing discounts to those who purchase the latest edition of the Climbing Mt. Fuji Guidebook. Each partner is unique and located in a different area or route on Mt. Fuji. Discounts are available on selected Mt. Fuji mountain huts, hiking rentals, hot springs, walking sticks and selected meals. Please refer to “Climbing Mt. Fuji Discount Coupons” on page 131 for more information.

Available on Amazon.com Amazon

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Mt. Fuji 1-Day Climb for the Experienced

Up for a unique work-out while in Japan? Why not try a 1-Day Mt. Fuji?

A one-day climb of Mt. Fuji is not for everyone, but it will leave you with a great sensation of accomplishment, as well as feeling extremely tired and jelly-legged.

Not for the faint-hearted, this 1-day dash to the summit is available as a private or small group tour, and is only recommended for the practiced climber or athletically-inclined.

Depending on the weather, day climbs can be done any day from May to October, but be warned for those who have trouble getting up in the morning: a very early start is required to scale this mountain in 1-day.

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1-Day Mt. Fuji Summit Climb includes:
– Pick-up/drop-off from Shinjuku or Bullet Train Station near Mt. Fuji
– 1-Day Fuji Climb to Summit
– Experienced English-Speaking Mountain Guide
– All Highway tolls and parking fees
Rental Gear Options

For more information about a 1-Day Mt. Fuji Climbing Experience please Contact Us

#mytokyoguide #mtfuji #mtfuji1daysummit #fujihike #

 

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2018 Mt. Fuji Climbing Season (4 Routes)

The most common and accepted way to climb to the summit of Mt. Fuji is to take the Fuji Subaru toll-road up to the Kawaguchi 5th station and from here hike along the Yoshida route to the top of Mt. Fuji, however there are many more ways to climb Mt. Fuji. In fact beside the Yoshida main route there are 3 other routes to get from one of the 5th stations to the summit.  The Subashiri Route, Gotemba Route and the Fujinomiya Route.

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For more information of Mt. Fuji climbing tours please contact us at the following link: Here

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2018 Snow Monkey Tours are Here!

Enjoy an exquisite 1 or 2 Day Snow Monkey Tour from Tokyo to view the wild Snow Monkeys soaking in the natural hot springs near the snowy Nagano mountains.

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Snow Monkey

Take an exciting adventure to Nagano to watch the world-famous “snow monkeys″ relaxing and soaking in the natural hot springs of the Jigokudai Yaen-koen near the snowy Nagano mountains.

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Visit Zenko-ji Temple: Zenko-ji is a sacred place that is worshipped for over 1400 years. It enshrines one of the oldest Buddha statues and the main hall is designated a national treasure. It does not belong to any Buddhist sects but has been believed to bring happiness to everyone both in this world and the after world.  Enjoy Japanese Style dinner consisted of various kinds of fresh seafood including tuna, salmons, prawns etc.

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Enjoy relaxing in an open-air bath in the snowing surroundings.

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Day 1: Tokyo Dep:
– Japanese style Lunch
– Visit Yudanaka Onsen Village
– Enjoy open Air Hot Spring
– Japanese Style Dinner/Stay Onsen Resort Hotel

Day 2: Nagano Dep:
– Breakfast/Yudanaka Shibu Onsen Village
– Jigokudani Yaen-koen (Watch wild monkeys soaking in Onsen hot springs)
– Japanese Style lunch/Zenkoji Temple
– Return to Tokyo

Tour Notes:
* Minimum of 2 Participants required:
* Operated on selected dates only: (Dates from Nov to April)

For more information on Snow Monkey Tours please Contact Us:

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Mt. Fuji Ice-Cave – Aokigahara Forest

The Aokigahara Forest also known as the “Sea of Trees” has the unfortunate distinction of being called a haunted forest. Ever since the novel ‘Kuroi Jukai’ by Seicho Matsumoto was published in 1960, in which the characters are focused on joint-suicide in the forest,
the popularity of the so-called suicide forest has increased among those determined to take their final walk. These events have inspired numerous horror movies centered
around the forest. However contrary to popular belief, the Aokigahara Forest is a beautiful dense porous lava based forest with hundreds of unique tree moles and ice caves. Unlike climbing to Mt. Fuji, Fuji Ice caves can be visited throughout the year.

For more information about Fuji Ice Caves or Aokigahara Forest tours please contact us at this link:

 

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