Niigata Prefecture is located along the coast of Japan in Chubu Region. One of the main highlights of Niigata would definitely be its premium quality rice.
Due to time constraint upon arrival in Niigata, the one destination we had decided to visit was the Northern Culture Museum. The place was originally served to pass down the historical lifestyle and culture of Japan’s great Ito landowner. They were originally farmers who lived in the Edo Period from 1603-1868.
The mundane bus ride from Niigata station to Northern Culture Museum was about 50 minutes long. Paddy fields were seen withering as winter claimed its season of the year.
The snow monkeys that reside in Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park at Japan would agree with me that their habitat is a winter wonderland, won’t they?
I was pretty excited as it would be my first time visiting wildlife in the midst of winter. It would be so cute to witness snow monkeys sitting and enjoying themselves in a natural hot spring!
Prior to visiting the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, visitors could monitor the movements of these Japanese macaques online. The live camera installed by the pool would assist visitors in their decision if they would like to visit on that day. No point visiting if all the monkeys did not want to have a soak anyway.
For all One Piece fans out there, it is unfortunate that the management of Tokyo One Piece Tower has made a decision to close it down since 31 July 2020, due to the impact of COVID-19 outbreak.
Besides being a beautiful landmark for photography, the Tokyo Tower is an indoor theme park for the popular Japanese manga series, One piece.
A quick introduction for non-otakus, One Piece Japanese manga series is about straw-hat Luffy whose goal is to be a pirate king. Having eaten the gomu-gomu devil fruit, he was granted a rubber body along with its elastic properties. Being a leader of Strawhat pirates, Luffy and his crew set sail to achieve their individual dream! The manga series is still ongoing with multiple arcs that kept me glued onto, week after week.
Karuizawa is a town known for its mountainous region of Nagano prefecture. Locals and tourists alike travel over to Karuizawa for various recreational activities, from exploring waterfalls and nature trails to skiing at ski resorts during winter.
Besides that, there are also various beautiful churches, museum and shopping districts to satisfy a non-sporty / non-nature loving person like myself. It only took about 2 hours of train journey from Tokyo to this beautiful town! Check out what are the 6 top things I did during winter in Karuizawa, Japan.
Have you ever heard of this proclaimed statement about Disney(land) being the happiest place on Earth? Not exactly knowing where I have heard this from, I tried recalling how I felt stepping into Tokyo Disneyland almost 15 years back, compared to recently.
One of the amazing takeaways from this trip was to visit Kawagoe City, also known as “Ko-Edo” which lies in the Saitama Prefecture of Japan. This city very much managed to preserve the Edo-period ambiance and is not too far from Tokyo. Make sure to add this city into your itinerary for at least half a day to experience a part of Japan’s rich culture and history!
Anyway, it was already nightfall when we arrived at Hotel Mystays Ueno Inaricho, which took us probably about 10 minutes walk from the nearest station – Ueno Station. One important thing I look out for while staying in any hotels would be a convenient store such as 7-11 within its vicinity. Thankfully there was one so that we could get our water and supper supply for the 2 nights.
In fact I dreaded this trip’s flight to Japan as I had to transit at Vietnam for 6 hours before arriving at Narita Airport. Despite being cheaper this way, it was definitely a torture waiting for my flight. No more transit flights for me though.