Posts Tagged ‘Walking Tours of Japan’

Party time at Yaesu

April 12, 2017

The scene outside the Yaesu Terminal Hotel at the weekend as the blossoms peaked

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Sakura in Ueno Park

April 11, 2017

Ueno park, Tokyo

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Mt. Fuji in spring

March 27, 2017

Mt.Fuji from Kawaguchiko on one of our current private tours.

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Kiyomizudera, Higashiyama, Kyoto

December 7, 2016

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Ancient Highway, the fall

November 22, 2016

The autumn foliage Ancient Highway Tour along the Tetsugakku-no-michi – the Path of Philosophy, Kyoto.

http://www.dragonflytours-japan.com/marui.html

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The Ancient Highway Tour in Higashiyama, Kyoto

October 28, 2016

Our current Ancient Highway Tour in Kyoto, great day out!

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The Ancient Highway Small Group Tour of Japan, Kyoto

Private tour of Japan at Kiyomizudera, Kyoto

October 5, 2016

I was fortunate enough to meet up with one of our private tours of Japan a couple of days ago at Kiyomizudera in Kyoto.  A very nice afternoon out, thanks guys!

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Silver Week lights up Japan

September 19, 2016

Silver Week: it sounds like a celebration of old people, but is actually the less blingy sibling of Golden Week.

Golden Week, as you know, is a special time in spring when a number of national holidays fall together to make one big holiday. In silver week, two holidays fall close to each other, and when you factor in the proximity of weekends, you have another shining chance to get out of the office and enjoy Japan’s many delights.

And it gets better because there’s a little-know law in Japan that says if two holidays fall together with only one day separating them, then that in-between day becomes a holiday too, which means that from time to time, silver week becomes even shinier. (Unfortunately, this year is not one of those years.)

But if the name suggests senior citizens to you, you are not way off because the first of the two holidays is Respect for the Aged Day — so, yes, Silver Week actually does contain a day in honour of our silver folk. The other day is Autumnal Equinox Day — not the most evocative of names, but significant to the nature-loving traditions of Japan, and very significant to those of us who are ready to get over Japan’s persistently hot summer and get into cool and atmospheric autumn.

By happy coincidence, another association with silver comes with the proximity of the harvest moon (this year the 16th of September), a great occasion to get out and enjoy the season with friends and a drink under the open sky.

When the summer heat burns off, Japan’s mountains and historical sites beckon the visitor to tour Japan. Taking off into the cooler weather, into the lush greenery and atmospheric and mysterious temples and shrines, not to mention the paradise of fine places to eat and drink, is one of the special thrills of this time of year, and silver week is a bright opportunity to indulge.

If you want to make the most of this time of year with a guide, Dragonfly offers its Heartland Tour, Kyushu Gateway Tour, Ancient Highway Tour and Crimson Leaf Tour through the autumn.

The Heartland Tour

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Huganbana, the red spider lily, in bloom at silver week.

Dive in! It’s Marine Day in Japan

July 18, 2016

It makes sense that Japan has a national holiday dedicated to the ocean.

This is an island nation in which almost all the population live along narrow coastal strips, mostly on the Pacific; the country is an archipelago stretching from the frigid north to the sweltering south; the favourite food is fish; seaweed is eaten like lettuce.

And so the third Monday in July is Marine Day.

The holiday stands in memory of a voyage by the emperor Meiji in Japan’s first iron steamship in 1876 but has since become a celebration of ocean-going culture and the central place of the sea and its bounty in the life of Japan.

July is hot with the temperatures climbing into the high thirties almost every day, so what better time to cool off in the ocean waves?

This Monday holiday makes for a very welcome three-day break near the hottest time of year, and Japan’s population, taking the hint, will be heading for the beach, or out on the waves or under them.

Okinawa is well known for every water sport and diversion you can think of, from water skiing to diving to jet skiing to banana boats to fishing to parasailing while Wakayama offers both diving and surfing, and there are many other spots on the never-ending coast to catch big Pacific rollers.

Not all of us are so active or adventurous in the heat but there’s always the beach, and in this country, even when you are on the sand, you are never more than arm’s reach from a cold beer.

Japan’s sea-soaked history means the coastline is home to uncountable little fishing villages, lodged in the hills above the water, and whose lifestyles have barely changed in generations. These are fantastic places to explore and cultural treasures in their own right.

When you tour Japan, you are very aware that the life on the ocean wave (or next to it) shapes the spirit of the country. We should take advantage of it too, and even if you get only as close as the sushi you are reaping the bounty of Japan’s marine heritage.

Dragonfly Tours Japan

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Marine Day, Sunset, Japan

Suntset from office – Dragonfly Tours Japan

July 15, 2016

The view from the office just now as the sun sets.

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Dragonfly Tours Office View – Shiga, Japan