Igloo Village of Shikaribetsu

The Igloo Village of Shikaribetsu

We ride to Lake Shikaribetsu, the highest lake in Hokkaido to visit a phantom village. Hidden deep in the mountains, the “Lake of the Sky,” as named by the Ainu, makes for a very serene and peaceful experience. The village exists only during the winter months and disappears with the onset of spring.

Our first day in the beautiful island of Hokkaido I was excited and looking forward to spending my next week surrounded by snow Coming from a land where temperatures frequently touch 50° Centigrade, it is like a fantasy coming to Hokkaido in winter It was going to be a long day We were headed for the city of Kushiro, almost 300 km away On the way, we had planned to take a break at Obihiro, and visit the phantom ice village on Lake Shikaribetsu Phantom?? Because nobody actually lives in that village Shikaribetsuko Kotan (然別湖コタン) is a winter event held from late January to mid March at Lake Shikaribetsu, located in
Minobu-san Temple

Kuon-ji Temple

We walk up 287 Bodai stairs to the Kuon-ji Temple in Minobu. The stairs, built later in 1632, resemble the ones from the Aztec pyramids. Founded by Nichiren in 1281, it is today the head temple of Nichiren Shū. Locally it is referred to as the Minobu-san Temple, after the mountain upon which it is built.

Today we visit the Kuon-ji (久遠寺), which is a major Buddhist temple in Yamanashi Prefecture Hidden away far into the mountains of Yamanashi, it is locally referred to as the Minobu-san Temple, after the mountain upon which it is built Reaching it itself is a challenge as we traveled almost two hours from Lake Tanuki, on the local train and then had to take a bus to the base of the mountain, but as if that was not enough, to reach the temple there is the ultimate challenge of climbing 287 Bodaitei steps Brief History of Kuon-ji Minobusan Kuon-ji (久遠寺) is the head temple of the Nichiren shu (Nichiren sect)

The serene Lake Tanuki

Getting down at Kyukamura-FUJI-Hotel wooded trail near Lake tanuki Going to Lake Tanuki Lake Tanuki and Mt Fuji from Hotel Porch Walking through the woods Opening Ranita and Viki Looking back towards the hotel Ranita at Lake Tanuki Viki at Lake Tanuki Thanks for reading

Getting down at Kyukamura-FUJI-Hotel Kyukamura FUJI Hotel wooded trail near Lake tanuki Trail near Lake Tanuki Going to Lake Tanuki Ranita at Lake Tanuki Lake Tanuki and Mt Fuji from Hotel Porch Mt. Fuji from Lake Tanuki Walking through the woods Wooded area near Lake Tanuki Opening Mt. Fuji from Lake Tanuki Ranita and Viki Mt. Fuji from Lake Tanuki Looking back towards the hotel [ngg src=”galleries” ids=”158″
Shiraito Falls

Shiraito Falls

Shiraito Falls is a waterfall in Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture, near Mount Fuji, Japan. It is part of Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and has been protected since 1936 as a Japanese Natural Monument. The falls were regarded as sacred under the Fuji cult

Train to Fujinomiya Boarding the local train to Fujinomiya Station Shiraito Falls with bridge Shiraito Falls Closer view of Shiraito Falls Shiraito Falls Raibow at the base of Shiraito Falls Ranita at Shiraito Falls Thanks for reading!
Lake Chūzenji

Lake Chūzenji

Lake Chūzenji is a scenic lake in Nikkō National Park in the city of Nikkō, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. It was created 20,000 years ago when Mount Nantai erupted and blocked the river.

Lake Chūzenji is a scenic lake in Nikkō National Park in the city of Nikkō, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan It was created 20,000 years ago when Mount Nantai erupted and blocked the river Getting down at Utsunomiya Station Catching the local Nikko to Nikko Station Catching the local Nikko Nikko Station Nikko Station Lake Chizenji Bus Stop Lake Chuzenji Bus Stop Route to Kaegon Falls Route to Kegon Falls Keagon Falls Kegon Falls
Kenrokuen Garden

The illuminated Kenrokuen Garden

Today I visit the lovely Kenroku-en garden in Kanazawa. In the dark winter evenings the garden is illuminated and the glowing trees, enveloped in the strings of Yuki-tsuri look ever so enchanting.

This weekend Mani & I head off to the gasshō-zukuri villages of Gokayama On the way we planned to stop at the lovely Kenroku-en garden, located in Kanazawa, Ishikawa The Kenroku-en garden is regarded as one of Japans three most beautiful gardens, along with Kairaku-en in the city of Mito and Koraku-en in the city of Okayama Ride to Kanazawa After two solo trips to Shirahama and Nachi, I was bubbling with confidence I was ready with the train information as we reached Osaka from Nara Mani had taught me well We took the Thunderbird train from Kyoto This route does not run any Shinkansen trains The Thunderbird limited express trains

Lights of NaraRurie

We go for late night stroll along a path shining with a sea of blue lights. Nararurie referred to as Corridor of Happiness, is held in early spring in Nara. The Park is covered in a beautiful world of azure blue, ushering in happiness into everyone’s lives.

Nara Rurie, a winter illumination festival is celebrated in early spring in Nara The Park is covered in a beautiful world of azure blue, believed to usher happiness into everyone’s lives The deep blue Rurie, has been held sacred as a supreme color by the Japanese people since being introduced via the Silk Road This year Nara Rurie marks its 5th anniversary Once I started to discover Nara, the first thing that impressed me about this city is its amazing historical highlights Nara is an ancient city with thousands of historic treasures It is most noted for the many ancient Japanese Buddhist buildings and artifacts in and around the city, including the Seven Great Temples
Nachi Falls

Hike to Nachi Falls

I hike to the incredible cliff-diving Nachi Waterfall to witness its wild beauty. The Sanjūdō Pagoda in front of the falls creates one of the most beautiful scenes in Japan. The tall waterfall boasts the longest drop in Japan. One can drink the flowing spring water, supposed to have healing abilities, from the falls at the Shrine directly below.

Today I went back to Wakayama to explore Nachisan and capture the iconic view of Sanjudo Pagoda in front of the Nachi Falls or Nachi-no-taki as it is known locally After the exploits of my first outing on my own to Shirahama, I was much more confident today Shirahama was an amazing experience with the thrilling Sandanbeki Cliffs, the lovely Shirahama Beach and the most stunning sunset at Engetsu Nachi Falls ([那智の滝) in Nachikatsuura, Wakayama is one of the best-known waterfalls in Japan It is said to be the highest single drop waterfall in the country at 133 m The mountain is also popular for Kumano Nachi Taisha, Seiganto-ji Temple, Sanjudo
Engetsu Island

Eye of Engetsu

Engetsu Island is a sandstone rock in the midst of the sea, popular for its remarkable sunset view. The almost perfect circle in the center of the island is enchanting to see as the sun passes from inside the circular arch.

This is a three-part story which began at dawn, with me traveling all the way from Nara to Wakayama In Wakayama, Sandanbaki Cliffs wes the first place I visited After spending a couple of hours at the cliffs I walked down to the lovely Shirahama beach The bright morning had grown into a lovely afternoon I was in the mood for a long walk, so I left the white sands of Shirahama Beach and started my walk towards Engetsu Island Engetsu Island is a small white sandstone island just off Shirahama’s coast in Wakayama Prefecture From the beach, it took me about 30 minutes on foot to

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