Tuesday, July 30, 2019

JAPANKURU Recommends: The Gorgeous Scenery of Toyama's Kurobe Gorge

A Japanese Natural Treasure, Kurobe Gorge

The city of Kurobe (黒部市) is known around Japan, and overseas, for its "Snow Corridor", where a narrow road is carved out of high walls of piled snow, making for an impressive sight. Travelers who go straight to the Corridor and then leave the area are missing out on some of Japan's most beautiful scenery.

Toyama Prefecture (富山県), where you'll find Kurobe, is in Japan's central Chubu region, which is right in the middle of the main island, and butting up against the Sea of Japan in the west. With Toyama Bay never far away, the prefecture is never lacking in fresh seafood and aquatic delicacies. Move towards the mountains, and whisps of hot steam come curling through the peaks and crags, just a sign of the amazing hot springs in the Unazuki Onsen (宇奈月温泉, onsen = hot spring!) part of Kurobe. Thanks to all this geological variation, rivers carve deep valleys into the area, and the region around Kurobe Gorge is a great place to explore this natural resource (and perhaps try canyoning?) Take a ride on the local Torokko Train, from the Kurobe Gorge Railway, and peaking out from the mountainside, the views of Kurobe will take your breath away.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Akihabara ➡ Asakusa ➡ Kita-Senju, A Tour of Tokyo's Shitamachi, Accessible in 10 Minutes

Before arriving, lots of visitors to Tokyo imagine it as a bit of a futuristic wonderland. But many parts of the city still beat with the heartbeat of Edo Period Japan, and Tokyo's Shitamachi has plenty of that old-school charm. "Shitamachi" refers to half of old Tokyo, the half that used to be for working-class citizens. With the footsteps of locals through the centuries, tons of interesting history is beat into every street corner. We wanted to spend a day exploring the area, and the Tsukuba Express high-speed train line had us across the city in minutes. Come with us as we check out Asakusa and Kita-Senju!

Friday, July 5, 2019

Head Out of Tokyo and Chow Down at JOINUS Yokohama

The Charming Port City of Yokohama

Plenty of tourists in Japan get stuck spending too much time in Tokyo, but locals know that a trip to Yokohama is a great way to spend a day. Take a quick train ride out of the big city, and you'll get to... another pretty big city (Yokohama isn't small!). But being in Yokohama it's hard to forget how close you are to Tokyo Bay, and it feels like a seaside town, making it popular for family outings, friendly gatherings, and dates with a special someone.