There’s a temptation when visiting a country for the first time to head straight to the capital city. And there’s no doubt when you want a Japan holiday, Tokyo has loads to offer. But there are also lots of exciting and interesting cities around the country to explore that might mean you don’t go to Tokyo or at least don’t just go there!
Tokyo is a very modern city with a long history but if you want to visit somewhere that offers a taste of traditional Japan, then Kyoto can be an excellent choice. It is known as the ‘city of 10,000 shrines’ and this isn’t an idle boast. The city was once the capital of Japan and has several thousand years’ worth of history behind it, offering a mystical and Zen-like calm with its cherry trees and traditional temples to visit. That’s not to say that it doesn’t have all the modern conveniences too and if you use a specialist like the Japan Experience travel company, you will find the best luxury hotels to use a base.
If you tour Japan, then the city of Hiroshima is a must-see location. Known for the atomic bomb explosion that wiped out much of it in 1945, the city is now a global peace centre. You can see just how resilient the Japanese people are when visiting this city, learn about how they have rebuilt and recovered from the war and have made their city stronger than ever. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum are two important places to visit.
If you want to visit Tokyo and include another location, then Yokohama is a very convenient one as it is located just across Tokyo Bay and is a short train ride away. It is the biggest port in the country and is a great place if you love to go shopping as it has lots of amazing shopping centres. Make sure you have plenty of information about where to go though – as the second most populated city in the country, it is a big one!
Nara was the first capital of Japan and the birthplace of their culture. It is also known for having no less than eight UNESCO World Heritage sites within its boundaries, meaning there is still much to see from all of that history. Another advantage of the city is that it is relatively small and all of the sites are quite close together so it is easy to see the best of Nara within a short trip.
Okinawa is a city spread over a series of islands in the southern end of Japan, meaning it has a sub-tropical climate and plenty of water sports. If you want to see the best of Japan but also have a little of that tropical island vibe while doing it, then this is the perfect place to visit. Check out the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium while you are there and try a spot of scuba diving in the clear, warm oceans around the city.
Every now and again we get the urge to go somewhere different for our holidays. The usual beach holiday or city break to the favourite European destinations just doesn’t have the same draw and we want something different. To help inspire your search for that elusive ‘somewhere different’ here are 5 places you have probably never heard of but should definitely consider for your next vacation.
Gunung Mulu National Park, Malaysia
If you like rainforests, caves and strange bats, then you will love this place! The national park is on the island of Borneo and is home to one of the most spectacular cave systems in the world. Some of the caves are the biggest on the planet and can hold multiple 747 jumbo jets within them. The main residents are some strange looking wrinkled lipped bats that appear each night at sunset to set about hunting down their prey.
The whole region of Kimberley, Australia is worth visiting to see the country at its most raw. Australia has plenty of amazing landmarks and bustling cities but the true landscape can be seen in places like this. The area is three times the size of England and is in the northernmost part of the state of Western Australia so is a little hard to reach. But with its mountain ranges, canyons, rivers and indigenous Kija people, it is worth the trip. It is also one of the hottest parts of the country and has a monsoon climate that means it has a short, wet season from November to April.
You might not associate Texas with being the home to a minimalist art haven but that is exactly what Marfa is. The town is just 60 miles from the Mexican border and saw a resurgence in the 1980s when New York artist Donald Judd used it to create his minimalist vision. There are sculptures and installations as well as the Chinati Foundation contemporary art museum, all surrounded by an area of desert known as El Despoblado ‘the uninhabited’.
This area of the South American country of Guyana isn’t a popular tourist spot but is worth visiting for the amazing savannah and wetland areas it encloses. It is close to the border with Brazil in the south-west of the country and includes amazing Amazonica lily pads on the river of the same name with otters playing between them. Nearby is the Rupununi Savannah area, the most biodiverse area of the country with over 250 species of bird life alone.
This is another place with an unlikely art connection. The town of Medzilaborce is home to the Andy Warhol Museum of Modern Art and has a collection only second to the main Andy Warhol museum in Pittsburgh. Why you might ask? Because of Warhol’s mother, Julia Warhola, who came from nearby in the village of Mikova and the museum was established by his family in 1991 to celebrate his roots. The town is close to the border with Poland and dates back to the 1500s so there is a bit of history to enjoy as well as the art!
A great big welcome from all of us here at Scaevola Travel! We hope this post gives you a little taste of what we are all about and gives you some big ideas for your next journey. Let’s take a very brief look at a few of these destinations and why we think they should make your 2017/18 travel wishlist.
There are two very different experiences to be had in Siberia dependent upon when you want to Travel. Winter there offers amazing adventures and sights with harsh and relentlessly cold weather you will see Lakes such as Lake Baikal, freeze meters deeps and get to sample the great outdoors as well that saunas and Ice Plunge pools galore to rejuvenate yourself. Summer however, is another story entirely with destinations such as the Galapagos of Russia offering up a warm temperature and relaxing atmosphere alongside some fantastic wildlife.
Mie Prefecture, Japan
Visit the Kansai Region and you certainly won’t be short of history, culture, nature and natural beauty. With natural parks taking up 35% of the land in Mie Prefecture there will be plenty of opportunity to get closer to nature and seek an abundance of outdoor opportunities. With exciting cities and towns in this area, visitors also get chance to embrace the culture of the area with a number of castles, museums and shrines in the areas as well as being able to relax whilst enjoying hot springs such as those you will find in Toba.
Andaman Islands, India
These islands are a dream for those with an interest in marine life as the pristine beaches are brimming with all the sea life you can wish for, so snorkelling and scuba diving tours really should be a must for your trip to this area of India. The thick tropical forests in the area are home to some extremely rare bird species so for getting close to wildlife these islands are one of the most beautiful settings around.