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Five ways to spend Easter in Japan

Discover why to visit Japan during Easter!



Five ways to spend Easter in Japan
Discover why to visit Japan during Easter!
Five ways to spend Easter in Japan
Discover why to visit Japan during Easter!

The Easter weekend is the perfect time to visit Japan. When the cherry trees start to blossom pink and white in spring, the most beautiful time of the year begins. Anyone who can, should visit Japan at this time of year to see the natural spectacle with their own eyes. Japanese families and couples flock to the parks and gardens to do "Hanami" and picnic outside with friends and colleagues until late into the night. What translates as "looking at flowers" is an integral part of Japanese culture. No fixed date can be given for the first cherry blossom, as this varies with the climate from year to year and also within Japan. Some years they bloom early following a spell of warm weather; other years, chillier temperatures make them late. It first blooms in the south of the country before the cherry blossom slowly rises to the north.

Even if you are not interested in seeing the cherry blossoms, Easter is still a good time to visit Japan; the months from April to May score with mild temperatures. Here are a bunch of glorious places to spend Easter in Japan.

Japan, Kyoto

 

Tokyo

Tokyo reigns as one of the most sought-after destinations in the world. From the architecture freak to the Zen romantic - everyone gets their money's worth in Tokyo. The city boasts skyscrapers, modern architecture. temples, shrines, Japanese gardens, magnificent shopping palaces and mouthwatering delicacies; it is a perfect blend of culture and entertainment.

Even those who don't want to get up in the morning should pretend to be an early bird one day to experience one of the most magnificent spectacles Tokyo has to offer: the fish market in Tsukiji, the largest in the world. The fish auction starts at 5.30 am. At breathtaking speed, with mysterious hand signals that only the initiated can understand, the catch is auctioned off to the wholesalers at various points simultaneously. From petite crabs to gigantic tunas - in just over an hour around 3000 tons of more than a hundred species of marine life change hands. To get a good view of the city, explore the world's tallest tower and visit the 634-meter Tokyo Skytree free-standing TV tower. The first visitor platform is 350 meters high. By elevator, the journey takes only about 50 seconds. A second elevator takes you to a height of 451.2 meters. From there, visitors can enjoy a spectacular panoramic view. The hip Ginza neighborhood is a great place for shopping enthusiasts, with numerous shops featuring luxury brands, modern shopping centers, and traditional department stores. If you want to get to know ancient Japan, you should visit the Asakusa Kannon Temple or the Asakusa Shrine in the Asakusa district. The Hotel Grand Palace Tokyo is situated in the same neighborhood as the Imperial Palace, Kitanomaru Gardens and the Budokan Hall and offers rooms with spectacular city views. Visiting Tokyo with your children? During Easter, Tokyo Disneyland goes wild for three months with parades, tons of decorations, special menus, egg hunts and displays featuring bunnies, eggs, and Disney characters. Easter will be in full force when you visit Tokyo Disneyland in April, May, or June.

Japan, bamboo forest, Kyoto

Kobe

If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, you can take the Shinkansen to Kobe, a city situated by the sea and surrounded by densely wooded hills. Kobe is known worldwide for its cattle. Yes, you heard it right, the cattle that are massaged. The Kobe steaks attract many visitors to this city. If you are visit Kobe, you should not miss trying Kobe beef (Wagyu) in a good steakhouse. It is considered the most expensive and exclusive beef in the world. Apart from the cattle, Kobe has a lot to offer. It is a beautiful small town situated between the mountains and the sea. Take the cable car to the mountains, stroll through the vibrant downtown, go shopping and spend time in Kobe’s impressive harbor mile. The Portopia Hotel is a fantastic Kobe hotel, offering incredible views across the bay and the impressive skyline. The spa town of Arima Onsen close to Kobe is also worth a visit; is one of the oldest and most famous onsen in Japan and invites visitors to bathe in numerous hot springs.

 

Kyoto

Kyoto is a must-see. Hardly any tourist who travels to Japan misses this historic place. The former imperial city is the cultural heart of Japan, which was spared by the bombing of the Second World War. Kyoto used to be the capital of Japan for several centuries, and the number of historic buildings is correspondingly high. The city offers more than 1600 temples and 400 shrines. You can easily spend a week here and still not be able to visit all the sights and temples in and around Kyoto. Geishas have almost a symbolic character for Kyoto. Kyoto’s district Gion preserves this tradition as best it can. Here the geishas are called geiko. After a long training in singing, dancing and appropriate behavior, these artists rent out their talents. Strangers hardly get to see them. You have to be lucky to see a maiko, a geisha student, dressed in a charming silk kimono on her high wooden sandals, coming out of the teahouse in a narrow alleyway. Best days for geisha spotting: weekends and holidays. Best roads in Gion: the Shinbashi dori at the canal and the Hanami-koji with the famous red Geisha house Ichiriki. East of Gion, the charming district of Higashiyama nestles against the hillside. Cobblestones lead to the thousand-year-old Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Stop at one of the tea houses and try a Matcha tea and a sweet pastry. The RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto is one of the top luxury Kyoto hotels, conveniently located with easy access to Kyoto's train station, which is an attraction in itself. The modern, futuristic and architecturally interesting building contracts with Kyoto’s historic townscape.

Osaka

Osaka, the third largest city in Japan, is one of the country's most important seaports and an important economic center. Despite its central location, Osaka is not visited by most overseas tourists. Osaka does not have the charm of Kyoto or the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Tokyo, but the city does have a lot to offer. Osaka has a beautiful castle and a lively neighborhood called Namba where you can spend an entertaining evening. Namba is packed with shopping stores, karaoke bars, gambling houses, restaurants and huge billboards. Here only one thing counts: the more colorful, louder and crazier the better. Everywhere it flashes, glows and crashes. The castle of Osaka is certainly one of the most popular photo motifs in the city. In a spacious park, slightly secluded, surrounded by skyscrapers and with a rampart that makes it a real fortress, Osaka Castle towers majestically over the city. It is one of the most symbolic castles in Japan. For a memorable Japanese experience, stay at The RIHGA Royal Osaka which offers rooms decorated in traditional Japanese style.

 

Yokohama

Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan and one of the most important industrial and commercial cities. It is located on the west side of Tokyo Bay, only 30 minutes by train from Toyko. The city is not only known for its important port, but also for its huge China Town district, which is even bigger than the one in Kobe. But Yokohama is also a great place for nature lovers; in the Sankei-En park you can wander through beautiful Japanese gardens, old temples, tea houses and buildings from different centuries. Here you will learn a lot about historical cultural assets from all parts of Japan. One of Yokohama's specialties are the famous Napolitain spaghetti, which can be found almost everywhere in the restaurants. And no, it's no joke. For centuries, the Japanese have adopted foreign recipes and cooking techniques and adapted them to their own preferences. Another specialty is the Yokohama beer, which is produced in the region. Yokohama’s striking skyline is a feast for the eyes. At night, many couples treat themselves to a romantic boat trip in the harbor. Walking through the narrow streets of Yokohama’s famous China Town district, it is hard to believe that this is really Japan, as the smells and sounds are typically Chinese. The Rose Hotel Yokohama is centrally located with Chinatown right outside and the harbor in walking distance.

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