Japan Australia Pages

Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Tokyo Metropolitan Area at Night

Rainbow Bridge at night from Odaiba
Tokyo is one of the most exciting cities in the world with the action never stopping day or night. Japan’s energetic capital mixes the modern (neon-lights and skyscrapers) with the traditional (historic temples and zen gardens).

The Greater Tokyo Area is the world’s most populous metropolis consisting of 23 central city wards and approximately 30% of Japan’s total population. It covers an area of 13,500 km2 and includes parts of Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Yamanashi prefectures.

One of the best times to explore Tokyo is at night when its amazing architecture and ultramodern buildings really come alive. Pick up a good travel guide for suggestions and the latest up-to-date advice on the must see places destinations and attractions.

The beautiful nighttime cityscape of Tokyo includes Tokyo Tower, the second tallest structure in Japan and the iconic symbol of Tokyo, Tokyo Skytree, the second tallest structure in the world at 634 meters and the new symbol of Tokyo, Odaiba, a high-tech entertainment hub located on a man-made island in Tokyo Bay, and Shinjuku, home to the busiest train station in the world and many of Tokyo’s tallest buildings.

One of the best things to do in Tokyo is to explore the city at night. Luckily you have quite a few options available to you for enjoying the Tokyo nightlife. For the best views, check out one of the many observation decks located in towers of tall buildings. Some of the best are the observation decks at Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.

Rainbow Bridge at night from Odaiba
Rainbow Bridge at Night from Odaiba | Wikimedia Commons

If you are feeling brave and adventurous, you could try a helicopter ride over the city. For those of us that like to take our time and leisurely enjoy the sights, try a boat cruise along Tokyo Bay where you can enjoy the waterfront scenery with the amazing lights of the city.

This short video from Aramadas, a video production company based out of Japan will give you a stunning glimpse from the air of what Tokyo looks like at night. Strap in and enjoy the ride!

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Go! Go! Nihon

Go! Go! Nihon Students Photo
Go! Go! Nihon is a FREE service that specializes in helping foreigners live and study Japanese in Japan. Their website provides you with support to find the perfect Japanese language school for you with a simple application process to apply to the school and organize a student visa. This support and service does not cost you a thing! It is totally FREE. 

They take the stress and hassle out of looking for accommodation and enrolling in a school, which leaves you with the joy of studying Japanese in Japan, a life-changing experience.

Go! Go! Nihon have helped nearly 8,000 people from more than 70 countries around the world come to study in The Land of the Rising Sun.

A Brief History of Go! Go! Nihon 

Go! Go! Nihon was born in 2009 out an idea of making living and studying in Japan as easy as possible. The founders studied Japanese in Japan themselves, but found it pretty difficult to make the big move. In 2010, they launched their website and service with English, Italian and Swedish language support. The service was an instant hit with Spanish being added in 2013. In 2015, French and German language support was added and their achieved a significant milestone of helping 1,000 students study and live in Japan. The Southeast Asian market was looked at in 2016 with the addition of Indonesian language support. Over the last few years, they have added new services to support students such as SIM card and Wifi, as well as launching their first mobile app.

Their mission is to improve people’s lives and broaden their horizons by helping them experience studying and living in Japan.

Go! Go! Nihon Group Photo
Go! Go! Nihon Group Photo

Why Choose Go! Go! Nihon? 

It is simply really. The staff at Go! Go! Nihon are former language students who have studied abroad in Japan and now use their extensive insider knowledge to help you. They understand the processes involved and can offer advice on exactly what you need to know to make your life easier. Go! Go! Nihon offer support in finding the right school for you as well as advice on living and surviving in Japan. This support comes in your native language with help in the challenges of living abroad such as finding accommodation, Wifi, and SIM card deals.

Go! Go! Nihon Office Photo
Go! Go! Nihon Office Photo

What Can Go! Go! Nihon Help You With? 

There are many things that Go! Go! Nihon provide support with. These include:

Schools – a variety of schools across Japan to ensure that you find the best choice for you.

Accommodation – a range of accommodation in each of the cities that have schools from dorms and share houses to private accommodation.

Wifi/SIM Card – easy access to Wifi and SIM card deals with discounts from Japanese companies.

Bank Account – advise on how to pick the best bank account for you and how to set it up.

Residence Card – guide you through the process of obtaining a residence card if you are studying long term.

Orientation – help you settle into your new surroundings by meeting other students and locals.

Work in Japan – help to look for a part-time or full-time job in Japan to help support yourself.

For more information about Go! Go! Nihon, visit the Go! Go! Nihon Website

Go! Go! Nihon Students Photo
Students at Go! Go! Nihon

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Shiretoko Peninsula, A Nature Enthusiast’s Dream

Mt Rausu
I’ve raved about Shiretoko before and I’ll rave about it again. For those of you not familiar with my writing, I run a blog on outdoor-focused travel (camping, hiking, etc) mostly in Japan. I’m also a conservation worker and wildlife is what draws me to places when I’m traveling.

People rant about nature lover’s paradises such as Alaska, Canada, New Zealand…now these places are great, I won’t deny, but there’s a lesser known place in your favourite country, Japan, which does just as great.

Shiretoko, a peninsula on northeast Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, is largely a protected nature sanctuary, and a large stretch of it is completely inaccessible to the public. You want to go there, you’re gonna need a good reason for it. Researchers and a restricted number of local fishermen are the only ones who get past the boundary.

Luckily for us nature enthusiasts, there is plenty of Shiretoko Peninsula to explore without even reaching the boundary. This place is ideal not just for wildlife-watching, but for hiking, camping, and fishing.


With so few people, you can imagine how healthy populations of wild animals are here--bears, salmon, deer, orcas, owls, sea eagles, and much much more. On top of that, Shiretoko is geographical eye-candy with its combination of stretching mountain ranges, endless lush forests, transparent lakes, rocky coasts and blue seas.

The peninsula consists of two small towns and a whole lot of World Heritage National Parks in between! Utoro, the slightly more established, wind-sheltered town, and Rausu, the rougher, more isolated town with significantly less public transport outside summer season. While Utoro is a tad cosier, Rausu is where you’ll spot more kinds of whales, so you don’t want to miss either of the settlements (if you’re particular about seeing certain species, you’d do well to look up the best season for viewing them and decide when you most want to visit).

From each of these towns, you can join a tourist boat expedition to get a glimpse of the restricted-access part of the peninsula, which spans a total of roughly 190km2. While expensive, a boat trip it’s a must-do for nature enthusiasts. Not only can you see a number of rare species, but you get fantastic views of the stunning coastline and pure rugged forest.

Shiretoko Coastline
Shiretoko Coastline

If you want a closer view, there are trips from Rausu which use smaller boats and go closer to the coast. This is good for wildlife photographers but beware that the smaller the boat, the less stable and less still of a picture you’ll be able to take. There’s also salty waves to consider—be careful. I took a good lot of photos on my trip, which was on one of the larger and more stable boats, but we also stayed further away from the coast due to our size. In the end, though I got some decent photos, it was enough to just sit back and enjoy watching the nature with my own eyes.

Shiretoko is also host to a number of excellent hikes. Most of these are day hikes up to 3 hours, with shorter loops included for those who prefer them. On the other hand, if you want a long intense hike, there is Mt Rausu which takes a few days.

Shiretoko Five Lakes Hike
Shiretoko Five Lakes Hike

Fishing is also a popular activity here. Salmon are plentiful in the summer. You can fish from one of the river mouths, or join the Japanese fishermen hurling their lines out from the marinas in Utoro and Rausu (fishing salmon upriver is illegal in Japan).

As you can guess, I went here during summer. This is when most visitors go, and more public transport is available. Yet Shiretoko transforms depending on the season, so if you have the chance to visit during another time (I recommend hiring a vehicle if you do) then I say go for it. Winter is the second most popular time, as sea ice forms around the peninsula, becoming host to different kinds of whale and the endangered Steller’s sea eagle. While some hikes may not be open in winter and you can’t fish salmon at this time, you can try ice fishing with a local. I’m definitely coming back in winter when I get the chance.

Before I went to Shiretoko, I’d researched plenty about it, so it’s safe to say my expectations were high...yet Shiretoko outdid them all. The five days I spent there were too short to satisfy my nature cravings; yet every one of them was a glorious osmosis with Mother Nature that brought something new. For sure, Shiretoko Peninsula is a place you don’t want to miss if you’re as crazy about the outdoors as I am.

Today's guest post is from Kiwi Blogger Eli Sooker. 

Eli Sooker is a travel writer and conservationist with a focus on outdoor travel. Originally from New Zealand, he now works in black bear conservation in Japan and writes funny, touching stories and travel advice articles in his spare time.

Please check out his blog and follow him on Facebook and Instagram.

Mt Rausu
Mt Rausu

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Super Cheap Hokkaido Book Review

Super Cheap Hokkaido
Hokkaido is Japan’s northernmost island and is home to an abundance of unspoiled nature, hot springs and ski resorts, along with arguably some of the country’s best-kept culinary secrets. This northern wilderness attracts many fans of the outdoors with fantastic skiing and snowboarding in the colder months and hiking and camping in the summer months.

This often overlooked part of Japan might seem a little scary due to its sheer size but with the right travel guide, you’ll have no trouble in planning your long overdue trip to Hokkaido.

The Book’s Content 

Super Cheap Hokkaido is the ultimate budget travel guide for exploring Japan’s nature paradise on a shoestring budget. The travel guide covers Sapporo and Hokkaido Prefecture and the must see destinations such as Sapporo, Hakodate, Niseko, Furano, Otaru and Noboribetsu.

The book covers a wide range of money saving tips such as how to spend next to nothing drinking local beer in Sapporo, relax in free hot springs, spend a cheap day’s hiking in the mountains or where to find the best, inexpensive super fresh sushi and sashimi. It’s all here in this amazing travel guide.

Inside the book you will find:

Budget Food – comprehensive listings of low-cost restaurants, take-outs, cheap roadside stations and supermarkets.

Budget Shopping – all the best attraction discounts, free sample hot spots, 100 yen shops and tax-free shopping.

Colour Maps – ideal for budget travelers, making it easy and stress-free to get around.

Highlights and Itineraries – for those with rental cars or using discount train passes.

Cheap Accommodation – the best and cheapest hostels, family-friendly hotels, campsites, mountain lodges, capsule hotels and net cafes.

Travel Guides – all the major destinations are covered with Sapporo, Niseko, Furano, Otaru, Biei, Hakodate, Matsumae Castle, Daisetsuzan National Park, Lake Mashu, Shiretoko National Park, Abashiri and much more.

Super Cheap Hokkaido

My View 

Why I really like the book? Like the other books in the Super Cheap series, Super Cheap Japan and Super Cheap Tokyo, it is compact and easy to use with all the information at your fingertips. I like how the book provides a quick guide on how to use it and how to save on your holiday before moving into the travel guide and covering the must see places.

The travel guides provide information on how to get around, discount passes and tickets, transportation maps, things to do, budget food, best places for shopping, recommended cheap accommodation and how to get there.

It is easy to use with colour maps making it easy and stress-free to get around. The maps use landmarks and walking routes to help get you around and include convenience stores, cheap supermarkets, 100-yen stores, budget accommodation and tourist information.

This book is perfect for backpackers, budget travelers, families on a tight budget, students and those of us who just want an amazing time, without blowing all their cash in a day.

About the Writer 

The author, Matthew Baxter is a British travel writer living in Tokyo. Having traveled across the country for more than a decade, without much money, he has built up an extensive knowledge of budget travel in the Land of the Rising Sun. He now writes professionally for several websites and publications, such as the Japan National Tourist Association, Japan Visitor and All About Japan. He is the author of Super Cheap Japan and Super Cheap Tokyo.

Super Cheap Hokkaido is all you’ll need for a fantastic budget friendly trip to Sapporo and Hokkaido. This book gives you some great money-saving tips all in an easy-to-use travel guide. Take the plunge and explore Japan’s northern frontier on your next trip.

Super Cheap Hokkaido is available now from Amazon.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Guest Post for Japan Australia

Japan Australia is looking for guest posters. If you are a blogger or content creator who is passionate about Japan travel and culture, we’d love to have you contribute an article to our website.

Japan Australia is one of the top expat blogs about Japan with a strong readership and following. We were recently included in the 25 Best Japan Blogs to Follow in 2019 by JapaneseUp, as well as being selected as one of the Top 15 Japan Travel Blogs, Websites & Newsletters to Follow in 2019 by Feedspot.

Joining the Japan Australia team, could be a great opportunity for you to get some exposure for your own blog and writing.

We are looking for the following:

1. Content on Japan travel, culture, food.
2. Well-written and high quality original articles.
3. Posts will need to be around 400 – 800 words.
4. Submitted in a Word document with 2-3 original or creative commons images in a zipped folder.

Please complete the Google Form to apply.

Thank you in advance and we look forward to receiving your applications.

John Asano

Japan Australia

Sunday, June 9, 2019

The Best Places in Toyama Japan

Toyama is located in the Chubu Region of Central Japan along the Sea of Japan coast. Surrounded by tall mountains including some 3,000 meter peaks of the Northern Japan Alps, Toyama is home to spectacular nature, dynamic landscapes and tasty food. Toyama’s picturesque mountain-lined bay has been recognized by UNESCO as one of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World.

This often overlooked tourist destination can boast some impressive attractions such as the remote village of Gokayama, a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, Kurobe Gorge, an impressive scenic spot with natural hot springs and hiking routes, the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, a spectacular route through the Northern Japan Alps known as the ‘Roof of Japan’ and Toyama Castle which dates from the 15th century.

Gokayama | Photo by William Cho | Flickr

Seafood is the pride and joy of Toyama with fresh seafood caught off the Sea of Japan coast daily. If seafood is not your thing, give Toyama Black Ramen a try. This unique dark soy sauce based ramen has been taking the nation by storm.

Toyama is only 250km northwest of Tokyo, which is just over 2 hours by Shinkansen. Take a look at this short video from Japan Guide to inspire your next trip.

Monday, May 20, 2019

ALT/CIR Position in Oyama City, Tochigi Prefecture

Oyama City in Tochigi Prefecture
If you are an Aussie looking for a wonderful opportunity to live and work in a beautiful part of Japan near Tokyo, please keep reading.

The Oyama City Office in Tochigi Prefecture just north of Tokyo is seeking Australian Nationals to work as ALT/CIR (Assistant Language Teacher and Coordinator of International Relations) for the city. They are looking to employ three Aussies for the position. In recent years, Oyama City has forged many strong links with Cairns in Australia, so ideally they are looking for someone from Cairns.

The position starting in August 2019 is a combined position that will involve working for 4 days at local schools in the city and one day at the city office per week. Tochigi is a stunning part of Japan, famous for its cultural heritage and breathtaking natural landscapes. If you are interested in finding out more about this opportunity, please visit the Oyama City Office website via the link below.

Oyama City has extended the application period and will now accept applications up until Friday, 31 May, 2019.

ALT/CIR Position in Oyama City https://www.city.oyama.tochigi.jp/soshiki/18/2726.html

Oyama City in Tochigi Prefecture

Share This via Social Media

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...