Shibu Onsen – Hot Baths & Snow Monkeys

japan shibu onsen

Many visitors to the Snow Monkeys in Japan, often come in on a tour bus and leave the same day. But if you have the time, you’ll get so much out of staying a night or two in the nearby traditional town of Shibu Onsen.

Situated about 35km from Nagano, the small town of Shibu Onsen sits in the Japanese Alps next to the slightly larger town of Yudanaka. It is full of traditional wooden ryokans (traditional inns) and onsens (hot baths).

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How to See Part of a Traditional Japanese Wedding

Before my first trip to Japan in 2009, I watched the movie Lost in Translation, it was probably responsible for me actually booking the trip. The cinematography was intoxicating but there was one scene that I just really, really wanted to experience in person. When the main character Charlotte goes off exploring Kyoto, she comes across this really quiet shrine and witnesses a traditional Japanese wedding procession. The bride was wearing a giant white hood and a white, silk kimono and looked completely ethereal. I needed to see this in person but I didn’t know how.

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Best Places to see Cherry Blossoms in Japan

There are many icons of Japan; sumo’s, sushi, weird sex robots, but my favourite would have to be cherry blossoms. Sakura (🇯🇵 桜, 🇨🇳 樱花), as they’re known in Japan, bloom once a year all over the country. The Japanese go mad for it! There are festivals, decorations, sakura-themed food and everyone flocks to their nearest park to sit under the trees to admire the blossoms. There will be lots of food and sake as they enjoy hanami (cherry blossom viewing).

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Video: Tokyo 2009

Video from my trip to Japan back in 2009…starting to see how my video making skills have become better over time haha…you don’t even want to imagine my first ones from 2003…enough to give you an epileptic fit!

Footage from Tokyo including, Asakusa, Ueno Park, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Harajuku, Yoyogi Park during the Children’s Day Festival etc

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