7 best Japan travel blogs
By James Mundy
Japan is one of the world’s most exciting destinations, and one of the most baffling for European visitors. So what you need if you plan to visit – or if you just want to learn more about this endlessly fascinating country – is to get the inside track from a local or expat blogger. Here, we’ve selected seven of the very best.
Rocketnews 24 Japan
What it is: a lighthearted collection of not-so-hard hitting Japan news from around the web.
Why we like it: With popping graphics and a fun outlook, this blog full of entertaining tidbits definitely has its own niche. It covers all the news you really need to know, from cases of the malady ‘smartphone neck’ to runaway vacuum cleaners. Whilst it may not be the first port of call for the big political stories, or the most comprehensive guide to travelling in Japan, it never fails to raise a smile.
What it is: a tour of Tokyo in photos.
Why we like it: Like all the best concepts, this blog’s is a simple one: beautiful pictures taken around Tokyo from festivals to fashion, nature to food, people to architecture. It’s a feast for the eyes, and great for revving you up when you’re planning your own travels.
What it is: a foodie blog packed with Japanese recipes and gastronomic features.
Why we like it: Tokyo born Maki’s comprehensive list of dishes make her blog a great resource for any wannabe cook with a love of Japanese cuisine. And the mouth-watering photos make it the perfect motivator to get yourself in the kitchen.
Tokyo Food File
What it is: From cooking to eating, on his blog Tokyo Food File, Robbie Swinnerton reviews his way around the best of Tokyo’s dining.
Why we like it: As a food reviewer eating his way around Tokyo, Robbie provides links to his longer published articles along with every post, but the blog gives just a snapshot of each eating experience in (excuse the pun) easily digestible chunks. And, it goes without saying, each post is illustrated with appetizing pictures.
What it is: Michael Gakuran blogs about his passion for haikyo – the pastime of exploring abandoned buildings.
Why we like it: Oddly moving, the slightly eerie practice of exploring derelict and abandoned buildings turns out to be, well, pretty cool. Michael’s blog is something a bit different, packed with beautiful photos of ruins including a mysterious ghost island and an abandoned children’s tuberculosis sanatorium. The ‘journals’ of his other (non-ruins-related) adventures around Japan are also not to be missed.
What it is: A satirical take on Japanese news from the serious to the silly.
Why we like it: It has a distinctive tongue-in-cheek tone as it covers the important stories, like gun control, and the really important stories, like the appropriateness of tomato-flavoured beer. It also features tips and guides to the things you really need to know, like how to win at UFO catchers and stick it to the man.
Beer in Japan
What it is: Does what it says on the tin – real ale in Japan and where to find it.
Why we like it: This is a look into the weirdy-beardy world of real ale…but in Japan. Craft ales are of growing interest in Japan and there are lots of little bars and shops that sell it…..they are just difficult to find. This website opens up the world to the foreigner who fancies a beer after his sushi and can’t quite read those characters.
About our writer
James Mundy is PR & Marketing Manager at Inside Japan Tours. He lived in Japan for four years and has led tours all over the country. As well as developing a love of sushi, karaoke and hot springs, he played football for Nakanojo town and took part in Japan’s only sumo contest for foreigners. Check out his own blog.