Category Archives: TRAVEL

Kagoshima Cathedral

I did post on this topic many years ago, but as my older posts no longer have photos I thought I would post a revised version. Located in downtown Kagoshima, the cathedral was built in 1999 to celebrate the 450 year anniversary of the arrival in Kagoshima of Francis Xavier in 1549

A church was built here in 1909 but was destroyed during WWII. A new church was built in 1949 to celebrate

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Kitsuki Sunrise

For the 4th day of my walk around the Kunisaki Peninsula in northern Kyushu, I spent all day exploring the castle town of Kitsuki. I spent the night on the south bank of the Yasaka River, and the castle and town were on the north bank, so early in the morning I headed across the bridge at the mouth of the river.

The view out to sea was where the sun had recently risen. I believe it is

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Japanese Immigration Has Begun Enforcing Stricter Visa Requirements for Foreigners

Source: Gaijin Pot
Japanese Immigration Has Begun Enforcing Stricter Visa Requirements for Foreigners

You probably didn’t realize that tourist and working holiday visa-holders from certain countries aren’t technically allowed to change to other visa types after their initial visa has expired. Up until now, the Japanese Immigration Bureau was pretty lax in enforcing this rule, but that may be changing.

Though seemingly strict on the surface, Japanese immigration has been fairly lenient in the past about giving people the benefit of the doubt and making exceptions for individual cases to the point where these exceptions have become the norm and widely spread online as normal procedures.

There are three laws we’ve seen being more strictly enforced:

1. You can not change from a tourist visa to a working or student visa while in Japan

2. Most countries can not change from a working holiday to another type of visa

3. Adult students who wish to study in Japan have higher requirements

The Immigration “Bureau” was recently upgraded to the status of “Agency”

In April 2019, the Immigration Bureau made several changes including being upgraded from a “bureau” to an “agency.” The new immigration services agency is no mere name change, it actually gives the agency a lot more power than before.

Representatives stated the main motivation for the change was to deal with the influx of new immigrants—many of them coming on the new specified-skilled work visas—although more resources and power were given to the agency covering all the visa types.

The new immigration services agency is no mere name change, it actually gives the agency a lot more power than before.

Up until recently, the Ministry of Justice was more or less in charge of the Immigration Bureau. Reading immigration laws made this apparent, with the MoJ being constantly referenced along with how exceptions could be made when the MoJ decided there was a good reason to.

Essentially, the …continue reading


Day Trip Inspiration: Tokyo Winter Escapes

Source: Tokyo Cheapo

While the Japanese winter can be bitterly cold, it’s also one of the most beautiful times of the year. The winter sky is often clear and blue, the powder snow fresh, the onsen steaming hot. Winter is a great time to explore the scenic countryside, take advantage of the snow sport opportunities, thaw out in a natural hot spring and eat until you can’t eat anymore.
If you’re staying in or around the Tokyo area, there are plenty of day trip opportunities that are not only extremely convenient, but also very budget-friendly. Here are just a handful of examples. Don’t spend your Japanese winter cooped up inside, rug up and get out there!
1. Visit Oedo Onsen Monogatari, the Edo-themed hot spring in Tokyo
Odaiba’s Oedo Onsen Mo

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A Weekend Escape to Nikko National Park

Source: Japan Cheapo

Nikko, in particular Nikko National Park, is a well-known destination for those keen to escape the busy Tokyo streets. Adorned in autumn leaves, home to world-famous temples and just the right weather for hot springs, fall is the perfect time to visit.
While there’s a lot to see in Nikko, a weekend can easily be split across three of the most beautiful areas: Kinugawa Onsen, Chuzenji and Nikko itself. Combining beautiful natural scenery, local cuisines and a vast array of temples, our weekend plan has everything you need.
Be sure to check out the travel tips at the end; there are bus and train passes available for the area that make travel between the areas affordable and easy.
Day one: Kinugawa Onsen’s natural beauty
If you c

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