Exploring Koga: one of Japan’s secret attractions, and an ideal Tokyo day trip

February 24, 2021

When first-time tourists visit Japan, they often take such a well-trodden route that it has a nickname within the Japanese tourism circles. Known in the industry as ‘the golden route,’ this commonly explore circuit travels from Tokyo to Osaka and Kyoto and often Hiroshima. While it’s a stunning and undeniably rewarding path to take, the […]

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The top 5 things to do in Hokkaido… besides skiing

January 27, 2021

Famous for powder soft snow and fun-tastic slopes, Hokkaido is at the top of most Aussies’ summer travel list. Swapping out thongs for ski boots, it’s common for top ski resort areas like Niseko to turn into mini Australian villages with the sheer influx of tourists. But Hokkaido, technically a prefecture, is home to many […]

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Recipe: How to make traditional Japanese dish “Jibuni”

May 29, 2020

Many traditional dishes born in Japan’s formative Edo Period still endear in the country today. And they’re found everywhere, like on the central coast of Honshu Island in the historic Ishikawa Prefecture where Japan’s culinary arts are spread from Michelin-starred ryokans to 300-year old food markets. Where better to look for a recipe close to […]

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Tour Diary: Rackett takes the Machinations Tour to Tokyo, Japan

November 8, 2019

One of the absolute highlights of the live music scene in Australia in 2018 was catching Rackett. Their high-energy glam punk rock was incredibly great fun. It was always a night of immense passion, great musicianship, and total commitment. At the core was their lead singer Bec Callender, the driving force behind the band. A […]

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Pocket Change: Japanese machine helps you save while travelling

October 21, 2019

According to Japan’s tourism organisation, JNTO, Australians were the highest spending tourists in Japan in 2018, dropping an average of 242,050 yen per person (or AUD $3,075) per visit. After 2020, Japan is expected to hit 40 million annual tourists, so we can only expect that number to grow. Us Aussies love to spend in […]

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Amari to make its debut in Japan with a Niseko resort

October 14, 2019

Japan is about to get its very first hotel from renowned brand Amari, coming in the form of a 126-room resort nestled in the heart of ski-haven Niseko. Announced today, ONYX Hospitality Group will be opening Amari Niseko in 2024 as part of mixed-use development Aruku-zaka Street, designed to complement the Hirafu area’s unique character […]

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Local Knowledge: Kyoto’s most magical spaces, with Music Promoter Vaughan

October 7, 2019

Melbourne’s legendary songwriter Grand Salvo is making his way around Japan this week, and is teaming up with Tokyo-based music promoter Vaughan as part of part of his ongoing campaign to introduce some of Australia’s greatest talents to his adopted home. With Vaughan a frequent presence in Japan’s music scene, the multi-disciplinarian, and music promoter […]

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Qantas and Virgin will compete for new services to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport

September 19, 2019

Those who have been to Tokyo before would know that the immense Japanese capital has two airports; one more convenient than the other. Narita, probably the best known and most frequented, is furthest from the city, while Haneda is highly sought by visitors as the most convenient of the two. This is largely due to […]

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Travel Deals: All Nippon Airways just announced a huge sale on flights to Japan

July 25, 2019

Japan’s largest five-star airline All Nippon Airways (ANA) has today launched their largest sale throughout Asia and Australia to date, greatly reducing prices for flights from 17 different cities to Japan. Aussies who have been enjoying greater access to Japan for the past few years, now have a better chance than ever at heading to […]

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Melbourne band Sunnyside and five other acts to see at Fuji Rock 2019

June 25, 2019

You know Sunnyside, right? The Melbourne six-piece that bring all kinds of funk and jazz wherever they go, slithering through the pits of sweaty nightclubs and steamy jazz clubs with misshaped textures and hypnotic time signatures. Yeah, those are the guys. And they’re about to make their exciting debut in Japan, heading on over to […]

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Tokyo’s latest co-working space makes being a digital nomad so much easier

May 22, 2019

Tokyo may be one of the most popular travel destinations for Aussies right now, but it doesn’t necessarily have a reputation for being a “digital nomad” city. Given that space is a premium, language barriers still very much exist, and Japan’s love of rules and paperwork, it’s a reputation that in the past has been […]

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Himi, Japan: Where the mountains back onto the sea

May 9, 2019

It’s an outrageous understatement to say that Japan is a country full of natural diversity. From the snow-capped peaks of Hokkaido’s mountains to the tropical islands of Okinawa, for a nation whose landmass is relatively humble, it doesn’t matter how many times you visit, there will always be something new to discover. Case in point […]

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Flight Review: Does flying in AirAsia’s Quiet Zone make the seven hour Kuala Lumpur to Tokyo flight more bearable? (D7552)

April 7, 2019

When I think about taking a budget flight, I tend to fly for a maximum of 4 hours – about the length of a flight from Perth to Sydney. Anything longer than that and I’d never think twice about flying any budget carrier. But I had a 7 hour flight from Kuala Lumpur to Tokyo […]

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The Oita Prefecture in Southern Japan is waiting to be explored

March 8, 2019

Kyushu, the southern island of Japan is an excellent destination for tourists who’ve had their fix of Honshu (mainland Japan) and are seeking something a bit more local. Oita is a prefecture within Kyushu that is rarely referenced by travellers outside those who chase onsens, and although that may be a selling point, there are […]

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An insider’s guide to Kyoto’s best secret hangouts, with Japanese band Zahatorte

January 31, 2019

Kyoto band Zahatorte are a genre-defying trio who blend old-world European cafe sounds with the undeniably Japanese penchant for perfectionism. They’ll be coming to Australia next month for the first time, and before we show them our own country, we asked them to share with us their nine favourite secret hangouts in their hometown. So […]

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This Asian country just overtook Singapore to claim “The most powerful Passport in the world”

October 10, 2018

The results are in and Japan has overtaken Singapore to claim the top spot on the 2018 Henley Passport Index. This triumph comes as a result of Japan gaining visa-free access to Myanmar earlier this month, meaning Japan now enjoys visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 190 destinations. Beating out Singapore by just one destination, the two have […]

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Exclusive Album Premiere: The Lagerphones’ Japan-inspired record ATARA-CD (あたらシーディー)

August 21, 2018

Today we’re excited to premiere the brand new album from Melbourne party jazz collective The Lagerphones, who have gained themselves quite a following in Japan. Off the back of this, and ahead of their fourth tour of the country in as many years (with 15 mostly free shows across 15 days), the group are set […]

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Kimpton to open new luxury hotel in Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighbourhood

July 23, 2018

During the last five years the number of Australians travelling to Japan has shot up by a remarkable 170 percent, and with officials predicting tourist numbers to hit 40 million by the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, it’s no surprise IHG are looking to substantially up their presence in the country. A big assist to […]

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Review: Shangri-La Hotel – Supreme Comfort in the Heart of Tokyo

July 11, 2018

As forward-thinking Tokyo is, the idea of classicism still very much permeates many of the city’s institutions. Elegance and efficiency is a pathological expectation, and more often than not, those expectations are met tenfold. This is a large reason why, despite an overwhelming language barrier and high degree of cultural shock (for first-timers anyway), Tokyo […]

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Review: MOXY Tokyo Kinshicho – a creative, colourful and playful hotel in Sumida Ward

June 26, 2018

Tokyo’s iteration of Marriott International’s energetic and youthful Moxy brand has done well to distinguish itself among the many traditional hotels that lie across the sprawling city. Located in the Sumida Ward, just five minutes on foot from JR Kinshicho Station, the property is a creative and playful entry to a neighbourhood most tourists wouldn’t […]

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Pablo, Japan’s famous baked cheese tart shop, has opened in Chinatown (Sydney)

November 14, 2017

Anyone who has been to Japan probably knows just how ridiculously popular Pablo is. The Osaka-born business founded by Masamitsu Sakimoto has grown over the years to include 44 stores across the country as well as 13 internationally, success which has been based on superior, consistent and addictive cheese tarts. Sydney has been picking up […]

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Review: Motif Restaurant highlights exceptional produce from Hokkaido (Tokyo, Japan)

June 12, 2017

Very few words can describe just how exciting the dining scene in Japan really is. It’s almost dizzying to think just what kind of journey your palate will be taken through on a trip to the famously unique country, presenting you with everything from the standards like ramen, sushi and yakiniku through to the likes […]

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Review: ANA InterContinental Tokyo’s sense of scale, luxury and location is hard to beat (Japan)

April 6, 2017

Last year respected website Haute Grandeur named ANA InterContinental Tokyo “Best Business Hotel” in the continent and “Best Lifestyle Hotel” in Japan; in addition, the property was also named “Japan’s Leading Business Hotel” by the prestigious World Travel Awards that same year. It’s certainly hard to argue with those accolades after witnessing first hand just […]

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Hotel Review: The Strings by Intercontinental Tokyo (Japan) tames the business district with dulcet tones

April 5, 2017

With three properties across Tokyo it’s safe to say that, as far as high-end accommodation goes, the InterContinental brand is a dominant force in one of the world’s most famously vibrant cities. All three have had their fair share of awards and nominations, no less The Strings by InterContinental Tokyo which is positioned a stone’s […]

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Review: Four Seasons Kyoto is a masterpiece framed by an 800-year-old pond garden

March 27, 2017

Not every property can claim a setting which features a genuinely breathtaking 800-year-old ikeniwa (a pond garden), but Four Seasons Kyoto is far from your typical luxury hotel. Fairly fresh-faced in one of Japan’s most historical cities, having opened in October of last year, this property stands perfectly located in Higashiyama-ku, near plenty of temples […]

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Bangkok’s Gaggan tops Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017

March 8, 2017

Just a few weeks ago the annual Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants were announced, heralding culinary perfection throughout some of the most famous foodie destinations in the world. Millions of restaurants were up for considerations as always, and while only one could top the entire list, it’s obviously an enormous deal to be recognised as one […]

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Film Review: Your Name (Kimi no Na wa) (Japan, 2016) will leave you spellbound

November 25, 2016

The Japanese Anime genre has a long history of producing masterpieces. Makoto Shinkai‘s Your Name is no exception. Ahead of its release in Australia, the film has enjoyed rave reviews around the world – and deservedly so. The film centres on Mitsuha (Mone Kamishiraishi) and Taki (Ryunosuke Kamiki), two people with nothing in common except […]

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Photo Gallery: Bo Ningen – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney (23.01.15)

January 25, 2015

Bo Ningen, one of Japan’s finest exports, played a special Sugar Mountain Festival sideshow at Oxford Art Factory on Friday night. Pete Dovgan was there and brings you the photos:

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Sydney Film Festival Review: The Day She Commits Suicide (Japan, 2013)

June 10, 2014

“Today is gonna be a good day. Because, today is ideal day to commit suicide.” The tagline for Yuichi Suita’s short film is both poignant and funny in an absolutely guilt-inducing way. It’s also telling of how viewers are likely to feel throughout the seven-minute film. We watch the un-named and silent protagonist as she […]

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Hello Asia! Film Review: The Wind Rises (Japan, 2013)

March 3, 2014

The Wind Rises (Kaze Tachinu) is the much heralded and final offering from legendary Japanese animated feature film director of Studio Ghibli fame – Hayao Miyazaki. In true Miyazaki style, it is loosely based on historical events steeped deeply in fantasy and adventure. Although this film is a highly fictionalised biography, it pays tribute to […]

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