About half way between Hakodate and Sapporo you’ll find an almost circular lake with a handful of islands in the middle, and on the southern shore of that lake the resort town of Toyako Onsen. Lonely Planet describes it as “faded”, which is a pretty fair description, but if you’re a fan of either onsen or hiking (or, ideally, both) it’s well worth a stop.
Shimabara is a smallish town on a peninsular on the West side of Kyushu. You might want to pay it a visit en-route between Nagasaki and Kumamoto – the former is reachable by train, and the latter by ferry. I visited in 2013. To get to Shimabara from Nagasaki, take a JR train to Isahaya, […]