Welcome to Lost in Japan

A collection of blogs, articles and guides on our favourite subject - Japan!

We've put this site together to share and document our own experiences as well as assist other lovers of all things Japan in planning their own adventures.

Mt Zao Fox Village

We visited Mt Zao Fox Village on a snowy February day in 2017 as part of a road trip. The village is a 20-30 minute drive from the nearest train station (Shiroshi) and so car is the easiest way to get there. There is plenty of parking and at the time of our visit the attraction was incredibly quiet.

Road trip day 5: Mount Zao snow monsters

The morning after our very early night in Niigata we woke up feeling refreshed and popped to the 7eleven for a cheeseburger for me (such a healthy breakfast!) and a nikuman (steamed pork bun) for Tom before hitting the road on our next adventure back into the mountains to Zao Onsen and Mount Zao. Zao Onsen is a traditional popular hot spring and ski resort in the mountains of Yamagata Prefecture and it is one of only a few places in Japan where "snow monsters" exist!

Hotel review: Chisun Inn Niigata Chuo Interchange

The Chisun Inn Niigata Chuo IC is part of the Chisun Hotels chain who offer simple, comfortable, well priced hotel accommodation across Japan. Tom and I stayed at this particular branch in February 2017 for one night as part of our winter road trip around northern Honshu. The hotel is on the outskirts of Niigata right next to the express way and easy to locate, and as we had the car one of it's selling points was free on-site parking.

Cafe Restaurant Gusto

Gusto (full name Cafe Restaurant Gusto) is one of the largest nationwide family restaurant chains in Japan and is part of the Skylark Group. They're dotted all over Tokyo and other major city centres but are also found roadside on the outskirts of many towns, usually with parking available. Just look out for the red circle logo which says “café” in English followed by: ガスト which means “Gusto” in katakana. The restaurant is a great choice for patrons of all ages and offers a variety of Japanese takes on western dishes including hambagu, pasta, chicken and much more at low prices.

2017 Road Trip day 4: A drive along the north coast to Niigata

We woke up super early after a fantastic night out in Nagano and it was absolutely freezing in our room at the ryokan. It is fair to say I felt a bit fragile from the amount of beer consumed the night before and struggled to convince myself to crawl out from my cosy futon to the bathroom and into the shower. I should have trusted my instincts because when I eventually did haul myself out of bed the bathroom was even colder than the room we had slept in!

2017 Road Trip day 3: Breathtaking views, frozen lakes, snow monkeys and Nozawa Onsen

We again woke early despite the bed being one of the most comfortable we've ever slept in! We'd planned ahead and bought breakfast from a convenience store on the way back to the hotel the previous night so we ate this whilst watching the sunrise over the mountains from the window: