Sunday, June 15, 2014

6 Places in Japan You Wouldn't Think of Visiting But Are Totally Worth It

8 comments:
 

If you plan a trip to Japan and your itinerary says Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, you are missing a lot of beautiful places that are well worth visiting. Here's a list of my six favourite places I have visited and are missed by majority of tourists and travellers alike.

6. Hakone

 


Very well known among the Japanese as a place to relax in an onsen hot spring, Hakone offers beautiful nature, forests and lakes and stunning views of nearby Mount Fuji in good weather. And it's really near Tokyo, accessible by train. The picture above is not from Mordor, but from a local sulfur mine. The hot springs in Hakone contain sulfur and are used to cook eggs that turn black in the sulfur water.

5. Goshiki-numa, Fukushima

 


Fukushima is probably not very popular now, but there are still places you should not miss. One of them is a cluster of five volcanic lakes called Goshiki-numa, created only in 1888 by eruption of nearby volcano Mt. Bandai. Each lake has a different color due to mineral deposits.

4. Hirosaki

 


Hirosaki is located in Aomori prefecture, the northernmost prefecture of the Japan's largest island Honshu. A famous sakura festival is happening in Hirosaki near its beautiful castle at the end of April. Japanese love their sakura and they love ohanami (kind of a picnic with viewing the cherry blossom trees). Each year there's a forecast when the trees start blossoming. But in Hirosaki the festival date is fixed. The trees are kept in cold using dry ice to start blossoming at the right moment. If you have missed sakura in other parts of Japan, a trip to Hirosaki might just save the day.

3. Arashiyama 

 


You might have seen the above bamboo forest somewhere already. It's quite popular scenic spot among nature photographers. And if you are planning a trip to Kyoto, you might see it as well. The bamboo forest is located just a short train ride away from Kyoto in a small town called Arashiyama. The town itself has beautiful temples as well and it feels much more relaxed than Kyoto with its package tours.


2. Tottori



It's not somewhere in Africa, this is Japan, too. Tottori is definitely not a major tourist hot spot, but if you are on the way to Hiroshima or elsewhere in western Japan and love sand dunes, give it a try. The dunes are located in a park just next to the sea and they look exactly like the ones in movies. There's also a sand boarding rental shop and sliding on sand from the top of the dune to the beach was one of the best experiences in my life.

1. Jigokudani snow monkey park near Shibu Onsen, Nagano

 


One of the strangest experiences from Japan that I have is a bath with a monkey. It happened in Shibu onsen when a monkey wandered from a nearby park to have a bath in a hotel onsen. The monkeys have their own hot spring there and they learned how to use it in winter to keep them warm. But it's not the only attraction of Shibu onsen. Staying in a ryokan during winter, having a bath every time you return from a walk in the picturesque village, nearby forests or the monkey park and eating local speciality, soba noodles, felt just so good...

8 comments:

  1. Great round up! I was planning on going to Japan this fall but we decided to go to Malaysia instead but I'm still hoping to score some cheap tickets (they were more expensive) I'm dying to go to Japan!

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    1. Thanks! I will keep blogging about Japan for a while, because I currently live there :)

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  2. Wow, some of those are definitely not on the tourist map Martin. Thanks for linking up today, hope you can also visit others for Travel Photo Monday

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    1. I did that before I posted, just to make sure my link will be ok. Some of them are more interesting than others, but overall great for blog discovery! Thanks!

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  3. Great places! I've heard of a few, but the others are new to me. I would love to go to Japan one day.

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    1. Thanks. It's a great country to visit!

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