Travelling is not all about seeing different places in the world; it is how we see the world which has been somehow remote to us until the time we saw it and understand its working mechanism better to describe our inner self by comparison. Visiting different places and meeting diverse people develops a sense of individuality in us. By meeting people who are different from us, we learn new things which then diminish the sample space thereby helping us find our true personalities. Luckily the world has plentiful of beautiful places to visit, of which Japan is a fairly good choice. The following are the top 10 must visit destinations in Japan which will give you an unforgettable experience.
After a long day trip from Tokyo, you reach Nikko. Set amidst the mountains comprising of famous sanctuaries and temples, Nikko is worth a visit. The breathtaking mountains rise abruptly around the town full of monkeys and Japanese Macaque, which are often seen foraging along the road. There is also the Lake Chuzenji and Kegon Falls, one of the tree highest waterfalls in Japan.
9. Ogasawara Islands:
Stretching to almost 2000 kms to the southeast of Tokyo, the Ogasawara islands become less inhabited the more you go south. A number of beautiful, remote, volcanic islands and a collection of endemic species are protected under the Ogasawara National Park. Inhabited mostly by small fishing and farming communities, most of the subtropical and tropical islands are isolated and best reached by ferry.
8. Kinkaku-ji, Kyoto:
The land of pine trees, Kinkaku-ji is best known as the Golden Pavilion which is among the most visited sites in Japan. There’s much more, too, as the city houses 17 designated UNESCO World Heritage sites, most dated between the 10th and the 19th centuries. The city of Kyoto was largely sparred as a bombing target in World War 2.
7. Bomb Dome, Hiroshima:
Built on the ground over which the ‘Little Boy’ detonated in Hiroshima, the Bomb Dome was designed by a Czech architect in 1916. Centrepiece of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, it is located only 150 metres from the hypocentre of the explosion. It was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
6. Kita Alps:
The most rugged of Japan’s mountain chains, the Kita Alps are a difficult place to reach as it requires a number of train trips or a drive along narrow isolated roads in the north of Japan. The town of Kamikochi sits at a base more than 5000 feet below the third highest mountain in Japan, Hotaka–dake. The River Azusa which flows through the city has remarkable shades of cobalt blue.
5. Sado Island:
The sixth largest island in Japan, Sado Island is located in the Sea of Japan. The island has a rich history as it was a penal colony for Japanese exiles as early as the 8th century. The island houses some remarkable temples such as Myosen ji, Konpon ji and Jisso ji as well as some ruins. Today, the population of the island is 63,000, which is nearly half of what it was in 1950s and more than one-third of the residents are more than 65 years old.
4. Ginza, Tokyo:
Ginza in downtown Tokyo is an unofficial shrine to Japanese industry and material culture, if there is one. Surrounded by a vast complex of buildings, including the Imperial Palace, Ginza is best experienced at night.
3. Daisetsuzan National Park, Hokkaido:
The Alaska of Japan, the island of Hokkaido houses a number of beautiful national parks among which Daisetsuzan is the most celebrated one. Its crowning glory is a sleeping volcano, Mount Asahidake, which is covered by snow the most part of the year.
With rocky shorelines and hidden coves, the Izu peninsula in the proximity of Tokyo, encloses numerous hot springs which add to the beauty of this rugged area. Hiking trails reach the top covering beautiful landscapes and a variety of flora such as Seabold’s beach, Japanese Andromeda and rhododendrons.
1. Mount Fuji:
The utmost mountain peak in the Land of the Rising Sun, Mount Fuji is indubitably the country’s most iconic natural landmark. Its approximate impeccable cone is scaled by over 250,000 people every year as it considered one of the three consecrated mountains in Japan, along with Tateyama and Hakusan. Mount Fuji is a dormant volcano which last erupted in 1708. The peak is covered in snow during the winters.