Perhaps you will need at least a month to visit the Japan's surface. The capital Tokyo, and the former imperial city and thriving cultural centre of Kyoto, will be top of most visitors' itineraries, and deservedly so, but you could avoid the cities entirely and head to the mountains or smaller islands to discover a different side of the country, away from the most heavily beaten tourist tracks. |
To travel to Tokyo offers the perfect opportunity to observe the various attractions and hot-spots here. The city of Tokyo, the Japan capitol, is a magnetic mix of urban civilization and traditional culture. Tokyo is a very large city, the metropolis of Tokyo is composed of 23 city wards.
The highest mountain in Japan with a conical shape. The center of mountain worship for centuries.
Mt. Fuji is 3,776m high and is the highest mountain in Japan situated at the border of southeastern Yamanashi and Shizuoka. With its unrivaled magnificence and beautiful conic shape, Mt. Fuji has often been selected as the subject for paintings and literature. It is the world famous symbol of Japan.
At the foot of Mt. Fuji, there are the Five Lakes of Fuji, the Aoki-ga-hara Sea of Forest that is dark even during the day, as well as Kitaguchi-Hongu Fuji-Sengen Shrine that was constructed to calm the eruption of Mt. Fuji. The Fire Festival of Yoshida, held at the end of the year as a ritual of closing the climbing season for Mt. Fuji, is one of the three most peculiar festivals in Japan.
A spacious island located at Japan's northern extremity with festivals throughout the seasons. A region abundant with natural beauty.
Hokkaido is an island at Japan's northern extremity, surrounded by sea in all directions. It is an extensive land, accounting for 22% of Japan's total area. Low humidity makes the summers pleasant, while in winter you can enjoy winter sports. The island is gaining popularity as a tourist destination throughout the four seasons.
In Hokkiado you can enjoy the magnificence of nature to your heart's content: Daisetsu-zan National Park, which forms the roof of Hokkaido; the secluded Shiretoko-hanto Peninsula; Kushiro Marsh, home to many precious living things such as Japanese cranes; the Shikotsu-Toya National Park, which is full of volcanoes and lakes; and the ever-changing Shakotan Coast. There are also numerous hot springs, like Noboribetsu-onsen, Jozan-kei-onsen and Soun-kyo-onsen Hot Springs, where you can leisurely get over the tiredness from your journey.
Tochigi - Nikko
A luxurious and popular location for vacationing. Simply rife with the elaborate and beautiful architecture of temples and shrines.
Nikko lies at the foot of Mt. Nyoho-san in the western part of Tochigi and it has developed as the temple town for Futara-san-jinja Shrine, Toshogu Shrine and Rin-no-ji Temple. There runs the Nikko-Suginamiki-Kaido (Nikko's Japanese- cedar-lined Road), which is designated as a natural monument. And the city forms a part of the Nikko National Park.
Toshogu Shrine is where the famous Shogun of the Edo Period in the 17th century, Tokugawa Ieyasu, was worshiped after his death. It became as luxurious and elaborates as it looks today when the grandson of Ieyasu, the third Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu, reconstructed it. The engravings on the Yomei-mon Gate are especially overwhelming, provided with every luxury imaginable and redolent in gorgeous colors. The engravings of the three monkeys in Shinkyu-sha and the statue of Nemuri-neko, the sleeping cat, are also well known.
Kanagawa - Hakone
One of the best international holiday resorts. Home of renowned spas and a large historical zone.
Hakone is the name that refers to the whole area, surrounding Mt. Hakone-yama that is situated in the southwestern part of Kanagawa, and is part of the Fuji Hakone Izu National Park. Hakone is an internationally well-known holiday resort that includes many renowned spas and Lake Ashino-ko, which was created by Mt. Fuji's repetitive volcanic activity. In Hakone, there are said to be "Hakone Thirteen Spas", or some even say "Hakone Seventeen Spas" altogether distinguished from each other by their distinctive ingredients and different healing effects.
There are many other interesting sites in the surrounding area of Hakone. Visit Onshi Hakone Park, for instance, to see the up-side-down Mt. Fuji reflected in the surface of Lake Ashino-ko nearby. Hakone Museum proudly presents its collection of approximately 50 pieces of pottery. Enjoy a pleasant walk through Hakone Sengokubara Shissei Kaen where a beautiful garden of hydrophytes welcomes you. The conservation and protection of nature and the historical sites are well maintained in Hakone. The wetland plant colony is listed as a natural monument. Rows of cedar trees stretch for 2 km along the old Tokaido and the group of stone statues of Buddha is enshrined in Hakone.
Gifu - Takayama
A beautiful, historical town, with projecting latticework and eaves of uniform heights. One of the three largest festivals in Japan.
Takayama in the northern part of Gifu Prefecture is a castle town at the foot of Takayama Castle built in the 16th century. It is a town of old wooden houses standing side by side, and its lineal beauty, highlighted by projecting lattice and eaves of uniform height, draws visitors' attention. Takayama-matsuri Festival, believed to have begun in the 16th to 17th century, is one of the three largest and most beautiful festivals in Japan. At the Festival, intricate floats roam around the city. The floats, utilizing the essence of Hida's traditional techniques, are dazzling and magnificent. Takayama-matsuri Festival is held in spring and autumn every year. In the spring the central shrine is Hie-jinja Shrine, and in autumn, the central shrine is Sakura-yama Hachiman-gu Shrine.
An ancient capital of excellent architectures. Images of Buddha abound at the Horyu-ji Temple, a World Cultural Heritage Site. Nara prefecture is situated in the central west of the Japanese mainland. The capital was placed in the Asuka region, a southern part of Nara Basin...
The symbol of world peace, Hiroshima. Miyajima Island symbolized by the Grand Torii Gate in the Sea. Hiroshima is situated at the center of the Chugoku region in western Honshu Island (the main island of Japan). It contains In'noshima Island and 150 other islands...
Many peninsulas, 971 islands and exotic streets. A diverse, exciting and throbbing area of varied cultural and topographic differences. Nagasaki Prefecture lies in the northwestern part of Kyushu, and consists of five peninsulas and many islands. With the sea in between...
Crystal blue seas, white-sand beaches and colorful marine life. Shuri Castle, home of the King of Ryukyu.
Okinawa, lying nearly halfway between Kyushu and Taiwan, consists of more than 100 islands and isles of different sizes and is situated at the southern extremity of the Japanese Archipelago. The climate there is mild and comfortable to live, with temperatures not falling below the springtime levels in Tokyo and Osaka even in winter.
On the islands grow gregariously tropical and semitropical plants, like banyan trees, blooming one after another all the year round. The features of Okinawa also include the inhabitation of many rare living things, such as Iriomote wildcats registered as a natural monument and living on the Iriomote-jima Island. The crystal blue sea with white-sand beaches and colorful fishes dancing through coral attracts vacationers as a holiday resort with many diving spots.