Full of charming natural areas, Japan is one of the most stunning places in the world. This culturally rich country boasts with thousands year old traditions and truly hospitable people.
As a volcanically active country, Japan has thousands of natural geothermal baths scattered throughout all of its major islands. Visit a traditional onsen (an outdoor hot spring with bathing facilities) or a sentō (a public bath house) and experience a great and very relaxing way to bathe and take a sauna.
In Jigokudani Monkey Park you can watch wild Japanese macaques, more commonly referred to as snow monkeys, lounging in an open-air onsen. The name Jigokudani, meaning "Hell's Valley", is due to the steam and boiling water that bubbles out of the frozen ground. The animals go to the valley during the winter to sit in the warm hot springs.
Photo: sido kagawa, Shutterstock
How to get there:
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Where to stay:
In Tokyo, we encourage you to stay at 3* Apa Hotel Keiseinarita-Ekimae with a good price, very good reviews and free cancellation! This property is a 1-minute walk from Keisei Narita Train Station and a 15-minute train ride from Narita Airport. Guests stay in modern rooms with a flat-screen satellite TV and a private bath. Free Wi-Fi is accessible anywhere in the hotel.
In Okinawa we suggest you stay in 3* Abest Clube Naha Hokusai-Street with very good reviews. Featuring free WiFi throughout the property, Abest Cube Naha Kokusai Street offers accommodation in Naha, 2.3 km from Tamaudun Mausoleum. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar.
What to do:
Whether you’re an adventurer, history junkie, or travelling with kids – Japan has a little something for everyone. For example, you can learn basic karate – the famous Japanese art of self-defence, or visit a private karaoke singing room.
Take a relaxing cruise across Lake Ashi and enjoy the Mt Fuji views from the Hakone Ropeway. The volcano’s exceptionally symmetrical cone is a well-known symbol of Japan.
Japan, with its centuries of Shinto and Buddhist tradition, has numerous cultural festivals. Take part in cultural and entertainment events, like Fireworks Festivals and Bon-Odori – a Japanese Buddhist custom to honour the spirits of the dead. Every year in August tens of thousands of participants dance in circles around the central fountain in the Hibiya Park in Tokyo. During this festival you can enjoy local culture through the dance.
Visit Osaka Castle (Ōsaka-jō), one of Japan’s most famous landmarks.
You can go to one of many amusement parks, like Tokyo Disneyland, Universal Studios Japan or Tokyo DisneySea. Especially popular with kids, they offer plenty to entertain adults too.
Admire the fragrant wisteria tunnel at the Kawachi Fuji Garden. It displays about 150 wisteria plants of 20 different species and hosts the annual Wisteria Festival at the end of April, when the flowers are in full bloom.
This country offers many excellent opportunities for hiking. The trails range from easy to difficult. The country boasts a number of outstanding national parks and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. One of the most spectacular is Chūbu-Sangaku National Park, including some of the highest peaks in the country.
Japan is a world class winter sports destination with over 500 ski resorts across the country. If you want to go skiing or snowboarding from Tokyo, there’s a couple of small resorts on Mount Fuji. You also should consider visiting the most easily accessible and most popular resorts in the Yuzawa region of Niigata Prefecture, which can be reached in only 90 minutes by shinkansen.
In spring you should go one of the parks to enjoy the cherry blossoms (sakura). In autumn you can head to Kochia Hill, covered with red summer cypress.
For excellent beaches, brilliant dive sites and great hiking, head to Ishigaki-jima, an island located 100km southwest of Miyako-jima.
Take a ferry to Tashirojima Island, where the cats outnumber people.
Visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, dedicated to victims of the atomic bombing of August 6, 1945.
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