Japan is a surprisingly large country, stretching over 3.000 km in length. The island country consists of 47 prefectures with a wide range of (tourist) attractions and different features in terms of culture, history and nature. The locals of each prefecture, strongly identify with home prefecture and its culture, food and language. Each prefecture will be a unique experience and they all have their own beauty.
You can decide on your destination depending on your interests and preferences, and learning about each prefecture prior to your visit helps you plan a memorable trip easily and smoothly. Here is a long list of travel highlights of each prefecture of Japan, structured per region, that you should consider visiting.
Hokkaido – 北海道
Hokkaido is the northmost, and second largest island in Japan, separated from any other prefectures. It is popular for the beautiful nature, onsen, tasty gourmet, and the powder snow in the winter season. Hokkaido is the perfect ski destination that caters to everyone’s taste, and level! Visit Hakodate, a big city boasting a number of great restaurants which serve fresh seafood and other local cuisines. For a taste of nature, visit Goryokaku Fort Park, a -must-visit cherry blossom viewing spot in spring, or Shiretoko National Park for amazing hiking options. Noboribetsu Onsen offers a relaxing hot spring experience all year around with stunning scenery. Head to Furano to admire popular seasonal flowers fields such as lavenders covering a vast area with gorgeous purple flowers!
Tohoku Region – 東北地方
Aomori, in the northern tip of the main island Honshu, welcomes tourists with a beautiful natural landscape and fascinating attractions such as Hirosaki Castle, a symbolic castle listed among the 12 original castles in Japan. Join Nebuta Festival, one of the biggest summer festivals in Japan to understand the nation deeply through an exciting cultural event. Don’t forget to visit Lake Towada, the third largest lake offering a beautiful scenery in the peaceful atmosphere!
Iwate, facing the Pacific Ocean, is blessed with fresh seafood such as oysters, which rich in nutrients with a unique flavor. Chuson-ji Temple is a historical temple famous for the luxurious golden pavilion officially designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple is the most popular tourist attraction in the prefecture. Take your children to Koiwai Farm to play with cute animals while enjoying the dairy products made from milk produced there! In summer time visit Jogahama Beach, a beautiful beach perfect for sea bathing. Unwind and take a relaxing stroll on the scenic sandy beach!
Miyagi plays a role as a business center in the Tohoku region, with a large population and popular tourist attractions. Sendai is a prefectural capital, also referred to as Forest City with plenty of nature and relaxing spots such as Aoboyama Park and Hirose River in the urban area. Zuihoden Temple is a mausoleum complex dedicated to the famous warrior Date Masamune, the first feudal lord of Sendai clan which ruled the area from the Sengoku to the Edo period. Matsushima is a scenic spot with 260 rocky islands topped with pine trees located in the Matsushima Port, creating an stunning view!
Akita is a mountainous prefecture facing the Sea of Japan, famous for its rice farming and sake production. Visit Kakunodate, a historical district packed with traditional Japanese houses originally used as a residence of Samurai back in the old days. Walking around the peaceful area gives you a relaxing experience while immersing yourself into cultural and historical aspects of Japan. Lake Tazawa is a beautiful lake, the deepest lake (423 m) in Japan, with an iconic golden statue called Tatsuko-zo, displaying a symbol from a local legend. Drive to the Oga Peninsula for some breathtaking sunset view with Godzilla Rock, an iconic rock with a unique shape resembling a world-famous character Godzilla.
Yamagata boasts a number of tourist spots with beautiful nature and unique features. Zao Onsen located in the Zao Mountain Range, is a famous hot spring spot which also offers a range of outdoor activities such as hiking in summer and skiing in winter. The snow monster of Zao Onsen is a natural phenomenon created by snow that sticks around trees, making them look like a white giant monster! Release yourself from fatigues at Ginzan Onsen, a famous hot spring resort completely covered with beautiful snow in winter. Go for a refreshing hiking experience at Hoshuyama Risshaku Temple with a spectacular panoramic view from the top of the mountain!
Fukushima Prefecture suddenly became world-famous when the disastrous earthquake and tsunami hit the area in 2011. In spite of the unimaginable damage it has received, it has been recovering with the support of locals who are hoping to rebuilt their loses. TEPCO Decommissioning Archive Center is where you can learn about the earthquake and how they managed to decommission the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, with informative exhibits. Visit Tsuruga Castle, a symbolic historical site located in the heart of Aizu Wakamatsu city. Ouchi-juku refers to a historical area full of traditional Japanese buildings and the peaceful surroundings!
We also arrange special tours taking you to disaster areas to help you understand the impact of the disaster with your eyes on site. Our tours are aimed at supporting the locals that are rebuilding the area. Read more about our Fukushima tours.
Kanto Region – 関東地方
Tokyo, the capital of Japan, can be always found on the top of the ‘where-to-visit-lists’ among tourists. It can be divided into 23 wards, and each of them will always keep you entertained with a variety of tourist attractions! Shibuya Crossing is the busiest crossing in the world with an average of 2,500 people walking across at the same time. Meiji-jingu is another highlight in Shibuya that attracts a large number of visitors, especially on New Year’s Day for the first shrine visit of the year. Asakusa is an old town which has Senso-ji, the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo, and many stalls selling local dishes and small gifts. Akihabara is a heaven for manga and anime fans where you can immerse yourself into Japanese pop culture while exploring electronic stores selling cool gadgets. From bustling nightlife to peaceful garden, Tokyo nevers ceases to amaze you.
Kanagawa is often chosen as a day trip destination from Tokyo with attractive (nature) spots. Yokohama is an ideal option for those who want to visit big cities, other than Tokyo, with different entertaining spots and attractions. Try some Chinese cuisines at one of the biggest Chinatowns in the world with hundreds of restaurants and shops. Kamakura, the capital city of Japan from 1185 to 1333, is a beautiful city which boasts a number of historical shrines and temples. Located within an hour by train from Tokyo, it is a great day trip for those who are interested in Japanese history and culture. Visit Hakone, a famous hot spring resort with dynamic nature spots such as the active volcanic Hell Valley and Lake Ashinoko which offers magnificent views of Mt. Fuji!
Chiba is a prefecture located east of Tokyo and facing the Pacific Ocean. Many people find it a perfect place to live while commuting to Tokyo for work, as it is well connected to Tokyo but offers a more peaceful environment. Kujukuri Beach is a sandy beach stretching over 60 km on the northeast coast of the Boso Peninsula. It is a popular beach where you can enjoy watersports such as surfing and enjoy the refreshing sea breeze. Tokyo Disney Resort is undoubtedly the most popular place to visit in Chiba and also the most popular theme park in Japan. For a more spiritual experience visit Naritasan Shinshoji Temple, a sacred temple complex with a history of almost 1,100 years. It takes only 10 minutes to get there from Narita International Airport by train!
Saitama is another popular commuter town sharing a border with Tokyo. Nagatoro is a peaceful town with the population of 7,000, that is a popular location in Saitama with a number of scenic spots in nature. Enjoy calming river cruise on Arakawa river or fo white water rafting on the Nagatoro River. Don’t miss a chance to try Nagatoro’s kakigori, shaved ice made with natural ice which is surprisingly soft and refreshing! Saitama’s most popular place is Kawagoe is an old town known as Little Edo, as there are a number of historical buildings dating back in the Edo era.
Gunma is a small prefecture that you can easily reach in less than an hour from Tokyo by Shinkansen. Kusatsu is one of the most popular hot spring resorts in Japan with the high-quality water that offers a lot of health benefits. Tomioka Silk Mill is a silk factory which was originally started by Japanese government in 1872, and later designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014. Pay a visit to Haruna Shrine, a spiritual spot in recent years with unique scenery of an historical shrine and giant rocks, established about 1,400 years ago.
Tochigi is another perfect spot to spend a day or weekend away from bustle in Tokyo. Nikko is the most popular sightseeing spot that is definitely worth visiting at least once in a lifetime! Toshogu Shrine is a mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu, who was the first Shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate which ruled Japan during the Edo period. The shrine covers a vast area with a number of impressive historical structures, and is officially listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The beautiful details and designs of each structure are extraordinary! Kegon Falls is a scenic waterfall, claimed as one of the three most beautiful waterfalls in Japan. The 97-meter waterfall creates a stunning view especially in autumn, when the leaves around turn into red, green, and yellow and create a beautiful view!
Ibaraki in the north of the Kanto area, offers a range of relaxing experiences in nature. The prefecture is also easily accessible from Tokyo by train or car. Hitachi Seaside Park is a national public park located which welcomes visitors with a large collection of flowers including Nemophila (also known as baby blue eyes), an adorable tiny flower blooming in spring. Renting a bike and exploring around the park’s flower fields is a fun activity with changing scenery all year round. Mount Tsukuba is a small mountain with two separate peaks, with several hiking trails which are relatively easy. Or you can take the cable car up to the summit from which you have a great view of the area! Don’t miss Fukuroda Falls known as one of the three most beautiful waterfalls in Japan along with Kegon falls in Nikko!
Chubu Region – 中部地方
Niigata is a prefecture widely known as the largest producer of rice and scenic rice fields. The heavy snowfall in winter and long season due to the high elevation, make Niigata an ideal destination for winter sports fanatics. Enjoy the soft snow at Gala Yuzawa with several ski courses. Try fresh seafood caught and directly delivered from the Sea of Japan at Teradomari Fish Market. Niigata boasts a number of local sake brands which you can taste at Ponshu-kan sake museum located in Niigata station. Take a scenic drive through Hoshitoge Rice Terraces to catch the photogenic scenery with the sunset.
Aichi is the most developed prefecture of Chubu with a population of over 7.5 million. Most of the people live in Nagoya, the prefectural capital with skyscrapers and business districts. Nagoya Castle is a landmark built by Tokugawa Ieyasu in the Edo period. Outside the castle gates, Kinshachi Yokocho attracts a number of visitors as a perfect spot to try local dishes. Inuyama Castle is another symbolic castle listed among the 12 original castles in Japan. Visit some remote islands such as Himakajima and Sakushima to explore the beautiful nature of Aichi. Chubu Airport is a gateway for domestic and international travellers and also an exciting shopping spot with a number of shops and restaurants available even for those who don’t have travel plans.
Shizuoka is a large prefecture located between Kanagawa and Aichi, famous for green tea and a mild climate, there’s hardly any snowfall in the winter season. Mt. Fuji, Japan’s tallest iconic mountain with sacred historical sites and deep forests at the base,, is definitely the highlight of the prefecture. Shuzenji is a peaceful area known as a hot spring resort with several traditional inns and free foot bathes around the city. Let your children spend some time at Fuji Safari Park, which houses a variety of animals that you can meet closely from your car. Yume no Tsuribashi is a 90-meter suspension bridge located in Sumatakyo Gorge. Take a memorable photo with the scenic surroundings and the emerald green water!
Mie is a home to Ise Grand Shrine, one of Japan’s most sacred Shinto shrines dating back over 2,000 years. Get a refreshing hiking experience in Magome Pass, part of a famous network of ancient pilgrimage trails known as Kumano Kodo. Head to Nabana no Sato, a huge garden with a variety of seasonal flowers and plants fascinating visitors all year round especially in winter with an impressive illumination!
Yamanashi is a landlocked prefecture located north of Shizuoka, home to the northern half of Mount Fuji and the Fuji Five Lakes. Fuji Five Lakes refers to a set of beautiful lakes situated around Mt. Fuji. There are hotels, camping sites, hot spring resorts, and more to explore. Shosenkyo Gorge is a scenic gorge with a peaceful hiking trail taking you to other tourist attractions around. Oshino Hakkai is a small village with traditional Japanese buildings and beautiful ponds. It is always packed with tourists hoping to take a great picture of Mt. Fuji that can be found in the distance on a sunny day.
Nagano is a mountainous prefecture known as a large producer of several kinds of fruit such as apples and grapes. In 1998, the Winter Olympics were organised in Nagano, boosting the areas’ popularity amongst snow activity fanatics. Hakuba, Shiga Kogen and Nozawa Onsen are some its most popular ski resorts. Matsumoto Castle is an iconic landmark which is also listed among the 12 original castles in Japan. Not only is this castle of historical value, it also is widely recognized as a popular cherry blossom viewing spot in spring. Zenkoji Temple is a Buddhist temple which dates back in the 7th century. The Snow Monkey Park is where you can watch Japanese Macaques, better known as Snow Monkeys, relax in natural hot springs. It may surprise you how smart they are to survive the severe winter season by soaking their body in the warm, refreshing bath!
Gifu is another mountainous prefecture home to a world-famous tourist attraction known as Shirakawago, a small village designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are a number of traditional Japanese houses preserved in a perfect condition. They have survived centuries with significant effort of local people to preserve the impressive landscape. Gassho-zukiri is a Japanese architect style with thatched-roofs, preventing the house from collapsing under the heavy snow during winter season. Hida Takayama is another famous spot full of traditional buildings lining the narrow streets, creating a beautiful townscape. Enjoy local specialties such as Hida Beef while walking around the historical area. Another famous spot in Gifu Prefecture is Gero Onsen, one of the greatest hot springs in Japan.
Toyama is a prefecture facing the Sea of Japan. It boasts Kurobe Dam, the biggest artificial dam in Japan located deep in the mountains. The 186-meter-tall dam attracts a lot of tourists especially in summer, when the water stored in the dam is discharged to entertain visitors! Autumn is a great season to visit Toyama as the mountains turn into several colors with beautiful autumn leaves. Amaharashi Beach is a scenic beach stretching along the Toyama bay. During the winter season, you may be able to get a chance to see the beach with Tateyama mountain range partly covered with snow, creating a stunning view! Gokayama is a small village with a number of Japanese traditional houses, which is officially designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Ishikawa is located to the west of Toyama, and accessible from Tokyo in 2.5 hours by the Hokuriku Shinkansen. Kanazawa is a prefectural capital which is sometimes referred to as Little Kyoto, with a number of historical spots such as the townscape of Higashi Chaya District. Kanazawa Castle is a symbolic structure located at the heart of the city, once used as a residence for feudal lords who ruled the area from the 16th to 18 centuries. Visit Kenrokuen, one of the three greatest gardens in Japan located right next to the castle. Exploring the huge garden with a variety of plants and historical structures gives you an opportunity to feel relaxed.
Fukui is a relatively small prefecture which borders Ishikawa, Gifu, Shiga and Kyoto. It owns a world-famous dinosaur museum which houses a large collection of exhibits including valuable fossils of dinosaurs excavated there. Tojinbo Cliffs refer to a series of giant rock formations along the steep coastline. You can walk around on the rocks with a safe pathway, while taking amazing pictures of the sea. If you want to visit somewhere historical, head to Eihei-ji Temple, a sacred Buddhist temple which dates back in the 13th century!
Kansai Region – 関西地方
Shiga is a prefecture east of Kyoto widely known for Lake Biwa, the largest freshwater lake in Japan. Hikone is a beautiful city near Lake Biwa and known for its castle, the most popular tourist destination in the prefecture. Visit Hikone Castle, one of the 12 original castles in Japan, to learn about the history and get a panoramic view of the entire city from the observation deck on the top floor. Hieizan Enryakuji, a Buddhist temple also known as the head temple of the Tendai Sect of Japanese Buddhism, is also a must-visit.
Kyoto is the ancient capital of Japan with a number of famous historical spots such as temples and shrines. Fushimi-inari Taisha Shrine is the most visited tourist attraction in Japan with the thousands of red torii gates. Kinkakuji Temple is the golden temple completely covered with gold leaf, creating a stunning scenery with a beautiful Japanese garden around. Arashiyama is a scenic area which is world-famous for the bamboo forest where you can relax walking through countless numbers of beautiful, green bamboo and visit some of Japan’s most beautiful zen gardens. Stroll through the Gion district, where you can experience the history and the geisha culture, and continue your way up hill to the stunning Kiyomizudera Temple.
Wakayama is a prefecture located to the south of Osaka. It welcomes tourists with a number of scenic and sacred spots such as Kumano Nachi Taisha, a Shinto shrine complex designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site along with Kumano Hongu Taisha and Kumano Hayatama Taisha. The nearby waterfall provides a spectacular backdrop. Kumano is also where you can have a memorable hiking experience along the old pilgrimage routes called Kumano Kodo. Explore the holy shrines while walking through sacred forests. Spend a refreshing summer break at Shirahama Beach, stretching 600 meters with great hotels and inns nearby.
Nara is often visited along with Kyoto, as they are well connected by train and because of the similarity represented by old temples and shrines. At Nara Park, more than 1,200 deer welcome visitors and you can feed them with crackers sold in the park. Todaiji is a Buddhist temple built in the 8th century, officially listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It houses a huge Daibutsu (Great Buddha), which stands 15 meters tall and has a peaceful smile on its face. Nara boasts several other historically important sites including Horyuji Temple, Omiwa Shrine, and Kashihara Jingu Shrine.
Osaka, known as the second largest metropolitan city in Japan, has more than what you can imagine. Osaka Castle is a landmark that is definitely worth a visit. It houses a large collection of valuable exhibits, and takes visitors with an elevator up to the top floor that offers a panoramic view of the city. Try local specialties at the food stalls and restaurants in Dotonbori and Namba area, you can easily understand why Osaka is known as the culinary capital of Japan. Osaka has a unique food culture that is totally different from Tokyo. Visit Osaka Bay Area home to modern tourist attractions such as Universal Studio Japan and Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan.
Hyogo is a prefecture that also attracts a high number of tourists to the Kansai region. Himeji Castle is an iconic castle widely known for the beauty of the white walls. Enjoy relaxing hot springs at Arima Onsen, one of the oldest Onsen resorts in Japan with beautiful nature around. Takeda Castle Ruins refers to a castle ground with no buildings, but it fascinates visitors with the unique scenery when it looks like floating on a sea of clouds during autumn and winter season! Don’t forget to try Kobe beef which is incredibly tender and flavorful!
Chugoku Region – 中国地方
Okayama is a peaceful prefecture nicknamed Land of Sun. It boasts a large produce of fresh peach and other juicy fruits. Kurashiki Bikan Area, once a flourishing merchant town, is where most tourists visit. The beautiful landscape with a number of traditional Japanese buildings in a perfect condition, make visitors feel as if they traveled back in the Edo period. Okayama Castle dates back to around the 16th century and is another must-visit if you have an interested in Japanese history. Right next to the castle, you can find Okayama Korakuen Garden, one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan!
Hiroshima is the a business and economical center in the Chugoku region with over 2.8 million population. Partly because of the tragic history with an atomic bomb dropped on the city in 1945, it has served as a popular tourist destination with great tourist attractions. the Peace Memorial Museum houses a large collection of exhibits including pictures taken soon after the bomb attack. Atomic Bomb Dome is located within walking distance for the informative museum in the Peace Memorial Park. Miyajima is another popular spot famous for the big red tori gate that appears to be floating on the ocean on high tide. The small island is full of exciting experiences: visit Itsukushima Shrine, try local specialties such as Momiji-Manjyu, hike to the summer of Mount Misen and take a memorable photo with cute free roaming deer!
Yamaguchi is located at the western tip of the main island in Japan. It is famous for fresh blowfish caught at Shimonoseki, a port town known as the largest blowfish harvester in Japan. Tsunoshima is a beautiful island connected to the main island by the 1,780-meter bridge completed in 2000. Many people flock to Tsunoshima to escape from the summer heat and enjoy sea bathing in the crystal-clear water. Kintai Bridge is a historical wooden bridge which attracts crowds especially in spring, when the cherry blossoms along the river are in full bloom!
Tottori is a home to Tottori Sakyu, the largest sand dunes in Japan. It stretches about 16 km along the Sea of Japan, creating an unique scenery. You can explore the desert riding on a camel or go paragliding.For some amazing, unique sand arts such as a life-sized statue visit the nearby Sand Museum. Enjoy a refreshing boat cruise at Uradome Coast which has a white sandy beach, giant cliffs created by wave erosion, and other scenic spots in nature. Hakuto Shrine is a small, peaceful shrine where you can spot a number of statues of white rabbits!
Shimane is a small prefecture which bordering Yamaguchi, Hiroshima, and Tottori. The highlight of Shimane is undoubtedly Izumo Taisha Shrine, one of the oldest and greatest shrines in Japan along with Ise Grand Shrine in Mie prefecture. It is believed that it brings a good fortune for love and marriage, making it a popular visit among couples and young generations in recent years. Matsue Castle is another attractive spot, designated as National treasure and one of the 12 original castles in Japan. During the spring season, it gets packed with visitors to enjoy cherry blossom viewing!
Shikoku Region – 四国地方
Kouchi is one of the four prefectures comprising the Shikoku region. It covers both vast mountainous areas and long coastlines, making it a perfect destination for those looking for adventurous experiences in different sceneries. Kouchi Castle is an elegant castle located at the heart of Kochi city. Go to Katsurahama Beach to catch a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean and feel the refreshing sea breeze. Shimanto River is one of the beautiful, intact streams that can be spotted in the mountainous areas with about 47 footbridges built over it. Enjoy rafting or canoeing in the longest river in the Shikoku region while getting yourself unwind in the peaceful surroundings away from crowds in a big city.
Ehime is a small prefecture in west Shikoku and includes a number of small islands. It has everything that foreign tourists expect to try and visit during their trip to Japan including castles, temples and onsen. Its main attraction in Dogo Onsen, known from the Ghibli movie Spirited Away. Ehime prefecture is also the final prefecture of the Shimanami Kaido, a 60km long scenic toll road, that is also very popular among cyclists. Pay a visit to Oyamazumi Shrine, a small sacred shrine on Oshima island. Don’t forget to try fresh seafood at local restaurants!
Kagawa is the smallest prefecture in Japan, and known as the Udon prefecture. It will give you a totally different impression once you visit there with a number of attractive spots. Kompirasan is a Shinto shrine which is dedicated to the sailors and seafaring, and also a main shrine of Kompira shrines in Japan. In spring, enjoy cherry blossoms blooming around Marugame Castle. Take a ferry from Takamatsu port to the prefectures most popular attraction: Naoshima Island. The art island is full of art works and home to impressive art museums in harmony with nature!
Tokushima is relatively less famous among (international) tourists, but it has many hidden spots waiting to be discovered! Naruto Kaikyo refers to the strait underneath the Onaruto Bridge connecting Tokushima to Awaji island in the Sea of Seto. Join a boat tour that takes you close to the huge swirling whirlpools, called Uzushio is Japanese. Explore Iya valley which features rocky gorges and deep forests with vine suspension bridges called Kazura-bashi Bridges over the beautiful Iya river. Ochiai Village is one of the prefectures most popular tourist attractions, here you can see traditional Japanese houses built on the slope of a mountain!
Kyushu Region – 九州地方
Fukuoka is the most urbanized prefecture in Kyushu region with a large population and busy business districts. Try local dishes such as Tonkotsu Ramen and Mizutaki at local restaurants around Tenjin Area or Fukuoka Tower, both located in the namesake prefectural capital. Visit Dazaifu Tenmangu dedicated to the god of education, or Munakata Taisha, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located on a sacred island Okinoshima. Nanzoin Temple houses one of the biggest bronze statues of Buddha in the world, the reclining buddha. For nature spots, head to Kawauchi Fujien, a great spot to admire the stunning wisteria flowers blossom in spring
Saga is where you can see the countryside life in Japan while exploring attractive tourist spots. The prefecture is famous for Japanese porcelain, with Arita-yaki and Imari-yaki pottery styles that gained worldwide popularity. Yoshinogari Park is an archaeological site with a number of remains and reconstructed structures of an ancient village dating back to the Yayoi period (300 BC to 300 AC). Visit Saga Castle, a reconstructed landmark which houses a large collection of exhibits helping visitors learn about the history of the city. For a relaxing experience, dip in to the waters of Takeo Onsen or Ureshino Onsen.
Nagasaki has unique features such as an exotic atmosphere influenced by western countries and hilly areas creating an impressive townscape. The prefecture is home to the man-made island of Dejima, through which the only western influences were allowed during the Sakoku (closed country) period. Visit the Atomic Bomb Museum to learn about the tragic history about the atomic bomb attack in 1945. Glover Garden allows you to take a relaxing stroll in a lovely garden with historical western style buildings back in the Meiji period. For a breathtaking night view, head up to Mount Inasa Observatory, they claim to have the best nighttime panorama in Japan. Another recommended visit are the Goto Islands, a cluster of scenic islands with beautiful natural spots accessible by plane or ferry.
Kumamoto is one of the most popular destinations in Kyushu, known as the land of water due to its large flow of spring water. The prefecture is home to Mount Aso, the largest active volcano in Japan. Rent a car and head to Aso Area, where you’ll find a number of scenic spots and hot spring resorts such as Kurokawa Onsen. Visit Nabegataki Waterfall which is considered one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Japan, or head to Amakusa where you might get a chance to watch wild dolphins.
Oita boasts the most onsen sources in Japan, with several world-renowned hot spring resorts such as Fufuin and Beppu. Mt. Yufu is a large mountain which is an ideal hiking spot during summer season with lush greenery around. Harajiri no Taki is a scenic waterfall often referred as The Eastern Niagara Falls because of the beautiful façade. Rokugo Manzan refers to a unique local religious culture with a number of ancient temples, shrines, and statues that can be spotted along the refreshing hiking trails on the Kunisaki Peninsula!
Miyazaki is located in the southeastern part of Kyushu, and it fascinates visitors with scenic mountains, sacred spots, and a warm climate similar to tropical islands. Takachiho Gorge is definitely a highlight that you shouldn’t miss. The powerspot formed by the lava flow of the nearby Mt. Aso, offers a stunning view of the v-shaped valley. Udo Shrine is a sacred Shinto shrine situated in a natural cave on the side of the steep cliff along the Nichinan Coast which offers a stunning view too. Enjoy surfing at Aoshima Island, or take a peaceful walk at Heiwadai Park. Try Shochu, the Japan’s oldest distilled alcoholic beverage with local delicacies!
Kagoshima is widely known for Sakurajima Volcano, a symbolic volcanic mountain overlooking Kagoshima city. Yakushima is a beautiful island which boasts a number of refreshing hiking trails, making it a popular trekking spot with scenic spots such as Jomonsugi and Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine, two spots that served as an inspiration for the Ghibli movies Princess Mononoke. Kirishima mountain range is another popular hiking spot. Visit Satsuma Peninsula to try the famous natural sand baths in Ibusuki Onsen Tow.
Okinawa – 沖縄
Okinawa offers totally different adventures and experiences from other parts of Japan. The group of about 160 tropical islands, offers a generally warm and pleasant subtropical climate all year round. Enjoy local specialties and shopping at Kokusai Dori Street in Naha, the prefectural capital, which is also home to UNESCO World Heritage Site Shurijo Castle that is currently undergoing extensive renovations after a tragic fire in 2019. Fly to remote islands such as Ishigaki Island to get close to nature and enjoy marine sports such as diving and snorkeling in the crystal-clear water. Okinawa is known its’ tasty local dishes influenced especially by China, South East Asia, and the US. The unique cuisine is mixed with a surprisingly amount of pork and beef, rather than fish; try Ishigaki beef that melts away in your mouth with an unforgettable flavor!
Japan Wonder Travel
Japan Wonder Travel can assist you in all your travel needs, whether it concerns arranging a (private) tour, getting tickets to museums or travel tips, we have got you covered. We would be happy to make arrangements for your trip to Japan and make it a safe, comfortable, and unforgettable memory! Some of our product:
1. [Virtual Tour] Tokyo Highlights
Our virtual tour introduces you to some of the highlights of Tokyo with helpful information that allows you to get ready for your next trip! A great option to prepare your upcoming Japan trip.
2. Tokyo 1–Day Highlights Private Walking Tour
Join a private tour and explore the highlights in Tokyo with our friendly local guide. The itinerary can be customized according to your wishes.
3. Fukushima Disaster Area Tour
On March 11, 2011, Japan was taken by surprise by the the Great Kanto Earthquake. It was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in Japan and the following 15m high tsunami destroyed large parts of Fukushima’s coastal area and caused a nuclear accident. This tour will give you an insight into event and the current situation, by supporting the locals that are rebuilding the area.
Each prefecture of Japan has its own highlights and unique selling points and all are wonderful destinations which offers everyone a memorable time in Japan. You can choose your destination depending on your interests, but starting from famous places and/or big cities might be easiest when you are visiting Japan for the first time. But if you are looking for more of the beaten path destinations. there is plenty to choose from too! Explore the beautiful country full of unique tourist attractions and excitements as much as you can.
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