Hidden places in Japan

1. Mt. Aso

The Region of Aso in Kyushu (Japan), became UNESCO World Geo Park in September 2014. Japan`s largest volcano named “Mt.Aso” or “Asosan”. 1592 meters taller and being due to erupt at any given moment as Aso is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. The mountain’s caldera, created by multiple gigantic eruption in the distant past, is with a circumference of over 100 kilometres. In the centre of the caldera stand the currently active peaks of the volcano.

The main crater can be accessed and viewed by tourists but gets occasionally closed due to high levels of volcanic gases. Erupted in 2016 but has since calmed down again. Aso’s ancient caldera ranks among the world’s largest.

How do you feel about visiting Aso in your next trip to Japan?

2. Shirogane Blue Pond

The Blue Pond (Aoiike), located outside Shirogane town (Hokkaido) and named like that because its intense blue colour due to natural minerals dissolved in the water. The pond was built to prevent damage to Biei in case of an eruption from Mount Tokachidake.

We can say that this beautiful scenery was made by mistake, with several overlapping coincidences and a unique number of trees. With no tourist intention at the beginning of its creation, it was promoted as a tourist spot few years ago and still a fresh, unknown and different destination for the tourism.

Check the season for visiting The Blue Pond, as it looks different depending of the season. A recommendation? In Fall and Winter looks awesome!

3. Kumano Nachi Taisha

Kumano Nachi Taisha (Kawayama prefecture) was one of the main destinations of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes and leads 600 meters up to the gates of Nachi Taisha where we can find the 133 meters waterfall Nachi no Taki, the tallest waterfall in Japan. Shintoism and Buddhism coexist in harmony in Nachi Taisha. Besides the Kumano shrine is situated in the Buddhist temple Seigantoji.

The buildings of both, the shrine and the temple are impressive, and among the buildings of Seigantoji there is a three-story pagoda. Before the development of organized religious doctrine, Nachi no Taki was venerated by the earliest Japanese people.

Even today, visitors will be impressed by the natural power and beauty of the falls. Looking at the picture there is no mistake about how astonishing it is!

4. Gokayama

Lined with the Shogawa River Valley in the remote mountains from Gifu to Toyama Prefectures, Gokayama is declared a UNESCO world heritage site since 1995. Famous for the traditional farmhouses or gassho-zukuri meaning “constructed like hands in prayer, because the similarity of the roofs as Buddhist monks’ hands pressed together praying.

The region is surrounded by mountains as high as 1500m and with 2 o 3 m of snow in the winter. Some of these farmhouses are 250 years old or even more, with a specific design and architecture created to hold large amounts of snow

If what you want is something less developed, less crowded and with less modern building, Gokayama’s nicest villages are Suganuma and Ainokura, where you will feel the original essence of the old Japan.

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