- 1. Utsukushigahara/ Nagano
- 2. Kamikochi/ Nagano
- 3. Towada & Oirase/ Aomori
- 4. Kiyosato/ Yamanashi
- 5. Beauty Forest/ Niigata
- 6. Furano & Biei/ Hokkaido
- 7. Ryugashido Cave/ Shizuoka
- 8. Shikoku Karst/ Ehime
- 9. Iwami Ginzan Ryugenji Mabu / Shimane
- 10. Takachiho / Miyazaki
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In Japan, the summer heat is sometimes unbearable. During summer, the temperature easily gets over 30℃ or even over 35℃ with unpleasant humidity. So, how about going away from the heat and spend sometimes in somewhere cool in Japan?
1. Utsukushigahara/ Nagano
There are cattle and horses grazing in the 2,000 meters high plateau and you can enjoy the gorgeous panoramic view over Japanese Alps. Take a nice and relaxing walk in Utsukushigahara and there are some spots to visit such as Tower of Utsukushi and Ougato which is the highest peak where some radio towers stand in line. In the east of Utsukushigahara, you can go to The Utsukushigahara Open-Air Museum which has over 350 sculptures on the site. There are restaurants next to the museum to take a break and also you can see many different kind of alpine flowers and plants in the museum site.
2. Kamikochi/ Nagano
Kamikochi is a popular destination to beat the summer heat. Taisho Pond is surrounded by mountains and woods. The breathtaking view of the reflection on the clear water is outstanding! This pond was made in one night from the eruption of Mt.Yake over a hundred years ago. The recommended hiking trails are starting from Kappa Bridge and walking to Taisho Pond. It will take about 80 minutes and the length is about 4km in one way.
3. Towada & Oirase/ Aomori
One of the most beautiful lakes in Japan, Lake Towada is located on the boarder between Aomori and Akita prefecture. Oirase Stream runs from Lake Towa to Yakeyama and it is about 14km long. During the summer, you can enjoy the beautiful greenery with cool air. Walking around Oirase Stream is not hard, the trail is basically very smooth, so it is a great hiking course for everyone! You can see beautiful stream flowing between rocks covered with moss and dynamic splash at the waterfalls.
4. Kiyosato/ Yamanashi
Kiyosato highland is located in the southeast of Yatsugatake mountains. It is 1,200m high and you can look over Mt.Fuji and Japanese Alps. It takes only 2 or 2 and a half hours from Tokyo area so if you live/stay around Tokyo, it is a good destination for a day trip. Our recommendation in Kiyosato is Kiyosato Terrace located in the highest point of Kiyosato area with the altitude of 1,900m. Spend some time at a cafe having a good coffee where it feels like you are above the cloud!
5. Beauty Forest/ Niigata
Beauty Forest, Bijinbayashi in Japanse, is a forest of beech trees. People call it Beauty Forest because these 100 years old beech trees stand beautifully on the hill. It is said that the temperature in the forest is 2℃ lower than the surrounding area. You can feel the refreshing breeze through the trees. And don’t forget to bring your camera!
6. Furano & Biei/ Hokkaido
Hokkaido is the northernmost prefecture in Japan so you can easily imagine that it has a cooler climate than the other areas. The average temperature in Furano is around 25℃ and it is the best place to escape from the heat. Furano is famous for the beautiful lavender and flower gardens and Biei is known for Shirogane Blue Pond.
7. Ryugashido Cave/ Shizuoka
This limestone cave is believed to be 250 million years old and is one of the biggest limestone cave in the central Japan with the length of 1,000m long. A part of it is open to public and inside the cave, the temperature is only 18℃ throughout a year, so it is like a natural air conditioner in summer! Walk through the narrow way and explore the cave, the biggest attraction in the cave is the waterfall with colorful lights. Also go to Yokitado (Welcome Cave), it is known as a “cool spot” where you can enjoy dipping your feet on the cold water and wind coming from the limestone cave!
8. Shikoku Karst/ Ehime
Shikoku Karst is located between Ehime and Kochi prefecture. People call it Japanese Switzerland from the beautiful panoramic view at the altitude 1,000-1,500m. Limestone rocks are dotted on the plain and you can see cattle grazing around. It makes you feel like time stops for a moment and you can forget your hectic life in the city.
9. Iwami Ginzan Ryugenji Mabu / Shimane
Iwami Ginzan is a historic silver mine in the mountain located in Shimane prefecture. There are over 900 mine tunnels discovered in Iwami Ginzan and Ryugenji Mabu is the only tunnel you can visit throughout a year. This mine tunnel opened in 18th century and until the mine closed in 1943, it had been developed for 230 years. The length is about 600m long and many silver ores could be dug out. You can still see the marks of chisels on the wall ―people used only chisels and hammers to make a tunnel.
Iwami Ginzan is registered as the World Heritage Site in 2007.
10. Takachiho / Miyazaki
Takachiho Gorge is the most popular attractions in Takachiho area in Miyazaki.
You can rent a rowboat to get to the waterfall. Takachiho is famous for Japanese mythologies and spiritual spots. You can fully recharge in this beautiful nature!
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