There are several sites in Japan that inspire and fascinate visitors. From historic castles and eye-catching flower displays to unique landscapes that appear to have been plucked from another nation, these are 16 most beautiful places in Japan that you must see to believe.
Mount Koya is the spiritual birthplace of Shingon Buddhism, a sect founded more than 1,200 years ago by Kobo Daishi, one of Japan’s most influential religious luminaries. Kongobu-ji, the sect’s chief temple, is located on Mount Koya’s forested peak. Over 100 more temples have sprouted up around Mount Koya, several of which offer overnight accommodations.
The Noto Peninsula, which comprises the northern half of Ishikawa Prefecture, is home to some of Japan’s most spectacular coastline beauty and pristine farmland settings. Aside from appreciating the natural beauty, the peninsula provides several opportunities for fishing, swimming, and camping. Its major tourist destination, Wajima City, has a population of less than 30,000 people and is a great spot to experience Japanese small-town life.
Shikoku is Japan’s fourth biggest island, located southwest of Honshu, to which it is linked by two bridge systems. This island is also associated with the renowned monk Kobo Daishi as the location of the 88 Temple path, one of the country’s most important pilgrimages. Aside from attracting individuals looking for spiritual fulfillment, the island has some breathtaking coastlines, mountain ranges, and flowing rivers.
The Nakasendo path, one of only five Edo-period roadways between Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto, runs through the Kiso Valley. Travelers undertook this lengthy trek on foot during this time period, and as a result, the Kiso Valley is littered with ancient post towns where travelers formerly stopped, ate, and slept along the route. A stretch of this historic roadway may be walked through mountains and through dense forests, as well as seeing some of the well-preserved communities.
Shodoshima has a Mediterranean environment and a moderate temperature, and it is home to beaches, stunning coastlines, resorts, and even olive orchards. Shodoshima, the second biggest island in the Seto Inland Sea, is one of the Setouchi Triennale contemporary art festival’s hosts, and outdoor pieces from prior events may be found strewn over the island.
Kenrokuen Garden, named one of Japan’s “three most beautiful landscape gardens,” is replete with picturesque bridges, strolling routes, teahouses, trees, and flowers. Kenrokuen, once the outside garden of Kanazawa Castle, was opened to the public in the late nineteenth century. From plum and cherry blooms in the spring to colorful maple-tree leaves in the autumn, each season displays a new aspect of the garden’s splendor.
Matsumoto Castle is one of just a few original castles left in Japan. Originally constructed in 1504, it was extended in the late 16th and early 17th century to its final shape. It is notable for its stunning black-and-white three-turreted main keep, which has earned it the nickname Karasu-jō (Crow Castle).
Nachi Falls is the country’s highest waterfall (with a single drop), cascading 133 meters (436 feet) into a rushing river below. The waterfall is framed by the stunning Nachi Taisha Shinto temple, which is approximately 1,400 years old. The shrine, which was built in honor of the waterfall’s kami (spirit deity), is one of numerous Buddhist and Shinto religious monuments located around the waterfall.
Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route
Toyama City in Toyama Prefecture and Omachi Town in Nagano Prefecture are linked by the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. The route is accessible through a variety of modes of transportation, including ropeway, cable car, and trolley bus, all of which provide superb views of the neighboring Tateyama Mountain Range. The road between Bijodaira and Murodo, which is lined by 20-metre-high snow walls from April to May each year, is the most spectacular stretch of the journey.
The Blue Pond
The Blue Pond, also known as Aoiike in Hokkaido Prefecture, is famous for its ethereal blue color. Tree trunks jutting from the water’s surface contribute to the unearthly aspect. This man-made pond was built as part of an erosion control system to safeguard the region from mudflows caused by the adjacent Mt. Tokachi volcano. Natural minerals dissolved in the water generate the pond’s unearthly blue color.
Hitachi Seaside Park
In the spring, Hitachi Seaside Park is noted for its fields of baby-blue flowers known as nemophilas, which bloom throughout the park. Every April, more than 4.5 million flowers cover the park’s fields, which cover 190 hectares (470 acres). The park’s spherical bushes called kochia (bassia in English) turn a vivid red color in the fall, producing an almost equally mesmerizing image.
Gokayama is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site that also includes Shirakawa-gō, a neighbouring town. Both are famous for their classic gassho-zukuri farmhouses. These centuries-old homes have distinctive thatched roofs that are built to endure heavy snowfall. Gokayama is less accessible than famous Shirakawa-gō, therefore its settlements are quieter and more remote.
Tottori Sand Dunes
Tottori Sand Dunes are located in Tottori Prefecture and are part of the Sanin Kaigan National Park. The dunes are the country’s biggest, stretching approximately 16 kilometers along the Sea of Japan coast. The forms of the dunes alter frequently due to tide movement and wind, but they may be up to two kilometers broad and 50 metres high. Camel rides are frequently accessible, giving the region a magical, desert-like ambience.
Sagano Bamboo Forest
The Sagano Bamboo Forest lies in Arashiyama, a neighborhood on Kyoto’s western suburbs. Paths run through tall bamboo forests, with the sun peeking through the green stalks and creating an enchantment. The bamboo forest is remarkable for both its beauty and the distinctive noises produced by the swaying bamboo stalks in the wind.
Nishinomaru Area is a lovely lawn garden with stunning views of Osaka Castletower and its moat’s stone wall. More than 600 cherry trees and 95 different varieties of apricot blooms are planted in the area. In the spring, it’s a popular place for cherry blossom viewing, with night-time illuminations staged during peak blooming seasons.
Aogashima is a little tropical island in the Philippine Sea that is administered by Tokyo. Aogashima, the most remote island in the Izu archipelago, is home to a massive twin volcano. The island is a volcano, and a smaller volcano may be located in its center. Aogashima is also Japan’s smallest village, with a population of roughly 200 people.