There is much more to see and do in Japan if you take the time to explore outside the main cities such as Tokyo. If you are thinking of visiting Japan, consider some of these more unusual locations in order to get a different perspective on this beautiful and intriguing country. If you are looking for a relaxing peaceful vacation, Japan holds some of the most amazing scenery you could imagine. A trip to the Japanese countryside is just like stepping inside one of the serene landscape paintings that are so familiar in Japanese painting. Perhaps the best recommendation for the hidden heavens listed below is that the Japanese residents themselves head there to get away for a while.
The more rural parts of Japan, while seldom visited by most foreigners who travel to Japan, are well worth a visit. Honshu has some wonderful mountain scenery at the center of the island, particularly the range known as the Central Alps. The Rocky Mountains on the peninsula of Tsunegami are also beautiful, while the coasts offer some stunning beaches and varied landscapes. Some of the most beautiful parts of the coastline are to be found at Obama Bay, or in the National Park at Wakasa Wan. If you would like to see some of the smaller Japanese islands then a tour of the Shiwaku Shoto island group at Oakayama would be the perfect opportunity to experience their individual charms. Two others which are particularly beautiful are the islands of Mukkuchi-Jima and Hon-Jima.
Paris may be the first destination that comes to mind for a romantic getaway, but Japan has its share of romance too, with many destinations providing the best amenities for a luxurious break with a loved one, set among the peaceful scenery. Lover’s Cape is the most obvious choice, but there are more great spots at Vinus Fort and Kobe Portipia, as well as at Ikspiari and Hokkaido.
Travelers with an interest in the history of Buddhism and Shintoism in Japan will find many destinations where they can visit some intricately detailed and elegant shrines. Idzumo, for example, is one of the most important shrines for the Shinto religion, which is also called “home of the gods”. The shrine near Omiya, though small, is considered very significant, and it is set among some of the most beautiful Japanese countryside, on the peninsula of Kyoto-Fu
A glimpse of life in a small Japanese village can be had on a visit to the Tojimbo Cliffs, where the magnificence of the coastline and the National Park are complemented by the tiny village of Anto with its long tradition of fishing. Another option is Sekigane, where the village lies among the mountains and has its own collection of hot volcanic springs.
If you can only make one stop in Japan and you want to get the full experience of its history and culture in an authentic rural setting then you should head for Hagi. This is a lovely town right at the western end of Honshu. The town is clustered around an ancient Samurai castle and there are many sights around the town that are related to its magnificent military history. You can visit the places where the samurai once trained, and the place where their arms were stored. There are also some beautiful shrines here, particularly Kasuga and Sho-in, while if you would like to see some Japanese art while you’re here there is always the Kumaya Museum. Your trip will be completed by a relaxing day on the local beach.
There are many other hidden havens in Japan which are yet to be discovered by the crowds of foreign tourists. If you have the time during your visit it would be a good idea to rent a car and go looking for some of them.