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6 Hidden Places in Japan

2018 / 03 / 27 1870

6 Amazing Places In Japan That Nobody Knows About

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Japan is a very interesting country. It's a mixture of Eastern tradition and Western modernisation. It's very fond of American culture but at the same time retains most of its own culture and language. It's one the most advanced in terms of science and knowledge but it's also very attached to its roots and tradition. All in all, it's a very interesting country to visit and immerse yourself in.


But one thing many people tend to do is to go to the usual places where everyone else goes. Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Okinawa, and Hiroshima are among the common stops for most people. Don't get us wrong though - these places are awesome. But there are some hidden gems in Japan if you care to dig a bit deeper. Here are 6 of the hidden gems in Japan that most people aren't aware of:

Tottori Sand Dunes

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Sand dunes, camel rides.. wait.. are we still talking about Japan? Yes we are. This place in the Tottori Prefecture is often overlooked but make no mistake, it can be a lot of fun! The Tottori Sand Dunes stetch almost 16km along the coastline and about 2km wide. Visitors can climb up the 50m dunes and enjoy the breathtaking views at the top or just hop on a camel and have a legit desert experience smack in the middle of Japan. And if that wasn't enough, there's actually a Sand Museum where you can feast your eyes on sand sculptures created by artist the world over. Pretty neat, huh?

Nakasendo Way

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The Nakasendo Trail is an old path from the eighth century that connects Kyoto to Tokyo (or Edo as it was once known). This trail is almost 500km long. It starts at Lake Biwa in Kyoto over to the Sekigahara Mountains, travels through modern day Nagoya, skirts around the southern edge of the Japanese Alps, and then leads down towards the Kanto Plain on the way to Tokyo. Most experience hikers reading this would want to attempt this hike on their own, but it's not recommended unless you speak fluent Japanese. There are parts of the trail with no english at all. We recommend joining a tour.

Shikoku Island

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Shikoku Island is the smallest major island in Japan, but don't let that fool you. It's one of the most beautiful islands in Japan. The island is located just off Honshu, and its secluded loaction means that it was largely ignored for centuries until three bridges were built to connect Honshu and Shikoku.

The island is full of untouched natural flora and fauna, there are ancient castles and shrines to visit, white water rapids for those who enjoy rafting, and also Japan's most famous pilgrimage site: The 88 Sacred Temples of Shikoku. The place is not reachable by Sinkansen, but there are other ways to reach it namely train, bus, plane, and ferry. Once in the island you can get around by bus and or just walk everywhere.


Hakodate

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People who go to Hokkaido often miss Hakodate, which is a shame because it's THE spot for fresh seafood. It's location on the southern tip of Hokkaido makes it a great spot as a stopover town on the way to Sapporo from Tokyo. It's cold coastal location is home to the town's special which is hairy crab. They put the crab in practically every menu, but the freshest crab can be found by going to the morning market.

It's not as crazy as Tsukiji Market in Tokyo, but there are tons of fresh fish, squid, crab and the best place to sample the local seafood dishes. There's also Mount Hakodate to go to at night to enjoy some amazing views of the town, but you'll have to use a lot of hand gestures because almost no english is spoken here.

Yakushima

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Sometimes the best way to discover hidden gems is just to go where the locals go. Yakushima is located between Kyushu and the islands of Okinawa. The best way to get there is by the 4 hour long, twice daily ferry from Kagoshima. The scenery is to die for - hot springs, green-covered forests with flowing waterfalls, lakes and mountains. If you hike along the trail you can enjoy the rainforest and cedar trees, plunge into the warm waters for the underwater view of marine life, and also go canoeing around the island.

Koshu

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If you were shocked to find out that there's a desert in Japan, wait till you learn about the next hidden gem.. A wine region in Japan.


Koshu is located about two hours drive from Tokyo and is called the Tuscany of Japan. It grows around 80% of East Asia's grapes, and most of those are pressed into wine. Upon arrival you'll be able to enjoy picturesque views of vineyards and fruit trees. Up until the last decade, the wine produced in Koshu is considered too sweet. Growers are now working on producing drier wines and getting educated on best practices. The result? Most of the region now produce a Muscadet style light vino.


To get the most out of your trip, we provide pocket wifi rental for Japan.

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