People are often drawn to Japan for its beauty and unique way of life. The best way to describe a visit to Japan is that it’s like taking a rocket to an entirely different planet. The biggest mistake people often make when coming to Japan is centering their trip around a number of the country’s biggest tourist magnets, such as Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. We invite you to sidestep the masses and immerse yourself in wonder by exploring the lesser-known parts of Japan. Some of the most highly overlooked areas are Shizuoka, Yamanashi, Wakayama, and Shikoku. Check out some of these hidden gems of Japan:

Shizuoka Prefecture

“The Magic of Jogasaki” – photo by Cheryl Sakurai

Shizuoka is the land of sweet strawberries, delicious green tea, gorgeous sandy beaches, and the most breathtaking sunsets in the entire country. It boasts the highest mountain (Mt. Fuji) and the deepest bay (Suruga Bay) in all of Japan.  It is just one hour by bullet train from Tokyo and is home to a variety of cultural and historical attractions that give visitors the chance to enjoy unique experiences such as traditional green tea-picking, strawberry-picking and relaxing under the beautiful cherry blossom trees that line the riverbanks in spring. In summer, visitors can enjoy swimming and snorkeling along the golden sandy beaches of the Izu peninsula. In autumn, hiking through trails surrounded by colorful fall leaves and bathing in the restorative waters of local hot springs are an absolute must. With its rich history, stunning landscapes, and delicious food, Shizuoka prefecture is a destination not-to-be-missed for anyone looking to experience the best of Japan.

Unique Experiences

Yamanashi Prefecture

Photo: David Edelstein on UnsplashPhoto: David Edelstein on Unsplash

Yamanashi Prefecture is a hidden gem located in the heart of Japan. Surrounded by the majestic Mount Fuji and the Southern Japanese Alps, Yamanashi is the perfect destination for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. One of the main attractions of Yamanashi is the world-renowned Fuji-Q Highland amusement park, which features some of the most thrilling roller coasters and attractions in Japan. But that’s not all Yamanashi has to offer. Like its neighboring prefecture Shizuoka, it is also home to many beautiful hot springs where you can relax and rejuvenate your mind and body and features cooking classes that will enable you to enjoy Japanese food in the comfort of your own home. From thrilling amusement parks to peaceful onsen and historical temples, Yamanashi has something for everyone.

Unique Experiences

More to come! If you have any requests for me to cover particular areas of Japan, feel free to comment with your requests!