3 of the Most Enchanting Places in Japan

3 of the Most Enchanting Places in Japan

With so many beautiful places to see, Japan is an unfailingly mesmerizing destination worth making a trip for. It boasts a mix of traditional, ultramodern, and natural attractions. Not to mention the unique, quirky, and distinctly Japanese things that will captivate you. But even among all the gloriously fascinating sights, there are some that stand out for the surreal and magical quality of their beauty. From what seems like a straight out of a fantasy snow village to the sacred grounds of the lush mountain-top forest, here are a few of the most enchanting spots you need to see in Japan.

Kiso Valley (Nagano Prefecture)
Magome Kiso Valley
The Kiso Valley is home to an ancient trade route that connects Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto. Picturesque and surrounded by stunning nature scenery, the Nakasendo trail is one of the region’s most famous attractions including the beautiful old post towns along the way.
Points of interest: Magome, Narai, Tsumago, and the old Nakasendo trail among others

Mount Koya (Wakayama Prefecture)
Koyasan (Mount Koya)
Home to the headquarters of Shingon Buddhism which dates back to over a thousand years, Mount Koya is a spiritual place surrounded by nature’s beauty. Tranquil and surreally beautiful, Mount Koya is a great spot for a quiet getaway, meanderings, and experience the simple life in a shukubo (temple lodging).
Points of interest: Okunoin Temple, Kongobuji Temple, Garan, Daishi Kyokai, Reihokan Museum, Tokugawa Mausoleum, the pilgrimage trails, cemetery, and the temple lodging

Shirakawa-gō and Gokayama (Gifu and Toyama Prefectures)
Shirakawa-gō in winter
The historic villages of Shirakawa-gō and Gokayama are a UNESCO World Heritage Site best known for their traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses. Some of these old structures are over 200 years old. Surrounded by majestic mountains and glorious scenery, these two villages are strikingly beautiful with each season lending them a unique charm worth seeing. And if you happen to visit Japan in winter, try to make a side trip to Shirakawa-gō and stay for the night to see it light up into a gorgeous winter wonderland.

How to Spend Three Perfect Days in Tokyo

How to Spend Three Perfect Days in Tokyo

Meiji Jingū

Tokyo is brimming with fascinating attractions for all types of travelers. But if you are the outdoorsy type or someone who enjoys spending more time outside and in open spaces, you will find no dearth of things to see and do for the three perfect days Tokyo has to offer – or more if you can stay longer. With so many things to explore and discover, here are some of the city’s best that you would not want to miss.

Take a walk on the outside grounds of the Imperial Palace and take in the views of the palace itself from a distance and the two bridges that make up the Nijubashi among others. You can also take a tour of the East Gardens which is open to the public.

Visit Sensō-ji Temple in Asakusa. Walk down the Nakamise, which is one of the oldest shopping streets in Japan, located just after the Sensō-ji ‘s Kaminarimon or Thunder Gate. Take your time browsing through the stalls and shops lining the street that sell a wide array of items including traditional foods, crafts, and souvenirs.

Enjoy the scenery and numerous attractions at Ueno Park. Some of the must-see sights you will find in the city’s famous park include the Tokyo National Museum, Kaneiji Temple, Kiyomizu Kannon Temple, National Museum of Nature and Science, National Museum of Western Art, Shinobazu Pond and the Bentendo Temple, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Ueno Toshogu Shrine, and Ueno Zoo. The park is also one of the best spots in Tokyo for cherry blossom viewing during Hanami season.

Pay your respects when visiting Meiji Jingū (Meiji Shrine) that sits surrounded by a vast, lush forest that boasts of more than a hundred thousand trees.

Explore the food scene at Tsukiji Outer Market and taste some of the great-tasting foods and treats you can find while there.

Do’s and Don’ts When in the Mountains

Do’s and Don’ts When in the Mountains

adventure

Hiking, climbing, and camping in the mountains are among the fun outdoor activities that even people with zero mountaineering experience can enjoy. But enjoying these activities come with responsibilities that should not be taken lightly. From personal safety to mountaineering etiquette, here are some of the do’s and don’ts to keep in mind in the mountains.

DO:

  • Choose your destination well. Know the classification (minor or major), level of difficulty, and the types of trails you can expect. If you are a beginner, start with the easiest and non-technical mountains to climb.
  • Get the proper training. Just because you picked an “easy” mountain to climb does not mean you do not have to prepare for it. Prepare yourself physically by building up the stamina for the hike and take the time to learn the basic skills needed for the climb.
  • Be a responsible climber. Mountaineers follow certain rules and etiquette not just for personal safety but also to protect the mountains. Know the rules or etiquette and follow them at all times.
  • Wear suitable clothing. Wear the right clothes for the climb. Opt for quick-dry clothing and make sure you have clothes that provide enough insulation and protection from the cold, wind, and rain.
  • Bring the gear needed for the hike. Bring a tent, thermal sleeping pad or sleeping bag, headlamp or flashlight, and other equipment you need for climbs that last overnight or up to many days.
  • Pack food and snacks. Bring ready-to-eat or easy-to-cook food that you would need little water to prepare.
  • Bring as much water that you can comfortably carry around for the hike.
  • Watch your step. Tread carefully and watch your step. Pay attention to your surroundings.
  • Listen to the leader or guide. If you are climbing as a group, listen to whoever is leading. Follow instructions and make sure to heed the leader or guide’s advice at all times.
  • Stick with the group. Avoid venturing out on your own. If you have to leave the group for some reason, make sure to inform the leader or guide where you are headed to.
  • Bring a first aid kit.
  • Be extra careful with fire. Make sure to keep an eye on campfire and check if fire has been extinguished carefully before leaving.
  • Respect the locals you meet along the way.
  • Waterproof your bag.
  • Use sunscreen.

DON’T :

  • Don’t leave any trash behind. Put all your trash in a bag and bring it home with you or dispose it as soon as you have left the mountain.
  • Don’t pollute streams or any source of water that locals may use for drinking.
  • Don’t bring home plants or other natural materials you find
  • Don’t feed the wildlife