Above all, Japan is home to some of the most beautiful sites and landscapes in the world, and if you’re looking for a tranquil escape, you certainly won’t be short of options here. We’ve picked three of Japan’s most picturesque spots that you definitely won’t regret adding to your holiday itinerary.
One of the most iconic landmarks associated with Japan, Mount Fuji is an active volcano that stands at an impressive 3,776m. The sacred site, commonly known as Fuji-san, has been a pilgrimage spot for centuries and its breath-taking beauty has inspired many great works of art, such as ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa’ by Hokusai.
The official season for climbing to the peak is in July and August as the weather can be unpredictable at times. If you’re an inexperienced climber, we’d recommend booking this as part of a tour so you can get expert advice and guidance when embarking on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Once there, you can bask in the gorgeous views from the peak or explore some different perspectives of the mountain from the surrounding regions during the off-season months.
Located in Nikkō, this lavish shrine complex is unlike any other that you might see in Japan. Traditional shrine architecture is often simple, yet Tōshō-gū is heavily decorated with elaborate, colourful wood carvings and plenty of gold leaf.
Containing both Shinto and Buddhist elements, the two religions were so entwined at this shrine that it was impossible to separate them, as became common practice in the Meiji Period. This site is truly unique and visitors can visit stunning structures like Gojunoto (a five-story pagoda), the intricate carvings on Karamon Gate and the famous carving of the ‘See No Evil, Speak No Evil, Hear No Evil’ three wise monkeys at the Sanzaru stable.
Historic Villages of Shirakawa-gō and Gokayama
Boasting UNESCO World Heritage status, the remote villages of Shirakawa-gō and Gokayama have been cut off from the rest of the world, allowing residents to continue enjoying their traditional way of life.
Head to the observatory at Ogimachi Castle to get the best panoramic view of the village. You can enjoy the wonderfully rare sight of the Gassho-style houses, which have been preserved at their original locations along the Sho River. Their unique design includes a thatched roof forming the shape of a triangle, similar to hands folded in prayer, with the steep slope designed to allow heavy snow (which is sometimes as deep as 4m) to slide off easily.
If you want to see traditional Japan, we recommend visiting this beautiful historic site.
If you’re planning to visit Japan, you can enjoy the best of the country’s breath-taking natural scenery, its unique history and learn about the traditional ways of life by visiting these three stunning landmarks we’ve handpicked for you.