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10 Hidden Gems To Discover On Your Next Trip to Japan


Cheng Sim •  Jun 01, 2017


There’s a clear reason why you clicked on this article. Japan has got you hooked so much that you need a solid reason to spend another ticket to this cultural destination. Trust us, we’re with you!
Credit: giphy If you’re looking for hidden gems to explore in Japan, we have flourished our list with a range of secret destinations to traverse the road less taken. P.S. Heading to Tokyo, Osaka, or Kyoto soon? Search for prayer spaces, halal food, and things to do in Japan on our planner site here?
1. Ryusendo Cave
Credit: aberyosukent on Instagram Most travellers would visit the Iwate Prefecture for a chance to explore the Ryusendo Cave! Labelled as one of the largest limestone caverns in Japan, follow the wooden walkways and stairways that are surrounded by stalactites and stalagmites?
Credit: rikkkkkyyy on Instagram The pathway is beautifully-lit with colourful lighting that adds up to the dramatic atmosphere. Just be prepared to be blown away by the emerald-green underground lake at the end of the stairway? Address: Ryusendo Cave, 027-0501 Iwate-ken, Shimohei-gun, Iwaizumi-cho, Iwazumi, Japan. Operating hours: Mon - Sun: 8:30AM - 6PM Admission: 1,000 yen
2. Totori Sand Dunes
It feels surreal to discover the existence of Totori Sand Dunes in Japan! Named as the country’s largest sand dunes, this secret desert is kept hidden in the Sanin Kaigan National Park. The formation of the sand dunes is largely shaped by the coastal winds, tide movements, and ocean currents☺️
Credit: aburi_akaten on Instagram Apart from being a marvellous background for your Instagram snaps, there are plenty of touristy activities to keep you excited. You can ride the camel, try paragliding, and feel the adrenaline rush through snowboarding?
Credit: sylvanisaraswati on InstagramAddress: Totori Sand Dunes, 2164-661 Fukubecho Yuyuma, Tottori-shi, Tottori-ken, 689-0105, Japan. Operating hours: Mon - Sun: 9AM - 6PM (closed between early January to mid April) Admission: 600 yen Website | Facebook
3. Tanize Suspension Bridge
Credit: mako.618 on Instagram Do you know what unites Uenoji and Tanize together? It’s definitely the Tanize Suspension Bridge! A well-known attraction in Nara, the widely-frequented suspension bridge is measured approximately 297-meter long?
Credit: ikarashi.co.jp on Instagram The best time to visit the Tanize Suspension Bridge is on 4 August when you can enjoy the annual Japanese drum performances at the Yuredaiko Festival. The experience will make a wonderful highlight to your trip in Nara? Address: Tanize Suspension Bridge, 637-1106, Nara-ken, Yoshino-gun, Totsukawa-mura, Japan. Operating hours: 24 hours a day Admission: Free
4. Nakasendo Way
Credit: ntuananh.me on Instagram Anyone who needs a short break from the city can visit the Nakasendo Way situated in the Gifu Prefecture. Dotted with traditional Japanese villages and surrounding green landscape, the area is basically a world of its own. If you’re more of a leisure walker, the three-hour walk is something you can experience at your own pace!
Credit: Shikkui Royal Japanese on Facebook If you prefer to explore this beautiful scenery in a group, join one of their many available guided tour packages that come with various price ranges to suit your budget? Address: Nakasendo Way, Tajimaya, 4266 Magome, Nakatsugawa, Gifu Prefecture, 508-0502, Japan. Operating hours: 24 hours a day Website
5. Beppu
Credit: nariiiii_0402 on Instagram If you fancy spending a day in the onsen (or hot spring), Beppu is one of the best places to be as they are known to be the country’s famous hot spring resorts. This hidden gem can be found in the Oita Prefecture!
Credit: k_i_t_s_u_n_e_ on Instagram There are many varieties of baths to choose, and the popular ones include the regular hot spring baths, mud baths, sand baths, and steam baths. Every bath options come with a set of health benefits, so ask the locals about it to find the one that suits your needs! Address: Beppu, Oita Prefecture, Japan. Operating hours: Depending on resort opening hours.
6. Shikoku Island
Shikoku is one of the four main islands, aside from Hokkaido, Honshu, and Kyoshu, that makes up the glorious Japan we see today. If you wish to escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, take a relaxing retreat to this beautiful island?
Credit: Kimon Berlin on Flickr When you’re here, we recommend canoeing along the Shimanto River, exploring Cape Ashizuri, hiking to the Shikoku Karst, admiring the flowers at Makino Botanical Garden, and go whale-watching in the Tosa Bay?
Credit: ayashika_ on InstagramAddress: Shikoku Island, Japan. Website
7. Shirakawa Village
Credit: iren_jsi on Instagram The fact that Shirakawa village is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites makes this place a charming spot to visit. Perched in the Gifu Prefecture, everyone loves to stroll around the historical village that is peppered with mulberry trees and Gassho-designed homes!
Credit: tuck7155 on Instagram One of the best times to visit this quaint village is during the cherry blossom season where the entire landscape is brighten up by pops of pink. Address: Shirakawa-go, Ogimachi, Shirakawa, Ono District, Gifu Prefecture, 501-5600, Japan. Admission: Free Website
8. Hakodate
If you’re easily captivated by cherry blossoms, Hakodate is one of the places you can go to experience the yearly bloom. Situated in Hokkaido, which is also known for their fresh seafood, there are many sights and sounds to be discovered in Hokkaido’s third largest city!
Credit: Azamara on Facebook Take the time to appreciate the panoramic city view from Mount Hakodate, hear the birds chirping at Onuma Park, take pictures of the sakura at Fort Goryokaku, and visit the morning market for seafood breakfast?
Credit: charlie_wood_filmmaker on InstagramAddress: Hakodate, Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan. Website
9. Koshu
Credit: meandwibbly on Instagram If you find yourself at the Yamanashi Prefecture, it’s only right to swing by the famous Koshu area. Best appreciated by nature lovers, most visitors would hike up Mount Daibosatsu to catch the rolling landscape!
Credit: kazzy_piggy on Instagram Another spot to visit is the Erin-ji temple that is gorgeous during the autumn season. We also recommend that you check out the Budonooka Onsen Tenku Hot Spring for a bit of relaxation? Address: Koshu, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan
10. Yakushima
Credit: tetsuyanakagawa on Instagram The home to Japan's oldest living trees, Yakushima is where nature lovers go to retreat away from the city's hustle and bustle. Featuring a lush landscape of cedar forest, most of the tall trees here are more than a thousand years old!
Credit: tetsuyanakagawa on Instagram Being designated as a Natural World Heritage Site helps in protecting this precious national park for future generations to come. Today, visitors are more than welcome to explore the ground to get up close with the century-old cedar trees themselves? Address: Yakushima, Kumage District, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. If you’re looking for hidden gems to discover in Japan, our list will certainly help you explore the many secluded surprises of Japan. From exploring the beautiful Ryusendo limestone caves to walking along the ancient village at Nakasendo Way, we hope this list will magnify your love for Japan even more?