icon
icon
article hero

This Region In Japan Looks Amazing In All 4 Seasons & We Wish We’re There Right Now

AvatarName

Faruq Senin  •  Mar 27, 2021

icon

From gorgeous cherry blossoms to breathtaking autumn foliage, there’s nowhere like Japan when it comes to experiencing the 4 seasons. In each season, there are unique local activities and stunning scenery to look forward to. While you’re unable to travel now, one destination that should definitely be on your list is West Japan! The region has plenty of charming spots which are accessible to major cities like Osaka and Kyoto. Whether you’re planning to visit West Japan in spring, summer, autumn or winter, we’ve rounded up the best spots to visit in each season.  You can travel to these spots conveniently from Osaka and Kyoto with these JR-West Rail passes and save massively on transportation too: 
  • JR-WEST All Area Pass: unlimited use of shinkansen especially Nozomi, Ltd express train, local train for 7 days in Kansai, Hokuriku, Sanyo, San’in and  Fukuoka (Whole West Japan)
  • Sanyo-Sanin Area Pass: unlimited use of shinkansen especially Nozomi, Ltd express train, local train for 7 days in Kansai, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Tottori Shimane and Fukuoka.
Find out more on their website Note: All information on trains, sights and times during this time are subject to changes due to the COVID-19 situation. Checkthe website for more info. 
Spring
1. Kintaikyo Bridge
When spring comes around, the highlight of the season is none other than cherry blossoms, or sakura as it’s called in Japanese. One Japanese tradition you can’t miss during the sakura season is hanami, the custom of viewing cherry blossoms and eating and drinking around the trees when they are in full bloom. 
In West Japan’s Iwakuni City (located in Yamaguchi Prefecture near Hiroshima and especially Miyajima Island), you’ll find the Kintaikyo Bridge, a popular IG-worthy spot in spring. Built in 1673, Kintaikyo has been a landmark and pride of Iwakuni for years and it’s also known as one of the most beautiful wooden arch bridges in Japan. In spring, cherry blossoms line both sides of the river and you’ll get to admire the stunning backdrop of beautiful sakura flowers from the bridge. P.S. Dreaming of your future trip? Check out these IG-worthy spots in West Japan!
2. Tsuyama Castle (Kakuzan Park)
Credit:  ©岡山県観光連盟 A visit to Japan would not be complete without visiting its grand castles and the Tsuyama Castle in Okayama is not to be missed! Built about 400 years ago, the castle used to be a key fortress in the region. It’s surrounded by 1000 cherrytrees in Kakuzan Park which makes it a sight to behold in the sakura season! The castle wall is 10 metres above the park, which means that you’ll be able to get a panoramic view of the magical cherry blossoms from the castle 😍
Summer
3. Fruit-picking in Okayama
Credit:  ©岡山県観光連盟 While summer is a hot and humid season in Japan, it’s also the time where you can try local activities such as fruit-picking! Called the “Fruit Kingdom”, Okayama is known for its premium quality fruits. From around July to August, white peaches are in season and they are known for being sweet and juicy! Various fruit farms like Tomomien Farm and Yoshii Farm open for peach-picking experiences during summer. The best part is that you can pick the peaches and bring them home, or even savour the peaches on-site! Check out our peach-picking experience in our 7D6N West Japan itinerary.  
4. Tottori Sand Dunes
For a unique summer experience, the Tottori Sand Dunes is a great spot to visit! The sand dunes are a result of sediment deposits carried from the Sendaigawa River over thousands of years. In summer, Tottori Sand Dunes turns into a hotspot for exciting activities! If you love the thrill, go sandboarding downthe dunes or try paragliding and admire the breathtaking view. For those of you who want to break a sweat, hop on a fat bike (bicycle with fat tires) and ride on the sand near the sea for a refreshing experience. What’s more, you can go on a leisurely camel ride and take in the sights of the dunes. There’s also a Sand Museum which has unique sand sculptures from artists all over the world.
Autumn
5. Miyajima
Most travellers would flock to Miyajima for its famous floating torii gate at Itsukushima Shrine but the island is also popular for its autumn foliage. Don’t miss a visit to Momijidani Park where you’ll find 700 trees, including colourful varieties of the Japanese maple tree! The Momijibashi Bridge is a picturesque spot where you can bask in the beauty of autumn leaves and snap IG-worthy photos. Take the ropeway up Mt Misen to catch the spectacular views of autumn foliage and the Seto Inland Sea too!  #HHWT Tip: While you’re in Miyajima, you have to visit Yamadaya, a local snack shop which sells Muslim-friendly Momiji manju. It’s a maple leaf-shaped cake filled with red bean, a specialty of Miyajima! 
6. Kumano Kodo
Credit: Wakayama Tourism Federation Perhaps there’sno better way to experience autumn than by immersing yourself in nature. For your next trip to West Japan, why not go hiking on the Kumano Kodo? It’s a network of ancient pilgrimage trails which has been used by locals for over 1000 years. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a great way to experience Japan’s countryside. There are 4 major routes that you can take and in autumn, the magnificent leaves will make your hiking experience a magical one. Don’t miss the Nachi Waterfall, the large torii gate of the Kumano Hongu Taisha and Daimon-zaka Hill, an ancient stone staircase lined with centuries-old trees!
Winter
7. Daisen
Besides the famous Tottori Sand Dunes, the prefecture is also home to Mt Daisen, a beautiful mountain that has been compared to Mt Fuji due to its shape. At 1,729 metres, it’s the tallest mountain in Japan’s Chugoku region. When snow blankets the peak of Mt Daisen in winter, the area turns into a ski destination. Some of the most popular ski resorts in the area are the Daisen White Resort and Masumizu Ski Resort which have various tracks, including those for beginners. While skiing at the mountain, you’ll also get to admire the breathtakingview of the Sea of Japan. #HHWT Tip: To capture Mt Daisen in all its glory, snap a picture from the Yonago city area. 
8. Biwako Valley
Credit: びわ湖大津観光協会 Located near Kyoto and Osaka, the Biwako Valley can be enjoyed all-year-round. The main attraction here is definitely the view of Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest lake which is as big as Singapore! But the mountain also turns into a ski resort in winter. Whether you’re a first-timer or an enthusiast, there are ski slopes catered to your needs. Not to mention that you can also try other thrilling winter activities like snowboarding, snow-sledding and more.  By now, you must be excited to visit these spots when the border reopens. Whether you visit in spring or autumn or even looking to try some activities like fruit-picking in summer and skiing in winter, West Japan has plenty to offer. Start dreaming about travelling there and save this guide for your future trip! What’s more, travelling in West Japan is even easier and more affordable with the JR-West train passes. You can save massively on transportation with these JR-West passes:
  • JR-WEST All Area Pass: unlimited use of shinkansen especially Nozomi, Ltd express train, local trainfor 7 days in Kansai, Hokuriku, Sanyo, San’in and  Fukuoka (Wholewestern Japan)
  • Sanyo-Sanin Area Pass: unlimited use of shinkansen especially Nozomi, Ltd express train, local train for 7 days in Kansai, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Tottori  Shimane and Fukuoka.
Find out more on their website This article is brought to you by West Japan Railway Company.