Japan is a truly unique country steeped in thousands of years of history, culture and tradition. A place where ancient temples and practices meet futuristic technologies and innovations.
With an array of exciting activities, historic sites, majestic ancient temples and world-class restaurants, it’s no wonder Japan often finds itself placed high up on the bucket-list travel experiences for adventure lovers and culture vultures alike. It’s one of the most captivating and culturally rich countries in the world, so let us inspire you with four stunning places to visit on your luxury Japan holiday.
Without a doubt Japan’s most recognisable landmark and a staple on everyone’s travel experiences bucket list, Mount Fuji is the country’s highest mountain, towering some 3,776m over the surrounding landscape. On clear days, this majestic wonder is visible from Tokyo and has been an iconic symbol widely celebrated in art and literature for centuries, with UNESCO acknowledging its cultural significance in 2013.
Climbing the mountain has long been a religious practice and is a great addition to any adventure holiday to Japan; there are plenty of hiking trails to the summit as well as at the base. Its peak offers unrivalled views of the surrounding wilderness and provides the perfect place to watch the sunrise.
Alternatively, if you don’t fancy the climb, you can immerse yourself in Japanese culture by visiting one of the many religious temples and shrines scattered around the sacred mountain. In fact, the Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine, for example, used to be the starting point for those climbing Mount Fuji.
Chūbu-Sangaku National Park and the Japanese Alps
Japan boasts several naturally beautiful areas with a host of national parks and UNESCO World Heritage Sites ready to be explored. Thereare over thirty parks to discover with an impressive variety of terrain, from beautiful beaches to volcanic marvels.
Of these, Chūbu-Sangaku National Park, located in the centre of Honshu, is one of the most breathtaking. Situated in the northern part of the park are an exceptional group of mountains – the Hida Mountains – often referred to as the Japanese Alps for their likeness to their western counterparts. This region contains some of the highest peaks in the country and offers plenty of scenic hiking trails, ski resorts and rock-climbing experiences for those wanting an adventure holiday in Japan.
Revered for its abundance of onsens (natural hot springs), baths and spa resorts, the city of Beppu epitomises a luxury Japan holiday. Already brimming with architectural charm, a wander around the spa town is sure to fascinate you as plumes of steam add a mesmerising atmosphere.
With the city hosting approximately three thousand natural onsens, it’s easy to indulge in the purifying Japanese ritual favoured by locals for thousands of years. Choose between mud baths, sand baths or one of the 170 public bathhouses dotted around the city.
Experience Japan’s diverse and unique volcanic landscape at Beppu’s most captivating attraction, Jigoku Meguri, also ominously known as ‘The Hells of Beppu’. Reaching over 100°C , they are too hot to soak in, but each hot spring has its own colour and story to be told. From ruby reds to milky blues, these distinctive curiosities should be on everyone’s travel bucket list.
Kyoto, one of the oldest cities in Japan, is considered the heart of Japanese tradition and is bursting with traditional Buddhisttemples, Shinto shrines, palaces and gardens. As the imperial city, it’s the best place for cultural holidays, and each of the over two thousand temples and shrines offers something different.
Kyoto brings together a modern, lively city with a vibrant foodie scene, with ancient Japanese customs. It’s home to several cultural institutions, so you can choose from quintessentially Japanese experiences to truly immerse yourself in Japanese culture. Try your hand at a traditional cooking class (where you can make and try specialities like ramen, ryori and soba) and samurai lessons or find peace at a Zen Buddhist temple or one of the many green spaces that surround the city.
This blog post has been provided by luxury, conscious travel company, SevenTravel. Please visit their website for more information on once-in-a-lifetime trips and experiences, all around the world.