Are you planning on going to Japan for the first time? Being all excited? Wondering what to expect? Having a million questions? Well, I recently came back from my first big Japan adventure, and let me tell you: It was just overwhelming; in a good way! I had the chance to travel for three weeks. However, I know that not everybody has the opportunity to leave for so long. Therefore, based on my itinerary, I put together a travel guide – not only – for other first-timers to Japan. You can adjust it individually to your personal trip – for one, two, or three weeks in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Although on clear days, you can be lucky to spot Mount Fuji all the way from Tokyo, most people take a day trip either to the Fujigoko Fuji Five Lake region at the northern foot of the famous mountain. Others try their luck and visit Hakone, a hot spring region with many grand places to experience – like the Hakone Open Air Museum, an outdoor gallery at the height of beauty.
World-famous Mount Fuji, probably Japan’s most iconic landmark, is a still active volcano, albeit, it erupted for the last time in 1707, so no worries.
I’ve heard that there are people travelling periodically to the Lakeland of Kawaguchiko west of Tokyo just to take a good shot of Mount Fuji.
This majestic, perfectly shaped volcano – that erupted lastly in 1707 – seems to be hiding behind clouds most of the time. Therefore, it can be a challenge – or a hobby – hunting the best view. Or at least a glimpse.
Takayama and Shirakawago are the perfect places if you are ready for a trip back in time. Nestled between the mountains of the Gifu prefecture, they invite you to walk narrow alleys lined with old wooden merchants’ houses dating to the Edo Period. You can visit a dozen of fascinating museums. And last not least, you absolutely need to sample Hida Beef that just melts in your mouth.
It might be already challenging enough to fit all the landmarks in downtown Takayama into your itinerary. Nevertheless, you should by no means miss a little side trip to Shirakawago village. This hamlet made it to the World Heritage Site list in 1995, after all.
Hiroshima is one of the names inextricably connected to the first atomic attack in human history and therefore a must when visiting Japan. However, Hiroshima is also a great gateway for a trip to idyllic Miyajima.
Before visiting Hiroshima, I wasn’t able to imagine a place with a little over a million inhabitants plying their trades as if their city never had been practically erased and went down in history as one of the biggest humanitarian disasters.
What I found was a charming city – risen up from the atomic ashes of 1945.
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