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Best Beaches and Islands in Japan
- Imagine yourself on a calm stretch of sand on the remote island or a nearby beach along the coast of Tokyo, or exploring the undiscovered side of Japan. There are enough options out there to suit every type of traveler. Why not start planning your sandy, adventurous getaway now and scroll down to see our recommend beaches and islands in Japan by prefectures. Okinawa Okinawa is home to more than 160 different islands. Out of the many islands, Miyako and Ishigaki Island are far most popular holiday destinations with both local and international guests because of its easy accessibility using direct plane from Osaka and Tokyo. Not just its beguiling beaches with beautiful gradations of blue water with pristine white sands, but travellers enjoy leisurely island time with delicious Okinawan gourmet food during their stay. While the beaches are open year round, they are best enjoyed from April to November when the air temperature consistently tops 25 degrees and the water is very warm. Ishigaki Island (top) Miyako Island (bottom) Nagasaki Nagasaki prefecture has the most number of islands. The natural beauty on the island includes but is not limited to beaches and breathtaking natural scenery but also unique history featuring what were once hidden Christian communities. Out of the many, Fukue is a hub of historical charm, natural scenery and delicious local food, just off the coast of Nagasaki in Southern Japan. Of the Goto Islands, Fukue Island is the largest and most populated followed by Nakadori. Yet, in spite of being the largest, Fukue Island is still fairly small and mostly wild and hilly, while the secluded island of Ikitsuki offers some of Japan’s most rugged coastal escarpment. On the other, Nagasaki offers a post-apocalyptic island, Hashima Island, more familiary known as Gunkanjima (Battleship Island) where once served as a coal mining until 1974. Due to damage caused by a typhoon,currently it is not possible to land on Gunkanjima. The situation is expected to normalize on March 1, 2020. Until then, the island can be viewed on boat tours from the water. For more information, check its official webpage here. Kagoshima Despite being few hundred kilometers away from Kagoshima prefecture and much closer to Okinawa, there are two islands that belong to Kagoshima with some Okinawa cultural influence here and there. First island is the Yoron Island which has a population of about 6,000 people, and in this small island, residents enjoy living in the tropical paradise. The other being Amami Oshima Island where the climate is much similar to Okinawa with white beaches, beautiful coral reefs, mangroves and crystal-clear sea making it perfect for snorkeling, scuba-diving and kayaking. Okinawan guardian lion, “Shisa” on the roof of the house with its culture still imposed on Yoron Island (top right) From heart shaped tidal pool to beaches to mangroves, Amami Oshima Island is one of Japan's top island getaways. Fukuoka Located across Hakata Bay in Fukuoka prefecture, this Shikanoshima Island is a scenic island that offers great view of the coastline making it a popular destination for cyclists. As the island is at the tip of the sandbar connected to Hakata Bay, visitors can access from the land as well as from the sea. Shimane Oki is made up of 4 inhabited islands and 180 smaller uninhabited islands and rocky reefs (satellite rock clusters) located in the Sea of Japan roughly 50km north of Shimane peninsula and north-west of the main island (Honshu). The three inhabited islands, closest to mainland Japan form a circular shape in order from Nishinoshima Island, Nakanoshima Island, and Chiburijima Island. These islands are collectively known as Dozen, while the largest inhabited island is called Dogo Island. All of these islands have a mesmerizing and dynamic beautiful natural scenery which goes far beyond expectations. Hiroshima When one mentions Hiroshima, first thing comes to mind would be atomic bombing. Its shadows are haunting reminder of the brutality that occurred in 1945. However, Hiroshima is a destination in its own right making a great base for exploring the Seto Inland Sea, containing more than 350 islands with Shinto shrines, beautiful Japanese landscapes and delicious food and drinks. From Osaki-Shimojima Island where the finest oranges and lemons in Japan are made, to rabbit island on Okunoshima to scenic cycling journey to Mukaishima Island and Ikuchijima Island or to spend a more relaxing time at Sensuijima Island, there are enough destinations to choose from. Ehime The only one traversable by foot or bicycle from Honshu (main land) and Shikoku, and also a popular destination for cycling is the Shimanami Kaido. This is a 60km long toll road that connects Japan’s main island (Honshu) and Shikoku passing over six small islands in the Seto Inland Sea. There are many places to pull over the bicycle on this road trip for an amazing adventure. Kagawa Setouchi Islands, proximity to Kagawa prefecture are made up of people, cats, olives and contemporary art. Devoting to art, major Setouchi art islands, Naoshima, Teshima and Shodoshima are most easily accessible from Takamatsu port in Kagawa prefecture. These islands are particularly known for their thriving local art with art festivals showcasing their works from both Japanese and international artists. These events are a must-see for art fans. “Red Pumpkin” ©Yayoi Kusama,2006 Naoshima Miyanoura Port Square ／Photo ： Daisuke Aochi Okayama Best experienced in the summertime when the weather is stable with all the shops open, this seaside resort town, Ushimado in Okayama prefecture has a perfect spot for couples. The Kuroshima Venus Road, a sandbar that appears daily at low tide is popular to not just couples but also to nature lovers. It connects three small islands off of the coast of the Ushimado district in Setouchi City and time spent on the islands and sandbars can definitely make you relax and have a fulfilling natural experience. Hyogo Best accessed by car for road trip, Awaji Island is the largest island in the Seto Inland Sea after Shikoku located in Hyogo Prefecture.The island is tucked between Kobe and Naruto (Shikoku Island), connected with two suspension bridges, the Naruto Ohashi and the Akashi Kaikyo Ohashi bridges. History tells that this was the first island to be formed for Japan offering beautiful nature, historic culture, good food, and hotsprings. ©NAVITIME JAPAN. Travel Info Check out our travel tips to make your trip better!
The Most Scenic Lakes in Japan
- An archipelago of nearly 7000 islands, the country’s coastline is perhaps more iconic than its inland lakes. Treat yourself to stunning vistas and breathtaking landscapes at one of these scenic lakes. Although it can often necessitate a modest trek, getting beyond urban Japan has its own rewards. Making the expedition to one of Japan’s scenic lakes is a fine start. Lake Biwa Lake Biwa One of the world’s oldest lakes, Lake Biwa, named its resemblance—in shape—to the biwa lute carried by the goddess Benzaiten, and the Omi region (the former name of Shiga Prefecture where the lake lies) were home to the earliest civilizations in the country and have long been celebrated in song and poetry. JR's Biwako Line begins in Kyoto and deposits travelers at various points around the lake, including Omihachiman, a city home to merchant mansions and stone walkways along the Hachimanbori Canal, and, near Hikone Station, Hikone Castle, a well-preserved castle with views of the lake. Lake Motosuko Lake Motosuko One of the bodies of water that make up the Fuji Five Lakes, a group of lakes at the base of Mt. Fuji, Lake Motosuko is perhaps most famous for its iconic view of the mountain—if you’ve ever wondered where the view of Mt. Fuji on the 1000 yen note was captured, it was Motosuko. There are several hiking trails in the region, heading out to spots with great views of the surrounding landscape. Despite its scenic beauty, Motosuko is underappreciated; and it feels thousands of miles away from the bustling metropolis on its doorstep. Lake Towada Lake Towada Located in an active volcanic caldera in Towada National Park, Lake Towada has become a hotspot for travelers in northern half of Japan. Convenient even without all the gear, Towada is a great place to camp and canoe. Around Utarube, outfitters and campgrounds welcome travelers of all skill levels to trip out onto the lake and environs. For a truly bizarre side trip from Utarube, venture east to the village of Shingo and its Tomb of Jesus Christ. It was in Shingo that Yamane Kiku, an archeologist, decided that Jesus Christ hid out after fleeing the Middle East and dying of natural causes a century later. Lake Okushima Lake Okushima Created by the construction of the Shimagawa Dam, Lake Okushima is worth the trip from the Shima Onsen area. After arriving by bus in Shima Onsen from Nakanojo Station, the walk to the lake takes about a half hour. The lake’s crystal blue waters are fed by the same streams that run through the hot springs resort. Lake Chuzenji Lake Chuzenji Getting to this scenic lake near Nikko involves a journey up the Irohazaka, one of the twistiest roads in the country, and a ride on the Akechidaira Cable Car. There are events year round and the scenery is vastly different depending on what season you arrive in. The lake is drained by the mighty Kegon Falls, one of the most scenic waterfalls in the world. Lake Mashu Lake Mashu Hokkaido’s Lake Mashu is a young, clear lake that fills the Mashu caldera. To the Ainu, the aboriginal people of this northern island, this was the Lake of the Devil, perhaps from the blankets of mist and fog that frequently cloak the lake in a mysterious haze. The lake and the observatories around it are best visited by car. The landscape is particularly stunning in winter, although the trip out is made treacherous by snowy conditions. ©NAVITIME JAPAN. Travel Info Check out our travel tips to make your trip better!
- A Power Spot Bound by Water and Filled with Spiritual Treasures Stand on the Nagahama shores of Lake Biwa and gaze onto the water. A small island appears in the distance looking just like any other island. This is Chikubushima which, besides being an island in a lake, it is one of Japan’s mystical power spots, and a place you ought to visit. The island is said to have appeared in history over 1,000 years ago, and has been influenced by buddhism for centuries. It also holds a connection to Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a preeminent lord in Japan’s feudal times, as several of the building structures were brought to the island by his son. The spiritual significance of Chikubushima is felt as soon as you set foot on it. Cruising the waters of Lake Biwa The journey starts from the moment you board the cruise in Nagahama. Cruising the waters of Lake Biwa, specially on misty mornings, you will see the biodiversity that inhabits it; various bird species tag along for the journey towards the island. A video (though only in Japanese) will briefly anticipate the treasures you are about to encounter. Thirty minutes later, Chikubushima Island and its spiritual symbols popup into the scene. Chikubushima_Shrine As with other buddhist temples, a torii gate greets visitors. The inclined walk up, which seems like an endless set of stairs, begins and you are on your way up to the holy structures and symbols that adorn the place: Hogonji Temple, Kara-mon gate (national treasure and aformer gate of Kyoto Higashiyama), the Funa Roka Corridor (including part of Hideyoshi’spleasure boat), Chikubu Shima Shrine (national treasure built by Hideyoshi to entertain the Emperor), and the Miyazaki Torii, among others. Chikubushima_Shrine ©NAVITIME JAPAN. Travel Info Check out our travel tips to make your trip better!
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I was there to see the Metasequoia trees turning to its blazing autumn colors but unfortunately I was too early. The Metasequoia leaves were still green in the first week of November. But I manage to...
- Shiga Prefecture
นักท่องเที่ยวที่มายังจังหวัดชิงะมักจะเดินทางมาจากเส้นแบ่งจังหวัดทางทิศตะวันออกของเกียวโต ซึ่งต้องเดินทางผ่านทะเลสาบบิวะ ทะเลสาบบิวะมีพื้นที่ 670 ตารางกิโลเมตร ซึ่งเป็นพื้นที่แทบทั้งหมดของจังหวัดชิงะ ที่นี่ประกอบด้วยเส้นทางริมทะเลสาบที่สวยงาม ให้คุณได้เดินชมและขี่จักรยานตลอดเส้นทางที่มีทั้งพิพิธภัณฑ์ ศาลเจ้า และวิวสวยๆ ซึ่งจะนำคุณไปสู่ปราสาทฮิโกเนะทางด้านทิศตะวันออกของทะเลสาบ
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