Japan is an intriguing country that effortlessly fuses rich culture and time-honoured traditions with cutting-edge technology. It’s known for its eclectic charm, towering skyscrapers, diverse cuisine, and serene landscapes. While places such as Tokyo and Mount Fuji are particularly famous and attract many tourists, there are plenty more places off the beaten track. If you’re keen to visit Japan, you should definitely try and visit some of the lesser-known places. Here are six attractions that have caught our eye.
Kyushu is Japan’s third-largest island and one of its most impressive attractions is Mt. Aso. Located in the centre of the island, Mt. Aso is an active volcano whose most recent eruptions were in 2021 and 2016. Its crater, which dates back many thousands of years, is one of the largest in the world; however, due to the unpredictable nature of the site, there are times when access to the crater is forbidden to the public.
If you’re thinking of going to visit Kyushu, it’s worth checking in advance to see if access to the crater is possible. Even if the crater’s off-limits, visiting the area and seeing the volcano can still be worthwhile.
Tottori Sand Dunes
Located along the northern coast of the Tottori prefecture are the Tottori Sand Dunes. Stretching for nine miles and with a width of one and a half miles, they’re the largest dunes in all of Japan. They were formed over many millennia when sand dumped into the sea by a nearby river was washed back onto shore. Whilst here, why not take a camel ride to explore the spectacular dunes?
Lake Biwa is the largest freshwater lake in the country. It’s known for its picturesque scenery and views, not to mention the many popular water-based activities that are available for you to enjoy. Paddleboarding, kayaking and windsurfing are just a few examples. If history is more your thing, nestled on the shores of the lake is Hikone, a village whose surviving castle is remarkably well preserved.
Kurashiki is Japan’s answer to Venice. It’s a long-inhabited coastal city known for its network of canals that attract sightseers from near and far. Cruises on the scenic, tree-lined waterways are popular with visitors, and there are plenty of eateries and museums lining the banks to satisfy a wide variety of appetites and curiosities.
Many of the city’s well-preserved buildings date back hundreds of years. While it’s known for being more of a historical destination, it’s also Japan’s number one destination for buying jeans. You’ll find plenty of shops selling all sorts of jeans here, along with countless other things.
The smallest of Japan’s major islands, Shikoku is a real hidden gem. For many years, it went undeveloped until a series of bridges were built, connecting it to the nearby island of Honshu. Because it’s been quite isolated from mainland Japan, it’s home to lots of vegetation and architectural styles that are hard to find on the mainland.
Shikoku is known for its many outdoor activities, hot springs and the 88-temple pilgrimage. There are 88 historic temples scattered throughout the island, along with another 20 that aren’t on the official list. Some people make a point of visiting all the ones on the list.
This city is located in the Nagano prefecture a few hours northwest of Tokyo. What makes it stand out is its castle, which is known for being particularly photogenic thanks to its reflection pool, unique design, and stunning mountain backdrop. There’s also Nakamachi Street, which is replete with traditional shops.
Matsumoto is also home to one of Japan’s many Pachinko parlors; a gambling game where small metal balls are placed into a machine, and prizes are awarded depending on where the balls land. This is the only legal form of gambling in Japan, as other forms of casinos are banned by the government. However, if you find yourself missing some of the more classic casino games, there are plenty of online casinos that can scratch that itch. These sites are available all over the world, from Japan to New Zealand to the UK. If it’s your first time signing up to a site, you can take advantage of all their generous welcome promotions and casino bonus offers, such as casino deposit bonuses, cashback bonuses, and no-deposit bonuses. Some of the sites may even have pachinko machines, so you can hone your skills before trying it out in person.
Like everywhere, Japan has lots of attractions that are lesser known, but just as intriguing and beautiful to visit. If you’re thinking of planning a trip to this fascinating country anytime soon, make sure you’re prepared. With a little bit of time spent on planning and organisation, you can have a very fulfilling vacation.
We’ve only scratched the surface of some of the hidden treasures Japan has to offer. Try to discover some more hidden gems when you visit this beautiful country.