Uncovering Japan’s Best Kept Secrets: Hidden Gems and Unknown Wonders

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Are you planning a trip to Japan? From its bustling cities to its serene gardens, Japan has a unique culture and beauty that people from all around the world are drawn to. As you plan your trip, consider exploring Japan’s hidden gems – the temples and shrines off the beaten path, unique skiing destinations, and celebrations that are only found in Japan. Foodies can indulge in Japanese cuisine while nature lovers can hike through scenic trails and visit nature reserves. Art enthusiasts and history buffs will find plenty to explore with Japan’s noteworthy museums and galleries. And for ultimate relaxation, Japan’s hot springs and onsens are a must. Join us as we take you on a journey to discover Japan’s lesser-known treasures.

How to Spend 14 Days in Japan – A Japan Travel Itinerary


Discovering Japan’s Hidden Gems

Japan is famous for its bustling cities and iconic landmarks, but there are hidden gems scattered throughout the country just waiting to be discovered. These off-the-beaten-path destinations offer a unique glimpse into the culture and traditions of Japan that many tourists overlook.

One such hidden gem is the village of Shirakawa-go, nestled in the Japanese Alps. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is known for its traditional farmhouses with steeply pitched thatched roofs, called gassho-zukuri. Visitors can tour these unique structures and even stay in one as a guesthouse.

If you’re looking for a more natural experience, head to Yakushima Island. This remote island off the coast of Kyushu is covered in lush forests, home to an array of wildlife, and dotted with secluded hot springs. One of Yakushima’s most famous features is the Yakusugi Land hiking trail, which leads to ancient cedar trees that are thousands of years old.

  • Another hidden gem is the town of Kanazawa on the west coast of Honshu. Known as “Little Kyoto,” Kanazawa offers a glimpse into traditional Japanese culture with its beautifully preserved samurai and geisha districts. Visitors can also explore its stunning Kenrokuen Garden, one of Japan’s top three gardens.
  • For those interested in art and architecture, a visit to Tadao Ando’s Chichu Art Museum is a must. This unique museum is built into a hillside on the island of Naoshima and contains a collection of contemporary art by renowned artists such as Claude Monet and James Turrell.

These are just a few of the many hidden gems waiting to be discovered in Japan. Whether you’re interested in nature, culture, or art, there’s something for everyone in this fascinating country. So, next time you plan a trip to Japan, be sure to venture off the beaten path and uncover its secrets for yourself.

Japan Travel Guide

Japan Travel Guide

Japan, an archipelago in the eastern part of Asia, is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. It has a rich culture and history, scenic landscapes, and unique culinary delights that attract millions of tourists every year. If you’re planning a trip to Japan, it’s important to have a Japan travel guide that will help you navigate your way around the country. In this guide, we will cover the essential things you need to know before going to Japan.


One of the best things about Japan is its efficient and reliable transportation system. You can travel around the country using its extensive network of trains, buses, and subways. The Japan Rail Pass is a good investment if you plan to travel long distances. It allows you to ride on most JR trains, buses, and ferries throughout the country. But if you’re staying in one city, buying a rechargeable IC card is a more practical option. It’s also useful to download some transportation apps, like Google Maps or Hyperdia, to help you navigate and plan your trips.


  • Hotels – You can find a range of accommodations in Japan, from budget-friendly to high-end hotels. The average price for a mid-range hotel in Tokyo is around 10,000 yen per night.
  • Hostels – If you’re a budget traveler or solo traveler, staying in a hostel is a great option. Hostels are cheaper than hotels, and they offer dormitory-style or private rooms.
  • Ryokans – A ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn that offers an authentic Japanese experience. They’re usually more expensive than other accommodations, but they offer hot springs, kaiseki meals, and the opportunity to sleep on a futon.


Food ItemDescription
SushiA Japanese dish made with vinegared rice and various types of fillings, such as seafood, vegetables, and egg.
RamenA noodle soup dish that has meat or vegetable broth, and various toppings like egg, pork, seaweed, and spring onions.
TakoyakiA ball-shaped snack made with wheat flour batter and octopus pieces, topped with mayonnaise, takoyaki sauce, and bonito flakes.

These are just a few of the many food items that you can find in Japan. Make sure to try out different foods and restaurants and go on a food trip to truly experience Japan’s unique cuisine.

In conclusion, Japan is a country that has a lot to offer for tourists. It’s important to plan your trip well and know the essential things for your stay. Transportation, accommodations, and food are just the basics but they will make your Japan experience unforgettable. Enjoy your trip to Japan!

Must-visit Temples And Shrines İn Japan

Japan is known for its rich culture and history, and one of the best ways to experience both is by visiting its temples and shrines. With over 80,000 of them scattered throughout the country, there’s no shortage of places to explore.

One must-visit spot is the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine in Kyoto. The shrine is dedicated to Inari, the god of rice and prosperity, and is famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates that form several hiking trails up the mountain. The trails will take you through serene forests and offer breathtaking views of the city.

Another temple that should be on your list is the Tōdai-ji temple in Nara. It houses the largest Buddha statue in Japan, which stands at a whopping 15 meters tall. The temple grounds also include a peaceful park where you’ll find friendly deer roaming.

  • When visiting Tokyo, make sure to stop by the Senso-ji temple in Asakusa.
  • This 7th century temple is Tokyo’s oldest and attracts millions of visitors each year.
  • The temple is particularly stunning during the cherry blossom season in spring and when the temple is lit up at night during summer.

Another noteworthy shrine is the Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima. It’s situated on an island and seems to float in the water during high tide. The shrine is particularly famous for its “floating” torii gate, which is one of the most photographed sites in Japan.

Temple/ShrineLocationRecommended time to visit
Fushimi Inari TaishaKyotoEarly morning or late afternoon
Tōdai-ji templeNaraEarly morning or late afternoon
Senso-ji templeTokyoEvening for nighttime illumination
Itsukushima ShrineHiroshimaDusk for the best view of the torii gate

There are countless other temples and shrines throughout Japan waiting to be discovered. Each one is unique and has its own story to tell. So, when planning your trip to Japan, make sure to include some of these must-visit spots on your itinerary.

Japan’s Top-rated Skiing Destinations

Japan is a top-rated skiing destination that attracts thousands of visitors each year. With some of the world’s best skiing sites, Japan attracts skiers from all over the world every winter. For skiing enthusiasts or those who are looking to try skiing, the ski season in Japan extends from December to March. It is the perfect time to escape the mundane and immerse yourself in the icy delights of Japanese slopes. Here are some of the must-visit skiing destinations in Japan.

  • Hakuba – A world-renowned skiing destination, Hakuba has 11 ski resorts connected by a single ski pass. This ski resort is located in Nagano and offers some of the most challenging skiing runs in Japan.
  • Niseko – Located in Hokkaido, Niseko is home to some of the best powder snow in the world. This ski resort has a range of skiing courses suitable for everyone, from beginners to advanced skiers.
  • Furano – Another popular ski resort located in Hokkaido, Furano has several ski runs that accommodate all skill levels. If you’re a beginner, you’ll enjoy the ski runs at the New Furano Prince Hotel. Meanwhile, advanced skiers will love the challenges that the Kitanomine Zone offers.
Ski ResortLocationSki Seasons
HakubaNaganoDecember to May
NisekoHokkaidoDecember to May
FuranoHokkaidoNovember to May

These are just a few skiing destinations in Japan; the country boasts numerous other top-quality ski resorts that offer world-class skiing experiences.

Skiing in Japan is not only about the sport. It’s also about experiencing the culture and beauty that the country has to offer. After a long day skiing, visitors can enjoy Japanese hot springs or relax in a local restaurant serving tasty Japanese dishes. All in all, Japan’s top-rated skiing destinations offer much more than just skiing – a complete winter getaway.

A Foodie’s Guide To Japan’s Cuisine

If you are a foodie, then a visit to Japan is a must. Japanese cuisine is famous all over the world and is loved for its unique flavours and presentation. The country is a food lover’s paradise and offers a variety of scrumptious meals that will leave you asking for more.

One of the most famous dishes that you cannot afford to miss is sushi. Be sure to try the various types of sushi that come in different flavours, colours, and shapes. Pair it with some sake, which is Japan’s traditional beverage made from rice, and enjoy a meal that you will not forget in a hurry.

  • Ramen is another dish that you must try while in Japan. The dish consists of Chinese-style wheat noodles that are served in a meat or fish-based broth with toppings such as sliced pork, seaweed, and green onions. This dish is quite popular and is sold in different variations throughout the country.
  • Takoyaki, a popular street food, is also worth mentioning. This dish consists of small balls of dough that are filled with chopped octopus, tempura scraps, pickled ginger, and green onion. It is served with a special sauce, mayonnaise and is garnished with seaweed and bonito flakes.
  • Tempura, which consists of battered and deep-fried seafood and vegetables, is another delicious dish that you will find on most menus in Japan. The dish is highly praised for its light batter that results in a crispy and delicious meal.

Finally, if you have a sweet tooth, then you cannot leave Japan without trying some of its treats. Mochi, a sweet rice cake, is one of the most popular desserts and is usually filled with sweet red bean paste. Another must-try is matcha, a green tea that is blended with hot water and served with sweets. You can find matcha-flavoured desserts, drinks, and even ice cream throughout the country.

In conclusion, Japan’s cuisine is vast and diverse, and it offers a variety of dishes that cater to different tastes. With so many options available, you are sure to find something that you love. Visiting Japan as a foodie is an experience that you will cherish forever.

Finding Serenity At Japan’s Scenic Gardens

Japan is known for many things- technology, fashion, food, and so on. However, one lesser-known aspect of Japan is its beautiful gardens that offer tranquility and peace to visitors. Japan has a long history of gardening and has developed its unique style over the years. These gardens are also often associated with spiritualism and Japanese culture. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the famous and serene gardens that can be visited in Japan.

Kinkaku-ji Temple Garden: Located in Kyoto, the capital of Japan’s former imperial court, Kinkaku-ji temple is famous for its garden and the Golden Pavilion. The pavilion is covered in gold leaf, and the garden surrounding it is serene and exquisite. The pond in the garden reflects the pavilion, adding to its beauty.

  • Address: 1 Kinkakujicho, Kita Ward, Kyoto, 603-8361, Japan
  • Timings: 9 am to 5 pm
  • Admission fee: ¥400

Ritsurin Garden: Located in Takamatsu, the Ritsurin garden is considered one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan. It was built over 400 years ago and has a pond, hills, and teahouses. It’s an excellent example of the “Kaiyu-shiki-teien” style of garden, which is a circular walking garden.

  • Address: 1-20-16 Ritsurincho, Takamatsu, Kagawa 760-0073, Japan
  • Timings: 5 am to 6 pm
  • Admission fee: ¥410

Koraku-en garden: Located in Okayama, the Koraku-en garden is one of the three famous gardens in Japan. It was completed in 1700 and has a pond, streams, and several teahouses. The garden is also known for its various seasonal flowers, including cherry blossoms and plum blossoms.

  • Address: 1-5 Korakuen, Kita Ward, Okayama, 703-8257, Japan
  • Timings: 7:30 am to 5:30 pm
  • Admission fee: ¥400

Japan’s gardens are not just a treat for the eyes but also offer peace and serenity to the soul. These gardens are often associated with spiritualism and Japanese culture and are a must-visit for anyone who loves nature and tranquility. So, the next time you’re in Japan, don’t forget to add these gardens to your travel itinerary.

Japan’s Unique Festivals And Celebrations

Japan is a country full of unique traditions, customs, and cultural practices. When it comes to festivals and celebrations, Japan offers a wide range of events that represent the country’s rich history and cultural diversity. These festivals are a great way to experience Japan’s unique culture and see how the locals celebrate their traditions.

One of Japan’s most famous festivals is the Sapporo Snow Festival, which is held every February in the northern city of Sapporo. This festival is known for its incredible ice sculptures, which are created by artists from all over the world. The festival also features food stalls, ice slides, and other winter activities.

Another popular festival is the Gion Matsuri, which takes place in Kyoto in July. This festival is known for its extravagant floats, traditional music, and street vendors selling a variety of Japanese snacks and souvenirs. The festival has been held for over a thousand years and is recognized as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.

  • The Takayama Festival is another notable event that takes place twice a year in the historic town of Takayama. This festival is known for its ornate floats, traditional music, and colorful ceremonies. It is also a great opportunity to sample Hida beef and other local delicacies.
  • If you happen to visit Japan in spring, you can witness the famous Cherry Blossom Festival, which takes place nationwide. From late March to early May, people gather in parks and gardens to celebrate the blooming of cherry blossoms. The festival includes hanami (flower viewing) parties, food stalls, and cultural performances.

These are just a few of the many festivals and celebrations that take place throughout Japan. Whether you are interested in seeing traditional Japanese ceremonies or experiencing unique modern events, Japan has something for everyone. So why not plan your trip around one of these festivals and make your visit to Japan even more memorable?

Hiking Trails And Nature Reserves İn Japan

Japan is a land of natural beauty, and nothing captures it better than its hiking trails and nature reserves. Be it the serene forests or the snow-capped peaks, hiking in Japan is a journey that offers something for every nature lover. From Mount Fuji to the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes, Japan is home to some of the most picturesque hiking trails that will surely leave you in awe.

The Japanese Alps is one of the most popular hiking spots in Japan with a range of trails suitable for all hiking abilities. With the right gear and guidance, one can hike through the Alpine mountains, surrounded by views of extraordinary natural beauty.

  • Some of the popular hiking trails in Japan include:
  • Hakone – Hike through forests and volcanic landscapes that offer spectacular views of Mount Fuji along the way.
  • Kumano Kodo – A group of pilgrimage routes that offer hikers stunning views of Japan’s natural beauty as they walk through a mountainous region of the Kii Peninsula.
  • Daisetsuzan National Park – Hikers can explore Japan’s largest national park that stretches over 2,230 square kilometers and offers diverse terrain filled with hidden hot springs and wildlife.

Nature reserves such as Shiretoko National Park and Yakushima Island also offer hikers the opportunity to witness Japan’s flora and fauna, including Japan’s iconic snow monkeys, while enjoying breathtaking views.

Important Hiking Tips:
1. Wear proper hiking gear and footwear.
2. Carry enough water and food for the hike.
3. Brush up on some basic Japanese phrases before embarking on the hike.
4. Respect nature and avoid littering.

Hiking in Japan is an excellent way to witness the beauty of the country while immersing yourself in its rich culture. With its diverse terrain and awe-inspiring scenery, it’s no wonder that Japan has become a favorite destination for hikers from around the world.

The Art And Culture Of Japan’s Cities

Japan is an exquisite country filled with unique culture and captivating art. From the serene cherry blossom gardens to the bustling city streets, there is a lot to discover in Japan. The country’s deep-rooted culture is evident in the architecture, traditions, and lifestyle of its people.

Japan’s cities have a lot to offer in terms of art and culture. Tokyo, the capital, is known for its neon-lit streets and skyscrapers, but it also boasts an array of art galleries and museums. The National Art Center Tokyo, situated in Roppongi, is the country’s largest and most prestigious art museum. The museum showcases a collection of traditional and contemporary art from both local and foreign artists.

  • Tip: The museum also hosts special exhibitions throughout the year, so be sure to check their website for the latest updates.

Kyoto, once the imperial capital, is another city that is steeped in culture. It boasts over a thousand temples and shrines, some of which are now recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. One such site is Kinkaku-ji, also known as the Golden Pavilion. The temple is covered entirely in gold leaf and is surrounded by a tranquil pond and tranquil gardens. It is a perfect representation of Japan’s art and culture.

  1. Tip: While in Kyoto, take a tour of the geisha district, Gion, which is full of traditional teahouses, shops, and restaurants.

Osaka, Japan’s third-largest city, is known for its street food and lively atmosphere. The city is also home to Osaka Castle, a landmark that has played a significant role in Japanese history. The castle is surrounded by moats and expansive gardens and offers visitors a glimpse into Japan’s feudal past.

Tip:Head over to Shinsekai, a lively district famous for its colorful signage, street food, and the Tsutenkaku Tower, a landmark that offers panoramic views of the city.
Tip:Don’t forget to try out the famous Osaka delicacy, takoyaki, a ball-shaped snack made of octopus, tempura, and green onions.

Japan’s cities are a perfect reflection of the country’s deep-rooted heritage and culture. Whether you prefer the bright lights and neon of Tokyo or the serene temples of Kyoto, Japan has something unique to offer every art and culture enthusiast.

Japan’s Noteworthy Museums And Galleries

Japan is a country rich in history and culture, and it’s no surprise that it is home to some of the world’s most noteworthy museums and galleries. From traditional art to modern masterpieces, Japan has something to offer for everyone. Here are some of the top museums and galleries that you shouldn’t miss during your visit to this fascinating country.

National Museum of Tokyo

The National Museum of Tokyo is the oldest national museum in Japan and is dedicated to preserving Japanese art and culture. With over 110,000 exhibits, including samurai swords and armor, ancient pottery, and traditional textiles, this museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in Japan’s rich history. Don’t miss the museum’s signature Heiseikan building, which houses a variety of exhibits related to Japanese history, from prehistoric times to the present day.

Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo

If you’re a fan of modern art, be sure to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. This museum focuses on contemporary art from Japan and around the world, with a collection that includes paintings, sculptures, installations, and multimedia works. In addition to its permanent collection, the museum hosts regular exhibitions featuring the works of both established and up-and-coming artists.

Mori Art Museum

The Mori Art Museum is located on the top floors of the Mori Tower in Tokyo’s stylish Roppongi Hills district. The museum is known for its cutting-edge contemporary art exhibitions, as well as its impressive views of the city. The museum’s permanent collection includes works by both Japanese and international artists, and its revolving exhibitions feature works from some of the most innovative and exciting artists working today.

NameLocationAdmission Fee
National Museum of TokyoTaito City, Tokyo¥620
Museum of Contemporary Art TokyoKoto City, Tokyo¥500
Mori Art MuseumMinato City, Tokyo¥1,800

Whether you’re a lover of traditional Japanese art or a contemporary art enthusiast, Japan’s museums and galleries have something to offer everyone. So, make sure to add these noteworthy museums and galleries to your itinerary and experience the rich cultural heritage of this fascinating country.

Experiencing Japan’s Hot Springs And Onsens

Japan’s hot springs, or ‘onsens,’ are popular attractions for locals and tourists alike. These natural geothermal pools are believed to have therapeutic benefits and are a great way to relax after a long day of sightseeing. If you’re planning a trip to Japan, experiencing an onsen should definitely be on your to-do list.

One of the most popular onsen regions in Japan is Hakone, located just a short train ride from Tokyo. This mountainous area is surrounded by natural hot springs, and many hotels and ryokans (traditional Japanese inns) offer onsen facilities for their guests. The famous ‘onsen tamago,’ or hot spring eggs, are a must-try when visiting Hakone’s onsens.

  • Another popular onsen destination is Beppu, located on the southern island of Kyushu. Beppu is known for its eight different types of hot springs, each with its own unique properties. Visitors can also try the ‘jitensha buro,’ or bicycle bath, which is a unique way to soak in a hot spring while pedaling a stationary bike.
  • If you’re looking for a more rustic onsen experience, Kurokawa Onsen in the Kumamoto prefecture is the place to go. This small town is home to many traditional ryokans, each with its own private onsen. Visitors can stroll through the town in a yukata (a lightweight kimono) and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.

When visiting an onsen, there are a few rules to keep in mind. First, you must be completely naked when entering the hot spring. Many onsens also prohibit tattoos, as they are associated with the yakuza (Japanese mafia). If you have a tattoo, be sure to check the onsen’s policy before visiting. Additionally, you should always rinse your body off before entering the hot spring and keep your hair out of the water.

Onsen EtiquetteDoDon’t
Remove all clothing before entering the onsenTry the onsen tamagoEnter the onsen if you have a tattoo
Rinse your body off before entering the onsenEnjoy the peaceful atmosphereWash your hair in the onsen
Keep your hair out of the waterRespect the onsen’s rulesSpeak loudly or disturb other guests

Overall, experiencing an onsen is a must-do when visiting Japan. Not only is it a great way to relax and rejuvenate, but it also allows you to immerse yourself in Japanese culture.

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