Best natural wonders in Japan?


Aug 18th, 2017, 04:26 PM
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Best natural wonders in Japan?

Planning a 3 week trip to Japan next summer. What are your favorite natural wonders in Japan? What are the most awe inspiring outdoors places? Coolest views? Most interesting bits of nature? Places where you thought, "Oh wow, this is so cool!!"
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Aug 18th, 2017, 06:10 PM
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A few of my favorite outdoor places:
Lake Chuzenji with Mt. Nantai
The inland sea as viewed from Mt. Misen
Views of the landscape glimpsed in transit to/from Koya-san

I thought, "Oh wow, this is so cool!!" just about everywhere I went -- not just outdoor places.
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Aug 18th, 2017, 06:43 PM
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My two favorites:

1. Amakusa Island near Kumamoto. Gorgeous ocean scenery, and fascinating temples. I went on a dolphin boat watch, there were tons of dolphins.

3. The Hinomisaki coastline, and lighthouse on Honshu, near the Izumo temple. The area looks like Big Sur in California. You can climb to the top of the lighthouse, and then afterwards you can walk on a footpath along the coast.
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Aug 18th, 2017, 08:07 PM
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Japan covers a lot of latitudes so there are many great sights for natural scenery.

A few are:

Okinawa and the Yaeyama Islands. Some beautiful semi-tropical landscapes - and not all overrun by tourists (yet).

Yakushima, Kagoshima - This island has some of Japan's oldest forests (some cedars may be thousands of years old) and looks like something from a primordial world.

The walk along the Oirase Stream in Aomori is like a surreal dream. I've heard that many love it in autumn for the colors, but I'd prefer the summer green that almost glows at you.

The Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki is one of Japan's very finest flower gardens.

Akiyoshido Limestone Cave (Yamaguchi) - There are over 100 such caves in Japan, but this one is by far the grandest. Over 300 million years old, and great to see no matter what the weather is outside.

Nachi Waterfall (Wakayama) - This has Japan's highest waterfall. Niagra Falls it isn't, but it's still very nice.

Daisetsuzan - This is Japan's biggest national park and is in a more remote area of Hokkaido. While most of Japan in the summer is a miserable, sticky, muggy steam bath, Hokkaido is a true paradise. In July, the Furano lavender is famous and something really special.

Shosenkyo Gorge - In Yamanashi, this is one of Japan's most picturesque gorges.

Iya Valley - Tokushima - Way off the beaten trail, you can definitely get away from it all.

Matsushima & Sanriku Coasts - Some excellent east coast scenery in Japan's Tohoku region.

There are tons more - Yamadera, Dewa Sanzan, Sakurajima, Geibikei, Kunisaki, Amami, Yoron, and on and on.
If you really want to do more research, look through this Youtube channel:
A lot of the places shown are in some quite isolated areas and you'd need a car to get there. I sorely doubt I'll be able to see them all in my lifetime, but I'll at least try for some of the best.
It also shows quite clearly that if you want to see the most beautiful places in Japan, the Japanese truly know best.
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Aug 18th, 2017, 08:14 PM
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Mt. Aso caldera

Yakushima moss forest
srsddan2017 is offline  
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Aug 22nd, 2017, 05:31 AM
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Loved self-driving through parts of Northern Kyushu, amazing mountains and valleys = incredible winding roads and wonderful rural agricultural views too. Mount Aso is worth a visit, so too is Takachicho Gorge.

We also did a self-drive from Kanazawa up and around the Noto Peninsula, more beautiful scenery, and we particularly liked Hyakurakuso where we stopped for two nights. We did find some of the tourist facilities and restaurants closed in early April, I think summer is high season here, so your trip might be better timed there.

Karuizawa, where we drove after Noto Pensinsula, is known for scenery too. We stayed at Hoshinoya and particularly enjoyed the night walk to see the giant flying squirrels.

Incidentally, I liked Lake Chuzenji well enough but found Kegon-no-Taki rather underwhelming... Likewise, I didn't fall for Hakone as many people seem to. It was ok.

A lot of smaller cities and towns are really not far from more natural areas, though some of those natural areas are somewhat manicured rather than 100% natural. I don't mind that.

There's the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route you guys might like hiking/ walking a segment of. Not done that myself, obvs.
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Aug 22nd, 2017, 05:32 AM
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Oh and also, you may like this place, as well as giving you a more rural experience and the stunning house, you can also book cycle tours, walking tours, cooking sessions or the bamboo craft thing we did.
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