While some people’s image of Japan is most likely the skyscrapers of Tokyo, most of this archipelago is made up of forested mountains, smoking volcanoes, bubbling hot springs and spectacular mountain scenery, all ready to be explored.
Enjoy year-round beauty, from cherry blossom to autumn colours
Every spring and autumn, Japan is completely transformed. From the end of March, cherry blossom begins to bloom in Japan’s southern island of Okinawa, making its way north and blanketing the country in a palette of soft pinks and white. If you want to experience this phenomenon, we recommend booking far in advance or visiting some of the lesser-known spots, like the northern island of Hokkaido. In autumn, fiery reds and oranges take hold from north to south, as the maple trees turn colour. We recommend heading up the cable car of Miyajima’s Mount Misen for some of the best autumn foliage displays.
Soak away your troubles at an onsen
Japan’s volcanic landscape means the land is abundant in hot springs, and bathing in the steaming mineral-rich waters plays a big part in Japanese culture. Spend at least one night in an onsen town such as Hakone or Unzen on Kyushu to enjoy the natural therapeutic powers of the water.
Explore mountains and volcanoes
Running through the entirety of Japan’s main island of Honshu are the Japanese Alps. For hikers, this landscape offers fantastic hillwalking, which we can arrange. Of course, one can’t mention Japanese mountains without talking about Mount Fuji, the iconic landmark and symbol of Japan. It is possible to climb to the summit of Japan’s most famous peak during the months of July and August.
Discover a rich array of wildlife
Wildlife may not be your first thought when Japan is mentioned but there is plenty if you know where to look. Head to Yudanaka to see the snow monkeys, who from December to March famously bathe and frolic in the hot springs. Take a visit to Tsurui in Hokkaido with one of our expert tour guides, particularly in February, to witness the red-crowned crane’s mating dance. If marine life interests you, then the Okinawan islands offer hammerhead sharks, loggerhead turtles and manta rays.