In almost every town, city and park, Japan is brimming with beauty. From the sensual colours of the maple trees in autumn to the beautiful cherry blossom in spring, the country is full of natural scenery. Alongside its seasonal foliage and incredible architectural designs, there are a few places in Japan that really set themselves apart. If you are looking for a little R&R then these five most beautiful places in Japan are the perfect way to absorb Japan’s natural beauty.
Kenrokuen Garden is officially known as one of the nation’s most beautiful gardens. Situated in the city of Kanazawa in the Ishikawa Prefecture, Kenrokuen Garden offers enchanting scenery throughout the year. The garden is nestled beside the Kanazawa Castle and was once owned by the city’s ruling samurai family.
The Maeda family ruled Kanazawa for generations and the garden is believed to have been cared for by each generation. The garden is home to hundreds of different plants and trees including the famous cherry blossom. In spring and autumn, visitors flock to Kenrokuen to admire its seasonal colours and in winter the garden is adorned with a blanket of snow making it a far quieter time to visit. The garden is open every day of the year and costs around 310 Yen (ca. 2.85 USD) to enter.
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
Nestled within the ancient district of Kyoto is the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, a forested pathway made entirely of bamboo. Bamboo is an important material in Japan and it is used to make anything from baskets to cups. This forest is set within Kyoto’s more rural district of Arashiyama and Sagano.
Here visitors will find plenty of things to do including the Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama which is home to the nation’s very own Macaque monkeys. The bamboo forest itself offers a tranquil walk through towering bamboo stalks and it can be enjoyed on foot or bicycle.
As this destination sees far fewer visitors than most of Japan’s sites, Mount Koya is a place to retreat back into a calmer way of life. Mount Koya is a remote temple town in the south of Osaka, surrounded by beautiful mountain peaks. The town is named after the mountains that make up the backdrop here and it is a quiet place filled with lots of things to see.
Most temples in Mount Koya derive from Shingon Buddhism and date back to the year 805. The temples are believed to be constructed by Kobo Daishi who is an important religious figure in Japan. In the Mount Koya area, visitors can stay at a temple and explore the fabulous hiking trails on offer.
Fuji Five Lakes
With a backdrop that includes Mount Fuji itself, it should come as no surprise that Fuji Five Lakes is a stunning region. In keeping with its name, the area spans across five beautiful lakes like Lake Ashi making it an ideal place for waterside camping and fishing. Fuji Five Lakes also boasts natural hot springs with wonderful views. It is a family-friendly destination where you can truly forget your troubles and relax amongst some of Japan’s most beautiful scenery.
The Shiraito Falls
The Shiraito Falls is a stunning waterfall that spans 150 meters wide and takes its water from the iconic Mount Fuji. The waterfall is 20 meters high and is best viewed from the ground. The Shiraito Falls offer gorgeous views and are set within walking distance of other waterfalls and hiking trails. It is easy to access by using the buses which run frequently throughout the Fujinomiya area.