Japan is a diverse landscape with travel activities that range from beaches and culinary delights to museums and breathtaking national parks. While Tokyo is an eye-indulging mixture of skyscrapers, shopping and pop culture, Kyushu offers subtropical beaches; Hiroshima is home to the atomic-bomb memorial, and Kyoto is where you’ll find tranquility and geisha. There is a lot to do in this small island nation!
In Spring: known as ‘sakura’ and blossoming with the approach of spring, the entirety of Japan is enveloped in pretty shades of pink during the Cherry Blossom season. The arrival of the bloom is meticulously calculated and when it happens, everyone indulges in the nation’s favourite pastime, ‘hanami’ or ‘looking as flowers’. Yoshino is the best destination to have this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
This is an ancient city of temples, gardens, traditional teahouses, and geisha. One of the most pleasant walks is down Tetsugaku-no-Michi (‘path of philosophy’) with its flowering plants and bushes. Or take a night stroll through the famous entertainment district of Gion, famed for its geisha and enjoy the 17th century winding roads and traditional teahouses. Make sure to also visit some of the city’s over 2,000 temples and shrines, including the splendour of Kinkaku-ji or the immenseness of Higashi Hongan-ji. You won’t need to worry about food because Kyoto is a foodie paradise, at the heart of which is Nishiki Market (i.e. Kyoto’s kitchen).
Located in Hiroshima Memorial Park and designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, this memorial was the only structure left standing after the first atomic bomb exploded on 6 August 1945. The memorial has been preserved as a ruin
Arguably one of the most iconic mountains in the world, Mt. Fuji is a gruelling climb. Enjoy the scenery, hike nearby mountains, take part in lake activities or enjoy strolls amongst the foliage in autumn.
A globally famous ancient pilgrimage route, this network of sacred trails criss-cross the mountains in the Kii peninsula and take you through towering trees and the nation’s tallest waterfall, and end at Kumano Sanzan Shrines. Keep in mind that Japan is a walker’s wonderland and there are many walking tours available all over the country.
Renowned for its colourful street art and fashion scene, Tokyo’s Harajuku district is bustling with endless options, including trendy cafes, vintage clothing, high end fashion, shrines and cultural hubs like the Watari Museum of Contemporary art.
Japan has a four-season climate. The best time to visit is between April and August, and late December. The cherry blossom festivals take place in April.