Japan remains a sought-after destination for tourists and explorers who are drawn to its distinctive ambiance and the allure of the land of the rising sun. It is widely acknowledged that Japan offers an unparalleled experience.

However, if you want to have a unique experience, we strongly recommend that you not only visit Tokyo and Mount Fuji. Japan has other unbelievable natural wonders that are definitely a must see! In this article we present some of the most amazing natural attractions that visitors to Japan shouldn’t miss!

Discover the Majestic Peaks

Japan boasts a diverse range of mountains, including the world-famous Mount Fuji, a symbol of the nation’s strength and resilience. But it is not all about Fuji, the country has more breathtaking views and exhilarating hiking adventures like the Japanese Alps, Mount Takao, and Mount Hiei.

Japanese Alps

The Japanese Alps are home to fascinating trails, with the standout being the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. Known as the “Roof of Japan” it offers a thrilling journey through tunnels, alpine lakes, and snow walls using cable cars, buses, and trains.

After taking in the breathtaking views, unwind in the region’s hot springs. The Japanese Alps are dotted with numerous hot spring resorts, such as Shibu Onsen and Okuhida Onsen, providing relaxation and rejuvenation. Don’t miss visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama, known for their traditional farmhouses with steep thatched roofs. Winter is an especially magical time to visit, with snow-covered houses.

Mount Takao

The main highlight of Mount Takao is its peak, which stands at 599 meters (1,965 feet). There are multiple hiking trails of varying difficulty levels to reach the top so everyone can choose their own based on their fitness level. The peak offers spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, including Tokyo’s skyline on clear days.

Takaosan Yakuoin Temple is located near Mount Takao peak, and it is a Buddhist temple with a history spanning over 1,200 years. It is a popular pilgrimage site and offers a serene atmosphere for visitors to explore. The temple complex includes various buildings, statues, and a cemetery. Don’t miss the opportunity to try “shojin ryori” vegetarian Buddhist cuisine served in the temple’s restaurants.

Mount Hiei

From Mount Hiei you can enjoy the view of Kyoto and Lake Biwa, the largest freshwater lake in Japan. On clear days, the vista extends far into the distance, offering a captivating perspective of the surrounding landscape.

You can find Enryaku-ji Temple on the slopes of Mount Hiei. It is a historic Buddhist temple complex that dates back over 1,200 years. It is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site and holds great cultural and religious significance.

Immerse Yourself in the Charm of National Parks

Japan is home to numerous national parks, each offering unique natural wonders. Discover the scenic beauty of Nikko National Park, with its stunning waterfalls, lakes, and ancient shrines. Experience the dramatic coastal cliffs and scenic trails of Shiretoko National Park, or marvel at the breathtaking landscapes of Akan-Mashu National Park, known for its volcanic activity and crystal-clear lakes.

Nikko National Park

Nikko National Park blends natural beauty and cultural significance. It houses Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, including the iconic Toshogu Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The park integrates religious structures in pristine surroundings. It offers diverse landscapes of forests, lakes (like Lake Chuzenji), waterfalls (like Kegon Falls), and mountains (Mount Nantai, Mount Nyoho, and Mount Shirane). Visitors can hike and enjoy breathtaking views. The park also features relaxing natural hot springs, such as Yumoto Onsen and Kinugawa Onsen, for a rejuvenating experience.

Shiretoko National Park

Shiretoko National Park, (also) a UNESCO World Heritage site in Japan, is a pristine wilderness area. It features a stunning blend of rugged coastline, dense forests, cliffs, and mountains.

The park offers breathtaking views of the Sea of Okhotsk, dramatic waterfalls, and serene lakes. It is home to rare species like the endangered Blakiston’s fish owl, brown bears, and marine life. The Shiretoko Five Lakes provide beautiful mountain reflections and are perfect for nature walks. Outdoor activities include hiking, guided tours, kayaking, and wildlife cruises.

Akan-Mashu National Park

Akan-Mashu National Park showcases volcanic landscapes with Mount Oakan, Mount Meakan, and Mount Akan-Fuji offering stunning views and hiking opportunities. The park is home to pristine lakes like Lake Akan, Lake Mashu, and Lake Kussharo. Lake Mashu is renowned for its crystal-clear water.

Marshlands, including Kushiro Marsh, provide a haven for bird species. Visitors can explore Ainu culture in traditional villages and enjoy Ainu crafts, music, and cuisine. The park’s hot springs, known as onsen, offer relaxation amidst nature. It is rich in biodiversity, with species like red-crowned cranes, Ezo deer, and Blakiston’s fish owls. The flora includes alpine flowers and unique volcanic-adapted plants.

As you can see Japan’s landscapes and national parks offer a tapestry of breathtaking beauty, showcasing the country’s harmonious relationship with nature. Whether it’s the majestic mountains, enchanting forests, or vibrant seasonal displays, each destination offers a unique opportunity to connect with the natural world.

By embracing Japan’s stunning landscapes, travelers can embark on an unforgettable journey of discovery and appreciation for the awe-inspiring beauty that nature has to offer. So don’t hesitate if you always wanted to visit this magical country!

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