Japan its wild, natural side

Many people who come to Japan visit the metropolis of Tokyo, then on their way to Osaka they stop for a few days to explore the temples and shrines of Kyoto before moving on to Hiroshima to see the city that was destroyed by the nuclear bomb in World War 2. These cities are all great places to visit but today I want to show you that there is more to Japan than those mentioned.

Japan outside of the cities is very beautiful with its natural landscape of mountains, waterfalls, natural hot springs and forests thousands of years old. These places give you a chance to escape the crowds and to be in the peaceful serenity of nature.

Mountains

Mount Fuji the symbol of Japan is the highest mountain in the country standing 3776 metres high. Mount Fuji is a dormant volcano and stands by itself. people can climb Mount Fuji during the middle of July through to the end of August  At this time of year the mountain is very crowded.

Japan also has some amazing hiking around the mountain ranges of Nagano as well as skiing and snowboarding during the Winter. Nagano has held the Winter Olympics. Mount Tateyama is also another inspiring mountain located in the south east area of Toyama. It is part of the Hida mountain ranges.Its peak is 3,015 metres and is one of Japan’s three holy mountains. It can be climbed from April until November.

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Mount Fuji  from Hakone

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Mount Fuji from the lake in Hakone

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Mount Fuji from an airplane flying between Tokyo and Osaka

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Mount Tateyama

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Mount Tateyama in Autumn

Waterfalls

Japan has some powerful flowing waterfalls and some seem to be located in some surreal places like the Nachi waterfall located in Wakayama prefecture. The water drops from a staggering 133 metres but what makes it surreal is the waterfall is directly behind the brightly painted red, Nachi Taisha shrine.

Other impressive waterfalls in Japan is the Kegon waterfall in Nikko. Many people come to Nikko on a day trip from Tokyo to see the temples and shrines but you should really stay for two days so you can view the waterfalls as well.

Yakushima,  a rugged island in the south of Japan also has some beautiful waterfalls set amongst a thick forest.

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Nachi Falls 133 metres high

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Kegon waterfalls in Nikko

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Senpiro waterfalls in Yakushima (credit Yasuyo’s photo)

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Senpiro waterfalls in Yakushima (credit Yasuyo’s photo)

Hot springs

Japan is famous for its hot springs and any trip to Japan should include a trip to a natural hot spring but did you know that there are various hot springs some for bathing in, some for soaking your tired feet in and some that are way too hot to even put your body in. These natural springs are great for viewing. There are even hot springs for the local monkeys.

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Hot springs in Beppu too hot to bathe in

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Hot springs in Beppu too hot to bathe in

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Hot springs in Beppu too hot to bathe in

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Kurama Hot springs

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Foot hot springs

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Hot springs for the monkeys to enjoy

Whirlpools

In a small town of Naruto on the island of Shikoku, whirl pools are formed when it moves a large volume of water into the inland sea. Naruto and Awaji island are separated by a width of 1.3 kilometres. Due to the narrowness of the strait, the water rushes through the Naruto Channel forming the whirlpools.  These whirlpools are the fourth strongest in the world. They can reach up to 20 metres in diametre.

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Beaches

Japan is not really known for its beaches but being made up of a group of islands they do have a few impressive beaches. The beaches surrounding Okinawa are covered in white pristine sand.

While the secluded beaches on Yakushima also have some fine beaches. The best beaches on the main island of Honshu are found on the Izu Peninsula and in Shirahama in Wakayama prefecture. If the sand reminds you of another place it is because its been shipped in from Australia.

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Shirahama Beach in Wakayama

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Shirahama Beach in Wakayama

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Beach in Okinawa

 Sand dunes of Tottori

The Tottori dunes is the only desert in Japan, an arid land where very little vegetation grows. The dunes stretch for ten kilometres and can be two kilometres in width in places. The dunes are very beautiful first thing in the morning when the sands still have ripples and marks left by the whipping wind over night.

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The forest of Yakushima

Yakushima is located in the south of Japan.  It is surrounded by secluded beaches. The interior has flowing waterfalls but the highlight of this rugged island  are the Cryptomeria trees.  Some of the trees on the island age between 2000-5000 years old.

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Cryptomeria trees photo taken by yasuyo

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Cryptomeria trees photo taken by yasuyo

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Cryptomeria trees photo taken by yasuyo

Next time you come to Japan or even if it is your first time I recommend you to spend some of your time exploring the natural wonders of this country. You won’t be disappointed.

Have you been to Japan? Have you explored the natural side of Japan? We would love to hear all about it.

To read more about Yakushima check out Yasuyo’s blog

http://www.travbuddy.com/travel-blogs/105206/met-Jomon-Sugi-ancient-times-8

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