Traveling to Japan? Look Beyond The Usual

Oct 31st, 2008 | By | Category: Regional Travel Resources

image If you are planning a trip for pleasure it can be daunting to choose an itinerary.  Should you plan a trip to the vibrant city of Tokyo or bypass it for the history and culture of Kyoto?  It’s possible to combine some of both by utilizing the country’s vast transportation network but before you limit yourself to these two well know cities you should consider some others.  Here is a brief look at the various regions of Japan from north to south with links on to local tourism sites for your web-sufing or virtual traveling pleasure.

Hokkaido (red)

A popular desitnation year round this island in northern Japan offers great skiing in the winter and beautifull pastoral greenery in summer.  The world famous Sapporo Snow Festival is held annually and UNESCO World Heritage added Shiretoko in Hokkaido to its list of natural sights in 2005.

Learn more about this region at the Visit Hokkaido website.

Tohoku (dark green)

Home to the Shirakami-Sanchi, another UNESCO World Heritage site famous for it’s beech tree forest and the 87 species of birds that can be found there.  See many of the areas sight by following the Apple Route in the fall or spring when the colors of the area are at their peak. Or take some time to explore the city of Sendai.

Chubu (tan)

Visit the villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama famous for their houses traditional thatched roofs and also UNESCO World Heritage sites.  Visit the Chubu Tourism Site or explore the Nagoya and Kanazawa two major cities in the region.

Kanto (blue)

Home to Tokyo and Yokohama with an abundance of things to do and see for the visitor.  If you can’t get to Kyoto or Nara, be sure to make some time to visit the temples, shrines and big Buhhda of Kamakura.

Kansai or Kinki (teal)

The historic monuments of Nara and Kyoto are also among the UNESCO World Heritage sites.  The major city in the region is Osaka and the tourist information sites for both Nara & Kyoto are worth clicking through.  Another great resource is the list of 100 carefully selected sightseeing spots in Kansai.

Chugoku (light green)

Home to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial,  yet another UNESCO World Heritage site and the city of Hiroshima itself.

Shikoku (pink)

The Japan National Tourist Board has put together a great three day itinerary through this area of whirlpools, ancient shrines, valleys and historic towns.  Take three days to enjoy the nature and traditions that Shikoku has to offer.

Kyushu-Okinawa (yellow)

Okinawa is Japan’s tropical paradise and a poplar vacation destination for citizens and international travelers. Also worth exploring are the cities of  Fukuoka & Kagoshima.

Visit Web Japan to learn more about the regions of Japan or visit the Japan National Tourist Organization for more trip planning inspiration.

Image Credit: Wikimedia, Regionen japans

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  1. I am traveling to Tokyo, I am so exited about the trip ^^

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