5 Beautiful Places in Japan

5 Beautiful Places in Japan

Mt Fuji in Japan
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Marissa D'Arpino

The captivating country of Japan is an island nation off the coast of East Asia, made up 6,852 islands. The country sits on an active volcanic zone within the Pacific Ring of Fire. Cultural properties and national treasures are protected and promoted by the Japanese government and several have earned their spot on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The country is fused with the perfect amount of culture and history. If you're planning an adventure to Japan, make sure to navigate to the following beautiful locations.

  1. Mt. Fuji Recognized as the nation’s symbol, Mt. Fuji's beauty has been the inspiration for artists, musicians and poets all across the globe. It's iconic in scores of Japanese movies and is listed as #17 on UNESCO's “List of World Heritage Sites in Japan”. Its highest peak is the record holder in all of Japan standing at an astounding 12,380 ft. With its incredible heights and movie noteriety it’s no wonder why tourists flock to this spectacular destination. Snow-capped for half of the year, the warmer months attract visitors for both mountain climbing and paragliding.

  2. Oyama Rice Terrace, Kamogawa Rice has been an essential staple to Asian cooking for thousands of years and Japan is one of the largest rice producers in the world. So while abroad on your trip to Japan, plan a visit to a local rice cultivation of Tokyo, the Oyama Rice Terraces. The puzzle-piece-like fields consist of over 400 parallel steeped layers surrounded by heavily forested hills. Visitors can enjoy the breathtaking landscapes, walk through the rice terraces or visit one of the property’s facilities to make rice commodities like paper or mochi cakes.

  3. Himeji Castle Standing completed since 1609, the fortress of Himeji is recognized as the greatest example of Japanese castle architecture. Looking past its luster white plaster walls and ceramic roof top tiles, this fortress was built to sustain wars and avert intruders. The complex network of buildings exemplifies this period’s strategic advancements in defense and innovations of the 17th century. It’s surrounded by winding paths with overhangs of full blossoming cherry trees and lavish gates to protect the dwellings within.

  4. Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine One of Japan’s most popular historical attractions, Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine also landed itself on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This shrine is a fusion of both Shinto and Buddhist origin which are the dominated indigenous religions of the Japanese people. Its foundation is built alongside the Kii Mountain Range, which is referred to as a main Pilgrimage Route. The site is surrounded by cedar forests which are said to be sacred, along with the Nachi Waterfall which is also heavily worshipped.

  5. Gion Geisha District, Kyoto The Gion District of Kyoto, has to be the most interesting and historic UNESCO World Heritage Site on the list. These quarters host sophisticated arts, architecture and designs dating as far back as 794 AD. But the ultimate experience has to be Geisha or Maiko sightings. Depending on your travel times and wallet size you can catch a tea ceremony or dance performance by real Geisha.

AAA's Chief Operating Officer, Tae Kim, will be hosting a tour to Japan and Korea in November 2018 and will visit some of these beautiful destinations. If a visit to East Asia is on your bucket list, attend one of our informational events to learn more about this special trip. For more information, click here  

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