Japan is a country in Asia highly developed in terms of technology and transportation. One of the many reasons why tourists flock to the country every single year is because of the natural beauty of the country. Japan has various mountains, hills, lakes, and a lot more that show the beauty of nature. Truly, Japan is one of the must-visit countries in the world for people who wish to see the beauty of nature.
Almost 3000 kilometers in length from north to south, the Japanese archipelago houses a wide range of natural beauties from Hokkaido to Okinawa. Not only are the volcanoes and mountains majestic but the coastlines and forests also offer a sense of serenity and peace. Wildlife creatures inhabit these lands and seas and are protected by the government to ensure the longevity of the beauty of nature.
The Great Mountains and Volcanoes of Japan Perfect for Wallpapers
For the people who love the land, the mountains and volcanoes of Japan are a must-see. The first and foremost mountain to check out is Mount Fuji, also known as Fujisan in Japanese. Standing at 3,776 meters high, it is the highest mountain located in Japan. Worshipped as a sacred mountain by some locals, its shape is almost perfect. The mountain is highly popular not just among the common folk but also among tourists. In fact, some foreign visitors travel to Japan just for the sake of going to Mt. Fuji.
Last erupted in the year 1707, Mt. Fuji is an active volcano. The mountain rests on the border between Shizuoka Prefecture and Yamanashi Prefecture. The mountain stands so high that it can actually be seen from Yokohama, as well as Tokyo, on days when there is a clear sky.
Second on the list would be Mount Takao, also known as Takaosan in Japanese. It is among the nearest areas for natural recreation to central Tokyo. Aside from the spectacular scenery, the area also offers various temples as well as several hiking opportunities. Though situated outside the center of the city, the mountain still stands within the borders of the Tokyo metropolis. It also only takes about 50 minutes to travel from Shinjuku.
One of the main attractions in this area is a monkey park. Enclosed in walls made of glass is a home of around 40 Japanese macaques. These monkeys perform shows at different times of the day. Another feature of this monkey park is a wildflower garden that is composed of 500 different species of plants. Using the same admission ticket, visitors can go to both the monkey show and the garden.
Just behind the railway station located around the base of Takaosan stands the Keio Takaosan Onsen Gokurakuyu. It is a hot spring bathhouse or onsen that perfect for relaxation. They offer a range of baths that are separated by gender. Aside from the onsen, guests may also drop by the Takao 599 Museum. A nature museum, Takao 599 Museum centers on the ecology that surrounds Mt. Takao. Entrance to the museum is also free. The station, on the other hand, is known as Takaosanguchi Station. Recently renovated in the year 2015, one of the features of this station is a beautiful canopy made of timber with passageways made of wood panels. This was designed by a famous architect known as Kuma Kengo.
Capes, Coasts, and Beaches that Boost Japanese Tourism
Capes, coasts, and beaches are almost among the most sought-after places in the Land of the Sun. Among the most famous ones is Kitayamazaki. With a coastline 8 kilometers in length, Kitayamazaki is located in northern Iwate Prefecture. It is a part of the Sanriku Recovery National Park. One of its main features are cliffs that are around 150 to 200 meters high.
To get the best view of the Kitayamazaki Coast, one should watch it from the Kitayamazaki Observatory. Located at the northern end of the coastline, it is a park that consists of three observation decks that are designed to let guests have the most spectacular views of the coastline. There are also restaurants and souvenir shops in the park. A network of walking trails is present to lead guests to the three observation decks.
Another beautiful view can be found just around 10 kilometers from the south of the Kitayamazaki Coast. Known as the Unosu Cliff, it is a coastline 4 kilometers long. It has five cliffs lined up in a row, all of which are about 200 meters high. These cliffs can be viewed from an observation deck in the south. Translating to “cormorant’s nest cliff,” Unosu features several species of birds such as cormorants, ospreys, and eagles that rest and nest along the rock.
Another coast to check out is the Jogasaki Coast. Also known as Jogasaki Kaigan, this coast is only a portion of the coastline that runs along the eastern coast of the Izu Peninsula. Located in the area of Izu Kogen, the coast is only around 10 kilometers away from central Ito. It features a hiking trail that follows the coast in a span of almost 10 kilometers. While walking along the trail, guests are able to see the magnificent views of the stone formations and jagged cliffs that surround the coast.
Just around the Kadowakizaki Suspension Bridge, which is about 23 meters in length and 48 meters in height, lies the most famous section of the hiking trail. A short distance away from the bridge also stands a lighthouse that features an observation deck. With free entrance, the observation deck lets guests witness the beauty of the coastline as well as Oshima Island. There are parking lots located at certain points along the trail.
As for capes, definitely check out Cape Oma. Also known as Omasaki in Japanese, Cape Oma is located in the northernmost point of the main island of Japan, Honshu Island, and the Shimokita Peninsula. The lookout side of the cape is brimming with not just restaurants that offer a great view but also souvenir shops that sell fish and seaweed products. For looking out across the strait, head on over to the observatory building located at the cape.
Gorges, Caves, and Marshlands Included in A Number of Tours
For people who love the land in general, there are also various places to check out when in Japan. First on the list is Takachiho Gorge. Also known as Takachiho-kyo in Japanese, this gorge is a chasm of narrow width cut through the rock due to the Gokase River. The gorge is lined with cliffs that are almost sheer. These cliffs consist of volcanic basalt columns that slowly form, all of which look like the scales of a dragon.
Partway along the gorge is the Minainotaki. Standing at 17 meters high, this waterfall flows down to the river underneath. With dense green foliage as the background, the waterfall is truly a sight to behold. This view is further accentuated by the grey cliffs that surround the waterfall.
The gorge can be enjoyed in two perspectives. By rowing down the river, visitors from below can witness the magnificence of the waterfall. There are available rental boats located at the south side of the gorge. Worry not for people who are reluctant in rowing a boat as the water in the gorge is calm and quite easy to navigate even for beginners. This route is also highly recommended as visitors can get a close-up view of the waterfall as well as the cliffs.
The second perspective can be seen from up above. There is a paved path that visitors can take to go to the end of the gorge. While walking along the path, guests can enjoy beautiful views at certain points of the trail with some even letting visitors see straight down to the river below. The trail runs for around a kilometer after the river viewpoint as it leads to the Takachiho Shrine.
Another beautiful gorge to visit is the Kurobe Gorge. Also known as Kurobe Kyokoku, it is a forested ravine located in the rugged mountains situated in the Northern Japan Alps. It is among the deepest gorges in the country. Some of its beautiful features include almost vertical cliffs, outdoor hot springs, and natural virgin forests. These are some of the main attractions of the gorge and are visited by numerous tourists every single year.
However, probably the primary attraction of the gorge is the Kurobe Gorge Railway. A sightseeing train, the railway was mainly constructed to help with the building of the Kurobe Dam. At present, the small trains run along a stretch 20 kilometers long. This railway connects both Unazuki Station and Keyakidaira Station. The journey between these two stations may take up to 80 minutes. Along the way, the train crosses over 20 bridges and more than 40 tunnels. Guests are also gifted with panoramic views of the gorge located below.
As for caves, one of the must-sees in Japan is the Abukumado Cave. A limestone cave network that is 3,000 meters in length, Abukumado was found in the year 1969. Located in eastern Fukushima Prefecture, it is around 35 kilometers on the northwest side of Iwaki. Formed more than 80 million years ago, the caverns were formed due to the underground streams. They also consist of numerous stalactites and stalagmites of a wide range.
There are also features that are unique to Abukumado that cannot be found anywhere else in Japan. These include boxwork formations as well as the Christmas Tree. For those unfamiliar with the Christmas Tree, it is a stalagmite two meters in height that many believe to be the biggest stalagmite in Asia.
Though considerably long, only around 600 meters of the cabin can be accessed by the public through a series of platforms especially developed for the safety of the guests. There are also paved walkways and staircases, albeit sometimes steep, that would let the visitors have an easier time navigating the caverns. Another one of its attractions is the main hall known as Takine Goten. As for marshlands, check out Oze National Park.
Waterfalls, Rivers, and Lakes Perfect for Pictures
For the water-lovers, head on over to Kumano Nachi Taisha. Considered as one of the three Kumano shrines, it has various features that visitors would love to see. Probably one of the main attractions of the site is the tallest waterfall in Japan. Known as Nachi no Taki, the waterfall is 133 meters high. The waterfall was previous venerated by the earliest people of Japan and considered as the original religious site in the area. Just the natural power and magnificence of the falls are enough to impress foreign guests.
As for a milder flow of water, check out Oirase Stream. Also known as Oirase Keiryu in Japanese, it is a mountain stream located in the Aomori Prefecture. It is recognized as one of the must-visit places in Aomori during the autumn season. More than a dozen waterfalls flow down into the Oirase Stream. It is also the only outlet that drains one of the most famous lakes in Japan, Lake Towada. There is also a hiking trail in the area for people who would want to explore the area.
For a set of five small lakes, head on over to the Shiretoko Five Lakes. Also known as Shiretoko Goko in Japanese, these lakes were formed due to the eruption of Mount Io. These lakes are fed by springs located underground. This set of small lakes resemble five fingerprints that many say are of God’s. Surrounded by mountains and wilderness, the Shiretoko Five Lakes offer a scenic, spectacular view of nature. There are, of course, many other destinations that one should look into when visiting Japan. Truly, the Land of the Sun is the place to be for nature-lovers.