Asia,  Japan,  Travel

Places to visit in Japan that look UNREAL

Japan is a beautiful country with places that look unreal at every corner. From the concrete jungle of Tokyo to the hundreds of shrines lined up in Kyoto to the snowy mountains of Hokkaido, here are my top places to visit in Japan that look unreal, and should be visited at least once in your life!

Motonosumi Inari-Jinja Shrine (Nagato city)

Motonosumi Inari-jinja Shrine and its many red torii gates have become one of the most well-known locations in Yamaguchi prefecture. The trail of 123 torii gates is an impressive sight while looking towards the Sea of Japan. Normally at the shrine, an offertory box is placed on the ground but this shrine’s box is placed at the top of a five-meter tall torii gate at the entrance of the main approach to the shrine. It is believed that if you successfully throw money into the box, your wishes will come true.

Even though it is beautiful, Access via public bus or train is very difficult. For those heading to the shrine, a rental car or taxi is needed.

Address:  498 Yuyatsuo, Nagato, Yamaguchi 759-4712, Japan

Motonosumi Inari-Jinja Shrine, Japan
Places to visit in Japan
123 torii gates at Motonosumi Inari-Jinja Shrine, Japan

Kumano Nachi-taisha Shrine (Wakayama Prefecture)

Kumano Nachi Taisha is a Shinto shrine and part of the UNESCO-designated World Heritage Sacred Sites. The site also boasts the tallest (single-tiered)waterfall in Japan. The waterfall ‘Nachi no Taki’ is 133 meters and was the original religious site in the area. This grand shrine is part of the Kumano Sanzan and a major pilgrimage destination.

Every July 14th, the Nachi Fire Festival is held. It is an ancient purification ritual with torches and portable shrines fashioned into the shape of Nachi Falls that are set ablaze. During this time, the stone staircase leading from the shrine to the falls is packed with torch-wielders dressed in white in a dazzling display.

The area is very hard to get to due to it being located in the middle of a mountain with very little transportation. A bus from the nearby city is available to take you directly to the area, but be sure to keep track of time so you don’t miss the last bus.

This has been on my list of places to visit in Japan for the longest time and words can’t describe how beautiful the area and the waterfall are. You can even get a sip of the water, as they say, it gives you longevity.

Address: 1 Nachisan, Nachikatsuura, Higashimuro District, Wakayama 649-5301, Japan
Official website: (in japanese)

Kumano Nachi-taisha Shrine 
Wakayama, Japan
Places to visit in Japan
View of the Padoga and Waterfall

Taiyo-no-Oka Engaru Park (Hokkaido)

The Niji-no-Hiroba in Taiyo-no-Oka Engaru Park has over ten million cosmos bloom during their season, making this the largest cosmos park in Japan. The moss pink, cherry blossoms, azaleas, and tulips can be savored in the spring, and the cosmos can be enjoyed in autumn.  They say that 10 million cosmos pink and yellow can bloom at once.

The park is located around 20 minutes on foot (or a five-minute taxi ride) from Engaru Station, served by the Sekihoku Main Line

Address: Engaru, Mombetsu District, Hokkaido 099-0400, Japan

Official Website

Taiyo-no-Oka Engaru Park, Japan
field of flowers at Taiyo-no-Oka Engaru Park

Hana-no-Miyako Koen (Lake Yamanaka)

Yamanakako Hanano Miyako Koen, located in the area of Lake Yamanakako, the nearest lake to Mt. Fuji, is a flower park in the highland 1,000m above sea level where you can enjoy various kinds of flowers from spring to autumn. In the park there is the Myojin waterfall, a greenhouse dome, and an exhibition site of lava of Mt. Fuji to enjoy as well. What’s amazing about this place is that the flower field is free to enter! The park has some parts which you will need to pay for the entrance fee though.

Address: 1650 Yamanaka, Yamanakako, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi 401-0501, Japan

Official Website

Hana-no-Miyako Koen, Japan
Places to visit in Japan
Sunflowers with a view of Mt. Fuji at Hana-no-Miyako Koen

Kawachi Fujien (Fukuoka)

The garden’s most prominent features are two, roughly 100 meter long tunnels made of wisteria trees of differing varieties and colors, ranging from white to dark purple. A viewpoint at the top of the hillside garden allows for nice views over the sea of wisteria flowers and the surrounding valley which is also known for its bamboo groves. During the peak of the season from late April to the beginning of May, it gets very popular due to the wisteria being in full bloom.

The admission during the wisteria season is 500 yen, 1000 yen or 1500 yen depending on the state of the season. The park is best accessed by bus from Yahata Station (15 minutes), but the nearest bus stop to the park is a 55 minute walk to the gardens. If walking isn’t your thing, traveling by car might be better for you.

Important: Advance reservations are required during the peak season in spring! During peak of the season, tickets for a specific date and time slot have to be purchased in advance in order to enter Kawachi Wisteria Garden. Visitors without advance reservations will not be allowed into the garden!

Address: 2 Chome-2-48 Kawachi, Yahatahigashi Ward, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka 805-0045, Japan
Official website

Kawachi Fujien, Japan
Wisteria trees at Kawachi Fujien

Lake Kawaguchi (Yamanashi prefecture)

Lake Kawaguchi is located in the border of the towns of Fujikawaguchiko and Minobu in southern Yamanashi Prefecture near Mount Fuji, Japan. It is the second largest of the Fuji Five Lakes, and is located at the lowest elevation. There are train and direct connections to Tokyo, so a day trip from Tokyo is perfect. Even though Kawaguchiko is located right at the base of Mount Fuji, the mountain is not always visible because of clouds. Visibility tends to be best in the early mornings (usually before 9am) and during winter. Visibility is low during the hazy summer months. This is probably the one of the most iconic places to visit in Japan.

Lake Kawaguchi
Places to visit in Japan
mt fuji


Mount Hakodate is a 334 meter high mountain at the southern end of the peninsula on which much of central Hakodate is located. On clear days and nights, the views from the mountain are spectacular and included among Japan’s three best night views alongside the views. Even though the night view is more well-known, the daytime view looks beautiful as well.

It only takes 3 minutes to the top of the mountain by Cable car. The cable car up has a beautiful view as you go up the mountain, but there is also a hiking option for those who want some nature and exercise. If you come in the afternoon, the observatory at the summit is very large and it is easy to sit and relax and wait for the sun to set. There’s even a gift shop up there to look around in!

Address: 19-7 Motomachi, Hakodate, Hokkaido 040-0054, Japan
Official Website


HITACHI SEASIDE PARK (Ibaraki Prefecture)

Hitachi Seaside Park is a spacious park near Mito in Ibaraki Prefecture featuring a variety of green spaces and seasonal flowers spread out across 350 hectares, as well as an amusement park and several cycling and walking trails. Hitachi Seaside Park is one of Ibaraki’s many gorgeous parks with beautiful pale blue nemophila in spring from late April to mid-May, and crimson kochia bushes in fall. The blooming nemophila flowers create an incredible scene of contrasting blues with the blue sky and ocean nearby. The view from atop Miharashi Hill is ethereal and otherworldly.

The park itself is very big and has many places to eat and relax. There’s other flower fields all over the park, so be sure to pick up a guide map when you first enter. There’s even a place where you can rent a bicycle and bike around the park! There’s a bicycle lane throughout the park too! Highly recommended! The Park is about two hours from Tokyo by public transportation, so this is also perfect for a day trip from Tokyo! One of the places to visit in Japan during the blooming season!

Address: 〒312-0012 Ibaraki, Hitachinaka, Mawatari, 字大沼605-4
Official Website

Nemophila flowers at Hitachi Seaside Park, Places to visit in Japan
Nemophila flowers at Hitachi Seaside Park

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My Japan posts: Pennyless Travels Japan posts
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General Tourism information: Japan Travel Website
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