Japan has many beautiful landscapes that remain exactly as they were in ancient times. Here are 5 beautiful spots that will remain in your hearts for a long time.
1. Oshino Hakkai (Yamanashi)
Oshino Hakkai, located in Fuji Hokuroku in the southeastern area of Yamanashi, is made up of 8 springs generated from snowmelt from Mt. Fuji that passed through underground lava over several decades. The abundant water and its high quality, the scenery, and the preservation of the area has made it valued enough to be designated a natural monument. value of the abundant water quality, scenery, and the good conservation has made it a natural monument in Japan. The religious beliefs related to Mt. Fuji is tied closely together with Oshino Hakkai, making it an important part of the mountain. Inside the Oshino village is an idyllic rural townscape and many places to see the majesty of Mt. Fuji. The 8 springs that make up Oshino Hakkai are close together so make sure to stop by all of them.
2. Houjusan Risshakuji Temple (Yamagata)
Houjusan Risshakuji Temple, located in the city of Yamagata, is an 860 year old Tendai temple and has been known as Yamadera since ancient times. The poet representing the Edo period (1603-1868), Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), wrote the famous haiku "Shizukasa ya iwa ni shimi iru semi no koe" here. Makoto Ueda translated that haiku as "Quietness―― Sinking into the rocks/A cicada's cry." On the temple grounds, there are many sights to see like the Konpon Chudo that has retained its shape since it was constructed, a large sacred gingko tree, and the temple gate. However, the most recommended sight is up 1,000 stairs to the Godaido. It's 386m above sea level, so the view from the observatory platform on top of the hill is magnificent. There are many steep stairs, but don't give up! Seeing the beautiful scenery after a hard time climbing will sweep away your fatigue.
3. Mt. Daisen (Tottori)
Mt. Daisen is a volcano in Tottori with an an elevation of 1,729m. Because its shaped similarly to Mt. Fuji, it's also called Hoki Fuji, and it's a natural heritage site equally as popular as the Tottori Sand Dunes. Mt. Daisen was the 3rd area designated as a natural park, and is home to the protected tree species Daisen Japanese yew. It also has the largest Japanese beech grove in western Japan which serves as a wildlife sanctuary since it's home to rare wild birds and over 1,000 insect species. On the side of the mountain is Ogamiyama Shrine Okunomiya, a shrine with the largest shrine pavilions in Japan that's been designated as a national cultural property. There are many sights on the Daisan hiking course from the foot to the summit. Those who want to enjoy nature should take the Natsuyama Touzan course, which will let you see the Daisen Japanese yew and the Japanese beech grove. Those who want to learn about history and culture should take the Gyojatani course which will take you through Daisenji Temple and Ogimayama Shrine Okunomiya.
4. Nezame no Toko (Nagano)
Nezame no Toko, located in Nagano's Kiso-gun, is a picturesque granite gorge made by the Kiso River. The unique landscape looks as though the Kiso River is lined with boxes for a full kilometer running north to south. It was designated as a place of scenic beauty in 1923 and today it is a prefectural park special zone. This area is linked to the fairy tale Urashima Taro, and it's said that when Urashima Taro returned from Ryugujo, the paradise at the bottom of the ocean, he came upon this place. He was so stricken by the beauty that he remembered Ryugujo and opened the treasure box that he received there. However, he wasn't supposed to open the box at all and instantly became a 300 year old man. On the opposite shore of Nezame no Toko is Rinsenji Temple where a statue of the goddess Benzaiten said to be left behind by Urashima Taro is enshrined. It's said that the view from Rinsenji Temple is unparalleled. Definitely visit both Nezame no Toko and the temple if you get a chance.
5. Noto Kongo (Ishikawa)
Noto Kongo is a magnificent spot located in the Noto region of Ishikawa. The 30km rock formation is one of the scenic areas in the Noto Peninsula Quasi-National Park. The beautiful shapes created by the rough waves of the Sea of Japan are a must-see. There are many sights to see but something that's especially recommended is the Ganmon, a sight that's representative of Noto Kongo. It's a formation that sticks out into the sea and has a cave formed by erosion that's 6m wide, 15m tall, and has a depth of 60m. You can see the vast Sea of Japan from the cave. Also, on top of the cave, the contrast of the greenery of the thick old pine and the blue sea is stunning. The rock called Hatagoiwa or Noto Futami is a popular spot to see the sunset, so stop by here too.
70% of Japan is covered by mountains and is surrounded by the sea on all sides, so there are beautiful mountain scenes, smooth water sights, and more that you'll want to remember for life. Visit many spots and find your favorite scenery.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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