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Visit During the Hot Summer! Scenic Natural Areas in Japan That Will Cool You Down Part 1

Japanese summers are hot and humid. Does that make you hesitate when thinking of traveling? There are plenty of picturesque places throughout Japan perfect for every season. Here are 7 spots recommended to visit in the summer so you can feel cool as you enjoy the sights.

1. Aoiike (Hokkaido)

Aoiike is a lake that ranges in color from bright blue to emerald green. It's a mystical, beautiful spot in Biei, Hokkaido. The best time go to is on a sunny day with no wind. The lake will reflect the color of the sky, so it's said it will look even more blue. Please fully enjoy the spiritual sight of the cool water of the surface and the dead larch trees standing in it.

1. Aoiike (Hokkaido)

Shirogane, Biei-cho, Kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido

2. Oirase Keiryu (Aomori)

Oirase Keiryu is a 14km mountain river that runs from Aomori's Nenokuchi in Lake Towada to Yakeyama. You can enjoy the sight of the water rushing between the mossy rocks. There are trails along the riverbanks, so you can trek for about 4 and a half hours. Along the way are waterfalls, currents of various speeds, and cliffs on either side of the river, so it's a very lively landscape.

2. Oirase Keiryu (Aomori)

Oaza-Okuse, Towada-shi, Aomori

3. Kegon Falls (Tochigi)

Kegon Falls in Nikko is one of Japan's top three waterfalls. The sight of the water falling 97m along with the thunderous roar is impressive! There is an observatory deck right in front of the waterfall that you can reach by elevator (550 JPY for adults, 330 JPY for elementary school students) so you can enjoy the sight from near the basin. Please enjoy the beautiful, strong view of the waterfall while feeling the spray.

3. Kegon Falls (Tochigi)

Chuugushi, Nikko-shi, Tochigi

4. Hotoke-Gozen Falls (Fukui)

Hotoke-Gozen Falls is a three level waterfall of 100m in Kuzuryu Gorge created from runoff from Mt. Arashima in Fukui, one of Japan's top 100 mountains. The water falling over each level is impressive! The sight is so beautiful and dynamic you'll lose track of time. There is a trail from the national highway to the waterfall that takes about 10 minutes to walk.

4. Hotoke-Gozen Falls (Fukui)

Hotokebara, Ohno-shi, Fukui

5. Nishiseto Expressway (Hiroshima/Ehime)

The Nishiseto Expressway which connects Onomichi in Hiroshima and Imabari in Ehime is currently very popular. You can enjoy the comfortable ocean view of the calm Seto Inland Sea and islands of varying size dotting the surface, and the bridge weaving between them. The length of the entire expressway is about 70km, and you can follow it by car, bike, or on foot. Along the way are rental bicycle terminals, so why not enjoy a nice bike ride?

5. Nishiseto Expressway (Hiroshima/Ehime)

Ogi, Setoda-cho, Onomichi-shi, Hiroshima

6. Takachiho Gorge (Miyazaki)

Takachiho Gorge is a scenic spot registered as a Special Place of Scenic Beauty and Special Natural Monument. It has a spiritual atmosphere and appears in Japanese mythology. The highlight is the beautiful ravine created by a lava flow from Mt. Aso that suddenly cooled. The Manai Falls of about 17m tall is also famous. You can rent a boat and travel through the gorge on it. During the summer, the waterfall is lit up to create a ghostly atmosphere.

6. Takachiho Gorge (Miyazaki)

Oshioi, Oaza-Mitai, Takachiho-cho, Nishiusuki-gun, Miyazaki

7. Shiratani Unsuikyo (Kagoshima)

Yakushima, an island roughly 60km south of Kagoshima and a World Heritage Site, is home to the recommended Shiratani Unsuikyo. What awaits you is a dynamic ravine and the beauty of a mossy forest from ancient times. The virgin forest has grown thickly, and you can even see the Yakusugi cedar that is more than 3,000 years old. There are trekking courses for beginners, so you can come without fear. It's famous as being the place that inspired the setting of Ghibli movie Princess Mononoke.

7. Shiratani Unsuikyo (Kagoshima)

Inside Miyanouradake and Ishizuka National Forest, Yakushima-cho, Kumage-gun, Kagoshima

All of these are places where you can fully enjoy the beauty of Japanese nature. When you're tired from the summer heat, you can definitely refresh yourself in these places!

*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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