Saturday, September 18, 2021

Destinations in Japan

AsiaJapanDestinations in Japan

Regions in Japan

Japan is conventionally divided into nine regions, listed here from north to south:

  • Hokkaido(Central Circuit, Eastern Circuit, Northern Circuit, Southern Circuit).
    Northernmost island and snowy borderland. Famous for its vast landscapes and cold winters.
  • Tohoku(Aomori, Iwate, Akita, Miyagi, Yamagata, Fukushima)
    The largely rural northeastern part of the main island of Honshu, best known for seafood, skiing, and hot springs.
  • Kanto (Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa).
    The coastal plain of Honshu includes the cities of Tokyo and Yokohama.
  • Chubu (Niigata, Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui, Yamanashi, Nagano, Shizuoka, Aichi, Gifu)
    The mountainous central region of Honshu, dominated by the Japanese Alps and Japan’s fourth-largest city Nagoya.
  • Kansai (Shiga, Mie, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Wakayama, Hyogo).
    The western region of Honshu, the ancient capital of culture and trade, including the cities of Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe.
  • Chugoku (Tottori, Shimane, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi)
    Southwesternmost Honshu, a rural region best known for the cities of Hiroshima and Okayama.
  • Shikoku (Kagawa, Ehime, Tokushima, Kochi)
    Smallest of the four main islands, a destination for Buddhist pilgrims, and Japan’s best white-water rafting.
  • Okinawa
    Semi-tropical island chain in the south extending to Taiwan; formerly independent Ryukyu Kingdom until annexed by Japan in 1879. Traditional customs and architecture are very different from the rest of Japan.
  • Kyushu (Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Oita, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Kagoshima).
    Southernmost of the four main islands, the birthplace of Japanese civilization; largest cities Fukuoka and Kitakyushu

Cities in Japan

Japan has thousands of cities; these are nine of the most important for the traveler.

  • Tokyo – the capital and main financial center, modern and densely populated.
  • Hiroshima – large port city, the first city destroyed by an atomic bomb
  • Kanazawa – historic city on the west coast
  • Kyoto – the ancient capital of Japan, considered the cultural heart of the country, with many ancient Buddhist temples and gardens.
  • Nagasaki – an old port city in Kyushu, the second city destroyed by an atomic bomb
  • Nara – the first capital of unified Japan, with many Buddhist shrines and historic buildings.
  • Osaka – large and dynamic city in the Kansai region
  • Sapporo – the largest city in Hokkaido, famous for its snow festival
  • Sendai – the largest city in the Tohoku region, known as the City of Forests for its tree-lined avenues and forested hills

Other destinations in Japan

  • Japanese Alps – a range of high snow-capped mountains in the centre of Honshu
  • Miyajima – just outside Hiroshima, site of the iconic floating torii
  • Mount Fuji – iconic snow-capped volcano and highest peak in Japan (3776m)
  • Mount Koya – headquarters of the Buddhist Shingon sect
  • Sado Island – island off Niigata, once home to exiles and prisoners, today a brilliant summer holiday
  • Shiretoko National Park – untouched wilderness at Hokkaido’s north-easternmost tip
  • Yaeyama Islands – the most remote part of Okinawa, with spectacular diving, beaches and jungle cruises
  • Yakushima – UNESCO World Heritage Site with giant cedars and misty primeval forests