Traveling Japan

Japan has so many stunning places to visit, all filled with fascinating history and beautiful scenery. There are 47 prefectures in Japan and I’ve visited 18 of them while I was there.

Sapporo

2018 Snow Festival 雪まつり

 

  • Chiba 千葉県

Tokyo Disney Sea

Tokyo Disney Sea

 

  • Tokyo 東京都

Takeshita Street - Shinjuku

Takeshita Street – Shinjuku

 

  • Aichi 愛知県

Inuyama Castle

Inuyama Castle

 

  • Nara 奈良県

Todaiji Temple

Todaiji Temple

 

Fushimi Inari Shrine - Kyoto

Fushimi Inari Shrine

 

  • Osaka 大阪府

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle

 

  • Tottori 鳥取県

Mt. Daisen

Mt. Daisen

 

  • Okayama 岡山県

Okayama Castle

Okayama Castle 岡山城

 

Matsue Castle

Matsue Castle 松江城

 

Hiroshima

Atomic Bomb Dome

 

Shimanami Kaido しまなみ海道

Shimanami Kaido しまなみ海道

 

Nagasaki Bay

Nagasaki Bay from Mt. Inasa

 

Fuji

Mt. Fuji

 

  • Okinawa 沖縄県

Okinawa Aquarium

Okinawa Aquarium

 

  • Yamanashi 山梨県

Fuji

Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine

 

  • Hyogo 兵庫県

Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle 姫路城

  • Fukuoka 福岡県

 

Some I visited only once, others multiple times (and unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of my visit in Fukuoka). I tried to visit as many places as I could in the 2 and half years I was there. Every place showed me a different element of Japanese culture. Each prefecture is know for something. For example, Okayama 岡山 is known for peaches and has the Momotaro festival every summer, while Hokkaido 北海道 is known for melons and is host to the Snow festival every winter. Kyoto 京都府 is rich in history, Tokyo 東京都 is a fast paced metropolis, and Fuji 富士 is a paradise for outdoor adventures.

Living in Okayama made it easy to travel to so many places because of it’s central location. My favorite trip was to Nagasaki in 2016. It was my first solo trip and I had only made plans to see the Peace Park, which left plenty of time to get lost.

Nagasaki

Nagasaki Peace Park

After visiting the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, I wanted to see Nagasaki. It was a stunning and humbling experience. Both sites advocate for peace and both museums educate those that visit on the destruction. If visiting Japan, definitely consider visiting either one or both of the locations to see the other perspective.

Other places to see around Nagasaki are Mt. Inasa, Penguin Aquarium and Dejima Trading post. Mt. Inasa offers stunning views of Nagasaki bay and the surrounding islands. I recommend going up, watching the sunset and the lights light up the bay, though you should go up early, as it is a popular spot.

There is so much to see in Japan and the only thing that stopped me from seeing more was time, money and distance. Some of the destinations north of Tokyo were a bit far for me to reach on a 3 day weekend, so I never made it up there. My wish list of places up north in the Tohoku Region 東北地方 are Hirosaki弘前, Aomori 青森, Akita 秋田 and Hokadate 函館 (which is in Hokkaido).

Have you been to Japan? What was your favorite place? Where would you like to go?

 

 

 

All photos belong to Sam Marquardt

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