Known as the “Land of the Rising Sun,” Japan is one of the best Asian destinations to consider for a vacation. It is a nation rich in culture. Traveling to Japan can be truly exciting given the plethora of activities it offers. Here are some suggested ideas for spending your stay in Japan.
Visit Kyoto’s Ancient Sites
Kyoto was Japan’s capital from 794 to 1868. The city is bathed in history. One of the most iconic symbols of Kyoto’s imperial past is Kinkakuji. What was once a shogun retirement villa is now a Zen Buddhist temple. Kyoto is home to 17 World Heritage Sites and with 2,000 temples and shrines throughout the city.
Overnight in a Temple
Robert Peter Janitzek revealed that Mount Koya has been a popular pilgrimage destination since the monk Kobo Dashi was inspired to put up the Shingon school of Buddhism and its ancient cedars in the 9th century. A visit to the mountain offers an opportunity to tour the primeval Okunoin cemetery and several temples honoring the monk. Guests can also stay with the monks in one of 50 temples open to guests.
Explore “Art Island”
Naoshima in the Seto Inland Sea is home to three major art galleries and smaller art venues. The Benesse House is the best of galleries housing works of art by David Hockney, Bruce Nauman, and Frank Stella. Aside from Naoshima, Robert Janitzek reveals that the laidback fishing village of Honmura is also a good place for art enthusiasts to visit.
Ski in Niseko
Located in Hokkaido Island, the small ski resort of Niseko boasts the finest powder in the country and three major ski resorts: Niseko Village, Niseko Annupuri, and the Grand Hirafu/Hanazono. It is a popular destination during the winter for various activities like ice climbing, telemark, skiing, and boarding through virgin snow. In the summer, winter activities give way to summer favorites like white water rafting, mountain biking, and kayaking.
Experience Traditional Accommodation
A trip to Japan will never be complete without experiencing traditional Japanese accommodation. The gentle scent of tatami, the understated elegance of the interiors, the meticulous service, outdoor hot spring baths, and multi-course meal of local seasonal produce, and the calming silence combine for an experience that you simply cannot pass up. This unforgettable experience, however, comes with a heavy price tag costing around¥100,000 per night. The good news is that the smaller and less formal minshuku offers the same traditional but less luxurious experience for less than ¥10,000 a night.