Are you looking for some beautiful places to visit in Japan? If yes, then these Japanese villages are the perfect destinations for you. These picturesque towns offer visitors a glimpse into rural life in Japan.
Japan has always been known for its beauty. This country offers tourists stunning landscapes, amazing food, and friendly locals. In addition to being home to Mount Fuji, Tokyo, and Kyoto, Japan also boasts several other gorgeous locations.
Here are some of the most beautiful places to visit in the land of the rising sun.
1. Shirakawago Village
Shirakawa-go (literally meaning “white river”) is a small mountain town in the center of Gifu prefecture, about 60 km south of Nagoya. It is situated within the mountains of the Ryōhaku Range and is surrounded by forests and waterfalls.
Today, Shirakawa is a beautiful mountain town, full of charm and history. Its streets and buildings are well-preserved, making it a great place to experience traditional Japanese culture.
There are many places to see around the town, including temples, shrines, museums, and even hot springs.
2. Yoshino Village
Yoshino is one of Japan’s best-known tourist destinations. Located just outside central Kyoto, the city boasts some of Japan’s finest temples and shrines including Tofukuji temple, Ginkaku-ji Temple, and Fushimi Inari Shrine.
The area around the mountain is home to many of the nation’s most celebrated cherry blossoms. Every spring, thousands flock to the hillside to view the breathtaking blooming of the sakura trees.
Yoshino National Park is situated on the western side of the mountain and covers approximately 787 hectares. The main entrance to the park is found at Yoshino station.
3. Biei Village
The northern island of Hokkaido is home to many beautiful places such as Mount Hakodate and Lake Ashi.
But one of the most beautiful areas lies in the middle of the island: Biei. This small town is well known for its amazing landscape, especially due to its large number of flowers.
In fact, it has been called “Japan’s garden”. And it’s easy to see why. In addition to the numerous flower fields, there are also mountains, lakes, rivers, and forests. There are even hot springs here.
This place is perfect for cycling around. You’ll find plenty of routes along the river banks. Or you could rent a bike and explore the countryside yourself.
4. Kiso Village
Roughly an hour from Matsubara by train, the town Kiso sits between the mountain ranges of the central Alps, with Mount Ontake dominating the skyline.
Kiso is another former posting station, located deep in the lovely forested valleys of the Kiso valley along the historic Nakasendō highway, a 500-kilometer route that connected Kyoto and Edo (Tokyo) during the Edo period.
5. Shiiba Village
Shiiba is another beautiful town surrounded by some of the most breathtaking and unspoiled nature sceneries in Japan.
Located far off the beaten track, it is a popular tourist destination due to its picturesque surroundings, great hiking trails, and interesting local culture (see also ‘5 Beautiful Japanese Hiking Trails To Explore’).
One of Shiiba’s main attractions is the small hamlet of Tonegawasan. Here you’ll find a cluster of traditional farmhouses built with a unique architectural style that works well within the rugged landscape.
6. Ine Village
The Ine area is located in the city of Kyoto Prefecture, approximately 130 km north of the capital.
This small coastal town is known for its gorgeous wooden boathouses, called “Funaya” in Japanese. There are over 200 of these structures left today, and some still function as guesthouses.
These waterfront buildings have garages on the first floor and living quarters above. They are used by locals as temporary housing during the summer months.
7. Hoshino Village
On the second-largest island in Japan, you can find the charming town of Hoshino, a quiet rural area known for its breathtaking scenery and rich culture.
While the weather is quite different depending on where you go, the people tend to be very friendly and welcoming.
They’re also extremely proud of their local cuisine, especially their traditional foods like kamaboko (fish paste) and mochi (sticky rice cake). If you want to experience some of the best food in Japan, head to Hoshino.
8. Nagiso Village
Less than an hour south of Kyoto and just over an hour northeast of Tokyo by train is the town known as Nagiso.
This quiet little village lies nestled among lush green hills dotted with numerous small temples and shrines. Nagiso is one of Japan’s hidden gems, and it’s easy to see why.
Nagiso is located within the borders of the Ise Grand Shrine, which attracts millions of visitors every year. But there are plenty of other reasons to come here too.
For starters, Nagiso is home to some really stunning scenery, including several beautiful waterfalls, and lots of interesting sights such as old samurai houses, temples, shrines, and even a castle.
There are also plenty of great hikes to enjoy, especially if you want to take a break from sightseeing and go exploring nature.
9. Kikai Village
Kikai is a small island located off the coast of Kagoshima prefecture. With a circumference of just over 50 km, it is one of Japan’s smallest islands. Kikai is part of the Amami Islands group and is closer to Okinawa than mainland Japan.
The island itself is fairly flat, with no mountains or particularly high hills; making it ideal for exploring on foot or by bicycle.
Kikai is a subtropical island, and much of the land is covered in sugarcane plantations.
There are huge banyan trees and many varieties of citrus fruit growing here too. Many colorful tropical butterflies can also be seen flitting about.
10. Gokayama Village
Gokayama, located 10 kilometers north of Shirakawa Go, is one of Japan’s most popular destinations. This small town offers visitors a glimpse into traditional life in rural Japan.
There are plenty of places to eat here, including local specialties such as soba noodles and tofu dishes.
And there are many ways to enjoy nature; you can hike around the mountains or take part in activities like archery, horseback riding, fishing, and hiking.
Japan is a country that never ceases to amaze its visitors, but these ten locations will truly surprise you with their beauty.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or a place to explore, any of these locations would be perfect for your trip.
Wherever you end up going, make sure you take time to appreciate this incredible country and all it has to offer.