Japan is an intoxicating combination of ancient cultures and traditions, and modern skyscrapers and new technologies. Come to Japan and you can have it all. Enjoy art exhibitions and tech-heavy museums alongside some of the world’s finest natural landscapes and beautiful Japanese gardens. Nature forms a big part of Japanese culture, so book a tour here to learn all about its role in ancient and modern life.
Japan is filled with natural wonders, from dense forests to rolling hills, and snow-capped mountains presiding over reflective lakes. Take a nature tour here and you’ll get the opportunity to marvel at gorgeous coastlines, intriguing islands, and brilliant national parks with everything from jungle to volcanoes to drift ice.
Japan has a wide range of national parks and natural sites. Here are some of our favorite:
Ogasawara National Park is only accessible by boat, and it’s all the better for it. You’ll see terrific stretches of secluded beaches, beautiful little untouched coves, and a wide range of fauna and flora. Brilliant birds and unusual reptiles abound, including the Ogasawara snake-eyed skink.
Aso-Kuju National Park is an otherworldly place. Huge calderas dot the landscape, while steam rises from vents in mountainsides where volcanic and geothermal activity bubble away beneath the surface. The park has flatlands, lofty peaks, and lava scarred landscapes, and Mount Aso is an active volcano. Come to bathe in the hot springs, and don’t miss the Kuju Flower Gardens, right beneath Mount Kuju.
Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park is home to the elusive Iriomote wild cat. An endangered species, there are just 250 of these cats left in the wild, making spotting one all the more exciting. If you don’t meet the Iriomote wild cat, though, there’s plenty to feel good about. Particularly the beautiful lagoons, with water so clear you can see right to the bottom.
Japan really knows how to do gardens, and the Ashikaga Flower Park is no exception to this rule. Famous for its absolutely brilliant floral displays, here you can walk through wisteria tunnels, see beautifully landscaped gardens and stand beneath 140-year-old trees.
This mountainous region has some of the best infrastructure for moving around the natural landscapes of Japan, with cable cars, trains and bus routes helping visitors travel from one place to the next. You might glide above the mountain slope where steam rises from geothermal sulfur vents, or even take a boat ride across a beautiful lake. Cherry blossom season here is spectacular, and if the weather’s right, you might even get views of Mount Fuji from Lake Ashi.
The distinctive season in Japan make visiting at any time of year a thrill. Spring is between March and May and is the best time to see the cherry blossom. The summer months, between June and August, are fantastic for hiking in the hills and exploring the mountain trails. In winter, between November and March, the weather is colder and ski slopes and mountain scenes are at their most beautiful.
The best season to visit Japan is the spring: the weather is glorious and the cherry trees are in blossom. You can also go in the autumn when the colours are just as beautiful. But is it always better to go mid-season to explore the country. In fact, winter can be very cold, whilst summer is often very hot with heavy rain.