One of the most captivating nations in East Asia, Japan can be found in every traveler’s must-visit list. The country is renowned for its hospitable individuals and bustling culture. Japan is also adored for its spiritual aspects, which is reflected through numerous temples it houses. Japan is religiously, culturally, and historically abundant and therefore captures the attention of people worldwide, but there is much more to this destination. Nature has bestowed its gifts upon the country, which is why Japan hill stations are considered among the most exquisite sights one can encounter.
In other words, one can perceive Japan as a country with a lively social structure set against the backdrop of natural beauty. Hence, it is crucial to explore all the facets the country is famous for during your vacation here.
7 Japan Hill Stations
Every location in this East Asian country is immersed in culture and tradition. Hill stations in Japan are undeniably renowned for their scenic beauty, but what makes them even more appealing is the variety of recreational activities that both locals and tourists enjoy indulging in. Here are some of them. Take a look!
1. Karuizawa2. Nara3. Hida-Takayama4. Otaru5. Magome6. Hakone7. Kanazawa
This picturesque resort town is situated beneath the majestic Mount Asama. Mount Asama is one of the most active volcanoes in Honshū. Karuizawa, one of the finest hill stations in Japan, is just an hour away from Tokyo and definitely worth a visit. The town is also historically significant – Emperor Akihito is said to have met his future wife, Empress Michiko, here. This is why the place is considered one of the best options for a romantic getaway for couples.
Highlights: Visitors can enjoy the awe-inspiring view of Mount Asama.Things to do: Visit Shiraito Waterfall, witness the stunning views at Usui Pass Deck.Places To Stay: Hotel Karuizawa Elegance, Hotel Cypress, Karuizawa Prince Hotel East, Chisun Inn, Kyukaruizawa Kikyo
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This place is quite famous in Japan, as it serves as the initial permanent capital. Furthermore, the town possesses not just one but eight UNESCO heritage sites. With a stunning culture that makes it a popular destination, Nara is a residence to individuals who still adhere to the traditional Japanese customs. So, if you desire to encounter the ancient atmosphere of Japan, then paying a visit to this hill station is a necessity. Additionally, if you have an inclination towards art and literature, this is definitely the destination for you. This is one of the finesthill stations to explore in Japan.
Highlights: this is one of the locations in Japan where you’ll discover a large population of deerThings to do: visit Todai-ji Temple, get nearer to nature at Isui-en Garden, have an enlightening experience at Kasuga-taisha ShrinePlaces To Stay: Nara Royal Hotel, Hotel Nara No Hamori, HOTEL Mai Sakura, Smile Hotel Nara, Guesthouse Yoshikawa
This place is renowned by the title “Little Kyoto” – it is because there are numerous shrines and temples present here. Aside from that, you can even discover various structures that mirror the 18th century. Surrounded by Hida mountains, this town will also provide you with a glimpse of the ancient Japan. The streets here have canals running along, and with mountains in the backdrop, you can’t ask for more from this place!
Highlights: this city is perfect for those who desire to explore the religious aspects of JapanThings to do: visit Yoshijima Heritage House, learn about the old cultural aspects at Kusakabe Folk Crafts MuseumPlaces To Stay: Hida Hotel Plaza, Country Hotel Takayama, Wat Hotel & Spa Hida Takayama, Best Western Hotel Takayama, Residence Hotel Takayama Station
Historically, Otaru is known to be a prominent fishing port during the time when Hokkaido was captured towards the end of the 19th century. This place is also famous because the first line of railway was constructed here. The historically rich town is home to various old warehouses. The town is filled with hustle-bustle and is also an ideal place for those seeking peace. If you happen to visit Japan in the month of February, do come here, as the happening Otaru Snow Gleaming Festival is celebrated during this time of the year.
Highlights: this place is known for its historical richness and tranquil atmosphereThings to do: evening stroll around Otaru Canal, purchase glassware, learn about the history at Otaru MuseumPlaces To Stay: Herber Light KAIHOUROU, UNWIND HOTEL & BAR OTARU, Dormy Inn Premium, Otarunishikien
Located in the Kiso Valley, this town used to be a place where travelers used to stop in order to rest while visiting Kyoto from Tokyo during the Edo period. Closed for the vehicles, the main street of this town is considered to be the highlight with various restored old buildings erected at the sides. Apart from witnessing the awe-inspiring architecture, what’s worth experiencing here is hiking at the Magome-to-Tsumago trail – a part of Nakasendo Trail.
Highlights: the beautiful buildings that reflect the vast history of this placeThings to do: visit Honjin/Toson Memorial Museum to learn the historical facts, get an idea of cultural past of this place at Shimizuya ShiryokanPlaces To Stay: Chaya Hotel, Tajimaya, Guesthouse Nedoko, Guest House gaku Magome, Guest House Motomiya
The town of Hakone is situated at a distance of 100 kilometers from Tokyo. This is one of the places that you can visit to escape the bustling cities of Japan for an ultimate refuge. The place forms a part of the National Park, Fuji-Hakone-Izu. This place is showered with nature’s blessings like the breathtaking mountainous backdrop and captivating lakes. You can even go hiking on one of the trails or spend some time relaxing at the hot springs. When looking for beautiful hill stations in Japan, do visit Hakone!
Highlights: This naturally stunning city is renowned for its incredible thermal springs.Activities: Explore Hakone Shrine for a spiritual journey in a picturesque environment, enjoy the soothing hot springs.Accommodations: Merveille Hakone Gora, Hakone Yutowa, Yutorelo-an ANNEX, Ashinoko Port Villa MIRAHAKONE, Emblem Flow Hakone.
This is considered one of the largest cities in Japan and is famous for its resilience during World War II. The streets of Kanazawa pass through the historic districts of Geisha and Samurai. Moreover, the city boasts numerous impressive temples, modern museums, and canals that have been renowned since the Edo period. One of the main attractions in Kanazawa is the Kenrokuen Garden, which has been renowned since the 17th century. This place perfectly combines history and modernity, evident in numerous aspects.
Highlights: The city is well-known for its craftsmanship and is a part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.Activities: Find tranquility in Kenroku-en Garden, indulge in shopping at Omicho Market.Accommodations: APA Hotel Kanazawa Ekimae, UNIZO INN Express Kanazawa Ekimae, Hotel Intergate Kanazawa, AGORA・Kanazawa.
Further Read: Obtaining A Japan Visa Will Now Be Easier Than Purchasing A Movie Ticket!
A trip to Japan would be a captivating experience rich in history and culture if you explore the aforementioned destinations. We all recognize Japan as one of the most exquisite places in the world, thanks to its breathtaking natural landscapes. Nevertheless, upon visiting the hill stations of Japan, you will realize that there is much more waiting to be discovered!
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Frequently Asked Questions About Japan Hill Stations
Where is the most exquisite place in Japan?
Japan entices tourists with its perfect landscapes, serene mountains and beaches, vibrant nightlife, and tranquil zen gardens. Some remarkable places to visit in Japan include: Osaka Castle in Osaka, Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima, Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, Nara Deer Park in Nara Prefecture, and Shikisai-no-oka in Hokkaido Prefecture.