Chusonji is a temple located in Hiraizumi-cho, Nishiiwai-gun, Iwate Prefecture. It is registered as a World Heritage Site and is also famous as a temple associated with the Oshu Fujiwara clan. It has many cultural assets from the Heian period, including the Golden Hall. The autumn leaves on the approach from the main hall to the Konjiki-do hall are beautiful and it is a popular tourist spot.
Huis Ten Bosch is a theme park located in Sasebo City, Nagasaki Prefecture. It is a “beautiful city” where the city and nature are in harmony, starting with European-like townscapes and cobblestone streets, and canals that lead to the sea. The flowers of the four seasons are in full bloom, and illuminations light up the gorgeous city throughout the year. There are hotels, restaurants, shops, amusement facilities, and museums in the park.
Located on the east side of Chichibu City in Saitama Prefecture, Hitsujiyama Park is surrounded by lush nature and is a popular place for citizens to relax. The natural scenery of each season, including the moss phlox in spring, is very beautiful and attracts many tourists. Shibazakura hills are covered with white, pink, and pale blue flowers in spring. Over 400,000 moss phlox plants of 10 varieties are planted on an area of approximately 17,600 square meters.
Ise Jingu is the collective name for 125 shrines, with their official name being “Jingu”. Their main enshrined deity, Amaterasu Omikami, is the center of an uncountable number of deities, and is likened to the sun. Although many deities appear in Japanese mythology, among them, Amaterasu Omikami, the ancestor of the imperial family and the supreme deity of the Japanese people, is said to be the most precious. This is the reason why Ise Jingu is said to be the highest shrine in Japan.
Yamashita Park is the most famous park in Yokohama, with a long- wide expanse of green grass along the sea, facing Yokohama Harbor. Its surroundings include many of the sightseeing spots that represent Yokohama, including Motomachi Chinatown, Marine Tower and the Red Brick Warehouses, making it a relaxing spot for tourists. The Hikawa Maru, docked next to Yamashita Park’s sea bus stop, is designated as an important cultural property. Many people visit Yamashita Park on weekends, when street performances and events are often held.
The Tottori Sand Dunes are a large sandy area that cover the coast of the Sea of Japan, and have been designated a specially protected area in the Saninkaigan National Park. They are also used as a location for sky sports such as hang-gliding and paragliding. Near the entrance to the sand dunes, there are camels and horses kept as tourist attractions. The sandy farming area around the sand dunes is known for its white spring onions, Japanese leeks, and yams.
The Naruto whirlpools are a natural phenomenon that is created by the strong tides caused by the differences in ebb and flow between the Seto Inland Sea and the Kii Channel. They become the biggest during the whirlpool seasons of spring and autumn, with those whirlpools reaching up to 20m in diameter being referred to as the largest in the world. The tide along the Naruto Strait is known as one of the world’s big three tides, along with Italy’s Messina Strait and Canada’s Seymour Strait. By boarding a cruise ship, it is possible to see the power of the whirlpools up close.
Until now, foreigners traveling to Japan could only travel through package tours using travel agencies. However, from October 11th, 2022, it will be possible to travel individually. Although some restrictions will remain, waiting upon entry will generally not be required, and the cap on the number of visitors to Japan will be abolished. With the recent yen depreciation, travel to Japan will be very reasonable.