New Ideas for Your Trip to Japan

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New Ideas for Your Trip to Japan

A timeless destination, Japan melds the best of the modern world with revered culture and tradition. Sleep on a tatami mat in an old-fashioned ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) and soak in hot springs all day. Fish for salmon with local anglers, then have it cooked up fresh for dinner. Visit new museums and amusement parks. Travel to Japan’s prettiest places, from the Japanese Alps to the Fuji River Lakes Region. With its ease of travel and open, hospitable manner, Japan remains one of the world’s top travel destinations.
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Get an Adrenaline Rush at Fuji-Q Highland
The Fujiyama Sky Deck at Fuji-Q Highland, home to the death-defying roller coaster, Fujiyama, is one of the most exciting things to do in Japan. Get a panoramic view of Mount Fuji from the 180-foot-high deck. Thirsting for more? Attempt the Fujiyama Walk, a handrail-less walkway that lets you walk alongside the roller coaster. To get back to the observatory, you’ll jump into a long, twisting slide. Hold onto your hat!
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Combine Mother Nature and Modern Art
If you’re visiting Japan in the summer, try to attend the Echigo Tsumari Triennale, an international contemporary art festival that allows exploration of the Satoyama landscape through artwork. Every three years, new art and architectural pieces are added to the landscape. During the off years, visitors can still visit approximately 200 pieces of art and seasonal exhibitions. Proceeds benefit the local town, which suffered an earthquake in 2004. Look for Kiyotsu Gorge’s Tunnel of Light, as well as James Turrell’s House of Light.
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Reward Yourself with a Stay at an Splurge-Worth Hotel
Ultra-luxe hotels are on the rise in Japan, so why not up your hotel style? Consider the Roku Kyoto in this peaceful city, walking distance from the Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion and part of the Shozan Resort Kyoto. The idyllic grounds are home to Japanese gardens, historic Japanese architecture, five locally inspired restaurants and authentic tea houses. Down south, in Kagoshima, stay at Kai Ryokan. This boutique hotel focuses on its onsen (hot spring) bath experiences, which are set in a dreamy silvergrass setting with views of the Sakurajima volcano.
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Make a Date with Princess Peach
Universal Studios Japan’s Super Nintendo World is high on the list for Mario fans of all ages. Dress up like Mario or Luigi in a red or green cap, then hope into a Mario Kart to ride through Bowser’s fortress or Princess Peach’s castle. The interactive fun never stops, as you collect gold coins in order to gain Princess Peach’s Golden Mushroom. It’s Super Nintendo World IRL – and you won’t be able to resist it. Take it one step further and sleep in the historic Nintendo headquarters in Kyoto.
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Visit Tokyo’s Quieter Side
Make a quiet escape from bustling downtown Tokyo and stay in Okutama in western Tokyo. This small town is a local favorite for a rustic weekend retreat. Wake up to misty fog over the hillside, which gives way to incredible views of the mountains later in the day. Hike Mounts Otake, Mito and Gozenyama or the more challenging trail up Mount Kumotori, leading to an outstanding view of Mount Fuji. Walk across Lake Okutama on a pedestrian bridge crafted of floating drums, fish for cherry salmon and trout or seek out a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) to soak in an onsen.
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Step Back in Time in Takayama
Set at the foot of the Japanese Alps, Takayama’s history dates back 300 years, and not too much has changed. Look around at this mountain city’s Edo-era architecture, temples and shrines and beautifully preserved old town, Sanmachi Suji. Stop into a quaint restaurant and enjoy local Hida beef. Linger in front of celebrated art at the Takayama Museum of History and Art. Visit the city’s oldest shrine, Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, home to Takayama Matsuri, renowned for its floats and marionette performances. Or, venture out onto the Higashiyama Walkway, which leads to the east side of the city and offers striking views of the Alps along the way.
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Linger in the Lake District
The Fuji River Lakes region, at the base of Mount Fuji, is an accessible way to immerse yourself in Japan’s rich natural beauty. Lake Kawaguchi is the easiest to get to – this being said, it’s worth it to visit the other four for their peace and solitude. Go sailing, fishing, camping or hiking, then treat your weary muscles to an onsen soak or a bowl of warm hoto noodles. Visit the charming Kawaguchiko Music Forest, an ode to music boxes, or the haunting and mythical Aokigahara Jukai Forest.
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Enjoy Small-Town Charm in Rural Japan
In Nakagawa and Otawara in the Tochigi Prefecture, you can slip away from your everyday worries and cares. These peaceful fishing and farming towns are favorites of anglers and campers. Stay with a farm family and work with them on their land. Get to know the community and local traditions while interacting with local townspeople. Catch sweetfish in traps at the Takase Kanko Yana, then have it cooked up right in front of you. Nakagawa and Otawara are best visited in the warmer months in order to take advantage of the ample outdoor activities.
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Visit the World’s First Digital Art Museum
Art lovers – and, really, everyone – will love the MORI Building Digital Art Museum – teamLab Borderless in Tokyo. Experience interactive digital art that uses the latest in high-tech, all displayed throughout a huge space and onto the walls and floors. Light and sound are tied to visitors’ movement and touches, making every visit wholly unique. Don’t forget your camera!

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