Who says that Japan is a place of urban delights only? Whenever one says ‘Japan’, instant images of bullet trains, high-rises and an ultra urbanized place crop up in our minds. But this is not everything about her. There is a vast wild land filled with many natural beauties. Take for example the subtropical reefs of Okinawa or jagged Hokkaido mountains; Japan has many gems to offer her visitors. Theses rugged mountains are far better opportunities to look at Japan from closer quarters than its urban spaces. Let us take some best spots of Japan’s wild side, one by one.
Tale of a Lost City
According to Miss Lisa Slater, an expert scuba tour operator, ‘They’re a cross between the pyramids and Mayan ruins’. Discovered in 1986, stone structures off the coast of Yonaguni Jima are no less than puzzles. Some claim that these are nothing but handiwork of natural erosion processes. Others say that some 12,000 years old civilization had created it. Leaving behind such controversies the place is a superb diving spot. Water is comfortably warm, clear visibility of the range of 100 ft, reef walls and large drop-offs.
Winter brings in added attractions here where you find migrating hammerhead sharks and humpback whales as your swimming partners.
Diving enthusiasts can opt for Okinawa which is the bed for some rare fish species like frogfish and pygmy seahorse. In addition scuba itinerary usually includes reef diving at Kerama Islands, Zamami and Ishigaki Shima.
Daisetsuzan National Park
Trek to the Zenith
Mountainous terrain of Hokkaido is the home of beautiful Daisetsuzan National Park. Snow laden conical peaks, dense sub-alpine forests and steaming fumaroles are few of its best sites.
You can begin your journey at hot-spring resort namely Asahi Dake. If you don’t wish to trek the park’s signature 10 mile hiking trail, you can opt for a cable car ride. When you reach there in the highlands, take out time before Sugatami-ike, a crystal clear pond. When you see reflections of surrounding flowers and Mt. Asahi Dake in the water, you are surely transported to another world. Mt. Asahi Dake is the point from where entire Daisetsuzan National Park is visible.
Paddle through an Inland Sea
Floating red Torii Gate is an outstanding site off the Miyajima coast which can be reached through kayaking by the Seto Sea. Many gumdrop islands adorn the place but Miyajima is the queen. Tour operators like H2Outfitters offers kayaking tours surrounding the 19 miles coast area occasionally delving into sea caves, oyster farms and stopping for lunch-breaks at some pocket beach from traditional Japanese bento boxes.
Beyond Miyajima’s rural pocket, wilderness welcomes you with open arms. You can go for trekking to Mt. Misen that ways through lush green forest lands, home to large deer herds and groups of monkeys.
Witnessing the 7200 year old tree
Trek through Ancient Cedars’ Land of Yakushima Island which every year draws hordes of trekkers. Most people come to see a single tree which is a 7200 year old cedar tree called Jomon Sugi in Japanese. This is the most ancient tree of Japan. This old giant of 83 ft tall plus 50 ft wide is a natural wonder. Massive in girth, epiphytic azaleas and rhododendrons encircle it. Interestingly rains fall 370 days here.
A 3 days and 18 miles traversing of rugged Yakushima that begins in Onoaida and ends at Kusugawa is awesome. 2nd day hike leads towards Miyanoura- dake the 6348 foot apex point of Yakushima.
Don’t think that Japan is anyway behind in the league of adventure trips. Many such places are there which require focus as tourist spots. They may have been out of tourist glares but no less attractive. To know more about Japan and its beauty please stay tuned in with us.
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