Japan Travel

From Hokkaido to Okinawa, Japan Times shows readers the best places to visit and how to get there.
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a man standing next to a helicopter in the snow
Heli-skiing in Japan: The joys of big-mountain powder
From December to March, Hokkaido Backcountry Club runs heli-skiing tours to Mount Shiribetsu near the Niseko and Rusutsu ski resorts.
a white house with palm trees in front of it and people standing outside the building
Winding back the years in Yokohama’s Yamate district
1920s Spanish Colonial style Bluff No. 111 looks suitably European in the middle of Yokohama.
there is a man that is standing in the grass near some mountains with snow on them
Cold, crowd-free, breathtaking: Mount Yari out of season
Out of season, Kamikochi is a crowd-free wilderness. Here, a hiker walks the trail to Mount Yari, hidden behind a formidable ridgeline.
an island surrounded by fog in the ocean
Top 10: The best of Japan's national parks, 85 years on
These are The Japan Times' picks of 10 national parks in Japan that you shouldn't miss.
an aerial view of a lush green hillside next to the ocean
Weathering the storm on the Noto Peninsula
Paddies at the ready: Rice grown at Shiroyone Senmaida, a series of sea-facing rice terraces near the village of Sosogi, will be picked by hand once it ripens.
a backpack sitting on top of a wooden bench in the middle of some rocks and trees
Starry-eyed and lost to the forests of Yakushima
The forests are what draw people to Yakushima, famous for inspiring the scenery of Studio Ghibli's 1997 film, "Princess Mononoke."
an aerial view of a grassy area with people on it and mountains in the background
The open-air museum at the top of Nagano Prefecture
Art meets nature on the Utsukushigahara Highlands, where an idyllic mountain hike offering gorgeous views of the Japan Alps ends with a stroll through a quirky open-air sculpture museum.
some people are riding on the back of an elephant with hats and decorations painted on it
Kurayami Matsuri: A long night of darkness, a long night of revelry
Past, present and future traditions collide at the centuries-old Darkness Festival at Fuchu's Okunitama Shrine, one of the oldest in the country.
there is a mountain in the background with buildings on either side and a river running through it
Morioka: Crafts, poetry and Tohoku’s bleak nature
Morioka: Crafts, poetry and Tohoku’s bleak nature.
a man is diving in the water with his scuba gear on and he is looking up at the sun
Ice diving in Hokkaido: All adrift beneath a frozen sea
From early February to early March, Hokkaido's Shiretoko Peninsula is the home of ice diving, scuba diving beneath the drift ice that blows south from the Sea of Okhotsk.
a snow covered mountain with houses and mountains in the background
Madarao: The tree skiing capital of Japan?
Madarao Kogen, located about two hours from Tokyo by bullet train, is less well-known than other resorts in Nagano Prefecture, but that just means emptier runs and shorter queues.
a horse drawn carriage sitting in front of a tall building
Discovering Kyoto through the eyes of Genji
Spot the Heian Era: After years of war, city-wide fires and development, there is little that remains of old Heian-kyo (present-day Kyoto). Heian Jingu was constructed in the late 19th century to celebrate the 1,100th anniversary since the founding of Heian-kyo.
the coast is surrounded by trees and cliffs
The Michinoku Coastal Trail: Tohoku's recovery in action
Clifftop vista: The Kitayamazaki Cliffs, Iwate Prefecture, lie along the Michinoku Coastal Trail, which traverses large sections of Tohoku's dramatic coastline.
an aerial view of a small town in the middle of mountains, with water and land below
The Akinada Tobishima Kaido: An alternative route across the Seto Inland Sea
Sea-spanning: The Akinada Bridge (right) seen from Mount Noro near the city of Kure in Hiroshima Prefecture.
a boat traveling down the river in front of a tall building with a tv tower in the background
Banking on the riverside alleyways of Komagata
Class view: Boats on the Sumida River as seen from Michelin-starred restaurant Nabeno-Ism.