5 picturesque villages among "The most beautiful villages in Japan"
The association of "the most beautiful villages of Japan" created by some rural villages in 2006, taking the example of "the most beautiful villages of France", today has 64 villages. We will introduce you some of villages not well known but full of charm.
Biei is a touristic city located in the center of Hokkaido, founding member of the association and relatively popular among other cities in the region. The landscapes of endless meadows, checkered fields, hills decorated with various kinds of flowers, the view of the Daisetsuzan mountain range covered with snow, those attract not only Japanese tourists but also tourists from abroad throughout the year. In recent years, the blue pond has become a very popular spot to visit. The most crowded season is between June and July when lavender blooms in all directions. You will see the fields are full of flowers other months of the year as well.
We recommend visiting this city by a car or a bike.
Matsuzaki is a coastal town located southwest of Izu Peninsula of Shizuoka Prefecture where far from a rail traffic network and few buses run. But this city is not to be missed, a hidden treasure with a lot of charm. It consists of old streetscape with traditional style buildings, beautiful beaches, and many historical sites. You can admire the magnificent coastal nature formed by the forced of the ocean, and sublime rural landscapes composed of rice terraces.
You will see the cherry trees are lined along with a river and enjoy Onsen (hot springs) by the sea. If the weather permitted, it is possible to see Mount Fuji behind Suruga Bay.
At the bottom of the mountains, between the central Japanese Alps and the southern Japanese Alps, lies the city of Nagiso in Nagano Prefecture. It was once the major road of "Nakasendo", which linked Tokyo and Kyoto. One of the sites worth visiting in the vicinity of the city is the traditional village of Tsumago, where buildings from the Edo period (1603 - 1868) are still well preserved, as 200 years ago. You may have the impression of going back to the time when Samurai worriers are exist.
The journey between the two nostalgic villages of Tsumago and Magome becomes a popular trail nowadays for experienced hikers and beginners as well .
Click here to see our tour "Historic footpath into Japan nature (Nagano, Matsumoto, Kamikochi/ Apr-Nov)"
Located south of Kyoto Prefecture, on the border of Nara Prefecture, the city of Wazuka is a tea paradise. The tea, produced in Kyoto and its surroundings, is called Ujicha (Uji tea) and the most highly valued in Japan, 40% of the tea production in Japan coming from Wazuka.
The rural and peaceful landscapes surrounded by well aligned tea fields are similar to a painting. These inhabitants will show you Omotenashi (warm welcome in Japanese way) with a cup of tea. In recent years, the city of Wazuka has begun to invite foreigners to transmit tea culture and offers variety of activities.
This tea town, still little known even by Japanese tourists, is relatively quiet. If you want to avoid crowdness, now is the time to visit the place.
Click here to see our tour "Agritourism in the tea village in Kyoto 2 days"
Click here to see our tour "Escape to tea paradise in the south of Kyoto [lunch included]"
The city of Minami-oguni is located in the center of Kyushu Island, Kumamoto Prefecture. It is a mountainous region between the huge caldera of Mount Aso to the south and the Kuju mountain range to the west. Its altitude is between 400 m to 900 m.
The most famous site is probably Kurokawa Onsen, a village of several chic and elegant Ryokan (Japanese inn). Even though the site is isolated and poor accessibility, these accommodations keep certain number of guests, because they work together and make effort to keep this atmosphere and offer the best possible hospitality to visitors. You can buy an onsen-passport, which will allow you to enjoy 3 onsen among all the ryokan.
Outside Kurokawa onsen, you will be amazed by the beauty and diversity of nature and its impressive landscapes.