When you’re planning your trip to Kyoto the initial thought is to visit all the shrines and historical museums, which of course, are definitely worth a visit. But also, because of this, Japan’s contemporary culture is overlooked when thinking of Kyoto. So why not change the itinerary a bit? Take a day to immerse yourself in the country’s modern times and artworks.
Shimane Prefecture sits on the southwestern portion of Japan's main island, and is the perfect spot to visit if you're looking for an off the beaten path travel experience. Often overlooked by visitors in favor of better known destinations, the region has culture, nature and history by the bucketload – just without the massive crowds to battle!
Combined with the abundance of nature, the 10,000 square-meter site is also an outdoor architectural showcase of Japanese buildings, such as a small arbor hut, painting studio (where Hashimoto originally painted), temple, tea ceremony house, restaurant, the main residence and the museum.
Nestled on the Chita Peninsula in Aichi prefecture is Tokoname, an ancient pottery town decorated with ceramic-lined pathways and a fortune cat (Manekineko) trail.
Once nicknamed Ryugujo or the Palace of the Dragon King of the Sea, Hotel Gajoen Tokyo is a lavish hotel complex in Meguro, Tokyo.
Karuizawa is a beautiful, unique town that feels markedly different from many of Japan’s other famous cities. With its easy access from Tokyo, there is no reason to miss out.
While Niigata is rather out of the way and certainly off the beaten path, it is well worth the trek. As someone who doesn’t always get modern art, I was still delighted, awed, and intrigued by the amazing pieces on display here.
For those in Gifu Prefecture who are seeking a day-out that is architecturally unique, filled with natural wonder and equal parts baffling and fun: look no further than the 'Site of Reversible Destiny' located within Yoro Park. A truly unique experience.
The Butohkan in Kyoto is one of the few venues where you can see live Butoh performances every week and what you see may shock but also engage you.