About 113 km or roughly 1.5 hours by train from the northwest part of the congested capital, Chichibu region in Saitama prefecture is now becoming a sought-after destination for nature wonders, mountain trekking, river cruising, hot springs onsen, historical sights, and gastronomical delights, including saké and liquor breweries.
The oldest document about Japan's history was a collection of Chinese history. The History of 24 Dynasties written in the First Century AD. However the facts showed that Japan was home to a large hunting and gathering society before cultivation of rice and the introduction of technology.
The region of Tajima, which refers to northern Hyogo prefecture, offers a completely different face to that of southern Hyogo, which comprises of big city names such as Kobe where many skyscrapers and vivid colors of neon lights characterize the province. On the contrary, this part of Hyogo is full of nature, history and boasts of premium quality hot springs.
Nearly two million people live in Fukushima. The majority of the prefecture – the third largest after Hokkaido and Iwate – was untouched by radiation, while many areas that were impacted have reached levels below what is reported in many cities around the world. Visitors need not worry about eating the produce or drinking the water. The bigger concern is whether everything Fukushima has to offer can be packed into a single trip!
Dejima is located to the south of Nagasaki City and is easily accessed by tram. I got off the tram and was instantly surprised, as I was expecting to see Dejima on the seaside as it once was. However, I soon realized Dejima is no longer an island.
In the ordered days of the Edo Period, the northern parts of Japan were considered untamed lands of deep mountains and wild forests. One of the ways of entering this region was via the Nikko Kaido highway leading from Edo, now known as Tokyo, to Nikko. The early staging point for a journey on this famous road was Soka.
Even today, Beppu accounts for at least one tenths of Japan’s onsen production by volume. But although the place is a famous among the Japanese, and an increasingly popular destination for Korean and Chinese tourists, it is still relatively unknown to Western tourists in spite of its long history.
Depending on where you begin, a cedar-lined 1.7 km path (2,446 steps to be precise) leads either to the main shrine (三神合祭殿) at the summit, or to Gojunoto, a five-story pagoda that is registered as a national treasure.
Kakazu is such a famous historic battle ground, that regularly tour groups visit and explore the area. The extremely steep hills of the area were defended by the Japanese troops during the war.
One of the most pleasant surprises to emerge from my countryside break was to be introduced to some of Japan’s most beautiful, creative and inspiring works of traditional, hand-made art.