1. Karuizawa, 2. Otaru, 3. Kamakura, 4. Nara, 5. Hida-Takayama, 6. Kagoshima, 7. Hakone, 8. Furano, 9. Kanazawa, 10. Magome. Japan is a virtual country famous for its charming seaside towns that offer the perfect recipe for a relaxing vacation. Here are 10 of the most beautiful coastal towns in Japan that beckon visitors from all over the world. Whether you want to lounge on a white sandy beach or delve into local history and culture, these are the perfect seaside destinations for you.
Karuizawa, located in the southeast of Nagano Prefecture, is a paradise for those who enjoy tranquil nature, stunning mountain views, and intriguing history. Karuizawa offers a variety of seasonal events, intriguing art galleries, museums, and local attractions, so there is something to ignite anyone’s mind while they are there.
Asama is one of Honsh’s most active volcanoes, and Karuizawa is a charming hotel town snuggled beneath it. It is a well-known road trip from the capital. With its wonderful harvest time foliage tones and cooler summer temperatures, it attracts both locals and tourists equally.The natural, seasonal beauty of Japan may be experienced easily thanks to its location just one hour from Tokyo by JR’s Shinkansen. Make priceless experiences on your trip to Karuizawa that you can cherish for years to come.
In 1957, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko met in Karuizawa, establishing the town’s reputation as a tranquil getaway. In addition to Yacht-no-more, or Wild Bird Forest, which is home to more than 60 different bird species, it’s a great place for climbing and seeing natural springs.
- Location: Nagano Prefecture
A little harbor city called Otaru is located about 30 minutes by train northwest of Sapporo. Otaru makes for a lovely day excursion from Sapporo or a pleasant stop on the way to or from Niseko or the Shakotan Peninsula because of its attractively preserved canal region and intriguing herring homes.
Otaru played a significant role as a trading and fishing port from the beginning of Hokkaido’s colonization in the late 1800s. In order to connect the port with the nearby city of Sapporo, it was chosen as the final station of Hokkaido’s first railway line. Otaru’s city center has a unique aesthetic that is reminiscent of earlier decades thanks to the numerous ancient warehouses and abandoned office buildings owned by shipping and trading enterprises.
Little Otaru developed became a prominent fishing harbor after Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost prefecture, was settled in the late nineteenth century. Then, this location served as the terminus for Hokkaido’s most famous rail line.
Along with the rest of the prefecture, the town’s peculiar river is lined by former stockrooms and is arguably the most well-known place in Japan to enjoy fresh fish. There are calmer places with dignified herring manors closer to the town’s center, even if the waterway district can get busy with Japanese tourists. When the river is fixed with glittering snow lamps during the Otaru Snow Gleaming Festival in February, the town is extremely beautiful.
- Location: Shiribeshi Subprefecture, Hokkaido
Kamakura is occasionally referred to as the “Kyoto of Eastern Japan” when it is a key political focus because of its extremely old Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, old wooden residences, and recognizable monuments. The typical terrain of Kamakura, which along the ocean and is encircled by moving forest landscapes, serves as an excellent backdrop for these charming strict places.
When Minamoto Yoritomo picked the town to house his new military government in the late 12th century, it turned into the political hub of Japan. For more than a century, first under the Minamoto shogun and later under the Hojo regents, the Kamakura government remained in power in Japan.
In addition to touring the town’s notable attractions, its slopes provide a variety of fantastic climbing options. The town is particularly widely known in the late spring, when throngs flock to its sandy seashores and laid-back atmosphere. It’s a short drive from the capital and is located less than an hour south of Tokyo.
- Location: Kanagawa
Nara is one of the most socially wealthy towns in the nation with a variety of experiences as Japan’s most unforgettable super durable capital and home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. For roughly 70 years, Nara served as Japan’s capital, but it was during this time that the nation’s craft, writing, and culture developed into the customs that are associated with Japan today. Nara, which is less than an hour from Kyoto and Osaka, is a delightfully small town with most of its notable attractions concentrated in lovely Nara Park.
The recreation area is well renowned for its population of curious, roving deer in addition to sanctuaries. The Todaiji Temple, a massive wooden edifice that contains one of Japan’s largest bronze Buddha sculptures, is the most outstanding component.
The two main travel hubs for a trip to the prefecture are Osaka and Kyoto, both of which make it simple to get to Nara. The closest airports are Kansai International Airport and Osaka International (Itami) Airport, both of which are in Osaka Prefecture and are accessible by bus and train in about an hour and a half.
- Location: Nara Prefecture
Hida-Takayama is known as “Little Kyoto” due to the abundance of sacred sites, sanctuaries, and exquisite constructions from the eighteenth century. The village is delightfully encircled by the Hida Mountains and brims with traditional Japanese charm.
The scene of riverbank marketplaces, traditional stores, and hotels in the Japanese manner is ignored by these transcendent mountains. The city’s architecturally notable district is centered on San-machi Suji Road, which is lined with dated, dull wood buildings that are accessed through blue Noren curtains.
The few roads are bordered by little trenches of flowing water that are frequently still used, as they were hundreds of years ago, for washing clothes and clearing away winter snow. The town is renowned for its noble intent, and distilleries can be identified by the enormous cedar balls that hang from their passages.
Takayama, which is frequently referred to as Gifu’s crown jewel, is a magnificent location surrounded by the picturesque alpine countryside of the Japan Alps. Takayama is a destination in itself, but it’s also a great place to start your exploration of the Hida region and the Japan Alps.
- Location: Takayama
It is easy to understand why Kagoshima and Naples are sister cities, given the warm climate, energetic locals, and lush foliage. One of Kyushu’s southernmost urban areas and the capital of Kagoshima Prefecture, appealing Kagoshima is dotted with palm trees, broad roadways, and blooms.
Sakurajima, a working fountain of liquid magma that appears to rise from the ocean off the coast, is visible from the city’s spectacular entrance. When nightly light displays take place over the sound from July through August, the spectacle is especially breathtaking. The village is frequently covered in an odd layer of white debris from the fountain of liquid magma’s constant ejections.
Kagoshima is one of the simplest places to get up up and personal with real volcanoes, some of which are so active that specific hiking trails are closed owing to ash and hazardous gas releases. Kagoshima is sunken under one of the region’s major caldera systems. Daily eruptions are to be expected; listen for a rumble, experience a brief ground tremble, and watch enormous grey plumes shoot into the sky.
- Location: Kagoshima Prefecture
Hakone, which is only 62 miles (100 kilometers) from Tokyo, offers a significant speed change from the city. Hakone, which is a part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, has beautiful scenery with mountains, lakes, and hiking trails.
The feature is Ashino-ko, a lake with stunning views of nearby Mount Fuji and the Hakone-torii jinja’s gateway, which rises out of the water to create the perfect Japanese scene. Additionally, the area is well-known for its amazing onsen (underground aquifers), traditional Japanese inns, and craftsmanship heritage sites. Even though Hakone is reachable by car from Tokyo, it is worthwhile to visit in the evening.
It is preferable to obtain a Hakone Free Pass, which, like the Japan Rail Pass, offers unlimited use of numerous modes of transportation in Hakone, a roundtrip from Tokyo, as well as discounts at many attractions. Odakyu Railways operates transportation from Tokyo and in the Hakone area. In fact, a variety of modes of transportation are needed for the Lake Ashi (Ashinoko) excursion, including trains, buses, boats, ropeways, and cable cars.
- Location: Kanagawa Prefecture
The expansive Furanoregion is made up of undulating hills that rise to Mt. Tokachi. Furano, which is a part of Furano-Ashibetsu Nature Park, is situated along the Sorachi River. Furano is known as the “navel Town” due to its location in the center of Hokkaido. Even a festival is held to honor it. Furano has world-class slopes for downhill and cross-country skiing during the winter. River rafting, trekking, cycling, golf, and other activities are ideal in warmer climates.
The brilliant sporadic blossoms that occasionally cover the ranch and the surrounding view, which is reminiscent of Dutch tulip fields, are equally magnificent. Furano is one of the most well-known downhill and cross-country skiing destinations in the nation during the colder months and is renowned for its superb, quality snow.
- Location: Hokkaido
The fact that Kanazawa was spared from bombing raids during World War II may be the reason why many portions of its ancient town are still in usable condition today. The limited roads of Kanazawa travel by Edo-period canals, beautiful monasteries, and current historical hubs while going through former samurai and geisha neighborhoods.
The city is perhaps most known for being the location of the 17th-century Kenrokuen Garden, which is regarded as arguably the most shocking nursery in the nation. Despite having several well-known sites, Kanazawa is a vibrant, modern town that also has excellent dining and retail options.
Kanazawa, the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture, is still a significant city in its area today. The city is home to numerous historical landmarks, including districts and homes that have been restored, as well as contemporary museums. Kenrokuen, one of Japan’s “three best landscape gardens,” and widely regarded as the most beautiful of them all, is without a doubt Kanazawa’s top attraction.
- Location: Ishikawa Prefecture
Magome, a post town in the Kiso Valley, served as a key stopping point for travelers traveling the difficult Nakasendo Trail between Tokyo and Kyoto during the Edo period. The town’s main thoroughfare, a broad stone boulevard lined with charmingly renovated historic buildings, is off-limits to vehicles.
The Magome-Tsumago Trail, a five-mile section of the Nakasendo Trail, is the main reason to visit Magome, aside from admiring beautiful engineering. Before ending at the equally lovely town of Tsumago, this wonderful trail winds through farmland, woodlands, and cascades.
For those who don’t wish to walk back to Magome after completing the climb, transportation is available between the two villages and the path is clearly marked in English. The closest train station, JR Nakatsugawa Station, is a 30-minute bus trip away from Magome (570 yen one way). Buses usually leave once every hour (see timetable).
The Magome highway bus station, which is situated in the Misaka parking lot alongside the Chuo Expressway, can also be reached by foot in about 20 minutes. Magome and nearby Tsumago are connected via occasional direct buses (see timetable) or the Magome-Tsumago Hiking Trail, respectively.
- Location: Kiso Valley