Japan is the land of possibility and the land of extremes. It has one of the craziest, yet elegant cultures of any country on the entire planet.
It is a country that you could never possibly finish seeing in one trip, so here are some of my favourite things to do that you should too.
Visit the dive sites of Okinawa
If you are travelling to Japan for the first time or visiting again, Okinawa is a unique place that you absolutely must visit. In particular, diving is something to enjoy in Okinawa, which you certainly cannot experience in other parts of Japan. The most interesting site for me is Umincyu not far from Tokashiki Island, which is an artificial reef that has stunning clear waters and white sands. The huge variety of fish is stunning to see, especially the Saddleback clownfish or the Pinnate spadefish. There are more to explore, so you should definitely head to Okinawa.
Visit some temples
The Japanese are world famous for Zen Buddhism, and Kyoto is the modern home of Japanese Zen, especially with its hundreds of stunning temples. I would highly recommend spending some time in this beautiful city if you want a break from the hecticness and big lights of Tokyo. Kyoto is a place to learn, relax and see the beauty of nature.
Bathe in an onsen
The Japanese landscape is dominated by over 100 active volcanoes, which all shape the beauty of this wonderful country. This, of course, means a huge number of hot springs to enjoy. An onsen is a public bath that is a place that you shouldn’t miss when you are visiting Japan. They are normally arranged in a very relaxing and very Zen fashion, with gardens, water features, stones and much more. Many locals and tourists are drawn to the healing waters of these wonderful baths, so you should definitely go too!
See Mount Fuji
Mount Fuji is perhaps the most picturesque place in all of Japan, this mountain is not only an icon but has a rich historical and spiritual significance to the Japanese. It is the highest mountain in Japan and if you are fit enough I would highly recommend hiking to the top. The view from the top is well worth the effort, and it is one of the most beautiful mountain tops I have ever had the pleasure of hiking too. If you are looking for a more relaxed experience, ?you can naturally hike in the surrounding area, which is equally as beautiful with its lakes and forests.
Take part in the tea ceremony
The Japanese are world famous for their tea and also the tea ceremony. It truly is an interesting experience to see it in action. The tea ceremony involves the preparation and ritual of preparing matcha tea. THere are some? different ways that this can occur, but it normally occurs in a special tea house with ceremonial bows and preparation of the tea. The matcha tea is whisked with a brush to mix it thoroughly and the tea is consumed. It is fascinating to see such a simple process become such an intricate and elegant thing.