Konnichiwa Japan! Pt 3: stunning natural beauty in Japan

Home of the tech-nation, enormous sub-cultures and beautiful places of wonder, you may overlook the natural wonders that Japan has to offer.

Volcanoes and mountains tower above unique fauna, both natural and manmade, that gives the area a truly unique appearance.

So if the bright lights of the city are giving you a headache and you want to get in touch with your more natural side, then we’d highly recommend you visit some of these beauty-spots.

Mount Fuji

Possibly the most recognised natural features of Japan (and even the world), this 3,376m tall stratovolcano is a symbol of the country. Trekking to the summit is popular with both tourists and locals. The trail is dotted with huts providing medical care, food and places to rest for climbers, who usually begin their trip at night to reach the top by sunrise.

Not just beautiful, Mount Fuji holds significance with people of the Shinto religion, the indigenous religion of Japan.

Mount Fuji

Kawachi Fujien Wisteria Garden

The gardens main attractions are the two almost 100m long tunnels of wisteria flowers. The trees are grown over a trellis, letting the flowers create a ceiling of colour, ranging from white to deep purple. As well as this there is a collection of larger trees that canopy a beautiful picnic spot and a bamboo garden.

Only open during the blossoming season and early autumn, there is a limited time to admire this scenery!

The Juhyo of Mount Zao

Roughly translated, juhyo means ice or snow monster. Now, before you start to fret, there aren’t real monsters, just collections of ice and snow formed onto the trees on the mountain. Appearing on very few mountains, Zao is the most popular place to see the phenomenon that occurs when wet Siberian winds travel over the top of the cold mountain. It’s even said that the ice and snow creatures appear to move during the evening!

The Ice Monsters of Mount Zao

Saiho-ji Zen Garden

While man-made, this 14th-century moss garden is an early example of a traditional Zen garden. The stones arranged to form the garden have been slowly been reclaimed by moss after the Saiho-Ji temple fell into disrepair. Combining human influence with the power of nature, this garden is a must-see.

The temple grounds are also still home to a rock garden created by famous rock gardener Muso Soseki.

Saiho-ji Zen Garden moss garden

Kenroku-en (Kanazawa, Ishikawa)

Developed from the 1600s by the Maeda clan, Kenroku-en gardens were private before being opened to the public in 1847. Within these grandiose settings, you’ll find 183 species of plants and over 8,500 trees, truly confirming its name’s translation of Garden of the Six Sublimities.

If the lakes, wildlife and lush green settings aren’t enough to convince you, within the park is a teahouse, built-in 1774, as well as a rest house and stone sculptures.

Haven’t had a chance to check out the others in our Japan series? Take a look at our dive into pop culture or Japanese nibbles!

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