4 Stunning Places to Visit Off the Beaten Path in Japan

Japan is home to a treasure trove of attractions, many of which are quite popular among tourists. Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka are just some of the top places that draw millions of tourists from all over the world every year. But with all the spectacular sights like ancient temples and shrines as well as the extensive list of things to do in these top tourist destinations, it is easy to miss out on the country’s hidden gems. To see and experience more than the usual in Japan, here are some of the stunning places to visit if you want to go off the beaten path.

Kiso Valley, Nagano Prefecture
Tsumago Kiso Valley
The Kiso Valley was part of the Nakasendo or “path through mountains” route between Edo and Kyoto in the past. It is home to charming old post towns like Magome, Narai, and Tsumago. It also boasts of spectacular nature scenery with stunning views of mountains and verdant forests. Visit to see and experience historic and picturesque post towns in the midst of breathtaking scenery.

Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture
A visit to Kurashiki is like traveling back into another century. It is an old merchant settlement that boasts of an old canal that dates back to the Edo period. This canal area is lined with old storehouses and weeping willows that add to the place’s old-world charm. Some of the city’s top attractions include the Bikan historical district, Ivy Square, Ohashi House, and Ohara Museum.

Beppu Hot Springs, Kyushu
Kyushu may be one of Japan’s main islands. But it is often overlooked by many tourists who end up missing out on its many historic attractions, bustling cities, and nature scenery. Its prefectures all boast of beautiful attractions to explore. It is known for hot spring towns like Beppu and the Kurokawa Onsen among many others. Best destinations include Fukuoka Prefecture (Dazaifu, Fukuoka, and Kitakyushu), Kagoshima Prefecture (Amami Oshima, Kagoshima, Kirishima, Satsuma Peninsula, and Yakushima), Kumamoto Prefecture (Amakusa, Aso, Kurokawa Onsen, Kumamoto, and Minamata), Miyazaki Prefecture (Miyazaki, Takachiho, and Udo Shrine), Nagasaki Prefecture (Hirado, Nagasaki, and Shimabara Peninsula), Oita Prefecture (Beppu, Kuju Mountains, Kunisaki Peninsula, Usuki, and Yufuin), and Saga Prefecture (Arita and Imari, Karatsu, Yoshinogari Park, and Yutoku Inari Shrine).

Mount Koya, Wakayama Prefecture
Mount Koya
Mount Koya is home to the headquarters of Shingon Buddhism. It is a secluded woodland temple town surrounded by enchanting natural scenery. The Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage starts and ends in this place. Its many attractions include the Daishi Kyokai, Danjo Garan, Kongobuji Temple, Okunoin Temple and cemetery, Pilgrimage Trails, Reihokan Museum, Temple Lodging, and Tokugawa Mausoleum.

Adventuring In Off The Beaten Tracks


Let’s face it.

Venturing into the unknown can be truly exciting. You will not only get to see places you’ve only heard a few times before, but also get to experience things you’ve only seen a few times before. The same goes when adventuring in off the beaten tracks.

You will not only see for yourself how it’s like to be somewhere that’s never part of your places to go list, but also experience for yourself what it’s like to do something that’s never part of your things to do list.

That being said, it’s only right for you to remember these when adventuring in off the beaten tracks:

Always be prepared when it comes to your goods. Always be prepared when it comes to your itinerary.

You’ll never know what might happen during your adventure. Thus, you should always be prepared when it comes to your goods. This includes packing only what you will most likely need such as clothes that are both good in warm and cold temperatures, shoes that are both good in moderate and extreme conditions, tools that are both good for domestic and survival uses, and emergency kits that comes with a few packets of homemade snacks and a few bottles of mineral water for when you don’t have time to look for a place where you can dine properly.

Moreover, you should always be prepared when it comes to your itinerary. This includes doing your own research in advance, creating an offline map, marking the set destinations, printing an offline map, downloading map applications on your phone, updating your other applications on your phone, booking for airline flights, booking for hotel accommodations, booking for possible transportation modes (which usually depends on the place you’re currently in), and a lot more related to navigating a place without any trouble.

Indeed, venturing into the unknown can be truly exciting. Even if you’re just planning to have Montreal nightlife tours as of the moment, it never hurts to be fully prepared for anything that might happen during your adventure – let alone, adventuring in off the beaten tracks.

Nurturing a Sense of Adventure


Everyone has a sense of adventure. But for varied reasons, some are yet to discover how far they can push the envelope and discover how adventurous they can be. Venturing into the unknown is an adventure in itself. A break from the usual to do things that you would not normally do is a big step outside your comfort zone. And whatever part of your life you may decide to go a little farther, you are already stepping into unfamiliar territory. Adventures are filed with possibilities and offer a lot of room for growth and self-discovery. Here are some ways to create your own adventure and get more out of life.

Shake things up. It is easy to get lost in routines. What is familiar may be comfortable, but it can also be limiting. If you want to stretch your boundaries, you have to consciously shake things up from time to time. Disruption is one of the keys to keeping you on your toes and perhaps even leads you to exciting discoveries. Do something different, explore something new, and change your routine. These are some of the many ways to get more out of life.

Choose the more challenging path. Push yourself out of the comfort zone instead of waiting for circumstances to do it for you. Choose the hard path if that is what it takes to accomplish your objectives. The sooner you face the challenges that await you, the sooner you can gain the reward of the learning experience you can gain from them.

Forget excuses. There will always be reasons why things could not work out. But there are also plenty of reasons why it could. Stop overthinking options. Avoid dwelling on what could go wrong. You can never really know if you can or cannot do something unless you make the effort to try. Do not let your resolve be drowned by your fear of the unknown or by discouraging words from others. Stop coming up with excuses and devote your time instead to coming up with reasons why you should overcome the challenge.

Take everything as a once in a lifetime opportunity. What would you do if you are given only one chance to achieve a goal that really matter to you? You would probably do whatever it takes and keep pushing to reach it. Consider every day as your one shot at success, which can never be recovered once gone. If you create a sense of urgency and purpose in your daily life, you can choose to use your time as best as you can.