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Map of Japan: Five Amazing Secret Places to Visit!

Thalia Harris

Thalia Harris

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Overgrown moss on Buddha statues in a Zen garden.

When most people look at a map of Japan, they usually focus on places like Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. But there are a few more places to check out if you ever travel there! Let’s visit five places in Japan on your next journey!

Niigata

Niigata Prefecture is on Japan’s west coast and has diverse sightseeing opportunities. The Hoshitoge Rice Terraces are picturesque, particularly during early summer. The Teradomari Fish Market is a must-visit for seafood enthusiasts as it offers fresh, high-quality seafood. 

A picture of a castle with cherry blossoms in Niigata.
Niigata is home to beautiful nature and birds. Image via Shutterstock

The Ponshu-kan Sake Museum has over 100 varieties of local sake for tasting, making it perfect for sake aficionados. The prefecture is also famous for its vibrant festivals, including the Nagaoka Fireworks Festival and rich cultural sites like Yahiko Shrine and the Kiyotsu Gorge. 

Niigata City has many attractions, including Nuttari Terrace Street, Sekai Sushi, and the NiiGATA Monument. Marine enthusiasts can also visit the Niigata City Aquarium Marinepia Nihonkai to immerse themselves in diverse marine life. All in all, Niigata Prefecture offers many experiences for travelers with varied interests, from natural wonders to cultural sites and culinary delights.

Aichi

Aichi Prefecture is the largest city in the Chubu region of Japan and offers a blend of history, industry, and entertainment. Nagoya, the capital of Aichi, is a bustling city and a prominent business and transportation hub. Moreover, Aichi boasts captivating attractions that showcase its rich history, including Nagoya Castle, built by Tokugawa Ieyasu, and historic Inuyama Castle. The Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology offers insight into the region’s manufacturing prowess, focusing on the world-renowned company Toyota. 

A castle and a red bridge in Aichi Prefecture.
Aichi Prefecture is home to many sights such as castles, temples and museums. Image via Shutterstock

Moreover, Aichi is gaining international attention with the opening of Ghibli Park, making it an increasingly appealing destination for tourists. The prefecture also offers unique experiences such as LEGOLAND Japan, SCMAGLEV, Railway Park, and the Aiya Nishio Matcha Museum “Waku Waku.” Aichi’s culinary scene is equally enticing, with local delicacies like miso-flavored dishes and the famous Nagoya-Meshi, a diverse array of regional cuisine.

Saitama City

Saitama City is the capital of Saitama Prefecture and blends historical significance with modern attractions. The city was formed in 2001 through the merger of the former cities of Omiya, Urawa, and Yono. Generally, Saitama offers a rich tapestry of experiences. From the iconic Omiya Station to the serene Hikawa Shrine in the Omiya district, visitors can explore historical streets, modern shopping centers, and serene temples, contributing to the city’s multifaceted charm.

A train in Saitama Japan going through the fields.
Saitama is just a stone’s throw away from Tokyo! Image via Shutterstock

Crucially, it serves as a transportation link between Tokyo and northern Japan. All in all, Saitama City is an accessible and appealing destination for travelers. It offers diverse experiences and stunning landscapes, making it a compelling addition to any travel itinerary in Japan.

Are you looking for wonderful snacks while checking out the hidden gems across Japan? Check out Sakuraco! Sakuraco delivers traditional Japanese snacks, teas, sweets, and snacks from Japan to your door every month so that you can enjoy Japan’s taste anywhere!

Nikko (Tochigi Prefecture)

Nikko is in the northwestern part of Tochigi Prefecture and is known for its picturesque beauty and rich cultural heritage. The area is also famous for its vast natural landscapes, including mountains, forests, and serene lakes.

A shot of Nikko, Japan in nature; a river and a red bridge in autumn.
Nikko is home to gorgeous shrines, temples and natural landscapes. Image via Shutterstock

Moreover, the shrines and temples of Nikko are their most famous attractions, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with 103 structures spread over three complexes. The Toshogu Shrine complex is imposing, serving as the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the powerful Tokugawa Shogunate.

In addition, tunning landmarks like the Kegon Falls highlight Nikko’s natural beauty. It’s one of Japan’s highest waterfalls, and Lake Chuzenji is a serene lake at over 1,000 meters. Not to mention, you can explore the Tamozawa Imperial Villa, a historic site with a garden that offers a spectacular display of colorful leaves in the autumn. In addition, National Park is home to the three sacred peaks of Mt. Nantai, Mt. Nyoho, and Mt. Taro, providing ample opportunities for hiking and experiencing the area’s mystical mountain worship tradition.

Gunma

Gunma Prefecture is in the Kanto Region and is renowned for its high-quality hot springs and stunning mountains. The prefecture is a natural playground, offering many outdoor activities and countless hot spring resorts. Popular choices generally include Kusatsu Onsen, Shima Onsen, and Manza Onsen. 

An onsen with soothing green water in Gunma, Japan.
Gunma Prefecture has amazing onsen! Image via Shutterstock

Its mountainous landscapes further enhance its natural beauty, with notable peaks such as Mount Akagi, Mount Haruna, Mount Myogi, and Mount Asama. Maebashi is the prefecture’s capital, and Takasaki is its largest city, contributing to Gunma’s vibrant cultural and historical significance.

As a result, visitors can indulge in various experiences in Gunma, an underrated place on the map of Japan. Thrilling outdoor activities like skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and canyoning are available. They can also relax in some of Japan’s most revered hot springs. Not to mention, the area is famous for cultural attractions like the Old Tomioka Silk Mill, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a traditional Japanese good luck charm, daruma dolls.

Why should I check out these places on the map of Japan?

Exploring underrated places in Japan offers a unique opportunity to discover hidden gems, immerse yourself in authentic local experiences, and avoid the crowds. These locations boast cultural, historical, and natural attractions, providing an intimate, off-the-beaten-path travel experience. Have you ever visited these hidden places on the map of Japan? Let us know in the comment below!

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