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Destinations in Japan Your Family Hasn’t Been To

by Angelique Platas

Dec 30, 2019

Sean Pavone | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / Asia

Japan may be on nearly everyone’s must-visit list: From its Shinto shrines and stunning landscapes to its wild cities and vibrant nightlife, everyone wants a piece of Japan. For lesser-known locales to impress even the most traveled members of your family, here are a few destinations even Japan enthusiasts may not know about:

 

Noto Peninsula

Located on the small edge of Sea off Ishikawa Prefecture, The Noto Peninsula offers some of the most ruggedly beautiful scenery in Japan. Picture rock formations lining the wild coastline and quaint fishing communities making up the bulk of the population.

 

Oki Islands

Made up of more than 180 islands, the Oki Islands are an archipelago (once a volcano) in the Sea of Japan. This locale is so primitive, only four of the 16 livable landscapes are inhabited. Known for its wild beauty, this region boasts an interesting ancient history and endlessly

Mount Haguro, Sacred Place. Photo: Dominique Bonnet | Dreamstime.com

beautiful views any traveler can appreciate.

 

Sacred Mountains at Dewa Sanzan

Over in the Yamagata Prefecture, the sacred mountains of Dewa Sanzan are considered holy in the Japanese Shinto religion — and simply majestic to anyone in eyeline. Dewa Sanzan is another religious pilgrimage site with gorgeous mountain peak vistas, perfect for the nature lovers and active travelers in your crew.

 

Seto Inland Sea

Separating the Honshū, Shikoku and Kyūshū islands, Seto Inland Sea is another mountain-filled landscape you’re going to want to see with the family. Picture white sandy beaches, turquois-blue waters and nearly untouched surrounding towns.

 

Shikoku 88

The fourth-largest Japanese island, Shikoku is home to the ancient Shikoku 88 — a must-see for active travelers and culture seekers. The challenging trail is often traveled by religious pilgrimages and is named for the 88 Buddhist temples it connects. Take in the picturesque views and get your steps in while enjoying one of Japan’s lesser-known regions.

 

Buddhist pilgrims entering Shosanji, temple number 12 of Shikoku pilgrimage. Photo: Katinka2014 | Dreamstime.com

 

While Japan is already a once-in-a-lifetime destination, it’s nice to have that extra special touch to experience with the kids and brag about when you get home. Sure, there’s still the bucket list-worthy trips to Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo, but what about all the undiscovered and less-touristic islands, mountain landscapes and historic towns in between? Treat yourselves to the lesser-traveled track of Japan.

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