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Top 10 des Merveilles Naturelles au Japon
December 29, 2020

Top 10 Natural Wonders in Japan

10 min read

Japan attracts nearly thirty million visitors per year. Tokyo is a major magnet and often tops the list of must-sees. But the capital city is not the only reason why Japan is such a popular country. Believe it, there is more to Japan than Tokyo.

Japan has an abundance of natural wonders . Japanese art is often inspired by landscapes from Japan, and when you see it, you'll begin to understand why.

Which are the best natural sites from Japan ? Here are ten of the best sites you can't miss seeing when visiting the country.
Moreover, this article is complementary with a precedent which deals with places and not natural wonders, we let you read the Top 11 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Japan !

10 - The Gorges of Takachiho (Takachiho-cho)

Gorge de Takachiho The gorges of Takachiho is truly a living version of the japanese art . The gorge has 100-meter-high basalt rock walls that rise above the blue-green waters of the river Gokase . The cliffs Slate gray verticals are adorned with moss and covered with trees, creating an atmosphere magical enough to have inspired the birth of legends. Halfway through the narrow channel, the waterfall Minainotaki cascades down from the top, giving to the gorges of Takachiho an even more bewitching appeal and mythical .

Useful information : You can enjoy the view of this incredible piece of nature at Japan on foot or by boat. Small rowing boats for three people can be hired for around 2,000 yen at the southern end of the gorge. It is a popular way of seeing the wonderful landscape gorges. If you get to the gorges of Takachiho by car, expect to pay 500 yen for a daily parking space.

9 - Tottori Sand Dunes (Tottori Sakyu)

Dunes de Sable Tottori The last thing most people associate with Japan is desert-style scenery. But Japan has a region which is covered in quicksand and which is a tourist attraction so popular that it is visited by over two million people a year. The sand dunes of Tottori are a coastal dune formation of almost 30 square kilometers in the prefecture of Tottori in Japan, whose shape continually changes depending on the direction of the wind.

Useful information : There are several ways to see the dunes Tottori and which one you choose depends on your energy and sense of adventure . If wading on the sand seems too tiring, try the cable car. It's five minutes long and you'll get an incredible view of the dunes from above for just 200 yen.

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To explore the dunes on foot, and to preserve your usual footwear, rent a pair of boots from one of the souvenir shops in the area. Lockers can be rented to store your personal belongings and protect them from loss in the sands of the desert .

8 - The Whirlpools of Naruto (Naruto-no-Uzushio)

Tourbillons de Naruto If you've ever wanted the experience of being sucked into a vortex, you must visit the naruto swirls in Japan. Okay, so you won't literally be sucked into the mighty vortices of the Naruto Strait, but you can get close enough to imagine how you might feel. The eddies, which can be up to 60 meters wide, are the result of the tides breaking through the narrow channel. It's a natural wonder really spectacular that happens twice a day. The hours vary depending on the tidal regime and the time of year.

Useful information : The best way to experience the real strength of Naruto's whirlpools is to approach a boat. There are two different companies that offer guided tours whirlpools, namely Uzushio Kankosen and Uzushio Kizen. If the boat ride seems a bit too taxing and you want to observe the Naruto whirlpool phenomenon from land, the place to do so is the observation deck of the naruto bridge . The suspension bridge stretches across the strait, and you can watch the whirlpools from the 500-meter-long glass walkway below.

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7 - Jigokudani

Jigokudani If you thought Jigokudani was a steam pool full of bathing monkeys, then think again. To learn more about these bathing monkeys, this page Wikipedia briefly and effectively explains this phenomenon. This pictured Jigokudani, although it bears the same name as Japan's famous monkey park, is quite different. This Jigokudani is a smoldering volcanic crater that looks like a little piece of hell on earth. It is a place where the japanese landscape pours the dark side of its nature into sulphurous geysers and pools of bubbling mud.

Experience the baths of hot Springs : The heat of Jigokudani not only makes the landscape vaporous, it also heats the spring waters of the most famous spa in Japan, Noboribetsu . This luxurious resort developed on the side of the crater and people flock there to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of mineral-laden waters. Who would have thought that going to hell would be so popular?

Noboribetsu To soak up a real japanese tradition , try to visit the Dai-ichi Takimotokan . This ryokan or japanese hostel is a peaceful and tranquil experience where you can indulge in hot spring baths before gorging on local Japanese delicacies. You can spend the night or the day there for around 2,000 yen.

Useful information : Visiting Jigokudani is not as daunting as it seems. The crater has a series of well marked paths that you can follow, so there is no question of getting lost in the japanese hell . As you drive through the steaming landscape, you will not only feel like you have traveled to another planet, but you will be waiting for the devil to appear every time you turn a corner of the path. Jigokudani is open around the clock and to get the best hellish effect, a visit during the dark hours is highly recommended.

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6 - Kabira Bay

Baie de Kabira Kabira bay is the small corner of paradise coastline of Japan, where azure, crystal-clear waters mingle with pure white sand. Paradise bay is located on the island of Ishigaki , and although it is one of the most beautiful landscapes of Japan , it is not quite the Eden that it seems to be. There are strong currents and schools of jellyfish in the water. These currents, combined with the constant comings and goings of tourist boats, make swimming too dangerous an activity to undertake. The waters of Kabira Bay are perfect for growing black pearls and although it may take a few years, the result is worth the wait.

Useful information : Although you cannot go to the waters of Kabira Bay, you can do a walk in boat . A cruise on one of the glass bottom boats that operate from the shore all day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. costs around 1,000 yen. Boats sail above coral reefs and you get a stunning glimpse of what the marine life is doing beneath the waves. Once you are really in the Kabira bay , it's hard to get away from it. If you want to stay longer and immerse yourself, not in the water, but in the beauty of the area, go to a place like the Lulaliya and you will not be disappointed.

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5 - Akiyoshido cave (Akiyoshi-dō)

Grottes Akiyoshido Sometimes to see the most beautiful horizons of Japan , it is necessary to descend rather than ascend. Akiyoshido Cave is a vast underground cave which extends in the bowels of the earth for more than ten kilometers. Carved into the limestone by the river that crosses it, this karst cave in places over three hundred feet wide. The dark waters of the river act like a mirror reflecting the jagged stalactites jutting out from the cave ceiling.

Entree Grotte Akiyoshido Useful information : Akiyoshido Cave maintains a constant temperature of 17 ° C throughout the year, so that even in winter, you don't shiver when you enter the cave. To make the most of your visit to the Akiyoshido cave , enter through the entrance to the Akiyoshido, walk the full length of the cave before returning and taking the elevator to the Akiyoshido plateau. After taking advantage of breathtaking panoramic views From the observation deck there, you can enter the cave by elevator using the same entrance ticket.

Pro tip: Take yours passport with you and show it when purchasing your entrance tickets. With a passport, foreign visitors get a discount of 500 yen on the admission price 1,200 yen and therefore only pay 700 yen.

4 - Mount Aso (Aso-San)

Mont Aso Mount Aso is located on the island of Kyushu and has an unusual quintuple cone formation, the highest of which is Mount Taka . While the rest of the group, who are named Mont Neko , Mountain Eboshi , Mountain Kishima and Mont Naka , all have distinct characteristics, this is the caldera active Mont Naka called Kana-dake that draws the crowds. the Kana-dake , in addition to erupting regularly, throws cloud after cloud of sulphurous smoke.

Useful information : When a volcano is about to erupt, or is already in the process of erupting, visiting it can become very dangerous. This is why access to Kana-dake can sometimes be restricted, and it is best to check its current condition before planning a trip to see him. If the location is deemed safe for visitors, you can take a four-minute cable car ride, which costs 1,200 yen, or walk up, which takes about half an hour.

While you're there, stop at the Musée du Mount Aso , where we show a live video of the interior of the volcano and where we distribute some interesting bits of information. For some fresh air, try doing a Trek in the meadow of Kusasenri . The green tranquility of the meadow and its lakes is a pleasant change from the austere volcanic landscape of Mount Aso.

3 - Nachi waterfall (Nachi-no-tak)

Cascade de Nachi One of the most reproduced natural features in the japanese art are the waterfalls. The fall of Nachi , at just over 400 feet, is Japan's tallest waterfall and has been artistically depicted for centuries. The waterfall is also a place of worship for centuries, and there have been religious shrines on the site since Japan was first inhabited. Many people still consider it today as a place of pilgrimage and visit the magnificent shrine of Nachi Taisha which is in front of the waterfall.

Useful information : To have a good view of the cascade of Nachi , you can use one of the two observation points. The lowest point is chargeable (300 yen). The upper point is accessible free of charge from the Buddhist temple of Seiganto-ji .

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The waterfall of Nachi is a minimum four hour drive from the nearest town of Osaka or Nara , so staying there is the best option. If you are on a budget, try the Guesthouse Fukuroku or if spending is not a problem, you can treat yourself to more luxury at the Onsenminshuku Kosakaya .

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2 - Yakushima Island

To really get in touch with the japanese nature At its peak, one should spend some time on Yakushima Island. This island is not only a refuge for animals and one of the best natural sites of Japan , it is also registered with Unesco World Heritage . It is a combination of factors that beg to be explored.

Yakushima Animaux Wildlife : Animals on Yakushima Island may be similar species to those on the mainland, but they are often smaller in size. The yakus monkeys , a type of macaque, are commonly seen and, although they are smaller than their mainland counterparts and fun to watch, they can be quite aggressive if approached.

The Yaku shika , the small deer that inhabit Yakushima Island, are often seen roaming the forest trails and are night visitors to villages. The island has a whole lot of strange and unusual fauna that are best seen from a good distance. There are bloodsucking leeches, poisonous snakes, and a few large hornets that are more than happy to sting anyone.

Yakushima Foret Plants and trees: Yakushima Island excels in trees . The forests of Yakushima are home to the Japanese cedars known as Yakusugi , some of which are over a thousand years old. The oldest of these trees even has a name and is called Jomon sugi . This tree, whose age is estimated at seven thousand years, is twenty-five meters high and its trunk has a diameter of more than five meters. This tree and the clearing it is in inspired the Japanese film Princess mononoke . If it isn't worth taking a photo, nothing is worth it.

Useful information : There is only one way to experience the uniqueness of the yakushima island , and it's on foot. Yes, the Trek is the best exploring option here, so pack a good pair of shoes. Take the trail Arakawa , it is long but worth doing for what you will see along the way. If it's too strenuous or you're short on time, do the trail instead Shiratani-unsuikyō-tozanguchi , shorter.

1 - Mount Fuji (Fuji-san)

Mont Fuji There is an exceptional element in the landscape of Japan which is not only one of the volcanoes most instantly recognizable, but also one of the most emblematic . Mount Fuji - the landmark unique to Japan, crowned with snow. Even though the summit, which is the highest in Japan at over 3,776 meters , is nearly 100 kilometers from the capital Tokyo, it is often clearly visible from the city.

Places to see Mount Fuji: Yes Tokyo is a convenient place to see Mount Fuji, it might not be the best. For a truly magnificent view, you have to go to the pagoda Chureito To Fujiyoshida . This five-story pagoda sits on the side of a mountain in front of Mount Fuji, and has become a favorite spot for taking unforgettable photos of the famous japanese mountain .

If you prefer your observation of the Mountain is done at ground level, travel to the Five Lakes District of Fuji and admire Mount Fuji as you cross the waters of the lake Kawaguchi or from the lake Yamanaka . These two lakes offer incredible views. If you want to see it from all possible angles, find out how to do it in thirty-six different ways.

Mont Fuji Escalade Climb Mount Fuji: It might not be the easiest thing to do, but climbing the Mount Fuji will certainly give you a different perspective of Japan. It will literally give you chills down your spine. Even though Mount Fuji doesn't have its iconic snow cover, it can still get cold at the top. This kind of self-accomplishment will allow you to experience unforgettable vacation to Japan , so why not get started on this adventure ?

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