From eerie to cute.
Some of my favorite Japanese highlights are listed in this final post.
12. NIKKO(in the fog).
Nikko was possibly the best place I went for a hike at.
The woods around the temples are absolutely amazing.
Nikko is also known for its fog and I was there at a perfect time.
I heard someone tell his friends he’s been to Nikko before and it always has fog.
So you might be lucky when you go.
I was there in April.
Walking around that city and through the woods was like something out of a horror movie.
The fog brought an extra element to the photos I took.
They might not have been as good without the creepy fog rolling around.
13. NAGANO SNOW MONKEYS.
From Nikko I continued north to Nagano.
From what I saw Nagano didn’t seem to be too special.
But most tourists going there are going for the snow monkeys.
And they were definitely a highlight of my entire trip to Japan.
The day I arrived I immediately wanted to see them.
Luckily the employee at my hostel said it was too hot and sunny and they wouldn’t be in the hot springs(makes sense).
He said to wait the next day when it was supposed to be cold and rainy.
He was definitely right about the cold rainy weather the next day.
The weather was miserable.
So onward I went.
When I first arrived there was only a handful of monkeys around the springs.
Then most left and there was only one hanging out in the hot spring.
It started to rain harder and get colder and I had already been there for an hour, so I was getting ready to leave.
But the rain and cold brought the monkeys out of the trees and about 30-40 monkeys showed up.
I stayed for another hour watching the monkeys enjoy themselves in the warm waters of the hot spring.
Even though I was wet and cold those goofy monkeys made my time there worth it.
Kyoto might have been the coolest Japanese city I went to.
Kyoto has a variety of sites to see throughout the city.
You also get a good mix of modern Japan and old school Japan.
There’s great hikes with no one around and then areas packed with people.
There are sites completely worth your visit and others that are an absolute waste of time.
The nightlife is good and there’s a variety of food around every corner.
If you’re lucky you might even see a geisha in the Gion district running between buildings for private performances.
Kyoto is very spread out with no metro system, just buses.
So it sometimes takes a while to get to certain areas and sites.
But this city had so much going on it had to make it on this list.
15. OKUNOIN CEMETERY/KOYASAN.
Koyasan is the largest cemetery in Japan and it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It was another relaxing, beautiful area of Japan that I could’ve spent an entire day at.
The photographic opportunities at that place were overwhelming.
Between the hiking pilgrims, temples, and 200,000+ tombstones I never put my camera down for more than a few seconds.
The hike from the main entrance to the temple in the back is about 2 km long.
But there’s so many areas to venture off up the hills.
Besides Nikko in the fog, Koyasan might have been my favorite place to take photos in Japan.
16. RABBIT ISLAND.
An island completely overrun by bunnies!
How could this place NOT be on my list?
You take a ferry over from Takehara.
Once you arrive you’re immediately greeted by bunnies.
Each one hoping you brought a lot of vegetables with you.
While bringing a bunch of food over for the bunnies sounds great it might not be the best idea.
This article talks about the potential health risks the food is causing the bunnies.
Your visit on the island will still be fun even without snacks for the cute little fur balls.
As you hike along the trails the rabbits come out of the woods running towards you.
They recognize all people as suppliers of food.
So no matter what you’ll have bunnies running up to you.
But you’re the one that’s gonna have to tell them you arrived empty-handed.
Hiroshima to Miyajimaguchi is a quick 30 minute train ride.
From Miyajimaguchi to Miyajima it’s a 10 minute ferry ride.
Luckily Miyajima is close to Hiroshima because it’s a place worth spending the whole day at.
When I arrived, there were school children running up with greeting cards they made for tourists.
Cute gifts welcoming tourists to the island.
They all seemed very excited to be able to talk to tourists for even a few seconds.
The island also has wild deer roaming around.
But the main attraction is the “floating” Torii gate.
In the water during the day, but as the tide goes out in the evening you can actually walk to the gate.
To kill time between the tide going out you can hike up Mt. Misen.
It’s a nice hike and pretty easy.
If you don’t want to hike you can always take the cable car for the great view at the top.
Miyajima is also a place where a rare kind of Kit Kat exists.
It’s the Momiji Manju flavor.
Miyajima was a great day trip from Hiroshima.
A highly recommended relaxing destination.
Hopefully you enjoyed my posts about my favorite Japanese highlights.
Let me know if I missed one of your favorite Japanese highlights in the comments below.
My name is Jeremiah and I'm a photographer from Arizona.
I'm always in search of picturesque landscapes and adrenaline pumping adventure.
Follow me as I show you What and What Not to do when visiting new places in search of Cheap Travel and Cheap Thrills.
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