Beautiful places in Japan

During this time when it’s not possible to travel, we could all do with a little inspiration. Here are some beautiful places in Japan for you to look at and maybe even dream about visiting.


Matsumoto is most famous for its beautiful black castle. It’s an original castle, not a reconstruction, and you can go inside to see the carefully preserved interior. Near the castle are some historic streets which are lovely to walk around. Matsumoto is also Yayoi Kusama’s home town and the local art museum has a collection of some of her works.

Matsumoto is about a two hour train trip west of Tokyo. Find out more about Matsumoto here.


Hirosaki is a smaller city with a castle that’s particularly lovely in cherry blossom season, an old samurai quarter, and a fine collection of historic 19th century buildings. The neputa festival held each summer sees vivid illuminated floats paraded around the streets. You can see these all year round at the Tsugaru-han Neputa Village, a museum dedicated to telling the story of the festival.

Neputa festival floats at Tsugaru-han Neputa Village

Hirosaki is at the northern end of Honshu, Japan’s main island, about a four hour train trip from Tokyo. Find out more about Hirosaki here.


In winter, Furano is a ski resort while in summer, it comes alive with fields of flowers. Farm Tomita is the most famous flower farm, growing lavender and other flowers. They make various lavender products including lavender soft cream! There are some other food related attractions in Furano, such as the cheese factory and melon farm.

Lavender soft cream at Farm Tomita

Furano is in central Hokkaido, a two hour train trip from Sapporo. Find out more about Furano here.

All three destinations can be reached by JR trains, so national and regional JR passes will get you there. Hokkaido is quite a distance by train (eight hours from Tokyo to Sapporo) so consider flying.

Do you have any questions about travelling around Japan? Please feel free to contact me.

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For further information, the ebook Japan Just for You is a practical step-by-step guide to planning your trip to Japan, starting with developing your own personal trip concept. It’s now available on Apple, Amazon and Kobo, and other stores.