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Off the beaten path: Japan’s nature routes

See Mount Fuji from a nature trail
See Mount Fuji from a nature trail
See Mount Fuji from a nature trail

If you want to venture from the usual destinations of Tokyo or Kyoto when in Japan, these nature routes may be the antidote

For experienced travellers who are already tired of Tokyo or Kyoto, visiting charming nature sites, seeing peaches and seasonal flowers at scenic Mount Fuji, or trekking the Japanese Alpines may inject a sense of novelty into your travel experience.

Road Trip & Mount Fuji

Take a scenic road trip to Mount Fuji 5th Station, to enjoy majestic views of Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain. It is also the focal point of the sprawling Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park.

At 2,300m above sea level, be awed by the view of the mountain and chomp on a barbecue lunch of grill-and-eat beef, pork, vegetables, and mushrooms, under a romantic grapevine trellis.

Pick your own Japanese peaches
Pick your own Japanese peaches

Pick Peaches & Experience Blooms

At Japan’s produce centre of peaches, you can handpick your own peaches and cherries. Pluck your own sweet treasures and be pleased by their rich, sweet taste and fresh, crunchy texture.

Try to travel between June to August as it is the season for flowers and herbs, so you can see truly postcard-worthy lavender fields. Nevertheless, if you are travelling after August, you can still see cosmos, jasmine, bergamot and basil.

There will even be lucky draws in the coach and everyone will get something special. How delightful is that?

An onsen or spring bath
An onsen or spring bath

Open-Air Onsen & Hoto Hotpot

Some tourists eschew onsen, or hot spring baths, due to nudity or the water being too hot. Nonetheless, if you would like to experience the soothing luxury of soaking in mineral-rich water from geothermal-heated springs, try an outdoor onsen with magnificent views of the great Mount Fuji.

After that relaxing soak, pamper yourself with a mouth-watering lunch of Yamanashi’s speciality – hoto hotpot. It is believed that the daimyo (samurai warlord) Takeda Shingen and his samurai ate this hearty hoto hotpot before riding into battle.

Or, you can check out the Gotemba Premium Outlet, one of the biggest malls in Japan, and shop to your heart’s content.

Incomparable Alpine Route

For those just slightly more adventurous, consider taking the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route to see the Tateyama Mountain Range, part of the Chubu Sangaku National Park, and the 2,450m-high spot, Murodo.

In the summer and autumn, there are alpine flowers. In spring, the snow corridor can stretch up to 20m.

Kurobe Dam & Gorge Train

If you are travelling some time from late June to mid-October, you can see the 186m-high Kurobe Dam – Japan’s tallest – discharge up to 15 tonnes of water per second.

Take the Kurobe Gorge Train between Unazuki and Keyakidair, where you can appreciate nature as you cross bridges and tunnels as you travel along the V-shaped gorge.

Less Common Routes

To begin these adventures off the beaten path in Japan, book your tour with HIS International Travel. There is a full and exciting itinerary planned for you, to various picturesque sites in Japan via routes that are less-commonly traversed.

See and experience the real character of Japan.

HIS International Travel, 100 Tras Street, 100 AM, #02-26, Singapore 079027 (Former Amara Shopping Centre), opening hours: Mon-Sun, 10am-7pm, web: www.his.com.sg, FB: www.facebook.com/HISTRAVEL.SG, Email: travel@his.com.sg