Take a Hike: Traverse the Kumano Kodo Trail
Many people are familiar with the Camino de Santiago in Spain, but few are aware of its Japanese counterpart. The Kumano Kodo is an ancient pilgrimage trail that winds its way through remote mountains and small villages, with traditional guesthouses along the way. It’s a one-of-a-kind way to see Japan and a fantastic way to help locals who live outside of major cities. The great thing about this trail is that you can customize the number of hiking days to fit your schedule (you can do it in as little as two days or as many as six).
Check Out the TeamLab Borderless Museum
Does anyone else think of Willy Wonka when they see lasers, crystal “rain,” floating lanterns, and flowers that move when you touch them? This is most likely the wackiest museum you’ll ever visit, and it’s difficult to put into words. To believe it, you must see it!
Wander In a Japanese Castle
When it comes to castles, Europe is usually the first place that comes to mind. However, Japan holds its own and has some fascinating fortresses for visitors to explore and learn more about the country’s history. There are a dozen castles in Japan that are still standing, but the most famous (and easily accessible) is Kanazawa – This castle is located in the city’s center and is adjacent to the famous Kenroku-en, one of Japan’s three “perfect gardens.” Matsumoto – Known as the “Crow Castle” due to its dark color, this castle is particularly lovely during cherry blossom season.
Visit the Snow Monkeys at Jigokudani Park
Take a day trip to Nagano to get away from the madness of Tokyo ( the host city of the 1998 Winter Olympics). The path leading to the monkey park is lined with towering pines, and they can be found in abundance as you travel further. The monkeys will brush right past you as if you didn’t exist. The sight of them soaking in the natural hot spring is the most entertaining.