japanese temple with mount Fuji at the backdrop

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One of the most mesmerising countries in East Asia, Japan can be found in every traveler’s bucket list. The country is known for its welcoming people and happening culture. Japan is also loved for its religious aspects, which is reflected through various temples it is home to. Japan is religiously, culturally as well as historically rich and therefore gains everyone’s attention across the world but there is so much more to this destination. Nature has bestowed its blessings on the country and this is why Japan hill stations are counted amongst the most beautiful sights one can come across.

In other words, one can see Japan as a country with vibrant social setup with nature’s beauty at the backdrop. Therefore, during your vacation here, it is necessary that you cover all the aspects the country is known for.

7 Japan Hill Stations

Each place in this East Asian country is rich with culture and tradition. Hill stations in Japan are undoubtedly known for their picturesqueness but what makes the even better is the variety of recreational activities that locals as well as tourists love getting indulged in. Some of them have been listed below. Take a look!

1. Karuizawa
2. Nara
3. Hida-Takayama
4. Otaru
5. Magome
6. Hakone
7. Kanazawa

1. Karuizawa

hotel in a hill station

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This one’s an enthralling resort town that is established under the majestic Mount Asama. Mount Asama is one of the most active volcanoes of Honshū. One of the best hill stations in Japan, Karuizawa is only at an hour’s distance from Tokyo and definitely a must visit. The town is also well known for being historically significant – the emperor, Akihito is believed to have met the empress, Michiko who became his wife in the future. This is why the place is also considered to be one of the best options for a romantic getaway for couples.

Highlights: one gets to enjoy the breathtaking view of Mount Asama
Things to do: visit Shiraito waterfall, witness the brilliant views at Usui Pass Deck
Places To Stay: Hotel Karuizawa Elegance, Hotel Cypress, Karuizawa Prince Hotel East, Chisun Inn, Kyukaruizawa Kikyo

Must Read: Cherry Blossoms Are In Full Bloom & So Is The All New Spring Flower Cruise In Japan

2. Nara

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This place is quite popular in Japan, as it is the first permanent capital. Moreover, the town has, not just one but eight UNESCO heritage sites. With a beautiful culture that makes it a popular place, Nara is a home to people who still follow the traditional Japanese practices. So, if you want to experience the old vibe of Japan, then visiting this hill station is a must. Moreover, if you have an inclination towards art and literature, this is definitely the place for you. This is one of the best hill stations to visit in Japan.

Highlights: this is one of the places in Japan where you’ll find deer in huge number
Things to do: visit Todai-ji Temple, get closer to nature at Isui-en Garden, have an enlightening experience at Kasuga-taisha Shrine
Places To Stay: Nara Royal Hotel, Hotel Nara No Hamori, HOTEL Mai Sakura, Smile Hotel Nara, Guesthouse Yoshikawa

Suggested Read: Japan Beats Singapore As Having The World’s Most Powerful Passport!

3. Hida-Takayama

bird's eye view of a hill station

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This place is famous by the name “Little Kyoto” – it is because there are numerous shrines and temples here. Apart from that, you can even find various buildings that reflect the 18th century. Enveloped within Hida mountains, this town too will give you a glimpse of the old Japan. The streets here have canals running along and with mountains at the backdrop, you can’t ask for more from this place!

Highlights: this city is ideal for those who want to explore the religious aspects of Japan
Things to do: visit Yoshijima Heritage House, learn the old cultural aspects at Kusakabe Folk Crafts Museum
Places To Stay: Hida Hotel Plaza, Country Hotel Takayama, Wat Hotel & Spa Hida Takayama, Best Western Hotel Takayama, Residence Hotel Takayama Station

Suggested Read: This Library Hostel In Japan Is The Perfect Cocoon That Every Bookworm Dreams Of!

4. Otaru

aerial view of a hill station

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Historically, Otaru is was known to be a prominent fishing port during the time when Hokkaido was captured towards the end of the 19th century. This place is also famous because the first line of railway was constructed here. The historically rich town is home to various old warehouses. The town is filled with hustle-bustle and is also an ideal place for those seeking peace. If you happen to visit Japan in the month of February, do come here, as the happening Otaru Snow Gleaming Festival is celebrated during this time of the year.

Highlights: this place is known for its historical richness and peaceful atmosphere
Things to do: evening walk around Otaru Canal, shop for glassware, learn about the history at Otaru Museum
Places To Stay: Herber Light KAIHOUROU, UNWIND HOTEL & BAR OTARU, Dormy Inn Premium, Otarunishikien

Suggested Read: 25 Unbeatably Fun Things To Do In Japan That All Travelers Must Try

5. Magome

lady brooming a street in a hill station

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Located in the Kiso Valley, this town used to be a place where travelers used to stop in order to rest while visiting Kyoto from Tokyo during the Edo period. Closed for the vehicles, the main street of this town is considered to be the highlight with various renovated old buildings erected at the sides. Apart from witnessing the awe-striking architecture, what’s worth experiencing here is hiking at the Magome-to-Tsumago trail – a part of Nakasendo Trail.

Highlights: the beautiful buildings that reflect the vast history of this place
Things to do: visit Honjin/Toson Memorial Museum to learn the historical facts, get an idea of cultural past of this place at Shimizuya Shiryokan
Places To Stay: Chaya Hotel, Tajimaya, Guesthouse Nedoko, Guest House gaku Magome, Guest House Motomiya

Suggested Read: 35 Best Places To Visit In Japan That Make It Look Right Out Of A Storybook

6. Hakone

aerial view of a scenery with river and green mountains

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The town of Hakone is located at a distance of 100 kilometers from Tokyo. This is one of the places that you can visit to escape the bustling cities of Japan for an ultimate refuge. The place forms a part of the National Park, Fuji-Hakone-Izu. This place is showered with nature’s blessings like the breathtaking mountainous backdrop and mesmerising lakes. You can even go hiking on one of the trails or spend some time relaxing at the hot springs. When looking for beautiful hill stations in Japan, do visit Hakone!

Highlights: this naturally beautiful town is known for the amazing hot springs
Things to do: visit Hakone Shrine for a religious journey amidst picturesque setting, spend quality time at the hot springs
Places To Stay: Merveille Hakone Gora, Hakone Yutowa , Yutorelo-an ANNEX, Ashinoko Port Villa MIRAHAKONE, Emblem Flow Hakone

7. Kanazawa

view of the city from bird's eye view

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This is considered to be one of the largest cities in the country of Japan and is known for surviving the WW-2 fiascos. The streets of this city pass through the old districts of Geisha and Samurai. More than that, the city also has various awe-inspiring temples, modern-day museums, and canals that are famous since the Edo period.One of the best attractions at this place is Kenrokuen Garden that is well known since the 17th century. This place is the perfect blend of historicity and modernity, visible through various aspects.

Highlights: the place is renowned for its crafts and has been recorded in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network
Things to do: spend some time in peace at Kenroku-en Garden, shop your heart out at Omicho Market
Places To Stay: APA Hotel Kanazawa Ekimae, UNIZO INN Express Kanazawa Ekimae, Hotel Intergate Kanazawa , AGORA・Kanazawa

Further Read: Getting A Japan Visa Will Now Be Easier Than Buying A Movie Ticket!

A vacation in Japan would be historically as well as culturally enriching for you if you visit most of the above-mentioned places. We all know about this nation as one of the most beautiful places in the world because of the beautiful natural setting that will take one’s breath away. However, as you’ll visit the Japan hill stations, you will simply find out that there’s so much more to it that needs to be explored!

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Frequently Asked Questions About Japan Hill Stations

Where is the most beautiful place in Japan?

Perfect landscapes, serene mountains & beaches, vibrant nightlife and tranquil zen gardens make Japan a desirable destination for every tourist. Some amazing places to visit in Japan are:
– Osaka Castle, Osaka
– Itsukushima Shrine, Hiroshima
– Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo
– Nara Deer Park, Nara Prefecture
– Shikisai-no-oka, Hokkaido Prefecture

Which is the best month to visit Japan?

March to May and from September to November is generally considered to be the best time to visit Japan. The temperature during this time is mid, there is little rainfall and skies are generally clear. The cherry blossoms of spring and glowing hues of autumn leaves are a sight to behold.

Where can I see tradition in Japan?

If you love to experience the Japanese tradition & re-live its past, these are the places you must visit:
– Kamakura, the first feudal capital of Japan
– Takayama, the city dates back to the 16th century
– Gion, Kyoto’s famous Geisha district
– Kusatsu Onsen, one of the popular cities in Japan

How cold is Japan in January?

The temperature ranges between 10ºC (50°F) in the afternoon to 2ºC~3ºC (35°F~37°F) in the morning during the month of January.

What should I bring back from Japan?

Wondering what to bring back from Japan? Worry not, we’ve compiled a list of souvenirs that you can get on your way back.
– Traditional clothes
– Trinkets from the 100 Yen shop
– Cookies and unusual sweets
– Green Tea
– Japanese sweets
– Votive objects
– Japanese alcohol
– Bento goods

What should I pack while visiting the hill stations in Japan?

To beat the cold and enjoy the picturesque & tranquil locations in Japan, here a few things that must be in your luggage.
– Very warm jacket
– Long sleeve tops
– Jumper
– Jeans
– Woollen socks
– Boots

Which is the most beautiful city in Japan?

From historic castles, to picturesque landscapes to sub-tropical beaches, Japan has one of the most stunning places which attract tourists from all over the world. Some of the most beautiful cities that you must visit in Japan are:
– Tokyo
– Kyoto
– Osaka
– Kanazawa
– Hiroshima
– Nara
– Sapporo

Category: Hill Station, Japan

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