With a booming urban metropolis, stunning nature, and a culture rooted deep in ancient tradition, Japan is a travel destination unlike any other. For those planning on visiting Japan, we’ve created a list of Japan’s hidden gems that will make for a remarkable experience when traveling through the country.

1. The Moss Garden of Kyoto

West of the bustling city lies one of Japan’s oldest surviving gardens, The Moss Garden of Kyoto. While many visitors flock to the temples of central Kyoto, it is the Saiho-ji Zen temple that resides in this garden where the absence of crowds makes for a secretive and peaceful hideaway. Covered in blankets of vibrant green, the garden is home to 120 varieties of moss. While the moss covers the ground year-round, it is during autumn in which the garden is particularly beautiful.

2. Yoshino River

Located in the heart of Shikoku runs the Yoshino River: the adventure seeker’s dream. Flowing with an abundance of crystal clear waters, the river makes for the perfect rafting destination. In a region called The Koboke, world-class rafting and canoeing is readily accessible.

3. Niseko

Home to some of the world’s best and lightest powder snow is Niseko, the Northernmost island of Japan - Hokkaido. Originally known as an Onsen town, or natural hot spa, Niseko is known gaining recognition as one of the worlds’ hidden gems for skiing. Niseko’s ski season is exceptionally long, running from late November to early May. Other attractions and activities include Onsen, snowboarding, hiking, and the less popular, telemarking.

4. Zamami Island

For those looking for a tranquil beach destination, the islands that make up Okinawa may be the perfect fit. While there are 160 tropical islands to choose from, it is the lesser-known Zamami Island that will provide calming time in the sunshine. Zamami is truly picturesque with clear stretches of sea, and unspoiled reefs. Zamami is also an excellent location for scuba diving, whale watching, and camping.

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