One of the most apparent effects of the pandemic has been the closure of most countries’ borders and the discontinuation of many international flights. According to a study published by the International Air Transport Association, this monumental decrease in flights is set to cause over US$84 billion in losses for the entire industry for the year 2020 alone.
Fortunately, things are finally turning a corner, as the number of countries reopening their borders increases by the day. Some of the Asian nations that are once again welcoming international tourists are Bali, Thailand, Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore.
Other countries in the region, like Japan and Indonesia, are also gearing up for the resumption of international tourism. If you are one of those people who is looking forward to spending a few vacation days in Japan, you just have to wait a few more months. Travel Media Daily mentioned how the Japanese government has been toying with the idea of reopening for international tourists come spring 2021. That said, here’s a shortlist of some of the places you should definitely visit once Japan reopens.
Nestled in the heart of the Shizuoka Prefecture, 100km southwest of Tokyo, lies the beautiful resort area of the Izu Peninsula. This large and mountainous area houses the famed Kurofune (Black Ships) of US Commodore Perry and is a popular spot for both local and international tourists. Surrounded by oceans on three sides, tourists can enjoy many water adventures in the area, such as surfing, swimming, scuba diving, dolphin watching and island hopping.
To fully enjoy all these activities and more, you may want to consider spending the night in this beautiful spot. After all, Japan is one of the places where people can enjoy all types of accommodation. From capsule hotels and pension homes to ryokan and Shukubo or temple lodging, your options are endless. If you want to try sleeping in a traditional Japanese Inn, ExpatBets’ list of the best ryokan in Japan highly suggests going to Arai Ryokan. This century-and-a-half-old inn has 15 structures, which are all recognised as a natural, cultural asset. Arai Ryokan has over 30 rooms, offers traditional kaiseki meals, and has several options for onsen bathing.
For those of you who would like to go on a relaxed historical trip, the traditional mountain village of Tsumago in the Kiso Valley would be the perfect place for you. Tsumago is one of the best-preserved post towns in all of Japan, with its picturesque wooden inns. The traditional houses that line the traffic-less street date back to the Edo period of 300 years ago.
Just like the Izu Peninsula, Tsumago is also peppered with quite a few small ryokans, as well as minshukus or family-operated, Japanese-style bed and breakfasts. If the weather permits and time is on your side, Japan Guide highly recommends hiking a preserved trail of the former Nakasendo Way to Magome. Apart from hiking, it would also be in your best interest to visit Kotoku Temple, Honjin and the Wakihonjin, which now serves as a local museum.
Chūbu-Sangaku National Park
If you want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Japanese cities, the best way to do so is by visiting Chūbu-Sangaku National Park. Located in the middle of Honshu, this breath-taking park magnificently showcases the incorporation of the Hida Mountains’ northern and central regions. Much like the Alps of Central Europe, Planet Ware emphasised that the Hida Mountains attract a large number of walkers and climbers in summer, and skiers in winter.
For those of you who can’t get enough of nature’s beauty, this place would also be right up your alley since the park boasts a wide array of flora and fauna. For instance, you can spot some rare ptarmigan and mountain antelopes near the mountain peaks. You can also visit a lot of hot springs and a number of holiday resorts like Kamikōchi.
Travelling these days may seem difficult and utterly dangerous, but with the right tips and tricks to back you up, you can ensure safe travel even in the midst of a pandemic. To make sure that your upcoming trip to Japan goes as smooth as it can be, check out the post ‘Travel In The Time of COVID: Tips For Business Travellers’.