Tour 4 of Japan’s natural wonders
The Land of the Rising Sun is full of spectacular sights and unique experiences. The Golden Pavilion attracts tourists from thousands of miles away to view its top two floors coated in gold leaf. Meanwhile, dozens of meticulously manicured Zen gardens offer some of the most serene travel experiences for yoga enthusiasts and meditators.
Man may have played a role in the construction of many Japanese wonders, but some of the greatest scenery is the product of natural events. If you plan on visiting the island nation any time soon, stop at a few of these miraculous natural destinations.
There are few things more picturesque than the quaint snowcapped volcano of Mount Fuji. According to Volcano Discovery, this summit is simultaneously the highest peak in Japan, the tallest volcano on the island and considered one of the three Holy Mountains in the country. It’s stunning symmetry has made it a global icon and a cultural symbol in Japanese art. While many travelers settle for viewing the mountain from a distance in the surrounding national park, reportedly some 200,000 visitors climb to the top of the mountain annually.
The Cherry Blossom Festival
Only at a particular time of season can visitors walk among millions of falling pink cherry blossom petals, but the season is enjoyed across the country with a flurry of festivals, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization. The period from first bloom to full bloom is normally short – usually around two weeks. Travelers with a green thumb, a desire for a romantic journey or a craving for a lighthearted festival experience should start planning a trip now to get ahead of the touring masses. The blooms in most locations around the island occur between mid-March and the beginning of May. However, the source reported that some island destinations experience cherry blossom blooms as early as January, according to the Japan Weather Association.
This body of water is brilliant and clear but often covered in a fine layer of mist. Its eerie properties often cause locals to refer to the body of water simply as the “mysterious lake,” according to The Travel Channel. While you may want to get a glimpse of the glassy surface, take heed. Legend states that visitors who see the lake on a sunny day will be cursed with misfortune. For those who aren’t superstitious, cross your fingers for clear skies to get the best view of the lake. Not only is Lake Mashu’s reputation tied to the mysterious fog, the lack of currents and curiously constant water level also adds to its mystical qualities.
If you like snowy mountain hiking or skiing, you’ll love Mount Zao. This isn’t just any Japanese peak. The mountain is covered with aomori fir trees that freeze in the winter! Chilly winds sweeping from Siberia collect moisture from the Sea of Japan and completely cover the timbers in snow and ice. The effect creates a sea of towering “ice monsters” that visitors can ski through. To get the best snowy experience, try to visit between late January and early March.
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