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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan. Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan.
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare. An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare.
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife. Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife.
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan. Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan.
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara. The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara.
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower. Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower.
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving. Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving.
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky. The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky.
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

OITA Kunisaki Peninsula

Venerable shrines and temples, Buddha-filled caves and a town trapped in amber

The Kunisaki Peninsula, set in the hinterlands of northern Oita Prefecture, has a remarkable array of time-honored temples and shrines as well as thousands of statues of the Buddha in caves.

For a change of pace, there is a town built entirely in the style typical of the 1950s, when postwar Japan was still finding its feet.

Don't Miss

  • Usa-jingu Shrine, home of the Imperial Family's protective deity
  • Stepping back in time to retro Japan at Showa no Machi
  • Fukuji Temple, designated a National Treasure

How to Get There

The main stations on the peninsula are Usa and Kitsuki, both accessible by bus and train, and covered by the Japan Rail Pass . If you wish to explore the peninsula's interior, you will need to rent a car.

Flights to Oita Airport from Haneda Airport in Tokyo take less than two hours and approximately one hour from Itami Airport in Osaka. From Oita Airport, take a limousine bus to Hiji Station and transfer to the Nippo Line to access Usa or Kitsuki Station.

From Oita Station, take the Sonic-Nichirin Limited Express or the Nippou Line to Kitsuki Station (35 minutes), or the Sonic-Nichirin Limited Express train to Usa Station (38 minutes).

Discover the caves of Mt. Rakan

The caves near Rakanji Temple are home to more than 3,700 stone figures of the Buddha, including 500 rakan, or disciples of Buddha. Stroll around the area for a serene and peaceful experience.

After checking out the panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and valleys from the top of Rakanji, visit the nearby Aonodomon Tunnel, built by a monk who wanted a safer route to the temple through Kyushu Peak. According to legend, it took him 30 years to dig the tunnel by hand.

Visit Usa-jingu Shrine, the premier Hachimangu shrine

Hachiman shrines are the second most numerous in Japan after Inari shrines. Hachiman shrines enshrine the legendary Emperor Ojin, deified as Hachiman-shin, the god of warriors.

Usa-jingu Shrine in the city of the same name was the first to enshrine this deity, making it the head of all Hachimangu shrines. The shrine has very close ties to the Imperial Family, especially since the Hachimangu shrine at Usa contributed very significantly in the building of the Great Buddha at Todaiji in Nara .

The expansive grounds cover about 150,000 square meters. Enter the shrine from the front to pass beautiful Hatsusawa Pond.

The contrast of Usa's white earthen walls, vermilion pillars, and accents of black and gold is striking. The museum to the right of the approach to the shrine is well worth a visit.

Visit Fukuji, one of Japan's three Amida Buddhist temples

Built in the 8th century, Fukuji Temple in the city of Bungotakada is the oldest wooden structure in Kyushu. The main hall is a National Treasure, and its seated wooden Buddha is one of Japan's Important Cultural Properties.

The peaceful forested surroundings and tranquil atmosphere make the temple an ideal place for relaxation and contemplation. Try an hour-long zazen seated meditation practice to tap into the temple's spiritual power.

A nostalgic 3D portrait of postwar Japan

Also in Bungotakada is Showa no Machi, a re-creation of a traditional Japanese town from the 1950s that is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. Quaint shops with nostalgic signage sell electrical goods, snacks, toys and other items from the period.

Stroll the streets at your leisure or pick up a map of the neighborhood to uncover its hidden facets. There are a few museums worth visiting where toys and tools from the Showa era are on display.

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