Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
  • Hokkaido
Sub-zero temperatures and the greatest of outdoor environments, complemented by sizzling soul food and warm-hearted welcomes. 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
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Sleek apple-red and electric-green shinkansen whisk you up to a haven of fresh powder snow, fresh fruit and fearsome folk legends Fearsome festivals, fresh powder and vast fruit orchards—the rugged northern territory of Tohoku offers a fresh perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
Mountains and sea meet in one of Japan's wildest regions, and the result is sheer beauty. Once largely inaccessible, Hokuriku is now reachable by shinkansen from Tokyo in a matter of hours An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Characterized by the constant buzz of the world's most populous metropolitan area, the Kanto region is surprisingly green with an array of escapes that include mountainous getaways and subtropical islands Experience diversity at its fullest, from the neon of Tokyo to the ski slopes of Gunma, exotic wildlife of the Ogasawara Islands and cultural heritage of Kamakura
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Served by the shinkansen line that connects Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the Tokai region provides plenty of interesting diversions and easy excursions Tokai means "eastern sea," and this region stretches east from Tokyo to Kyoto and includes blockbuster attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
From raucous nights out to outdoor thrills to peaceful reverie, trying to categorize the Kansai region is a futile task The Kansai region is one of extreme contrasts—the neon lights of Osaka and glittering Kobe nightscape, the peaceful realms of Shiga, Wakayama and Nara, and the cultured refinement of Kyoto
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Less-traveled and delightfully inaccessible at times, the Chugoku region is a reminder that the journey is sometimes more important than the destination Welcome to Japan's warm and friendly western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Providing the stage for literary classics, fevered dancing and natural wonders Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
Easily reached by land, sea and air, the dynamic Kyushu prefectures are bubbling with energy, culture and activity The southern island of Kyushu is home to volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky, succulent seafood, steaming hot springs and the country's hottest entrepreneurial town
  • Okinawa
Ruins and recreated castles of the Ryukyu kings nestle amid magnificent beaches in Okinawa, a diver's paradise teeming with an amazing array of coral and undersea life 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


Tadewara Wetlands タデ原湿原

Protected marshlands filled with rare flora and fauna, with peak trekking possibilities nearby

Located near the Kuju mountain range, both Tadewara Marshland and Bogatsuru Wetland are ecosystems that preserve unusual flora and also shelter various forms of wildlife. Tadewara and Bogatsuru were registered as protected under the Ramsar Convention in 2005, signifying it to be of high ecological importance.

The Kuju mountains offer trails up to peaks such as Mt. Ito and Mt. Mimata, with some of the routes requiring a full day to cover. Many of the paths are suitable for all ages, however.

Don't Miss

  • The Chojabaru Visitor Center's extensive exhibits on the wetlands and nearby Kuju peaks
  • A stroll on the cedar boardwalk across the marsh
  • Hiking up and around Mt. Ito and Mt. Mimata

How to Get There

The area is accessible by bus and car from a number of other major sites in the area.

Buses go to Chojabaru Visitor Center from Yufuin Station, Bungo-nakamura Station, Beppu Station, Kurokawa Onsen and Kumamoto Bus Terminal.

From Bungo-nakamura Station, take the Hita-bound bus for Makinoto Pass and get off at the Kuju Mountain Trailhead.

Get oriented at the visitor center

You can find out about the region’s geography, typography and ecology at the Chojabaru Visitor Center, which has two floors of exhibits devoted to the wetlands and marshlands as well as the Kuju mountain range.

There are two films in English about the area. One highlights the area’s stunning flora and fauna, while the other explains the annual burning of the grassy area. This practice, which dates from ancient times, promotes the regrowth and revitalization of plant ecosystems.

Getting to the paths

Exit the center from the first floor for direct access to the wetlands, where you can choose from a range of routes across the cedar boardwalks designed to protect the delicate ecosystem from damage. Look out for grasses and flowers that peek through the gaps in the boardwalk.

Rising above the wetlands

With walks ranging from a 20-minute stroll to a 60-minute hike, there is a route for all levels of walker and explorer. The Forest Trail travels through marshlands, grasslands and forest via a moss zone, where you may spot indigenous wildlife.

Scaling local peaks, and camping out for more

Follow the trail from Chojabaru which leads up to the tops of Mt. Ito, and three-domed Mt. Mimata, both of which offer incredible views of the scenery below. In warmer months, the wetlands are lush and green but as temperatures fall, they turn beautiful shades of golden brown. The area also has excellent camping facilities if you'd like to explore for another day.

The changing of the seasons

Depending on the season, you can find different flowers in bloom. A guided walk to point out specific aspects of the area is available on some Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year.

In search of lucky raccoon dogs

If you travel deep enough into the wetlands and through the surrounding forest, there’s a chance you’ll be able to spot a tanuki, or raccoon dog. Considered bringers of good luck, these cute, fuzzy creatures have been prominent in Japanese folklore and proverbs since the beginning of time, partly because they're rumored to be shape changers.

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