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
  • Kyushu
  • Oita
  • Kokonoe Yume Grand Suspension Bridge


Kokonoe Yume Grand Suspension Bridge 九重“夢”大吊橋

Suspended high in mid-air over a remote forested valley

Traversing the Kokonoe Yume Grand Suspension Bridge in western Oita Prefecture is like walking across the sky. Japan's longest and loftiest pedestrian bridge, it presents panoramic scenes of Oita’s verdant countryside, including two waterfalls, the Naruko River and the valley 173 meters below.

The nearby Kuju mountain range and Handa highlands are great places to trek, and this area also boasts the Tadewara Wetlands and several onsen, chief among Kurokawa Onsen.

Don't Miss

  • Shindo no taki and Medaki, among Japan's most beautiful falls
  • The abundant wildlife of the expansive Narukogawa Keikoku forest
  • Mt. Mimata and Mt. Waita in the Kuju mountain range

How to Get There

JR Oita Station is served by the Kyudai, Hohi and Nippo Main lines, offering access to much of Kyushu.

Take the Kyudai main line train to Bungo-Nakamura Station and catch a local bus to the bridge.

Crossing en masse, and you'll see why

The bridge is designed to hold 1800 people at once, which may seem like a lot until you consider that 300,000 crossed it during the first month it was open in 2006. Views from this bridge are impressive year-round. The best time to visit is between April and early December, particularly from mid-April to May to see the lush green spring foliage and in November for the fiery autumn colors.

Exploring the mountains, highlands and wetlands

Located in Aso-Kuju National Park, Handa Highland's hills range in altitude from 800 to 1200 meters, wonderful countryside for wandering across that is close to several hot springs, including Kanno Jigoku, Ukenokuchi and Chojabaru. The Kuju mountain range offers plenty of hiking possibilities both casual and demanding.

The Tadewara Wetlands, meanwhile, make up an ecosystem lovingly preserved and protected to the west of the Kuju mountains. It features many rare and endangered species of flora, which are all detailed in the visitors center in English.

Helpful services

Free wheelchair rental is available from the Nakamura area tourist information center, and at the ticket counter in the Kitakata area. There are also free lockers, ample parking, vending machines, toilets and a tourist information center with Wi-Fi.

A few restrictions

Adverse weather conditions, a natural disaster or busy periods may keep you from crossing the bridge. Activities such as flying drones, sitting, running and using umbrellas are not allowed on the bridge.

Due to the grate on the floor of the bridge, avoid using thin walking canes and walking in high heels.

Not just a bridge

The city of Oita is known for its abundance of fresh produce and friendly locals. If nature and home comforts are your thing, head here for a couple of days. There are plenty of bubbling onsen to relax in, and the Japanese monkey inhabited Mt. Takasaki is close by.

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