Top Tourist Attractions in Honshu
Honshu is the largest island, known as the Mainland, of Japan. It is a mountainous region and known for frequent earthquakes. Mount Fuji is the highest peak and another highlight is the Japanese Alps.The majority of the population on Honshu island reside in and around Tokyo and Yokohama. Other cities on the island include Kyoto, Osaka and Nagoya.The economy is mainly devoted to fishing and agriculture.
The Rikuchu-kaigan National Park extends for more than 110mi/ 180km along the east coast at the northern tip of Honshu, an ever-changing landscape of cliffs, rock terraces and small coves and inlets (rias). The vegetation consists predominantly of rhododendrons; the wildlife includes large numbers of sea birds (gulls, petrels).The best center from which to see the National Park is the town of Miyako, from which there are coach excursions to the most beautiful parts of the park. To the north of the town lies Jodogahama Beach, with its dark fringe of pines and its white sand one of the most beautiful beaches in the region. Other attractive beaches are at Tara, Omoto and Kurosaki, farther north. At Kitayamazaki the cliffs reach a height of 985ft/ 300m.The coasts in the southern part of the National Park are flatter, edged with dunes which are planted with pines. There is a particularly beautiful beach at Goishi-kaigan.
The Bandai-Asahi National Park, in northern Honshu, consists of four separate and unconnected parts. The most southerly part is Lake Inawashiro with its immediate surroundings; to the east are the Bandai-Azuma Mountains; northwest of the lake rises Mount Iide; and far to the north the largest section of the park contains the Asahi Massif and the three sacred hills of Dewa-Sanzan.Lake Inawashiro is in Fukushima prefecture; the Bandai-Azuma Mountains extend into the southern part of Yamagata prefectures; and the Asahi Mountains are in Yamagata prefecture.The region around Lake Inawashiro, Japan's fourth largest lake, is most easily reached from the town of Koriyama, to the east. The lake was formed by the deposit of masses of lava from the Bandai and Nekoma volcanoes, and now supplies water for irrigation in the Koriyama area and for the provision of hydroelectric power. The finest view of the lake is from the Kohiragata-Tenjin Shrine.
Towada-Hachimantai National Park is a beautiful natural area, consisting of forests and lakes. The park has two distinct sections which include Lake Towada in the north and the Hachimantai Plateau in the south.
The Chubu-Sangaku National Park, in the center of Honshu, takes in the northern (Hida Mountains) and central regions of the mountains
known as the "Japan Alps" and contains the highest peaks in Japan after Fujiyama. The Japan Alps are very similar to the Alps of Central Europe both in character of the landscape and in the abundance of snow in winter.The mountains attract large numbers of walkers and climbers in summer and skiers in winter. The plant life is varied, differing in pattern with altitude. Ptarmigan and mountain antelopes are found at the higher altitudes.The highest peaks in the National Park, from north to south, are Norikura (9,928ft/ 3,026m), the active volcano Yake (8,055ft/ 2,455m), Hotaka (10,466ft/ 3,190m), Yari (10,434ft/ 3,180m), Tateyama (9,892ft/ 3,015m) and Shirouma (9,623ft/ 2,933m). The many hot springs all over the park have led to the development of various spas and holiday resorts, the best known of which is Kamikochi (alt 4,920ft/ 1,500m). The River Kurobe flows through the mountains from south to north, and the construction of the Kurobe Dam has created a large lake which adds to the beauty of the scenery.
Shirakami-Sanchi is noted as an unspoiled expanse of virgin forest that has maintained a high level of preservation. The area has never been opened to human activity or trails other than mountain climbers' paths, and the intention is keep it in this protected state.Shirakami-Sanchi became a World Heritage site in 1993. Siebold beech trees make up a large part of the forest as well as Japanese Hop-hornbeam and other species of tall deciduous trees.
Shirakawa-go is located in the remote mountains that span Gifu. Some of the traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses are as much as 250 years old and the site was declared a World Heritage site in 1995.The architectural style includes steep thatched roofs that were built to resemble the hands of Buddhist monks in prayer. The style of the roof was designed to withstand the large amounts of heavy snow that falls in the region during winter months.
Address: Hatoya, Japan
Facilities: Gift shop
Kamakura has a long history, with the first Shogunate government in the city beginning in the 12th Century. There is much to see in and around Kamakura including numerous temples, the spring cherry blossom bloom in spring, and the beach. Komachi Dori street is also a popular area for tourists, with shops and restaurants.
The Buddhist temple of Kotokuin in Kamakura is renowned for the Great Buddha. The statue is an outdoor bronze statue that apparently dates from 1252. It was originally housed in a temple that washed away in 1498.
Kobe has served as an important Japanese port town located on the calm waters of the Seto Inland Sea. Much of the city was destroyed in 1995 by the Great Hanshin Earthquake. Kobe rose from the ashes with more attractions, hotels, and urban redevelopment.
Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution
The Disaster Reduction Museum highlights experience and lessons learned from the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in 1995. The Human Renovation Museum allows visitors to realize and understand the preciousness of life.
Address: 1-5-2 Kaigan-dori, Wakinohama,, Kobe, Kansai 651-0078, Japan
Opening hours: Jul 1 to Sep 30: 9:30am-6pm; Fri: 9:30am-7pm; Closed: Mon
Oct 1 to Jun 30: 9:30am-5:30pm; Fri: 9:30am-7pm; Closed: Mon
Oct 1 to Jun 30: 9:30am-5:30pm; Fri: 9:30am-7pm; Closed: Mon
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), New Year's Eve (Dec 31)
Entrance fee in JPY: Adult ¥800.00, Students ¥640.00, Child ¥400.00
Yokohama is a major commercial hub of the Greater Tokyo Area with a population of 3.6 million. As a port city, visitors can enjoy watching the ships sail in and out of the harbour.The city of Yokohama has one of the biggest Chinatowns in the world. There are many any festivals and events each year.
Sankeien Garden is one of the most picturesque in Japan with villas, a farmhouse, a pagoda, and other authentic buildings. The garden was designed and landscaped by Sankei Hara, a wealthy businessman.The outer garden was opened to the public in 1906. The Sankei Memorial features his many accomplishments through exhibits and art work. He was a great supporter of young artists.
Address: 231-0824 Yokohama-shi, Japan
Opening hours: 9am-5pm
Entrance fee in JPY: Annual pass or membership ¥4500.00, Adult ¥500.00, Child ¥200.00