Before such a time when corona viruses are spread all over the wor, many foreign tourists visited Japan every year. In particular, many people come to feel the beautiful four seasons of Japan, attracting tourists from various countries throughout the year. For example, they come to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom in spring, enjoy the fireworks that are a feature of summer, or seeing the snowy scenery in winter… and the purpose changes depending on the season.
In order for such tourists to enjoy the Japanese seasons more deeply, I would like to introduce recommended spots where you can feel the four seasons of Japan on this blog. This time, I will explain three places each season from the places in the Kanto area, which is close to Tokyo, which is visited by many foreign tourists.
First of all, I will introduce spring. The first one is Shinjuku-gyoen. This park is in Shinjuku, and in is one of the popular parks in Tokyo with a wide variety of trees and flowers. In addition, it is highly evaluated in terms of unexpectedness because it is located in a place that cannot be imagined if there is a place with abundant nature called Shinjuku.
There is also a greenhouse inside, where endangered plants from all over Japan are exhibited. In addition, you can enjoy various perspectives such as a Japanese garden, a pond, and a landscape-friendly garden. How about seeing various plants and healing your mind?
Also, many buildings are lined up nearby, and you can shop for clothes and food at once.
The next one is Kunitachi Station. Do you hear this name of the station? It is famous for “town for students”, and there is Hitotsubashi University- one of the most famous universities in Japan- at Kunitachi. It takes only 30 minutes from Shinjuku, and you do not have to change trains.
The photo above is called Daigaku Dori, and cherry blossoms are planted along the street. The area under the cherry blossoms is spacious, and many people enjoy cherry blossom viewing every year. In addition to cherry blossoms, rape blossoms and tulips may also bloom, making it comfortable just to pass through.
Moreover, Kunitachi is lined with fashionable cafes such as curry and pizza. After seeing
the cherry blossoms while walking, why not have a delicious meal?
This river is very famous for cherry blossoms, and every year many Japanese people visit to see them. It takes about 20 minutes from Shinjuku, and it can also visit by one train.
And the biggest attraction of the Meguro River is the illumination that takes place at night. Each cherry tree planted along the river is brighted, and that is very beautiful. Japan is often light up mainly in winter, but the cherry blossom in Meguro River is one of the big spring events and is very popular.
Moreover, there are many other sightseeing spots unique to Japane such as parks rich in nature and shrines and temples. Also, Meguro is famous for shopping and there are some big shopping streets, so you can enjoy eating or buying something.
The second season is summer, and the first place is Showa Kinen Park. This is one of the most famous parks in Tokyo, and many people visit at there all the year. Showa Kinen Park is in Tachikawa, and it takes about 30~40 minutes from Shinjuku. This park has many beautiful flowers, threes, and also it has swimming pool.
Among them, the small sunflower field is famous, and every year many women support it to take pictures of the lovely scenery.
In addition, various kinds of flowers are planted in various places, and you can enjoy the garden not only in summer but all year round.
Futhermore, many families come to the park to bring their children, because there is a large athletic space in the park where children can play. The “fluffy dome”, which is especially popular for elementary school excursions, is a unique playground equipment that is rarely seen in parks in Tokyo. Also, the pool opens in the summer, which is one of the attractions that keeps the park popular.
Enoshima is beach, and it is in Kanagawa prefecture. It takes about 1 hour and a half minutes from Shinjuku, so that is a little bit far from Tokyo. However, Enoshima has many attractive food, scenary, building, nature, and so on, so you should visit there.
In Enoshima, you can enjoy various seafood. If you walk about 15 minutes from Katase-Enoshima Station, you will reach Oiwayamichi-dori, a road linedd with many food shops. Not only can you get seafood such as shellfish and sashimi, but you can also buy souvenirs at the shops. You can see the distant sea while walking along the old-fashioned cityscape unique to Enoshima.
Of course, you can get close to the sea, and you can enjoy cycling as well as an aquarium and recreation nearby. The sun is so strong near the sea that you should not forget your sunscreen when you go there!
This river is very famous for fireworks festival. Many Japanese people visit for this day’s fireworks display every year. The fireworks made in the area where this river is located are the oldest in Japan and have been made since the Edo period. Approximately 20.,000 fireworks are launched each year, and the variety is so great that it is worth seeing. A lot of tourists rent yukata and enjoy fireworks at a nearby kimono shop.
You can get there by trains in 30 minutes, and I want like you to enjoy this summer-only Japanese tradition.
Furthermore, there is a very famous tourist destination called Asakusa near the Sumida River. In addition to dumplings and rice crakers, which are representative of Japan, you can also eat Asakusa specialties such as ichigo-daifuku and kaminari-okoshi. You can also eat while walikin, so I would like foreign tourists to go there once.
The next season is autumn. The first one is Takao Mountain. This is the easiest mountain to climb in Tokyo and is a popular mountain for hiking. It takes less than an hour, and you only have to get on a train. There are many courses for a variety of people, from beginners to advanced climbers. Therefore, many children come to play on excursions in kindergartens and elementary schools.
In this way, autumn leaves and ginkgo trees spread in various colors, and you can climb the mounatain while feeling this beautiful scenary. Also, when you go down the mountain, you can feel the autumn leaves more closely by using a cable car or a lift. It will be an irreplaceable memory to enjoy the beautiful scenery of autumn while healing your tired body as you climb.
There are many hot springs nearby and various other sightseeing spots, so it is a good place to go to play in the autumn.
The next spot is Nikko. This is in Tochigi prefecture, north of Kanto area. So it takes about three hours from Shinjuku, and you shold use shinkansen if you want. Nikko is very famous in Japan as a hot spring town and is visited by many tourists every year. In particular, Nikko Toshogu, where Ieyasu Tokugawa, a famous military commander in Japan, is enshrined, has beautiful autumn leaves and many people come there.
Like this, you can see the autumn leaves of Nikko while taking a hot spring. It this very luxurious, isn’t it? It is autumn, so it is a good temperature to take a hot spring outside.
Also, contrary to the summer section above, mountain products are very popular in Nikko. For example, yuba, rice, yam, butterbur sprout, wasabi and so on. How about eating delicious mountain food after soothing your mood at the hot springs?
The last one of autumn section is Hakone. This is in Kanagawa prefecture, but it is far from Enoshima. It takes about two hours from Shinjuku, and if you want, I recommend to get on limited express called “Romance Car”. You can enjoy beautiful scenery from the train.
Hakone is similar to Nikko, because this is also famous for hot springs. In particular, Owakudani is a popular tourist destination as it is the source of large hot springs. “Black eggs” are a specialty, and the whole area smells of sulfur. It is proof that the hot springs are springing nearby.
Hakone is also famous for art, and there are many popular art museum at there. Venetian Glass Museum is one of it, and you can see many beautiful glasswork. Also, you are able to experience it, and you can make what you like. There is also the world-famous Saint Exupery’s work, Star Preice Museum. It is a cute museum that reproduces the cityscape and scenery that appear in the story and acan be enjoyed even if you have never read it.
Finally, I will introduce the winter season’s recommendation. The first place is Kegon Falls. Actually this is in Nikko, same as written above. There is a large waterfall in nature, and in winter the water freezes and becomes an icicle. Nikko is surrounded by mountains and has a very cool climate, so it is very cold in winter and the water freezes.
It is cold, but the water is so clean that you will be amazed at the huge icicles. It is very transparent and you will be impressed by just looking at it.
And as I wrote above, there are many hot springs in Nikko, so it is recommended to warm your cold body and cultivate your spirit.
The next spot is Ashikaga Flower Park. Actually it is little bit close to Nikko, and it takes two or three hours from Shinjuku. If you are lucky, you can go there in two hours and using only two trains.
This park is famous for its wide variety of flowers all year round. The wisteria tunnel is particularly impressive, and many tourists visit it even in the spring. However, this is not the only attraction of this park.
Illuminations are very popular in this park as shown in the photo above, and it has been ranked number one in Japan’s illumination rankings for five consecutive years. The whole park is surrounded by light, and you can enjoy a fantastic view of the world. As the catchphrase “Flower and Light Paradise” suggests, it is one of the best illuminations in Japan.
The last one is Yomiuriland. This is an amusement park, and it is in Tokyo. You can get there in 30 minutes from Shinjuku. This amusement park is full of attractions even if it is not winter, so you can fully enjoy it. However, the illuminations that are lit at night are also beautiful here, and many tourists visit every year. Despite the amusement park, some people visit at night just for this illumination.
In addition to just turning on the light, illuminations using things such as fountains and character shows are also actively made.
It is a dream amusement park where you can bring your children, relax with a couple, and have a variety of ways to enjoy it.
How was that? There are various ways to enjoy the four seasons in Japan, and all of them are something you definitely want to experience. All places can be reached within three hours from Shinjuku, and you can fully enjoy it on a day trip. If you are interested in somewhere, please come visit there!
Thank you for reading my blog.
・Shinjuku-gyoen offitial HP
新宿御苑 | 一般財団法人国民公園協会 (fng.or.jp)
・Kunitachi Sakuramori HP
・Meguro Tourism Association HP
個性的な公園に癒されるまち めぐろ ｜めぐる・めぐろ 〜めぐろ観光まちづくり協会〜 (meguro-kanko.com)
・Showa Kinen Park official HP
国営昭和記念公園公式ホームページ | 日本を代表する国営公園 「花」「緑」イベント満載の都会のオアシス (showakinen-koen.jp)
・Fujisawa-shi Tourism official website
観光スポット-江の島 | 藤沢市観光公式ホームページ (fujisawa-kanko.jp)
・Sumida River Fireworks Festival official website
隅田川花火大会 公式Webサイト (sumidagawa-hanabi.com)
・Mt. Takao Promenade HP
高尾山遊歩 | 登山コース・観光スポット・ご当地グルメ・服装・ハイキング情報満載！ (takaozanyuho.com)
・Nikko Prefecture Tourism HP
・Onsen News HP
【紅葉露天・栃木】紅葉の渓谷に面した絶景露天風呂で極上の湯を満喫。平家の落人伝説が残る隠れ里の湯●湯西川温泉 彩り湯かしき花と華 | おんせんニュース (onsennews.com)
・Hakonemachi Tourism Association official website
箱根町観光協会公式サイト 温泉・旅館・ホテル・観光情報満載！ (hakone.or.jp)
・Ashikaga Flower Park HP
あしかがフラワーパーク 【 公式サイト 】 (ashikaga.co.jp)
・Yomiuriland official website