Japan may be a small island or shall I say islands? But with four distinct seasons, the scenery can drastically change in this country. In this list, we narrowed down 5 photogenic seasonal attractions. From Hokkaido to Kyushu, the list showcases a range of landscapes that will blow your mind.
1. Hitachi Seaside Park
Depressed that the cherry blossoms have withered? Me too. Lucky for us, when the end of April rolls in, the nemophila at the Hitachi Seaside Park will be in full bloom. The Hitachi Seaside Park is a huge public park located in Ibaraki that takes up a total of over 470 acres. Throughout the year, the park showcases a variety of flowers to the public. Whether it’s tulips in the Spring or kochia in the Fall, this beautiful place will always have something to offer, but the highlight has to go to the sea of nemophila. With 4.5 million flowers in bloom, you’ll feel as if you’re on a movie set.
- Address: Onuma-aza, Mawatari, Hitachinaka, Ibaraki, Japan
- Phone: +81 29-265-9001
2. Sea of Okhotsk, Monbetsu
Considered as the most attractive prefecture, Hokkaido has a lot to offer. Whether it’s food, nature or tourist attractions, Hokkaido’s got it covered. VIsiting Hokkaido during the Summer or Autumn may be a no-brainer, but I encourage you to travel to Hokkaido during the icy Winter season. Don’t settle for Sapporo, go further North to Monbetsu to see the drift ice. Turns out you don’t have to travel to Canada or a Scandinavian country to witness the stunning winter landscape. Make sure to take the sightseeing cruise on the garinko-go and completely lose yourself to the majestic scenery. If luck is on your side, you can spot some adorable seals in their natural habitat. Now, wouldn’t that make a swoon-worthy snap?
- Address: 1 Kaiyokoen, Monbetsu-shi, Hokkaido
- Phone: +81 158-24-8000
A small mountain village in the North-West of Gifu, Shirakwago is what I consider the fairytale destination in Japan. Registered as a world heritage, the iconic houses with thatched roofs date back over three hundred years. While Shirakawago is beautiful in any given season, stop by here during the snowy season and it’ll take your breath away. The combination of huge piles of white powder on top of steep roofs will make you feel as if you’ve traveled back in time. With a captivating scenery like this, it doesn’t require much effort to get an impressive shot.
- Address: Ogi-machi, Shirakawa Village, Gifu
- Phone: +81-5769-6-1311
4. Kawachi Fujien Garden
Making a trip down to Fukuoka may seem far without a valid reason. If the best ramen in the world isn’t a good enough reason for you, why not stop by for the scenic view of the wisteria at the Kawachi Fujien Garden? While the cherry blossoms tend to get away with stealing the spotlight of the year, wisterias are a true gem on its own. Wisterias have long captivated the hearts of Japanese hearts dating all the way back to A.D. 700.
At the Kawachi Fujien Garden, you can enjoy beautiful wisterias hanging from the floral tunnel. The wisteria tunnel is absolutely mesmerizing, it makes one feel as though they’re in one of Monet’s drawing. If you want to catch a glimpse of the wisterias in full bloom, make sure to stop by at the end of April to early May and don’t forget to bring your camera in tow. You’ll be snapping away the whole time at this picture-perfect garden.
- Address: 2-2-46 Kawachi, Yahata Higashi-ku, Kitakyushu-shi, Fukuoka
- Phone: +81 93-652-0334
5. Meguro River
Tokyo may be one of the most congested cities in the world, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any scenic places to check out. Come here at the end of March and take a stroll around the Meguro river for a cherry blossom overflow. Here in Japan, we take our cherry blossoms a little too seriously. The news forecast will announce when and where the cherry blossoms are in full bloom and everybody will start making plans for hanami (flower viewing) literally every day. Considered as Tokyo’s most popular hanami location, there’s no way you can miss out on the Meguro river during the cherry blossom season. With over 800 cherry blossom trees covering both sides of the river, you can capture magical scenes both with your eyes and your camera. Also, while you’re at it, don’t forget to nosh over tasty Japanese food sold by the vendors and indulge in Hanami in true Japanese style.
- Address: Meguro-kawa, 3 Chome-9 Higashishinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo