Serenity Now! Five places to escape the crowds in Japan

Nikko

While Japan’s fast-paced cities are a veritable playground for travellers keen on bar-hopping, fine dining and vintage shopping, the quieter corners of Japan offer a peaceful getaway from Japan’s well-trodden urban centres and tourist hot spots. Here are some top escapes ideal for indulging in lo-fi pleasures (sans the crowds).

Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture

Nikko

If staying at Japan’s oldest resort, strawberry picking, hiking in nature and exploring centuries-old Shinto shrines is your thing, then the pretty city of Nikko delivers. Located in the mountainous Tochigi prefecture, Nikko is only 125 kilometres north of Tokyo, so is the perfect spot for a weekend getaway or longer jaunt. While certainly visited by domestic and international travellers, much of Nikko remains free from high rise development, so is the ideal spot to enjoy the hospitality of small, family-run hotels, traditional ryokan (Japanese inn), sixth generation sake makers and old-school eateries run by the same family for decades.

Tohoku region

Tohoku Bell

Tohoku Bell

To view gobsmacking scenery without having to elbow crowds of people out of your way, head to Tohoku. Consisting of six Prefectures, the captivating natural beauty of this part of Japan …continue reading