Japan is known for its scorching and humid summers. The heat makes many people want to spend most of the summer inside, next to the aircon, where they can stay cool.
But fear not, Japan is also home to remarkable destinations where you can find respite from the heat. From serene lakes and majestic mountains to charming cities, here are the top five cool places to visit in Japan that offer a refreshing escape during the summer months.
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If you’re looking to escape the heat, then you should consider going north to Hokkaido, where the summers are much cooler. Located in Hokkaido, Lake Toya is a breathtaking caldera lake where you can enjoy a cool retreat amid the beautiful natural views.
To reach Lake Toya, visitors can take a domestic flight to New Chitose Airport, followed by a scenic drive in a rental car, or a convenient bus journey to the lake.
At Lake Toya, you can embark on a leisurely boat and admire the tranquil waters and surrounding mountains. The area offers various activities such as hiking, cycling, and fishing.
For a truly rejuvenating experience, consider staying at one of the lakeside resorts and enjoying in the area’s renowned hot springs.
With its serene atmosphere and stunning views, Lake Toya is a perfect destination for relaxation and a break from the summer heat.
Nestled in the northern region of Honshu, Lake Towada is a beautiful destination that offers a cool respite from the summer heat.
You can explore the lake’s beauty by taking a stroll along its shores or renting a boat for a peaceful ride out on the water. The surrounding forests are also great for hiking and enjoying nature.
You should also visit the nearby Oirase Gorge, a scenic walking trail along a river gorge with breathtaking views of waterfalls.
To reach the lake, visitors can take a train to Hachinohe Station and then transfer to a bus that will take them directly to Lake Towada. You can then drive on to Oirase Gorge.
Located in Kumamoto Prefecture, Mount Aso is an awe-inspiring active volcano and one of Japan’s most popular natural attractions.
You can explore the volcanic area by hiking along its trails, or even enjoying a horseback ride.
The area also features the Aso-Kuju National Park, where you can immerse yourself in the region’s beautiful plants and wildlife.
To reach Mount Aso, visitors can take a train to Aso Station and then board a bus or taxi to the mountain.
Mount Aso’s cooler temperatures, breathtaking landscapes, and the unique experience of being near an active volcano make it a top choice for escaping the summer heat and experiencing the power of nature.
In the northernmost region of Honshu, the city of Hirosaki in the Aomori Prefecture is a charming retreat that combines cultural heritage with natural beauty.
To reach Hirosaki, visitors can take a train to Hirosaki Station, which is well-connected to major cities.
Once there, you can explore Hirosaki Park, home to the stunning Hirosaki Castle. The park is a popular spot for picnics and strolls under the shade of cherry blossom trees during springtime.
The park is famous for its thousands of blossom trees, but during summer the leafy trees provide a cool oasis for visitors.
Don’t miss the Hirosaki Nebuta Festival, held in early August, where giant illuminated floats parade through the streets, accompanied by traditional music and dance performances.
Hirosaki’s rich cultural heritage, serene atmosphere, and picturesque landscapes make it a wonderful destination to escape the summer heat while immersing yourself in Japan’s vibrant traditions.
Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route
For an extraordinary alpine experience that offers a break from the summer heat, the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route in the Northern Alps is a must-visit.
To access the route, visitors can take a train to Tateyama Station and then embark on a scenic journey that includes cable cars, buses, and a breathtaking ropeway ride.
Along the route, you will encounter majestic mountains, deep valleys, and even snow walls that can persist until mid-summer.
Take a stroll on the Snow Wall Walk, a path carved through the towering walls of snow, or enjoy the panoramic views from various observation decks.
The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route showcases the great and impressive beauty of Japan’s mountainous landscapes and offers a cool escape from the summer heat.
Cool off this summer
There are many places in Japan where you can seek relief from the summer heat. Whether you choose to relax by the tranquil lakes of Toya and Towada, explore the volcanic wonders of Mount Aso, immerse yourself in the cultural charm of Aomori Hirosaki, or embark on a breathtaking alpine journey along the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route.
These top five cool places in Japan will provide unforgettable experiences and a much-needed break from the summer heat.
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