Japan’s hotlist for 2021: discover new attractions

As vaccination is gaining traction around the world, let’s start dreaming again of our travel wish list. Here is a highlight of some new sights and activities in Japan that are not to be missed in 2021, once travel restrictions are lifted in the future.

Rural escapes in Tohoku

This year marks ten years since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami that ravaged the Tohoku region in northern Japan. Michinoku Coastal Trail is a 1000 km route along the coast of Tohoku, inaugurated in 2019 as a way to reconnect humans and natures, as well as locals and visitors. Hikers can also walk shorter segments of the trail, while embracing the picturesque rural landscapes.

In the Yamagata prefecture, Nipponia Hotel is a new “kimono retreat” to be opened in the spring, 2021. The hotel is the renovated residence of Okuyama, and boasts a historical link with the notable ‘daimyo’ (feudal lord) Uesugi Yozan, who governed the southern part of Yamagata in the 18th century. Guests will be able to immerse into traditional culture and architecture, crafts and cuisine.

Nishikawa Town in Yamagata. Photo: ©Gassan.Nishikawa/©JNTO

Varied Shizuoka

Infinitely popular for its convenient location near Mt Fuji, Shizuoka holds so much more. The area has green tea plantations, wasabi farms, heavenly hot springs, white sandy beaches and authentic castles that make it Japan’s Amalfi Coast. You can enjoy spectacular views of Fuji from a penthouse hot spring sauna in the recently opened Fujisan Mishima Tokyu Hotel, the perfect stop on the way to the bamboo groves and temples of Shuzenji.

Picturesque new glamping site in Mie

Mie prefecture is home to the most sacred shrine, Ise shrine. It is also the birthplace of the famous Iga Ninja. In the remote beautiful valley of Uga, a new sustainable campground will open this spring, Hygge Circles Ugakei by Nordisk. The site was fully constructed using renewable materials and repurposed building waste. It’s a collaboration between Japanese and Danish design, featuring circular wooden cabins and glamping tents in a Japanese lush forest. Guests will be able to participate in various outdoor activities on site.


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