|Above, our view of Atami from our ryokan terrace. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
As the numbers of foreign tourists rise in Japan, so, too, will the crowds in popular destinations such as Tokyo and Kyoto.
Nikkei Asian Review has an article on how more "seasoned" tourists are venturing "off the beaten path" to visit other areas of Japan. I have done this on several occasions. I have gone up north to Sendai and Matsushima and south to Kyushu to see Sasebo, Mount Aso and Nagasaki.
TOKYO -- From robots that look like they are straight out of science fiction, to 1,500-year-old Shinto shrines, Japan offer the visitor a myriad of cultural experiences, both modern and ancient.
But these days, more overseas visitors are looking for a different take on Japan, one that takes them beyond famous destinations such as Tokyo and Kyoto.
First-time visitors to Japan often take the so-called Golden Route, which runs more-or-less in a straight line from Tokyo to Osaka, around 500km to the southwest. The route covers the major tourist meccas -- Tokyo, Hakone, Mt. Fuji, Nagoya, Kyoto, and Osaka. Some seasoned travelers, on the other hand, prefer to get off the beaten path.One of the places mentioned in the article was the hot spring town of Atami, which is about an hour's ride out of Tokyo via shinkansen:
According to Rakuten, an online retailer with a big travel business, Atami in Shizuoka Prefecture saw 282.7% more foreign tourists last year than in 2014, the biggest year-on-year increase. The town, known for its hot springs and fresh seafood, is less than an hour by train from Tokyo. Visitors can also enjoy Atami Castle, traditional shopping arcades, shrines and temples.We spent an enjoyable night in Atami last October. Besides the hot bath, we enjoyed the view we had from our room and the fact that there were no crowds.
|Above, Aiden and Denise at one of the outdoor baths at the Atami Shinkakoya. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
Although Mount Fuji is a popular destination for foreign tourists, and is part of the Golden Route, Denise and I talked yesterday about trying out the new train to Mount Fuji later this year. (I wrote about the train here.) There should be fewer crowds during the time we plan to go (in autumn).
To read more, go here.