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MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES IN JAPAN YOU NEED TO VISIT (PART 1)

by Shigeki Abe January 21, 2015 

MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES IN JAPAN YOU NEED TO VISIT (

Japan is full of natural wonder and beauty. While Tokyo and Kyoto might get all the attention, there are some jaw droppingly beautiful places in rural Japan. In this multi-part post, we’ll explore places which have officially been named, “The Most Beautiful Villages of Japan.”

日本で最も美しい村連合( Nihon de mottomo utsukushii mura-rengō)or “The Association of The Most Beautiful Villages in Japan” was established in 2005 to help conserve and enhance the Japanese rural heritage. As part of their work, the association names certain area of Japan as “the most beautiful villages in Japan”. Towns that receive this recognition get many benefits, such as conservation development, tourism awareness, and government sponsored local craft/food fairs. Currently there are 49 villages that have received this prestigious designation.

Criteria for recognition include:

  • Less than 10,000 population
  • Having regional sustainable resources
  • Previous and on-going efforts taken for sustainable use of local resources
  • Local resources must be protected by public means, such as zoning and Ordinance

In part 1 of this series, we’ll explore the gorgeous places in Hokkaido.

Biei ( 美瑛  ), Hokkaido

Biei is famous for its wide fields and hills, and is used as a backdrop for many Japanese commercials and TV programs. The bright colored farm fields attract thousands of visitors. The “Road of Patchwork”, “Hills of Zerubu” and “Shikisai-no-oka” have some of the most spectacular views. The hills are painted with lines and patches of alternating colors,  which can be explored not only by foot, but also by bicycles and golf carts — definitely a must-see in Hokkaido.
Biei Hokkaido
Although the hills may look like vast parkland open to the public, but most of them are actually private property of farmers, tending to various crops such as pumpkins, potatoes, melons, wheat, beans, sweet corn, and tomatoes. So once you’ve enjoyed the view, you can head over to the shops and buy various products that are actually produced in the field. Don’t miss the different seasonal flavors of soft-serve ice cream including melon, lavender, and pumpkin!

MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES IN JAPAN YOU NEED TO VISIT (

The Blue Pond (Aoiike) is also a must-visit place especially for photographers, where the natural minerals gives the water an extra blue. The reflection of the trees and branches are magical and spectacular