Departure from Tokyo Station and Leisurely Shopping at MORIPARK Outdoor Village
When going on a journey to enjoy nature, it is important to prepare in advance. Begin your journey by taking a leisurely shopping trip to Akishima, which is a bit calmer than the center of Tokyo.
The new "MORIPARK Outdoor Village" commercial facility lets visitors experience the charms of the outdoors, providing an environment where visitors can enjoy not only shopping and gourmet food, but also fun outdoor activities such as a miniature hiking course, open grassy spaces, a rock climbing wall, and more.
Snow Peak at MORIPARK Outdoor Village
Snow Peak is a comprehensive manufacturer of outdoor products, boasting industry-leading quality with a focus on materials and functions. With their sophisticated designs, Snow Peak products are overwhelmingly popular both in Japan and abroad. MORIPARK Outdoor Village has a Snow Peak store where you can purchase a wide range of outdoor products for campers of any level, from beginner to veteran. Snow Peak also posts camping meals and outdoor information on their official Instagram account, which can help in collecting information before going camping.
30 minutes by train(JR)
Enjoying Tokyo's Nature at Mt. Takao, a Three Michelin Star Mountain
Once you are ready to enjoy nature, ease into it at Mt. Takao, where you can easily savor nature.
One of the great things about Mt. Takao is the easy access from the center of Tokyo, with tourists visiting it throughout the year. Mt. Takao was also awarded three stars by the Michelin Guide, the same as Mt. Fuji.
Mt. Takao is easily accessible from the center of Tokyo and is visited by many tourists throughout the year. Head Temple Takao-san Yakuo-in is located halfway to the top of Mt. Takao, providing benefits such as good luck and warding off evil, and Mt. Takao also has numerous power spots in the area. In 2007 Mt. Takao, together with Mt. Fuji, received a three-star rating in the Michelin Guide, and the number of tourists from both Japan and abroad has increased, making it known as the mountain with the largest number of climbers in the world. In 2020 Mt. Takao was recognized as "Japan Heritage" by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, and is attracting even more attention. Every year around the winter solstice in December, when viewed from the summit of Mt. Takao, the sun sets right above Mt. Fuji and you can see the "Diamond Fuji" phenomenon that looks like a brilliant, shining jewel.
45 minutes by train(JR)
45 minutes by bus
90 minutes by highway bus
Days 3 to 12
Head to Kyushu in Search of Mysterious Natural Scenery
Kyushu has had deep ties to other Asian countries such as China and the Korean Peninsula since ancient times.
It is said that the Kingdom of Yamatai, which appears in the account of the Wa people (Gishi-Wajinden), part of the Chinese historical account the "The Record of the Three Kingdoms (Sangokushi)," existed in Kyushu. The region has deep connections with Japanese mythology, such as in the areas around Hyuga and Takachiho, and the region also has a powerful, mysterious charm.
Visitors to the Usuki Stone Buddhas, one of Oita's national treasures, can imagine how people lived in the ancient times. Amanoiwato Shrine in Miyazaki, which features prominently in Japanese mythology, is also a must-see location.
After learning about the relationship between volcanoes and religion at Mt. Aso Nakadake crater in Kumamoto, you will head to see the mangroves of Amami Oshima island in Kagoshima, which were registered as a World Natural Heritage Site in 2021. You will also have the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful views together with a canoeing expericence.
To conclude your journey, you will go on a hike while basking in the magnificent nature at Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine in Yakushima island in Kagoshima. The spectacular scenery will move you and cleanse your soul.
Usuki Stone Buddhas (Usuki City, Oita Prefecture)
(Buddha figure(s) carved into a cliff or natural rock face) are indispensable in knowing that a mountain was a place of worship. Among the magaibutsu
, the Usuki Stone Buddhas in Usuki City, Oita Prefecture are a group of stone Buddhas that are said to have been carved from the late Heian era to the Kamakura era, and the 59 figures of the Usuki Stone Buddhas were designated as a national treasure for the first time in 1995 due to their scale, quantity, and carving quality (currently, all 61 magaibutsu
are national treasures). The Usuki Stone Buddhas are divided into four groups, and many of the stone Buddhas are enshrined. Every one of them also has its own rich expression that gives peace of mind to all that gaze upon them. From June to July, you can also enjoy beautiful lotus flowers in the lotus field at Stone Buddhas Park.
120 minutes by car
Amanoiwato Shrine / Amanoyasukawara
Located in Takachiho, Miyazaki Prefecture, Amanoiwato Shrine is mentioned in Japanese mythology (in the Kojiki
, ancient Japanese accounts of myths, legends, and histories), and this location is home to the cave that appears in the myth where the sun goddess Amaterasu Omikami hid herself away from the world at Amanoiwato. On either side of the Iwato River are the West Shrine Building (Nishi Hongu
) and the East Shrine Building (Higashi Hongu
), with the sacred cave of Amanoiwato being enshrined at the West Shrine Building, and the place where Amaterasu first lived after leaving the cave being enshrined at the East Shrine Building. The myth states that when Amaterasu shut herself away in the cave, the other Shinto deities held a meeting over several days at Amanoyasukawara to find a way to draw her out. It is said that if you pile up stones there and make a wish, then your wish will be granted, and there are many such piles of stones that have been placed there by people offering prayers.
90 minutes by car
Mt. Aso Nakadake Crater
Feel the raw strength of the earth at Aso Caldera, which can rightfully be called a symbol of the land of fire. Rough and hardened lava spreads out across the caldera, and within the heart of the caldera are the five smaller peaks of the Aso Gogaku (Nekodake, Takadake, Nakadake, Eboshidake, and Kijimadake), and Nakadake is still active today.
At Nakadake you can view a mysterious pool of water that shines a brilliant emerald green, and there are times when the volcanic activity is so intense that visitors cannot come near. It should be a striking, dynamic, and unforgettable view. Grasslands and marshes spread out around the area, inhabited by precious plants and animals. The area also has numerous springs, waterfalls, and hot springs, etc., and it is quite popular as a scenic spot where you can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities.
80 minutes by car
90 minutes by bus
120 minutes by car
Mangrove Park (Amami Oshima)
Amami-Oshima was registered as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site in July 2021, and its beautiful sea and mangroves are sure to be a highlight of your journey. At the Forest in Black Current Mangrove Park, you can go on a canoeing experience, and this is a superb opportunity to see the virgin mangrove forest up close. At high tide you can canoe through mangrove tunnels, enveloped and overpowered by the force of nature, and at low tide you can see the mangrove roots, crabs, and other creatures on the wide tidal flats, which will surely arouse your adventurous spirit. Also, a World Natural Heritage center will open next to the Forest in Black Current Mangrove Park in the summer of 2022. Learning about the unique development of Amai-Oshima's vegetation will definitely enrich your adventure in this mangrove forest.
140 minutes by ferry
Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine (Yakushima)
“Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine” is located in Yakushima, a World Natural Heritage island, and a wide range of generations from kids to seniors enjoy trekking in the vast forest. The fantastical and dreamy forest where hundreds of long-lived cedars and moss weave a tapestry of fresh greenery is said to have been a model for Hayao Miyazaki's anime movie "Princess Mononoke." If you have ever seen the movie, you will soak up the silent ambiance of the movie scene. If you go even further, to the gigantic Taikoiwa Rock, you can overlook an extensive view that changes season to season. Spring in particular is breathtaking, with pink wild cherry blossoms and yellow green leaves creating a stunningly beautiful view.
This journey involves a trip through the nature of Tokyo and Kyushu, providing the perfect opportunity to experience the beauty of nature, a variety of activities, and the faith and worship that are rooted in these two regions.
Example transportation have been provided for reference, but walking around and exploring in the areas near the spots introduced in this journey is also recommended.
*The information provided here is as of March 2022.
*Transportation information does not include the number of transfers or transfer time.
*Admission fees may be charged depending on the spot/facility.For the latest information on business hours, days when spots/facilities are regularly closed, and prices, etc., please check the official website for each spot/facility or check directly with the spot/facility.