In Japan there are many famous sightseeing spots everybody knows. Also there are many excellent places not many people know about, even we Japanese don’t. Actually many of them are impressive and worth visiting. I recommend 6 excellent Japan’s best-kept secrets.
#1. Oya History Museum – Tochigi
Utsunomiya in Tochigi is very famous for its tasty dumplings. But there is another attraction. It’s the Oya history museum that was underground stone quarry before. It is like underground palace and very unique place. The powerful, magical atmosphere there is overwhelming.
Some space is used for events like shows and concerts. Its atmosphere is great with the space, the lights and the fog. The temperature there is constant at 8 degree throughout the year. You feel a little cold even in summer. It is highly recommended to visit this place when you visit Tochigi.
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Oya History Museum
Address: 909 Oya-cho, Utsunomiya City, Tochigi
Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Website: Oya History Museum
#2. Sankyo Village Sunset View – Toyama
Tonami plain in Toyama is one of the largest plains in Japan. There is a very unique and tranquil view of Sankyo Village that houses are scattered all across its flat plain. Sunset you can see from sankyo village observation is spectacular. The contrast of the sunset and a typical Japanese rice farming village is very beautiful. On sunny days you can see not only Tonami plain but also Toyama bay.
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Sankyo Village Observation Deck
Address: 160 Gotani, Tonami City, Toyama Prefecture
Website: Tonami City (Japanese)
#3. Terraced Paddy Field in Mt.Ue – Hyogo
Kamicho in Hyogo is a very beautiful village. A terraced paddy field in Mt.Ue there is selected as one of the Top 100 Terraced Paddy Fields in Japan but not well- known. It’s not large much but a beautiful landscape and makes you wanna take pictures. Also the rice that the local group farm is really good and is loved very much by local people.
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Terraced Paddy Field in Mt.Ue
Address: Ojiro-ku Nukida, Kami-cho, Mikata-gun, Hyogo
Phone: 0-796-97-2250 (Kamicho Ojiro tourism association)
Webiste: Ojiro Tourism (Japanese)
#4. Satte Gongendo – Saitama
There are many famous Sakura viewing spots in Tokyo but Sakura in Satte, one hour away from Tokyo is recommended. You can enjoy seeing such a beautiful contrast of Sakura and canola flowers. Besides Sakura, in every seasons you can see beautiful flowers like hydrangea in early summer, red spider lily in autumn and narcissus in winter. It is worth visiting.
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Address: 887-3 Uchigoma, Satte City, Saitama Prefecture
8:30 AM -7:00 PM (April – September)
8:30 AM – 5:00 PM (October – March)
#5. Adachi Museum of Art – Shimane
As for beautiful gardens, Kyoto is very famous. Actually Adachi Museum of Art in Shimane is not so famous for Japanese but their gardens are chose one of the most beautiful gardens by The Journal of Japanese Gardening in the United States. Also the museum has a great collection of Japanese paintings by famous painters. It is worth visiting to see both paintings and gardens.
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Adachi Museum of Art
Address: 320 Furukawa-cho, Yasugi, Shimane Prefecture
1,800yen (University Students)
1,000yen (High School Students)
500yen (Elementary or Junior High School Student)
9:00 AM – 5:30 PM (April – September)
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (October – March)
Website: Adachi Museum
#6. Buddha of Ushiku – Ibaraki
The great buddha in Nara or Kamakura is very famous and one of the most popular sightseeing spots among not only Japanese but also foreign tourists. But have you ever heard of the Buddha in Ushiku, Ibaraki in Japan ? Japanese who lives in Kanto region may know but this Buddha is not famous all over Japan.
However this Buddha is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the tallest Buddhist statue in the world at 120m. It has a amazing scenery and really worth visiting. Also it’s not crowded and you can spend a nice time in relaxed mood.
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Buddha of Ushiku
Address: 2083 Kunocho, Ushiku City, Ibaraki Prefecture
Entrance fee 500 yen for adult, 300 yen for kids
Entrance fee with inside tour of buddha 800 yen for adult, 400 yen for kids
Hours (March – September):
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Weekdays)
9:00 AM – 5:30 PM (Saturday and Sunday)
Hours (October- February):
9:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Website: Ushiku Buddha (Japanese)