If you’re planning a trip to Japan, whether it’s next year or five years from now, there are a countless number of amazing places to go and things to do. Chances are pretty good that you have at least one of two (or a dozen) specific things you’d like to do while you’re there. Don’t we all? Today, I’d like to introduce you to a list of places and events around Japan that may have missed your attention but are definitely worth a visit.
For those of you who are fans of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, there are a few destinations on this list that will be of particular interest to you, including this first one:
- Kiki’s Bakery (From Kiki’s Delivery Service, 1989 by Ghibli Studio)
- Found in the charming Yufuin Flower Village (The site is in Japanese but has some gorgeous pictures!)
- Satsuki and Mei’s House (from My Neighbor Totoro, 1993 by Ghibli Studio)
Just a note that this house is located inside of Aichi Commemorative Park, which was the sight of the 2005 World Fair, which had the theme “Nature’s Wisdom”. (http://www.expo2005.or.jp/en/) Admission to the park is free, and the tour of the Totoro House is 500 yen.
- The Ghibli Museum
What is there to say? Anyone who loves the work of Studio Ghibli would probably enjoy taking a trip through the museum. Tickets are 1,000 yen, but, please note, they must be purchased in advance. Plan accordingly.
- Momiji Matsuri (Autumn Foliage Festival) in the beautiful Korankei Valley
The trees are beautiful no matter how you look at them, but the addition of the lights at night is something I would definitely want to check out. Someday, I would love to attend a Sakura Matsuri in Japan, but autumn is my favorite season by far. Korankei Valley is definitely at the top of the list of things to do when I get there.
- Okunoshima (Bunny Island)
Okunoshima is accessible by ferry from Tadano-Umi Port for about 620 yen round trip. It’s about a twelve minutes ride. I’ve included a ferry schedule. Who wouldn’t want to visit a whole island full of fluff and love?
Bound for Okunoshima: 7:30, 8:30, 9:30, 10:30, 12:30, 14:30, 15:30, 16:30, 17:30, 19:05
Bound for Tadanoumi port: 9:13, 10:13, 12:13, 14:13, 15:13, 16:13
- Nara Deer Park
It’s said that many of the deer in the park will bow back if your bow to them. Really cute! Not sure if I feel the same way about one the popular tourist souvenirs “Shika no Fun Fun Fun”, chocolate shaped like deer droppings. Um, no thanks.
- Zao Fox Village
For 100 yen, you can bet I’ll be visiting! It should be noted that the foxes are not domesticated, so it is advised not to try hand-feeding or bringing small children. You can still toss them food, though, and it would be so worth it for the photo opportunities!
http://www.boredpanda.com/zao-fox-village-japan/ (Tons of adorable fox photos here!)