24 Recommended Spots in Japan to Visit This Summer!

Are your plans set for Summer 2022? If not, let us introduce the best summer sightseeing spots in Japan, from the famous to those off the beaten path. We hope this helps when planning your summer holidays♪

Get active in the great outdoors!

When visiting the great outdoors, there is nothing better than moving your body and taking in the unique landscapes of various destinations. Here are some outdoor activities you can enjoy in nature.

Cycling in Niseko (Hokkaido)

Hokkaido, with its extensive land area, is cool even in the summer. In the spring and fall, it doesn’t have much rainfall or many typhoons, which makes it a perfect place for cycling. Yoteizan (Mt. Yotei) in Niseko is called “Hokkaido’s Mt. Fuji” and is one of Japan’s “One Hundred Famous Mountains.” How about enjoying the freedom of refreshing Hokkaido-style cycling while gazing at Mt. Yotei’s verdant greenery?

Access 15 minutes by bus from Kutchan Station

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Cycling in Obihiro (Hokkaido)

Discover “Tokapuchi 400,” a figure-8-shaped bike route connecting Kamishihoro Town and Taiki Town that begins and ends in Obihiro City, Hokkaido. You can enjoy the towns, the woods, the lakes and the ocean on your journey.

Access 45 minutes by car from Obihiro Station

Lake Towada RIB Tour (Aomori Pref.)

An RIB, or “rigid inflatable boat, is a high-performance, unsinkable rubber boat that is used by the navy, rescue teams, and polar expedition groups all over the world as it can go to areas with harsh natural environments.

On this tour, you can access the special protected area surrounded by the steep cliffs of Lake Towada, the largest double caldera lake in the world, which is inaccessible by regular boat.   GURILAND The tour is offered from April to mid-November Reservation: http://guriland.jp/ribtour.html *Some foreign captains can speak English. Access: 2 hours and 10 minutes by bus from Hachinohe Station



The tour is offered from April to mid-November

*Some foreign captains can speak English.

Access 2 hours and 10 minutes by bus from Hachinohe Station
URL http://guriland.jp/ribtour.html

Rafting in the Mogami River (Yamagata Pref.)

In the middle and upper river basin on the Mogami-gawa River, which is said to be one of the three most rapid streams in Japan, you can enjoy rafting. The route dramatically ranges in speed, with some raging torrents and some gentle streams. RUSTICA The tour is offered from the end of April to the end of October.


The tour is offered from the end of April to the end of October.

*The service is available in English.

Access 30 minutes by car from Yamagata Station / 40 minutes by car from Yamagata Airport
URL https://www.rusticaoutdoor.com/asahi-rafting

SUP and paragliding in Matsushima (Miyagi Pref.)

With an increasing popularity all over the world, SUP (Sand Up Paddleboard) is a water activity, where you stand on a board, keep your balance, and go forward by paddling. Matsushima, ranked one of the “Three Fine Views of Japan,” is an excellent place for SUP, with calm waves and little influence of wind.


The tour is offered from early May to late October.

*The service is available in English.

Access 50-60 minutes by car from Sendai Station / 20 minutes by car from Matsushima Station
URL https://www.kuunel.org/

Kayaking in Lake Tazawa (Akita Pref.)

If you look at Lake Tazawa, the deepest lake in Japan, the water surface is very clear and the color changes according to the depth, green at shallow parts and blue at deeper parts. The color also changes as the angle of the sun changes. In this tour, you can ride a kayak and feel the mysteriousness of Lake Tazawa up-close. From the kayak on the lake, you can also have a great seasonal view around the lake.

Tazawako Shizen Taiken Center

The tour is offered from late April to early November.

Access 10 minutes by car from Tazawako Station
URL https://tazawako.net/

Marine sports on the Miura Peninsula (Kanagawa Pref.)

In addition to the great beach for enjoying swimming in the ocean, Miura Peninsula is a great place for marine sports, including windsurfing, sea kayaking, and SUP (standup paddle-boarding). With convenient access by train from Tokyo and with its gentle waves, it is a popular summer spot. On a clear day, it is recommended to try sea kayaking while enjoying the view of Mount Fuji.

Access 65 minutes by train from Shinagawa Station

Biei (Hokkaido)

In the center of Hokkaido lies Biei; an expansive natural area full of rolling hills and wide fields. From the “Blue Pond” to the “Seven Stars Tree,” this town is no stranger to refreshing summer destinations that are sure to take your breath away!

Access 2 hours by local and limited express trains from Sapporo Station / 32 minutes by local train from Asahikawa Station

Kurobe Gorge Railway (Toyama Pref.)

Located in Toyama Prefecture, the Kurobe Gorge is one of Japan’s most remarkable V-shaped gorges. The “Kurobe Gorge Railway” travels the roughly 20 km stretch from Unazuki to Keyakidaira, an 80-minute one-way trip at an average speed of 16 km per hour.

Access To Kurobe Unazukionsen Station: 2 hours and 45 minutes by Hokuriku Shinkansen and Toyama Chihou Railway trains from Tokyo Station
URL https://www.kurotetu.co.jp/en/

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Okutama (Tokyo)

Tokyo is more than just bright lights in the big city. Known as “Tokyo’s Adventure Line,” the JR Ome Line connecting Ome Station to Okutama Station in western Tokyo’s Tama area is a true treasure trove of natural wonders! The best way to end a day of river activities in the Tama River is to soak in the hot springs.

Access 1 hour and 25 minutes by train from Shinjuku Station

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Kozushima (Tokyo)

About 180km south of Tokyo, Kozushima is one of the islands comprising the Izu Islands. It is about 40 minutes by plane from Chofu Airport. The green of the mountains, centering around Mount Tenjo (Tenjozan), the blue ocean, the simple life of the islanders: it is a peaceful island. Because there is no excessive amount of light from any villages nearby, it is possible to see a pure starry sky at night. Summer night skies are the perfect canvas for a vivid view of the Milky Way. Sit back and relax while gazing up at the starry sky.

Access 3 hours and 45 minutes by Jetfoil or 12 hours by overnight ferry from Tokyo’s Takeshiba Pier / 45 minutes by plane from Chofu Airport

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Fujikawaguchiko Town (Yamanashi Pref.)

Besides offering access to the beautiful scenery of Mt. Fuji and the lakes, the popular Fujikawaguchiko area is abundant with famous tourist spots and fun activities. In July, the climbing season of Mt. Fuji starts and many mountain climbers visit there. Enjoy the impressive view of Mt. Fuji and the mountain and lake activities!

Access 2 hours by JR and Fujikyu Railway trains from Tokyo Station

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Karuizawa (Nagano Pref.)

A famous summer retreat and cottage area, Karuizawa is a highland resort with a pleasant breeze and the comforting murmur of flowing rivers. Another attractive aspect of Karuizawa is that the area has many unique shops and restaurants.

・Harunire Terrace in Karuizawa Hoshino Area

A small town was created among about 100 wild Harunire (Japanese elm) trees. A total of 16 shops, restaurants, and cafes stand along the clear stream. Walk in sunlight through leafy areas, and take the time to search for your favorite shop.

Access 20 minutes by bus from Karuizawa Station
URL https://www.hoshino-area.jp/en

Hakuba (Nagano Pref.)

Although Hakuba is famous as a ski resort, new places that can be enjoyed in seasons without snow are opening one after another. Feel the comfortable breeze of the highland and refresh yourself.


A sky terrace with a gorgeous panoramic view of Northern Alps (the Hida Mountains) from an altitude of 1,289 meters. The cafe at the terrace, “THE CITY BAKERY,” offers various dishes, such as sandwiches with local ingredients.

Access 1 hour by car from the Nagano IC, Azumino IC, and Itoigawa IC
URL https://iwatake-mountain-resort.com/hmh

Furano (Hokkaido)

Located nearly in the center of Hokkaido, Furano is famous as a place where movies and dramas are filmed. The beautiful hills and wonderful rural landscape create a gorgeous view.


The view of the hill, entirely covered with purple lavender plants like a carpet from late June to early August, is simply overwhelming. At the expansive farm, visitors can also see many other different types of pleasing-to-the-eye flowers.

Access 7 minutes on foot from Lavender-Farm Station on the JR Furano Line (this station is open only during the lavender season) / 25 minutes on foot from Naka-Furano Station
URL https://www.farm-tomita.co.jp/en/

Atami (Shizuoka Pref.)

This major resort area is a popular place to enjoy the ocean, onsen, and local food. Once one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in Japan, its popularity is perhaps in part because of its accessibility from Tokyo—Atami is only about a 50-minute Shinkansen ride from Tokyo Station.


Beautiful roses of various colors are in bloom, and various kinds of herbs are grown in 12 themed gardens. This garden has many places to see, including a cafe at an elevated spot that has a panoramic view of Sagami Bay, as well as a souvenir shop and workshop.

Access 15 minutes by bus from Atami Station
URL http://www.garden-akao.com/index.php

Hatsushima (Shizuoka Pref.)

Just 30 minutes by ship from Atami Port, this casually-accessible isolated island will add more excitement to your resort experience. The warm, clear ocean has colorful fish and is also popular as a diving and snorkeling destination.

・PICA Hatsushima

Relax in a hammock surrounded by sub-tropical trees and flowers, and you can quickly feel an extraordinary exotic atmosphere of a tropical place. This resort place is fully equipped with air conditioning, offering a comfortable place throughout the year. You can enjoy fun activities, where you can be very active, as well as bathhouses using mineral rich water from the sea.

Access 15 minutes walk from Hatsushima Port
URL https://www.pica-resort.jp/en/hatsushima/

Kaichu-doro causeway and the islands (Okinawa Pref.)

This road connects four islands, and starts from Yokatsu Peninsula in Uruma City, located in the middle part of Okinawa. Driving while gazing at the emerald-blue ocean on both sides is an amazing feeling.

Access 1 hour by car from Naha Airport

Minamiboso (Chiba Pref.)

Minamiboso is a temperate beach-side area, located at the tip of Boso Peninsula. You can not only enjoy the beautiful ocean but also various kinds of flowers as well as seasonal fruit picking.

・Kamogawa Sea World

This large-scale aquarium rears and exhibits more than 11,000 creatures of various kinds. Powerful performances by huge killer whales and dolphins in stadiums facing the Pacific Ocean are popular events among visitors.

Access 10 minutes by complimentary courtesy bus from JR Awa-Kamogawa Station
URL https://www.kamogawa-seaworld.jp/english/

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“Nicolai Bergmann Nomu” in Shibuya, Minami-Aoyama (Tokyo)

One of the city’s trendiest spots, “Nicolai Bergmann Nomu” in Minami-Aoyama is a cafe produced by flower artist Nicolai Bergmann from Denmark. You can appreciate the summery flora while enjoying freshly squeezed juice and traditional cake from Denmark. All your stress and fatigue will vanish in no time.

Address Tokyo, Minato City, Minamiaoyama, 5 Chome−7−2 SS南青山Part3
Access 2-minute walk from the B3 Exit of Omotesando Station
URL https://www.nicolaibergmann.com/

“HUSKY GELATO” in Shinagawa’s Togoshi Ginza Shopping Street (Tokyo)

Although well-known as a business district, the area actually also contains many warm and friendly shopping streets and stores. “HUSKY GELATO,” located along the Togoshi Ginza shopping street, offers handmade gelato using Japan’s best vegetables and fruits. Stop by to savor their unique selection of original flavors!

Address 4 Chome-4-24 Togoshi, Shinagawa City, Tokyo
Access 6-minute walk from Togoshi-koen Station (Tokyu Oimachi Line) / 7-minute walk from Togoshi Station (Toei Asakusa Line)
URL https://huskygelato.com/

“PATISSERIE ASOKO IWAYANAGI” in Todoroki, Setagaya (Tokyo)

This patisserie has become a massive hit since its debut in 2015. The parfaits topped with generous portions of seasonal fruits are like jewels, and you’ll be mesmerized by their artistic flavors. We also recommend a scenic visit to the nearby Todoroki Valley. You’ll find over 30 springs along the 1 km stretch of the valley, a rejuvenating spot with fresh air and sunlight filtering through the trees.The temperature begins to dip the moment you enter the ravine, and with more than 30 springs along its 1km trail of dappled sunlight, what could be more pleasant?

Address 4 Chome-4-5 Todoroki, Setagaya City, Tokyo
Access 5-minute walk from Todoroki Station
URL https://asakoiwayanagi.net/

Kurashiki Momoko’s “Marugoto Peach Parfait” (Okayama Pref.)

Fruit parfaits are a specialty of Okayama, a prefecture with a warm climate and flourishing fruit production. The most popular menu at this parfait shop is the “Marugoto Peach Parfait” (whole peach parfait), available from mid-June to late September.This impressive-looking parfait features a whole peach sourced from Okayama, which contains a luxurious combination of heavy whipping cream, custard cream and Japanese-style young peach glacé.

Address 1 Chome-3-18 Central, Kurashiki, Okayama
Access 13-minute walk from Kurashiki Station (JR)
URL http://kurashikimomoko.jp/

NAKAMURA TOKICHI HONTEN’s “Namacha Jelly” (Kyoto Pref.)

When considering the seasonal traditions associated with summer in Kyoto, historical festivals and Japanese sweets that mitigate the heat come to mind. In recent years, a plethora of stylish souvenir sweets have made their appearance.

The “Namacha Jelly” from NAKAMURA TOKICHI, a famous and traditional green tea shop established in 1854, is packed with the umami of green tea. When eaten with shiratama mochi balls and red bean paste, you will feel the happiness spreading throughout your mouth.

Address Kyoto, Uji, Ichiban−10
Access 1-minute walk from Uji Station (JR Nara Line) / 10-minute walk from Uji Station (Keihan)
URL https://store.tokichi.jp/

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The information herein is as of June 2022
I was born in Kagoshima Prefecture and have lived in different parts of Kyushu. A lover of food, sake, and hot springs in Kyushu, my goal is to become a “Sen-nin” (hot spring master), the highest rank for those who accomplish the “Tour of the Eighty-eight Hot Springs in Kyushu.” I hope to convey the fascinating aspects of Japan while featuring my beloved homeland Kyushu!

Hokkaido Article

Nature/spectacular views/scenery Article