Sūkōna Means Sublime: Beautiful Japanese Villages You Must Visit

Behold the underrated side of rural Japan.

Japan’s mission to preserve its culture and tradition led to the founding of “The Most Beautiful Villages in Japan,” where select villages are deemed invaluable historical properties.

This initiative led to a rise in tourism and eventually improved the community’s local economy.

Aside from the garden-variety tourist spots in Japan, here are some must-visit, spectacularly picturesque villages to include on your Japan travel list.

Tsurui, Hokkaido

This tiny village is home to the world’s rarest birds—the red-crowned crane, whose presence shines best during the winter season where their harmonized movements compliments the thick snowy backdrop.

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Totsukawa, Nara

Considered to be a mystical place, Totsukawa is nestled in the mountainous region of Nara. It paints a vivid image of Japan’s rural side with its plethora of scenic spots. The village is populated with bamboo and Japanese cedar trees where it is also part of the Kumana Kodo, a pilgrimage route declared protected by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

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Ine-cho, Kyoto

Along the shore of Ine bay is an array of picturesque boat houses (also called funaya) built on the water’s edge. Ine-cho is a small fishing town with curiously beautiful emerald green waters.

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Biei-cho, Hokkaido

Biei is straight out of a postcard with its panoramic roads and rolling hills punctuated by flowers; like the lavender field in Shikisai-hills. Its unspoiled beauty is at once stimulating and enthralling.

 

Have you visited any of these villages? Share you experience below!