Taking The Path Less Traveled: The Most Underrated Places In Japan

While there are valid reasons that top-rated tourist attractions draw more and more tourists, some spots are unfortunately underrated and never get an opportunity to get their spot in the limelight. Some of these hidden gems might even unexpectedly be the most memorable place you visited during your travels! This is why we bring you the five most underrated spots in Japan.


Takachiho is located in the northern part of Miyazaki prefecture. The family-friendly area is around Mt. Aso; it is recommended that you rent a car if you want to explore both of them smoothly without being limited by local public transport. 

Takachiho Travel Guide: Things to do in Takachiho, Miyazaki - Japan TravelCourtesy: Japan Travel

The best way to enjoy Takachiho is to take a boat tour through Takachiho Gorge. Paddling through the peaceful volcanic canyon created by the eruption of Mt. Aso will charm you. You’re likely to spend the whole day exploring.

Sado Island

Sado is a historic island located about 30 kilometers off the coast of Niigata prefecture. This small island is widely famous for the gold and silver mines which served as a key funding source for Japan’s government during the Edo period. 


There is a wide range of kid-friendly experiences and activity options to make you spend over six hours. Toki Forest Park is where you can expect to see Japanese crested ibises on the list of endangered species, but they are in great numbers here. 


Yanagawa is a city on Japan’s Kyushu island. It is often called ‘the city of water’ and the “Venice of Kyushu” because of its 470 kilometers of canals, originally built as irrigation channels using the waters of the Chikugo River. 

Insider's Guide to YanagawaCourtesy: Travel Japan

When you visit Yanagawa for a trip, you have to experience taking the traditional Japanese low flat boats called donkobune. Your whole-day trip isn’t complete without it. Shotoen is another beautiful sight you can walk to from where you get off the donkobune.


Karuizawa is a beautiful area where you can visit nature, shop, and enjoy amazing food. Karuizawa Shiraito Falls is a popular spot to visit, and if you come to Karuizawa, you should not miss out on exploring it.

Shiraito Falls(Karuizawa)|THE GATE|Japan Travel Magazine: Find Tourism & Travel InfoCourtesy: THE GATE

One underrated place is Onioshidashi Volcanic Park. However, if you’re exploring with kids, you shouldn’t go in winter; the ground can be icy and slippery. Visiting Karuizawa will take the whole day- there are different attractions to see.


Like most of the volcanic Tokyo islands, Niijima also has hot springs. You can visit Yunohama Roten Onsen, a Greek-style bath next to Mamashita Beach. To enjoy this trip, plan the whole day- not just a few hours.

A guide to Niijima Island - a surfing paradise | GO TOKYOCourtesy: GoTokyo.org

Our favorite spot on this island is Mamashita Beach. Mamashita Beach is surrounded by cliffs located along the southwest part of Niijima. The beach’s coastline offers many little spots to admire the view, including Mt Fuji on a clear day.

Sign up for Airport Jams Newsletter

Related Posts