Escape The City

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NATURE: Escape the City

When you land in Japan there’s so much to see in Tokyo alone that you may never make it beyond the city limits. But just a hop and a skip from the heart of any major city, Japan’s spectacular countryside awaits, ready to give day-trippers a breath of fresh air.

Read on for three of Japan’s best city escapes.

TOKYO: Hakone

For those pushed for time and not able to stray far from the capital, Hakone – one of Japan’s most popular onsen resorts – lies within easy distance for day-trippers. A tantalising one-and-a-half-hour train journey from central Tokyo, Hakone offers welcome respite and the chance to unwind in one of Japan’s famous hot spring baths. Nestled in a forested valley along the shore of Lake Ashinoko, visitors can let Hakone’s medicinal waters work their magic before a gentle hike in the surrounding hills, offering fresh mountain air and breath-taking views of Japan’s beloved Fuji-San if the weather is right.

KYOTO: Arashiyama

Take a train half an hour from Kyoto city centre and you’ll find yourself in peaceful Arashiyama. Resting at the foot of the thickly forested hills that border western Kyoto, and on the banks of the Hozu River, Arashiyama has been a popular city escape since the Heian period. Promising idyllic rest and relaxation just minutes from the bustle of central Kyoto, visitors have been drawn to the area’s natural beauty for centuries. Most popular during cherry blossom and maple leaf seasons, visitors are advised to beat the crowds by arriving early and to rent bicycles to explore the local temples and famed bamboo forests.

OSAKA: Nara  

For those in up-beat Osaka enjoying the fruits of Japan’s foodie capital but hankering after temples and teahouses, a quick trip to Nara will provide your cultural fix. Just an hour away with regular trains throughout the day, Nara is ‘Kyoto lite’ – Japan’s oldest capital city with an abundance of beautiful temples and traditional architecture squeezed into a manageable city centre. Head straight to Nara Park for the city’s best selection of temples and shrines, as well as the chance to get up close and personal with Nara’s famous Sika deer.

All Images: Unsplash

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