The Rewards of Discovering Japan's Hidden Gems
Traveling is an exciting and enriching experience that opens up new worlds, enables you to learn about different cultures and customs and helps you create unforgettable memories.
When visiting Japan, most people stick to the Golden Route (Tokyo – Kyoto – Osaka). Of course we want to visit the most famous places, and we should. However, there are also many amazing places that people miss and go home without experiencing the numerous benefits to traveling off the beaten path. Why not do both?
Let’s consider some of the advantages of exploring Japan’s less-traveled destinations.
One of the most significant benefits of traveling off the beaten path is the chance to experience the true essence of a destination. Popular tourist destinations can be overrun with crowds, souvenir shops, and overpriced restaurants, which can detract from the authenticity of the experience. When you travel off the beaten path, you’ll have the chance to experience local culture, cuisine, and customs in a way that’s impossible when you’re surrounded by other tourists.
Off the beaten path destinations in Japan offer unique and often unexpected experiences that you won’t find in guidebooks or on travel blogs. Whether it’s exploring hidden waterfalls, stumbling upon a local festival, or taking a cooking class with a local chef, these experiences can be incredibly rewarding and memorable. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet locals who are often eager to share their stories and offer insider tips on the best places to visit.
One of the most significant advantages of traveling off the beaten path is the lack of crowds. Popular tourist destinations can be crowded and overwhelming, which can make it difficult to appreciate the beauty of the place. The masses of tourists in Japan are concentrated in a handful of places like Asakusa Shrine, Shibuya Scramble, and Ginza in Tokyo – Kiyomizudera, Gion and Fushimi-Inari Shrine in Kyoto. Over tourism has had some decidedly negative impacts on these places. When you venture off the beaten path, you’ll often have the place to yourself, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the experience and appreciate the destination’s beauty.
Traveling off the beaten path can also be a transformative experience that can promote personal growth and self-discovery. It can be a chance to step outside of your comfort zone, challenge yourself, and learn more about yourself and the world around you. You may also develop a deeper appreciation for different cultures, lifestyles, and perspectives, which can broaden your horizons and help you become a more open-minded and empathetic person.
Environmental and Economic Sustainability
Traveling off the beaten path can also be more environmentally sustainable than visiting popular tourist destinations. Popular tourist destinations can be overrun with tourists, which can lead to environmental degradation and damage to natural habitats. When you travel off the beaten path, you’ll often have the chance to visit less-trodden destinations that are less impacted by tourism and have a smaller ecological footprint. You’ll also have the opportunity to support local businesses and communities that rely on tourism, making a positive impact on the local economy.
In conclusion, traveling off the beaten path offers numerous benefits that can make your travel experience more authentic, unique, and rewarding. Whether you’re seeking personal growth, a chance to escape the crowds, or an opportunity to support local communities, traveling off the beaten path can be an enriching and unforgettable experience. So, the next time you plan your trip, consider venturing off the beaten path to discover the beauty of less-traveled destinations.
Visiting some of Japan’s hidden gems sounds like a great idea, but how do you plan such a trip when you don’t know where to go? For a reasonable fee, travel planners like Stephen Turner at TS Japan Railway Travel or Rob Dyer at The Real Japan will help you plan a vacation based on your time frame, interests and budget. Reputable consultants have traveled all over Japan and know numerous destinations and how much time is needed.
You can spend a lot of your own time poring through social media posts, but how reliable is all that chatter? Surfing the net can give you some ideas of what to expect, but when it comes to planning an itinerary that allows you to get the most out of your trip, an experienced travel planner is a smart investment.