It’s no wonder that after the unbelievable amount of work you do throughout the year, you feel maxed-out after a while. You’re a human being, after all, bound to reach a breaking point every now and then.
It is in these moments, when you’re feeling down and out, that you should consider going on vacation so you can relieve all the pent-up stress. No need to overthink it. Just act spontaneously, pack your bags, and head over to one of the most beautiful places on the planet: Japan. I’m here to help you make the most out of your trip, by narrowing down the following must-see locations.
Kyoto’s Arashiyama Grove
Sometimes, the best way to feel alive is by going to your roots and connecting with your inner-self. A silent stroll through a quiet, calm natural scenery can conduct such magic. Arashiyama’s spiritually enlightening bamboo forest is the perfect spot for letting go of your tensions and meditating. Its trails are about 500 meters long, and are lined on both sides by towering bamboos, which then lead to a famous shrine and a temple. You can reach the Saga-Arashiyama Station by train, then cycle your way up the trails. This grove has served as creative inspiration for Hayao Miyazaki in his world-famous Japanese animated films, which you can stream right on your high-definition Xfinity TV, if you want to see the lush greenness before experiencing it.
Kyushu’s Gokase River
In the prefecture on the southern side of Kyushu Island lies a quaint little town with a wonderfully vast river, mystic waterfalls, and weeping cherry blossom trees. During the summer, you can go on an exhilarating kayaking adventure on the crystal clear Gokase River, and get the rowing experience of your life. Or you can trek through the place and dive into the refreshing waterfalls, which hide away in nooks you’ll want to explore. If it is winter, snowboarding and skiing will get your energy right back up.
Hida Takayama’s Street
If you’re looking for an escape from your gritty reality, plunge into the fantastic culture of Hida Takayama. A walk through Sanmachi Street presents a preserved chunk of Japan’s splendid Edo period when it was at its highest. Dark-wood houses of magnificent architecture line the broad street. There are coffee and sake stalls, plus shops selling antique trinkets. All you need to do is cross the bridge and lose yourself in a magnificent past picture of Japanese culture.
Water is a healing element. It has a curious way of untying many of the knots which build up in your body over time. Just let it wash over you, and take all your frustration away. And what’s better than visiting a Japanese town built on the very concept of onsen (hot spring revitalization)? Once there, you can get a full body massage, relax in the hot springs, walk around in a yukata (light kimono) and geta (wooden clog sandals), eat the traditional food at the ryokan, and calm yourself by taking in the natural scenery.
Hokkaido’s Furano Fields
There’s something about flowers which make them so attractive. Either it’s the color, the texture, the scent, or perhaps it’s all of these factors. Together, they appeal to our senses more than anything, setting our imagination on fire. Hokkaido’s Furano Fields leave precisely this impression on one’s soul. Wherever you look, there are endless fields of flowers, especially the soothing lavender. Take a walk through them, or a bus ride, and you’ll definitely not regret it.
So if you’re stressed out, stop waiting around and get your adventure on! Visit these Japanese natural sanctuaries, and give new strength to your depressed spirit.