July in Japan. Let the season of being sticky in places you didn’t think possible begin.
As the humidity sets in, and work and school slow down from that spring rush, anyone else got the itch to travel? Follow us on this week’s wanderlust-inspired trip as we venture to some cool — and cooling — locales all the way from Yakushima Island to Aomori Prefecture.
Whether you’re reading from your desk or on the train ride home, your next summer journey starts now.
Beach, beaches, beachin’
While the Japanese summer can bring those pesky cockroaches, it isn’t all bad because hot weather means it’s time to have that quintessential beach vacation. Ever wondered why people don’t really have Japan in mind when they speak of gorgeous beaches? Well, move over Bora Bora.
We whipped up a list of 10 magnificent beach destinations that aren’t in obvious places like Okinawa. We discovered that sandy getaways in Tottori, Hyogo and even all-the-way-out-there Yakushima are killing it when it comes to big, bold beautiful beaches.
One of our favorites is Senjojiki Beach. Not only because of its remote location with very little info available online (until now!), but also because it’s along one of the most beautiful rocky coasts in northern Japan. Just check out that view:
Of course, summer also means festivals.
As far as Tokyo living goes, Edogawa Ward has some cool festivals coming up — including the Edogawa River Fireworks Festival (Aug. 5). It’s likely to be crowded but, hey, it’ll probably be a little less so than the ones on the Sumida River. Those searching for something more chill should check out the Edogawa Goldfish Festival (July 22-23).
Then again, if you’re just up for some music in festival form, fear not. From Summer Sonic to Fuji Rock, get all the info here.
Chill out with some Kansai waterfalls
You might be thinking, anything that beautiful ought to be a real bitch to get to. Wrong! That’s one of the most exceptional parts of this locale: It’s convenient, has some massive falls and a panoramic view of the city.
Check it out ASAP, but don’t leave the Kansai area just yet.
…and Kansai barbecues
After all that hiking, you’re going to need some sustenance — and perhaps a cold brew. Either way, it just so happens there are some lovely barbecue places in the area.
Beaches and barbecues are essential to summer, but turns out we are also feeling a little offbeat this month. So, we headed to over to Suginami in Tokyo. We bet you’ve been to places like Koenji and Kichijoji, but just didn’t know they are located, indeed, in Suginami — another one of the capital city’s working-class wards.
We love Suginami because of its laid-back (some might say boarder-line hippie) vibe. Even if you’re just a millennial stuck in a hippie’s body or a hippie stuck in a millennial’s body, the area has some spots that prove Tokyo really is like a million cities in one.
One is 44 Sonic in Asagaya, a geek’s “ideal watering hole” packed with anime and comic book figurines.
Now that we’ve journeyed from the tip of Kyushu through Kansai and Kanto and up to Aomori Prefecture — it’s time for you to do it for real. For more travel inspiration, plan your trip on GaijinPot Travel.
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