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PHOTOS | Welcome back to Japan
Solo travel: 7 lesson from a trip to Tokyo
Where to go beyond Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto
- For the food scene: Hokkaido. While Tokyo is the city with the most Michelin stars in the world, Naomi Mano, president and chief executive of the Tokyo-based luxury travel company Luxurique, sends travelers to Japan’s northernmost prefecture for incredible eating and drinking — particularly seafood, Sapporo-style ramen and breweries. “The reason why people go there is because the food is great,” Mano said. Although, for the “best crab in the world,” she recommends Fukui prefecture.
- To see rural Japan: Shikoku. The smallest of Japan’s main islands is “almost like a secret place where you can see the outdoors and traditional life,” Krevitt said of Shikoku. Heald sends nature lovers to the island, which is home to one of Japan’s oldest hot spring resorts, Dogo Onsen.
- If you want a beach: Okinawa. Okinawa is home to Japan’s best beaches and scuba-diving opportunities, Mano said. A closer option to Tokyo — yet not a foreign-tourist magnet — is Hachijojima Island, accessible by boat or a 50-minute flight. “You can stick your feet in an onsen and watch whales,” she said. “Nobody really knows about it.”
Book where to stay — and eat — far in advance
The best way to recover after a long travel day
How to get around: Subways and the Japan Rail Pass
What’s hot in 2023: Theme parks and forest bathing
We visited Studio Ghibli’s long-awaited theme park. It’s a sensory delight.