Explore Japan in summer 2020
Far from the crowds, explore Japan from the inside
Japan has closed its borders to many countries and the most popular sites are now deserted. This is a perfect opportunity for the lucky ones living in Japan or who can travel and explore these places and cities during this quiet time.
The essential Tokyo and Kyoto, but also lively Osaka or the peaceful Kanazawa and Takayama, await you with open arms.
On the 27th May, the Japanese government lifted the state of emergency in the last five prefectures most affected by the Coronavirus, so Japan's 47 prefectures are now out of the state of emergency. Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko called on people to be careful about their movements and interactions, but residents of Japan can now travel freely around the country!
And if Japan has closed its doors for some time to certain regions of the world, that does not mean that nobody can take advantage of the Japanese government planning to reopen the borders little by little.
The news of sites such as Tokyo SkyTree, the Universal Studios, the village of Shirakawa-go, the Todaiji temple of Nara reopening are announced every day... Japan is slowly reopening its doors to visitors. It is, for the lucky few, the opportunity to discover or rediscover Japan from the inside and explore regions without the crowds.
Resident or expat in Japan? This is an opportunity to explore your adopted country! Resident or expats in countries that have been spared from the health crisis? Explore the Land of the Rising Sun!
Do you live in a country whose borders are open with Japan? Consult the guide of the tourist office of Japan. Please note, this list is regularly updated, Japan could open its borders to you at any time!
Here are our tips for exploring Japan this summer!
Blissful Solitude in Japan
Tokyo and Kyoto are usually the preferred places for international tourists to visit. The absence of the crowds offers a lucky few the opportunity to stay in these cities at a lower cost and to visit the iconic places of Japan in exceptional conditions.
To visit Japan in a relaxing and calm environment, we offer house rentals by the night in some of the most popular cities in Japan. Close to shops, in iconic neighborhoods and equipped with all the necessities you may need, our apartments and traditional houses in Tokyo, Kyoto, Kanazawa and Takayama can accommodate families, a group of friends or a couple for a romantic getaway.
Our Travel Angels, specialists and lovers of Japan, will welcome you and share their advice and tips. What are the best walks? What are the best off the beaten track places to explore? Where are the best restaurants? They will answer all your questions and assist in making your stay easy and peaceful!
We are offering a 30% discount on any stay between 1st June and 30th November 2020 for all our houses and apartments in Tokyo, Kyoto, Takayama and Kanazawa. Do not miss the opportunity to discover Japan during this quiet time with family, friends or partners. Don't hesitate any longer and book your break now!
Discover our properties: our houses and apartments for rent in Japan.
Need more information? Please contact us!
Let yourself be tempted by a weekend or short break to explore Japan!
Kyoto, guardian of ancestral arts
In Kyoto, the alleys with a thousand and one stories have never been so empty, giving the ancestral city an atmosphere of yesteryear and highlighting all its charm. Stroll through old Kyoto and explore the districts of Gion and Higashiyama or in the legendary lane of Ponto-cho.
The iconic sites of Kyoto await you: the legendary water source of the Kiyomizu-dera temple, the Arashiyama bamboo grove, and the red torii of the Fushimi Inara shrine, all the celebrated places of Kyoto have never been so deserted!
Kyoto has regained for some time its timeless atmosphere and its peaceful lifestyle. Immerse yourself in this unique atmosphere, and experience a few days in the heart of the traditional districts of the city, like in Gion, Higashiyama or even a few meters from the characteristic places of the city, near the silver pavilion. Ginkakuji, a stone's throw from Nijo castle, the palace of the shoguns, or a few meters from the Eikando or Kiyomizu-dera temples.
Read more: Our Kyoto travel guide
Excursions Around Kyoto
Staying in Kyoto will also give you the opportunity to explore other places in the Kansai region, the possibilities for excursions are endless:
- The food capital of Japan, Osaka
- Nara, the former imperial capital today inhabited by sacred deers
- The grand feudal castle of Himeji
- The shores of Lake Biwa with Hikone Castle and the city of Otsu
- Climb the Kurama temple for a Zen experience near Kyoto
Read more: Kansai Region travel guide
Takayama in the Japanese Alps
For a breath of fresh air, discover Takayama and its heritage still unknown to most travel guides.
A small town in the heart of the Japanese Alps mountains, this ancient fortified town built in the 16th century has kept its old charm with its streets lined with wooden houses and its many traditional craft stores.
And the city hides unexpected riches: its historic district Sanmachi-Suji also called Little Kyoto, the red Nakabashi bridge, the temples of Higashiyama Teramachi or the village museum Hida-no-sato. It is the perfect destination for a relaxing weekend and those who want to make new discoveries!
Read more: The best free activities in Takayama
Excursions Around Takayama
The Japanese Alps are home to many treasures, both natural and man-made. Our advice to explore the region? Settle in for a few nights or a weekend in Takayama and explore the city and its surrounding areas!
- Six excursions from Takayama
- The 5 best hikes to do near Takayama
- The town of Matsumoto and its imposing medieval castle with the black keep, nicknamed the "Crow Castle"
- The villages of Shirakawa-go with their thatched houses
- The historic Nakasendo Road
- Narai-Juku, a stopover village from the Edo period
- Kamikochi in Chubu Sangaku National Park
Read more: Our Japanese Alps travel guide
Kanazawa and Ishikawa Prefecture
Explore feudal Japan in Ishikawa prefecture and its capital Kanazawa. Very powerful during the Edo period, the cultural and architectural riches of Kanazawa rival those of the capitals Tokyo and the ancient capital Kyoto.
The city is famous for its many historic districts which have stood the test of time. Immerse yourself in traditional Japan for an unforgettable stay!
- The magnificent Kenroku-en Garden, one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan,
- The old tea districts Higashi Chaya, Kazue-machi and Nishi Chaya, where there are houses of geishas and craftsmen's stores.
- The streets of the Nagamachi district, where it is possible to visit the ancient residences of the samurai warriors.
Excursions Around Kanazawa
Along the Sea of Japan, Ishikawa Prefecture is one of the most beautiful regions in Japan. We have many recommendations for this region but here is a selection of places not to be missed:
- The most beautiful natural sites near Kanazawa
- The Noto peninsula in the Sea of Japan with its protected nature including the bays of Tsukumo or Nakai and Cape Rokkosaki.
- The magnificent 1000 rice terraces of Shiroyone Senmaida
- The spa town of Kaga Onsen with natural hot springs
- Mount Hakusan, one of the "three most sacred mountains" in Japan
- Natadera temple, the temple with rock-cut prayer halls
In order to explore this rural and remote region independently, we recommend that you hire a car and hit the road!
Tokyo, between tradition and modernity
The Japanese capital is normally the number one destination for overseas visitors, but today it finds an atmosphere that had not been known to it for decades ... Tokyo returns to it's residence and its few travelers. This is an opportunity to rediscover the most popular places in a new light.
Read more: Our Tokyo travel guide
Excursions Around Toky
In addition to the many attractions the largest megalopolis in the world has to offer, there are some great excursions from Tokyo.
The historic treasures of Kamakura and Nikko are must-sees in Japan. The spa town of Hakone welcomes you to spend a few hours in a traditional onsen. Near Tokyo, it is also possible to visit some great hiking spots, such as Hatonosu Kobashi valley or in the heights of the Mt Takao and Mt Mitake.
These various places are easily accessible by train or by car from our Ikebukuro apartments thanks to its large train station, one of the largest hubs in Tokyo, allowing to reach many train lines as well as one of the many rental agencies car from central Tokyo.
Summer In Japan
Summer in Japan is also an opportunity to hike and discover more remote places. Here are some of our summer travel tips:
To travel around Japan freely, why not rent a car and hit the road! Visit some of Japan's off the beaten track locations:
Travel from north to south in Japan, from Hokkaido island to Kyushu
Follow the Japanese historical routes: the Tokaido route or the Nakasendo route
And much more .... Japan is ready to welcome you!