Much of Japan’s beauty stems from its harmonious coexistence with and reverence for the natural world. The 11th-century Tale of Genji shows this marked sensitivity to the environment, expressing the importance of the seasons through exquisite descriptions of nature: “The cherries that were gone elsewhere smiled here in all their beauty, and the wisteria twined about the galleries opened into deep-hued clusters.” Get Inspired By Photos, Videos, Webinars, Stories, And Exclusive Offers. Sign Up
Our new itineraries to Japan are steeped in this tradition—whether we’re encountering thousand-year-old cedars on Yakushima Island or strolling through Japan’s most treasured landscape gardens. Ahead, we’ve detailed seven of the storied sites you could explore along the way—a mix of castles, gardens, islands, and shrines that reflects the multifaceted culture and history of this extraordinary destination.