Underrated Japanese Prefectures You Should Totally Visit | CoolJapan

Travelling to Japan soon? While Tokyo and Osaka can be fun to stay in, why not skip the usual destinations and explore more of the country? Despite being a relatively small state, there are 47 prefectures in Japan, each with their own unique charm. Because of that, there are tons of unique cultural treasures you can discover. If you’re not sure which to check out first, then read on to find out which underrated Japanese prefectures are worth visiting.



A white-sand beach in Okinawa, one of the 47 Japanese prefectures

If you’re a sea-lover, then you should add Okinawa to your travel bucket list. Experience Japan differently by enjoying the comfortable tropical climate that you won’t find in other Japanese prefectures. There’s a lot to see in this region comprised of over 110 islands. The colourful coral reefs, the vast blue sea, and the clear skies are only a few of the mesmerising views you’ll witness in Okinawa. Here, you can immerse yourself in the coexisting cultures of the Ryukyuan people and some immigrants.


A Japanese garden seen from the outside

Located near the centre of Japan, Ishikawa boasts of the balance of culture and nature in the prefecture. If you want to travel in the olden times of Japan, this is the place to go. From the great castle town of Kanazawa to old agricultural landscapes of Noto, Japan’s cultural past is here. The prefecture is home to various landscapes, with each of their views varying as the season changes. So prepare to be awe-struck each time you visit Ishikawa.



A tower with a windmill in Kagawa, one of the many Japanese prefectures

Although it is the smallest out of all the Japanese Prefectures, Kagawa is just as big in culture as the others. Art and architecture are integral parts of life in the prefecture. See the best of traditional Japanese art through the architecture of the shrines and temples scattered about the area. Aside from that, in the island town of Naoshima, you’ll find the best of Japanese contemporary art. If you're a creative soul looking for a serene and inspiring trip, then it’s the best place to be.


A red torii gate standing in the middle of the sea

There are tons of unforgettable experiences waiting for you in Hiroshima, no matter what season you visit. Understanding Hiroshima’s past is key to appreciating its beauty. After paying a visit to the museum in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, a trip to Edo-period towns around the prefecture is a must. If you’re searching for picturesque locations, there are shrines and temples in Hiroshima that have stood since medieval times.



An old Japanese castle

Shimane is a gateway to Japan's mythical past. Called the “Land of the Gods”, the Prefecture is said to be where the gods of Japanese mythology gathered. Even up until this day, folklore and legends are closely connected to various places in Shimane. Because of that, make sure to explore the castle towns and shrines, as well as the unique tunnels at the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine. To top your trip off, get a breath-taking view of the scenic beauty of Shimane’s Oki islands.


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