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Cherry trees in full blossom are undeniably one of the most iconic sights in Japan. Their short-lived beauty that lasts only for a few days signifies the poetic fragility of life to many Japanese. Truly anticipated and appreciated, the locals celebrate this special time of the year with cherry blossoming viewing parties. The flowers bloom at different times in different cities, so it’s always handy to check the forecasts.
If you’d like to see the delicate cherry blossoms in all its glory, choose ANA InterContinental Tokyo, ANA Holiday Inn Sendai or ANA Crowne Plaza Kobe.
Best Time to Visit: March - May
Break away from the usual sightseeing agendas and discover why amusement parks are not just for the little ones. Explore world-renowned entertainment destinations like Disneyland and Universal Studios, as well as those unique to Japan like Nikko Edomura, an ancient town modelled from the samurai era. Each park offers a different kind of thrill and experience.
If you’d like to make a day trip to one of the many theme and amusement parks, stay at ANA Crowne Plaza Narita or ANA InterContinental Tokyo.
The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is one of the most spectacular and stunning mountain sightseeing routes in Japan. In spring, the roads are lined with gigantic, meandering snow walls that tower above the ground. The route also covers many scenic sites, including the remarkable Kurobe Dam and its impressive artificial lake.
You can make your way to the Tateyama Alpine Route from ANA Crowne Plaza Toyama.
Best Time to Visit: April - May
The natural wonder of the Sagano Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama will leave you awe-struck. It’s not just the area’s stunning beauty that fascinates visitors, the charm of the forest lies in its sounds. Take a leisurely stroll through the forest and hear the enchanting harmony of the winds as they blow amongst the magnificent columns of bamboo trees.
Stay close to the Sagano Bamboo Forest by choosing ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto, InterContinental Osaka or ANA Crowne Plaza Osaka.
Fireworks are a quintessential sight for summer in Japan. From July to August, there are fireworks shows all around Japan. It’s a festive affair where locals come dressed in casual summer kimonos, and the streets are lined with exciting food and game stalls. Made from the highest craftsmanship, these dazzling displays draw hundreds of thousands of people every year.
To get a good view of Japan’s most famous fireworks, stay at InterContinental Tokyo Bay, ANA Crowne Plaza Niigata or InterContinental Osaka.
Best Time to Visit: August - September
Every summer, from the months of June to September, vast rural fields in Furano, Hokkaido turn into picturesque landscapes of lavender. Blanketed by captivating gradients of violets and purples, these lavender fields are truly a sight to behold. A lot of visitors flock to the region to admire these beautiful colours in full bloom.
Enjoy local festivities that are held during this period like the Fireworks Festival, with a convenient stay at ANA Hotel Sapporo or ANA Crowne Plaza Kushiro.
Best Time to Visit: July
The tragedy of war leaves scars on a land and its people – even decades after. The Peace Memorial Parks in Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Okinawa set poignant backdrops for a prominent chapter in Japanese history, following the unleashing of the atomic bomb in World War II.
Discover these powerful landmarks in their respective cities, and choose your stay at ANA Crowne Plaza Hiroshima, ANA Crowne Plaza Nagasaki Gloverhill or ANA Crowne Plaza Okinawa Harbourview.
Japan has a wonderful collection of laidback islands that are perfect for summer and sunny tropical getaways. From Okinawa to Kyushu, each island has its own charm, whether it’s stunning emerald green waters, abundant coral reefs or pristine white beaches.
To enjoy a relaxing beach holiday with magnificent waterside views, visit ANA InterContinental Manza Beach Resort, ANA InterContinental Ishigaki Resort or ANA Holiday Inn Resort Miyazaki.
Best Time to Visit: July - September
A myriad of festivals are celebrated throughout the year as tributes to the Shinto gods. Every shrine has its own festivities. And every matsuri is a different experience, pushing the extremes from calm and quiet to wild and energetic. These festivals represent a true testament of diversity in Japanese culture.
Stay at ANA Crowne Plaza Osaka or ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto to enjoy some of the best celebrations.
Best Time to Visit: September - October
Grand and monumental, the castles of Japan reveal the country’s warring past during the 15th and 16th century. Hundreds of years later, these early fortresses have become major tourist attractions, fascinating visitors with their majestic architecture and ancient charm.
Take a glimpse into the feudal age through these impressive castles. Choose ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Grand Court Nagoya, ANA Hotel Kumamoto New Sky or ANA Hotel Okayama for your travels.
Buddhism has co-existed with Shinto since the 6th century. And temples, just like shrines, are considered architectural treasures in Japan. For a unique experience, visit these sacred buildings on New Year’s Eve. On that day, the temple bell is struck precisely 108 times to usher in a new start, and drive away the 108 evil desires that men are said to inherit.
Stay overnight at the ANA Crowne Plaza Kobe or ANA Crowne Plaza Osaka, while you visit the temples of Japan.
Just like cherry blossoms in spring, the colourful leaves in autumn are a sight to behold. From the mountains of Hokkaido to the temple gardens of Kyoto, autumn turns the whole of Japan into a scenic portrait of brilliant hues in red, brown, yellow and orange. The Japanese call the autumn leaves “koyo” and it has drawn travellers over centuries, who visit to catch a glimpse of its beauty.
Stay at ANA Crowne Plaza Narita and ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto for the best views of this spectacular scenery.
Best Time to Visit: October - December
Japan is an exciting winter destination, and the icy slopes of Hokkaido are touted to be among the best in the world. With the lightest, fluffiest champagne powder snow and mountain terrains suitable for thrill seekers of all levels, it’s a dreamy ski haven. And December to March is the best time of the year to visit.
The ANA Crowne Plaza Chitose is a great place to stay on your ski holiday in Hokkaido.
Best Time to Visit: December - February
Taking a therapeutic bath in an onsen is an authentic Japanese experience no visitor should miss. There are thousands to experience throughout Japan – more than anywhere else in the world. And for hundreds of years, the locals have vouched for the natural healing powers of these bubbling hot waters, attributing it as a source of good health.
Soak your cares away at two of the oldest onsens in Japan, Arima Onsen and Dogo Onsen, while staying at ANA Hotel Matsuyama and ANA Crowne Plaza Kobe.
The Sapporo Snow Festival is a winter event not to be missed. Every year for one week in February, Hokkaido’s capital is transformed into an arctic paradise, filled with enormous ice sculptures of every shape imaginable. From life-like carvings of majestic animals in motion to massive replicas of famous landmarks, every piece is unbelievably detailed.
Get to event grounds with ease by staying at ANA Hotel Sapporo, and you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the other exciting activities lined up during the festival.
Best Time to Visit: Februrary
There are tens of thousands of shrines across Japan, charming travellers with their mystical aura. These sacred places of worship for the Shinto gods are visited by natives and tourists alike for good fortune and special festivals. Historically and culturally significant, shrines are symbolic of a faith as old as the country itself. So no trip to Japan will be complete without experiencing them.
Built in 905 A.D., Dazaifu Tenman-gū in the Fukuoka Prefecture is one of the most famous shrines. This sanctuary is easily accessible from ANA Crowne Plaza Fukuoka and ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto.
Foodies from all over the world find their way to Dotonbori, a single street that’s the melting pot of Osaka’s unique culinary specialties. Here you can savour renowned dishes like okonomiyaki (savoury grilled pancakes) and takoyaki (fried wheat balls filled with diced octopus). When night falls, Dotonbori illuminates in a sea of flashing neon lights, beckoning visitors with promises of great food and merry times.
Stay at InterContinental Osaka or ANA Crowne Plaza Osaka, and experience all the gastronomic adventures the town has to offer.
Akihabara is simply exhilarating. With colourful street vendors and vibrant street scenes of neon lights and futuristic beeps, there’s little wonder why it’s known around the world as “Electric Town”. Technology enthusiasts will love the abundance of cheap electronics for sale, and devoted fans of anime and manga will feel right at home in the heart of “otaku” culture.
You can take a walk through this central Tokyo district in the day, and rest for the night at ANA InterContinental Tokyo or InterContinental Yokohama Grand.
The Japanese tea ceremony is an authentic and artistic ritual that’s made of graceful and disciplined movements. Every gesture is choreographed, from the placement of the utensils to the how you sip and take your cup. Travellers can have this deeply traditional experience in private tea houses with tatami rooms and Kimono-clad servers.
To experience this unique pastime enjoyed by many Japanese, you can stay at ANA Crowne Plaza Kanazawa or ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto.
The renowned Tsukiji Central Fish Market is one of the largest fish markets in the world, and is among the top things to see in Tokyo. In fact, tourists often brave predawn hours as early as 5 a.m. to catch the live tuna auctions, which are first-come, first-served and accommodates only 120 visitors a day. Another experience not to be missed at Tsukiji would be an authentic sushi breakfast, which you can enjoy at the many sushi counters around the market.
To make an easy trip down to the market, we’d recommend a stay at ANA InterContinental Tokyo or The Strings by InterContinental.