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Ready, Set, Explore!
The great thing about Japan is that you do not have to go far to see something beautiful or interesting. Often times there are nice places right around the corner and exploring Japan can be done in many ways. People like tour guides, some like to go the most popular places from a travel guide, and some just like to walk down a road and stop whenever they are interested in something.
A lot of small Japanese towns can look a little deceiving to begin with. They are tiny, have old houses, and seem to have no one in sight. But what they might have are cool shrines or temples that have been around for hundreds of years.
One of my favorite things to do is to go to Google maps, zone in on my surrounding location and find parks, temples, or shrines. I have been surprised on the amount of interesting places that were just seven minutes from my house.
To help motivate you all in finding your inner explorer, I will show a few of these places. Going here and learning about the history behind them are even more rewarding.
I live in Nagasaki, but near the outskirts. I like to say if a conbini is more than 5-10 minutes walking distance from your house, then you live in the middle of nowhere. Here are a few places I have found that make me appreciate where I am living right now.
Plan your own adventure!
Wakamiya Inari Shrine
It was about 20 minutes before sunset and I have been at my apartment doing chores all day and needed to find somewhere to go but did not know where. So I opened Google maps, and found the closest place to me that seemed interesting.
Wakamiya Inari Shrine is dedicated to the god of harvest. It is really cool to see and is said to have been around since the Edo period and also to have been visited by the famous Sakamoto Ryoma. To get to the shrine it takes a bit of walking, but the view makes up for this
Kazagashira Park is one more example of what you can find by walking around town. There is a beautiful view of the Nagasaki port and a park lined with cherry blossom trees. One of the most prominent aspects of this place is the Sakamoto Ryoma (okay he’s famous) statue that appears to be looking over Nagasaki. This statue was built during the Heisei period in 1989.
So please go out and explore Japan. You will be amazed at the places you will stumble on without even realizing it. Japan has so many great views, as well as history so it is always satisfying finding someplace new and learning about it!