Virtual travel is the next best thing if you can’t physically visit Japan.
Being stuck at home while the world is in quarantine doesn’t mean you can’t daydream about a future trip to Japan. The silver lining of virtual travel is that you can see some of Japan’s major icons without having to brave the crowds or the coronavirus. Travel Japan from home via webcams and live streams!
Ah, Tokyo, Japan’s eclectic capital filled with quirky, traditional, and futuristic experiences. Iconic Tokyo sites on two sides of the spectrum that shouldn’t be missed on a (virtual) trip to Japan include the Shibuya Crossing and Sensoji Temple which both have live streams available.
Mount Fuji, or Fuji-san, as it’s respectfully referred to by the locals, is the highest peak in Japan at 3,776m and has been a pilgrimage site for centuries. Fuji is praised for its beautiful symmetry and is the most picturesque in winter and spring when the triumphant peak is capped with snow. On days with fair weather, you can see Mount Fuji’s perfect reflection in any of the Fuji Five Lakes that surround the mountain.
Kyoto is another unmissable tourist destination in Japan, famous for its UNESCO World Heritage sites. Being known as the cultural capital of Japan is no small feat, but with over 1,600 temples, mystical zen gardens, historic castles, ryokan accommodation, and geisha, it’s no wonder people think of Kyoto when they think of traditional Japan. Live streams include Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) and Ginkakuji (Silver Pavillion) for those feeling nostalgic about past trips.
Osaka is the Kansai region’s answer to Tokyo, over on the western side of the country. The bustling city’s many shopping streets like Dotonbori and Soemoncho are the place of foodie travelers’ dreams. With these live streams, you can watch the sunset over the city skyline and explore temples as if you were walking through them in person.
With a plethora of hot springs, gorgeous mountains, and ski resorts, there’s plenty to see in Hokkaido any time of the year. Japan’s northernmost island is a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts and anyone wanting to experience the best of Japan’s natural beauty.
Kyushu is Japan’s thunder down under, as the third largest of Japan’s islands down on the country’s southern tip. There’s much to see and taste in Kyushu from Fukuoka’s pork ramen to Nagasaki, where the second atomic bomb on Japan was dropped during World War II, and Beppu, with its rejuvenating hot springs. Much of Kyushu’s landscape is made up of a system of volcanoes including Mount Aso, the largest active volcano in Japan which most recently erupted in 2016.
The red-faced snow monkeys that love to bathe in the hot springs at Jigokudani Monkey Park are always a welcome sight. Live vicariously through them as they roam around freely in their natural habitat.
Jigokudani translates to “Hell Valley,” a name given to the area due to its volcanic activity, which we have to thank for the hot springs! The man-made pool in the live image feed of Jigokudani Monkey Park is visited by the snow monkeys year-round, but the most photogenic time of year to see them is when a blanket of snow covers the park (usually occurs between December to March).