Discover Japan with WeWard: 5 must-see walking routes!

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The app that rewards its walkers continues its global expansion! After Europe and the United States, Wardy is setting off to conquer Asia. Join him on his adventure and explore Japan's hidden treasures through walking.


Known as the "Land of the Rising Sun" due to its geographical position and mythology (the legendary sun goddess, Amaterasu, is considered the ancestor and founder of the Japanese imperial family, which still sits on the throne today), Japan is renowned for captivating Westerners.

Its traditions have managed to remain intact over time, despite the various historical conflicts that could have threatened them. Its rich and diverse culture and varied landscapes make it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

Why is Japan an ideal place for walking?

The Japanese place great importance on harmony, order, and tranquility. These same qualities are found in its landscapes and also in its philosophy. Given that stress caused by studies and work is a major societal problem in the country, walks in nature are a source of autonomous therapy for many residents.Due to Shintoism, the most important philosophical and religious current in Japan alongside Buddhism, nature is perceived as a divinity in itself.

Paradoxically, the country is recognized abroad through the prism of Tokyo, the capital of the country and a symbol of urban expansion, with more than 14 million inhabitants and 43 million in the Greater Tokyo area. It even became the most populous urban area in the world in 2018!

Of course, outside of Tokyo, the Land of the Rising Sun has many places preserved by nature, making them ideal places for walking!

Here is a non-exhaustive list of five places to discover in Japan by walking!

Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park


Who hasn't heard of Mount Fuji? With an ascent of 3,776 meters, it's Japan's highest peak and the 7th highest island peak in the world. And according to legend, anyone who manages to climb it is considered wise.Not to worry, we're not asking you to take on this once-in-a-lifetime challenge! But rather to discover lower-altitude places that inspire you to walk.Located about thirty kilometers from Mount Fuji, the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park offers a magnificent panorama of landscapes formed by lakes, hot springs (known as "onsen" in Japanese), hiking trails, and of course, distinctive views of Mount Fuji.

The Philosopher's Walk in Kyoto


Located in the northeast of Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, also known as Heian-kyo (the capital of peace), the Philosopher's Walk is named after a Japanese philosopher named Nishida Kitaro (1870-1945). He liked to take this path to meditate and go to Kyoto University where he taught philosophy.The two-kilometer path of the Philosopher's Walk connects the Ginkaku-ji (the Silver Pavilion) to the Eikan-do Zenrin-ji temple, but other places of interest are accessible. Very popular with tourists due to the cherry blossoms in spring and the colored leaves in autumn, it's best to go early in the morning to avoid the crowds and make the most of this magical setting.

Okinawa


The main island of the Ryukyu archipelago, a group of Japanese islands in the East China Sea north of Taiwan, Okinawa offers a wide variety of landscapes, atmospheres, and viewpoints.Its economy is mainly based on its many assets and activities unique to the region, such as snorkeling, hiking, and other water activities. There are exceptional places to discover such as the Churaumi Aquarium (the largest aquarium in the Japanese archipelago), the Shikina-en Royal Garden, the Yanbaru National Park, Shuri Castle, and the Gyokusendo Cave, which stretches over 5 kilometers! All this is crowned with white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters offering the perfect setting for a good walk.

Miyajima Island


This island is located off the rugged lands of Hiroshima. It has been designated as one of Japan's three most famous sites alongside Amanohashidate and Matsushima Bay, thanks to its floating Shinto shrine, which has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. The structure was built on stilts, and its current form dates back to 1168, but the site has been inhabited since 593!The site also inspired Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858), a famous Japanese painter contemporary of Hokusai, the artist who created "The Great Wave off Kanagawa."Miyajima is very popular with hikers and is easily accessible from the city of Hiroshima across the bay. From there, many paths lead to the island.

Shiretoko National Park


Also a UNESCO World Heritage Site (since 2005), Shiretoko is one of the best-preserved ecosystems in the world. The park is located in the Hokkaido region, in the northern part of the country, and offers breathtaking landscapes of mountains, forests, lakes, and wild coasts. The place is also very popular with hikers, especially the Shiretoko Goko Five Lakes trail, one of the most accessible hikes for everyone.Note: To avoid attracting wild animals, it is always prohibited to bring food with you on hikes. Only water is allowed!

In Taoist philosophy, which comes from China but is deeply rooted in Japan, there is a saying:

"A journey of a thousand miles always begins with a single step."

And the WeWard team is proud and delighted to cross this threshold into the Land of the Rising Sun!

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