Tourism Destinations: TOP 5 Prefectures From the END...

Tourism Destinations: TOP 5 Prefectures From the END...
In October 2018, "Regional Brand 2018" was released by Brand Research Institute, Inc. Among the most popular is the annual ranking of prefectures' attractiveness. The top-ranked prefecture is the ever-popular Hokkaido, which has maintained the top spot for several years, while the lowest-ranked prefecture is Ibaraki for the sixth year in a row.

Even though they were rated as less attractive, we believe that there must be some unique attractions that can only be found in those areas, so we would like to introduce some must-visit spots in the five worst prefectures.

5th from the END

Saitama

In 2019, Saitama Prefecture will be in the spotlight with the hit movie "Fly Me To The Saitama". With excellent access from central Tokyo, Saitama Prefecture is not only rich in nature, such as Nagatoro Canyon but also full of hot spots that you can only experience in Saitama!
Saitama travel destinations

│ Koedo, Kawagoe

There are many sights to see, such as the symbolic "Toki no Kane (Time Bell Tower)," the streets lined with warehouses that make you feel as if you have stepped back in time to the Edo period, and Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine, known as a shrine for matchmaking. Gourmet food is also very popular, and you can enjoy sweets made from sweet potatoes, grilled rice balls, grilled eel, and other delicacies in Kashiya Yokocho and Kura Street.

│ Omiya Bonsai Art Museum

This museum promotes Japanese bonsai culture, which is attracting worldwide attention. Visitors can admire magnificent masterpieces displayed in the collection gallery and in the bonsai garden, where 40 to 50 bonsai are on display at any given time. Some of the trees are over 1,000 years old. We also recommend participating in a workshop where you can create your own bonsai.
Address:2-24-3 Toro-cho, Kita-ku, Saitama-shi, Saitama[Google map

│ Tove Jansson Akebono Children's Forest Park

Tove Jansson Akebono Children's Forest Park is a free park where you can immerse yourself in the world of the Moomin fairy tales. Mushroom houses, water playhouses, and other scenery that looks like Moomin and Snufkin could appear at any moment are very photogenic. Why not spend a relaxing time in this extraordinary space surrounded by nature?

4th from the END

Tochigi

Tochigi Prefecture is home to the World Heritage Site Nikko Toshogu Shrine, which is popular among foreign tourists. Although the prefecture is dotted with famous hot spring resorts such as Kinugawa Onsen and Nasu Onsen, it has been regularly ranked low in terms of attractiveness for the past several years....
But there's more to Tochigi Prefecture than just Nikko and hot springs, and there are other fascinating spots that are rapidly gaining in popularity!
Tochigi tourist destinations

│ Oya History Museum - Subterranean Cave

Oya stone (igneous rock, created from lava and ash) in the whole world can only be mined in the Oya district of Utsunomiya City. Visitors can learn about the history of Oya stone (Oya Ishi) at the Oya Museum, from the remains of a quarry 30 meters underground. The illuminated scene looks like an ancient temple. The area has been used as a filming location for many movies, TV dramas, and music videos, including the movie "Rurouni Kenshin".

│ Ashikaga Flower Park

Ashikaga Flower Park is known for its spectacular view of wisteria and was the only place in Japan selected by CNN as one of the "10 Dream Destinations in the World in 2014. The fantastic large wisteria trees illuminated by lights are like a dream world. From fall through winter, the "Garden of Flowers of Light," known as one of Japan's three most popular illuminations, is held, making it a flower spot that can be enjoyed all year round.

│ Kinugawa Line Kudari

The Kinugawa River is known for its beauty, and the boat ride down the Kinugawa River is a thrilling experience. The contrast between the autumn leaves and the emerald green river is exceptionally beautiful. The boat ride takes about 40 minutes and is suitable for everyone from young children to adults.
Address:1414 Ohara, Kinugawa Onsen, Nikko City, Tochigi Prefecture[Google map

3d from the END

Saga

Saga seems very plain in the Kyushu region, and many people may only think of the Yoshinogari ruins or Arita ware.
But! Saga Prefecture is home to some of the most photogenic power spots and world-class events known to man!
Saga travel destinations
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│ Kyoseki Park

A group of 17 megaliths scattered at an elevation of 200 to 350 meters. These megaliths are more than 10 meters high. Some of the stones are worshipped as the bodies of gods and are considered to be power spots. A recommended photo spot is "Amano-Iwato". The beauty of the formations created by nature is very mysterious, and you will be able to take a sophisticated picture.
Address:329-5 Oaza Umeno, Yamato-cho, Saga City, Saga Prefecture[Google map

│ Floating Torii Gate of Ouo Shrine

Overlooking the Ariake Sea, Tara Town is said to be "a town where the gravitational pull of the moon can be seen" because of the large difference in ebb and flow of the tide. The underwater torii gate leading to the sea is a popular photogenic spot. At high tide, the top of the torii gate is submerged in the sea, but at low tide, it is fully exposed and visitors can walk under it.

│ Saga International Balloon Fiesta

The hot air balloon competition is held every fall and attracts many participants from all over the world. The spectacle of colorful balloons floating in the blue sky is truly photogenic. You can also enjoy other attractions such as lighting up moored balloons, giant balloons of characters and animals, and more.

2d from the END

Tokushima

For the second year in a row, Tokushima Prefecture ranks second from the bottom among the most attractive prefectures for tourism in Japan. Tokushima Prefecture is famous for its Awa Odori dance, but it also has some fascinating spots that can only be found in Tokushima Prefecture, such as unexplored spots about the legend of the Heike clan and art museums with masterpieces from around the world!
Tokushima travel destinations
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│ Iyanokazura Bridge

The suspension bridge is said to have been built by a fallen Heike clan leader, who wove the bridge out of kazura (a kind of vine) so that it could be cut off quickly when the Minamoto clan was pursuing the bridge. The bridge is 14 meters above the water, with wide gaps between the treads. You can enjoy the thrill of the suspension bridge and the nature of Iya Gorge, one of the most unexplored areas in Japan, at the same time.

│ Naruto Whirlpools

The Naruto whirlpools are one of the world's three major tidal streams. If you want to see the powerful whirlpools up close, a tidal boat is recommended. You can view the whirlpools from directly above the glass floor of the promenade "Whirlpool Way" on the girder of the Onaruto Bridge.

│ Otsuka Museum of Art

The museum exhibits more than 1,000 full-scale reproductions of famous paintings from around the world, including "Mona Lisa" and "Girl with a Pearl Earring," and the hall where Yonezu Genji sang live during the 2018 Kohaku Uta Gassen was a reproduction of Michelangelo's ceiling painting of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.
Address:65-1 Fukuike, Tosatomariura, Naruto-cho, Naruto-shi, Tokushima[Google map

1st from the END

Ibaraki

Ibaraki Prefecture has always been in the bottom of the attractiveness rankings. Once again, Ibaraki is ranked as the worst prefecture, but don't underestimate it! Ibaraki Prefecture is home to many of Japan's world-class attractions!
Ibaraki travel destinations
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│ Ushiku Buddha

This statue of the Great Buddha is the tallest in the world at 120 meters above the ground! Guinness World Records also recognizes the impressive "Standing Bronze Statue" in Ibaraki. It is so large that it could hold the Great Buddha of Nara in its hand...
Address:2083 Kuno-cho, Ushiku-shi, Ibaraki[Google map

│ JAXA Tsukuba Space Center

The center of the Japanese space program is located in Ibaraki! At this facility, you can see the actual H2 rocket, a full-scale model of the Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo" (the hope) of the International Space Station, and other spectacular facilities that everyone has probably heard of.
Address:2-1-1 Sengen, Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture[Google map

│ Hitachi Seaside Park

The well-known National Hitachi Seaside Park. The nemophila in spring is especially popular here, turning the ground as far as the eye can see into a blue carpet. With such a spectacular view, is Ibaraki really the worst prefecture to travel?
In this article, we have introduced the highlights of the five prefectures listed at the end of the "Prefectures' Attractiveness Ranking".
Each of the prefectures is rated as less charming, but they are full of unique spots you can only experience there.
But we are sure, you can find even more exciting traveling destinations to visit in those prefectures.

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