10 incredible natural phenomena in Japan – Univers-Japon-Shop

This post may contain affiliate links. When you click through and make a purchase, we may receive a commission, at no additional cost to you.

Japan is home to so many amazing places, both man-made and natural. Although man-made sites can be exquisite, there is something truly extraordinary and almost magical about natural wonders. From a sea of ​​clouds to giant icicles, here are ten of the must-do things for any traveler to Japan.


Have you ever imagined yourself floating in a sea of ​​clouds? Japan has several places with unkai (sea of ​​clouds), so you can do that! When clouds form at low altitudes, it’s amazing to see them from above, appearing as smooth and endless as the sea. It takes the right mix of environmental aspects to create this wonder: high humidity, no wind, mountains, and being in the right place. place at the right time, at dawn. The most famous place to see a sea of ​​clouds is in Hokkaidō at Tomamu Resort’s Unkai Terrace. There are other locations throughout the country, including Nagano (with Mt. Fuji in the background!), Hyōgo, and Okayama to name a few.

2. The “pearl” of Mount Fuji

One of the fascinating “secrets” of Japan’s most famous mountain is the rare and extraordinary phenomenon known as the “Pearl” of Mount Fuji. Seen only during the full moon on a very clear night, this is when the moon rises on top of the mountain, looking like an elegant pearl. Although the full moon occurs every month, it only happens a few times a year, usually in the spring and fall. Two of the best places to see this happen are the Hakone Seiroku Mishima Suspension Bridge (Mishima Skywalk) and Tanuki Lake in Fujinomiya City. From these vantage points, you can get a clear, unobstructed view of Mount Fuji, and if you’re really lucky, it’s a gem.

3. Frosting Float (Hokkaido)

Hokkaido has no shortage of natural beauties and phenomena, making it a top tourist destination for anyone who wants to experience these wonders. Known in Japanese as ryuhyu, floating or drifting ice is found in the Sea of ​​Okhotsk. It floats around the north coast in winter, especially in Abashiri, where it is thickest. It is formed when fresh water enters the sea, reducing the salt content and causing it to freeze. The best time to see this is from mid-January to the end of February, and there are many ways, from cruises and train rides to ice hikes. This wonder has been included in the list of the 100 soundscapes of Japan, promoting the protection of the environment.

4. Zao Snow Monsters

A sight so mystical they have their own winter festival, Zao’s Snow Monsters are a perfect example of just the right weather conditions coming together to create something strange. Every winter, hundreds of trees on Zao Mountain in Miyagi are transformed into monstrous, towering figures by the snow and ice that accumulates there. It’s a perfect combination of cold winter weather, high altitude, and cold Siberian air that forms the monsters. The time to see these creatures begins in December, and they are at their largest (and usually illuminated!) from mid-February to mid-March. You don’t have to be a skier to enjoy ice monsters; you can also take hikes and snowmobile rides or admire them from inside a cozy cafe.

5. Fireflies at night

Fireflies are synonymous with summer in Japan, especially in the countryside, where they can be seen from early June to mid-July. Firefly watching is a traditional Japanese pastime, as these mystical creatures have inspired fascination for centuries. These remarkable insects emit light from their bodies, and Japanese folklore claims that the souls of soldiers turn into fireflies after death. They look best in quiet places near water, such as rice paddies, forests, or green parks, and a wet afternoon is the perfect weather to see them by the hundreds or even thousands. This also means that the darker the environment, the better, as too much light can scare away small insects. There are places in and around Tokyo to see them, such as the Chinzanso Hotel. Still, you’re better off in almost every dark area of ​​the campaign.

6. Hells of hot springs in Beppu

The small resort town of Beppu in Ōita Prefecture is home to more than 2,000 onsen, most of which are amazing for swimming, but the star attractions are known as the Beppu Underworld. With temperatures too hot for bathing, these hot springs are impressive feats of nature. The word for hell in Japanese is jigoku, and several are worth checking out. For example, Umi Jigoku, or Ocean’s Hell, has a striking aquamarine hue. The water is so hot that tourists love to cook boiled eggs in it. There’s also Chinoike Jigoku, or Blood Pond Hell, with striking red water, Oniishibozu Hell, which looks like a shaved monk’s head with its bubbling clay, and the spouting geyser from Tatsumaki Jigoku, or Tornado Hell, to name a few. .

Hot springs form from underground geothermal activity where tectonic plates crack and water flows below, where volcanic magma heats it. So while Japan may not be immune to natural disasters, it does have a certain beauty to it! There are seven unique “hells” in all that can be easily seen in a day in a rental car or on a tour.

7. Toyama Brilliant Soothe

As you read above, you’ve probably heard of fireflies, but what about firefly squids? For a short time between April and June, the Sea of ​​Japan off Toyama Bay lights up with ethereal, bioluminescent squid. During this time of year, squids come to the surface of the water in the middle of the night, hoping to attract a mate by using their glow as an evolutionary tool to thwart predators. It takes the right combination of factors like weather, tides, the moon, and weather conditions to see the squid in action. However, if you can witness this phenomenon, it is fascinating to watch thousands of squid light up the sea. You can book a fishing boat trip through the Hotaru Ika Museum and watch the fishermen harvesting them. And if you feel like it, you can try eating them, because it is a seasonal dish.

A fascinating visual phenomenon occurs between Naruto, Tokushima, and Awaji, Hyōgo. The Pacific Ocean meets the Inland Sea, causing the water to rush into the Naruto Strait, generating giant eddies. The best times to visit are between the end of March and April, when eddies of up to twenty meters form. They are best viewed from tour boats or from the Uzu no Michi walkway over the water. One park also offers rides that provide vantage points to watch the whirlpools. Believe it or not, ships that pass right next to and on top of eddies are safe because they are so big. Some even have underwater windows that let you get up close to the aquatic wonder.

9. Blue Pond

It is a phenomenon that is the result of a perfect stroke of luck. In Biei, Hokkaido, this pond combines a few different forces of nature to give off the distinctive blue hue that draws tourists to marvel. When Mount Tokachi erupted in 1988, a dam was built over the Biei River to prevent a volcanic landslide that created ponds. Shirahige Falls flows into the Biei River, collects aluminum, mixes it with other substances such as sulfur and lime, and washes it all into the pool, bleaching the rocks inside and creating color. There are bus tours from Sapporo that stop at the pond, and it’s beautiful any time of year, although the best cobalt color is seen in May and June. Winter is another magical time to visit; the pond is illuminated, giving a different appearance.

10. Misosuchi Ice Cubes

Japan is no stranger to winter illuminations, but Seibu-Chichibu in Saitama Prefecture takes things a step further with illuminations that combine with a powerful force of nature, ice cubes! These are no ordinary icicles either, with a ten meter wide wall that reaches a height of ten meters. Ice cubes form from spring water and peak between mid-January and mid-February. You’ll find these amazing icicles at Woodruff Okuchichibu Auto Camp Grounds and along the banks of the Arakawa River. This is where you can take part in the Otaki Ice Festival to see them lit up and glowing brightly.

Japan Merveille Voyage is a travel agency that offers guided tours throughout Japan.
From private walking tours to delicious food tours, we can help you put together the best tours just for you! If you want to explore Japan and learn more about the history and stories of each region you visit, our knowledgeable and friendly English-speaking guides will be happy to take you to the best places!
Also, we can provide any assistance you may need for your next trip to Japan, so please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need help!

▶Tokyo Highlights Full Day Private Walking Tour (8 Hours)
There is no better way to explore an area than on a guided tour with an expert local guide. You’ll have the chance to learn about Tokyo’s interesting history and background, as well as discover hidden gems that can be difficult to do without a guide.

Asakusa Tokyo Private Tour

▶Kyoto Full Day Private Walking Tour
On this full-day private tour of Kyoto, you can see the highlights of Kyoto in a single day while also developing a deeper understanding of both the culture of the region and of Japan as a whole.

▶Tourist Packages
If you want to make your trip easier, we suggest looking for packages. There is a wide range of packages to meet the needs of every traveler. Click the button below to find the best tour package among the various tour operators!

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TIC Tac for more travel inspiration. Or tag us to be featured!

Have a good trip !

Stay informed about the best Japan travel tips, the most exciting things to do and see, and the best experiences to have with the Japan Wonder Travel newsletter. Once every two weeks, we’ll bring you our latest content.

Other items you may like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *