Iyakei Valley is one of Japan’s best-kept secrets, but don’t expect it to stay that way for long. This remote area in the western part of Tokushima is an unspoiled natural paradise. Not for the faint of heart, the rocky gorges were traditionally, and continue to be, crossed by way of vine-made bridges, such as Iya no Kazurabashi, a 148-foot long six-and-a-half-foot wide overpass, suspended 50 feet above the Iya River. If all that sounds more thrilling than terrifying, you won’t want to miss these epic vacations for adrenaline junkies.
A short trip south from Oita Airport, on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, is Beppu, a spa oasis teeming with more than 2,000 hot springs. This resort town doesn’t just offer an impressive quantity but also an unparalleled range of baths and facilities. Relax in the healing waters at Kankaiji or Takegawara Onsen, reap the beautifying benefits of mineral-rich mud at Beppu Onsen Hoyo Land, bury yourself in geothermal sand at Beppu Kaihin Sunayu, or try a traditional steam (older than sauna) at Kannawa Mushiyu. Don’t miss these wellness retreats that make physical, mental, and spiritual health a priority.