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3 of the best spots for stargazing in Japan

Those, like me, who prefer the countryside, know that a twinkling world awaits beyond the light pollution of the cities. Japanese skies are no different; they’re filled with millions upon millions of stars without borders.


Kurobe Alpine


In the remote parts of Japan’s countryside, the enormity of sparkles above you reflects in your wide eyes as you stare up in awe. Here, the only sound that might interrupt your stargazing experience is the river or insects or maybe snoring of your fellow traveller that fell asleep beside you because of how peaceful it is. It is a truly magical experience. So, you’re probably thinking: ‘How do I experience this? Must I take a detour?’


You’ll be glad to know, that it’s not hard to experience. In fact, it can fit into your current itinerary with ease and for no extra cost at all; you just need to know how and where to go. 


Here are our three favourite stargazing locations, shared by Tripfuser’s Local Agents in Japan.


1- Spotting shooting stars at Shirakawago Village


Anyone who’s planning to visit the famous Golden Route will likely include this sightseeing spot on their itinerary. However, did you know that you can stay overnight at one of its Gassho Houses? Gassho Houses, known for their steeply-pitched thatched roofs, are only found in the historic villages of Shirakawago and Gokayama. 


In Shirakawago, there are approximately ten houses that are open to tourists, specifically small private groups. Here, you’ll be hosted by owners who’ll give you an insight into traditional life and a truly unique and local experience. 


Shirakawago Village


2 - Catching the glittering skies at Kamikochi


Kamikochi is one of Japan’s most beautiful mountain valley areas, well-known for its great scenic roads (often travelled by eco-bus) and its stunning hiking trails. Kamikochi is a popular day trip, however, did you know you can also stay overnight here?


The area is home to original ryokans, traditional Japanese inns that date back to the 8th century, within the valley where you can stay overnight. Due to its remote location, by nightfall, Kamikochi’s skies light up with millions of glittering stars spread out in the midnight blue skies above the mountains. Kamikochi is also a great overnight option when travelling between the Nagano region and Takayama.


3 - Watching the skies sparkle at Kurobe Alpine


Have you heard of the Great Tateyama Kurobe alpine route? At 90 kilometres long, it is known as the ‘roof of Japan’ as it passes through the dynamic scenery of Mt. Tateyama in the Japanese Alps and is also home to the highest hotel in Japan. It takes approximately 8-10 hours to get from one end of the range to the other - via multiple methods of transportation - and is considered one of the great adventures of Japan. Need we say more about how stunning the starry skies would look from up there?


Of course, there’s a reason why these trips aren’t widely known. In order to find the best spots, away from the crowds with minimum noise interruption and maximum stargazing abilities, you’ll need to know someone who knows these parts of Japan like the back of their hand. This is where Tripfuser’s Local Agents come in. Taking an adventure with Tripfuser means you’ll be opened up to some of the most amazing local experiences and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that this stunning and culture-rich country offers. Start designing your Japan trip today.


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Written by: Tripfuser Local Agent Wyne P (for Traveltalk)
Published: 11 December 2018

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