For Australian tourists Japan sits pretty high as a frequently visited travel destination, and its not hard to see why. From the epic snow seasons, the best sushi in the world and of course the welcoming locals - Japan seems to have it all!
But what else is there? I mean its a well size-able island or should I say 6,852 islands... where else should you visit?
1. Oboke Gorge
Oboke was our first stop after leaving Osaka city, and it was an amazing start to our journey through the country landscapes.
We arrived mesmerised by our first glimpse of the gorge, prominent light beams making their way down to the sheer gorge walls. The water beneath was a phenomenal blue which was highlighted by the warm autumn leaves.
After exploring the gorge by foot we spent the following day rafting down its rapids and then finally with a more calm boat ride in between the sheerest cliffs of Oboke Gorge. It was out of this world!
2. Niyodo River
Niyodo River was my favourite. I managed to look up some images of the river before we arrived and I was in disbelief at how clear the water seemed to be - it looked like it was in a swimming pool...
But Niyodo proved me wrong, the water really is that pristine and the further we followed the river, the clearer it got! We were so tempted to get the housing out and go for a swim but the water really was pretty cold, a quick dip was refreshing but wading in the water getting housing shots seemed a bit silly haha! We will definitely be back in warmer weather though.
3. Nikofushi Waterfall (or any waterfall you happen to stumble across)
Japan is very mountainous, it also receives quite a substantial amount of rain each year - so I guess that explains why it's home to so many beautiful waterfalls!
Nikofushi waterfall is not far from Niyodo River in the Kochi Prefecture, so its definitely worth the detour! Before changing into your swimmers and dipping into the pool down the bottom please keep in mind that swimming is not permitted as this is an extremely sacred spot for the locals. I nearly made this mistake myself if it were not for our lovely guide informing me otherwise, and as there are no visible signs it would be an easy mistake on a self-drive journey.
It's just a short 100m descent to the falls where you will be greeted by a bright turquoise pool, the water is also crazy clear like its surrounding rivers!