A Road Trip Through the Japanese Alps

Neither of us had visited Japan before when we decided to take a small detour to the Land of the Rising Sun. Our road trip through the Japanese Alps, visiting tiny traditional villages and soaking in beautiful natural hot springs, turned out to be a highlight of our trip to Japan.

The Japanese Alps – the region a bit northeast of Kyoto – offers majestic scenery, delicious food, and (for the most part) an opportunity to explore a fascinating region without hordes of tourists everywhere you turn. We loved the freedom that renting a car in this region offered, and would highly recommend it. Before we get into the details, we’ll be up front: this adventure was not cheap for us. Especially compared with traveling throughout Southeast Asia for four months during low season. But if you can afford to splurge a bit, we highly recommend this little Japanese jaunt.