Kanagawa Tourism at Matta Fair

Matta Fair Kanagawa Tourism
If you did not already know, Kanagawa prefecture is one of the up and coming destinations in Japan to visit for 2018. This is because it is located closest to Tokyo and is one of the very interesting places in Japan which many do not know about. 

When you talk about Japan, most people will tell you about Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Hokkaido or Nagoya as places they have visited. But very few will tell you to go to Kanagawa, and sometimes we wonder why. Could it be that there is not enough information about this prefecture? 

In this article, I am going to share with you about the information on Kanagawa and it's interesting p laces to visit. At the last Matta Fair 2017, Kanagawa Tourism was present at the Japan booth and providing much information about the many places around here.

Matta Fair Kanagawa
The beautiful & vibrant city of Yokohama, photo by www.yokoosojapan.com
Where is Kanagawa? 

Located in the Southern Kanto Region, Kanagawa is part of the greater Tokyo region and the capital city is Yokohama. It only takes about half an hour train ride from Tokyo and can be visited on a day trip. It is also well known for the areas of Hakone and Kamakura, which are popular tourist destinations. 

Kanagawa boasts of multiple tourist attractions and sites, and the best option for visitors here is to spend a few nights in Yokohama. This will allow you to explore the prefecture without having to travel far.

Alternatively you can also stay at Odawara city, which is around half hour from Tokyo via the Shinkansen bullet train. Odawara is much closer to Mount Fuji and Hakone which makes travel a little easier.

Pirate Cruise Lake Ashi
The pirate ship cruise at Lake Ashi with Mt.Fuji view.
What to do in Kanagawa?

You will be surprised with the amount of things that you can do in the Kanagawa region. The most popular is visiting Mount Fuji, the icon of Japan. But exploring further will open up other unique and interesting places in Kanagawa. If you love the outdoors, then Kanagawa is the place to check out. 

Other places of interest include Hakone, home to many Buddhist and Shinto shrines and rich with traditional Japanese culture. Odawara is also well known for the traditional Japanese castles and Lake Ashi is known for the ship cruises with amazing views. Below is a list of things to do in Kanagawa.

A different view of Mount Fuji in Kanagawa, rarely seen in photos.
1. Get the Best View of Mount Fuji 

Mount Fuji is located about two hours from Odawara city and the most popular mountain in the entire Japan, and if you want to see the best view of Mount Fuji, I recommend you visit Hakone for this.

Many travelers either stay around the Mount Fuji area in traditional homestays or Ryokan's to experience this in the winter or spring. Another popular choice is staying at one of the Onsen or traditional Japanese hot spring resorts in Hakone.

Yokohama City at night with the beautiful lights. Photo by www.ietf.org.
2. Explore Yokohama 

The closest large city to Tokyo and only 30 minutes by train is Yokohama city, which is also the second largest city in Japan. There is so much to see and do in Yokohama, I can't even list them down. But the popular places include Yokohama Chinatown (One of the largest in the world), and Yamashita Park for it's natural beauty which is perfect for nature lovers.

Other places include the Red Brick Warehouse Park, Isezakichō and Noge for fusion and lifestyle food lovers, Motomachi shopping area, Minato Mirai 21 harbourside, Queen's Square Yokohama and Shin-Yokohama district where you can find the famous Ramen museum.

Odawara Castle sunset. Photo by Agustin Rafael Reyes
3. Visit the Western Area of Kanagawa

Located in the western area of Kanagawa, this place is home to the Odawara Castle, one of the important castles of Japan built in the mid 15th century, which was also the entrance city to Hakone. Odawara is also best visited in Autumn as the natural landscapes provide a very Japanese autumn experience.

Nature lovers will find the Kanagawa area very interesting too. For those into seaside or even scuba diving, visit Enoura town as it is well known for this sport. For Onsen lovers, visit Tenzan Onsen which is one of the recommended Japanese hot springs in Odawara. You will also find that the Fuji-Hakone Izu National Park has some amazing scenery.

Kamakura Daibutsu
The Great Buddha or Kamakura Daibutsu, one of the main attractions in Kamakura
4. Cultural Kamakura

If you love all things Japanese temples and shrines, Kamakura is the place to visit. This 800 year old historical city sits by the southern Japan coast and was once the Shogunate capital of Japan. You can also find over 20 Buddhist and Shinto shrines throughout Kamakura where Kamakura Daibutsu is one of the most famous.

Another reason why many people visit Kamakura is because there are many traditional Japanese festivals and events held here. This small town is recommended for anyone wanting something laid back and different.

Doraemon Museum
The Fujiko F. Fujio Museum in Kawasaki is also known as the Doraemon museum
5. Visit the Doraemon Museum in Kawasaki

For the Doraemon fans, this is the home of Doraemon, a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Fujiko F. Fujio. The museum is called the Fujiko F. Fujio Museum, but commonly known to everyone as the Doraemon Museum.

If you are staying in Yokohama, it takes only one hour to get here via train. Every Malaysian or Southeast Asian would know Doraemon and this is the ultimate visit to the home of the cute Japanese little blue cat.

Jinja Hakone Shrine
The famous Hakone Shrine or Hakone Jinja at Lake Ashi. Photo by www.linaka.co.uk.
6. Japanese Shrine in Lake Ashi

Lake Ashi is one of the most popular Japanese lakes and is located in the Hakone area of Kanagawa. People come here to see the famous red Hakone shrine or Hakone Jinja on the lake, and also to get that Instagram or Facebook photo too.

From this lake, you can also get some of the best photos of Mount Fuji in the background, different from the ones you usually see. There are also sightseeing cruises  along this lake and a lot of nature activities to do here.

View of Mount Fuji from an Onsen in Hakone
7. Try the Hakone Onsen

Hakone is a small town, which is a gateway to Mount Fuji and Lake Ashi, and is also designated as a Geopark by UNESCO. But what people come here for is usually the famous traditional Japanese hot springs or Onsen.

No doubt that Onsen's are found all over Japan, Hakone is probably one of the main areas for Onsen as there are many found here, ranging from Ryokan to Resorts. One of the main reasons is the hot spring waters and the impeccable views of Mount Fuji in the background.

Onsen Hakone
One of the hot springs in Hakone
Tourism Kanagawa
Kanagawa, your next destination in Japan
The above are just some of the places in Kanagawa that you can explore, as there are many more untouched or non-commercialized areas worth visiting. For more information on Kanagawa, you can also check out the Kanagawa Prefectural Government website.

Hopefully Kanagawa Tourism will be at the next Matta Fair 2018 in March or September. This all depends, and if there are more people visiting Kanagawa from now till then, chances are they may participate.To be honest, this is the best place to get first hand information on Kanagawa and its surroundings. 

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