We’ve been looking at beautiful places in Europe, but we haven’t yet taken a look at the nice places on the other side of the world. There’s a lot of pretty places to go to in Asia, and Japan is filled with them – picturesque and captivating all the same. Here, we’ll look at some places that can be added to your itinerary, as dream writing retreats. Be inspired by the charm of Japan, and find something to write about, as we run down five places in Japan.

1. Meiji Shrine

Meiji Shrine is located in Shibuya in Tokyo, and is one of the most visited Shinto shrines in Japan. The tranquil, peaceful locales, of course, have cultural significance in Japan – as a shrine dedicated to the Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken.

meiji 2 time

Image credit: Time

meiji 3 japan guide

Image credit: Japan Guide


2. Nijo Castle 

Nijo Castle in Kyoto was built in 1603 for the first shogun of the Edo period, Tokugawa Ieyasu, and was completed later by Ieyasu’s grandson, Iemitsu. It is a relic of Japan’s feudal era, and was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 1994. Apart from the buildings in the compound, Nijo Castle boasts a lot of beautiful gardens to stroll through. The cherry trees, in particular, are a sight to see during full bloom – inspiring, and worth writing about, certainly.

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Image credit: Kyoto City


3. Kamakura

Kamakura is found in Japan’s Kanagawa Prefecture, just a way away from Tokyo. Like the places listed before this, Kamakura has its own interesting local history. It served as Japan’s political center for a significant chunk of time, and is now a popular tourist destination. Among the many things that can be visited here are the large Buddha statue, and the many temples in the area.

kamakura 1buddha


kamakura 2 engakuji  Engakuji Templekamakura 3 jochiji

Jochiji Temple

Image credit: Japan Guide


4. Takayama

Takayama is found in Japan’s Gifu prefecture, and is considerably traditional in appearance. Among the places that can be visited is the old town. It also boasts the Takayama Festival, which is held in spring and autumn.

takayama 2 jinya



takayama 3 hida folk village

Hida Folk Village

Image credit: Japan Guide


5. Temple of the Golden Pavilion

Finally, we have Kinkakuji, or more popularly known as the Temple of the Golden Pavilion. One interesting thing about this is that the top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf. It was built as the retirement villa for one of Japan’s shoguns, Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, and had been burned down several times in history – twice during the Onin War. There’s a lot in Kinkakuji that evokes the richness of the higher class during the time it was built in Japan, including a garden, the Anmintaku Pond (it’s rumored that it never dries up), Fudo Hall, statues related to Buddhism, and an Edo-period teahouse, Sekkatei. There’s a lot going on in terms of history in Kinkakuji, but it’s also extremely beautiful and picturesque, and takes you back to a time when samurai still roamed the land.

kinkakuji 3 kinkakuji 1 kinkakuji 2

Image credit: Japan Guide


It goes without saying, of course, that these are only some of the places that can be found in Japan that may serve as personal writing retreats. There’s a lot to explore past these five, but of course you may want to go through them and reap whatever inspiration you can from these beautiful places.

About the author

A college student and frustrated writer who loves to drink a lot of coffee, play video games, read speculative fiction, and dream about castles.

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