We are about to say konichiwa to Tokyo Olympic, but sadly, thanks to Covid-19, no chance to see Japan in person this year.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t start planning trips to the country of cherry blossoms in the future, especially when there are so many exciting new activities for 2022.
Pokémon fans will rejoice at the chance to hunt real-life Pikachu in a brand new attraction at the Yomiuriland theme park, while Disney lovers have a very special new kingdom to look forward to.
And if you need to zip between Japan’s iconic cities, a new bullet train is about to take you to your next indulgence.
Pokémon Wonder, Tokyo
If your idea of sport is less javelin, more ‘Pokémon battle!’ then you’ll want to make a pilgrimage to the new Pokémon Wonder, located in a vast forest behind Yomiuriland, an amusement park on the outskirts of Tokyo.
With games like Pokémon Go and the new Pokémon Snap, an entire forest is available for fans to roam and soak up the scavenger hunt experience.
As you enter the 4,500 square meter space, you will be greeted by the legendary Pikachu and Professor Kureso on his research team, who will provide you with an orientation brief.
You can then spot more than 50 species of Pokémon, including the likes of Oddish, Diglett, and Rowlett, in the park’s beautiful surroundings. It runs until April 2022.
Treehouse full of trees, Okinawa
Japan can be crowded but you can still find great isolation. The sustainable Treeful Treehouse eco-resort, powered entirely by solar energy, is
will soon open in Okinawa, the collection of islands in the south of Japan.
Designed to bring visitors closer to nature, the individual rooms are set right in the middle of the forest canopy and offer 360-degree views.
There will also be a shared Aerohouse space – equipped with bathrooms, rest and relaxation rooms, and kitchens – connected to the tree rooms via a series of floating walkways and forest paths.
From your lofty base, you can explore the rugged coastal region, with both intrepid treks and time spent on beautiful beaches.
Oku-Noto Triennale 2020, Suzu
Billed as ‘the most important art festival on the farthest edge of the world’, the Oku-Noto Triennale 2020 – delayed since last year due to the pandemic – takes place on the pole of the Noto Peninsula in the upper Ishikawa prefecture coast, the other side from Tokyo.
The festival, which will take place in the city of Suzu, will feature 48 artists from 16 countries, including sculptor Noe Aoki, adventurer-turned-photographer Naoki Ishikawa and German visual artist Carsten Nicolai.
Don’t miss the Okura Zarae project, which showcases local folk tools and other popular items from the past along with recollections from their owners.
The objects have been collected from private repositories with the help of local residents, folklore experts and artists.
From September 4 to October 24.
Fantasy Springs at Tokyo DisneySea
Japan has creativity flowing out of its eyeballs, so it’s no surprise that the epic, culminating theme park Tokyo DisneySea is planning an expansion, slated to open late next year. or early 2023.
Dubbed Fantasy Springs, the site will add four more attractions to the park based on popular Disney movies including Tangled, Frozen and Peter Pan.
Visitors will be able to explore Anna and Elsa’s kingdom of Arendelle, the forest and tower where Rapunzel lived in Tangled, and Neverland, home of Peter Pan.
Neverland sounds oddly exciting: an attraction that will take guests through the jungle to engage in battle with Captain Hook and his crew to rescue Wendy’s brother John.
ALFA-X bullet train, Tokyo to Hokkaido
No trip to Japan would be complete without an enlarged bullet train, and two new ones will launch within the next few years.
Last year saw the testing of the new Alfa-X test bullet train on the Tohoku line connecting Tokyo with Shin-Hakodate-Hokuro in Hokkaido.
It is expected that the new fuel-efficient service will halve journey times on the route thanks to speeds up to 360km/h (it beat the record at 382km/h in the test run).
In addition, there will be an extension to the line connecting passengers to Niseko ski resort and Sapporo city by bullet train from Tokyo by 2030.
Finally, a new high-speed 6-car train called Kamome – meaning seagull – will be introduced on the new western line of Kyushu Shinkansen in autumn 2022, connecting Takeo Onsen – a town in Japan The extreme southwest of Japan is famous for its hot springs – with the city of Nagasaki.
Don’t miss these iconic Japanese cities
Japan’s bustling capital is full of must-see attractions, from the bottom up
raised the Shibuya Crossing to the former Tsukiji fish market and the Tokyo Skytree (considered the tallest tower in the world).
Dubbed the ‘temple town’ thanks to over 2,000 temples and shrines across the city, you can’t miss Kinkaku-ji or the gold leaf-covered Ryoan-ji with its charming Zen garden.
Foodies should head to this city, as it is one of the best places to eat in the country.
Try local delicacies like takoyaki, fried octopus, and okonomiyaki, a savory pancake.
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