Hidden destinations worth discovering

Have you been to Japan before and are looking to take your adventure further?
Why not take a look at some of our recommendations for more rural locations that are worth discovering.
These are our top 7 picks for Ryokan stays that might be a little harder to get to, but the pay off is great.

#1 Saikan Dewa Sanzan Haguroyama
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This Buddhist temple is located in Haguroyama and is part of the Three Mountains of Dewa. It's an historical building, originally called Kezouin, but was rebuilt in 1697. Adventurous guests reach the temple by climbing up 2,466 stone steps, though there is also a bus you can take.
#2 Ainokura
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High in the mountains of western Toyama Prefecture lies the village of Ainokura. Like Shirakawago in Gifu Prefecture, Ainokura is known for its Japanese thatched-roof farmhouses. Most of these houses were built between the end of the Edo Period and the end of the Meiji period but the oldest dates back to the 17th century. These unique buildings were used for the production of silk, once one of Japan's major exports. In 1995 Ainokura was listed as a World Heritage Site.
#3 Kinosaki Onsen
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Kinosaki Onsen (hot spring) is located in northern Hyogo prefecture and is famous for seafood especially crab which is best during the winter months. There are 6 public hot spring bath houses to enjoy. Travelers can be seen strolling along the river in yukatas (cotton kimono) and geta (wooden sandals) enjoying cherry trees and weeping willows as well of the traditional feel of the town.
#4 Aoni Onsen Ryokan
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Founded in 1929. Aoni Onsen is an unexplored Onsen along a mountain stream. There 4 types of hot springs with the beautiful views in every season. This ryokan is only lit by lamp.
#5 Keishokan Sazanamitei
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This Modern Ryokan is located in rural Hiroshima. Eight of the rooms at Keishokan Sazanamitei have their own private indoor hot spring bath and toilet. From the outdoor hot spring baths guests can enjoy a wonderful view of the Seto Inland Sea and islands.
#6 Wakamatsu Chita
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This ryokan was established in 1922 and is located on the peninsula of chita. All of its 18 rooms come with a beautiful view of Ise Bay. Your stay comes with seasonal cuisine that features seafood right from Ise Bay prepared many ways so you will no doubt find something that suits you.
#7 Kamikochi
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Kamikochi is located the Northern Japan Alps of Nagano Prefecture, offering some of Japan's most spectacular mountain scenery and hikes. It is open from mid/late April until mid November and shuts down during winter.
#8 Kaga Onsen
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Kaga Onsen consists of four hot spring towns south of Kanazawa, not far from Mount Hakusan, one of Japan's holiest mountains. Kaga was traditionally known for its production of Kutani ware ceramics and a type of silk fabric known as Kaga habutae. Hot springs were discovered over 1300 years ago by monks visiting Hakusan, and has been an important tourist city with a number of temples and hot-springs ever since.