Spring Break in Japan for a Student Abroad

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You won’t go wrong with any of these choices. Below is a bit of information from a good friend who has led student groups in Japan.  See how the information we’ve included below fits in with your interests and the timing of your break, then make your decision.

Okinawa is in the subtropical climate zone and has comfortable weather for vacationers throughout the year. With this said, there is always a possibility that it could rain. Okinawa boasts crystal blue seas, white sand beaches and colorful marine life.  Also worth visiting is Shuri Castle, home of the King of Ryukyu, the amazing aquarium and many temples.   Lots of people speak English, so it’s pretty easy to get around if you do not yet have a handle on the Japanese language.  It is a culture fused with the Okinawa, Japan and Western traditions as the U.S. military has a strong presence there.  It is a very popular vacation destination.

Hokkaido is a spacious island located at Japan’s northern extremity with festivals throughout the seasons. Since Hokkaido holds over 1,200 festivals and events throughout the year, there’s bound to be one during your spring break.  It is a region with an abundance of natural beauty.  It is also a winter sport destination, so if the conditions are right at the time of your break, you might enjoy some good spring skiing.

Kyushu is the southernmost of the four main islands of Japan. Major cities in Kyushu include Fukuoka and Nagasaki. It is about a one hour flight from Okinawa. The climate is slightly warmer and more tropical than Honshu. The terrain is generally mountainous with very fertile valleys much like the rest of Japan except for the wide plain area at the northern part of the island.  It is famed for its pottery and has lots of history to explore as well as natural beauty and a nice climate.  If you’re a surfer, you’ll find this is a surfer’s destination with big beaches and big waves.

One more suggestion, if a little solitude is what you seek, would be to rent a car in the Tottori Prefecture.  It is located in the western part of Honshu, the main island of the Japanese archipelago in the northeastern part of the Chugoku region. Here you can explore the beautiful and diverse terrain of one of the least populated prefectures in Japan.  The northern part of the prefecture faces the Sea of Japan, bordered by a beautiful coastline decorated with green pines and white sand, including the Tottori Sand Dunes. To the south lie the Chugoku Mountains and the greatest peak in the region, Mount Daisen. Within the diverse topography of these mountainous areas, there are three major river basins in which open plains have formed. The prefecture’s central cities, Tottori, Kurayoshi, and Yonago, have developed in these three basins. The prefecture’s climate is relatively warm and displays brilliant changes between the four seasons.