The Upgrade by SUITCASE Magazine: A Practical Guide to Exploring Off-the-Beaten-Track Japan

Ticked off Tokyo? Checked out Kyoto? Go beyond Japan’s iconic hotspots to lesser-known prefectures that showcase the country’s cultural, coastal and culinary traditions. Eager to explore the Land of the Rising Sun? Here’s how to travel hidden Japan.

Calling upon the expertise of Paul Christie, CEO of trailblazing tour operator Walk Japan, we'll be spotlighting the Japanese prefectures you (probably) haven't heard of but should be making tracks to, his top Japanese travel tips and why Japan is leading the way for slow travel. Plus, Paul shares his insider guide to the Kunisaki Peninsula in Kyushu, a bucolic hidden paradise that he calls home.

Our travel editors also share their go-to guide to Iwate, an under-the-radar prefecture filled with blissful beaches, snow-sure mountains and soothing hot springs, and deep-dive into how wellness is key to unlocking Japanese culture.

We want to know where in Japan you've set your sights on. Want to hit the ski slopes? Soaking in onsen hot springs more your scene? Or how about slurping soba noodles in Iwate? Share with us your Japan travel plans to be in with the chance of winning a collector's bundle of SUITCASE Magazine, worth over £100.

Simply fill in this survey.

Beyond Tokyo: the under-the-radar Japanese prefectures we're making tracks to

The Lowdown

Start planning your trip to Japan with the Japan National Tourism Organization here.