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Hokkaido

Japan for Outdoor Lovers: 5 Activities for the Bucket List

Hokkaido

A bustling city scene, the Tokyo Tower, and the Tokyo Skytree are just some of the familiar images of Japan. But there is much more to the country outside its fascinating urban hubs and famous city attractions. If you love nature and the outdoors, you will find an overabundance of places and activities to explore. From the stunning Fuji-san to the beautiful experience of cherry blossom viewing while enjoying delicious foods and treats like matcha snacks, Japan unfailingly provides plenty of delightful reasons to have an unforgettable visit.

1. If you are in Japan anytime between the months of July to the middle of September, consider taking a hike to the summit of the country’s iconic mountain – Mount Fuji. From there, you can catch a breathtaking view of the sunrise which will make the climb totally worth it.

2. Take a trip up north and discover the natural bounties of Hokkaido. Visit Farm Tomita in Furano-cho during summer (July-August) to see its beautiful lavender fields. Be mesmerized by the night view from the peak of Mt. Hakodate. Enjoy a cup of coffee at the Unkai Terrace and marvel at the spectacular view of the sea of clouds. And in winter, explore the many ski resorts and activities the island is known for.

3. Take a hike at the pilgrimage routes of Kumano Kodo. Follow the footsteps of ancient and modern pilgrims who have made the trek as early as the 11th century. Let your feet take you to places that include verdant forests and picturesque villages among others.

4. Enjoy the scenery, the climate, the beaches, and dive sites of Okinawa.

5. Rent a bike and explore the neighborhoods, streets, and alleys of Tokyo. Or go on a bicycle tour of the Shimanami Kaido route that will take through some of the most scenic spots that boast of breathtaking fields, ancient temples and shrines, and a wide array of other magnificent sights.

4 Short Trails for Easy Walks in Mayo, Ireland

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Located in the west coast of Ireland, Mayo has plenty of breathtaking attractions for outdoor lovers. Its nature attractions provide a perfect setting for adventures and recreational activities. One of the best ways to enjoy the scenic views of the county is to explore it on foot. A leisurely walk along trails surrounded by awe-inspiring scenery is a great way to spend time in the area. Here are some of the best short trails for easy walks in Mayo.

1. Aughaval Killeennacoff Walk

This family-friendly walk takes you along a 5-kilometer trail that courses around Killeenacoff Hill. From the Aughaval Cemetery along the West Road, follow the track along the Owenwee River. The trek uphill offers a breathtaking view of the landscape. The path then goes downhill and leads to a fork. Continue on the right and you will find a bridge that crosses over the river. Keep walking until you arrive at the Killeenacoff village. Stay on the path which takes you past areas where you get a view of Clew Bay. The trail leads back to the Aughaval Cemetery where you started.

2. Belleek Forest Park

Belleek Forest Park is a woodland trail. Here you can walk surrounded by the sounds of nature. The quiet walk is broken with the soothing sounds of the forests. You can hear birds chirping and water flowing. Surrounded by towering trees, you can explore the pathways to see some of the most beautiful flowers to be found in this route. You may also come across some of the wildlife that calls this forest park their home.

3. Erris Head Loop Walk

Erris Head Loop Walk takes you to a 5-kilometer trail with amazing scenery. This route passes through a field and along the cliffs where you can enjoy views of the Danish Cellar, Stags of Broadhaven, and more. You can take the time to rest in the area and simply soak in the sights from the top of the cliff and watch the waters hit land below.

4. Tourmakeady Loop Walk

The Tourmakeady Loop Walk is another 5-kilometer route. This trail takes you along the countryside cutting into the woods where you can marvel at scenery. Watch out for the waterfall and the pond that are among the beautiful sights to see along this trail.

A Walk in Scenic Merthyr Tydfil

Photo by Perceval https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29293153
Photo by Perceval https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29293153

Merthyr Tydfil in Wales is a haven for outdoor lovers. There is a wide range of leisure, recreational, and adventure activities to enjoy. Walking is one of the best ways to explore and admire the scenery. There are several trails to choose from. Some routes are short that stretch to less than three miles while others may require some moderate walking through more rugged trails. Cyfarthfa Castle is an excellent spot for a leisurely stroll or a starting point for long meanders. The castle which was built in the 1800’s used to be a private residence of one of the ironmasters that amassed their fortune back when the iron business was at its peak. It now serves as a as a museum.

Strolling around the Cyfarthfa Castle grounds

Indulge in a relaxing stroll while exploring the grounds of Cyfarthfa Castle. This trail is a great choice for a short walking tour that reveals picturesque views. This route will take you from a tarmac footpath to a bit rougher terrain. Overall, it is an easy trail to navigate with slight inclines and descents. Prepare to be charmed not just by the castle grounds but by meadows and lush trees in the woods where the path leads.

Meandering along the river

Take a walk along the river by taking another trail that starts from the Cyfarthfa Castle grounds. The route which stretches to almost five miles can be more rugged with its more uneven footpaths. This trail takes you from the paths along the river near the castle, across a bridge, and on to the Taff Fechan nature reserve. This scenic route offers more glimpses of verdant forest that is home a wide array of wildlife.

Exploring the Brecon Beacons

Cyfarthfa Castle also serves as a jump-off point for those who want to explore the Brecon Beacons. The route takes you along a path that intersects a portion of the Taff Trail. The paths meander through the woods and meadows passing by the rivers in the area. The moors are also part of the many sights that greet hikers. Over twelve miles long, the trail is not difficult to follow even for less adventurous trekkers.