People find themselves asking “Is this really in Japan?!” It is, and you should go see it for yourself!

While oft overlooked by foreign visitors, Fukuoka Prefecture is still a popular destination for Japanese travelers year-round. It may not have the draw of a huge bustling city like Tokyo or the endless selection of famous shrines temples that Kyoto has, but it’s a city with its own charm, and also one of the world’s largest Buddha statues.

Not far from the Big Buddha we visited previously is a little retreat that will make you feel like you’re not in Japan anymore. The Sasaguri Kyudai Forest (Sasaguri Kyūdai no Mori), sits on the western edge of Kyūshū University’s research forest, and is jointly maintained by the university and the town of Sasaguri.

At the center of the forest park is Kabataike Pond, around which a two-kilometer (1.24-mile) hiking trail allows visitors to take a scenic stroll through the serene forest. The 17 hectares of Sasaguri Forest is home to approximately 50 types of evergreen trees and 40 types of deciduous trees, the most notable of which has to be the impressive-looking raku-usho, or the bald cypress. The tall trees growing out of the water with their flared trunks make them an attractive subject for photographers visiting the park.

The changes of the season and even the angle of the sunlight throughout the day can really change the aura of the forest.

The Sasaguri Kyudai Forest is just one more little reminder of all the amazing sites Japan has to offer, and hopefully encourages you to take your travels outside of the typical tourist destinations.

Source: Naver Matome, Shinrin Therapy 
Featured image: Instagram/@ryomatudo