If you live in China or Japan, you have a wealth of culture, natural wonders, and exciting destinations to explore right on your doorstep. If you’re looking for somewhere new to head on a trip this year, these five cities, towns, and national parks should be at the top of your wish list.





Ishigaki Island is one of the top destinations to visit when you want to experience a premium beach spot. Located south of Tokyo, this island packs a lot for tourists and offers a bit of everything. The beach is the perfect place to relax, there are a plethora of adrenaline-fuelled activities to try, at night the bar come alive, and there are even cultural sights too. The stunning beaches and rich blue waters found in the bays are the top reason Ishigaki is popular with tourists. However, the fact that it’s been named as one of TripAdvisors destinations on the rise in 2018 should give you a hint at what can be found here. This paradise boasts museums, kayaking, national parks, and much more.





Hong Kong

When your holiday plans demand luxury, Hong Kong is ideal. There’s a great mix of environments and activities on offer in this famous city, perfect for holidaymakers that want variety during their trip. During the day you can relax on amazing beaches or shop until your heart is content at a mixture of street fashion boutiques and designer labels. The vibrant daytime atmosphere rolls into the night too, with plenty of buzzing bars to find a drink in. It’s not just luxury that Hong Kong does well either. Just beyond the boundaries of the thriving city, you can find stunning nature trails, while you can travel down the river in a traditional Chinese junk for an authentic experience. Whatever your vacation style, you can find it in Hong Kong.






If you’re a fan of the arts and culture, the historical Japanese city of Kanazawa could be perfect for you. It’s the capital of the Ishikawa Prefecture and, as a result, has plenty on offer for tourists seeking to discover Japan. Among the top attractions in Kanazawa is the Kenroku-en, a beautiful caste garden that dates back to the 17th century and is a riot of colours, especially during the spring and summer months. Other places to head include ancient temples to explore, preserved geisha and samurai districts that will take you back, and vibrant markets. Of course, as a cultural destination in boasts a huge amount of museums and monuments that will take you around the city.





Zhangjiajie, China, soared to fame after it was revealed for the inspiration of the beautiful fictional destination of Pandora in the blockbuster Avatar film. Hiking among the pillars or taking a cable cart to get an incredible view of the unique scenery is a once in a lifetime experience. There’s a huge range of natural sights to see and take in here but the city is also worth a visit. The city has a long history, dating back to 221BC and numerous ancient artefacts have been unearthed within its borders. There are tantalising dishes to try in restaurants, handcrafted wares on market stalls to browse, and a unique nightlight that embraces traditional folk dancing performances.






When you’re searching for a holiday location that embraces nature, look no further than Nikko, Japan. It might be a relatively small town but it’s the gateway to a breathtaking national park – the Nikko National Park. The park is most famous for Toshogu, a lavishly decorated shrine and it’s played an important role in Shinto and Buddhist worship for centuries. Exploring the park guarantees scenic views of everything from mountains to waterfalls. Of course, the town hold plenty of treasures too, including museums to lose yourself in and delicious restaurants, when you’ve had your fill of getting back to nature