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Japan's Kanto area consists of Tokyo and the prefectures of Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, Gunma, Tochigi, and Ibaraki. This article introduces the major sightseeing and important places in this eastern Japanese area.
The Kanto region designates the eastern part of the island of Honshū (Japan's largest island, located in the center of the country). In the past, from the eighth century to the eighteenth century, there used to be checkpoints at the borders between prefectures. These checkpoints were barriers, where the comings and goings of travelers were monitored. Out of the several barriers, the three main check points were situated in present-day Mie, Gifu and Fukui prefectures. The region situated eastern of these three checkpoints came to be known as Kanto.
The capital city of Tokyo, Kanagawa Prefecture, Chiba Prefecture, Saitama Prefecture, Gunma Prefecture, Tochigi Prefecture, and Ibaraki Prefecture are located in the Kanto region. This has lead to the coining of the phrase "one capital and six prefectures" ("itto broken" in Japanese).
The capital of Japan is right n the center of this region. Additionally, when referring to the Tokyo metropolitan area (the large area surrounding the capital), Yamanashi Prefecture is also included in the area designated as "one capital and six prefectures" of Kanto.
With places such as Harajuku and Omotesando, Tokyo continues to be a hub for youth culture. Sensoji Temple and Asakusa's Nakamise Street are popular tourist destinations, while the high-end shopping areas and artistic hubs of Aoyama and Roppongi also offer a multitude of must-see places.
In Kanagawa Prefecture you can enjoy a trip with the Enoden, the train that connects the mainland to Tokyo's Enoshima Island, while visiting the many temples of Kamakura, a city that served as the capital of Japan during medieval times. Traveling with this train is a very relaxing experience.
Narita Airport is in Chiba Prefecture, so there are many people who start their journey from here. You can take a day trip from Tokyo to the historical town of Nikko (Tochigi Prefecture), where you can experience the many cultural heritage sites of the area, mainly shrines and temples headed by the famous Tōshō-gū shrine.
After you have traveled around the Kantō region, you can continue your journey towards Gunma prefecture, where you can relax in the locally famous hot springs of Ikaho and Kusatsu. Once you're here, just let the tiredness built up from your travels wash away...
As you can see, the Kanto Region is steeped in history and brimming with must-see travel destinations, so it is sure worth a visit during your visit to Japan!
Pictures from Pixta