Kawachi Fuji Garden, Kitakyushu, Japan

Located in the city of Kitakyushu, Japan, straight from an impressionnist paint, Kawachi Fuji Garden is home to an incredible 150 Wisteria flowering plants spanning 20 different species. The garden’s main attraction is the Wisteria tunnel that allows visitors to walk down an enchanting tunnel exploding with colour.

Tips

Located about 6 hours from Tokyo, the best time to visit it, is from late April to mid May, typically peaking at the end of April. The garden is private so there is an entry fee. Stay in one of those typical Japanese guest’s house, you will be enchanted.

 

Snow Jade Cave, Fengdu, China

Located about eight miles from the new county of Fengdu, the Snow Jade Cave is rated as China’s most beautiful by Chinese National Geography. Discovered in the mid-1990’s, the cave is over 1,022 miles long. Because of its uniqueness and beauty, it has become a popular scenic spot along the Yangtze River as well as serving as a research site for the study of caves. Most of the stalactites in the cave are white and pure as jade, hence its name. Stalactites grow quickly – thirty-three millimeters in one hundred years in fact. In contract, in other such kinds of caves, the average stalactite only grows one millimeter in a century. It houses many spectacular and unusual karst formations. These include a waterfall; stone hair; shields; coral and animal shapes. Tourists have 725 miles to visit. You will see the so-called ‘Four Wonders’; the coral tower in the cave is the largest of its kind in the world; the glittering and transparent King Stone Flag at 26 feet high is the world’s tallest and thinnest stone flag; the stone shield at 13 feet high is also known as the Snowy Jade Penguin; some groups of stalactites resemble goose necks, some as much as two yards long.

Tips

You can go there by car or boat or you can take a bus at Chaotian Gate bus station to Fengdu.
The best time to visit the region is in winter or spring.
You must take some warm clothes to enter into the cave. Another possibility is to rent warm clothes there.
It’s recommended not to visit the cave alone.
If you make a trip along the Yangtze River, the cave is one of the usual tourists stops.

Salinas Grandes, Jujuy and Salta, Argentina

The Salinas Grandes in Jujuy and Salta, Argentina, are a small salar or salt desert located on the high plateau of the provinces of Jujuy and Salta. The salar extends in fact to the southwest of the ‘Laguna de Guayatayoc’. It is an expanse area of salt in the form of hard crust, with a thickness of 30 centimetres. You can drive by car on its surface. It is dazzling whiteness, and almost always forms with the blue sky, a landscape of stunning beauty. A nice asphalt road leads directly onto 190 kilometers departing from San Salvador de Jujuy (national road 52). This road (Paso de Jama to Chile) passes through Purmamarca. It takes two hours in total. The Salinas Grandes is located at the small town of Abra de Potrerillo. It is the third salar in importance in South America. Their origin dates back to about 5-10 million years when the place had been covered completely by waters of a volcano. The evaporation of the liquid and its components through the time formed the salar.

Tips

You can visit the Salinas Grandes by yourself or through a local tourism operator. You will find tours departing from the cities of Jujuy and Salta and they generally make a stop to visit Purmamarca and see the ‘Cerro de siete colores’ (mountain of the seven colors) and to take advantage of its market of craft products.
If you decide to go by yourself by car, remember that it is an isolated area with very little villages on the way so have your tank full and carry water and food. Once there, you will find a restaurant.
Don’t forget to bring sunglasses to protect your eyes from so much brightness. Comfortable shoes are recommended.
If you go by yourself, you will have the explanation from the workers working on the spot. They are very friendly and welcoming as all the people of the region.