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I’m sure taking a trip across Japan is a thought that has crossed the minds of many, whether they’ve already visited the country or not. However, unless you’re enjoying a gap year or have an extremely understanding boss, taking enough time off to see it all in one go isn’t easy. Experiencing the change in climates as you travel between the different regions of the country or admiring the scenery particular to a specific area carries an undeniable charm. If only there were a way to experience Japan in its full glory without being restricted by the factor of time.

Well, we might have just the solution for all you busy people out there. It comes in the form of a special Google Street View movie which boasts footage of the whole journey across the country, from the northernmost tip of mainland Japan right down to the south.

The movie was produced by a group named “takram” which made use of an altered Google Street View tool named Hyperlapse. By employing the tool, it was possible to compile a movie that shows the journey across the whole of Japan.

The finished product is divided into several versions so you can get to the area that you’re most interested in quickly:

1.) Hokkaido (the northernmost of Japan’s main islands)
2.) Tohoku and Kita Kanto (Northeast Japan and northern part of the east)
3.) Kanto and Tokai (Eastern Japan and south of Tokyo region)
4.) Kansai and Chugoku (Southwestern Japan)
5.) Kyushu (the southernmost island)

In total there are five different videos to choose from, and since this is Google Street View you also get to go through areas with shops and streets where everyday people are going about their lives. You really get a feel of what it’s like to live in Japan and it’s not just a view from an elevated highway the whole way.

By the way, when you combine the play time from each Google Street View video, it totals in at 54 minutes and 46 seconds. Looking at it like this, it becomes a rather attractive alternative to the real thing. Not only does it not require any planning but it’s also completely free. If you’re just that little bit interested in what it’s like to travel across Japan in under an hour, why not check out the included videos below. It really is quite the ride!

Hokkaido:

Tohoku and Kita Kanto:

Kanto and Tokai:

Kansai and Chugoku:

Kyushu:

[ Read in Japanese ]