Because of its Eye-popping art and a scenic coast, Japan’s Setouchi is number one on the top 30 recommended destination for tourists in 2019.
Why now? The National Geographic Magazine says Japan is a MUST visit because it will host the 2019 Rugby World Cup, and for those looking to avoid the crowds in Tokyo or Osaka, Japan’s Inland Sea is the ideal low-key getaway.
Main attractions? England, Scotland and Ireland will all play at Kobe Misaki Stadium, and there’s plenty to do once the final whistle goes.
Visit cities such as Hiroshima, or Matsuyama, or island-hop on the Inland Sea. Naoshima (Japan’s ‘art island’) has Chichu Art Museum, with works by Monet, James Turrell and Walter De Maria, as well as Yayoi Kusama’s polka-dot pumpkin sculptures. In 2019, it joins 12 other islands and two ports in hosting the Setouchi Triennale art festival.
The Nat Geo publication says, “The region is also known for its Kobe beef — fatty, pink, marbled cuts — so carnivores won’t go hungry.”
Rwanda has not come on the list, despite its breathtaking scenery and having been featured as one of the top touristic destinations by many rankings over the past years.
The National Geographic Magazine says Rwanda did not come on the list because the country “doubled the price of its gorilla trek permits from $750 to $1,500 (£572 to £1,144) in 2017.”
This, it says, has diverted gorrila lovers to neighbouring Uganda, which has frozen its own rates at $600 (£458) until mid-2019.
Uganda is ranked number 16
Main attractions: The Publication says, “If you’re longing to see mountain gorillas in the wild, but Rwanda’s ultra-luxe lodges and high permit fees don’t suit your budget, head for Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest instead. The steady growth of its gorilla population is one of Africa’s great conservation success stories, with tourists playing an important role. Almost 20 families can now be visited by guided groups of up to eight. Trekking fees raise funds not only for gorillas and their habitat, but also for Uganda’s other national assets including Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls National Parks, home to chimps, giraffes and hippos.”