Japan is huge and offers a lot to admire and explore from culture, history, gastronomic and fashion perspective.
Below we list some of the most popular places to visit in Japan and experience the Japanese beauty, containing crowded metropolis, breathtaking views and amazing landscapes. Check the top destinations out and plan your trip!
The city of Osaka is located just half an hour away from Kyoto. Kyoto and Osaka could not be more different from one another. Osaka is a sparkling city famous for its traditional Japanese cuisine and worldwide delicacies. There you will find some of the most fun-loving citizens, who will welcome you with big smiles. The people of Osaka are known for their obsession with food and drinks.
Osaka has got to offer some sights like the Osaka Castle and the world-renowned Osaka Aquarium but other than that the city’s food is what attracts visitors from all around the globe. If you there go beer tasting!
In Osaka, experience Japanese nightlife and huge shopping areas. Visit the region of Tennoji to view the outstanding 300-meter tall Abeno Harukas skyscraper.
Naoshima, an all-green island tailored for art lovers. Naoshima located in the Seto Inland Sea is an extremely fun getaway from Tokyo to spend an all-around fun weekend.
On the island, you can find countless art museums, sculptures, and exhibits. The art galleries feature artists like Hiroshi Sugimoto, Shinro Ohtake, Yayoi Kusama, Gerhard Richter, and many more even some upcoming artists. Many of the attractions mentioned above were designed by the well-known architect Ando Tadao.
A famous way of enjoying the views of the island is by cycling around and thus combining the beautiful beaches with the island’s main art attractions. Naoshima has to offer stunning green landscapes and small fishing villages where you can find the relaxation you were seeking for.
Naoshima is one of the best destinations for camping in Japan. If you have time to spare, visit Teshima, a very small island with three art sites you wouldn’t want to miss.
Lastly, getting to Naoshima from Tokyo is actually pretty difficult so be prepared for some waiting times.
The city of Yokohama presented as charming and vibrant, is a must-visit during your trip to Japan. Yokohama doesn’t attract as many tourists as Tokyo, even though it is located quite close to the capital of Japan. Although a surprising amount of people who visit Japan never make it to Yokohama, the city has a lot to offer.
The Japanese city is known for the many and different things to do, along with one of the biggest Chinatowns. Walk the streets and explore the Chinatown and you would be dazzled in minutes. The locals will surprise you welcoming you with big, warm smiles.
While you are in Yokohama you will enjoy the relaxation, a pleasure you can’t find in Tokyo. Also, you have to visit the Enoshima island that has to offer a beautiful traditional Japanese garden and amazing views as well as the Minato Mirai waterfront.
Mt. Fuji, located on the island of Honshu, is the highest mountain in Japan and can offer some of the greatest views of the country. It is also Japan’s largest active volcano and second highest in Asia, attracting visitors from all over the world every year.
The mountain provides a breathtaking view of Japan if the weather’s on your side but if not then Mt. Fuji can be a challenge even if you just want to enjoy the splendid view. During the year, there is little snowfall and the weather has a history of being quite clear. While you are on the mountain go skiing!
Other popular activities to do on Mt. Fuji is hiking and climbing. For adventure seekers in Japan, climbing Mt. Fuji (during the seasonal window) can be a thrilling experience.
There are numerous places around where you can spot the mountain in the distance. Hakone, a popular area nearby, presents a great view of the mountain. Also, take the time to visit Lake in Hakone where you can witness the spectacular landscape.
If you want to get away from overwhelming crowds then you have to visit Kanazawa. Kyoto, one of Japan’s most popular cities is located really close to Kanazawa and the city can offer some of the things Kyoto can’t. Few tourists make it to Kanazawa each year and that makes Kanazawa an even more tempting destination.
Kanazawa is known for presenting the Japanese food culture, as it is referred to as “seafood heaven”. In Kanazawa, you will enjoy fresh sushi paired with delicious sake.
Additionally, Kanazawa is a historical gem of a city as it has to offer plenty of historical attractions and museums. While you are there you can visit the Ninja-dera temple a one of a kind temple that served as a castle in the past. The Ninja-dera temple needs exploration to uncover its secret passageways and tunnels.
In Kanazawa, there is also one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan, the Kenrokuen Garden that is considered one of Japan’s Three Great Gardens.
Kyoto, the sacred city of historic shrines, beautiful gardens, and magnificent ancient temples. If you go to Japan you have to explore Kyoto and Tokyo. But, these two cities are actually a lot different from one another.
When you are thinking of Japan you are not far from Kyoto. The city is culturally rich and if you want to experience it in full you have to spend some time wandering on the streets and visiting local craft shops and restaurants. In Kyoto, you will experience Japan as you have imagined it featuring geishas with traditional colorful kimonos, palaces, huge bamboo forests, and markets full of one of a kind delicacies and ingredients.
The city is known for its iconic temples, castles, and shrines. One of them is Nijo Castle, which you have to visit. Walk down the Philosopher’s Path in Kyoto and explore the Kiyomizu-dera temple. Kyoto is getting extremely crowded these days so be prepared and plan ahead. Maybe you want to visit the above sights early in the morning to avoid the most visitors. Don’t miss the legendary Fushimi Inari Taisha as well.
You can’t afford to drop the opportunity to take one or two-day trips while you are in the city. At the top of your list should be Nara and Osaka, which are relatively close to Kyoto.
Located really close to Kyoto, the city of Nara preceded Kyoto as the ancient capital of Japan. Nara is known as the city of culture and is home to unbelievable shrines, museums, and the world-renowned Nara Park.
Nara Park just an hour or so from Osaka is famous for the adorable and playful deers. In addition to these charming creatures, Nara park also offers two must-see cultural assets, the Giant Buddha at Todai-Ji temple and the Kasuga Grand Shrine.
Nara used to be Japan’s first permanent capital and for that reason is filled with history including UNESCO world heritage sites. The remarkable 8th-century Todaiji Temple, which houses Japan’s largest Buddha, the Daibutsu is Nara’s most well-known monument.
Nara is the perfect place to get to know about Japanese culture and traditions. Ninjas are a huge part of Japanese history so if you have some time visit the Ninja Museum of Igaryu.
Hiroshima is a historically significant city, most known for being the place where one of two atomic bombs dropped on Japan at the end of World War II. Hiroshima remains one of the main important cities to see in Japan because of its history. Visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum inside the Peace Park to pay your respects to the victims that tragically passed away during the atomic bombing.
While you are in Hiroshima take the time to explore the city with its friendly people and taste the famous local specialty: okonomiyaki. Also, Hiroshima is full of bars, nightclubs and restaurants so enjoy yourselves with Japanese traditional cuisine and sake.
Visit Hiroshima Castle, the Hiroshima Peace Museum, and don’t forget to take a look at the Itsukushima Shrine located on the island of Miyajima.
Explore the modern city of Hiroshima which was entirely rebuilt after the devastating impact of World War II.
The city of Kobe described as surprisingly attractive, rests between Mount Rokko and the sea. The city is in your way when you’re traveling from Osaka to Hiroshima so it’s a suggested stop. Kobe provides spectacular views of mountains and sea and is known for several hot springs in Arima Onsen.
Remarkable sights like the Kobe Oji Zoo and the Wakamatsu Park are some that the city has to offer for exploration. Although there’s a lot to visit and experience, Kobe is also known for its tasty beef. Ordering a burger in one of Kobe’s restaurants is a must-do.
Tokyo, one of the world’s most fascinating cities, full of world-class restaurants, skyscrapers, amazing attractions, beautiful gardens, modern architecture, noisy but charming streets, and many other things to experience. People compare Tokyo to Kyoto but the capital of Japan has completely different things to offer.
They say that Tokyo reflects the colors of Japan. Either you walk down the famous Shibuya Crossing or gaze at the skyline from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku you will find yourself speechless. In Tokyo, places to visit are endless and things to do in the city are countless.
Tokyo provides a huge amount of activities that differ from anything you have ever seen before. Go-karting, cos-play, and themed cafes are some of the unique activities you can find in Tokyo.
If you come to Japan for the food and the traditional Japanese cuisine in Tokyo you will enjoy yourself even if you are a vegetarian as there are lots of restaurants and delicious dishes to choose from.
Some other places to visit while you are in the city include Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo Tower, and more. There are also numerous opportunities for great day trips near Tokyo, including Kamakura and Nikko.