There is a wide array of places to visit while in Japan. Considering that this country is considered as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, there is indeed no shortage of sights and attractions to visit and experience in this awe-inspiring country. From cultural heritage sites to modern attractions, globetrotters’ choices abound once they are in the majestic Land of the Rising Sun.
If you are soon to embark on a journey to Japan, here are ten of the most noteworthy places that you definitely should not miss.
1. Mount Fuji
One’s Japan experience is not complete without visiting this postcard-worthy destination. This iconic mountain, at 3776 meters above sea level, is considered as the country’s highest peak and its most well-known natural site. This mountain has been photographed from all possible angles and in all the seasons, hence it has captured the whim and fancy of adventurers from all parts of the globe. With its perfect and snowcapped cone, Mount Fuji is truly one of the world’s most charming mountains.
2. Ginza, Tokyo
This place best captures, Tokyo’s highly urbanized setting. Although Ginza is not recognized as part of UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites, it still is considered as Tokyo’s perfect homage to modernity and industrialization. Ginza is widely deemed as “downtown” Tokyo where tourists or foreigners can bask in various activities like shopping, dining, partying, sight-seeing, and even hobnobbing with Tokyo’s interesting and literally colorful locals. Another quirky thing about Ginza Tokyo is that it is also a quite near to some of Japan’s important government centers like the Imperial Palace and the National Diet (Japan’s bicameral legislature).
3. Himeji Castle
This castle’s major features have been maintained in their original form. Considered as one of the most popular and most visited castles in the country, Himeji Castle is also called the White Heron Castle. This classic structure’s undeniable beauty and immense popularity are the exact reasons one of the pivotal scenes from the 1967 James Bond film starring Sean Connery was shot within its premises. This World Heritage Site is normally surrounded with lush cherry and pine trees during springtime. It was originally built between 1333 and 1346.
4. Niseko, Hokkaido
This Japanese countryside has become one of the leading ski destinations in the world. With its rustic charm and scenic natural features, this place has become a sought-after destination for adventurers and backpackers who are on the pursuit for some adrenaline rush through skiing. This location has six skiing areas that offer all types of slopes and mountain ranges.
5. Bomb Dome, Hiroshima
What is now called as the Bomb Dome used to be Hiroshima’s Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall. Back in 1945, during the Hiroshima bombing, the said structure suffered severely from the detonated nuclear bomb, hence the given moniker to its ruins. The Bomb Dome was originally the Hiroshima Prefectural Commercial Exhibition building, erected back in 1916, as led by an architect from the Czech Republic named Jan Letzel. Another one of Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Bomb Dome is now deemed as the country’s Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park icon and is visited by thousands of tourists.
One of the most popular tourist sites in this city is the Daibutsu statue. This iconic statue is quite accessible from Tokyo or Yokohama. Regarded by the Japanese people as The Great Buddha, Kamakura’s Daibutsu was once found inside a building that was unfortunately ruined by a great typhoon way back in the 1400′s.
Weighing 93 tons and with a height of 44 feet, the Kamakura statue is indeed one of the most humungous religious shrines in the entire world.
This city has also made it to UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. It is also popular for the Nichiren Buddhism.
7. Kinkaku-ji, Kyoto
This shrine is believed to be Japan’s most visited tourist attraction. Also called as the Golden Pavilion, this site is surrounded by ponds and pine trees. The shrine’s history can be traced back as early as the year 1397. This temple pays homage to Zen Buddhism. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is just one of the numerous cultural and historical grounds found in Kyoto which is regarded as Japan’s cultural center.
8. Matsumoto Castle
This castle was built in 1504 and also goes by the name Crow Castle. The structure is quite reminiscent of the aforementioned bird with its wings outstretched, hence its moniker. The Matsumoto Castle is regarded as one of Japan’s finest cultural shrines and most of its original features have been efficiently restored for modern day tourists to ogle over. This place has also been given the title “National Treasure of Japan”.
This place offers a lot of tourist sites and attractions. One of these is Floating Torii which is a manmade icon widely considered as one of Japan’s most well-known symbols. An island regarded as a Shinto site that is both holy and historically significant, the Miyajima has been enjoyed by visitors who are into calm and serenity.
Situated on dazzling mountain ranges, this Japanese countryside houses various temples and shrines for people who wish to further explore Japan’s culture and heritage.
These names should be on top of your priorities when it comes to places to visit while in Japan.
Natasha is traveler and blogger, always happy to write about interesting destinations, currently writing for HTHolidays , best place for finding accommodation in Niseko, Japan.