5 Incredible Places to Visit in Japan 

words Alexa Wang

japan travel tips

When planning a trip to Japan, you will find many beautiful places worth visiting. The country offers everything from fascinating culture, to beautiful nature, and plenty of adventure. Explore bustling cities and historic villages, or simply relax on subtropical beaches. 

For those looking to book an exciting trip to Japan, you’re likely in need of more information. Luckily enough, we have everything below to help get you started planning your stay here whilst visiting all the top places.

Izu Peninsula

A visit to the Izu Peninsula is the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of the cities in Japan, providing a more relaxing environment for visitors to enjoy. The peninsula is situated south of Fuji Hakone National Park and is famous for its diverse landscapes comprising pristine beaches, lush mountains, flowing rivers, magnificent waterfalls and wild coastlines. It’s the perfect place for nature lovers to unwind in Japan’s wilderness.

It’s best to start your adventure at Izu from the northern cities of Atami or Ito, then travel clockwise to the west. But if you don’t have the luxury of time, sticking to one region offers a great alternative for those exploring here. Every corner of the peninsula has its offerings, from scenic hiking trails to beautiful beaches and natural attractions, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers. 

With so much to see and do around the Izu Peninsula, we recommend planning your excursions to make the most of your time here. Some of the favoured highlights include the majestic Joren Falls, Shuzenji Temple, Izu Shaboten Zoo, and Jogasaki Coast. You can also explore many of these fascinating parts of the Izu by hiking or biking during your visit.

japan tour tips

Kyoto

Kyoto is the best place for those who love culture and history. It used to be the capital of Japan for thousands of years and is now home to colourful shrines, historic temples, and gorgeous palaces. The ancient city embodies traditional Japanese culture and is where you can immerse yourself in the country’s rich traditions and history.

There are several temples and shrines around Kyoto. Many of them are World Heritage Sites. The most popular ones include the Kiyomizu Temple, Kinkakuji, Fushimi Inari Shrine, and Yasaka Shrine. You’ll love wandering around these beautiful temples and taking in the breathtaking scenery as you admire their ornate architecture.

As the cultural hub of Japan, Kyoto is also home to some of the country’s best museums and art galleries. Some of the most popular spots include the Kyoto National Museum, Kyoto Museum of Crafts and Design, Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art, National Museum of Modern Art, plus many more. These are the best places to learn more about the country’s culture and history. 

Spend some time wandering around the atmospheric streets of Gion, filled with tea shops, restaurants, and traditional wooden merchant houses. It’s also one of the best places to see geishas, female Japanese entertainers wearing silk kimonos.

Tokyo 

We couldn’t create a list of the top places to visit in Japan without mentioning the renowned city of Tokyo. If you want to travel and explore in style, you can book a luxury trip to Japan, which often starts in the bustling capital city. 

There is so much to see and do in Tokyo, making it difficult to narrow down the top hot spots in one visit. If you’re visiting for the first time, you should focus on exploring the city’s highlights. These include the opulent Meiji Shinto Shrine in Shibuya, a majestic shrine dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his wife. The Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a beautiful historic garden brimming with breathtaking flora and fauna. Be sure to also check out the spectacular panoramic views from the Tokyo Skytree, a huge observation tower situated in the Sumida district. 

If you’re interested in Japanese history, explore the Asakusa and Senso-ji historic districts. Wander around the Nakamise shopping street before heading to Senso-ji, an ancient Buddhist temple. 

Roppongi, Tokyo’s most central district, is where you can experience modern city life. Home to towering skyscrapers, world-class restaurants, international chains of hotels, and fancy business neighbourhoods, Roppongi is a perfect contrast to Asakusa. 

No visit to Tokyo is complete without heading to Shibuya, and walking the famous Shibuya Crossing, a busy crosswalk illuminated by billboards and neon signs. The crossing perfectly symbolises the city’s vibrancy and liveliness. There are many more highlights worth exploring, many of which you will stumble across whilst wandering through the bustling streets of Tokyo.

Kurashiki

Kurashiki is one of the lesser-known spots in Japan, but one that should certainly be on your itinerary when visiting here. This ancient merchant town is a delight for travellers looking to venture off the beaten path. Far from the tourist crowds, Kurashiki sits along a scenic canal with beautifully preserved white-walled storehouses open for exploration.

Aside from simply admiring the town’s beautiful sceneries, you will find historical and cultural sights to explore in Kurashiki. Wander through the old streets of Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter and browse its shops selling traditional arts and crafts. Or, take a break at one of the cosy cafes and teahouses, perfect for those seeking a relaxing day at leisure.

You’ll come across the Ohara Museum of Art when wandering through the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter. It’s worth a stop, where you’ll find a fascinating collection of thousands of modern and contemporary art, including many Western masterpieces.

Be sure to also check out the Great Seto Bridges, which hold the Guinness World Record for being the world’s longest double-deck bridge system. It has many excellent views spots where you can learn about the Great Seto Bridge system, allowing visitors another opportunity to learn more about this fascinating part of Japan.

Kanazawa

Kanazawa is another place to visit if you’re looking for under-the-radar destinations in Japan. It’s a historic city famous for its fascinating geisha and samurai districts, mouthwatering cuisine, and iconic Kenrokuen garden. Kanazawa also boasts many historical attractions, including well-restored residences and temples.

Some of the best places to visit in Kanazawa are the historic districts of Higashi Chaya, the Western Chaya District, and Kazuemachi. Of these, the Higashi Chaya District is the most popular. It’s where you’ll find some of the most well-preserved traditional buildings from the Edo period, including Japanese Tea houses designed for geishas to entertain and perform.

Another popular attraction in Kanazawa is the Kenrokuen, one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan. It’s a private garden that used to belong to the Maeda family and opened to the public in the 1800s. The entire area is vast and features a variety of gorgeous gardens and flowering shrubs. This provides the perfect spot to sit back and soak up the stunning scenery with flora and flora brimming throughout the garden. 

No matter where you decide to visit in Japan, you’re sure to find a place brimming with beautiful landscapes, fascinating culture and lots to see and do for a range of travellers. 

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