Best Places to Visit in Japan
Where are the best places to visit in Japan? Start out by exploring the exciting and vibrant capital city of Tokyo, the temples and shines of the ancient capitals of Kyoto, Nara, and Kamakura, the modern international city of Yokohama, or the friendly city of Osaka.
Then explore Japan further with a trip to the soothing onsen hot springs of Hakone, the temples, shrines, and natural attractions of Nikko, a trip to Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido, or the tropical oasis of Okinawa.
Each area of Japan you visit will have a completely different feel to it, and will thus provide you with a completely different travel experience. Below we provide you with our own list of Japan’s best places to visit!
Guide to the Best Places to Visit in Japan
Tokyo is a city like no other on earth. Densely populated almost beyond imagination, yet there is somehow an impeccable order to the chaotic flow of humanity. An eclectic and yet harmonious mix of ancient tradition an ultra-modern trendiness. Source of many of the world’s best foods, fashions, pop culture and gadgets, not to mention a center of global trade and industry.
Kyoto was Japan’s ancient capital from 794, at the beginning of the Heian Period, until 1868. As Japan’s center for religion, arts, and culture for many centuries, today Kyoto is a treasure trove of fascinating and culturally important temples, shrines, castles, arts, and artifacts for visitors to explore, many of which are National Treasures of Japan and UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Yokohama is rich in attractions and sightseeing spots, and most of them are conveniently located within walking distance to one another. As such, you can very easily enjoy the best of what Yokohama has to offer by taking a day-trip from Tokyo, yet there is enough to see and do that you could easily enjoy several days in Yokohama.
Nikko is a popular tourist destination famous for the mausoleums of the Tokugawa shoguns, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as well as soothing onsen hot springs surrounded by a breathtaking landscape of wooded mountains, waterfalls, and scenic hiking trails.
Nagoya is Japan’s third-largest incorporated city and fourth most populated urban area, with about 2.17 million people. Nagoya is the capital of Aichi Prefecture. A city with a strong industrial base, Nagoya also has many attractions well worth visiting as well as some unique and flavorful dining options!
Himeji Castle located in Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture, is one of Japan’s oldest and most impressive ancient castles. An awe-inspiring structure, it is nicknamed “White Heron” due to its towering white walls, and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as a national Japanese Treasure.
Kawagoe, also known as Koedo, or “Little Edo,” is a charming merchant town located about 30 minutes from Tokyo that remains largely preserved from the Edo Period (Edo is the former name of Tokyo).