10+ Best Places to Visit in Japan

10+ Best Places to Visit in Japan
10+ Best Places to Visit in Japan

Visit Enchanted Temples, feed monkeys, pet deer and be enchanted by a flashy-colored pop culture – all of this goes on in Japan. In addition to vibrant cities, the country also boasts a rich tradition and a magical nature. In addition to the major cities such as Tokyo and Kyoto, there are many other sights to discover in Japan, many of which are located outside the cities. All in all, Japan stands for a wide range of technology and pop culture, as well as beautiful hiking trails and natural highlights, offering a variety of experiences and opportunities that will make the destination of Japan an exciting adventure.

#1. Harajuku - Tokyo's "in-quarter"

Tokyo is full of shops, cafes, and people. This is where the city polarises. Here, traditional Japan meets the new colorful pop culture of modernity. Located right next to the large Yoyogi park (a huge green area which is home to the famous Meiji shrine) is the entrance to the main street of the Harajuku district. Unmistakable by the music, the many people and the colorful street picture offers Harajuko possibilities for shopping in the many small shops, eating and drinking in countless restaurants and cafes or just for walking and marveling. Because here there are some peculiarities to watch, such as in cosplay-clad Japanese, who are happy to stand for a photo or all the weird little things that there are in the shops to buy.

#2. NOKONOSHIMA Island - The "Flower Island"

Nokonoshima lies off the coast of Fukuoka's on the south of the four main Japanese islands. From here you can take the ferry over to the small island, which is a popular excursion destination, especially in spring and summer. This is mainly due to the slightly higher flower park, which can be reached by bus or on foot. On-site, you can marvel at magnificent flower fields, visit a traditional Japanese restaurant, eat sesame or green tea – ice cream and enjoy a fantastic view of the city of Fukuoka. On the way back you should also visit the somewhat hidden, but even more beautiful sandy beach of Nokonoshima.

#3. MONONOKE "Magic Forest" Princess MONONOKE "

Another small island located off the coast of Kyushu is Yakushima. It has become especially famous thereby that the master of Japanese character tricks, Hayao Miyazaki, has chosen the "magical forest" of the island as a template for his film "Princess Mononoke". Since then, the name "Mononoke Forest" has been given to the real forest and has become a famous landmark. Yakushima has even more breathtaking nature to offer. For example, the centuries-old cedar trees that can be admired on the island. Or the beautiful stone coast. As Yakushima is a popular destination for Japanese tourists, the island offers good infrastructure as well as hotels and an onsen (a Japanese hot bathing spring) overlooking the sea. Those who want to hike, enjoy traditional Japanese food and relax in a hot spring in the evening is just right on Yakushima.

#4. Nikko - The Resting Source

Nikko is a town located north of Tokyo and is a popular destination due to its historic shrine and temple facilities. Surrounded by breathtaking nature, the shrines and temples offer a Ruhequell, as well as a rich variety of traditional Japanese architecture. In this magical place, there is also the image of the famous three apes, who stand for the Buddhist emptiness of "not hearing, not seeing and not speaking". In Nikko, however, you can also encounter real apes, the Japan macaques. The Rotgesichtigen monkeys are widespread in Japan. They are known to seek warmth in the winter in Hot springs, the onsen.

#5. Gion - The Quarter of The Geishas

The neighborhood is one of the main attractions in Kyoto and in fact worth a visit. Not only because you may only be able to catch a glimpse of a real geisha. Gion's houses, like in ancient Japan, still consist mainly of wood. Behind the dark facades are often restaurants, with traditional Japanese cuisine. But the living areas of the Geishas are also located here. If you visit the Gion district, you may be able to take a look at a geisha that is just getting into a taxi. Even if it is rare, some are lucky and are at the right place at the right time. In addition, Gion is of course also interesting in terms of its small alleys and souvenir shops as well as shops with typical Japanese Handwerskunst. Those who are interested in Japanese culture and its traditions should pay a visit to Gion.

#6. MIYAJIMA Island - The "Shrine Island"

The Miyajima Island, whose official name is actually Itsukushima, is located off the coast of Hiroshima. It lies between the two Japanese main islands Honshu and Shikoku. From Hiroshima, you can take the train to the coast. From there you can take a ferry to the Miyajima Island. Alternatively, there are also speedboats at Hiroshima Harbour. However, these are considerably more expensive. The buildings and arts of the Japanese tradition are waiting for Miyajima. The famous red Tori in the water for example. However, this can only be achieved at low tide. There is also an accompanying shrine and no theatre. Especially in ancient Japan, the art of no-theatre was practiced in the theatre. There are also many deer who like to grab some food and are not shy at all. All this is Miyajima. You can stay overnight either in Hiroshima or directly on the island. For example in a ryokan, a Japanese hotel. Here you can sleep in a room that is designed with a tatami (Japanese straw mat) and which has the classic Japanese sliding doors. You can also enjoy the finest Japanese cuisine and an evening bath in the in-house onsen. Miyajima is like a little trip to the Japanese culture and therefore a really exciting destination.

#7. YUFUIN Small Spa

Yufin is located on the Japanese South Island of Kyushu and is famous for its onsen and wellness facilities. There are numerous bathing houses, often also in connection with a ryokan. As a rule, the hot springs are also open for guests who want to stay for only one day. A special feature in Yufuin is the shopping street of the town. This is lined with small cottages, which are used as shops. In the shops, there are kitchens, small glass figurines, ceramics and many other little things, all made by hand. You can also find stalls with fresh mochi (Japanese rice cakes filled with a bean paste), Takoyaki (squid balls) and many other treats. Of course, there are not only street food, but also many small restaurants and cafes that offer a relaxed and cozy atmosphere. Also, the small lake near the resort offers relaxation and a view of nature. Yufuin is definitely worth seeing. Especially if you want to switch off from the Japanese city bustle.

#8. Okinawa Beach Paradise With Caribbean Feeling

Located a bit away from the main islands, Okinawa Prefecture is located, which includes several islands. As the distance is quite large, Okinawa is best reached by plane. In Okinawa, there are numerous beach clubs and hotels as well as breathtaking forests and nature to watch. Of course, Okinawa is especially worthwhile if you like to be on the beach and like the typical beach holiday. But there is, even more, to see here. For example, coral reefs that invite you to snorkel and dive. Or old castles that tell you something about Japanese history. Another highlight is the huge aquarium on Okinawa island, where even manta and sharks can be admired. Here you can also feed dolphins and get close to these interesting sea creatures. Since the island life on Okinawa has produced a very own culture, there are many historical treasures to look. For example, these cultural treasures are exhibited in an ancient Okinawa village. If you are planning a trip to Okinawa, you should take a long time to explore the prefecture, the islands, and the sights.

#9. Kamakura-famous for its Buddha Statue

Not far from Tokyo, the town of Kamakura is located. It is famous mainly for the huge Buddha statue that adorns the local temple. By train, the town of Tokyo can be reached very quickly. In Kamakura, there are numerous shrines and temples to visit. A peculiarity here is, of course, the Kotokuin Temple, in front of which the great Buddha is made of bronze. The Hokokuji temple is also worth a visit as it hides a small bamboo forest behind it. Since Kamakura is located directly by the sea, the village offers a pleasant fresh atmosphere even in summer. The beach is also very easy to reach from here. This is why the city is the perfect destination for a relaxing trip. You can not only observe one of Japan's most famous sights but also find relaxation and enjoy the sea.

#10. BEPPU - The "Hell of Japan"

The seaside town of Beppu, on the island of Kyushu, is also known as the "Hell of Japan". Because there is an incredible number of hot springs, sulfur Springs, and even a geyser. While the Coloured Sulphur springs, which are most unpleasant to smell and smoke are only available for the use, Beppu also offers plenty of bathing possibilities in the onsen on site. There are also other possibilities for wellness and relaxation. For example, you can be buried directly on the beach in a special, warm sand. The "sand-onsen" is a highlight of every Beppu trip. Another peculiarity is the geyser, which shoots in the height every thirty minutes. The geyser is one of the eight "hells" that Beppu gave its name. The "Hells" are volcanic sources whose water is too hot to bathe in. As a rule, when you visit Beppu, you see all eight "hells". Because each of them has a different color. So there is a green, a red, as well as a blue source, all of which are so hot that they steam. Most of the "Hells" are located in specially designed parks with lakes and shrines. This makes the tours to any source a pleasant and interesting experience. If you want to see something extraordinary, you should travel to Beppu once.

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