11 Top Places to Visit in Japan You should Never Miss
The first cities that come to mind when speaking of places to visit in Japan are undoubtedly Kyoto, Osaka, and Tokyo. These locations are wonderful, yet Japan is larger than just these top cities. Don’t confine your experiences to the usual well-known sites. In Japan, there are so many interesting locations to see and things to do, and each one has its own distinct qualities to discover.
If this is your first time visiting Japan, or you have been there other times and only seeking more places to visit in Japan during your vacation, I hope you have allotted enough time to see everything Japan has to offer. Their convenient transportation system makes visiting these places much simpler and more pleasurable for every guest.
What’s more to Japan? Excellent service, high skyscrapers, top-notch cuisine, historic relics, buildings, museums, serene bamboo forests, gorgeous temples, and a lot more are available for your enjoyment and excitement.
So pack your bags, click here to find the best travel bags, and prepare for your journey. Are you setting out on a journey abroad? In other words, are you an international visitor to Japan? Check out some of these suggestions for going overseas; if this is a vacation, you’ll need to know what fun things to pack to spice up a vacation as well as what to bring when traveling abroad as an international visitor.
What are the best places to visit in Japan?
It is true that there are many locations to visit in Japan, but one can never see them all. However, if you’re in the country and want to have the finest time, these are the top places to visit in Japan:
Osaka is at the top of my list of places to see in Japan because it is one of the biggest cities in the entire world. In the city, there are so many things to see and do. Even having to visit every gorgeous sight in the city might become tiresome. Some of the best tourist places to visit in Japan are in Osaka, and they include:
- Universal Studios
Universal Studios, which is situated at 1-33 Sakurajima in Osaka, is among the greatest places to visit in Japan. The Japanese equivalent of Universal Studios is one of the city’s newest attractions, so you must include it on your schedule without a doubt. This Universal theme park, which receives approximately 10 million visitors annually, gives you the opportunity to experience a variety of well-known pop-culture properties.
There are exhilarating rides and roller coasters based on Spiderman films, Japanese-themed amusement, and shows like Monster Hunter, One Piece Premier Show, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
It is truly an expensive area but so worth every money you spend to get it. Every day from 8:30 AM to 9:00 PM, admittance is permitted for a small entry fee of roughly 5000 yen, possibly even more.
- Osaka Zoo and Park
The Osaka Tennoji Zoo and Park, which is situated in Chausuyama Cho, is one of the most picturesque locations in all of Japan. The park is home to a variety of aromatic flower beds, cherry blossom trees, sculptures, bridges, and ponds, as well as a large number of animal species, and it provides a haven from the hectic city streets and daily lives.
The park, which features a zoo where you may view lions, elephants, giraffes, and even hippos, was established in 1915. A separate reptile house with a variety of reptiles that are sure to give you the chills is also available at the zoo. 200 yen is the entry cost.
- Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
One of the best places to visit in Japan is the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, which is situated in Kaigandori, Minato Ward. The aquarium is undoubtedly one of the biggest in the world, with a structure that resembles enormous Lego blocks.
There are thousands of marine and other species, including those from Antarctica, the Pacific Ocean, the Great Barrier Reef, and Monterey Bay in addition to Japanese species.
The aquarium, which has 27 big tanks, is an excellent site to see local Japanese mammals and reptiles as well as freshwater marine species. Visit the aquarium at night for a more memorable experience because all the tanks are illuminated, adding to the magical atmosphere. It is available for a cost of 2,550 yen and is open from 10:30 AM to 7:00 PM. However, kids pay 1,300 to enter.
Tokyo, the current capital of Japan, is a contemporary metropolis with a sizable population and incredibly tall skyscrapers.
It is the top destination in Japan for pop culture, retail, entertainment, and drinking.
It vigorously competes with Kyoto in this way. The modern wonders of this capital city, where there is so much to learn, enchant visitors.
Some of the places to see in Tokyo are:
Akihabara is a busy area in central Tokyo that is well-known for its abundance of electric stores. Here, you may find stores that specialize in artificial intelligence, manga, anime, video games, technology, toys, souvenirs, and much more. You can also find businesses that deal with business, technology, and electricity. It is a well-developed area that is quickly growing into a hub for trade and consumption in the nation.
- Tokyo Tower
The Tokyo Tower is arguably Japan’s most recognizable building. Despite being primarily a communications tower, visitors can pay 1200 yen to ascend to the top to see a panoramic view of Tokyo. The Eiffel Tower in Paris served as a major design and structural inspiration for the tower. The tower serves as a symbol of both Japan’s post-World War II resurgence and its current status as a significant economic superpower. It is situated in the city of Minato and is open every day from 10:30 AM to 8:00 PM.
One of the poshest and most affluent places to visit in Japan is Ginza, which is situated in the southern part of Yaesu, Tokyo. There are many stores, eateries, boutiques, lifestyle experiences, and other amenities in abundance there.
Additional attractions include a plethora of art galleries, nightclubs, and cafes for a complete experience that will make your trip to Tokyo unforgettable. Ginza, which is regarded as a shoppers’ paradise, is home to stores for all luxury and boutique brands. No one will stop you if you merely choose to window shop when you don’t have enough money to really buy anything because the Ginza Wako building is representative of the entire neighborhood. Simply take a stroll around the area and allow yourself to be enveloped in luxury.
One of the tourist destinations in Japan that haven’t received the praise and glory it merits is Fukuoka. With so many diverse sights, from temples to nature to modernity, this area is a treasure for travelers. Some of the best locations in Fukuoka are:
- Kushida- jinja shrine
The Kushida-jinja is one of Fukuoka’s most picturesque locations and one of Japan’s most well-known Shinto shrines. It was built in AD 757. The shrine boasts a variety of unusual elements, including beautiful carvings of the Chinese zodiac and a 1000-year-old ginkgo tree.
Every July, the temple serves as the venue for the well-known Hakata Gion Yamakasa festival. People frequently go to the shrine to pray for health, safety, and success, especially travelers, fishermen, and sailors. The temple also contains the tombs of the Kuroda clan’s lords.
- Fukuoka Castle
The Fukuoka Castle, one of the top attractions in Fukuoka, is occasionally referred to as the Seki Castle or the Maizuru Castle. One of the last surviving examples of the opulent homes of Japan’s governing class from bygone times is this hilltop castle from the 17th century.
Although just a small fraction of the castle’s original design is still visible today, it is believed to have previously covered an area of almost 47,000 square meters. You may get awe-inspiring views of the Naka River from the castle. The castle grounds still have a number of old castle gates, towers, and turrets. Entry is 300 yen and is available between 4:00 AM and 10:00 PM.
- Kyūshū National Museum
Kyushu Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan, commonly known as Kyushu National Museum. The museum welcomed visitors in 2005 and has since won accolades for its breathtaking architectural design. The Kyushu National Museum is also Japan’s first brand-new national museum in more than a century.
The Kyushu National Museum is home to a sizable collection of artwork and historical items relating to Kyushu’s history, as well as numerous exhibits of artifacts from prehistoric eras.
Here, you may also take in trade exhibitions between Korea, China, and Japan. It is open every day from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM and has an entry price ranging from 350 to 700 yen.
Japan’s traditional music is Kyoto. It has a rich culture and religion, which can be seen in the many shrines that have been preserved, fantastic food that is unmatched by any other city in Japan, as well as other unique things that draw tourists in every time.
One of the most well-liked and intriguing places to visit in Japan that will show you a typical Japanese person’s life is Kyoto. The city had served as Japan’s capital for more than a millennium. It has a mountainous backdrop, winding stone streets, and quaint wooden buildings. Monks in flowing robes and chants from any neighboring shrine can be heard here.
Without a doubt, it is a popular, modern metropolis with the best cuisine and ambiance, but it is also a little less polluted and more tranquil than some of Japan’s top cities.
Some of Kyoto’s top tourist destinations in Japan include:
- Fushimi Inari shrine
- Edo-Tokyo Museum
Because of its picturesque, tranquil surroundings and abundance of tourist attractions, Okinawa is a lovely town and one of the best places to visit in Japan. Okinawa is home to some of Japan’s most popular tourist destinations, including
- Kabira bay
One of the well-known places to visit in Japan is Kabira bay, which is known for its white sands, lush greenery, and turquoise waters and is found on the northern shore of Ishigaki Island. The bay is a part of the well-known Iriomote Ishigaki National Park, and due to its natural beauty, it has been dubbed one of the most sought-after locations.
- Ishigaki Limestone Cave
The location of Ishigaki Limestone Cave is 1666 Ishigaki, Okinawa. It is a sizable natural cavern that allows you to see stalactites that have been whimsically lit. The caverns are a natural feature that took two million years to construct.
There is a wealth of appealing natural beauty in the gleaming limestone cave. Visit one of the well-known locations in Japan to see the natural phenomenon and take in the first-ever stalactite cave illumination, which enhances the surrounding stone and water sculptures. The cave is open from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, and admission costs approximately 1,080 Yen.
Hiroshima, known for its role in World War 2 and for being the first city in the world to experience a nuclear attack, has evolved into a lovely metropolis with a wealth of things to see and do. The area is highly recommended for its historical significance as well as its tranquility, natural beauty, and cultural traditions. There is a lot to do in this lovely city, from hiking to learning about history to tourism, thanks to its islands and temples.
Hiroshima has a number of noteworthy things to see, including:
- Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
Because Hiroshima was the first city to undergo a nuclear assault, and because this memorial event has historical significance, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is located in the city’s core. In honor of the attack’s direct and indirect victims, a memorial park was built.
Hiroshima is home to this memorial, and it is at the exact spot of the blast from the bombs dropped by the US military. Hiroshima not only claims to be one of the most beautiful places to visit in Japan. You will undoubtedly come to appreciate the value of tranquility once you spend some time here. However, there is a 100 yen entry fee to access this attraction.
A small island in Hiroshima Bay known as Itsukushima, commonly called Miyajima, is well-known for its historic temples and trees. Initially built in the 12th century, the shrine.
A visit to the Museum of History and Folklore, which houses some cultural objects that date back to virtually the 19th century, allows visitors to the island—one of the most picturesque sites in Japan—to discover the history and Japanese folklore. Every day from 6:30 AM to 5:00 PM, the museum is open.
Yokohama is one of the most lovely and lively places to visit in Japan, despite not being a very well-known tourist destination.
From Tokyo, you may just take a 30-minute train to go to this town. A popular tourist destination is Chinatown in the city of Yokohama, where you may learn about China. Additionally, the idea of exploring a Noodle Museum is enjoyable to contemplate; turn it into a reality by seeing it with your eyes.
Some of Yokohama’s most popular sights include
- Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse
- Noodle Museum
- Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise.
Naoshima, a verdant island close to the Seto Inland Sea, is the place to go if you’re looking for the best camping spots in Japan.
It’s the ideal setting for a weekend break from Tokyo or any other noisy, crowded city in Japan. In Naoshima, there are countless art galleries, cutting-edge buildings, and sculptures to explore. This is one of the top places to visit in Japan because of the fascinating natural beauty of the area.
It is not unexpected that Nara has a wealth of historical landmarks and Buddhist temples that date back many centuries as it was the first permanent capital of Japan.
There are so many historical sites in this city. Nara is undoubtedly one of the top destinations in Japan that you must visit if you want to learn about the nation’s history and religious customs while also enjoying stunning architectural monuments and attractions that stretch back many centuries.
In Japan’s Nara, some of the places to see include:
- Kasuga Taisha
Kasuga Taisha is a Grand Shrine in the Shinto Shrine which was established in 768 CE. The shrine is located at 160 Kasugano Cho in Nara and has been subjected to multiple restorations over the years.
The shrine’s interior design is especially remarkable because it includes several bronze and stone lights.
Every day from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM, it is accessible to tourists for exploring. It is one of the most revered tourist places to visit in Japan, and visitors from all walks of life are welcome at the shrine for an unforgettable Shinto experience.
The cost of entry varies depending on which areas of the temple you want to visit. For the inner shrine, the Shinen Manyo Botanical Garden, and the Treasure House, the entrance price is 500 yen, 500 yen, and 400 yen, respectively.
- Nara Park
At the base of Mount Wakakusa, in the city of Nara, lies a public park called Nara Park. The oldest park in Japan without a doubt, has been around since 1800. It is prized for its historical significance in addition to its magnificent views and abundance of natural beauty.
It’s interesting to note that Nara is home to more than 1000 deers if you’re looking for a place to view deer up close. Although the deers appear friendly and gentle, exercise caution when approaching them. There is a 500 Yen admission fee.
- Shin Yakushi Ji
The Kegon Buddhist temple Shin Yakushi Ji is situated at Takabatake Cho, Nara. It has been around since 747 and was founded by the empress of the period, Komyo. Although the temple had been severely damaged by a fire and had deteriorated during the Heian Period as well, it underwent resurrection during the Kamakura Period.
It is a famous spot and one of the areas in Japan that the government has named a national treasure due to its historical significance. This wonder and attraction is visited by travelers from all over the world and is home to a number of cultural treasures, including the main image of Yakushi Nyorai and the 11 statues of the Twelve Heavenly Generals. The hours of operation are 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
- Mount Fuji
I will put the well-known Mount Fuji in a different class. This picturesque natural area, which is outside of the well-known yet little town of Hakone, attracts lots of visitors each year. You can have a lot of fun when visiting this mountain.
If you don’t have the physical stamina to climb the frequently cloud-covered Dewey Mountain, you can take a cable car to see the mountain from the air instead. You can also decide to stay at the mountain’s base and take in the splendor of the surrounding parks, waterfalls, and lakes as you observe the mountain from there.
Sapporo, known for its annual snow festival, is one of my favorite places to visit in Japan and it has so many other attractions.
There are many different things to discover in this city, including traditional exhibits, historical monuments, sports museums, lovely parks and waterfalls, and an observation deck where you may see so many other enjoyable things in Japan that you had previously only imagined. Sapporo is a lovely city with the ideal fusion of various forms of entertainment.
- Sapporo Odori ParkHokkaido
- Museum of Modern Art
- JR Tower Observatory T38
How long should you plan to stay?
Realistically, even in months, you could never see everything there is to do in Japan; after all, we’re talking about an entire nation here! To really experience Japan, it is necessary to be aware of a few insider secrets and have a plan and budget for the duration you hope to stay.
You should plan your trip to last for a week or perhaps two weeks if you want to at least partially explore a variety of enjoyable places to visit in Japan.
Tokyo, the nation’s capital, has a lot to offer, but you shouldn’t just stay there. In Kyoto, you may see how the Japanese live traditionally and sample some of their wholesome cuisines.
After a few days in these cities, Osaka and Nara beckon, and you should accept their invitations because it takes just 30 and 40 minutes, respectively, to travel there by rail from Tokyo. Give each city two days to explore its sights.
When is the best time to go to the fun places to visit in Japan?
Autumn (October to December) and Spring (March to April) are the finest times to visit Japan and really experience it. When the Cherry blossoms bloom and tourists can be found everywhere. These seasons have ideal weather for experiencing all that Japan has to offer. It can be very expensive to visit Japan around this season due to the throngs of tourists, but then people can afford it and you may.
However, it is ideal to travel in the summer when the ice on the mountain melts and the cloud dissipates in order to catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji, which is frequently an extremely rare sight.
Fun things to do in Japan
You don’t just sit around doing nothing in all of these interesting places to visit in Japan; they are there, of course, for your enjoyment.
Some of the activities to indulge in all these fun places to visit in Japan include:
- Offer prayers at the temples
- Dry Matcha in a Teahouse
- Try out different dishes and learn to prepare them
- Watch traditional shows like Geisha dances and Sumo fight
- Play computer games
- Movies and shows
For more detailed information on the fun that awaits you in Japan, look at this list of 25 fun things to do in Japan. How are you preparing for your Japan trip? read also: 21 Best International Travel Tips for safety.