Japan

Travel Guide
Chubu featuring a lake or waterhole, mountains and a sunset

From ancient traditions to beautiful natural surroundings to modern technology, this nation of several islands offers opportunities for endless discovery.

The country of Japan is fascinating in many ways, with highly populated cities, influential technology centers and centuries-old shrines and temples. Visit Tokyo as well as other locations for broader experiences.

Tokyo is a gleaming world capital, with neighborhoods specializing in different shopping and leisure activities. See the latest fashions in Harajuku and join crowds of tech aficionados in Akihabara.

Outside Tokyo, view Mount Fuji, a perfect snow-capped cone on the horizon. In summer, consider making the strenuous hike to reach the top to view the sunrise, as hundreds of thousands of people do annually.

Ride the Shinkansen bullet train at 200 miles per hour (320 kilometers per hour) to Kyoto. Explore shrines and temples in this ancient city. Kinkakuji Temple has a golden pavilion reflecting in a quiet lake. Nearby, the Fushimi Inari Taisha honors the god of prosperity, with hundreds of red gates along a path leading to the temple.

Remember lessons from World War II with a visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Atomic Bomb Dome. Consider peaceful alternatives at the beautiful red torii gates of the nearby Shinto Itsukushima Shrine.

Japanese cuisine is extremely popular across the world. While you are anywhere in the country, enjoy some of your favorite Japanese foods from their point of origin: sushi, sashimi, tempura or soba noodles. From simple ramen dishes to ultra-indulgent wagyu beef, Japanese food is practically an art form. For drinks, accompany your meal with sake or shochu. Attend a formal tea ceremony to understand centuries of tradition.

In addition to special food favorites, try iconic cultural experiences in Japan. Sing karaoke, attend a sumo match, play pachinko or watch kabuki theater. In the spring do hanami, having a picnic under the cherry trees to view the pretty pink blossoms. Shinjuku Gyoen in Tokyo is a top spot. In winter, attend the Sapporo Snow Festival in Hokkaido in the north to admire splendid ice sculptures. Ski in this region where the 1972 Olympics were held.

Popular cities in Japan

Shibuya showing a high rise building, street scenes and modern architecture
Tokyo
Experience the energy of one of the world’s largest cities, home to electronics shops and towering skyscrapers, ancient art and pretty cherry blossoms.

Reasons to visit

  • Shibuya Crossing
  • Tokyo Dome
  • Tokyo Sky Tree
Heian Shrine showing a temple or place of worship, religious aspects and heritage architecture
Kyoto
Enjoy a traditional tea ceremony, feed wild monkeys and explore World Heritage-listed temples and shrines in this historically rich Japanese city.

Reasons to visit

  • Nishiki Market
  • Kyoto International Manga Museum
  • Kenninji Temple
Tsutenkaku Tower which includes markets, a city and street scenes
Osaka
Japan’s third-largest city is rich with traditional and modern culture, from temples to anime, and is famous for its food, fashion and family fun.

Reasons to visit

  • Amerikamura
  • Spa World
  • Nipponbashi
Landmark Tower which includes a bay or harbor, modern architecture and heritage architecture
Yokohama
One of the biggest cities in Japan has one of the largest Chinatowns in the world. It is also known for its waterfront amusements, monuments and local cuisine.

Reasons to visit

  • Landmark Tower
  • Yamashita Park
  • Yokohama Stadium
Kobe Harborland featuring a bay or harbor, modern architecture and night scenes
Kobe
Tour the south-central Japanese city that has rebuilt itself after a devastating earthquake. Be charmed by its waterfront attractions and diverse neighborhoods.

Reasons to visit

  • Meriken Park
  • Kobe Tower
  • Kobe City Hall
Atsuta Shrine featuring street scenes, religious aspects and a temple or place of worship
Nagoya
Admire luxury cars, explore historic sites, enjoy a massage overlooking the city or shop for some of Japan’s biggest brands in this bustling metropolis.

Reasons to visit

  • Oasis 21

Popular places to visit in Japan

Japan

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