Japan’s Top 10 Interesting Places
Mount Fuji is a volcano located on the border of Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures. It is the highest point in Japan, the mountain is 3,776 meters high.
The sight of Mount Fuji towering against a bright blue sky inspires and fills the heart of any Japanese. In 2013, Mount Fuji was named a World Heritage Site, confirming its global value. In summer, many people climb Mount Fuji to enjoy the views from its summit, especially the beautiful sunrise.
Lakes Yamanaka and Kawaguchi at the foot of Mount Fuji have campsites and cottages for anyone who wants to spend time outdoors. It is also worth seeing the waters from the melting snow that pass through the lava. Oshino-Hakkai Springs, Fugasu Wind Cave, and the Fuji Springs Aquarium are just a few other interesting sites to visit.
Miyajima is an island belonging to the city of Hatsukaichi in Hiroshima Prefecture. The island has an area of 30.2 square kilometers and a population of less than 2,000 people.
The most famous attraction of Miyajima is considered to be the Itsukushima Jinja Shrine. This skillful shrine, which the shrine is today, was built in the 12th century by a ruler of this region named Taira-no-Kiyomori. At high tide, the temple seems to float into the sea – such beauty is not to be missed.
The nearby Itsukushima Shrine Treasures Hall holds some 4,500 valuable objects of art that were dedicated to the Haike Shrine and people in authority. Part of this collection is available to all visitors, and these historical materials, which are several hundred years old, are worth a look.
On the street between the ferry pier and the Itsukushima Jinja temple there are many restaurants, cafes, souvenir stores, and hotels. Especially appealing are the rice spatulas used to serve rice – you can find them in almost every souvenir store. This is because Miyajima is the birthplace of rice spatulas, which are called “shamoji” in Japanese.
At any time of the year, Shirakawa-go offers many classic Japanese landscapes: rice planting in spring, fresh summer foliage, bright fall foliage, and snowy landscapes in winter. When you find yourself in the village, walking is the main way to get around. Walking around the village you will find many souvenir stores, hotels, cafes and bars, as well as onsen. Despite the many tourist attractions, you should remember that many houses remain private and people live in them, so do not go inside the houses without permission. It is worth noting that several houses here have been designated as important cultural treasures of Japan – they are open to the public. Among them are the Wada-ke house and the Kanda-ke house. If you are interested in gassyo houses, we recommend visiting the Shirakawago open-air gassyo house museum. At this museum you can see about 20 different gassyo style houses and learn a lot about how they were built and how they were lived in.
Matsuyama is an area in Ehime Prefecture that includes the cities of Matsuyama and Iyo. Matsuyama City is the center of Ehime Prefecture and is the most populated city in Shikoku.
The main tourist attraction is the Dogo Onsen hot spring. It is believed that Dogo is the oldest onsen in Japan and was even used by the imperial family. The place is also associated with Soseki Natsume, the Japanese writer who wrote Your Obedient Cat (Wagahai wa neodearu). Soseki Natsume worked as an English teacher in Matsuyama and later wrote the novel Botchan (The Boy), the events of which are set in this city.
A streetcar called the Botchan train runs through the city. It gets its name from the work of Soseki Natsume. The streetcar runs from Matsuyama station to Dogo-Onsen station. From one of the stops you can take the cable car to Matsuyama Castle. There is a large shopping arcade near the exit of Ookaido station. You can enjoy walking through it all the way to Matsuyama-shi station.
Izumo is an area encompassing the city of Izumo and the surrounding land in Shimane Prefecture.
One of Japan’s major temples, Izumo-taishya Temple, is located in Izumo. The chief deity here is Okuninushi-no Okami. According to the historical writings of Kojiki and Nihon Shoki, in Japanese mythology Kuniyuzuri Shinwa, Okuninushi no Okami made Japan livable and gave it to Amaterasu Omikami (the goddess of the sun).
There are many places associated with these myths, including Inasa Beach, Susa-jinja Temple, and Hinomisaki-jinja. There are also other places related to the history of Izumo, such as the Izumo Cultural Heritage Museum and the Izumo Shimane Museum of Antiquities – we recommend that all history and culture buffs visit them.
Shiretoko is an area located in the eastern part of Hokkaido Prefecture. It is a peninsula that protrudes into the territory of Hokkaido in the shape of a horn. The average winter temperature drops below zero and drifting ice floes appear in the sea. Although summer temperatures can exceed 30℃, they are perceived as comfortable due to the low humidity.
The Siretoko Peninsula was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. Its natural diversity is the main feature that attracts tourists. A Siretoko Natural Sites Cruise and a Siretoko Sightseeing Cruise are particularly popular. There are also various cruises that allow tourists to watch wildlife, or visit the onsen, a hot waterfall called Kamuiwakka that falls from a height of 130 meters.
Dzao is a region that includes the Dzao mountain range located between Yamagata and Miyagi prefectures. It is known in Japan as an excellent ski resort.
As for tourist facilities in the region, the Dzao ropeway, where you can enjoy the view of the icy Dzao trees in winter, deserves special attention. There is also a wide variety of popular ski vacation spots. If you are interested in natural sites, be sure to visit the Okama Crater Dzao Onsen Hot Spring, a large outdoor balneotherapy resort, and the House of Kotori, a wild bird study center in the nature reserve, where you can learn about the natural conditions and wild birds of Dzao. Another popular place is Kitsune Miyagi-Zao Village, where you can see over 100 foxes of 6 different breeds living at large.
Hiraizumi is located in the southwestern part of Iwate Prefecture. Hiraizumi has a rich history and a deep connection with the Oshu-Fujiwara (northern Fujiwara) family that ruled the entire Tohoku region. This history begins in the second half of the 11th century, when the Fujiwara-no-Kiyohira moved its base from Esashi, in the southwestern part of Iwate Prefecture, to Hiraizumi because that city had better transportation links.
Kiyohira lost many relatives in numerous battles, which is why, in the hope of peace, he built the Chiuson-ji Temple, now a World Heritage Site. The Golden Hall of Konjiki-do, which was built in 1124, has an exquisite interior created by the best craftsmen of the time. Inside and outside, the temple is decorated with golden leaves. The concept of Chiuson-ji is based on Kiyohira’s idea of a peaceful Buddhist community, an idea that evolved into the modern philosophy of Hiraizumi.
Motsu-ji Temple, a 25-minute walk from Chuseon-ji, is also a World Heritage site. Every year in May, the Fujiwara Festival is held here, where people dress up as members of the Oshu Fujiwara family and parade from Motsu-ji Temple to Chuson-ji Temple. The Kyokusui-no-utage water song festival at Motsu-ji is also very popular: during this festival, people wear aristocratic Heian period costumes, recite poems, and show traditional dances.
Hakone is a hot spring district located in Kanagawa Prefecture. It is a tourist destination popular because of its proximity to central Tokyo.
Hakone is located in the Fuji Hakone-Izu National Park, which is rich in nature. The most popular among tourists is the Owakudani Valley, which was formed by a volcanic eruption about 3,000 years ago. Everyone can take the Hakone cable car and climb to a height of 1044 meters, where you can watch the volcanic activity. A popular souvenir is the black eggs, which are ordinary eggs that have reacted with volcanic gas.
Lake Ashinoko is also a trademark of Hakone. You can take a guided tour of the lake or visit Hakone-jinja Temple, known as a place of strength. In the summer, there is a fireworks festival here.
If you want to enjoy the hot springs, we recommend going to the Hakone-Yumoto onsen, located very close to the Hakone-Yumoto JR station. There are plenty of hotels, so you can easily find a place to stay overnight. However, you can also visit the hot springs during the day without staying in a hotel. There are plenty of souvenir stores and cafes in Hakone-Yumoto, so you can take a nice and healthy stroll through the onsen.
Beppu has many unique hot springs that are worth a separate mention and tour. For example, such a place to see hot springs is Jigoku, which means “hell” in Japanese. There are nine hot springs, including Umi-Jigoku (“sea hell”), which is cobalt-blue in color, Kamado-Jigoku (“hell furnace”), Ti-no-ike Jigoku (“bloody hell”), which is red because it is rich in iron, Oniishi Bodzu Jigoku (“mud hell”) and Tatsumaki Jigoku (“hell tornado”), which springs from underground.
Because of the great elevation differences in this region, we recommend getting here by bus or by car. You can buy a day ticket at the Beppu Tourist Association at the Beppu station. The closest airport to Beppu is Oita Airport, from there you can get to Beppu in 50 minutes. From Fukuoka city center in Kyushu it takes about 2.5 hours by train or bus.
Japan Top 10 Interesting Places
Traveling to Japan is always a happy time. Japan is an inexpensive place to travel. You can enjoy a budget trip to Japan, so money can’t be the reason why you don’t go to Japan . If you know how to plan a trip well, enjoying a budget trip to Japan is not a dream. This may be one of the reasons why many people from all over the world come to Japan. Another reason is that Japan offers beautiful historical sites, interesting culture, and breathtaking views of sakura blossoms. Here are some reviews of places of interest in Japan.
1st place: Hiroshima
1st place: Hiroshima
Located on the island of Honshu, Hiroshima is known as the first city in the world to be blown up by an atomic bomb. It happened on August 6, 1945 and destroyed the city . A famous landmark is the Peace Memorial Park. Another attraction is the Shukein Garden with its beautiful natural scenery. Around the garden’s main pond, visitors can admire the scenery while sipping tea in tea houses. To get from Tokyo to Hiroshima, you can choose to ride the shinkansen super high-speed express train, the highway bus, the airplane, or the local train.
2nd place: Kanazawa
2nd place: Kanazawa
Kanazawa is the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture. One of Japan’s “top three landscape gardens” is in Kanazawa. It is Kenrokuen, a garden with many beautiful flowering trees that give a different appearance in different seasons. There are several tea houses in the garden that serve Japanese tea and traditional Japanese dishes. Another famous attraction is the Nagamachi Samurai District. This is the place where the samurai and their families used to live, located at the foot of the former Kanazawa Castle. From Tokyo you can take a train, bus, or plane to get to Kanazawa. The trip takes 2.5-3 hours by train, about 7-8 hours by bus, and about 1 hour by plane.
3rd place: Tokyo
3rd place: Tokyo
As the capital of Japan, Tokyo offers the atmosphere of a bustling metropolis. You can definitely feel this atmosphere at Shibuya Junction . This is a busy intersection and hundreds of people cross it at the same time. Here you can find many restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and department stores. Another famous landmark of the Shibuya district is the statue of Hachiko. It is located opposite Shibuya Station. Shinjuku and Harajuku also become must-see places when people visit Tokyo. Shinjuku is famous for its shopping district (East Exit) and business district (West Exit). The East Exit consists of department stores and large stores. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the center of Tokyo’s administration, is located at the West Exit. You can also find some public art installation in the West Exit area. Meanwhile, Harajuku is famous for its fashion stores at affordable prices. Feel free to choose the clothes and accessories that suit your style!
4th Place: Kamakura
4th Place: Kamakura
Kamakura, located in the south of Tokyo, has many temples, shrines, and historical monuments. Sometimes Kamakura is called “Kyoto of Eastern Japan” because it has many temples and shrines – just like Kyoto. The main attraction is the Great Buddha of Kamakura. It is a statue of Amida Buddha made of bronze. The Great Buddha is the second tallest bronze Buddha statue in Japan. Hasedera (Hase Temple) is also one of the favorite resting places. It is a temple of the Jodo sect and is 9.18 meters tall. If you want to go to Kamakura from Tokyo, you can choose the JR Yokosuka Line. Trains also stop at several stations, such as Shinagawa Station, Yokohama Station, and Kita-Kamakura Station.
5th place: Ishigaki
5th place: Ishigaki
Ishigaki is the main island of the Yaeyama archipelago located west of Okinawa. It is quite different from other cities in Japan. Ishigaki has no shrines or temples, but its beaches are the best. There are sandy and rocky beaches such as Yonehara Beach, Sukuji Beach, and Sunset Beach. Visitors can spend time doing water sports or climbing Mount Nosoko. There are many hotels, restaurants, and bars on this island. Choose the best and enjoy your vacation.
6th place: Nikko
6th place: Nikko.
The best time to visit Nikko is in autumn, when the colors of the leaves make the landscape even more beautiful. Nikko is known for its Toshogu, Japan’s most ornate shrine. The shrine consists of more than a dozen buildings set in a beautiful forest, countless carved wood figures and plenty of gold leaf. Another famous attraction is the Shinkyo Bridge, which stands at the entrance to the shrines and temples of Nikko. This bridge was built in 1636 and technically belongs to the Futarasan Temple. It is located one kilometer from the shrine grounds. Nikko is located in the north of Tokyo and is connected to Tokyo by the Tobu Railroad and the Japan Railroad.
7th place: Kyoto
7th place: Kyoto
Kyoto consists of several areas that will impress you. One of the most famous places in Kyoto is Arashiyama, located in West Kyoto. The central attraction of Arashiyama is the Togetsukyo Bridge . Try cycling or walking through the bamboo groves. This will make you more relaxed and ready to enjoy nature. Another famous place is the Fushimi Inari Temple. Located in the southern part of Kyoto, it is famous for its thousands of bright red torii gates. For those who love nature and culture and want a little break from the bustling atmosphere, a visit to Kyoto is a must. You can easily get there by shinkansen or bus from Tokyo.
8th place: Koya-san
8th place: Koya-san
Koya-san, or Mount Koya, is located on a wooded mountain and is the center of Shingon Buddhism. Kobo Daishi is one of Japan’s most significant religious figures who introduced Shingon Buddhism (a Buddhist sect) to Japan. There is also a small town that was founded around the headquarters. Visitors are allowed to spend the night in the temple dwellings (sukubo) . They can experience the monk’s way of life, taste vegetarian monk cuisine, and attend morning prayers. The most convenient way to get to Koyasan is by the Nankai Railway and then by cable car to Koyasan.
Place 9: Nara
Place 9: Nara
Nara is not far from Kyoto. It takes less than an hour to get to Nara from Kyoto. Nara was known as the first permanent capital of Japan, founded in 710. Because of its history, there are many historical sites here. You can find Japan’s largest and oldest temples such as Todaiji Temple, Horyuji Temple, and Tosodaiji Temple. Another attraction in Nara is the central city park called Nara Park, where you can see and interact with wild deer. Visitors can buy croutons for the deer and feed them. There are two train companies that may be your choice for travel between Nara and Kyoto. The Japanese Railways (JR) train ride takes 45 minutes and the Kintetsu Railways takes about 35-45 minutes from Kyoto station to JR Nara station (for JR) or Kintetsu Nara station (for Kintetsu Railways).
10th place: Takayama
10th place: Takayama
Travelers who like to add rural elements to their itineraries should come to Takayama. It is a town that has preserved its traditional flavor and is suitable for those who want to live in the countryside. Its main attraction is the old town of Takayama, a town with many beautiful buildings and whole streets with houses dating back to the Edo period (1600-1868). You can also enjoy the Takayama Festival, which is held twice a year in spring and fall. This festival is one of the three most beautiful festivals in Japan and attracts a large number of visitors. If you want to visit Takayama, you can consider the Takayama-Hokuriku Tourist Pass and the Shoryudo Highway Bus Ticket. It also includes access to Takayama and the surrounding area.