Visit Japan: 5 places not to miss

10 interesting places to see in Japan

Japan is an amazing mix of ancient traditions, shrines and the most advanced technology. The country, which immensely respects its past and at the same time is rushing into the future, having in its arsenal of unique natural wonders and creative heritage.

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tripmydream has gathered for you 10 interesting places in Japan that are definitely worth seeing. We are sure that your acquaintance with this incredible country will be enjoyable.

Fuji Hakone-Izu National Park.

This is one of the most interesting natural places Japan It is one of the most interesting natural places in Japan, receiving about 20 million tourists every year. The park includes the famous Mount Fuji, 5 large mountain lakes located nearby at an altitude of over 1000 meters, hot springs and waterfalls, islands and beach, as well as ancient Buddhist and Shinto temples.

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A popular place in the park is the cable car to Mount Hakone, which used to be an active volcano. It is surrounded by six small volcanoes that are still smoking today. The transparent cable car booths offer incredible views of the entire park and its scenery, and upon “landing” you will find thermal springs and the incredibly beautiful mountain lake Asi.

Matsumoto Castle

What else to see in Japan? Of course, Matsumoto Castle. It is located in the city of the same name and is considered one of the most beautiful in the country. Incredibly, it has remained in pristine condition, although it was built, for a minute, in the 16th century.

Matsumoto is called the “Castle of the Black Raven” because of its black walls and five-story roofs that resemble the wings of a bird. This landmark is near a lake in which white swans swim, there is an amazing park with sakura trees and a chrysanthemum garden.

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Want to walk around the castle? Book a tour. On it, you’ll learn the rich history of all the Matsumoto owners who fought for the right to be within these walls.

Shinjuku Geen National Park in Tokyo

One of Japan’s largest parks, a favorite of locals and visitors to Tokyo. It gained fame for its beauty and diversity. There are 3 large gardens within Shinjuku-geen: the classic Japanese garden located by two ponds, the “regular” French garden and the landscape English garden.

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The Japanese garden is the most popular because it has a record number of sakura trees (more than 1,500). You know, in the spring there is no room to spare.

The French and English gardens are created in the European landscape traditions. There are fountains, clipped bushes and flower beds. Between the gardens is the Taiwanese pavilion, where there is a tea house and an ancient wooden fork.

Itsukushima (Miyajima Island)

Itsukushima Shrine is a national treasure of Japan. The ancient Shinto shrine is located in the Inner Sea of Japan, surrounded by green mountains and bays on Itsukushima Island, better known as Miyajima Island. Because of its rich nature as well as its long history (the shrine dates back long before Christ), Itsukushima has become a pilgrimage destination for thousands of travelers.

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There is a large pagoda, as well as various torii and terraces for prayer rituals. Walking around Itsukushima, you can see deer or monkeys. Children are sure to be delighted. How to get to the island? Tourist ships go here, so come on over. And don’t forget to try momiji manju – sweet cakes that, by the way, are only made on Miyajima.

Miraikan Museum of Innovation in Tokyo

Japan respects ancient traditions and actively introduces new technologies. В Tokyo many travelers have the impression that they have entered the future. Especially after visiting the Museum of Innovation (also called the “Museum of Robots”).

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Here you are sure to feel like a movie character who went to another planet. The interactive exhibits in the museum not only can, but must, be touched; electronic guides are available to visitors in six languages; the museum staff as well as visitors can ride Segways, and in the center of the museum, in addition to the huge “globe”, is a whole seismological station, which clearly shows that Japan is “shaking” almost every second.

But the main exhibit of the museum is the famous robot Asimo. It can talk, walk stairs, and even play soccer.

Kenroku-en Park in Kanazawa

Kenroku-en (or “Garden of Six Dignities”) is one of Japan’s main parks. It is incredibly scenic, designed for a perfect and relaxing pastime. Kenroku-en is more than 8,000 species of trees, shrubs, and plants. It’s waterfalls, streams, fountains and bridges. There are tea houses and resting places. Every meter of the park is thought out to the smallest detail, designers and dozens of gardeners work on it every day. A walk here is definitely worthwhile.

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Hiroshima Peace Memorial Complex

One of the main tragedies not only of Japan, but the whole world – the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Despite the fact that the cities recovered fairly quickly, the memory of that terrible time lives on to this day.

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The main peace memorial complex is located in Hiroshima, and there is a large Peace Park as well as the Peace Museum. Here you can see many monuments telling the stories of the dead, including the girl Sadako Sasaki, whose story has been filmed. There is also an eternal flame burning here. According to the idea of the creators, it will only go out when the last atomic bomb on earth has been destroyed.

The Peace Museum contains exhibits on the tragedy itself, its background and aftermath.

Sagano Bamboo Forest in Kyoto

It’s a real oasis in the center of Kyoto! There are bamboo trees that grow up to 40 meters high here. The sight is really impressive. You walk along the huge avenues, and you practically can’t see the sky. The atmosphere of peace and tranquility, triumphant in this place, must be felt.

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The park is especially beautiful in the evenings and at night, when the bamboo grove is illuminated by hundreds of lights. On one side of Sagano is the Buddhist temple Tenryu-ji, and on the other is a picturesque garden with a beautiful view of Mount Arosiyama. The entire ensemble is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

National Museum of Modern Art (MOMAT) in Tokyo

Must-visit for all art lovers. Many travelers don’t go to MOMAT because they are not fans of Oriental art, and even contemporary art. But what they do not know is that there is also a very impressive collection of world heritage: paintings by Picasso, Modigliani, Gauguin, Kandinsky, Rousseau, Bacon, Chagall and other famous artists.

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Momat is divided into 3 main centers: the Gallery of Modern Art, the Gallery of Crafts (works of textiles, ceramics, wood from the late 19th century to the present day), the National Film Center, which regularly shows both the latest Japanese films and paintings released a long time ago.

Seigantoji Pagoda and Nachi-Taki Waterfall

And finally, an interesting place where you can see both an ancient temple and magical nature. In Wakayama Prefecture near 113-meter-high Nachino-taki Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in Japan, there is an ancient Buddhist temple of Seigantoji. Millions of travelers come here to pray and enjoy the mesmerizing beauty.

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The pagoda, where rituals and services are held, offers a stunning view of the mountains and the waterfall.

What to see in Japan?

Japan is a country that seems to have it all: ancient sacred places and temples, numerous cultural monuments, mesmerizing nature, delicious diverse food, friendly people, a limitless number of entertainments. And also the peace and quiet. It’s a land of endless discovery – you can spend a lifetime in Japan, but never get to see all of its vastness! So we’ve decided to compile the 10 most important places to visit if you can’t stay here for a long time. There’s definitely something to see in Japan!

What to see in Japan

1. Kyoto

If you don’t have much time to travel around Japan, Kyoto is the place you can’t miss. This is traditional Japan as you imagined it: geishas in colorful kimonos emerging from wooden teahouses; bamboo forests; temples and shrines of gold, silver, and jewels; gravel Zen gardens; unusual and delicious food on painted lacquered plates; mysterious tea ceremonies and huge markets filled with amazing things.

The center of Kyoto, unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately for some), is not devoid of concrete high-rise buildings. But the surrounding area offers mountain views, narrow stone streets, and old wooden houses. In these streets you can find monks in flowing robes and hear the sounds of chanting and gongs from the many temples.

And temples such as Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion, Kurama-era, Yasaka-jinja Sanctuary, and Otagi Nenbutsu-ji are must-sees.

What to see in Japan

2. Kanazawa

The main reason why tourists rush to Kanazawa is the Kenroku-en garden, one of Japan’s three great gardens. Next to Kenroku-en is Kanazawa Castle. A must-see is the beautifully preserved famous Higashi-Chayagai district. It’s a concentration of tea houses and geishas and a great place for relaxing strolls and “encounters” with Japanese history and culture. Kanazawa has the D.T. Suzuki Museum of Buddhist Philosophy, the Nagamachi Samurai Quarter, the lively Omicho Market, the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Myoruji Ninja Temple.

What to see in Japan

3. Tokyo.

A representative of ultra-modern Japan there is definitely something to see. Here you will find real skyscrapers, an insane amount of noisy and crowded stores, endlessly busy streets, crazy street fashion and a lot of incredibly delicious restaurants (for vegetarians included).

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Tokyo has many of the weirdest events imaginable. From themed cafes (cats, owls, maids, robots, goats) to malls with cosplay and go-karting. People dress up as their favorite characters and race cars, a very unusual sight for our latitudes.

The famous crossing at Shibuya Station is without a doubt one of Tokyo’s most iconic landmarks. On an average weekday, about 2.8 million people a day pass through this crossing! The most fashionable brands are gathered on the streets in this area. If you can’t get enough of the shopping and entertainment in Tokyo itself, we suggest moving a little further, to the city of Urayasu. Here is Disneyland, with an area of 465,000 square meters. It was the first park built outside of the United States. And what to do at Disneyland, you know yourself.

Take a break and relax in Tokyo in the beautiful Shinjuku-Gyoen National Park.

What to see in Japan

4. takayama

This is a gorgeous little town on the edge of the Japanese Alps and one of Japan’s most unmissable places to see. Here you can find the peace and quiet you desire. This place literally breathes history: many traditional wooden houses, colorful shrines, neat trees, and bright red bridges over the river. The most beautiful part of the old town is called Sanmachi. It consists of three narrow lanes filled with wooden buildings that make sake and contain small stores.

What to see in Japan

5. Mount Fuji.

Everyone who comes to Japan has heard about this landmark and certainly wants to visit it. But the mountain is quite elusive to the human eye because it is often hidden behind clouds. There are several places to see the mountain from: From Tokyo, the easiest place to get to is Hakone, a city with a wonderful Lake Ashi, above which Fuji opens up in even greater splendor (if you are lucky). Hakone is famous for its hot springs, the cable car, and the Fuji Hakone-Izu National Park.

What to see in Japan

6. Nikko

A small town at the entrance to Nikko National Park a few hours north of Tokyo. It is considered a temple town.

Temples with scarlet Torii gates and moss-shrouded stone lanterns are scattered across the wooded hillside. The main attraction is the Nikko Tosho-gu Temple. A stunning complex with many ornate red and gold buildings amid huge, ancient cedar trees.

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The Nikko area is famous for its vibrant fall colors. It is also worth seeing the hiking trails, lakes, waterfalls and hot springs of Japan.

7. Koya-san

This is one of the most interesting places in Japan where you can get close to the life of Japanese monks and learn the peculiarities of Shingon Buddhism. The secluded and sacred temple town is located in the forested Kansai Mountains and is the best place to stay in Shukubo and live with the monks.

Mount Koya is the burial place of Japan’s great religious and cultural figure, Kobo Daishi. It is also the starting and ending place of pilgrim temples along the Shikoku route.

8. Tsumago

This is a picturesque traditional mountain village in the Kiso Valley. In fact, here you will find yourself in a different time, on roadless streets and among restored wooden inns.

In the Edo period (about 300 years ago), Tsumago was a stop on the Nakasendo Road connecting the capital of Edo (Tokyo) and the imperial city of Kyoto. Now you can walk part of this trail to the village of Magome in about two hours. It should be a scenic and easy walk.

9. Nara

This city was once the first capital of Japan. This place is filled with historical and cultural treasures. Many of them are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. And in Nara Park, you can watch deer walking peacefully.

The main attraction is at Todai-ji Temple, the Daibutsu-den (Great Buddha Hall), the largest wooden building in the world. Be prepared for its impressive size. By the way, inside is a 15-meter-high gold and bronze Buddha statue, dating back to 751.

10. Hiroshima

This place is definitely a must-see. At least to pay your respects to the victims of the U.S. nuclear bombing in the museum, the park and the Peace Memorial (which is listed by UNESCO). And, of course, to enjoy the beauty of the place. The city was almost completely rebuilt after World War II.

The main places to see in this area of Japan are the Itsukushima Temple, which is located on the nearby island of the same name. It is adorned with a huge vermillion Torii gates and is on the water. When the water rises, the temple seems to float. Also equally interesting are Hiroshima Castle and the Japanese Shukkeiin Garden.

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