Making plans to travel abroad? Japan is surely a must-visit! Check out the list of the best things to do in Japan and places to go in Japan below. Wondrous Drifter, a Web 3.0 travel startup, hopes to have a significant impact on the world.
Table of Contents
- Arashiyama Monkey Park
- Chūbu-Sangaku National Park
- Fukuoka Castle Ruins
- Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine
- Hakone Open-Air Museum
- Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
- Imperial Tokyo
- Koyasan Okunoin
- Matsumoto Castle
- Mount Fuji
- Naritasan Shinsho-Ji
- Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
- Osaka Castle
- City of Nara
- The Island Shrine of Itsukushima
- The Atsuta Shrine
- Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Arashiyama Monkey Park
Take a trip to enjoy the serene and beautiful Arashiyama Monkey Park.
The famed Arashiayama Monkey Park, located in Kyoto’s Arishayama district, is one of the top things to do in both Kyoto and Japan.
After a short hike up a forested mountain, you can see a lot of the city and about 120 Japanese macaque monkeys.
In the monkey park, macaques roam freely, enabling visitors to get up close and personal with these active creatures.
You may also feed them food purchased from the park.
You’ll come upon a little wooden enclosure where you may feed the monkeys.
The macaques can go outside the enclosure, jump from branch to branch, and scatter across dirt roads.
The peak’s summit also offers a spectacular view of Kyoto and the lovely mountain ranges in the distance.
Visit the monkey park in spring and fall to get a bird’s-eye view of the cherry blossoms and the colorful shifting of the leaves.
Address: Japan, 〒616-0004 Kyoto, Nishikyo Ward, Arashiyama Nakaoshitacho, ６１
Chūbu-Sangaku National Park
Relax, just breathe in the amazing scenery and its natural beauty.
Japan has a variety of remarkable natural beauty spots, several of which have been classified as national parks or, in certain cases, UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Chubu-Sangaku National Park in Honshu is one of the most stunning in the country.
The Hida Mountains, also called the Japanese Alps, are a group of mountains in the north and center of the park.
Hotaka and Yari, two of the country’s tallest peaks, can also be located here.
Every season, the Chubu Sangaku National Park offers breathtaking mountain views.
They draw many hikers and climbers in the summer and skiers in the winter.
Furthermore, upper-elevation areas of the park are home to a diversity of wildlife and plants, including the rarely seen ptarmigan and even a herd of mountain antelope.
People also come to see the park’s numerous hot springs, which paved the way to the building of spas and resorts, the most famous of which is Kamikchi.
A spot you could spend the whole day relaxing in.
Address: Honshū, Japan
Fukuoka Castle Ruins
Enjoy breathtaking views as you walk up to the ancient castle ruins.
The remains of Fukuoka Castle, erected in the 1600s, are in Maizuru Park.
When Shoguns and local rulers were looking for places to call home, Fukuoka Castle was a wonderful option.
However, due to feudalism, it was demolished even during Meiji Restoration.
Presently, only the castle’s main road and one of its towers are still standing.
The park is particularly beautiful in the spring when the cherry blossoms bloom.
Visitors come here mostly for the lush walking routes and picturesque lookouts with stunning views of the Naka River.
Also, you can climb atop the ruins to get a clearer view of the area.
Moreover, Fukuoka’s festivals and events are very well-known.
Another most famous attraction in the city is Canal City Hakata, which is a city that is within a city.
It has beautiful stores, hotels, restaurants, a theater, and a canal running through it.
You’ll get a chance to get some exercise while also learning about historical cultures.
Address: 1 Jonai, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, 810-0043, Japan
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Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine
When you visit this amazing place, you will be speechless.
A visit to the Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine is sure to leave you red-faced but in a positive manner.
Kyoto’s Fushimi Inari shrine is known for its scarlet-colored gateways that arches above a labyrinth of pathways.
These arched paths make it hard to talk, so the walk to Mt. Inari’s forest will be very quiet.
Fushimi Inari is unquestionably the most important of the thousands of temples devoted to Inari, a Shinto deity of rice.
For the most part, tourists come to see the famous vermilion gates.
Yet, the temple on its own is worth visiting, and the architecture is spectacular.
Visitors may also climb Mt. Inari, which takes around two to three hours round trip.
Overall, there are shrines, little gates, and dining options along the way up the mountain.
A definite place to go to when you’re on vacation.
Address: 68 Fukakusa Yabunouchicho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, 612-0882, Japan
Hakone Open-Air Museum
Hakone, located in the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park west of Tokyo, is famed for its beautiful mountains and peaceful hot spring resorts.
That alone is incentive enough to visit this lovely tiny town.
The spectacular Open-Air Museum is another major lure to this tranquil haven.
As the name suggests, the outdoor museum is a 17-acre sculpture park.
It is one of Japan’s oldest open-air museums. It opened in 1969, and the grounds have more than 100 sculptures.
The Symphonic Sculpture is one of the most interesting sculptures on the grounds.
It has a stained-glass tower that visitors can climb to reach an observation platform with a view of the surrounding mountains.
In addition to the outdoor exhibitions, the museum offers an inside exhibit with one of the world’s most outstanding Picasso collections.
More than 300 famous Spanish painters’ works are on display, including ceramics, sculptures, oil paintings, and prints.
Address: 1121 Ninotaira, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa 250-0407, Japan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
Take a moment and respect the innocent ones who died while you explore the park.
While the tragedies of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima during August 1945 just need a little explanation, the incredible efforts made by this bustling city to honor the many fatalities of the world’s first nuclear assault deserve some.
Perhaps most crucially, Hiroshima has come to represent long-term peace.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, visited by over a million people each year, many of whom are from outside, is located at the epicenter of the atomic bomb in what was once a lively area of the city.
Many important monuments, memorials, and museums in this area have to do with what happened on that tragic day.
The park is also home to the Peace Memorial Museum, which contains several displays on international peace in contrast to the park’s gorgeous grounds and gardens.
It also houses the Memorial Cenotaph, the Flame of Peace, and the Atom Bomb Dome.
This is a must-visit when you take a trip to Japan.
Address: １丁目-1-10 Nakajimacho, Naka Ward, Hiroshima, 730-0811, Japan
A world-renowned monument that is definitely worth the trip.
The Imperial Palace is Tokyo’s most renowned monument, with its gorgeous 17th-century grounds enclosed by moats and walls.
Many spectacular sights can be seen by just strolling about the grounds, even if the majority of the palace is off-limits to visitors.
People can go into the East Higashi-Gyoen Garden and other places that are open to the public as part of a tour.
There are also many beautiful views from different places in the countryside around the palace.
One of the most lovely vistas is of the famed Nijubashi Bridge, sometimes known as the “double bridge” due to the reflection in the water.
Moreover, a must-see spot for tourists in Tokyo is the world-famous Ginza shopping district.
On top of the Kabuki-za and Shimbashi Enbujo theaters, this lively area is also home to traditional Azuma-odori dances and Bunraku performances.
This is a must-see while visiting the nation’s capital.
Address: 1-1 Chiyoda, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 100-8111, Japan
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Seeing the gorgeous sakura cherry blossom tree bloom will leave you in awe.
Kyoto is almost brimming with beautiful sights and attractions.
The city itself is a major draw. But no trip to Kyoto is complete without stopping at Kiyomizu-Dera, and or the Pure Water Temple.
Kiyomizu-Dera, one of Japan’s most prominent temples built around 780 CE. It is also just on the premises of Otowa Waterfall.
The temple is filled with a rich and interesting history for anyone to learn about.
It was first built as part of the Buddhist Hosso sect, but by the middle of the 20th century, it formed its own cult.
This World Heritage Site in Kyoto is famous for its wooden deck, which provides a great views of the city’s beautiful rooflines and stunning trees.
During the autumn and cherry blossom months, it always puts on a lovely color show.
The Otowa Waterfall, which cascades under the statue’s main hall, and the Jishu Shrine are further important aspects of the property.
It is properly maintained, and the walking pathways are suitable for everyone.
This is where you can just forget your problems and experience a peaceful atmosphere.
Address: 1 Chome-294 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0862, Japan
Koyasan’s number one attraction!
While a cemetery may not appear to be a top attraction, Japan’s Koyasan Okunoin is an exceptional exception.
This important pilgrimage site is where the founder of Shingon Buddhism, Kobo Daishi, is buried. It is one of the holiest places in the country.
Daishi, also known as Kukai, is a pivotal person in Japanese Buddhist history.
He is claimed to be in endless meditation, awaiting the Buddha of the future.
Those that travel to his mausoleum do so to seek salvation in this life.
When tourists arrive at the cemetery, they will cross the Ichinohashi Bridge, the first bridge inside the cemetery.
Visitors will pass over 200,000 tombstones on their route to the mausoleum.
The road leads to the Gokusho Offering Hall, where visitors can give offerings and pray for lost family members.
A visit here would be an awesome experience to have in your life.
Address: Koyasan, Koya, Ito District, Wakayama 648-0211, Japan
The cultural heart of Japan
Kyoto is one of Japan’s most famous cities and one of the few places spared the damage of WWII.
Over a century after the Imperial family first settled here, most of Kyoto’s lovely old alleys and buildings have survived almost unchanged.
In fact, this history is still alive today in the many art galleries and museums that are full of great paintings, sculptures, and other kinds of art.
Furthermore, large structures like Kyoto’s Golden Pavilion and the city’s 30 still-in-use temples are two of the city’s Buddhist-influenced architecture’s finest examples.
Take a day to tour the Nijo Castle, a stronghold built in the 17th century that still has its moat, walls, and towers.
In addition to the castle’s beautiful gates and palace, the interiors are also worth a glance.
Explore the amazing history and fascinating ancient temples still standing today.
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There are hundreds of gorgeous medieval castles in Japan.
None, however, is as comprehensive or as captivating as Matsumoto Castle.
It is a city in Nagano that was built between 1592 and 1614.
Matsumoto Castle has kept its wooden interiors, giving visitors a truly ancient atmosphere.
Matsumoto Castle is one of five “National Treasures of Japan.”
It is the country’s oldest six-story castle tower still standing.
Unlike many other Japanese castles, it was not built recently. Instead, it was fixed up a lot between 1903 and 1913.
One of the greatest times to visit the castle is in the spring when the grounds are dusted a delicate pink with hundreds of cherry blossoms in bloom.
Take a stroll around the castle and learn about its history.
Visitors to the castle get one of the greatest looks back in time.
This is one of Japan’s crown jewels, and a visit here is not to be missed.
Address: 4-1 Marunouchi, Matsumoto, Nagano 390-0873, Japan
Chase and enjoy the best views of Mount Fuji.
Mount Fuji, Japan’s most famous landmark, is the country’s tallest mountain summit.
It is located on Honshu Island, a volcano whose top is covered with snow for most of the year.
This beautiful and legendary peak rises 3,776 meters above a mostly flat area.
It is visible from Tokyo, that’s far more over 100 kilometers away.
Mount Fuji has been praised for art and also, literature for ages. It is now regarded as such an iconic emblem that UNESCO acknowledged its global cultural importance in 2013.
Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park is where Mt. Fuji is. Each summer, more than a lot of visitors go on a pilgrimage to the top of the mountain to see the sunrise.
Numerous artists find Mount Fuji to be an inspiration, and it may be found in many paintings and souvenirs.
There are also guided trips that take you to unusual locations with the best views of Mount Fuji.
When visiting Japan, this should be at the top of your list of places to see.
Address: central Honshu, Japan
Don’t miss out on an amazing spiritual trip to the mountains.
The Naritasan Shinshoji Temple, which dates back over a thousand years, is one of Japan’s most prominent Buddhist temples.
The majestic temple was built to safeguard and honor a figure of the Buddhist god Fudo Myoo, crafted by Kobo Daishi.
There are various buildings on the grounds of the temple, including several distinct styles of pagodas, a garden, and the major halls.
You feel like you’ve transported back in time just by visiting the temple.
Half a mile from the railway station to the main temple, cafes and handicraft stores can be found lining the way.
It’s been like a way for centuries in this neighborhood.
Moreover, the temple is set in a large park with lakes and waterfalls and additional attractions such as a calligraphy museum.
The route to the temple from the city’s major station is lovely, with gift stores and local specialties.
It is worthwhile to walk instead of driving for a more enjoyable experience.
Address: 1 Narita, Chiba 286-0023, Japan
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
A must-see while visiting Okinawa.
The Okinawa region in Japan comprises roughly 150 islands that are scattered over the area bordering Taiwan and Japan.
This island’s idyllic location, complete with pristine beaches and waving palm trees, is one of a kind in Japan.
The Churaumi Aquarium is on Okinawa, the largest island. There are also several museums in Okinawa.
The aquarium, noted for its Kuroshio Tank, is commonly regarded as the greatest in Japan.
Over 60 distinct types of creatures are in this large tank, but most tourists come to witness the swimming manta rays and giant whale sharks.
Other attractions at the aquarium feature a deep-water display with bioluminescent fish and a section for tiger and bull sharks.
Likewise, outside the museum, there are several pools where sea turtles, manatees, and dolphins may be found.
The structure is extremely distinctive, making this aquarium a popular destination for architectural enthusiasts.
Book a ticket now in advance for the best accommodation you’ll experience.
Address: 424 Ishikawa, Motobu, Kunigami District, Okinawa 905-0206, Japan
Osaka Castle, built-in 1586 by a famed Japanese warrior and also a statesman Toyotomi Hideyoshi, was the country’s most significant fortification.
Despite being demolished and rebuilt several times, the current building, erected around 1931, remains authentic to the its original form.
The huge main tower, with its five stories and 42-meter height, is a must-see.
The tower, which stands 14 meters tall, has several exhibits documenting the castle’s history and city.
It is surrounded by water, and you may climb to the top of the castle to take in the breathtaking view.
At the bottom of the castle courtyard are stands where people can buy food and drinks.
It’s an excellent location. If you enjoy old Japanese history and wandering, this is the spot for you.
Climb to the top level for spectacular views of Osaka, which are especially appealing at sunset.
During the Sakura cherry blossoming season, enjoy Sakura champagne with friends. It will undoubtedly be a moment you will cherish.
Address: Japan, 〒540-0002 Osaka, Chuo Ward, Osakajo, １番１号
City of Nara
A gem waiting to be seen.
Nara, Japan’s cultural capital, has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988.
It has a lot of old buildings and works of art that are important to the country as a whole.
Additionally, the city is home to a large number of historically significant temples, making it a great place to visit.
The great seventh-century Kofuku-Ji Temple, probably the best-known of Nara’s Seven Great Temples, and the spectacular eighth-century Todai-Ji, notable for its massive bronze statue of the Great Buddha, made here in AD 749, are among them.
In addition to Todai-Great Ji’s South Gate, it’s worth a look.
This magnificent two-story building is supported by 18 columns and guarded by two Nio sculptures towering eight meters tall.
There are tons of exhibits and relics for you to explore and have a relaxing time as you stroll inside the temple.
The world’s biggest timber monument, the Hall of the Great Buddha, is a must-see.
Address: 1-1-1 Nijō-ōji, Nara-shi, Nara-ken 630-8580
The Island Shrine of Itsukushima
A scene you’d only see in fantasy.
Miyajima Island, known as Japan’s Shrine Island, is just a short boat journey from the mainland of Hiroshima.
The Princesses of the Wind God, Susanoo, are honored in the Itsukushima Shrine, a Shinto temple.
Hiroshima Bay’s 30-square-kilometer-long island of Miyajima is where you’ll find it.
Most of the shrine’s structures date back to the ninth century and rise out of a narrow bay solely supported by piles.
It’s incredible how some constructions, like the fabled Great Floating Gate, appear to float in the ocean during high tide.
It’s a wonderful exploring area, especially the larger rooms connected by bridges and walkways.
In addition, there is the awe-inspiring Prayer Hall, the Offerings Hall, and the Hall of a Thousand Mats.
Additionally, a noteworthy feature is the shrine’s stage, traditional music and dances are performed for guests.
The island’s beautiful gardens and grounds, home to various bird and wild deer populations, are also well worth visiting.
Don’t miss out on this fantastic experience that you can only get here in Japan.
Address: 1-1 Miyajimacho, Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima 739-0588, Japan
The Atsuta Shrine
Nagoya’s Atsuta Shrine, Japan’s most prominent Shinto shrine, welcomes anyone who wants to visit.
The “grass-mowing sword” is one of just three Imperial insignias that have been kept at this sacred shrine, which was established in the first century.
The treasury, which houses countless art items, including modern and antique paintings, pottery, and traditional Japanese masks, is worth seeing.
The temple’s major shrine, Hongu, is also worth visiting.
With its 48 meters main tower and two dorado dolphins, this magnificent moated complex dates back to 1612.
Tourists go to see the old palace’s artifacts at the museum and its breathtaking views over Tokyo.
There are few English-language signs at this Shinto temple. Still, the sacred sword of the imperial regalia is definitely worth a visit.
After saying your prayers, make your way around the shrine to the rear, where you’ll find a set of stairs near a stream.
Make a wish while using the wooden spoons to sprinkle water on the center rock! After a while, you’ll find yourself back at the entryway.
Make sure to visit Nagoya Castle while you’re in the city.
Address: 1 Chome-1-1 Jingu, Atsuta Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 456-8585, Japan
Bring excellent sake and good beer to Sapporo while seeing the festival’s stunning creativity.
On the northernmost island of Hokkaido, you will locate the city of Sapporo, which has a lot to offer to travelers.
The island’s major city is a cultural hotspot, holding several spectacular festivals and events.
It also features a particular gallery, parks, and several museums, as well as culinary flair and a long theatrical heritage.
Odori Park, a wide area of greenery, serves as the center of the city’s charming central part, which is a great pleasure to discover.
Sapporo’s famous aerial railway and the Sapporo TV Tower can easily be reached on foot from here.
Likewise, Mount Moiwa Ropeway will tour you to the Upper Station at the top of the mountain.
You will really love the amazing city views, especially at night.
Moreover, you can’t go wrong with the family-friendly Tsudome complex, which includes indoor and outdoor amenities.
Tsudome, unlike Susukino and Odori, is all about having fun flinging snowballs, creating snowmen, and sliding down ice slides.
An exciting and thrilling time awaits you here at Sapporo.
Address: 2-1-1 Kita-ichijō-nishi, Chūō-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido 060-8611
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
It is surrounded by beautiful scenery that will leave you speechless as you enjoy the calming atmosphere.
Shinjuku, one of Tokyo’s most recognized districts, is known for its fashionable restaurants, premium hotels, and electric nightlife.
Shinjuku Gyoen park, in the district’s center, is one of Tokyo’s most naturally beautiful places to visit.
There are extensive walking routes and green spaces that weave through gorgeous ponds, floral displays, and trimmed shrubbery within the park.
The park is one of the greatest places to see the magnificent waves of powder pink during cherry blossom season.
The park was constructed as a feudal lord’s house during Japan’s Edo Period.
It later became a botanical park and an entertainment ground for Japan’s Imperial Family in the early twentieth century.
It was first inaugurated as a public park in 1949.
There are three garden types in the park: English landscape, Japanese landscape, and French landscape.
If you’re bored of the city, this garden is a must-see.
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Address: 11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0014, Japan