Anyone can spend a lifetime sampling every Japanese city, mountain, beach, or river without exhausting the immensity of the country’s beauty. It is sometimes true that the more you look, the less you see. It is best if you have a guided plan and places of priority to have a quality tour of Japan. Experienced tourists who have been to Japan more than once and tour guides with inside information have named the following locations as the best places to visit in Japan.
Mount Fuji is a mountain like no other and is definitely among the best places to visit in Japan. It has an irresistible attraction because of its perfect cone shape and the great symmetry that fosters the impossible impression of an artificial mountain or a mystery of nature. Tourists with a keen interest in photography can use the full range of their creativity to capture the images of this gorgeous mountain. Mountain climbers can have the best chance in Japan when they try their act on this Mount Fuji, which rises to a height of 12, 388 feet. This mountain lies near the central Honshu Pacific coast, which is a region west of Tokyo.
The Golden Pavilion
The Golden Pavilion is one of the rarest spectacles on the planet. The current structure is an imitation of the original 14th-century structure, which was burnt down by a monk way back in 1950. There is a significant element of harmony between nature and the pavilion. Visitors are amazed by the way the building reflects in the pond around it while the pond also reflects in the pavilion. The structure achieves incredible luster as a result of the gold leaf that is on its exterior. The pavilion is found in Kita Ward of Tokyo and has been found by many as one of the best places to visit in Japan.
A tour of Japan should never end without a visit to the spellbinding Tokyo Tower. It stands 333 meters high and offers a vantage view of the Tokyo skyline. The renowned architect Tachu Naito built this tower in 1957. It testifies to the spirit of progress that lies at the foundation of Japan’s technological advancement and cultural superiority. The tower plays the three roles of the observational tower, transmitter station, and tourist attraction. Many visitors consider it as the best structure of reminding them of their tour of Japan.
Great Buddha of Kamakura
The Great Buddha is a large bronze representation of the revered Amida Buddha. This statue is on the grounds of Kotokuin Temple in Kamakura. Amida Buddha remains a famous Buddhist figure in the history of Japan. It rises nearly 40 feet in height with a weight of 93 kg. The aura of reverence that attaches to this statue derives from the fact that it has lasted several generations having been in existence since the year 1252. Throughout the year, this figure has continued to attract as much attention as the Statue of Christ in Brazil.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial
Many people hate sad stories of a dark past, but the story of Hiroshima is never complete without the mention of the atomic bomb. This is one serious reason why a tour of Japan should entail a photo opportunity at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. It is also called the Atomic Bomb Dome, and it is the only structure that was never completely ruined by the force of the bomb. The area around the dome features lush vegetation, which enhances the peaceful calm that fills the air. The place is very significant for visitors who wish to express their solidarity with the champions of a peaceful planet.
Tokyo Imperial Palace
The Tokyo Imperial Palace is, without a doubt, one of the best places to visit in Japan. It functions as the reservoir of history, culture, government, religion, and wildlife. This palace is home to the Emperor of Japan. It is unique regarding design and utility. The Imperial Palace is built on the ruins of historical castles, which were destroyed by past fires or acts of war. The palace is an amazing spectacle that fuses traditional Japanese architecture with elements of modernity. Visitors get the chance to witness the authentic splendor of traditional Japanese gardens. These gardens are highly photogenic.
Magome-juku used to be a post station of the Nakasendō, a route connecting Kyoto and Edo in the Edo period (between 16th and 19th century). Back then relatively cosmopolitan and wealthy, now it is a small and lovely town reminding an open-air museum. An old water mill, wooden houses, and cobblestone streets give a historic feeling to the place. In most of the houses, you can find little shops, restaurants, and museums. It’s a perfect destination for those who want to discover the history of daily life in Japan. If you’re interested in Japanese literature, you ought to know that Magome was a birthplace of a noteworthy author Shimazaki Tōson. In his book “before the Down” he wrote about the Kiso region.
This tiny island belongs to the Yaeyama Islands. Only over 300 residents live there. Japan has been isolated for centuries, but now the country has become extremely modern and developed. There are still places that remain hidden and old-fashioned. Inhabitants of Taketomi live their lives according to the traditions. There are fantastic beaches on the island. Kaiji Beach is one of the two in Japan on which you can see the star-sand (it looks like star-shaped grains of sand, but the star-sand is composed of remains of tiny shellfish). With these little stars, many butterflies, traditional houses and blue water Taketomi Island is a lovely destination for everyone who wants to run away for a while.
Tashirojima is being called “The Cat Island” – not without reason. The locals (there’s only around 100 of them) believe feeding cats bring wealth and good luck. The residents of Tashirojima seek these treasures very much because they keep feeding a population of cats that is bigger than the human population. As if it wasn’t enough, there is also a cat shrine located in the middle of the island. Tashirojima is a true paradise for all cat-lovers.
Otagi Nenbutsu-Ji Temple
Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple is a Buddhist temple situated in one of Kyoto’s neighborhoods. It consists of the main hall with several small pagodas and temples and houses over 1200 taken, statues depicting Buddha. Every single statue presents a different expression. They are supposed to be humor, yet some look rather scary or bizarre. The temple was first built in the 8th century, but since then it had been destroyed in several natural disasters. A famous Japanese sculptor Kocho Nishimura worked with a group of amateurs to create the statues and donated them to the temple in honor of its refurbishment. Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple is one of the most quirky places to see in Japan.
This little town is situated only one hour from Tokyo. Numerous Zen temples in Kamakura make it a serene, quiet place, perfect for meditation and rest. One of the town’s greatest sights is the Great Buddha bronze statue. Many restaurants are serving organic food and lovely beaches, so Kamakura is often chosen by surfers and tourist who seek real, healthy relaxation.
Sagano Bamboo Forest
It’s one of the most beautiful natural places to see in Japan, even more, it’s a place that must not only be seen but also carefully listened to. The forest is famous for sounds of the wind blowing amongst the bamboo. The Sagano Bamboo Forest is located in the city of Kyoto but feels like another world. It’s a tranquil and magical place, perfect for a very particular walk.
Yamadera Temple Complex
The Buddhist temples of Yamadera have situated north-east of Yamagata and built into the side of a mountain. Once you climb a thousand stairs leading to the complex, you will see a beautiful view of the valleys and mountains that surround it.
This gorgeous place inspired the famous poet Basho to create this haiku: Silence, and penetrating into the rocks — the cry of the cicada. The cicadas shrilling can indeed be heard around the temples. Now on a hill opposite to the compound, there’s the Yamadera Basho Memorial Museum.
A grand tour of Japan should cover the country’s beauty from the angles of technological development, cultural aesthetics, natural beauty, and many other rare advantages. There are many things to see and do in Japan any time of day or night throughout the year. It all depends on some proper knowledge and guidance.