Known as the Land of the Rising Sun, Japan is an archipelago of 6,852 islands. Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku are the four largest of these. As an island country, it is quite small but, has the eleventh largest population of 127 million. The capital, Tokyo is home to 13.8 million people, making it the most populous metropolitan area in the world. There are many places to see in Japan. We are recommending some of the best places to visit in Japan.
The country has seen a very tumultuous but glorious past, and this reflects in the present monuments. Gardens, castles from the Imperial time and beautiful forests dot the country’s landscape. They make for the best places to visit while in Japan. Despite the tragedies of World War 2, Japan is one of the most advanced nations with regards to technology. The contrast of these two factors makes Japan an exciting place to visit. This is one of the few countries where technology meets traditional in every sense leaving tourists awe-struck. The technology has contributed to the maintenance of monuments, which make the places to visit here more appealing. Sightseeing in Japan is also popular for the rare sights you can find only here.
If you are planning a trip to Japan, we have listed ten of the best places to visit in Japan. These are must-visits, and you should visit them to enjoy Japan. These places will give you exposure to their unique and colourful culture.
List of 10 Best places to visit in Japan
- Mount Fuji – A gorgeous active volcano which represents Japan till date.
- Tokyo Tower – A broadcasting tower which also serves as a popular tourist spot.
- Universal Studios – A theme park which appeals to people of all ages.
- Disneyland Tokyo – A theme park and resort which is loved by tourists and locals alike.
- Imperial Palace – A historic site which houses the royal family.
- Shiretoko National Park – A natural park which is perfect for nature lovers.
- Harajuku – A hangout spot for the adolescents and culture lovers of the city.
- Adachi Museum of Art – A unique museum with many sights to admire.
- Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park – A historically significant site.
- Osaka Castle – A beautiful castle with breathtaking gardens.
Also, remember to enjoy the pleasing aesthetics of the country. Springtime is the best time to do this. The pastel fragrant blossoms decorate the whole city, making it a sight to behold. Tourists and locals alike, find this to be a good time for picnics and sightseeing. Winter is ideal for skiing and relaxing in the hot springs. For tourists, summer is the best time to enjoy the places to visit in Japan.
1. Mount Fuji
Admirably shaped like a perfect cone; it is capped with snow for half the year, making it appear mystical. It can be seen from Yokohama and Tokyo and from the train which goes between Tokyo and Osaka. To get a closer view of Mount Fufi, head to Fujigoko, a region at the foot of the mountain. You can even visit Hakone, a hot spring resort near the mountain.
This active volcano last erupted in 1707 and must be visited when in Japan. It is located on the border of the Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures and stands at 3776 meters. As Japans’ tallest mountain it is worshipped by the locals as sacred. One of the most beautiful sights you will ever encounter; this mountain represents Japanese tourism. The sight of the bluish lilac mountains covered in the mist is ethereal, making it a popular spot for sightseeing in Japan.
Getting a clear view of the mountain is a challenge. The best time to get a clear view is early in the morning and late in the evening during winter. Mount Fuji is open for climbing and hiking in July and August. Several routes can be explored for this. While they do not ask for a fee during trekking, a payment of 1000 yen is appreciated. This is only during the climbing season. The money collected is used for conservation and instalments of safety measures.
- Entry Fee: No entry fee is charged, during the climbing season you may be asked to pay 1000 yen for conservation purposes.
2. Tokyo Tower
When visiting the tower, have a look at FootTown, a building directly under the tower.
Head up to visit the two observation decks; the Main Deck at 150 meters and the Top Deck at 250 meters offers you a birds-eye view of the city.
A tourist’s favourite place to visit in Japan, this famous broadcasting tower is another symbolic representative of Japan. The structure of this building is reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower. The largest sources of income are tourism and antenna leasing. As the second tallest structure in Japan, the tower stands at 332.9 meters.
You can find a variety of stores, restaurants and museums. An aquamarine and a museum housing mementoes acknowledged by the Guinness Book are also to be found. Windows and balconies in the Top Deck allow a glimpse of Mt Fuji on a day with clear skies. To enjoy the Tokyo skyline, this is one of the best places to visit in Japan.
- Main Deck: Adult (18 and above)-900 yen; Children (students)-500 yen; Children (4 years and over)-400 yen
- Top Deck Tour: Adult (18 and above)-2,800 yen; Children (students)-1,800 yen; Children (4 years and over)-1,200 yen
3. Universal Studios Japan
This is every child’s favourite place to visit in Japan. Universal Studios is the second most popular theme park in Japan after Tokyo Disney Resort. From rides for children to haunted houses, you can find all of this in this park.
Other than rides, the park’s attractions lay in the mascots with whom you can take photos. Snoopy Dog, Hello Kitty and the Minions are a few of these characters. You can even enjoy the various shows they put up. The night parade with illuminated floats is one program which attracts many tourists.
With eight sectors, Universal Studios Japan offers something for all tourists to enjoy. Outside the on the Universal Citywalk Osaka, you will find more attractive things.
- Adult (12-64 years old): 7,400 to 8,700 yen
- Children (4-11 years old): 5,100 to 5,900 yen
- Senior Citizens (65 years or older): 6,700 to 7,800 yen
4. Tokyo Disney Resort
This resort consists of many parts – Disneyland, DisneySea, the Ikspiari shopping mall and renowned hotels.
The main attractions of this resort, making it a fun place to visit are the theme parks
The first Disney theme park to be opened outside the USA, this park is a favourite among tourists of all ages. This park consists of seven themed lands and is known for hosting seasonal parades and decorations.
Each of the seven lands explores a different era and category of Disney cinema. These lands are aimed at different age ranges, attempting to satisfy each individual. The park has various rides and attractions and takes at least a day to explore and enjoy.
This park is specific to Japan and is made based on numerous myths and tales about the sea. It appeals more to adults with a more diverse range of activities and food options. Here too, you will find seven lands.
Each park is unique with a different target audience and story. The Lost River Delta appeals to explorers with its set up of a ruined temple. Mermaid Lagoon appeals to children with the rides and shows. All the people who have grown up to Disney, this is the best place for you to visit in Japan.
The recommended 2 Day Pass which allows access to one park a day costs
- Adult 13,200 yen
- Junior 11,600 yen
- Child 8,600 yen
5. Tokyo Imperial Palace East Gardens
Home to the current royal family, this palace is not open to the public. You can visit the scenic gardens.
Formerly part of the Edo Castle’s innermost defence circles, the gardens have retained the moats, walls, guardhouses and entrance gates. The palace buildings, however, have been replaced by a picturesque Japanese style garden. This garden offers a break from the cityscape of Tokyo. The maintained former keeps making you feel like you are in a place of significance to history. The scenery is pleasing to the eye, and the ambience is peaceful. This is why this tourist spot in Japan is also a favourite among locals.
- Entry Fee: Not applicable
Also See: Top 14 Most Beautiful Temples of Japan
6. Shiretoko National Park
One of the most beautiful places to visit in Japan; this is located on the Shiretoko Peninsula in eastern Hokkaido. This park is unspoiled and untouched by urban life and is home to a number of endangered and unique species. The tip of the peninsula has no connecting roads and can only be seen from a boat.
This park is a good place to relax and get in touch with nature. During winter, tourists gather here to see the drift ice. This is a place all nature lovers should definitely visit.
- Entry Fee: Not applicable
Located near the Harajuku Station, it is the hub of Japan’s contemporary fashion and art culture.
Omotesando, an avenue lined with trees will cater to your mature tastes with its sophisticated layout and shops.
You should look at the Takeshita Dori which is the central point here. Those who enjoy exploring cultures, this is the best place in Japan for you.
On this street, you will find an assortment of trendy boutiques and stores, popular restaurants and street food stalls. All of these are for the trend-conscious teens of Japan who wish to maintain and follow avant-garde trends. Museums here attract local and tourist adults for their unique art pieces.
However, as an adult, you will find parks and the famous Meiji Jingu, a shrine in Tokyo. To find something for your children, visit Kiddy Land where you can find toys and children’s products. The Oriental Bazaar is Tokyo’s largest souvenir shop. Mimicking traditional Japanese architecture, this bazaar offers a range of traditional items.
Entry Fee: Not applicable
8. Adachi Museum of Art
Recently constructed, this museum represents the creator Adachi Zenko’s love for art and gardening. With sprawling, lush gardens surround the building which houses exquisite Japanese and modern artworks. Ceramic pieces can be admired here as well. This garden has been awarded many times since its creation in 1980 for its unique blend of gardening and art.
The garden can be visited at any point of the year. And each time you visit, you will notice season-induced differences.
- Adult (General person): 2300.0 yen
- Student (University): 1800.0 yen
- Student (high school): 1000.0 yen
- Student (Elementary school): 500.0 yen
9. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
Those who take an interest in history can visit the Peace Memorial Museum, where you can see what effect the blast had on human suffering. The park provides you with a break from the bustling city with its trees, lawns and walking paths. Before the tragic blast, this area was the heart of the city with all the government buildings. For this reason, it was the centre of the attack. Seeing this, the government decided to renovate it as a memorial.
The A-Bomb Dome, often referred to as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial is what remains of the Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall. This is one of the few buildings to have survived the devastating blast. The Children’s Peace Monument and the Cenotaph for the A-Bomb Victims lay between the Dome and Museum. They too serve to remind us of what we have and often take for granted. The best place to appreciate how far Japan has come is this.
- Entry Fee: 200 yen for all visitors
10. Osaka Castle
With a tea house and over 600 cherry trees, this garden offers a stunning view of the castle from ground level.
With a violent history, this castle has seen a lot. It is quite modern on the inside with an elevator for ease of access due to the final reconstruction taking place in the late ’90s. It now serves as a museum providing information about the castle and Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
Surrounding what was once the western citadel, the Nishinomaru Garden is a place you must visit in Japan during the cherry blossom season. This garden is frequented during spring, serving as one of the best places in Japan to meet for hanami (to admire blossoms).
- Castle Tower: 600 yen
- Nishinomaru Garde: 200 yen (350 during blossom season)
Further Read: The 10 Most Beautiful Japanese Villages
This list comprises of a small number of places to visit in Japan. There are many beautiful places to visit in Japan. These are some of the best places in Japan to enjoy the country’s unique ambience. This makes the visits increasingly fascinating. Visit some of the best places in Japan with the help of this list. And, do comment if you have seen other places which belong on this list.