After two years of pandemic, the Land of the Rising Sun is gradually reopening its borders. It is done ! You finally got your plane ticket! Your dream is coming true! However, you still don’t know which cities in Japan to visit to enjoy your trip to the fullest!
With its history, its cultural richness, its impressive landscapes and its gastronomy, the archipelago attracts many visitors from Asia, America, Europe or Oceania. The Kansai and Kanto regions are the main destinations for foreign tourists. Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka… discover the top 10 japanese cities to visit !
1. ? Tokyo: the extravagant megalopolis
Located on the island of Honshu, the capital of japan It is an essential destination as it shines with its modernity. However, the megalopolis has not abandoned its traditions. Crazy malls, kawaï phenomenon, culture of sleeve and you cosplay, … Tokyo bustles with activity. On the other hand, the most populous city in the world has managed to preserve Japanese traditions with its places of worship, craft shops, kabuki theater and popular festivals (matsuri).
? What to do in Tokyo?
- Shopping in Shibuya, Harajuku, Shinjuku, Akihabara. These bubbly neighborhoods will impress you with their head start. Lovers of hi-tech and Japanese pop culture will be delighted!
- Stroll through the old neighborhoods (Ueno, Nezu, Asuka…) that will transport you to the Edo period
- Visit the famous Ueno Park, Nezu-jinja Shrine, and Senso-ji Temple
- Try the culinary specialties Tokyo
2. ? Kyoto, the cultural capital
Toji Temple, Kyoto
Do you dream of reliving the ancient japan and their traditions? Former capital of Japan from the beginning of the Heian period until the Meiji Restoration (1868), Kyoto hides cultural treasures. It is home to many tourist attractions with its shinto shrines, buddhist temples, palace, zen gardens and other wonders listed as World Heritage by UNESCO. Located in the center of Honshu in the Kansai region, this large agglomeration will immerse you in the time of traditional Japan, far from the skyscrapers of Tokyo. In this tourist and authentic city you can enjoy the atmosphere of the traditional festivals while you discover japanese art ancestral.
? What to do in Kyoto?
- Visit the Golden Pavilion and its Zen garden
- Take a walk through the Arashyama Bamboo Forest
- Visit the Fushimi Inari temple and its bulls
- Stroll through the vibrant Gion neighborhood to see the geishas
- Visit the International Manga Museum
3. ? Osaka, the cosmopolitan city
Famous for sa gastronomyits lively streets and its castle, economic capital Japan is full of beautiful places to visit. The third largest city in the country will be the ideal destination for partygoers and bon vivants who will be able to visit the famous dotonbori street (Namba District). Aside from the bustling corners, the metropolis has more of a big-town feel to it and is still quite relaxing. surrounded by canals, The city with feet in the water » has what it takes to enchant you. Osaka is the ideal destination to satisfy all desires.
? What to do in Osaka?
- Visit the magnificent Osaka Castle
- Visit Shitenno-ji, the largest Buddhist temple in Japan
- Osaka Kaiyukan Giant Aquarium Admirer
- Take a trip to the Tennoji Zoo
- Go to the ramen museum for an unusual outing.
➡️ Why visit Osaka during your trip to Japan?
4. ? Nara, the spiritual city
Nara of the same name as the prefecture is a main tourist destination. Just an hour from Tokyo and Osaka, Nara is a city not to be missed during your trip to the archipelago. The ancient Japanese capital of the 8th century is known for its beautiful park, these deer roaming free and its oldest Buddhist temples in the country.
? What to do in Nara?
- Walk in Nara Park among the deer (exceptional during cherry blossom season)
- See the Kasuga-taisha shrine located in the heart of the forest and its thousands of lanterns
- Visit the Kofuku-ji temple and its great pagoda.
- Go to the museum to discover the history of Buddhism
- Stroll through the beautiful Garden of Isuien
- Don’t miss Todai-ji Temple and its 15m tall Buddha statue
5. ? Hakone: the magical landscape
In Kanagawa Prefecture, not far from the capital, Hakone is a popular destination for Tokyoites. Located in the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park among the 5 lakes and beaches of the Izu Peninsula, Hakone offers magical landscapes and one exuberant nature worthy of the most beautiful places to visit in Japan. In the heart of the volcanoes, the spa is a tourist destination known for its hot springs, its lake and its mythical panorama of Mount Fuji.
? What to do in Hakone?
- Admire Mount Fuji
- Relax in the hot springs (onsen)
- Visit Hakone Shinto Shrine
- Take a boat to see the bulls on the water of Hakone-jinja
- Lunch on the shores of Lake Ashi
- go with a backpack
6. ?♀️ Kamakura: the Zen coastal city
The Great Buddha of Kamakura
Located 1 hour from Tokyo, in Sagami Bay, Kamakura is the japanese spa tourist favourite. In Kanagawa Prefecture, the small seaside town is famous for its it was spirit, its beaches and its great bronze Buddha. In addition to being a place to surf, Kamakura has preserved traditional Japanese culture. This former fishing village was proclaimed the capital of Japan by Minamoto Yoritomo under the Kamakura shogunate. offers a beautiful historical and religious heritage with its many monuments. Do you dream of mixing walks and cultural visits while enjoying the beach? In Kamakura you will be well taken care of!
? What to do in Kamakura?
- Admire the Great Buddha of Kamakura
- Visit Hokoku-ji Temple and its bamboo forest.
- Visit the Buddhist temple of Hasedera
- Walk the trails filled with historical treasures.
- Visitor to Zeniarai Benten, Sasuke Inari, and Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū shrines
- try a potato ice cream
7. ? Takayama little Kyoto
In the heart of the Japanese Alps, in the Gifu prefecture, Takayama is an 18th-century city that has preserved all its traditions. 2h30 from Nagoya by JR Hida Limited express, the city is known for its wood crafts and its famous party. Nicknamed ” the little Kyoto of the Japanese Alps », presents many points of attraction. In this corner of paradise lost in the middle of the mountains, nature is particularly splendid. In addition, the old town and its historic district (main attraction) will transport you directly to the Edo period.
? What to do in Takayama?
- Take to the alleys of the old town
- Stop by the unmissable Sannomachi Street to see traditional houses, artisan shops and sake breweries.
- Visit Takayama-jinja Shrine
- Attend the wonderful Takayama festival
- Go to the open-air museum Hida no sako
- Visit the famous tourist town of Shirakawago
- Relax in an onsen in Okuhida
8. ?♂ Karuizawa the elegant complex
The city of Karuizawa, located one hour from Tokyo, is a real bubble of oxygen with its nature and its thermal waters invigorating Known to sports enthusiasts, this elegant complex hosted the Nagano Olympics in 1998. Karuizawa is a favorite destination for Tokyoites to cool off in summer or admire the colorful leaves in autumn. In addition, it was also the favorite vacation spot for celebrities. John Lennon I used to vacation there. In this medieval town nestled at the foot of the mountains, you can go to the museum or enjoy long walks passing through the most beautiful natural places from Nagano.
? What to do in Karuizawa ?
- Recharge with Shiraito Falls
- Enjoy mountain views at the Usui Pass Observatory
- Take a walk through the Onioshidashi Volcanic Park
- relax in onsen
- Arpenter la rue commerçante de Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza
- Shopping at Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza
- get around by bike
9. ⛷ Sapporo the gourmet in northern Japan
Do you like seafood, ramen and beer? Do you love snow? Sapporo is the ideal destination to enjoy the excellent local specialties and the Sliding. Capital of the island of Hokkaido, Sapporo is located in the far north of Japan. so much to tell you that the temperatures are very cold except summer. Known for its beer, its amazing festival, and its 1972 Winter Olympics, it is now a popular destination for tourists from all over the world.
? What to do in Sapporo ?
- Admire the panoramic view of the city from the top of Mount Moiwa
- Visit the historic town
- Discover the local gastronomy
- Visit the Sapporo Beer Museum
- Go to Odori Park
- do the snow festival
- Skiing in Niseko
10. ? Hiroshima the pacifist
If we know its name from the atomic bomb that traumatized all of Japan in 1945, today the city has been rebuilt under the peace symbol. In the middle of nature, close to the sea and the mountains, Hiroshima is part of the Chugoku region. You will appreciate its peaceful parks, the friendliness of its inhabitants and its delicious meals. Don’t miss Miyajima, nicknamed ” the island of the gods “which offers splendid landscapes and many tourist attractions.
? What to do in Hiroshima?
- Visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
- Learn about the city’s history by visiting Hiroshima Castle
- Shukkei-en Garden Walk
- Visit the Mitaki-dera temple
- Goûter les Okonomyaki d’Hiroshima
This list is not exhaustive, because Japan is full of beautiful cities and picturesque towns.. Other places are particularly nice like Nikko, Nagoya, Kobe, the Ogasawara Archipelago and other places that are among the most beautiful places to visit in Japan. Lastly, the island of Okinawa, nicknamed Little Hawaii, is a dream destination for tourists.
With this top 10 cities to visit in Japan, you have enough to spend an unforgettable stay. So which cities will you choose?