With the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics racing towards us, it’s time to start planning your trip to Japan. However, Japan has so much more to offer than just Tokyo and the Olympics, no matter how impressive they both are. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best places to go when visiting Japan.
Whether you love food, nature, or culture, Japan has something for everyone!
If you really want to experience Japanese food at its finest and most authentic, it’s crucial that you pull out all the stops! Whether you are most excited about classic sushi or want to spice things up with Matcha, there are places in Japan where you can find them all in one place.
Hakodote, Japan is a pillar of the Japanese food industry. This city is a port, which means they have fresh seafood coming in daily. The most famous dishes here? Sushi and Kaisen Don, which is seafood on a rice bowl. If seafood is on your list, Hakodote should be, too.
Nagoya is another food lover’s city. From Hitsumabushi, grilled eel on rice, to their own local dishes, called “Nagoya Meshi,” this city is a conglomerate of food lovers, where food is the attraction! They say once you’ve visited Nagoya, you will never again be hungry!
Osaka used to be called the nation’s kitchen and for very good reason! There are food carts on nearly every corner with examples of classic and authentic Japanese cuisine, like Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki, and Kushikatsu (deep-fried skewers). The best part? It’s inexpensive street food, which means you can expand your wallet and belly all at the same time!
If you prefer the peace of nature and natural views to the bustling life in a city, then no worries! Japan has some of the most gorgeous parks and natural views for your ideal trip!
The sand dunes of Tottori are an absolute marvel. You wouldn’t know it, but Japan actually has a desert created by coastal winds blowing sand further inland. You can enjoy the picturesque views, or you can sandboard, paraglide, or even ride camels through the sand!
Mount Fuji is a famous destination, and it deserves to be in that category for good reason! Not only is it a national symbol, but this mountain is surrounded by meadows of wildflowers that bloom in full, beautiful color, which creates a gorgeous view that you don’t want to miss.
Kabira Bay in Ishigaki, Japan is another paramount example of natural beauty. From the turquoise blue waters to the sparkling white sand, this bay also has an extensive array of coral reefs and beautiful animals that will have you wishing your vacation was permanent.
The bamboo groves of Arashiyama have certainly earned their place in the natural views hall of fame. As one of the most photographed spots in Japan, the Sagano bamboo forest is miles of 20-meter tall bamboo shoots on either side of you. The dappled sunlight that streams through creates a sense of wonder that is without parallel.
Not only does Japan boast incredible cuisine and natural sites, but it also has a rich and fascinating history that is illustrated in its historical sites.
One of these historical sites is the Buddhist Monuments in the Nara Prefecture. These monuments have been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, punctuated by some of the oldest extant outdoor buildings in the world. With gorgeous architecture, not to mention historical value, these monuments are unmissable.
Another beautiful and historically valuable place you should visit while in Japan is the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. This beautiful building pays homage to those who lost their lives in the atomic bomb attack in 1945. This monument to peace and to lost lives is unforgettable, though you may need some tissues while there.
Finally, if you really want to experience Japanese culture and dive into history, there is no better place than the Himeji-jo Castle in Southern Honshu. This is the perfect example of a Japanese castle, with moats and defenses still in place. Because of its white, mostly-wooden structure, this beautiful site is known as the Castle of the White Heron.
Whether you want to experience natural beauty, exquisite cuisine, or dive into history, Japan has something for you! Now, are you ready to plan your trip?