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  • From July 1 to 31 -- Gion Matsuri Festival in Kyoto with float processions on July 17 and 24
  • July 1 -- Season start for climbing Mount Fuji
  • July 15 -- Sea day / Umi no Hi in Japan (holiday)
  • July 17 -- Tokyo Day
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  • From July 24 to 25 -- Tenjin Matsuri Festival in Osaka
  • Tokyo : Shinjuku , Shibuya , Harajuku , Asakusa , Akihabara , Odaiba , Ikebukuro , Ueno , Roppongi , Chiyoda , Ryogoku ...
  • Around Tokyo: Kamakura , Nikko , Hakone , Mount Fuji , Mount Takao , Yokohama ...
  • Kansai: Kyoto , Nara , Osaka , Mount Koya , Himeji , Kobe , Kinosaki , Kumano Kodo , Ise ...
  • Japanese Alps: Kanazawa , Matsumoto , Takayama , Shirakawa-go , Nakasendo ...
  • West: Hiroshima , Miyajima , Shikoku , Onomichi , Naoshima , Izumo , Kurashiki , Matsue ...
  • South: Kyushu , Okinawa , Yakushima ...
  • North: Hokkaido , Tohoku ...

japan map of tourist attractions

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japan map of tourist attractions

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japan map of tourist attractions

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The capital of Japan is a must-go to discover the many different aspects of the country. From the trendy boutiques of the Shibuya district to the video games and electronic stores in the Akihabara district, to the calming and relaxing Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, each district has its own unique atmosphere. Kyoto, the former capital of the country, offers a calmer atmosphere. In the spring, a stroll along the Philosopher’s walk is a great opportunity to admire the blooming cherry trees. The city is also famous for its Zen temples and gardens. Visitors will be taken on a journey through history by a visit of Himeji Castle and of the Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima. In the Land of the Rising Sun, there is no need to look for adrenaline in order to enjoy your trip, people mainly come here to relax and recharge their batteries. Climbing Mount Fuji is one of the few activities for athletes. You should leave very early in the morning to admire the sunrise from the top, a breathtaking spectacle. Sports enthusiasts will also love the parks in Hokkaido that are ideal for hiking. In the north of Honshu Island, a small cruise in Matsushima Bay is very relaxing. A trip to Japan won't leave you indifferent.

Between skyscrapers in Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto and the zen gardens of Buddhist temples, Japan evokes contrasting images. The country shines with its cultural richness, the result of a turbulent and enigmatic past, but also thanks to its breathtaking landscapes! The seaside resorts and spa resorts won't disappoint you and offer a relaxing stay. Finally, Japan is also a land of traditions with ancestral culture and gastronomy, a land with its own typical festivities.

Carte des régions JAPAN

Overview of 8 tourist regions

In this region, located in the centre of the island, stand the Japanese Alps. Go on amazing hikes in this untouched landscape, like the ascent of Mount Fuji.

Chugoku & Kansai

The Kansai region is considered to be the most traditional part of the country, don't miss out on the many castles and imperial cities. As for the Chugoku region, it is well known for its strong cultural and historical heritage.

This region is a true natural paradise thanks to its many rivers, mountains, lakes, plains and the sea. Hakodate, the third largest city on the country, has many attractions for visitors to discover.

This region is home to the capital city, Tokyo, this fabulous metropolis which attracts many tourists. Not far from Tokyo, discover the Nikko Mountains and the second most populated city in the country: Yokohama.

This subtropical island is the cradle of Japanese civilization and home to numerous archipelagos, two volcanoes and amazing thermal springs.


Also called the “Japanese Hawaii”, the islands of Okinawa once belonged to the Ryukyu Kingdom. Dream beaches and turquoise water make these islands a perfect destination for relaxation!

Often neglected by tourists, this region has quite a lot of attractions to offer: Awa-Odori dance festival, Shikoku 88-temple pilgrimage, Kochi Castle and many others to discover...

Between the Pacific coast and the Sea of Japan, this region is sadly known for having experienced the 2011 earthquake and tsunami followed by the nuclear incident. Yet, it offers superb landscapes such as Lake Towada, a true Japanese natural jewel.

Attractions maps

Carte des incontournables JAPAN

Routes and distances maps

CULT Travelling inside the country can be quite expensive, however, Japan has one of the best railway networks in the world, so opt for the Japan Rail Pass which allows you to save money by not buying a train ticket for each journey. Domestic flights can also be a good option, there is a special package for tourists: the Star Alliance Japan Airpass which allows up to five domestic flights and a lot of money saving. Finally, Japan is an island nation, and the many islands are connected by ferry services.

Carte des incontournables JAPAN

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17 Best Places to Visit in Japan

By Becky Griswold · Last updated on June 21, 2024

Japan is quickly becoming one of the top travel destinations in the world. More and more people are traveling to the island nation every year, lured by the promise of fresh sushi, amazing train rides, safe cities, intriguing traditions, and quirky pop culture. But there’s more to Japan than cat and robot cafes; its many islands are surprisingly easy to travel around and well connected by railways, ferries and bus services.

Japan is a warm, welcoming and endlessly interesting travel destination with something for everyone. Learn about Ainu culture in the cold, snow-coated northern island of Hokkaido and discover the often forgotten Ryukyu culture in the tropical islands of Okinawa.

Some of the most popular places to visit in Japan can be found in the Edo capital of Kyoto with its ancient wonders. Embark on temple pilgrimages in Shikoku, explore the peaceful streets of Hiroshima or get lost in the never-ending glittering delights in the buzzing streets of Tokyo.

17. Kinosaki Onsen

Kinosaki Onsen

Famed for its fabulous hot springs, Kinosaki has been a popular onsen town since the eighth century. Set just inland from the Sea of Japan, its numerous bathhouses and traditional inns lie in the Kansai region of south-central Honshu.

Now considered to be part of the city of Toyooka, the small town is bisected by a lovely willow-lined canal, while the Maruyama River passes nearby on its way to the sea. In total, there are seven public onsen bathhouses for visitors to try out; their warm waters are reputed to have healing properties. With elaborate interiors, fine architecture, and pretty gardens, the hot springs are the main reason that people visit Kinosaki.

Staying in a ryokan is a quintessential part of this experience, and lots of the traditional inns can be found around town. In addition, Kinosaki also has lots of shops, cafes and restaurants that sell local handicrafts and tasty delicacies with the town being mainly known for its fresh seafood.

16. Naoshima


Surrounded by the sparkling waters of the Seto Inland Sea, the idyllic island of Naoshima lies between the main Japanese islands of Honshu and Shikoku. Due to its lovely scenery, fantastic contemporary art museums, and numerous outdoor sculptures , it is a very popular tourist destination.

Before being chosen as the location for the Benesse Art Site in the late 80s, Naoshima was home to a dwindling fishing community. The Benesse corporation based in nearby Okayama then set up some world-class art galleries , such as the Chichu Art Museum and Benesse House Museum. Set amid some sublime scenery, these exhibit some exquisite architecture and house important art collections, while innovative outdoor installations are also scattered around the island.

While there is not all that much to do in the town of the same name, Naoshima certainly has enough arresting art, architecture, and scenery to keep visitors entertained. Thanks to the Benesse project’s success, art museums and installations have also popped up on the other islands lying nearby.

15. Shirakawa-go and Gokayama

Shirakawa-go and Gokayama

Lying amid majestic mountains with sweeping valleys and verdant forests all around, Shirakawa-gō and Gokayama are two of the prettiest villages in the whole of Japan. Famed for their spectacular settings and traditional thatched-roof farmhouses, they count among central Honshu’s most popular tourist attractions.

While this means they can get quite crowded, particularly during Golden Week and the cherry blossom season , the villages really are a treat to visit. This is because the distinctive gassho-zukuri buildings that look so stunning surrounded by fertile farmland and magnificent nature lend them a very charming, peaceful and rustic feel.


Besides taking in the incredible scenery and historic farmhouses, visitors can check out the Jim Homura Art Museum, buy some local handicrafts, and stay in a traditional ryokan inn . In addition to this, the mountains and forests surrounding Shirakawa-gō and Gokayama are home to scenic hiking trails, twinkling waterfalls, and breathtaking viewpoints.


Lying at the heart of one of the most populated metropolitan areas in the world, Osaka is set on the shores of Osaka Bay and is surrounded by more than ten satellite cities. The sprawling metropolis is the third-largest in Japan and has long been a major economic hub and important financial center.

While its endless concrete jungle is not all that pretty to look at, Osaka is considered the best place to eat, drink and party in Japan. Much of its nightlife is centered around the neon-lit Dotonbori district , which boasts plenty of restaurants, bars, and entertainment options. For shopping, Shinsaibashi is the place to go; endless department stores, boutiques, and malls line the covered shopping street.

Osaka Castle

Although most people visit for its thriving culinary scene and nightlife, Osaka does have some interesting historical sights and landmarks that are worth checking out.

Its reconstructed castle , for instance, lies in a lovely park in the city center, while the Umeda Sky Building and Tsutenkaku tower count among its most recognizable sights. In addition, it boasts Sumiyoshi Shrine and Shitennoji Temple – two of the oldest religious sites in Japan.

13. Kiso Valley

Kiso Valley

Once part of the historic Nakasendo trade route connecting Kyoto to Edo (present-day Tokyo), Kiso Valley is home to several charming old post stations as well as lovely scenery. Coated in thick forest and surrounded by steep mountains, the valley is centered around the Kiso River and lies in Nagano Prefecture in Central Japan.

Due to its well-preserved historical sights and dramatic mountain scenery , the valley is now a very popular tourist destination. One of its most famous and scenic stretches lies between the two Edo period post towns of Magome and Tsumago; many people choose to hike from one to the other. After strolling through verdant forests and crossing bubbling streams, there are plenty of atmospheric old buildings for you to take in and cozy ryokans for you to stay at.

Kiso Valley also has the charming post town of Nagai for visitors to check out, as well as delightful hiking trails that weave through the surrounding landscape.

12. Koya-san


Located just to the south of Osaka in Wakayama Prefecture, Koya-san is primarily known as being the center of Shingon Buddhism . Edged by eight prominent peaks, the gorgeous mount is home to an abundance of temples, shrines and pagodas, as well as pristine nature and scenery.

First settled all the way back in 819 CE, the original monastery has since grown to include over 120 temples. Of these, Kongobu-ji , the head temple, is undoubtedly the most important and impressive with its centuries-old ceremonial halls, traditional buildings, and idyllic rock garden . Konpon Daito is also worth visiting for its lovely pagoda – as is the large and atmospheric graveyard of Okunoin.

While many people visit Koya-san as a day trip from Osaka , staying over and sleeping in one of the temples is an amazing way to experience monastic life on the mount. Besides visiting its numerous sacred sites and historic temples and shrines, there are loads of wonderful hikes you can do around the surrounding mountains and forests.

11. Ishigaki


Located west of Okinawa, Ishigaki is Japan’s premier beach destination and makes a good base to explore the other islands in the Yaeyama archipelago . Blessed with Japan’s best beaches , it is particularly popular with families since the beaches at Fusaki and Maezato are net-protected.

Located 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) south of Tokyo, Ishigaki may not have the shrines and temples that other Japanese cities have, but it does have an exuberant nightlife for visitors who have the energy after a day of beachcombing, water sports or climbing Mount Nosoko.

10. Miyajima


One of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, the small island of Miyajima lies in the northwest of Hiroshima Bay , surrounded by the Seto Inland Sea. Besides boasting one of the famed ‘Three Views of Japan,’ it is also home to some lovely scenery and a number of temples and shrines.

Miyajima – or ‘Shrine Island’ – is just the popular nickname for the island of Itsukushima, which has long been considered a holy place. Dominating its interior are the scenic and sacred slopes of Mount Misen , where you can find various Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, and a fantastic five-story pagoda. Its gentle hills and lush forests make for some excellent hiking, and you’ll often come across tame deer wandering freely around the island.

Miyajima’s main attraction, however, is the ‘floating’ torii gate of Itsukushima Shrine that lies just off its shores. One of the most renowned and recognizable sights in Japan, it makes for some fabulous photos and attracts hordes of tourists every year.

9. Kanazawa


Located in the northwest of Ishikawa Prefecture, the historic city of Kanazawa lies between the wild waters of the Sea of Japan and the towering Japanese Alps. Long overlooked due to its remote setting, it is an increasingly popular destination and boasts a rich history, culture and heritage.

In the center of the city, you can find a fantastic centuries-old castle to explore, as well as charming and well-preserved samurai and geisha districts. Their narrow alleys are lined by traditional houses, cosy tea shops, and a number of atmospheric temples and shrines. Kanazawa is also home to some great museums and the busy Omicho Market, renowned for its fresh seafood.

Its most famous attraction is the lovingly landscaped Kenroku-en, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan. Wonderful to visit at any time of year, it is home to a huge variety of trees and plants, with scenic ponds, bridges, and stone lanterns on display.

8. Hiroshima


Hiroshima, located on Honshu Island, is younger than many Japanese cities, less than 500 years old, but its fate was forever sealed in history on August 6, 1945, when it became the first city in the world to have an atomic bomb dropped on it.

Although more than 60 percent of the buildings in Hiroshima were destroyed, the city has managed to make an amazing recovery since that devastating blast. In fact, by 1974, the city had actually managed to double its pre-war population, and it has also become a popular tourist destination.


One of the most popular attractions in this city is the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, which was created in memory of all those who lost their lives or were injured by the atomic bomb. This large park is home to several interesting sites, including the Peace Memorial Museum where visitors can see the effect the bomb had on the citizens of Hiroshima.

Another must-see tourist site is the great Torii , a wooden shrine gateway that appears to be floating in the sea at high tide. The Torii is located on nearby Miyajima Island.

7. Kamakura


Set on the scenic shores of Sagami Bay, with forest-coated hills surrounding it, Kamakura is a top-rated destination and lies just an hour-long train ride to the south of Tokyo . As it was once the capital of Japan, the coastal city is home to many important landmarks and a plethora of beautiful temples and shrines.

Its defining symbol and most famous sight is the Great Buddha of Kamakura , which is 13.35 meters high. Made out of bronze, the mighty figure towers over its surroundings and is one of the city’s most famed and photographed attractions. The large Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine also attracts crowds of visitors, as do the pretty and peaceful zen temples of Kenchoji and Engakuji.

Surfing near Enoshima

While Kamakura certainly has a lot of interesting historical and cultural sights on offer, the center of the city also boasts lots of fantastic shops and eateries. Many people also come to go hiking amidst its stunning nature or to enjoy sunbathing, swimming or surfing at one of its beautiful beaches.


Located at the entrance to Nikko National Park , Nikko is set in a spectacular spot amid the mountains, with lush forests lying around it. Besides being famed for its scenery, the city boasts a wealth of important Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples and is located in Tochigi Prefecture.

Impressively, Nikko is home to two mausoleums of Tokugawa Shoguns ; these can be found at the extensive and extravagant Tosho-gu complex. Surrounded by towering cedars, the site showcases wonderful Edo-era architecture, with countless shrines, temples, and pagodas.

Nikko Shrine

While the complex is undoubtedly Nikko’s main attraction , two of its most famous and photographed sights are the centuries-old Shinkyo Bridge and twinkling Kegon Falls, both of which are rightfully lauded for their beauty.

In addition to this, many people visit Nikko for the lovely nature and scenery surrounding it. Tucked away among its endless mountains and forests, you can find sparkling waterfalls and lakes , as well as bubbling streams and boiling hot springs. Very easy to visit from Tokyo, all of Nikko’s historical, cultural, and scenic sights lie just a two-hour train journey from the nation’s capital.

5. Takayama


Nestled away among the northern Japanese Alps of Central Honshu, the small city of Takayama is a very picturesque place. Famed for its traditional townscape, stunning riverside setting, and unique culture and customs, it is fast becoming one of the region’s most popular attractions .

In its well-preserved historic quarter, visitors can find lots of exquisite architecture dating to the Edo period , as well as little sake breweries, boutiques, and fantastic old merchants’ homes. Shrines, temples and museums abound in Takayama, while numerous morning markets can be found near to the river.

floating puppet festival.

At the Hida Folk Village , you can watch artisans make local handicrafts and wander around a recreated mountain village, full of traditional thatched-roof farmhouses.

Due to its isolated setting, Takayama developed its own rich culture and traditions, as evidenced by the two famous festivals of Sanno Matsuri and Yahata Matsuri. During the festivities, large and lavishly decorated floats parade through the city, which is magically lit up by lanterns. Many people visit during the festivals for the lively ambience and atmosphere.


Boasting beautiful mountain scenery, relaxing hot springs, and a number of world-class art museums, Hakone is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan. Located just a short train ride to the southwest of Tokyo, the town lies on the shores of tranquil Lake Ashi, with the iconic Mount Fuji rising in the distance.

A pleasant and picturesque place, Hakone is home to many lonsens and ryokans, so visiting one of the bathhouses and staying in a traditional inn is a must when in town. In addition, exquisite sculptures and artworks can be found in its numerous galleries and museums, while small shops and boutiques sell locally made handicrafts.

shira-ito waterfalls

One of the most popular things to do is take a boat ride on one of the pirate ships that sail around Lake Ashi . From aboard their decks, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the lake’s stunning scenery and majestic Mount Fuji in the distance.

While Hakone can get quite crowded, especially during weekends and holidays, Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park has loads of peaceful hiking trails for you to explore if you want to escape the crowds.

Nara Deer

Nara, once known as Heijo, was the first permanent capital of Japan, established in 710. The capital was moved to Nagaoka in 784 when the government was threatened by powerful Buddhist monasteries. Located less than an hour from Kyoto , the city boasts a plethora of important and impressive historic sights, with countless temples and shrines.

Most of its main attractions can be found in the gorgeous, green Nara Park , also home to the city’s multitude of tame deer that amble about asking tourists for food. Here you’ll find the multi-storey pagodas of Kofuku-ji and splendid stone lanterns of Kasuga Taisha, as well as a couple of lovingly landscaped Japanese gardens.


The highlight, however, is Todai-ji Temple with its awe-inspiring architecture and enormous Great Buddha.

Besides its plethora of well-preserved historic buildings , Nara has a couple of excellent museums for visitors to check out, as well as the charming old merchant district of Naramachi. With so much history, art, and architecture on show, the former capital is certainly not to be missed out on.


Kyoto today is the capital only of Kyoto prefecture, but it once served as the imperial capital of Japan for more than 1,000 years. If you’re interested in catching a glimpse of old Japan , Kyoto should definitely be on your itinerary.

Because of its historical significance, this city was largely spared much of the destructive bombing that occurred throughout the rest of Japan during World War II.


Located on central Honshu Island, this city of 1.5 million people, also boasts more than 1,000 temples and shrines, including one of the most photographed, the Golden Pavilion . In addition to the large number of religious structures, Kyoto is home to gorgeous Nijo Castle , the former residence of the Tokugawa shoguns.

Higashiyama, a well-preserved historic district and Gion, Kyoto’s famous geisha district are also must-visit attractions . But Kyoto is not just about history, this city also boasts a world-class aquarium and for fun, you can learn how to become a Japanese assassin at the Ninja Training Dojo.


Travelers who like to mingle with people will love Tokyo. The Japanese capital’s metropolitan area is the most populous in the world. From viewing spring cherry blossoms in traditional gardens to the fish market at Tuskiji. Tokyo blends the ancient with the new, from shrines to karaoke bars.

It’s hard to be bored in frenetic, fast-paced Tokyo where even a walk down the streets can be interesting. This city’s Shibuya intersection , for example, is famous for its controlled mob crossing. Another interesting neighborhood in Tokyo is Harajuku, known throughout the world for its amazing street fashion, including but definitely not limited to goth-Lolitas, punk or kawaii schoolgirls.

Ueno Park

Tokyo is also home to several world-class museums and numerous shrines, including the most famous, the Meiji Shrine, and Sensoji Temple, one of its oldest.

Then there is the Tsukiji Fish Market . In most cities, a fish market wouldn’t be a tourist attraction, but this is the world’s busiest and largest, and it also happens to be on the itinerary of just about every visitor to Tokyo. Plus, it is one of the best places on the planet to get extremely fresh sushi. One caveat, because you’ll be visiting the fish market early in the morning, you’ll be having your sushi for breakfast.

Other interesting attractions in Tokyo include the Imperial Palace, the residence of the emperor, and Tokyo Tower. Fortunately, getting around Tokyo is easy as this city boasts a large and relatively easy-to-use transit system. If you have the time, you’ll definitely want to consider taking a day trip to beautiful Mount Fuji.

Map of Japan

Map of Places to Visit in Japan

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Reader interactions.

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July 31, 2019 at 7:26 pm

The article helped me a lot to gain information about the places. The map marked with the places from article made the work easy to know about the locations. Where to stay option was unique and will surely help while visiting there. Thank you for this amazing article.

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June 1, 2018 at 12:48 pm

Hiroshima, but not Miyajima?

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March 20, 2017 at 7:52 am

List is really fascinating, How much time would be needed to visit all the above mentioned places. planning a visit in november this year.

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June 17, 2016 at 8:29 am

Been to Kyoto, Nara, Kamakura and Tokyo in the list. Really really love how you guys have ranked the top 10 by “areas” because most other websites ranks by “attractions” which really frustrates me.

I’ve been to Japan twice and I already visited the popular ones that people usually goes to like Osaka, Mt Fuji and Nagoya. I’m planning a third trip with the intention of visiting other areas like Takayama and Kanazawa but it’s really hard to find websites introducing the less visited areas. So REALLY REALLY LIKE how the less visited places were also included.

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December 11, 2015 at 5:32 am

I have only been to 3 of the places mentioned,but many many others not mentioned. For me Kyoto beats,Tokyo and Nara…but then I have spent much more time in Kyoto and find it easy to get around.

Kyoto has so many beautiful temples,shrines and gardens and it is a relaxing place to walk around. I suppose a feature here is the Gion area,in the CBD,where you will certainly see the Maiko walking around in kimono, adding that special touch of old Japan. Of course, you find Tokyo exciting and Nara is well worth a visit;especially as it is so close to Kyoto. Visit all 3 if you can.

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May 16, 2015 at 8:36 am

Japan, the only asian country in G7, great country also friendly people

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Japan tourist map

You can find on this page the Japan tourist map to print and to download in PDF. The Japan tourist attractions map presents the monuments, museums, parks and points of interest of Japan in Asia.

Japan travel map

Map of Japan travel

The Japan tourist map shows all tourist places and points of interest of Japan. This travel map of Japan will allow you to easily plan your visits of landmarks of Japan in Asia. The Japan tourist map is downloadable in PDF, printable and free.

Japan is a unique blend of traditional and modern, with many temples and buildings from the past co-existing with modern achievements in architecture and technology as its mentioned in Japan tourist map. Tourists can be immersed in Japanese history and culture one day and get a glimpse of the future through technological developments the next. Almost all of the historical sites are still used for their original purposes while remaining open to the public. The natural beauty of Japan can be seen all year.

Across Japan, tourist will find cultural heritage of the highest international standards. See industry-leading architecture and design, and witness a highly seasonal aesthetic in everything from picture-perfect gardens to departments stores and cuisine. Leave the towns and cities behind, and discover hot spring hamlets in the mountains as you can see in Japan tourist map, white sandy beaches and an array of adventure activities.

In 2019, the number of foreign tourists traveling to Japan amounted to around 31.9 million, an increase from less than nine million in 2010 as its shown in Japan tourist map. The majority of international tourists arrive from East Asian regions, with Korean, Chinese, and Taiwanese visitors in the lead. While the Japanese tourism industry is dominated by the prominence of domestic travels, the growing number of inbound visitors and the steadily increasing tourism expenditure shows the rising popularity of Japan as a travel destination.

Japan attractions map

Japan tourist attractions map

Map of Japan tourist attractions

The Japan attractions map shows all monuments and sightseeing of Japan. This tourist attractions map of Japan will allow you to easily discover monuments, museums ans places to visit of Japan in Asia. The Japan attractions map is downloadable in PDF, printable and free.

Without a doubt Japan most recognizable landmark and attraction, majestic Mount Fuji (Fuji-san) is also the country highest mountain peak. It has for centuries been celebrated in art and literature and is now considered so important an icon that UNESCO recognized its world cultural significance in 2013 as its mentioned in Japan attractions map. Tokyo most famous landmark, the Imperial Palace with its beautiful 17th-century parks surrounded by walls and moats, is a must-see when visiting the nation capital. Visited by more than a million people each year, many from overseas, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park (Hiroshima Heiwa Kinen Kōen) lies at the epicenter of the atomic blast in what was once a bustling part of the city.

One of Japan most visited cities, lovely Kyoto - one of the few cities in the country to be spared the devastation of WWII - attracts more than 10 million visitors annually. Just a short ferry ride from mainland Hiroshima is the island of Miyajima, famous the world over as Japan Shrine Island. Covering an area of 30 square kilometers in Hiroshima Bay as you can see in Japan attractions map, Miyajima is best known as the home of the Itsukushima Shrine. For centuries the hub of Japanese culture, the lovely unspoiled city of Nara is home to a large number of historic buildings, along with important national treasures and works of art. Built in 1586 by famous Japanese warrior and politician Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Osaka Castle (Ōsaka-jō) was at the time the largest and most important fortress in the country.

One of the country most spectacular attractions is Chūbu-Sangaku National Park in the center of Honshu. Located in the park northern and central regions as its shown in Japan attractions map is the group of mountains collectively referred to as the Hida Mountains, or Japanese Alps. The Atsuta Shrine, in the heart of the city of Nagoya, is the most important Shinto shrine in Japan, and attracts more than five million visitors each year. One of the few surviving examples of the once prolific and majestic hilltop homes preferred by Shoguns and city rulers, Fukuoka Castle (Fukuoka-jō) is one of the highlights of a visit to Fukuoka. Located on Japan northernmost island, Hokkaido, the city of Sapporo offers many things to do for tourists.

  • Things to Do
  • Tourist Spots & Attractions

Best 30 Tourist Attractions to Visit in Japan According to Travelers

japan map of tourist attractions

  • Keisuke Tsunekawa

Whether it's your first or fifth time in Japan, you'll find yourself looking for the top places to visit during your travels. This article will give you the run down on the best tourist attractions in Japan as voted by international travelers on TripAdvisor, one of the world's largest tourist information sites. We hope you can use this list when planning your trip to Japan!

Check out our writers’ top Japan travel ideas!

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1. Fushimi Inari Taisha (Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture)

Fushimi Inari Taisha is famous for its countless Senbon Torii gates that extend throughout the grounds. Many local and international visitors come to see this path of torii gates and to capture a photo of the  mysterious scenery here. Around 2.7 million visitors on average come to the shrine for hatsumode (first shrine visit in the New Year) every year, which is almost as much as Meiji Shrine in Tokyo . 

When looking at the Senbon Torii paths, you may wonder why so many of these were built. One theory is that, in the past, the custom of offering torii gates to the gods spread due to the metaphorical connection to the idea of "going through"; passing through a torii gate contained the hope that your prayer would "pass through" to the gods, or conveyed gratitude that a granted prayer had "gone through".

The grounds of the shrine are very vast, as Mt. Inari as a whole has become a site of worship. At around 4 km in length and 233 m in elevation, the course takes around 2 hours to walk. Fushimi Inari Taisha has many shrines that offer blessings, so while you walk the grounds you can visit a range of sub-shrines, including Ganriki Shrine, dedicated to the god of eyes, Oseki Shrine, dedicated to the god of throats, and Yakuriki Shrine, which is said to grant sound health. In addition to walking the Senbon Torii, visiting these shrines and exploring the mountain is a way to experience the true essence of Fushimi Inari Taisha. The shrine doesn't have any closing hours, so you can experience the scenery here any time of the day or night.

2. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum (Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture)

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is a historical museum in Hiroshima that opened in 1955. This museum was built to preserve the memory of the many victims of the August 6, 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima for future generations. Monuments, cenotaphs, photos and belongings of the victims, and other material related to the bombing are displayed here.

There are exhibits that convey the tragedy of the atomic bombing, including doll reproductions of victims, a photo of a girl who suffered burns, and documents that explain the historical background that lead to the atomic bombing. Many visitors come to learn about the horrors wrought by atomic weapons and war and the value of peace. Entry beyond the gate that surrounds the Atomic Dome is prohibited to the general public, but you can view the dome from outside the gate at any time.

3. Itsukushima and Itsukushima Shrine (Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima Prefecture)

Located in Hatsukaichi City, Hiroshima Prefecture, Itsukushima is counted as one of the Three Views of Japan, along with Amanohashidate in Kyoto Prefecture and Matsushima in Miyagi Prefecture. Commonly known as Miyajima, this island is also registered as a World Cultural Heritage site. At around only 30 km in circumference, this small island has been worshipped as a god and considered a sacred site since ancient times.

Itsukushima Shrine (Miyajima Shrine) was built around the year 1400. It's extremely popular with tourists from all over the world, and is known for the magical sight of the torii gate that seems to float on the water at high tide. Just like Nara Park, a popular sightseeing area in Nara Prefecture, Itsukushima Shrine is also famous as a spot where you can interact with the wild deer that roam the island.

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4. Todaiji Temple (Nara, Nara Prefecture)

Todaiji Temple's biggest attraction is its Daibutsuden Hall. Built of wood and reaching 15 m in height, this hall is said to be one of the biggest of its kind in the world. A giant statue of Buddha that serves as an object of worship for those of the Buddhist faith is enshrined here. Two Kongorikishi warrior statues stand guard on both sides of the 25 m high Nandaimon gate located on the path that leads to the Daibutsuen. Visitors are sure to find these magnificent statues a very impressive sight.    Todaiji Temple is located in Nara Park. This large, 502 hectare park is managed by Nara Prefecture and is entirely free to visit. Another attraction at Nara Park and Todaiji Temple are the park's friendly wild deer. The approximately 1,200 deer that inhabit the park are registered as a protected species of Japan.

5. The Hakone Open-Air Museum (Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture)

Hakone is an area where you can experience stunning natural landscapes in every season. Taking advantage of these natural surroundings, the Hakone Open-Air Museum opened in 1969 as Japan's first open air museum, and is celebrating its 50th anniversary in August 2019.

Its biggest attraction is the outdoor sculpture exhibition. The chance to enjoy works of art in these wide, open outdoor spaces is the key to why this spot charms so many tourists. The lush, 70,000 sq.m. gardens, overlooked by the Hakone mountains, has around 120 pieces of modernist and contemporary sculpture on permanent display, including works by Auguste Rodin, Antoine Bourdelle, Henry Moore, and Japanese artist Taro Okamoto.

The Hakone Open-Air Museum also has indoor exhibition spaces, including the Picasso Pavilion that exhibits its world-class collection of 319 pieces on a rotating basis. Natural hot springs and foot baths are also available here, making this a very restful and relaxing place to spend some time.

6. Shinjuku Gyoen (Shinjuku, Tokyo Prefecture)

Shinjuku Gyoen was built in 1906 as a private garden for the Imperial household. This modernist Western style garden is one of Tokyo's most popular, and the Japanese aesthetic that existed during the turn of the 20th century remains here today.

Shinjuku Gyoen, which is 58.3 hectares wide and 3.5 km in circumference, adopts a range of styles in its design, including the formal garden style developed in Italy and France in the 16th century, the landscape garden style developed in England in the 18th century, and traditional Japanese garden styles. Around 10,000 trees grow thickly in these lush gardens.

The fact that visitors can retreat from the bustling Shinjuku streets to enjoy the seasonal landscape here is a key to its popularity. Inside the park, there are also many buildings connected to the history of the Imperial household, including the Western Old Imperial Rest House, which was built as a rest area for the Imperial household, and the Taiwan Pavilion (Kyu-Goryo-Tei) that was built to celebrate the marriage of the Showa Emperor.

7. Sanjusangen-do (Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture)

Sanjusangen-do is a Buddhist temple that was built around 1200 and today is recognized as a national treasure. Visitors are fascinated by the sight of the approximately 1,001 statues of Kannon found in the grand hall, which measures approximately 16 m high,  22 m wide, and spans 120 m from north to south. Other highlights are the sculptures of Fujin and Raijin, the gods of wind and lightning, which are the oldest of their kind in Japan. If you're interested in Japanese Buddhist sculptures, don't miss a visit to Sanjusangen-do.

8. Mt. Koya Okunoin (Koya, Wakayama Prefecture)

Okunoin Temple is located at Kongobuji Temple, the Koyasan Shingon sect's head temple in Wakayama Prefecture. This is said to be the most sacred area in the World Heritage site of Mt. Koya, and is known as a holy place where the Buddhist mausoleum for Kobo Daishi, the founder of Shingon Buddhist sect, is situated.

The path to Okunoin Temple starts from the Ichi no Hashi bridge to the mausoleum, and is just under 2 kilometers each way. The temple path takes around an hour and a half to walk both ways, and is lined with over 200,000 tombstones, stone monuments, cenotaphs, and lanterns that create a solemn atmosphere. The cenotaphs here include some dedicated to famous military commanders from the Japanese Warring States period, including Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Takeda Shingen, and Uesugi Kenshin. In the evenings, many enjoy the elegant scenery created by the gentle light from lanterns that faintly illuminate the path ahead. Many worshippers come each day to experience the mysterious atmosphere that surrounds this mausoleum.

9. Himeji Castle (Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture)

Himeji Castle is located in Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture. This castle is registered as a World Cultural Heritage site, and has also been selected from Japan's many castles for inclusion in Japan's Top 100 Castles list in recognition of its importance as a cultural asset. This national treasure is said to be a masterpiece of traditional Japanese fortress construction techniques, giving the castle important historical value as well.   After being first constructed in 1609, the castle has been continually maintained and repaired so that its original form remains today. The elegant sight of this white plastered castle has been likened to the sight of a heron taking flight, which is the origin of Himeji Castle's nickname, Heron Castle. The beauty of the rampart and elaborate castle tower captures the hearts of those who visit.

10. Kinkakuji Temple/Rokuonji Temple (Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture)

Built in 1397 as a residence for the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, Kinakuji Temple (officially named Rokuonji Temple), is an extremely valuable building that is listed among the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Of course, its attraction is the fact that this temple is covered inside and out in gold leaf.

The elegant atmosphere created by the sight of Kinkakuji Temple, which is surrounded by a pond and lush gardens, is a true highlight. Another charm of this temple is how its appearance changes each season, whether surrounded by cherry blossoms in full bloom in spring, luscious greenery in the summer, fall foliage in the fall, and covered in snow in the winter.

11. Kenrokuen Garden (Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture)

Along with Korakuen Garden in Okayama and Kairakuen Garden in Mito, Kenrokuen Garden is one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan. It's also designated as an Important Cultural Property and Site of Scenic Beauty in Japan. The symbol of the garden and its biggest highlight is the two-legged stone lantern called the Kotojidoro. The surface of the pond that stretches out as though surrounding the lantern with autumn leaves overhead is a deeply elegant sight that feels almost as though the beauty of nature has been condensed into one scene.

In winter, you can also see traditional rope structures called yukizuri that are built to protect the tree branches from the weight of the snow. In spring, you can enjoy the garden scenery surrounded by cherry blossoms in full bloom. Visitors can also enjoy tea and meals unique to the gardens at the garden's tea houses.

12. Naritasan Shinshoji Temple (Narita, Chiba Prefecture)

Narita Airport, familiar to many international visitors to Japan as their gateway to Japan, is located in the city of Narita, Chiba Prefecture. It takes around 15 minutes by train from the airport to Narita Station. As you make your way from Narita Station, you'll start to catch sight of Naritasan Shinshoji Temple in around 10 minutes.

Naritasan Shinshoji Temple, said to provide good fortune and ward off evil, is worth visiting in and of itself, but the castle road further towards Shinshoji Temple is definitely worth a trip as well. Lined on both sides with quaint historical buildings, this road is so atmospheric, you may feel as though you're walking through a town as it was  during the Edo period 400 years ago. There are plenty of souvenir and food stores to visit here. Enjoy a visit to Shinsoji Temple and stroll through these charming streets for an undeniably elegant way to spend the time before or after your flight.

13. Hasedera Temple (Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture)

Hasedera Temple enshrines a statue called the Juichimen Kannon, one of the largest wooden statues of Kannon in Japan. First opened in 736, this temple is sometimes known as the Flower Temple for its seasonally flowering plants. Its known as one of the best spots for hydrangeas in Japan, and there are around 2,500 plants from 40 varieties to admire along the scenic walkway that also offers a view of Yuigahama Beach. It's a famous location for autumn leaf viewing, too! You can enjoy the magical sight of the illuminated autumn trees during the temple's evening opening period from late November.

True to its nickname, there are a range of flowers to enjoy year round, including wisterias, peonies, and azaleas. The observation deck that gives a view over the Kamakura ocean and townscape is also a popular stop. The sight of the many hydrangea varieties in the early summer rainy season, as well as the view of Sagami Bay in the distance as you climb the scenic walkway, has earned Hasedera Temple attention as a leading scenic site in Japan.

14. Nara Park (Nara, Nara Prefecture)

Many consider Nara Park to be an unmissable part of any visit to the Kansai area. The park opened in 1880 and is one of Japan's most popular sightseeing destinations, with over 13 million visitors from Japan and overseas each year. Vibrant landscapes spread throughout the expansive 502 hectare park grounds, and it is also the site of historical structures like Todaiji Temple and Kasuga Taisha Shrine. Its most famous feature is the wild deer that inhabit the park. As of 2019, there are a total of 1,180 deer living in the park, with 256 stags, 715 doe, and 226 fawns.

The details behind why these deer inhabit the park are not known today. However, there is a legend that Takemikazuchi, the god enshrined at Kasuga Taisha Shine, rode a white deer. The Manyoshu, Japan's oldest poetry anthology that was compiled in the year 750, also mentions deer.

You can experience feeding the deer with the special "shika senbei" deer feed that is available to buy in the park. Many other animals inhabit the park, including squirrels, tanuki (raccoon dogs), wild boar, giant flying squirrels, and more, so if you're lucky you may have the chance to see some of these, too.

There are also a variety of plants to enjoy here including the protected Mt. Kasuga Primeval Forest, pine trees, cherry trees, Japanese maple, crape myrtle, Chinese tallow, lily-of-the-valley, cedar, plum, camphor, and cypress trees. You could say that a visit to Nara Park gives you an experience of Nara Prefecture's natural environment all in one place.   Guide for interacting with deers at Nara Park:  - Don't tease the deer by hitting or chasing them. The deer are wild animals, and may attack in response. Please take particular care to supervise small children.   - Do not feed the deer anything other than the deer senbei (rice crackers) sold in the park.   - Please give the deer senbei to the deer right away. Deer may grow angry if teased with food.  - Don't litter: there is a risk of the deer eating it and becoming sick.

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15. Toshogu Shrine (Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture)

Nikko Toshogu enshrines the Warring States Period military commander, Ieyasu Tokugawa. There are many historical buildings here, eight of which are designated as National Treasures, and 34 of which are classified as Important Cultural Properties. In 1999, Toshogu Shrine was registered as a World Heritage site, solidifying its position as a treasury of cultural assets and one of Japan's most important sites.  

You can see a variety of structures here that give an experience of the beauty of Japanese adornment techniques. The shrine's symbolic Yomeimon Gate, with its covering of colorful carvings, is said to be a condensation of Japanese building techniques, and looks just like an art piece. Another national treasure, Karamon Gate, is decorated with gold leaf and painted with white pigment made from seashells.

Carvings with an animal motif are a characteristic of Toshogu Shrine. There are a total of eight monkey carvings here, which are said to be a satire of human life. Among them is the Shinkyusha Sanzaru, a famous carving that was the origin of the symbol of the Three Wise Monkeys and their "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" proverb. There are many other unique small pieces with an animal theme, including the Sleeping Cat, which represents a guardian deity that pretends to sleep while protecting the house from danger. The sparrows on the carving represents peace, as the cat sleeping through the fluttering of sparrows nearby is a symbol of peaceful coexistence.

Another charm of Toshogu Shrine is the chance to try local foods. You can enjoy Nikko's specialty, yuba (tofu skin), at Kishino restaurant, which serves this local delicacy with soba noodles.

16. Shukkeien Garden (Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture)

Shukkeien Garden is a historical park first created in 1620. While this garden is located in the center of the city, the lush scenery feels far removed from the hustle and bustle, and these gardens are visited every day by sightseers from all over the world. You can enjoy the seasonal scenery as you walk the grounds and view the traditional tearooms including Seifu-kan and Meigetsu-tei. A tea house that serves light meals such as tea and udon is located in the park, and many people choose to drop in during their stroll.

Head to the adjoining Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum to enjoy works that have been designated Important Cultural Properties, including the "Foliate Bowl with Floral Design in the Kakiemon Style" and "Folding Screen with Itsukushima Design". There are also exhibitions of artworks related to the Hiroshima area, and pieces by artists like Salvador Dalí.

17. Daishoin Head Temple (Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima Prefecture)

Miyajima, one of the Three Views of Japan, is very famous for the red torii gate at Itsukushima Shrine, which is a World Heritage site. While some people may come all the way to Miyajima and leave after seeing Itsukushima Shrine, there is another important temple known among insiders as a hidden "power spot" on the island. This temple is gaining particular popularity among international visitors, and there a wealth of items said to grant blessings here. Among them is Henjokutsu, which is located in a cave below the Daishido Hall and said to grant great blessings to those who worship here, and Ichigan Daishi, a Jizo statue said to grant you a single wish.

Cooking-related items are also found here, including a large wooden pestle that is said to crush klesha, or polluting thoughts, if you turn it three times, and a kitchen knife mound where worshippers express thanks to their used knives and ceremonially dispose of them.

Daishoin is also known as a place to see beautiful autumn leaves, and its Daishoin Momiji Festival is held each year in November and December. 

18. Lake Kawaguchiko  (Fuji Kawaguchiko, Yamanashi Prefecture)

Lake Kawaguchiko is located at the north foot of the world famous Mt. Fuji and is visited year round by sightseers. Lake Kawaguchiko is one of the Five Lakes of Mt. Fuji, and is located at the lowest elevation of the five. It is a very beautiful lake that is famous for the elegant way Mt. Fuji appears reflected in reverse on its surface. It can be reached in around two hours from Tokyo, and the area has plenty of hotels and hot spring accommodations, making it a popular spot not just for day trips but for longer stays as well.

In 2013, Lake Kawaguchiko was registered as part of the Mt. Fuji group as a World Heritage site, and in 2017, there were over 4.5 million recorded visitors. This area has long flourished for its picturesque scenery, and there are many tourist attractions such as scenic hot springs, galleries, and museums in the area. Highlights include Oishi Park, with its beautiful views of the lake and Mt. Fuji beyond, Kawaguchiko Music Forest Museum, where you can see exhibits of music boxes, and the Fuji Q Highland theme park. 

19. Shirakawago Thatched Roof Village (Shirakawa Village, Gifu Prefecture)

The thatched-roof villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama are popular sightseeing destinations. They were registered as World Heritage sites in 1995, and have also been awarded three Michelin stars. 

Shirakawago's most well-known feature is the buildings made with a traditional Japanese building style called gassho-zukuri. The word "gassho" means pressing one's hands together in prayer, which the shape of the roofs here is said to resemble. The Shirakawago area is known as having some of the highest snowfall in Japan, and the steep slope of these roofs is a clever display of Japanese ingenuity that protects against damage from heavy snow. If you climb to the Tenshukaku Observatory, you can see an unbroken view of these many gassho-zukuri houses spread out along the rice fields. Another highlight is the Wada House. Built over 300 years ago and maintained in its original form, this residence is designated as an Important Cultural Property. Inside Wada House, you can see educational displays about the silk industry that supported the development of this region. 

In recent years, this area has become more well known due to a range of media coverage, and improvements to the transport network has meant that many people are now visiting from all over the world. You can deeply feel the rural culture, lifestyles, and customs in this traditional Japanese "hometown" that looks just as it did in the past.

20. Shoshazan Engyoji Temple (Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture)

Shoshazan Engyoji Temple is one of the stops on the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage, which covers 33 sites in the surrounding Kinki region. Shoshazan Engyoji Temple is the largest of these 33 sites, and is positioned as a temple with a special statues within the Buddhist Tendai sect. This temple is also known for being a location for the Hollywood movie, The Last Samurai.  

A highlight of the Engyoji Temple is the three halls that have been designated Important Cultural Properties of Japan. The first is the 2 story, 15 room Jikidou (Dining Hall), which is used by training monks. The second is Daikodo Hall, which enshrines an image of Gautama Buddha flanked by two monks. The third is the Jogyodo, a dojo used by monks during training. You can receive a goshuin temple stamp and try your hand at copying sutras on the first floor of the Jikidou.

Experience the spiritual atmosphere at Engyoji Temple as you walk along the temple road surrounded by trees that have grown here for hundreds of years.

21. Sensoji Temple (Taito, Tokyo Prefecture)

Sensoji Temple is known as the oldest temple in Tokyo. Its biggest highlight is the temple's main gate, Kaminari-mon, with its giant red lantern and the two Kongorikishi guardian statues on each side. You'll see a crowd of sightseers taking photos in front of this impressive gate every day.

On the road to the main temple building, you'll find a retro, 250 m-long shopping street called Nakamise-dori. Nakamise-dori has many long-standing shops that have operated here for many years, so you can shop here for the perfect souvenir while enjoying Asakusa street food specialties like ningyoyaki, dorayaki, and kaminari-okoshi rice crackers

When you leave the shopping street, you may catch sight of people bathing in the smoke that rises from the jokoro incense burned here, which is said to purify and heal the body. Once you've finished worshipping and taking pictures of the Kaminari-mon and the equally photogenic main temple, test your luck by buying an omikuji fortune. 

22. Meiji Shrine (Shibuya, Tokyo Prefecture)

Meiji Shrine was built in 1920. It's said to grant blessings spanning many aspects of life, such as love, study, and business, and locals and foreigners alike flock to pray here. During the new year, it's known as the most popular spot in Japan for hatsumode. In 2019, 3.2 million people came to pray here during this period.

One of its biggest attractions is its location in the center of Harajuku, Japan's major trendsetting area, which is full of popular restaurants and flagship fashion stores. When you step inside the grounds, you'll feel the shrine's calm and solemn atmosphere. This is a chance to experience history and nature without leaving the city center. This shrine is known as a "city oasis" and makes the perfect spot to rest and recover from your sightseeing and shopping in the Tokyo crowds.

23. Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine (Yakushima, Kagoshima Prefecture)

Yakushima is a world-famous island off the coast of southern Kagoshima Prefecture. Its most popular sightseeing destination is the Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine.

The symbol of this area is the Yakusugi, which has been designated a Special National Monument of Japan. The beautiful and spiritual forest was used as the setting for the Studio Ghibli film Princess Mononoke. It attracts many sightseers who come to seek a restorative experience in this lush natural environment. 

The island is 90% covered in forest, and has a number of native plants, including Yakushima bamboo and Yakushima rhododendron. Many animals also inhabit the island, including Yakushima deer, Yakushima monkeys, Yakushima thrush, and tane robin. You might say that Yakushima is like a natural garden created by Mother Nature herself. 

24. Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple (Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture)

Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple is a sightseeing destination located in Kyoto's Arashiyama, an area known for its picturesque seasonal scenery. Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple is known for the approximately 1,200 stone Buddhist statues enshrined here. 

The adorable Arhat statue here looks just like a cute cartoon character, and seeing the different facial expressions on each stone statue is a highlight in and of itself. The main temple has an over 800-year history, and is registered as an Important Cultural Property of Japan. Its Senju Kannon statue is said to ward off evil. The temple's sense of history and the sight of the autumn foliage spread out over the grounds makes for an elegant scene that draws many tourists.

25. Chureito Pagoda (Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi Prefecture)

Chureito Pagoda is a five story pagoda built at Arakurayama Sengen Park in 1962 to comfort the spirits of those who died in battle. Over 650 Yoshino variety cherry trees cover the grounds here, and the sight of these trees in full bloom alongside the pagoda and in view of Mt. Fuji makes for the ultimate photo spot.

Many people visit every day to try and capture a picture of this quintessential Japanese scenery. You can also see the autumn leaves in the fall or the powerful image of Mt. Fuji and the Chureito Pagoda covered in snow in the winter. 

26. Kyoto Station Building (Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture)

Kyoto Station Building is linked with the gateway to the city, Kyoto Station. While you may not expect to find much of interest at a regular train station, there are many shops and restaurants full of Kyoto's unique charm here. Highlights include Nakamura Tokichi, a long-standing tea house first founded in 1854, and the Kyoto Ramen Alley, which features popular ramen restaurants from all over Japan. You can also enjoy Kyoto cuisine and teppanyaki in the luxury of Hotel Granvia Kyoto, take in a musical or visit the theatre at Kyoto Gekijo, or see some works of art at Museum Eki Kyoto. Particularly popular among tourists are the large flights of stairs that are considered the symbol of the Kyoto Station Building. At night, the stairs are illuminated with 15,000 LED lights, making for a gorgeous scene. 

27. Byodoin Temple Phoenix Hall (Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture)

World Heritage site Byodoin Temple was built in 1053 with the assets of the influential Fujiwara no Yorimichi. This popular sightseeing destination allows you to experience the luxurious lifestyles of the Japanese dynasties that lived 1,000 years ago. Byodoin Temple has such a high cultural value that an image of it is even used on Japanese currency. Its highlights are the buildings and artifacts that have been registered as national treasures, including the Phoenix Hall in the main building, the 2.8 m high Amida Buddha statue, the wall and door paintings in the Phoenix Hall's Cho-do Hall, and the 52 "Praying Bodhisattva on Clouds" statues.

In addition to these national treasures, the Byodoin Garden that surrounds the temple charms many viewers. The sight of the Phoenix Hall reflected on the Ajiike Pond is a scenic spot that makes many tourists stop to take a picture.

28. Eikando Temple (Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture)

Eikando Temple is the head temple of the Jodo-shu Seizan Zenrin-ji sect. Its long history began in 853 when the Buddhist priest Shinjo, a disciple of Kobo Daishi, took over what was the former residence of Fujiwara Sekio. It has important historical value, and many cultural assets including the Mikaeri Amida (Amida Looking Back) statue, and "Yamagoshi Amida Zu", a colored silk hanging scroll. Eikando Temple is also known as a famous spot for autumn leaves.

The beauty of the autumn foliage here was also the subject of poetry included in the classic Heian period (794-1185) anthology, the Kokin Wakashu. Even 1,000 years later, Eikando is still famous for this autumn scenery. Countless autumn trees surround the pond at the center of the grounds, and in clear weather, the reflection of the red leaves on the water makes for a gorgeous sight to enjoy. If you climb the two story pagoda located at the highest point in the grounds, you can see a panoramic view of Eikando's autumn foliage. This temple has also become popular in recent years with international visitors, and it has been chosen as the best autumn leaf viewing area in Japan by travelers. The autumn leaf season falls around the end of November each year, and the nightly illumination display during this period is also recommended. 

Visitors can enter the garden and a number of the precinct's halls, excluding the Gasen-do, monk's quarters, baths, and Eikando Hall. Parts of the temple may also close periodically for special events.

29. Ritsurin Garden (Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture)

Ritsurin Garden is a cultural asset that has been designated as a Special Place of Scenic Beauty. The large park, at around 16.2 hectares, has many highlights, including the artificial Hirahou Hill, the expansive tea house Kikugetsu-tei, and the 8 m high Neagari Goyo-Matsu Pine. The Kyu Higurashi-tei Teahouse was built around 1700, and remains an excellent example of daimyo teahouse style. You'll also find the Sanuki Folk Craft Museum, which conserves and displays folk craft and traditional tools, at this garden. Ritsurin Garden has also been awarded three Michelin stars, the guide's highest rating.   The six ponds and 13 artificial hills make skillful use of the rich green Mt. Shiun scenery. With over 400 years of history, this promenade-style daimyo's garden has excellent layout, stone arrangements, and is rich in elegant rocks and trees. Blessed with natural features that change with the seasons, the flowering blossoms and the carefully maintained 1,000 pine trees here create beautiful scenes that seem to change with each step you take. Ritsurin Garden is an irreplaceable cultural asset that has been maintained by many successive generations throughout its long history.

30. Tokyo Disney Sea (Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture)

While Tokyo Disneyland is themed around fantasy and magic, Tokyo Disney Sea uses stories of the sea as a theme to create a world full of adventure, romance, and the thrill of discovery. To differentiate itself from Tokyo Disneyland, which is visited by people of all ages, Tokyo Disney Sea has many attractions targeted at a more mature audience, including thrill rides and artistic shows. There are fashionable, atmospheric restaurants that serve international cuisine and plenty of alcohol choices, too. 

Popular attractions include Toy Story Mania, a shooting-game ride based on the Pixar movie Toy Story, the Journey to the Center of the Earth rollercoaster, and the freefall thrill ride, Tower of Terror.

There are so many stunning sightseeing destinations all throughout Japan that it might be difficult to plan out your trip to see them all. Luckily, this list of top rated tourist attractions in Japan will give you a good idea for which ones to fit into your schedule so that you can really experience all the best parts of the country. Feel free to use this as a guide the next time you travel to Japan!

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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The 10 most wonderful places to visit in Japan

Rebecca Milner

Mar 28, 2024 • 6 min read

An internationally married couple who came to Tsukiji for sightseeing while eating fried food

From buzzing cities to serene forest walks, these are our favorite places to visit in Japan © Taiyou Nomachi / Getty Images

Japan offers up a real feast for travelers, with mountainside onsen (hot spring) villages, beach-lined islands and buzzing megacities all on the menu.

You could arguably spend a lifetime sampling the country’s delights, but some towns and sights are staples – core ingredients to any great Japan trip. Here’s our pick of the 10 best places to visit in Japan .

Best for contemporary culture

Tokyo is a city forever reaching into the future, pushing the boundaries of what's possible on densely populated, earthquake-prone land, and building ever taller, sleeker structures.

It's Japan's top spot for contemporary art and architecture, pop culture, shopping, drinking and entertainment (and a tie with Kyoto for dining). But more than any other sight, it's the city itself that enchants visitors.

It's a sprawling, organic thing, stretching as far as the eye can see. Constantly changing with a diverse collection of neighborhoods , no two experiences of Tokyo are ever the same.

Planning tip: Tickets for sumo, kabuki and Giants baseball games usually go on sale one to two months in advance. The Imperial Palace and Ghibli Museum are other popular attractions that require prior planning.

Father and daughter playing with snow in Kyoto Japan

Best for traditional experiences

Kyoto , Japan's imperial capital for a thousand years, is home to more than a thousand temples. Among them are the monumental, like Kinkaku-ji (an exquisite pavilion sheathed entirely in gold leaf), and the meditative, like Ryōan-ji , with its stark Zen rock garden.

And temples are only the beginning. There's the culture of tea, which you can appreciate at one of the city's many elegant teahouses; the art of the geisha, those iconic performers of traditional music and dance; and also a rich food culture, including kaiseki (Japanese haute cuisine).

3. Naoshima

Best for architecture

Naoshima is one of Japan's great success stories: once a rural island on the verge of becoming a ghost town, it's now a world-class center for contemporary art.

Many of Japan's most lauded architects have contributed structures, including museums, a boutique hotel and even a bathhouse – all designed to enhance the island's natural beauty and complement its existing settlements.

The resulting blend of avant-garde and rural Japan is captivating. It has also inspired some Japanese to pursue a slower life outside the big cities, relocating to Naoshima to open cafes and inns.

Planning tip: Try to plan your visit during one of the three exhibitions of the  Setouchi Triennale festival, which happens during the spring, summer and fall every three years – the most recent was in 2022. Naoshima hosts various art, drama, music and dance events that make this festival really special.

Two bench stand empty beneath trees with autumnal leaves and next to a large lake, Lake Kawaguchiko, with the giant Mt Fuji in the distance. The mountain is topped by snow.

Best for views and pilgrimages

Even from a distance,  Mt Fuji will take your breath away. Close up, the perfectly symmetrical cone of Japan's highest peak is nothing short of incredible. Dawn from the summit? Pure magic.

Fuji-san is among Japan's most revered and timeless attractions. Hundreds of thousands of people climb it every year, continuing a centuries-old tradition of pilgrimages up the sacred volcano.

Those who'd rather search for picture-perfect views from the less-daunting peaks nearby will be following in the steps of Japan's most famous painters and poets.

Planning tip: The best time to climb Mt Fuji is during its official season, from July 1 through mid-September, which avoids the rainy season and snowfall. Always check for typhoon warnings before hiking in Japan.

5. Hiroshima

Best for introspection

Hiroshima today is a forward-thinking city with attractive, leafy boulevards. It's not until you visit the Peace Memorial Museum that the true extent of human tragedy wreaked by the atomic bomb becomes vividly clear.

A visit here is a heartbreaking, important history lesson. The  park around the museum , much of which was designed by Japan's great modernist architect Tange Kenzō, offers many opportunities for reflection.

But the city's spirit of determination – as well as its food – will ensure that you'll have good memories to take with you when you leave.

A forest walkway on the island of Yakushima that goes through the trunk of a giant cedar tree.

6. Yakushima

Best for forest bathing

Yakushima, a small island off the coast of southern Kyūshū , is often described as magical and enchanting – otherworldly even. It's a place where words fail and clichés step in.

Home to some of Japan's last primeval forests, you'll find the yakusugi , an ancient cedar native to the island whose giant roots seem to form alien tentacles.

Hiking trails underneath them cover craggy terrain, often fuzzy with moss. The landscape here is believed to have inspired the iconic Studio Ghibli animated film,  Princess Mononoke .

Detour: When you're not hiking, stop by the  Yakusugi Museum to learn more about the importance of yakusugi  to the islanders of Yakushima. An English audio guide is available.

7. Koya-san

Best for exploring temples

Riding the funicular up to the sacred Buddhist monastic complex of Kōya-san feels, appropriately, like ascending to another world.

There are over a hundred temples here, the highlight of which is Oku-no-in , where paths weave their way among towering cryptomeria trees and time-worn stone stupas covered in moss and lichen.

Other temples offer a different experience: the chance to spend the night, dine on traditional vegetarian Buddhist cuisine and wake up early for morning meditation with the resident monks.

Planning tip: Though Japanese temples and shrines do not have established dress codes, visitors are expected to stay relatively quiet in these sacred spaces.

8. Okinawa and the Southwest Islands

Best for beaches

Okinawa and the Southwest Islands offer a totally different experience from the rest of Japan. This semi-tropical archipelago forms an arch between Kyūshū and Taiwan .

Until the islands were annexed by Japan in the 19th century, they formed their own kingdom – the Ryūkyū Empire – and the cultural differences are apparent in everything from the architecture to the food.

This is where you'll find Japan's best beaches, like those on the Yaeyama Islands  and the Kerama Islands, with sugar-white sand fringed with palms and turquoise waters. Bask in the sun, or snorkel and scuba dive.

Locals eat at tables set up on the road outside a late night restaurant in Osaka, Japan. The restaurant is lit up in lights and appears bright against the dark night sky.

Best for street food and nightlife

Tokyo doesn't nab all the superlatives when it comes to urban experiences. Osaka , Japan's third-largest city, is tops for street food: don't miss its signature dish, takoyaki (grilled octopus dumplings).

It also has the most dramatic of nightscapes: a dazzling display of LED lights, animated signage and flashing video screens along the canalside strip Dōtombori .

The city, Japan's oldest merchant center, has a pace, spirit and zest for life all of its own; its unofficial slogan is kuidaore (eat until you drop).

Planning tip: In addition to nightly accommodation fees, Osaka hotels will typically charge an accommodation tax that varies depending on the standard nightly rate.

Two hikers with large backpacks walk along a trail through thick forest in Kamikochi, Japan.

10. Kamikōchi

Best for mountain hikes

One of Japan's most stunning natural vistas, Kamikōchi is a highland river valley enveloped by the soaring peaks of the Northern Japan Alps .

Easy day hikes are possible along the Azusa-gawa, following the pristine river through tranquil forests of willow, larch and elm.

The birthplace of Japanese alpinism, Kamikōchi is also the gateway for more challenging treks up some of the country's tallest mountains, such as Yari-ga-take (3180m/10,433ft). Private cars are banned from Kamikōchi, which lessens the impact of the crowds.

This article was first published Apr 29, 2021 and updated Mar 28, 2024.

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Fukuoka (����) is Kyushu 's largest and one of Japan's ten most populated cities . Because of its closeness to the Asian mainland (closer to Seoul than to Tokyo ), Fukuoka has been an important harbor city for many centuries and was chosen by the Mongol invasion forces as their landing point in the 13th century .

Today's Fukuoka is the product of the fusion of two cities in the year 1889 , when the port city of Hakata and the former castle town of Fukuoka were merged into one city called Fukuoka. Hakata remains the name of one of Fukuoka's central districts and of the main railway station.

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15 Essential Travel Hacks When Visiting Japan

A sk anybody what's on their travel bucket list, and their response is sure to include "Japan." Thanks to a combination of rich heritage, lush landscapes, and labyrinth cities packed with skyscrapers, temples, and tourist traps alike, the country has soared in popularity, with American Express claiming that the number of bookings has increased by 1,300% since 2019 (via Bloomberg ).

Part of what makes Japan so alluring is that its culture and customs are so distinct and unique to those of other countries. That's also what makes it an overwhelming travel destination, especially for first-time visitors. If you start your journey in a major city like Tokyo, Yokohama, or Osaka, you're instantly immersed in a world of neon lights, bustling crowds, loud noises, a million different smells, and sensory overload.

With so much to see, do, and eat, a trip to Japan really isn't the kind of vacation you can make up as you go along. The last thing you need is to run into an easily avoided stumbling block like a lack of internet or 30 minutes spent figuring out the route to your next destination — which is why you'll want to arrive armed with as much knowledge as possible.

Read more: 28 Bucket List Destinations That Everyone Needs To Experience At Least Once

Get Quick Meals At 7-Eleven

It's tough to walk for longer than 20 seconds without stumbling upon a convenience store in Japan. Also known as conbini, these stores are usually open 24 hours a day and are packed full of affordable tasty treats that will keep you going without the time (and money) it takes to eat at an actual restaurant.

For as cheap as 200 yen ($1.34), you can enjoy the likes of onigiri rice balls, chicken karaage, sandos, oden, and bento boxes. We also recommend picking up taiyaki for a quick sugar boost. Shaped like fish and made of pancake or waffle batter, they're usually filled with red bean paste, custard, and chocolate and make for an endlessly addictive snack.

The most common store is 7-Eleven, which has over 20,000 locations throughout Japan and is miles above its U.S. counterpart in the culinary department. There are also over 15,000 FamilyMarts scattered across the country, but they typically don't offer as much variety.

Get Pocket Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi is surprisingly scarce in Japan, which can put you in some tough spots if you get lost mid-metro commute. Fortunately, pocket Wi-Fi exists -- and it is a lifesaver. For as cheap as $5 a day, you can rent a portable device that will allow you to access the internet on the go, even on the train. The majority will allow you to connect multiple devices at the same time and come in a variety of different speeds and GB, with some even offering unlimited data throughout your stay.  

If you rent in advance through a website like Ninja WiFi or Japan Wireless , you can pick up the device (also known by the much cuter name of a Wi-Fi Egg) at a designated counter once you've got through customs at airports including Haneda and Narita in Tokyo, Chubu Centrair, Kansai International, Fukuoka, and more. Once you're done, you can just pop it into the returns box at the airport on the way back. Easy.

Buy A JR Pass

Sadly, the JR (Japan Rail) Pass isn't as cheap as it once was. It surged in price by 70% in July 2023 as the yen continued to decline in value against other currencies around the world. However, if your itinerary includes extensive train travel, it's still worth the purchase.

The Japan Rail Pass will allow you to ride the rail to your heart's desire -- including the country's infamous, lightning-speed Shinkansen bullet trains (for a supplementary fee) and the Narita Express. It's more expensive to purchase once in Japan, so we recommend buying yours in advance on the JRailPass website where it costs $340.65 for seven days, $544.45 for 14 days, and $680.35 for 21 days.

If your visit is limited to just one or two cities, such as Tokyo and Osaka or Tokyo and Kyoto, then it probably isn't necessary. For example, a trip between Tokyo and Osaka typically costs $120 each way, which is considerably cheaper than forking out a few hundred dollars for a JR Pass.

Download Train Schedules And Maps

Japan has incredible public transportation. It also happens to be extremely overwhelming if it's your first (or second, or third) time in the country. Tokyo's metro can be especially confusing, with nine different train lines and 180 different stations to navigate. Its roads are even more complex with the majority not even having names, baffling even the city's own taxi drivers.

With that in mind, future-proofing for any situation where you may end up lost in an unknown place is always a good idea. Download or screenshot train schedules ahead of time through the JRailPass website, which offers both interactive and PDF versions of Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto's transportation systems. You can also download an offline version of the local area on Google Maps. This will also help if you face the aforementioned pesky issue of scarce public Wi-Fi, or if your portable Wi-Fi runs out of juice midday.

Use Citymapper

If you're visiting Tokyo, Citymapper is a must. Just like it does for multiple other cities across the globe, the award-winning app analyzes public transportation, congestion, and distance to figure out all the different ways you can reach your destination, and precisely how many minutes each option will take.

Whether it's walking, cycling, taxis, metro, or a combination of everything, all you need to do is select your chosen route and follow Citymapper's step-by-step instructions. When we say step-by-step, we mean it. The app's so smart that it will even tell you which exits and entrances to use at each station to make your journey as stress-free as possible. If you miss your stop or don't quite make your train, the app will also take that into account to restrategize your trip ASAP. You'll need to be online to request a new route, but if you check your journey ahead of time, you can save it to your homepage for offline use.

Visit Between January And March

There is no one "best" time to visit Japan, but there is a most convenient time. January to March tends to attract less crowds and will also usually bring the cheapest flights of the year. While it'll almost certainly be cold, you'll skip typhoon season and be in with a chance of seeing Japan in the snow.

If you do choose to visit at this time, just be sure to check the dates of the Lunar New Year (AKA Chinese New Year). This tends to be a public holiday across the region and will see cities across Japan packed with tourists. As it's such a popular time to travel, this will also be the exception to the "January to March is cheaper" rule with hotels and airlines driving up their prices over the holiday. The same is true of the end of March, which marks the beginning of cherry blossom season.

Make Advanced Reservations

There's a lot to enjoy in Japan. The problem is that everybody else wants to enjoy these things, too. Tourist attractions often book up months in advance, and a lot of them don't sell tickets at the gate, which doesn't leave much space for spontaneity for the average tourist visiting Japan .

If you plan on visiting the likes of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Tokyo - The Making of Harry Potter, Tokyo Disney Resort, Ghibli Park, Shibuya Sky observation deck, Teamlab Planets, or the Studio Ghibli Museum, it's best to sort your tickets sooner rather than later. The Ghibli Museum is especially challenging, with tickets for the next month going on sale at 10 a.m. on the 10th of the month prior.

The same is true of the hotels at Tokyo Disney Resort . With one of the most impressive Disney hotel lineups in the world (including the MiraCosta, a hotel that is actually inside Tokyo DisneySea), rooms are in extremely high demand. These go on sale from 11 a.m. four months before the dates you hope to stay and are bookable through the Tokyo Disney Resort Online Reservations & Tickets website.

Download The Japan Connected-Free Wi-Fi App

If you don't want the responsibility of carrying around and charging pocket Wi-Fi, download the Japan Connected -free Wi-Fi app. Whether you need to double-check directions or just have a quick midday TikTok break, this handy tool will search over 170,000 internet hotspots to find the closest location to you. The majority of these will likely be at a 7-Eleven, where you'll almost always be able to go online.

As if that feature isn't useful enough, the app eliminates the need to fill in the registration forms that typically serve as a barrier before you can access public Wi-Fi. Fill out your name and email once and the app will complete each form on your behalf. While you used to need to be online to find the Internet (which kind of defeats the app's entire purpose), you can now download the offline map to ensure you can always find a connection. Just remember to be careful with what data you enter or share while using any public Wi-Fi network .

Japan has been a "cash is king" country for years, meaning paying with notes and coins is the default over ApplePay and credit cards. This attitude has slipped in recent years, but cash still has a strong grip on the country's residents with only 36% of people preferring cashless payments.

While you should be able to use your card in most major outlets and tourist locations -- such as department stores, malls, theme parks, supermarkets, and even taxis -- a lot of restaurants, cafes, and bars still prefer to be paid in cash. This number will be much higher outside of major cities, and many local restaurants, markets, or temples won't have the facilities to accept card payments even if they want to. Exchanging at least a chunk of your spending money into Japanese yen ahead of time will save you in sticky situations (plus it helps you control your spending, which is always a bonus).

Choose Taxis Over Ubers

Although Uber exists in Japan, it's not as widespread or commonplace as in countries like the United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom. Journeys tend to be more expensive than those taken with local cabs, making the latter the service of choice for locals and tourists alike.

The upside to Uber is, of course, the fact that it's so familiar for many tourists. It's easy to order your taxi and pay via card, and the entire process is in English. However, your cheapest option is to hail taxis on the street, as you won't need to pay a base fare for the pick-up service. It'll say on the front of a car in Japanese if it's occupied. It's also color-coded so tourists can understand. Red means it's taken. Green means it's available. If you do want to pre-book, most locals prefer to use the Go app for journeys anywhere within Japan's 47 prefectures. This works similarly to Uber, except it allows you to pay with both cash and card and will give you a flat rate for journeys to and from the airport.

Purchase A Suica Card

The question isn't so much what a Suica card can do ; what can't it do? This prepaid, contactless card can be repeatedly loaded up with more cash to pay for public transport, including the metro, trains, buses, and taxis. Beyond transportation, Suica is also accepted in many shops, restaurants, cafes, and even vending machines. Just look out for the Suica symbol to know if they do -- and if you can't spot it, it's at least worth asking.

You can purchase your card before arriving in Japan and return it at the end of your trip to recover your 500 yen ($12) deposit. Due to a manufacturing shortage, the sale of new Suica cards is temporarily on hold as of June 2023, but if you're on a temporary visa, you can still purchase a Welcome Suica card. This doesn't require a deposit, doesn't need to be returned, and is valid for 28 days. These can only be purchased inside Japan at locations such as Narita and Haneda airports and will come with a reference paper which you'll need to keep on your person at all times.

Utilize Storage Lockers

For security reasons, storage lockers are a rarity at train stations around the world. Japan is an exception. You'd be hard-pressed to find a major station without coin lockers (which, despite the name, can actually be used with a Suica card, too), and in Tokyo, most stations come equipped with storage facilities.

Baggage storage is one of those things you don't realize you'll need until you desperately need it. These lockers are useful if you only have a few hours before heading to your hotel or next destination and want to stow away your belongings so you can freely explore. They also happen to be extremely cheap, typically costing between $1 and $5. There's usually no problem finding a vacant locker, but if you are struggling, you can download the  SPACER app , which will allow you to find and reserve a locker at major stations such as Shinjuku, Osaka, and Shibuya in advance. This is currently only available in Japanese, but there are plans for an English version in the near future.

Avoid National Holidays

Lunar New Year isn't the only holiday worth skipping if you want to avoid the crowds. National holidays bring in huge crowds anywhere, but especially Japan, where workers get little annual leave and want to take advantage of the break. If you do decide to brave big attractions like Shibuya Crossing, Senso-ji Temple, or Tokyo Skytree, you'll likely find yourself shoulder-to-shoulder with fellow tourists.

For a quieter vacation, April 29 to May 6 -- or, Golden Week -- is one of Japan's busiest holiday periods. This tends to be the most hectic season for the likes of Tokyo Disney Resort and Universal Studios Japan, where you can expect to wait in long lines for everything, from the park entrance to the restrooms. While Christmas isn't a national holiday in Japan, it is for many other countries, meaning the festive season can also bring an influx of tourists to both of these locations. Late September (Silver Week), New Year, and the Obon Week in August are typically also very busy.

Claim Your Tax Refund

From clothes to gadgets, Japan is one of the most unique places for retail therapy in the world. If you're a tourist, you can also shop with the peace of mind that you'll get at least some of your money back. Any non-resident visiting Japan for less than six months can enjoy tax-free shopping, meaning you can reclaim 10% of the value of your purchase.

There are a few catches. First, you'll need to check that the store is in fact a "tax-free shop" by checking for a logo stating as such at the entrance. They're extremely common and can be found in the likes of Namba City, Echika Ikebukuro, and Seibu Shibuya. You'll also need to have spent more than 5,000 yen ($33) in the same store on the same day. Some stores will let you pay tax-free from the offset if you present your passport, while others will require you to present your receipt at a tax exemption counter on the same day to get your money back.

Download A Good Translation App

If you know Japanese, you're good to go. For those of us who aren't bilingual, Japan can be tough to navigate at times. While most signs in major cities will have translations, less than 30% of people living in Japan speak English, which means it's inevitable you'll hit the language barrier at some point during your stay.

A good translation app is a must, especially one that's able to translate pictures. Google Translate is always a go-to, but one of the best choices is iTranslate Translator . Not only can it tackle text, but you can also use it to scan and translate menus, signs, labels ... you name it. Best of all, it can work offline if you download the Japanese pack ahead of time. It's free to download but will cost you $5.99 a month to unlock its full potential. Considering how useful it is, it's better to spend $5.99 than find yourself stranded in a restaurant blind-ordering a dish because you can't read the menu.

Read the original article on Explore .

Woman with backpack in Japan


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