The small Southeast Asian island nation of Japan is famous for its culture and traditions. The country is filled with breathtaking scenery and some of the most modern cities in the world, such as its capital city of Tokyo. Also known as The Land of the Rising Sun, Japan actually consists of close to 7,000 islands. However, four of them Honshu, Kyushu, Skikoku, and Hokkaido make up about 97 per cent of the nation’s land area.
It’s a relatively small country with a large population of about 18 million people. The climate is mainly temperate, but varies from north to south with about six different climatic regions. The average temperature in the country during the winters is about five degrees C and about 25 degrees C in the summers.
There are so many historical and cultural sites to see in Japan, with these being some of the best.
Tokyo is Japan’s largest city and is considered the heartbeat of the nation. It’s filled with dozens of wonderful tourist attractions, including its many districts and impressive architecture. Some of the most popular sports are the Tokyo tower, the National Museum, the Imperial Palace, the American Village. There are many museums, galleries, restaurants and shops to keep you busy for days on end.
This is a pretty port city that’s located about 30 minutes from Tokyo by train. The city has one of the world’s largest Chinatowns and some fine foreign architecture. In the Minato Mirai area you’ll find a popular shopping area as well as a giant Ferris wheel which provides fantastic views of the bay below.
Kyoto, the former capital of Japan, is often considered to be the cradle of Japanese culture and history. It’s filled with amazing shrines, temples, museums, and traditional buildings. The city is also overflowing with its natural beauty.
4. Osaka Castle
The city of Osaka features a lot of traditional Japanese architecture as well as the famous Osaka Castle. About 30 minutes away you can also visit Himeji Castle, which is a World Heritage Site that was built between the 14th and 17th centuries. The city of Kobe is also close by, which is famous for its delicious beef.
5. Hiroshima Peace Memorial, Hiroshima
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial is in honour to all those who suffered during and after the bombing of the city in World War II. It’s a reminder of the devastation the city suffered. It’s a historical site that will move you emotionally no matter where you’re from. It symbolizes hope and peace in the world as well as serving as a reminder of the brutality of war.
6. Mount Fuji, Hakone
This city is a couple of hours outside of Tokyo and it offers some exceptional views of Mount Fuji. There are many hills for hiking as well as a cable car that takes you through the area. You’ll also find some volcanic water pools in which local residents use for boiling eggs, a regional specialty.
Okinawa resembles a tropical island paradise. It’s located in southern Japan and is an ideal place for beach lovers. It’s popular with divers and is close to several other small islands. The best way to explore it to find the hidden areas of the island is by car.
This is the northernmost island in Japan. It features some beautiful landscapes and natural surroundings. It’s mild in the summer with very little rain and then becomes a popular skiing destination once the cold winters hit. There are also quite a few excellent hot springs to visit on the island.
9. Nikko National Park
This beautiful park is about 540 square miles in size and is home to many mighty mountain peaks, ancient forests, lakes, waterfalls, and moorland. It’ one of Japan’s most popular areas. There are several hot mineral spas in the park as well as sports and recreational facilities such as camping, hiking, mountain climbing, skiing, boating, and fishing.
10. The Kasuga Grand Shrine
The popular Shinto shrine is also known as Kasuga Taisha. It’s located in the prefecture of Nara and features an assortment of stone and bronze lanterns that accessorize just about all of the temple’s areas. It sits in the northeast section of beautiful Nara Park and is known as one of Japan’s Three Great Shrines.