10 exciting travel tips for Japan, 2019

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Top 10 Places to Visit in Japan

Japan is an extremely popular and interesting country to visit.  People are traveling here every year in search of fresh sushi, train rides, fascinating traditions, and eccentric pop culture. Japan offers great ways to travel to its many islands by the ferries, buses, and railways. The culture and history are one of the most original and interesting. So different from Western culture giving you a great insight into other ways of thinking and living. Possibly why we are fascinated with Japan.

Tokyo - Japan, Asakusa Temple

Tokyo – Japan, Asakusa Temple

You can go and have a look at the Ainu culture in the snow cold northern islands of Hokkaido and the ancient places in Kyoto. Shikoku offers many temples where people often like to make pilgrimages. And Hiroshima which offers the quiet and peaceful streets which you can stroll leisurely or the Ryukyu culture of the tropical islands of Okinawa. Or you can have adventures on the busy streets of Tokyo among the buzzing lights.

Japan is welcoming, interesting and peaceful. You can enjoy a lot of very different places here with friends and family. Take a look at the top places in Japan to see.

Intro to Japan

Very beautiful tropical sea with white sand beach crystal clear turquoise water at Kabira Bay, Ishigaki island, Okinawa, Japan.

Ishigaki Beach on Okinawa, great beaches in Japan

Ishigaki is one of Japan’s amazing beaches located in the West Okinawa and is an amazing start if you want to explore the islands in Japan especially those in Yaeyama archipelago. These are some of the most beautiful beaches in Japan and is popular among families as they are not protected unlike those at Fusaki and Maezato. Ishigaki is located almost 2000 km towards south of Tokyo and doesn’t have shrines like the other cities but it showcases more of an adventurous streak. This offers a happening nightlife for the visitors after an adventurous day full of beachcombing, water sports and climbing Mount Nosoko.

Ishigaki Beach

Jofuku-in Temple in Koyasan (Mt. Koya) Wakayama.

Jofuku-in Temple in Koyasan (Mt. Koya) Wakayama.

Koyasan or Mount Koya, home of Shingon Buddhism

Koyasan is also called Mount Koya and it is one of the most important places in Shingon Buddhism. This mountain remains as the headquarters for the people in this variety of Buddism. There is a temple too that is sacred among the people who follow the teachings of Kobo Daishi. This is a mausoleum for Kobo Daishi and the pilgrimage of Shikoku 88 temple starts from here too. It is an amazing time and place for tourists to check out the monk’s life and imagine how it was. You are allowed to stay here overnight to have a richer experience.

Visit Kouasan

Pond and tea house in Kenrokuen, a japanese garden in Kanazawa, Ishikawa prefecture, Japan

Pond and tea house in Kenrokuen, a Japanese garden in Kanazawa, Ishikawa prefecture, Japan

Kanazawa, if you want to see authentic samurai and geisha houses

If you are looking to explore this ancient city of Kanazawa dating back to the mid-19th century, then get ready to learn a lot about Japanese history and culture. During the 19th century, Kanazawa was the fourth largest city of Japan and was equipped with a grand castle and a beautiful garden. To this date, the city relishes in its arts and culture. It has attractive old towns that have escaped bombing from the World War II and most of the inner-city areas like Nagamachi’s samurai’s houses and geisha teahouses remain intact that are surely a joy to see.

Visit Kanazawa

Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan at Itsukushima Shrine.

Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan at Itsukushima Shrine.

Hiroshima – the new quest for peace

Hiroshima is one of the younger Japanese cities in an old country,  that are less than 500 years old but after the atomic bomb dropping during the World War, II the city’s attractions revolve around the need for peace. There is the peace park, Peace Memorial, Peace Memorial Museum. But apart from these upsetting sites, there are some refreshing places as well such as the Hiroshima Castle and Sunken garden of Shukkein-en.

Women in traditional kimonos in front of a temple in Kamakura, Kanagawa prefecture, Japan.

Women in traditional kimonos in front of a temple in Kamakura, Kanagawa prefecture, Japan.

Kamakura – Zen temples of great importance close to Tokyo

Kamakura is located on the coast an hour away from Tokyo. This was once a very important town because the military government that ruled Japan for a hundred years used it as the  Capital. Now it remains as just a popular seaside resort. It is also sometimes referred to as the Kyoto of Eastern Japan due to the great number of shrines and temples. One of the more popular places here is the Daibutsu which is a huge bronze Buddha statue that is surrounded by trees. Other than that, there are the town’s ancient Zen temples that are quite mesmerizing.

Four of the autumn festival`s eleven floats yatai are exhibited at the Takayama Matsuri Yatai Kaikan a hall next to Sakurayama Hachiman Shrine.

Four of the autumn festival`s eleven floats yatai are exhibited at the Takayama Matsuri Yatai Kaikan a hall next to Sakurayama Hachiman Shrine.

Takayama, come see a traditional Japanese village

Takayama offers a peaceful and quiet place in contrast to the bustling big cities of Japan like Tokyo being one of the biggest metropolises in the world. Takayama is a quiet rural setting that relaxes mind and body alike. The town of Hida-Takayama is near the northern Alps of Japan and contains one of the most well-preserved old towns in Japan. One of the bedazzling places here is Sanmachi that consists of three narrow lanes packed with wooden buildings and Saké breweries and little boutiques. This just creates the perfect image of a charming small town.

Tosho-gu, a Shinto shrine dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate, located in Nikko, Japan. A World Heritage Site since 1999

Tosho-gu, a Shinto shrine dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate, located in Nikko, Japan. A World Heritage Site since 1999

Nikko National Park

At the entrance of Nikko National Park, is a small town called Nikko. It is mostly known for being the most lavishly decorated shrine of Tokugawa Ieyasu called Toshogu. It is on the World Heritage list since 1999. Another very popular place to see here is the Shin-Kyo bridge that is lacquered in red. Other than this the National park offers scenic mountainous landscapes, lakes and waterfalls. And there are monkeys too with many hiking trails to go trekking. There is beauty all around the year but the best time to visit Nikko is fall when the leaves are a brilliant golden- orange color that just multiply the beauty.

Nara, Japan - November 21,2016: Tourists are taking a rest, having some food and tea at traditional style teahouse after a walk in Nara Park, Nara, Japan

Nara, close to Kyoto where you find the DNA of the old Japan

Previously known as Heijo, Nara became one of the first cities to be permanently declared as the capital of Japan. This city is located an hour from Kyoto. This place threatened the government with the rise of Buddist monasteries and today it has one of the oldest shrines and temples of Japan that attract the tourists.  50 years ago or so there were hundreds of active temples, where you could knock on the gate from the street and ask to become a Buddhist monk. One of the more popular places is Todaiji temple due to its cantilevered buildings, manicured lawns and deer strolling grounds. This city gives a brilliant insight into the rich culture and heritage of Nara.

KYOTO, JAPAN People enjoy the spring season by partaking in nighttime Hanami festivals. The annual festivals coincide with the seasonal blooming of the cherry blossoms.

KYOTO, JAPAN People enjoy the spring season by partaking in nighttime Hanami festivals. The annual festivals coincide with the seasonal blooming of the cherry blossoms.

Kyoto, the former Imperial Capital of Japan

Kyoto once served as the imperial capital of Japan is now the capital of Kyoto Prefecture.  This city is also called the city of 10,000 shrines due to the many of Shinto Shrines there. This city has almost 1.5 million people. It also has one of the top-rated Fushimi Inari Shrines and the lovely gardens. You can also enjoy the Gion Matsuri Festival in July which is must-see.

The neon light of Kabukicho, Shinjuku. The Tokyo redlight district.

Tokyo is one of the world´s largest and most important cities

Adventurous and social travelers will definitely enjoy Tokyo. It is a metropolitan place with a lot of activities ranging from seeing cherry blossoms and traditional gardens and the wonderful fish market in Tsukiji. Tokyo blends traditional and modern Japan together that gives you shrines and karaoke bars. The streets are bustling and hype you up but if you would like a lazy day around the city then Shinjuku National Garden is the place for you.

Beautiful girl wearing japanese traditional kimono at row of yellow ginkgo tree in autumn. Autumn park in Tokyo, Japan.

Beautiful girl wearing Japanese traditional kimono at a row of yellow ginkgo trees in autumn. Autumn park in Tokyo, Japan.

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