The country where the sun first rises every morning granted us a dozen of unforgettable days, fulfilling our expectations to the max. From the bustling heart of Tokyo to the quiet and peaceful atmosphere of Kyoto’s shrines, the japanese island of Honshu welcomes visitors with a broad array of landmarks developing a secular thriving culture.
Despite a million worthy places to visit in Japan, we consider these ten iconic must-visit landmarks the essential stops, whose diversity depicts the heart and soul of the nipponic routine.
- Sensō-ji, Asakusa, Tokyo
Sensō-ji was completed in the seventh century, which makes it Tokyo’s oldest buddhist temple and one of Japan’s most renowned postcards. Located in the northern Asakusa district, the complex gathers an entrance gate, also known as Kaminarimon, a five-story pagoda, a shopping hallway and the main temples, of course.
- Fushimi Inari-taisha, Kyoto
Kyoto is probably the most traditional city of Japan and its mysticism is felt over the thousand temples and shrines in the surroundings. Fushimi Inari-taisha lies in the southern area of Kyoto and it is the city’s most visited landmark, where the visitor follows a trail through countless torii gates.
- Dōtonbori, Namba, Osaka
Do you think Tokyo’s exciting nightlife cannot be topped? Forget Roppongi and Shibuya and embrace Osaka’s Dōtonbori unique spirit. Get along with Osaka native citizens and be ready to have a blast in this scenic commercial and entertaining street.
- Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum, Hiroshima
Since 1945, Hiroshima has been a symbol of modern History, when the first ever dropped atomic bomb targeting civilians completely destroyed the city. Nowadays, the darkest footsteps of mankind are reminded in a mandatory visit to the Peace Memorial Park and Museum.
- Mount Fuji, Fujikawaguchiko
Mount Fuji has to be a part of every traveller’s list of what to do in Japan. The country’s highest mountain dazzles tourists everyday, making it one of the most scenic landscapes in Japan. Since it can be seen from miles away, there are several places that make the perfect spot to enjoy a beautiful view of Mt. Fuji. Considering that Hakone and Lake Ashi are usually the crowdest place, we headed to Lake Kawaguchiko, the nearest point to the Fuji foothill.
- Tokyo SkyTree, Tokyo
Unless you’re ready to hike some steep mountains, climbing Tokyo SkyTree will be the “highest” experience you might have in Japan. At 634 metres high, the tower is the tallest structure in the country and the second tallest in the world, after Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The view from the observation deck is definitely worthy (if the weather helps)!
- Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima
Short off the shore of Hiroshima, Miyajima island greets visitors with a terrific time while on the island. Friendly deers are spread all over the place, often interacting and playing with people, although bear in mind they are wild animals and you should remain vigilant. Nevertheless, the main attraction on the island is a giant torii gate, which appears to be floating on the water. We advise you to wait until sunset for a speechless view and gorgeous photos.
- Gion, Kyoto
Gion is not only Kyoto’s well-known gueisha district, but also a traditional neighbourhood within an expanding modern metropolis. From a shopping central street to timeless shrines and pagodas, this is also the place to taste some of the very best Japanese cuisine.
- Osaka Castle, Osaka
Originally from the sixteenth century, the castle has been rebuilt throughout the past centuries due to natural hazards and warfare. The castle itself houses a museum, but its historical significance makes it a must-visit. The outside surroundings are definitely worth a walk, offering stunning views to the skyline of Osaka Business District and a garden full of cherry trees – in late March/beginning April the cherry blossom season provides a new identity to the garden.
- Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo
The capital city of Japan hosts dozens of thrilling and gripping places. Shibuya’s crosswalk and Tokyo Metro are the two best renowned over-crowded places of the city, but Tsukiji Fish Market, during rush hour, may very well approach these two. Getting to the market as early as possible – 06:00 a.m – grants visitors an overwhelming experience within Tokyo’s daily life.
Japan is a destination meant to be embraced and lived according to local practices. Getting caught in the middle of crowded streets or trains will become a memory that won’t be forgotten for sure. It may take a while for American and European travellers to arrive, but none shall return home without making every cent spent worth it.
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