When we are talking about tourist attractions in Japan, there are many different kinds of them. If you are an adventurous soul looking for outdoor adventure, then there are the right places for you. The same thing also applies to those who are into history and culture. If you want to visit some religious spots, you can also do it too.
Cultural Attractions in Japan
Japan is home to many temples, shrines, and also castles and memorial park. There are so many places to visit to learn about their culture.
Temples and Shrines
- Itsukushima Island Shrine
The Shinto shrine is located in Miyajima, an area in Hiroshima Bay. Because of the design, the shrine looks as if it were floating on water. But you can explore it, thanks to the linked bridges and walkways. You should come here to marvel the construction and structure.
- Temple City
Nara is the home to many historical, artistic, and cultural buildings. No wonder if it is called the Temple City – because of the many temples existing there. You can find Kofuku-Ji Temple (Nara’s Seven Great Temples) dated to the 7th century or Todai-Ji (the Great East Temple) with its stunning huge Great Buddha statue made from bronze.
- Atsuta Shrine
Located in Nagoya, this temple is the most important shrine of Shinto that can attract visitors up to 5 million people every year. The shrine is home to many beautiful modern and also old jewellery, ceramics, traditional masks, and paintings.
- Fukuoka Castle
If you are coming to Fukuoka, you shouldn’t miss coming to Fukuoka Castle. The place has witnessed centuries of history of city rulers and Shoguns. The building still looks majestic and great with its impressive construction.
- Osaka Castle
The castle is the most important fortress and also the biggest one in the country. Because of the great preservation efforts, the building still retains its original construction and shape.
Religious Attractions in Japan
You can easily find temples in Japan, but what about other places of worship? Being one of the most advanced nations in the world has made Japan adaptable to many religions. There are also other places of worships in Japan, whether you are a Christian, Hindu, Moslem, or Catholic.
- Tokyo Camii
Not only this is the biggest mosque in Japan, but it is also the home to a Turkish centre and museum. The museum is also one of the reasons why it is often visited by many tourists. With Ottoman-style architecture, the place is super amazing. It is located in Shibuya and it opens from 10 AM to 6 PM.
- Okachimachi Mosque
Another popular name for it is Assalaam Masjid and it is situated in Ueno. The building has a community centre and a library. Because of the location, the mosque is often visited by tourists and visitors.
- Nagoya Mosque
Located right in Aichi Prefecture, this mosque is quite popular. The Moslems in the area collected donations to build the place and it was constructed in 1998. Now they also have Islamic Center of Nagoya
Christianity and Catholicism
- His Call Church
It is a worship place that is both fun and happy in Nagoya. They have services in both Japanese and English.
- Lifehouse Tokyo
It is one of Japan’s biggest churches with 10 locations scattered in Japan. They also have other locations in Hawaii, China, Taipei, Bali, and Hong Kong.
- St. Mary’s Cathedral
This is also known as Sekiguchi Catholic Church. The church has been around since 1964. The place is coming as the modernist Roman Catholic Church located in Bunkyo Ward in Tokyo. Its signature style is the stainless steel construction with a cross shape along with 8 hyperbolic parabolas from each of the structure.
Explore the Natural Wonders
There are so many Natural Wonders in Japan – you just need to know where to go and which place to visit. Each place has its signature characteristics and styles that differentiate them from one another.
- Yurikehama Beach
One alternative tourism in Japan is to visit the beach. During summer like during the holiday season, there is an interesting beach to visit, namely Yurikehama Beach. This beach is in Kagoshima Prefecture. There is a white sandy island that can only be seen at low tide. The best time to visit this area is from June to September. If you plan to travel to Japan during the holiday season, then this beach can be an attractive alternative.
- Awaji Island
Have you ever seen the seawater lit in blue? If you have never, you can visit the Tourist Attractions in Japan, Awaji Island. There, you will find truly stunning views of the beach that you may not have seen before. One of them is the blue light that meets the shoreline. This view can be seen from April to September. People call it a blue sea firefly. But actually, this scene can occur because of the existence of small living things in the sea itself.
Another tourist spot in Japan that fell in June this year is Shirakami. Shirakami is a mountainous area in Aomori Prefecture to Akita Prefecture. You will find beautiful natural attractions there. Moreover, this place has entered the UNESCO world heritage site. This place has a green landscape in summer, from mid-June to the end of summer. One of the interesting things that can be visited there is a very beautiful lake. His name is Lake Juniko. This lake is clear blue and can be used as a means of refreshing with your family.
- Moiwa Mount
Travel to Japan during the summer with family can also be enjoyed from Sapporo, precisely at Moiwa Mount. This one place is an observation point that will give a beautiful view to visitors. Visitors who come to enjoy Sapporo from an altitude of 531 meters above sea level. From the mountain, the view that is obtained is a 360-degree view. The best time to get there is before sunset so you can get a beautiful change from the light to the dark.
- Tottori Sakyu (Tottori Sand Dunes)
Not many people know that Japan has its dunes. Tottori Sakyu covers an area of 18 square mile – and it constantly changes its shape depending on the wind (where it blows). It is often called as mini-Sahara, giving you a sense of exploration and adventure on your own. It also has its souvenir shops and sand museum – you can see the exhibitions or buy the souvenir chocolate bars.
National Parks in Japan
- Chūbu-Sangaku National Park
Located right in the heart of Honshu, the National Park is integrated into the Japanese Alps or the Hida Mountains. It has some of the tallest peaks in Japan, including Yari and Hotaka. The Japanese Alps has its snowy area, especially in winter. It attracts tourists to hike in summers and skiers in winters.
- Kerama Shotō National Park
The National Park is situated in Okinawa Prefecture. It covers the Kerama Islands with their tropical vibes and atmosphere. The place is popular for its white sandy beach and the breathtaking turquoise waters. You can always be snorkelling and be swimming here.
- Shiretoko National Park
The park is located in Hokkaido and it is well-known for the brown bear population and wildlife. In summers, travellers can take a boat ride and view the brown bears from a safe distance. The view has this unspoiled beauty that makes it worthy as a natural conversation spot. No wonder it is also included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.
- Yoshino-Kumano National Park
The park is claimed to be the best place for hanami or welcoming spring – mostly because of the cherry blossom (sakura) trees that are growing there. It includes Mount Yoshino and also Kumanno Sanzan, the sacred ancient shrines group located in Kumano Region.
There are several Japanese snacks that you won’t find elsewhere – they are exclusive to Japan. So, be sure to try them before going home.
It is a rice cracker with various forms –with or without seaweed, salty, or spicy. The cracker is usually consumed with sake or beer.
Although the origin of Crepes is from France, there is a nice twist about Japanese crepes. You can find different kinds of toppings while in Japan.
It is a kind of pancake that is filled with red bean paste. The red bean paste is sandwiched between two dorayaki pancake patties.
- Melon Pan
Despite the name, the taste isn’t melon. The name is given because the sweet bread bun looks like a melon. You should be able to find it easily in most bakeries or convenient stores.
It is a traditional Japanese candy made of a mix of red bean and sugar. However, the new variants come with tons of new taste and their combination.
It is a dumpling with a sweet taste. It is made from rice flour or Mochiko so the texture is like a Mochi. People usually enjoy dango served with skewers.
Finding places to shop is quite easy. There are several popular spots in Japan to feast your eyes and to satisfy your shopping desire.
- Nakamise Shopping Street
This is the oldest shopping centres that have existed from 1688 up to now. You can find souvenirs there. If you are lucky, you can find good bargains of shoes and clothes. The market is great to find traditional dishes and snacks.
- Mottainai Flea Market
The popularity of flea markets is increasing these days. There are tons of stuff to find there – and they are mostly in super good condition. Some of the most popular items there are DVDs, CDs, books, and clothes. Some of them are even in mint or pristine condition.
- Takeshita-Dori Market
Takeshita Dori or Takeshita Street is past Harajuku and it is known as the popular fashion trend and centre. If you are looking for one of a kind costumes and fashion, this is your go-to place. The market will be packed during weekends, but it is the perfect spot to find trendy fashion items.
Japan has its own culture and customs and they have dated back to ancient history. Some of the customs have gone with the time but some manage to stay. For instance, Japanese people are men of honour. For them, honour is the most important thing. You can see it from their stories of shogun and everything. They are the people who value their tradition too. Most of their traditions are well preserved and well-maintained.
Cultural Festivals / Celebrations
There are several popular cultural celebrations and festivals that most tourists would love to take part in.
- Hakata Gion Yamakasa
This celebration has dated back to 700 years ago and it can last to 2 weeks. It is generally held every July with traditional costumes, races, and colourful parades.
- Hanami (Cherry Blossom Festival)
Hanami is flower viewing. And that’s what you do. You sit under the beautiful and blooming cherry blossom trees, enjoying drinks and foods with special people. It’s like a picnic where you enjoy the fresh air. The festivals often include parades, beauty pageants, traditional dances, and folk songs –all held under the trees.
- Setsubun (Bean Throwing Festival)
It may seem odd, but Setsubun dated back to the old tradition believed to ward off evil spirits. The beans are supposed to be thrown at evil spirits until they completely leave the house. The festival is generally held in February 3rd or 4th.
Types of Public Transportation
Japan as one of the trendy tourist destinations provides various choices of tourist attractions located in big cities or remote Japan. No need to worry, because, with the technological sophistication of the sunrise country, there will be easy access to the attractions you want. You can get a very complete transportation system from all types of aircraft, buses, local trains and fast trains (Shinkansen).
Not too many people would use the city bus in big cities in Japan, especially in Osaka or Tokyo. It’s because they have a super excellent metro and rail network. People prefer travelling by subways or trains. Budget travellers like night trains that allow them to travel to different areas in Japan without spending too much money. But there are certain bus routes in case you want to use the bus.
There are different trains in Japan. You can travel to many different places in the city but you can also use it to travel to other cities or regions. There are different types of trains:
- Shinkansen, the bullet train offering speed and comfort. It isn’t cheap but you can have a cheaper service with JRP (Japan Rail Pass).
- JR Train. It covers services in a single region. The JR Regional Pass would be useful to get you the best bargain.
- Private lines. Some of them have better service but at a cheaper rate. For instance, Hankyu Train can get you to Kyoto from Osaka (and vice versa) in only 45 minutes.
The subway system is efficient, safe, and punctual. You can download Tokyo Metro app to help you get around. You should use a prepaid travelling card like Pasmo to help you with your trip.
- Ship and Ferries
Ferries would take you to many interesting places – and they don’t have to be costly. You can go to Shikoku or Osaka region with the ferries and explore the areas. Cruise ships are great for those who want to have a more luxurious experience on the water.
Aeroplane and Helicopter
Narita International Airport
It is the second busiest international spot that connects Japan with the world. It is situated 60 kilometres away on the eastern side of Tokyo. To reach the airport, you can use the Keisei Electric Railway and East Japan Railway. There are 3 terminals in this airport.
It is for international departure and arrival. Departures are on the third floor while arrivals area on the second floor. Some of the airlines are Japan Airlines, Air France, Korean Air, KLM, Etihad Airways, Aeromexico, Air Busan, and Uzbekistan Airways.
It is for international and domestic flights. Some of the airlines are Japan Airlines, Air India, Scoot, Philippine Airlines, Air Macau, ANA (All Nippon Airways), and Easter Jet.
It is for budget air carriers like Vanilla Air and Jetstar Japan.
Tokyo International Airport
It is known as Haneda Airport but people mostly know it as Tokyo Airport. It is 14 kilometres away in the southern area of Tokyo. Just like Narita, it also has 3 terminals.
It is the biggest terminal among the three and it is designed for domestic flights. Some of the air carriers are Skymark Airlines, Star Flyer, and Japan Airlines
It is for domestic flights too. Some of the air services are Solaseed Air, Star Flyer, and Air Do.
It is for international flights with air services like Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, and Cathay Pacific.