Photo by Abby Chung:
If you are planning for a perfect trip or vacation, then you could consider the country – Japan. Traveling to Japan is an exciting adventure, but it’s important to plan your trip carefully to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Japan offers a wide range of cultural, natural, and historical attractions to explore. Here are some of the best things to do in Japan:
- Visit Tokyo: Explore the bustling metropolis of Tokyo, where you can visit iconic landmarks like the Tokyo Tower, Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa, and the historic neighborhood of Odaiba. Don’t miss out on the vibrant neighborhoods of Shibuya and Shinjuku.
- Kyoto’s Temples: Kyoto is famous for its well-preserved temples, including Kinkaku-ji (the Golden Pavilion), Fushimi Inari Shrine, and the beautiful Arashiyama Bamboo Grove.
- Hike Mount Fuji: If you’re up for a physical challenge, consider climbing Japan’s highest peak, Mount Fuji. The best time to do this is during the summer climbing season.
- Experience Cherry Blossom Season: If you visit Japan in the spring (usually late March to early April), you can witness the stunning cherry blossoms in full bloom. Some great spots for cherry blossoms include Ueno Park in Tokyo and Philosopher’s Path in Kyoto.
- Relax in an Onsen: Japan is famous for its hot springs, or onsen. You can find onsen resorts throughout the country, including places like Beppu and Hakone.
- Explore Hiroshima: Visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum to learn about the city’s history and the devastating effects of the atomic bomb. Nearby, the Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island is also worth a visit.
- Try Japanese Cuisine: Don’t miss the opportunity to savor authentic Japanese food. Try sushi, sashimi, tempura, ramen, and other local dishes.
- Experience Traditional Tea Ceremony: Participate in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony to gain insight into Japanese culture and the art of tea preparation.
- Visit Nara: Nara is known for its friendly deer and historic sites like Todai-ji Temple, which houses the world’s largest bronze Buddha statue.
- Take a Bullet Train: Experience the speed and efficiency of Japan’s Shinkansen (bullet trains). These trains can take you quickly and comfortably between major cities.
- Go to Okinawa: If you’re looking for a tropical getaway, consider visiting the Okinawa Islands, known for their beautiful beaches, coral reefs, and unique culture.
- Explore Japanese Gardens: Japanese gardens are known for their beauty and tranquility. Visit gardens like Kenrokuen in Kanazawa and Ritsurin Garden in Takamatsu.
- Attend a Sumo Match: If your visit coincides with a sumo tournament, attending one can be a unique cultural experience.
- Learn About Samurai History: Visit historic sites like Himeji Castle and Matsue Castle to learn about Japan’s samurai heritage.
- Participate in Festivals: Depending on the time of year, you might be able to participate in or witness traditional Japanese festivals such as Gion Matsuri in Kyoto or the Sapporo Snow Festival.
- Shop in Harajuku: If you’re into fashion, Harajuku in Tokyo is famous for its unique and trendy shops.
- Discover Japanese Anime and Manga: If you’re a fan of anime and manga, visit Akihabara in Tokyo, known as the electric town and a hub for anime-related shops.
- Stay in a Ryokan: Experience traditional Japanese hospitality by staying in a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn, complete with tatami mat rooms and futon beds.
Japan is a country with a rich and diverse cultural heritage, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Make sure to plan your trip according to your interests and the season you’ll be visiting to make the most of your time in Japan.