Japan is growing at a dizzying pace, modernizing, and one of the most critical and influential financial and business centers has a long history and popular culture. Traveling to Japan, the land of the Rising Sun is an exciting experience. Plus there are so many things to do in Japan!
Japan is the land of great history. The towering imposing buildings, symbolizing the power of the influential Japanese economy and technology, come into conflict with slums and poor neighborhoods. In Japan, 130 million people live with very diverse beliefs, customs, and gastronomes.
Below are five cities that make this a perfect Japan Travel Guide and helping you to plan the ultimate trip to Japan
The third-largest city in the country, Osaka, is the commercial center of western Japan. Its pulsating illuminated signs, shopping malls – including the longest indoor shopping arcade in all of Japan stretching for no less than 2.6 km – and crowds are some of the things that Osaka offers.
This is undoubtedly the paradise of shopping, night owls, and addicts to pachinko, the device between the pinball machine and the slot machine.
In some of Osaka’s commercial arcades, the rooms housing this dozens of machines stand next to each other in a deafening din.
The aquarium in Osaka (Kaiyukam) is one of the biggest in the world. And one of the few to host whale sharks. The latter smaller in size than their wild counterparts evolve in a multi-story reservoir that they share with other shark species, including a hammerhead shark, rays, or a grouper.
Penguins, otters, dolphins, or jellyfish can also be found in other basins. In total, the aquarium presents more than 600 different species. Your tour ends with a room with a pool in which you can dive your hands to touch the rays or small sharks that are there.
While in Osaka, you can enjoy eating Takoyaki. These cooked dumplings, stuffed with a piece of octopus, are sold on skewers on every corner. For a more substantial meal, try Tonakatsu, a typical Japanese dish which is a slice of pork covered with very crisp breadcrumbs and fried in oil.
The former imperial capital is today a modern city of one and a half million inhabitants – of which 10% are students – but it preserves many cultural legacies of Japan of old.
There are sumptuous temples, typical lanes lined with tea houses and parks, and gardens decorated with red and orange during the “dead leaf season.”
Then, the typical narrow streets of Sannenzaka, Ninenzaka, and Hanamikoji. Finally, the district of Arashiyama, located to the west of the city, is the starting point of a small panoramic train that winds between the mountains.
From the train station, you can walk to the bamboo plantation of Kyoto in a few minutes. Crossing this forest planted with fine bamboo whose tops oscillate in the wind while hissing is a magical experience provided you ignore the countless tourists who visit the place.
After the bamboo plantation, cross the river by the Togetsukyo bridge and climb the mountain to the monkeys, a park where macaques roam free among the visitors. It is forbidden to approach them during the climb, but once at the top, you can buy fruit or nuts to feed them from inside a wooden house, through bars of the windows.
A gigantic mega-city with its 12 million inhabitants covers a hundred square kilometers. Every neighborhood is different. In Tokyo, there is everything ranging from the quietness of the Shinjuku National Garden to the Akihabara electronics and home appliance store lines, to the Roppongi shopping malls, to the families on a spree at Ueno Park or the old shops of Asakusa.
Shibuya. This is where the huge crossroads intersect with several pedestrian crossings that we see in all the photos of Japan. To watch the fascinating ebb and flow of passers-by, have a coffee at Starbucks overlooking the crossing.
Upstairs, a table installed all along the bay window offers a breathtaking view of this mythical crossroads. In the Shibuya district, you will also find many shops, including young fashion, restaurants, hotels, and several Karaoke Kan.
This small monastic town is located on Mount Koya. This is, above all, a sacred site for Buddhists with more than a hundred temples. Originally, Koyasan was a monastery founded by Kobo-Daishi, a monk wishing a remote place to devote himself to the practice and teaching of his philosophy.
The Okuno-in, an immense necropolis, 2 kilometers long, is home to no less than 200,000 graves, some of which are centuries old. In the shade of the giant cedars, the moss grows on steles. During the day, the places give off a relaxing coolness.
Kamakura, located 50 kilometers south of the capital and which is easy to reach by train, is an oasis of tranquility and recollection.
Surrounded by hills and washed by the sea, it enters into history in the twelfth century, when the cruel shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo makes it the seat of the first feudal government of Japan.
Kamakura preserves one of the most impressive sets of temples and sanctuaries across the country, and its gray sand beaches are often full of bathers in summer. The traveler who goes to spend only one day must choose between the incredible monumental offer.
Among the most remarkable place, worth visiting is the gigantic Buddhist temple of Engaku-ji, founded in the thirteenth century and rebuilt after the earthquake of 1923.
It is a religious complex that houses various pavilions and sacred buildings and has a small cemetery. Other essential monuments are the Kencho-ji temple, located in a cedar forest, and the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shinto shrine.
Without a doubt, the most visited place in Kamakura is the Daibutsu or Great Buddha, the second largest statue that the founder of Buddhism has in Japan. Built-in 1252, it has resisted typhoons, fires, and earthquakes.
The huge bronze structure represents Buddha meditating, with an enigmatic smile and, in the middle of his forehead.
Japan offers many fascinating sights that are breath-taking. Moreover, Japan has various diverse cultures, and the local people are welcoming. It is advisable to travel to Japan to enjoy all the cool things one can do here!