Explore Japan
Japan
Home to Best of Everything

Japan, located in the northwest Pacific Ocean, is an island country in East Asia. This exotic land is home to majestic mountains, volcanoes, ski resorts, nature-rich parks, serene temples, islands and tranquil beaches. It has 21 World Heritage Sites, many of which reflect the true essence of Japanese eternal history, fascinating culture and ancient traditions. Its ultramodern cities offer unforgettable cityscapes and serene mountains and islands offer a paradise of nature. Japan boasts an endless list of top attractions and that's truly an undeniable fact. 


Popular cities/islands:

  • Tokyo

  • Kyoto

  • Osaka

  • Nara

  • Hokkaido

  • Hiroshima 

  • Sapporo

Countries
Japan
Climate
Climate in Japan ranges from subarctic in the north to subtropical in the south. The best time to visit the country is from March to May during spring and from September to November during Autumn.

  • January — Cold
  • February — Cold
  • March — Cool
  • April — Cool
  • May — Warm
  • June — Wet
  • July — Hot
  • August — Hot
  • September — Warm
  • October — Warm
  • November — Cool
  • December — Cold
Things to do
City Life
Tokyo reflects the true colours of Japan. Its world-class attractions and anime culture makes it one of the top cities to visit in Japan. Tokyo Tower is world famous for its close resemblance to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. You can climb to the summit and observe the breathtaking view of Tokyo. Another iconic landmark in Tokyo is the Tokyo Skytree. It has two observation decks which offer unforgettable panoramic views of the city. Ginza shopping district is a must-visit place in Tokyo. You can see the Kabuki performances in the Kabuki-za Theatre located here. It's also home to Shinbashi Enbujo Theatre where you can watch traditional Bunraku and Azuma-odori dances. There are luxury and boutique brands as well, turning the street into a shopper's paradise. To enjoy nightlife you can visit Roppongi in Minato district of Tokyo as it is perceived as the entertainment capital of the country. To enjoy spectacular views of Osaka, go to the Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel. It offers splendid views of the port area and adventurous thrill. It's best experienced at night when it's brightly lit just like the vibrant city of Osaka. Universal Studios Japan and Amemura are also a key attractions of this city. If you want to witness a modern attraction which is one of a kind, you must visit the Canal City Hakata. It is a city-within-the-city complex with a canal running throughout its course, along with great shops, theater, hotels and restaurants. Kyoto is Japan's most important cultural and religious center. With its many art galleries and museums housing paintings, sculptures and other artworks this legacy still continues.
Historic/Architectural Heritage
Built in the 17th century, the Imperial Palace is Tokyo's most famous landmark. Strolling the grounds while observing the walls and moats emanates an indescribable feeling. East Higashi-Gyoen Garden and Nijubashi Bridge are the prime attractions of this place. If you want to learn more about Studio Ghibli by Hayao Miyazaki, you must visit the Ghibli Museum in Inokashira Park in Mitaka, Tokyo. It houses original drafts of the movies, life-size figurines, robots, drawings and much more. The Hiroshima atomic bombing is an unforgettable chapter in Japan's history. It can be witnessed at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. With numerous important memorials, museums and monuments this park commemorates the victims of the world's first nuclear attack. Nijo castle in Kyoto is a 17th century fortress that has retained its original grandeur, towers, moat and walls. Its gates along with the palace display fine craftsmanship. Kyoto Imperial Palace is also one of the city's most visited historic sites. Osaka Castle, originally built in 1586 by famous Japanese warrior and politician Toyotomi Hideyoshi, was rebuilt in 1931 and yet remains true to its original grandeur. You can witness splendid views over Osaka from its top floor. However, the 42-meter-tall main hall is the prime attraction of this castle. Nagoya Castle, Fukuoka Castle, Tokyo National Museum, Edo Tokyo Museum, Fukuoka Castle, Kyushu National Museum, Goryokaku Fort are some of the other must-see heritage and historical sites in Japan.
Nature
Japan is home to a number of splendid areas of natural beauty. Mount Fuji, situated in Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, is an iconic landmark in Japan and also the country's highest mountain peak. This majestic mountain is tall enough to be seen from Tokyo, more than 100 kilometers away. Many people climb the mountain as an act of pilgrimage that culminates in watching the sunrise from its summit. Some still choose to begin their climb from the base or from above the halfway mark(5th station). There are overnight stops so that you can catch the stunning view of sunrise. Shinjuku Gyoen is a beautiful garden located in Tokyo. It's one of the most interesting places to visit in the city owing to its rich history and natural beauty. It houses three distinct garden styles in its construction which include the Japanese Traditional Garden, landscape garden and a formal garden. The cherry blossom trees add to the beauty of this place. Shiretoko Peninsula, located at the northeast tip of Hokkaido, is a national park housing a plethora of different animals including bears, orcas, bears and even whales. As the peninsula is mountainous and volcanically active, it houses beautiful waterfalls and hot water streams. It's an ideal place to relax and rewind. Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is one of the biggest aquariums in the world. It houses exotic marine species from Japan, the Great Barrier Reef, the Pacific Ocean, Monterey Bay and even Antarctica. At night the tanks are lit up giving the visitors an unforgettable experience of its rich marine biodiversity. Nara Park, situated at the foothills of Mount Wakakusa, is one of the oldest parks in Japan. It's home to about 1000 deer and is considered a symbol of the city. A visit to Arashiyama Bamboo Grove will complete your trip to Kyoto. This scenic area of tall bamboo is very peaceful and one of a kind. You can find the famous Wild Japanese Macaques in their natural habitat at Jigokudani which is located within the borders of Joshinetsu Kogen National Park. This park is formed around active and dormant volcanoes. It is a great place to explore hilly areas and go sightseeing with a touch of adventure. Kabira bay, situated on the northern coast of Ishigaki Island, is famous for its dense vegetation, white sands and turquoise waters. If you seek solitude you must visit Kabira beach because it is innately serene. To capture the real essence of the Spring season, you must visit the Setonaikai National Park and Yoshino-Kumano National Park, as they come alive with pink blossoming cherry trees every year. Odori Park in Sapporo, Nakanoshima Park, Mino Park, Shinen Mango Botanical Garden, Inokashira park, Iriomote Ishigaki National Park, Naka River, Mount Wakakusa are just some of the many places in Japan you could visit to capture the real essence of the country’s bountiful nature.
Adventure
If you seek adventure, then you can go hiking exploring the trails at Yatsugatake mountains, in Hokkaido, Hassan and Shirakami. Besides the enthralling hiking experience, there is an endemic nature to explore. Trekking the Michinokushiokaze Trail, Nakasendo Trail, Shinetsu Trail, Sado Island, are also very popular. Canyoning in Japan is also one of a kind experience as the country houses some really gorgeous canyons. You can explore canyoning in Minakami, Shiga Kogen and Hakuba. Skiing and snowboarding can be enjoyed in Hokkaido's Niseko ski resort, Nagano's Hakuba resort, Towada-Hachimantai National Park, Kanto-Koshinetsu ski resorts, among others. To enjoy panoramic views of the best of Japan's nature-rich land, paragliding in Tokachi Heiya, Oshino-mura and Aso Nature Land is a must. Other scenic places that offer unforgettable experience of adventure activities are Bandai-Asahi National Park, Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park, and Daisetsuzan National Park. Chubu-Sangaku National Park, situated in the center of Honshu, is home to the magnificent Hida Mountains, or the Japanese Alps. It attracts hundreds of skiers in winter and  walkers and climbers during summer. This region has some of the highest peaks in Japan, including Yari and Hotaka. It is also rich in flora and fauna. At higher altitudes you can spot mountain antelopes and rare ptarmigan. Mount Moiwa Ropeway (Sapporo) gets you to the summit's upper station from where you can enjoy panoramic views over the city at night. The Mount Moiwa Ski Resort is a popular winter destination especially since the 1972 Winter Olympics held here. Lake Motosu, located in Yamanashi, is one of the famous windsurfing spots in Japan. It's clear water reflecting the astounding views of Mt. Fuji and gentle southerly winds create perfect conditions for windsurfing.
Islands & Beaches
Miyajima island, located near the mainland Hiroshima, is home to the sacred Itsukushima Shrine, a Shinto temple dedicated to the princess daughters of the wind god Susanoo. Also known as Japan's Shrine Island, it's a fascinating place to explore especially its larger halls. These include the magnificent Offering Hall (Heiden), Main Hall (Honden), Hall of thousand mats (Senjokaku) and the Prayer Hall (Haiden). This shrine looks stunning during high tides. At the shrine's stage you'll be entertained with traditional musical and dance performances. The exquisite gardens and grounds housing exquisite bird colonies and animals add to the beauty of the island. Mikurajima Island, also known as Miracle Island, is one the best places in the country to see and swim with wild dolphins. It also has lush green forests, exciting hiking trails and dramatic coastlines. You can spot humpback whales from January to March in the waters around the Kerama Islands. Also, there is a high chance of you spotting this exotic species on your tours around Zamani and Tokashiki Islands. Ishigaki Island is a trending travel spot in Japan. Kabira Bay, Ishigaki Limestone Cave and Taketomi Island are the key attractions of this place. With its turquoise water and white sands you can indulge in snorkeling or simply relax by the beach. Taketomi Island, located in the Okinawa Prefecture district, is one the famous places in Japan for its preserved traditional style. The one storied houses surrounded by stone walls and covered with red tiled roofs will take you back in time. You can also indulge in a plethora of adventure activities like kayaking, boardwalks, forest tours, stand up paddling and much more. Kozushima Island, situated to the south of Izu Peninsula, is a part of the Izu and Ogasawara Islands cluster. It has pristine beaches, campsites, Mount Tenjo, a water playground called Akasaki Promenade and much more. You can enjoy a calm night under a sky full of stars and if you are lucky, you can even witness shooting stars. Okinawa Island is one of the well-known and easily accessible tropical islands in Japan. Its culture and history are strongly linked with Taiwan and China. You can learn more about its history at the Okinawa Prefectural Museum. Yoron Island is an ideal place for people seeking an escape from bustling cities. As it's not an easy place to access, most of the beaches are untouched. With so much solitude lingering in and around, this scenic island feels like it's all your own. Ogasawara Islands, also known as Bonin Islands, are an archipelago of over 30 tropical islands, nearly 1,000 kilometers south of Tokyo. The Ogasawara National Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These islands offer forest-covered hills, serene beaches, coral reefs and seas that house a plethora of different marine animals, including dolphins, green turtles, humpback whales, tropical fishes and giant squid. You can join an eco-tour to Amijima Marine Park or go hiking to the top of Mount Chibusa. You can even go snorkeling or scuba diving to see the beautiful coral reefs. Visiting the exotic Hahajima Island and Chichijima Island is a must. Oshima, Iriomote, Okinoshima, Enoshima, Okunoshima, Anami Oshima, Naoshima are some of the other popular islands in Japan you must visit if you can.
Places of Worship
Japan is home to hundreds of quaint shrines, temples and monasteries. The Atsuta Shrine, located in Nagoya, is an important Shinto shrine in Japan. This sacred site is famous for its preserved Kusanagi-no-tsurugi (grass-mowing sword) ,Imperial insignia and its principal shrine of sun goddess Anaterasu. You'll also find numerous artworks, ceramics, traditional masks and even jewelry adorning its enclosed walls. Todai-ji (Great East Temple) in Nara is famous for its grand bronze statue of the Great Buddha cast here in AD 749. Its Great South Gate is a two storey structure with two Nio statues that guard the temple entrance. The Hall of the Great Buddha, world's largest timber building resides in this beautiful temple. Tsukiji HonganJi is a Jodi Shinshu Buddhist Temple in the Tsukiji district of Tokyo. It's magnificent architectural blend of Asian and European styles will leave you spellbound. Most of the temple structure, motifs and statues are made of stone, which makes the temple quite distinct. Sumiyoshi-jinja Shrine is one of the top sights of Fukuoka. Dedicated to the gods that protect the seafarers, many sailors, fishermen and travellers visit this shrine before heading to the sea. Surrounded by camphor trees and Japanese cedar, this temple also offers stunning views of the Nara River. Kiyomizu-dera Temple is the most visited temple in Kyoto. It is famous for traditional and other entertaining programs. Kinakakuji Temple, located in northern Kyoto, will astound you with its different architectural style on every floor. Surrounded by scenic views, this ornate temple is worth a visit. Shitenno-ji is one of the most famous temples in Osaka. It's believed to be Japan's first Buddhist temple. The Golden Pavilion and Lecture Hall enhance the beauty of this temple. Kofuku-ji Temple, Hozenji, Namba Yasaka Shrine, Dazaifu Tenman-gu Shrine, Fushimi-Inari Taisha Shrine, Kasuga-taisha, Senso-ji Temple, Nezu Shrine, Meiji Shrine are a few other serene places of worship in Japan.
How to spend time / how long will it take?
You can visit prominent tourist attractions in Japan within 8 to 12 days. However, you extend your stay depending on the hiking trails you choose to explore. Start off by spending two to three days in Hokkaido as the prefecture houses majestic mountains, volcanoes, peaks and national parks. It's nothing short of a paradise for nature and adventure lovers alike. You can spend your day hiking or simply go on nature tours to fascinating places like Daisetsuzan National Park or Shikotsu-Toya National Park. You can spend a day in Sapporo making the most out of its recreational modern facilities. Moving downwards, spend two days in Tokyo, exploring the city, heritage sites, temples, parks, nearby beaches and mountains. Make a day trip to the majestic Mt. Fuji. There are many scenic places surrounding the mountain which are worth exploring. You can take a detour to the Alpine route to witness majestic snow canyons and unforgettable views. To experience the distinct spirituality found in Japan you can spend a day or two in Kyoto. While you are in Kyoto, make sure to visit the popular Bamboo Forest. Further, spend a day or two in Osaka as it houses several ultramodern architectural wonders and offers fascinating urban delights. You can explore Hiroshima in a day and it’s an ideal stopover for history buffs. For a stress-free and memorable end to your trip, visit the exotic islands such as Okinawa or Ogasawara for their serene beaches and vibrant marine life.
Cuisine
  • Japanese cuisine encompasses the traditional and regional foods of Japan. In most of the dishes there is an emphasis on seasonal ingredients. Some must try Japanese dishes include Sushi, Udon, Tofu, Yakitori, Sashimi, Ramen, Donburi and many others. Beside these traditional dishes, you must also try other popular items such as Champon, Fugu, Gyoza, Gyudon, and Katsudon. Japanese cuisine has an influence over other nation's cuisines making it famous worldwide and for all the right reasons.
Costs
  • In general, a regular meal might cost around 1,500 yen (USD 13.51) per meal.
Visa
  • Indians require a Visa.
  • Other nationalities may or may not require a Visa.
Season to Visit
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • September
  • October
  • November

Typical Duration to Visit
  • 8 - 12 days

Known For
  • Temples and Shrines
  • Cherry Blossom
  • Autumn Colours
  • Museums and Gardens
  • Castle
  • Food
  • Culture
  • Beaches
  • Scenic View
  • Snow Destination
  • Islands
  • Beaches
  • Mountains
Areas to Visit
  • Tokyo, Osaka and Sapporo for urban delights and nightlife
  • Kyoto and Nara for temples & shrines
  • Hokkaido, Kanto, Tohoku for mountains, nature and adventure
  • Ogasawara Islands, Ishigaki Island, Okinawa for beaches, marine biodiversity and water sports
  • Hiroshima for war history memorials
  • Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route for huge snow walls and snow canyons

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