9 places in Japan that are worth visiting

9 places in Japan that are worth visiting

When planning a trip to Japan, it's important to identify the key landmarks for your itinerary in advance. This will allow you to efficiently allocate your limited time and decide which places to prioritize. A map of Japan will also help visualize the location of different regions.

1. Nikko


Nikko is the perfect place to begin exploring how Japan harmoniously blends history, culture, and nature. This city, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is known for its impressive temple complexes, such as Tosho-gu. Nikko is conveniently located for a day trip from Tokyo.

2. Takayama


We almost excluded Takayama from our itinerary due to time constraints, and that would have been a big mistake! The traditional morning markets along the Miyagawa River, ancient bridges and canals, picturesque Higashiyama Walking Course, and renowned local Hida beef are just some of the reasons to visit this city.

3. Shirakawago


Shirakawago is a historically preserved village worth visiting in any season. In winter, when it's blanketed in snow, it takes on a special charm. Despite its tourist popularity and the expense of the trip (not covered by the JR Pass), visiting Shirakawago is well worth it.

4. Tokyo


Including Japan's capital in the list of must-see places may seem cliché, but Tokyo rightfully ranks among our favorite cities in the world. Modern and traditional simultaneously, it's unique with its juxtaposition of ultramodern skyscrapers and ancient temples on neighboring streets. Tokyo offers almost everything.

5. Kamakura


Like Nikko, Kamakura is an excellent day trip option from Tokyo. In addition to numerous impressive temples, the city is famous for its main attraction - the giant statue of the Great Buddha. Be prepared for plenty of walking and stairs - visiting Kamakura will provide unforgettable experiences.

6. Kyoto


Oh, Kyoto! This beautiful city captured our hearts. If Tokyo was impressive, Kyoto is simply unique. They are completely different, but each is incomparable in its own way. Kyoto is undoubtedly a city of temples, gardens, and an aura of tranquility in its streets. In addition to famous temples like Ginkaku-ji, Honen-in, and Kinkaku-ji, pay attention to the districts of Gion and Pontocho, as well as the picturesque surroundings, where one of the city's main symbols - Kiyomizu-dera Temple - is located.

Near Kyoto, you can also visit the famous Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Fushimi Inari Shrine, and the city of Nara. I think even a month would hardly be enough to cover all the sights of Kyoto, so we are looking forward to the opportunity to return here again.

7. Nara


Nara is truly a magical place. Walking through its vast park, where friendly deer roam freely, will undoubtedly be one of the most memorable experiences in Japan. It's also worth visiting the majestic Todai-ji Temple, home to one of Japan's largest Buddha statues. Nara definitely deserves a spot on the must-visit landmarks list.

8. Miyajima


At first glance, aside from the famous "floating" torii gate, Miyajima may seem unremarkable. But that's far from the truth. Here, you'll find untouched nature, several picturesque temples, an exciting cable car ride with impressive views of the island from above. Miyajima is a wonderful place for nature and history enthusiasts.

9. Hiroshima


Some may find it strange to include Hiroshima in the list of must-visit places in Japan. However, for me, visiting this city, which survived the horrors of the atomic bombing in World War II, is an essential experience. Exploring the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park will be a challenging but extremely important event. A morning or half a day is enough to acquaint yourself with the city's tragic history, but I still strongly recommend including Hiroshima in your itinerary.