15 Tourist Attractions in Japan

Japan is a small country but there are a variety of attractions that wait for you at each 47 prefecture. Including the 2 top tourist destinations – Tokyo and Kyoto, I selected top 15 tourist attractions in japan for foreigners. I hope you will be able to have full of Japan-like experience from historical architecture to Japanese food. Check out my selection of tourist attractions in japan and explore the best of Japan!

1. Fushimi Inari Taisha (Kyoto)

Fushimi Inari Taisha

Fushimi Inari Taisha is the head of 30,000 of Inari shrine in Japan, located in Kyoto. It is famous as the god of various wish fulfillment including harvest, business and prosperity as well as thousands of torii (red shrine gates). Since there’s no admission fee and close time in Fushimi Inari Taisha, you can visit anytime and enjoy walking through the beautiful torii.

Check out 3 Days Travel to Kyoto and Osaka

Fushimi Inari Taisha

 2. Tokyo

Tokyo

Tokyo is the center of Japan and one of the most popular tourist destinations. Although the city itself is not so big, Tokyo has a full range of the entertainment and you can to get many different experience from the traditional old town ambience and Japanese cuisine to cutting-edge cafe. For sightseeing Tokyo is the best place to visit!

Check out 3 Days Travel to Tokyo

Tokyo

3. Itsukushima Shrine (Hiroshima)

Itsukushima Shrine

Itsukushima Shrine is one of the three most scenic spots in Japan and the great torii (red shrine gate) is an important cultural property that considered as Japan three torii. The landscape integrated with the torii at sea and the nature behind is just breathtaking! In addition, the elegant shrine pavilions with architectural beauty of the Heian period convey the ancient Japan’s atmosphere.

Check out 2 Days Travel to Hiroshima and Okayama

Hiroshima

4. Mount Fuji (Shizuoka)

Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan with altitude 3,776 meters. Since ancient times it has loved by Japanese and the beautiful figure was painted in a lot of world-famous paintings like “Ukiyoe.” In 2013 Mount Fuji was registered to the World Heritage Site, and it becomes more and more popular for tourists from all over the world.

Check out 2 Days Travel Around Mount Fuji

Shizuoka

5. Shirakawa-Go Village (Gifu)

Shirakawa-Go Village

Sirakawa-Go Village is famous for the beautiful scenery that remains the original landscape of Japan, located in Gifu prefecture. In 1995 it is registered to the World Heritage Site. The houses in the village were built with the ancient Japanese styled principal ridgepole architecture in order to survive from much heavy snow. In Shirakawa-Go Village, you will be able to stay overnight at the village and see how Japanese people lived in harmony with nature.

Shirakawa-Go Village

6. Taketomi Island (Okinawa)

Taketomi Island

Okinawa is the most popular resort in Japan and it contains of 49 inhabited islands and 111 uninhabited islands. Especially Taketomi Island is where you can find the traditional Okinawan original landscape that houses have wooden red tiles, schiesser on the roof and white sand sown to the road in the entire village. In Taketomi Island, you can also enjoy the beautiful beach called Kaiji hama and the starry sky at night.

Taketomi Island

7. Himeji Castle (Hyogo)

Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle is Japan’s first World Heritage Site located in Hyogo prefecture and it is famous for white and graceful appearance. It is said to be a masterpiece that has the best of construction technology during early Edo to Azuchi Momoyama period. Due to not only the beauty but also the complex structure and high defense function, Himeji Castle is remained very well.

Check out 2 Days Travel to Kobe

Hyogo

8. Jigokudani Monkey Park (Nagano)

Jigokudani Monkey Park

Jigokudani Monkey Park is a facility where you can meet Japanese monkeys and see their activities with your eyes. The winter in the north Nagano prefecture is very severe every year and it happens many times that the minimum temperature falls below -10℃. To survive the cold, not only the human but also the monkey take a hot spring! In Jigokudani Monkey Park, the unbelievable sight will give you an amazing experience in Japan.

Nagano

9. The Great Buddha Statue (Nara)

The Great Buddha Statue

Rushana butsuzou is the Great Buddha Statue in Nara prefecture. It was built to try to eliminate social unrest due to political upheaval and rebellion by the force of Buddhism. From the Nara period up to now for more than 1200 years, the Great Buddha Statue has been loved by people in Nara for more than 1200. Nara was the ancient capital and you will see many important cultural architecture and monuments.

The Great Buddha Statue

10. Nikko Toshogu (Tochigi)

Nikko Three Wise Monkeys

Nikko Toshogu is a shrine where dedicates to the most powerful general “Ieyasu Tokugawa” who founded the shogunate of Ed, located in Tochigi prefecture. In the precincts there are 8 national treasure buildings and 34 important cultural assets, you cannot miss this gorgeous shrine if you ever visit Tochigi. It’s also famous for the sculpture of “Three wise monkeys” and “The sleeping cat.”

Tochigi

11. Yakushima (Kagoshima)

 

Yakushima

Yakushima is an island located in Osumi Peninsula of  the southeastern Kyushu and about 20% of the island has been registered as a World Heritage Site. In Yakushima, you can see the untouched rich nature which has remains since ancient times and the hiking tour with a guide is popular for tourists. Among of the Yakusugi whose tree age is over 1000, Joumon Sugi has been estimated to be 2000 years old! Enjoy the mysterious island.

Yakushima

12. Dotonbori & Shinsekai (Osaka)

Osaka

As Osaka was called “nation’s kitchen” since Edo period, a variety of food culture has developed in Osaka. Speaking of Osaka food, Okonomiyaki, Takoyaki and Kushikatsu are famous, but you can find much more Osaka food in the restaurants of Dotonbori and Shinsekai areas. These areas are the place where restaurants compete the cheap price and visitors can enjoy the delicious Osaka food at the best price.

Check out 3 Days Travel to Kyoto and Osaka

Osaka

13. Hakodate (Hokkaido)

Hakodate

Hakodate is one of the most ancient ports of Japan located in Hokkaido and there are many tourist attractions. In particularly, the amazing night view from Mount Hakodate has been referred to as one of “the world’s three major night view” with Hong Kong and Naples. You also can go to Goryokaku is a large star-shaped fort that was built as a Western-style fortress in Japan. In Hakodate, it is possible to enjoy various fresh seafood as well.

Hakodate

14. Awa Odori (Tokushima)

Awa Odori

Awa Odori is the most famous and traditional summer dance festival of Tokushima prefecture and it is held on every August 12-15. About 1.3 millions of people participate in this festival, and you will see the different personalities by team due to the dance, shouts, costume and more. Since there are not only dance performance but also a lot of food stalls through day and night, you can fully enjoy the incandescent mood.

Check out 2 Days Travel to Kagawa and Tokushima

Awa Odori

15. Jigoku Meguri (Oita)

Jigoku Meguri

Jigoku meguri (hell tour) is the main tourist attractions of Beppu city in Oita prefecture and it is linked a number of the strange hot spring sources to hell. Especially the Chinoike Jigoku, the underground is very high temperature and the red thermal mud spouted from the ground dyed the whole pond red. You cannot enter the hot spring in Jigoku meguri, but there are a lot of great hot spring hotels around there.

Check out 2 Days Travel to Oita and Fukuoka

 

Jigoku Meguri