Popular Tourist Spots in Japan

Japanese tourist spots

You can find everything in Japan. Remnants of the past, remarkable innovations of the present, and a glimpse of the future. With an estimated 10 million tourists visiting each year, Japan is a country full of marvels people around the world travel to see. From nature and technology to art and history, Japan’s got it all. Here are just 10 of the places every tourist must check out when in Japan.

  1. Mount Fuji – Mount Fuji is actually a volcano! It's also taller than any mountain or volcano in the entire country, and one of Japan’s three holy mountains. Mount Fuji is one of Japan’s most iconic natural wonders. Embedded into our minds is the image of Fuji looking over the country’s capital, hiding the sunset with its snowy peak. Tourists visiting Japan often take a full day guided tour the volcano, riding a 2-hour coach that takes you to the Mount Fuji Visitor Center. The tour leads to a variety of shrines and vistas and ends halfway up Fuji. So you can tell everyone back home you (kind of) climbed Mount Fuji!
  2. Tokyo Tower – In a grand image of Tokyo, Tokyo Tower is almost as noticeable as Mount Fuji’s symmetry. Tokyo Tower is a communications and broadcasting tower, and of course, a tourist attraction. Presently, Japanese media outlets like Fuji TV and NHK are broadcasted from the tower. When the tower was built in 1958, it represented the promise of tomorrow and the excitement of the digital age. Today, visitors can catch a one-of-a-kind view of Tokyo from this Eiffel tower inspired construction, and enjoy supper by the red tower that was once responsible for most of Tokyo’s broadcasting.
  3. Shinsaibashi – Shinsaibashi has been a shopping district in Japan for almost 400 years! Since the Edo period, this area in Japan has been one of the hot spots for commerce and fashion. Shopping lovers will find something to write home about no matter their taste. Whether it be in a tiny local shop, or in one of the many big brand stores that sprinkle the street, there’s something for everyone in Shinsaibashi. Shopping spree!
  4. Mori Art Museum – The first thing you’d probably notice at the Mori Art Museum is the humongous (we’re talking 30 feet tall) brass spider by the building’s entrance. The sculpture was created by French-American artist Louis Bourgeois and has quickly become an iconic feature that welcomes one and all to the Mori Art Museum, representing nurture and nature. Futuristic, modern, and contemporary art can be found in this tower of a museum, and thousands are inspired by the pieces it houses every year.
  5. Hiroshima Peace Memorial – To maintain the memory of the almost 200,000 lost lives after the the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, what was once the Hiroshima Prefectural Commercial Exhibition is now commemorated as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. After the petrifying blast on 6 August 1945, the Commercial Exhibition’s dome was the only remaining architecture to stand in Hiroshima. The area around the dome was converted into a park, symbolizing new growth and the peacefulness of nature. Come learn, reflect, and celebrate peace at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial.
  6. Harajuku, Tokyo – One of the most well-known Japanese neighborhoods is Harajuku. Stretching from the Harajuku Station to neighboring Omotesando, the neighborhood is one of the most happening and exciting hubs of youth culture. Bustling backstreets and glossy chain stores are dotted all around Harajuku, and the neighborhood is famous for its fashion. Watch cosplayers show each other up with elaborate outfits, or get a glimpse of the many subcultures of Japan that are born within Harajuku limits!
  7. Kyoto – Just as Harajuku is a center of things of the future, Japan holds treasures of the past as well. Come take a trip to ancient Japan, and explore Kyoto! Thousands make the journey to travel to the center island of Honshu, Japan and admire its blissful scenery and the iconic architecture in the city of Kyoto. The mountainous and heavily forested region is home to what was once the country’s "Western Capital," with several shrines and ancient places of worship that tell a story of Japan’s history and faith. Kyoto is an excellent location to enjoy the true beauty of Japan’s rich culture, geography, and tradition.
  8. Hakone Open-Air Museum of Art – This attraction has something for everyone. The Hakone Open-Air Museum blends the magic of art with the serenity of nature to create a truly Japanese experience. Around an hour and a half by train away from central Tokyo, nestled in the greenery lies the Open-Air museum. Patrons wander the misty hills in awe of spectacular sculptures, or dip their feet into a soothing, orange-scented foot bath under the shade of an umbrella. The Hakone Art Museum teaches us that the perfect getaway from the worry of tomorrow is the beauty of today.
  9. Senso-ji temple – The Senso-ji Temple is a true Japanese icon. The temple is located in the country’s capital of Tokyo, and is its oldest standing temple. As one of the most significant Buddhist temples of Japan, the Senso-ji temple is a remarkable educational and spiritual experience for many who wish to immerse themselves in Japanese culture. If you’re lucky enough to travel in mid-May, you can catch Japan’s largest festival here, and celebrate the Buddhist festival of Sanja Matsuri with food, music, and dancing!
  10. Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama – On Mt. Arashiyama, deep within Kyoto is a park of wonders! On one side of the Oi River live hundreds of snow monkeys (or Japanese Macaque, if you want to get technical) that interact and walk alongside hikers and patrons of the park. This park is the greatest place to bond with the animals and get the best photos of your trip. Catch the monkeys bathing in the steamy streams of the mountainside, or resting on ledges that overlook all of Kyoto. You might just make a furry new friend here!