Sakura blossom in Japan
Japan,  Guides and Itineraries

5 Best Japanese Cities To Visit

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Japan has made its place among the top travel destinations in the world. It showcases quirky pop culture, beautiful cities, traditional buildings, delicious local cuisine, among other things. Its no wonder that it is a tourist favorite. Here are the top cities you should visit while in Japan:

1. Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo is an ultramodern city and it is definitely the topmost city you should visit in Japan. With traditional attractions, such as temples and shrines, and karaoke bars, it blends the older ways with the new.

Tokyo is home to many skyscrapers, noisy arcades, busy streets, crazy youth fashion, and many restaurants for all kinds of people.

Here are some things you should try in Tokyo:

  • Go-karting on the lively streets.
  • Eating at mind-blowingly themed cafes.
  • Getting lost in the colorful teamLab Borderless art museum.
  • Visiting the famous Shibuya Crossing that is featured in many movies.
  • Going to one of the best Disney parks in the world, Tokyo DisneySea.

2. Kyoto

Kinkaku-Ji Temple in Kyoto, Japan
Kinkaku-Ji Temple.

Kyoto was once the great capital of Japan for around a thousand years. It is still considered as the cultural capital of the country. It has many Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, palaces, and gardens.

Here are some things you should try in Kyoto:

  • Walking through the red tori gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine.
  • Wandering down the Philosopher’s Path.
  • Taking a break from the busy streets of Gion, and heading to the magical Yasaka-jinja at night.
  • Getting your fortunes from a vending machine at the Golden Temple.
  • Tasting the local cuisine at the Tenryu-ji Temple.

3. Nikko

Nikko is a small town located a few hours north of Tokyo. It is known for exhibiting many beautiful temples. The place is also famous for its vibrant autumn colors.

Here are some things you should try in Nikko:

  • Visiting the main attraction, Toshogu Shrine.
  • Eating the local cuisine at Komekichi Kozushi.
  • Hiking up a mountain to see the Takino shrine.
  • Photographing the red-lacquered Shin-kyō bridge
  • Swim in the beautiful lakes and waterfalls.

4. Takayama

Visitors looking for some peace can head over to the historic city of Takayama. It is located near the Japan Alps and is one of the least populated places. Its center is full of magnificent wooden houses, colorful shrines, and neatly shaped trees.

Here are some things you should try in Takayama:

  • Wandering around the historic old town, early morning when it’s empty.
  • Eating street food like mitarashi-dango (rice balls grilled in soy).
  • Visiting the morning markets and tasting fresh fruits.
  • Going to the Hida Folk Village to see traditional thatched houses.
  • Seeing the beautiful floats at the Festival Floats Exhibition Hall.

5. Hiroshima

Hiroshima, Japan

It is not one of the oldest cities in the country, nor one of the greatest, but Hiroshima is famous for being the first city in the world to have an atomic bomb dropped on it. It was almost entirely rebuilt after WWII. This is a good destination for history buffs and those who’d like to know more about Japan beyond its modern image.

If you’re short on time, it’s possible to do a day visit to Hiroshima.

Here are some things you should try in Hiroshima:

  • Visiting the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
  • Seeing the beautiful Island Shrine of Itsukushima.
  • Learning about the 1945 bombing at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.
  • Wandering around the fantastic Hiroshima Castle.
  • Witnessing the beautiful architectural structure of Memorial Cathedral for World Peace.

That’s our pick of top cities to visit in Japan! Do you have other suggestions? Let us know in the comments below!

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