Don't miss out on these best places to visit in Japan. 

The world is full of wonderful places. Japan is one such place. Not only is it one of the best places to live in, but it is one of the best places to explore. Today we are going to dive into why this stunning country should be on everyone's travel list. Not only that, but we have gathered some of the best places to visit in Japan. From locations that offer the best dining, to cities with historical past, we have got you covered. Let's get started with our list of the best places to visit in Japan.

1. Shibuya 

best places to visit in Japan - Shibuya

Of the best places to visit in Japan is Shibuya. This city is home to one of the world's most complicated pedestrian crossings. In fact, this crossings nickname around the world is the "Scramble Crossing". The Scramble Crossing is located by Shibuya station and is certainly worth the visit. If you are going to Japan, then it is a must that you check this experience off your bucket list.

Every day, the average number of people who make their way to the crossing is approximately 2.8 million. This is an astounding number that is something you really cannot comprehend until you witness it yourself. If you are a travel photographer, then there are few places in the world such as Shibuya that offer such a unique photography opportunity. Snapping a selfie on Scramble Crossing is absolutely a must. 

Once you have beat the stampede of people to get to the other side of Scramble Crossing, then there is plenty more for you to do. For starters, in Shibuya you will find some of the best shopping experiences in Japan. Some of Tokyo's top clothing brands call Shibuya home. When you enter the Center Gai Street, you will be greeted with several shops that line the pathways. While you are out here, you must take your time as you explore the Shibuya 109 shopping mall. This shopping mall is well known throughout the country and it is easily a must of the top things to do in Shibuya. The shopping mall is located just a few minutes from the main train station and is rather easy to get to. Without a doubt, exploring Shibuya by foot is easily one of the best places to visit in Japan.

2. Asakusa

best places to visit in Japan - Asakusa

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If you really want to explore the culture of Japan, then one of the best places to visit in Japan is the well loved city of Asakusa. Asakusa is one of the main local cities where the culture of Japan simply thrives. Here, you will find an eclectic range of temples. Many of these temples are smaller temples that are beautiful for admiring. One of the main temples that you should make a point to seek out is the beautiful Senso ji Temple. Stroll through the streets and gaze in the beauty of this temple to really get a sense of Japan's culture. Speaking of strolling around, one of the best places to visit in Japan while you are here is the popular Nakamise shopping block. The shopping block is the perfect place to go to if you want to find well hidden gems and treasures. 

Lastly, Asakusa is not too far away from two popular destinations. These popular destinations include the Asahi Beer Hall and the Tokyo Sky Tree. It is worth making your way to these destinations if you will be visiting Asakusa. If you are a craft beverage lover, then the Asahi Beer Hall is a unique experience to indulging.

3. Akihabara

best places to visit in Japan - Akihabara

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When it comes to technology and anything computer related, Japan is always on the forefront. If the latest advantages in the digital world are something that interests you, then one of the best places to visit in Japan is to visit the poppy Akihabara. In a nutshell, Akihabara is where all the world's computer lovers come to satisfy their gaming itch. From video games to anime to manga, Akihabara is where you want to go. The vast collection of computers here allow you to spend countless hours getting your geek on.

Technology lovers are not the only travelers who are sure to be delighted by Akihabara. There is plenty more to do here as well. There is a range of shopping available thanks to the many shops that litter the city. However, we will go ahead and say that it's not the best place to go to if you are traveling with children. Rather, this city should be reserved for more solo travelers who are looking to explore Japan on their own or with a buddy.

4. Odaiba

best places to visit in Japan - Odaiba

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Another one of the best places to visit in Japan is to make a trip out to the booming city of Odaiba. This buzz filled city is a man made Island that is located within Tokyo Bay. What makes this man made Island so great is the fact that there is so much to do here. One of the most popular activities to take part in is some fabulous shopping excursions. There is a range of shops that are not only great to spend your tourist dollars in but are perfect for window shopping as well.

Not only is the shopping scene wonderful, but the overall atmosphere is simply great. There are plenty of family fun attractions if you are traveling with children. For example, there's a Ferris wheel that is perfect for relaxing in on a perfect day out.

If you want to experience the outdoors here in Odaiba, then you are in luck. This island is home to one of the most popular natural hot spring theme parks. It is here that you will find the popular Oedo Onsen Monogatari. 

Lastly, be sure to stop by the Diver City Mall. The Diver City Mall is perfect for a range of reasons. Come out here to experience the life size Gundam statue that is situated right outside. If you want to observe the beauty of Japan, then the Diver City Mall is perfect for sitting back in and people watching. Without a doubt, stopping by Odaiba is simply one of the best places to visit in Japan. 

5. Ishigaki 

best places to visit in Japan - Ishigaki

This next location is one of the best places to visit in Japan if you are looking for some pristine beach hot spots. In fact, one of the top places to go to if you are looking for a fabulous Beach is Ishigaki. Ishigaki is home to crystal clear turquoise waters that lap up against powder white sand. Not only that, but Ishigaki is one of the best places to call home base if you want to explore some of the other Islands on the Yaeyama archipelago.

What makes this one is the best places to visit in Japan is the fact that Ishigaki is incredibly family friendly. In fact, if you are traveling with children, then this is the place that you will want to go to. Not only that but if you are looking to get away from the culture that is heavily intertwined in the mainland, then Ishigaki is a great destination to go to.

6. Hiroshima 

best places to visit in Japan - Hiroshima

One of the most iconic locations in Japan is Hiroshima. For a range of reasons, visiting Hiroshima is easily one of the best places to visit in Japan. For starters, Hiroshima is a popular destination for history Buffs. History enthusiasts can come here and experience firsthand the location where the world's first atomic bomb was dropped. The riveting violence that has plagued Hiroshima has now been veiled by a strong sense of peace. In fact, wherever you go in this beautiful city, you will find themes of peace throughout. 

For starters, there is the beautiful Peace Park and Peace Memorial. These are beautiful locations to scroll through and soak in the history on Hiroshima. There is also very well put together Peace Memorial Museum.

If you want to explore other parts of Hiroshima, then there are certain attractions that are worth visiting. For example, the Hiroshima Castle is a must see for everyone who comes to the city. Not only that, but the sunken garden of Shukkein-en is a destination that you cannot ignore as well. Take a moment out of your travels to explore one of th best places to visit in Japan. 

7. Kyoto

best places to visit in Japan - Kyoto

If you are coming to Japan, then one of the best places to visit in Japan is Kyoto. Not only that but visiting Kyoto should really be a rite of passage before you come to Japan. In a general sense, Kyoto is a bustling city that has so much to offer. Although Kyoto may not be the capital of Japan, it once was the imperial capital for nearly 1,000 years.

In Japan, Kyoto has conveniently earned itself the nickname the city of ten thousand shrines. Simply put, there are nearly hundreds and hundreds of Shinto shrines here in Tokyo for you to explore. This vast collection of shrines speaks to the history of Kyoto's past. Some top locations that you should consider visiting when you come to Kyoto include one of the most popular shrines, Fushimi Inari shrine. 

Coupled with the shrines, there is a range of beautiful gardens that you must visit as well. If you find yourself here during the month of July, then you are in for a treat. The Gion Matsuri Festival happens every July here and is widely regarded as one of the best festivals take part in while visiting Japan. From its atmosphere to its natural appeal, Kyoto is easily one of the best places to visit in Japan. 

8. Tokyo 

best places to visit in Japan - Tokyo

One of the most popular places to visit in Japan is easily the beautiful city of Tokyo. In a sense, Tokyo is New York City on steroids. Around the clock, you can expect to find something happening here in Tokyo for you to participate in. From the nightlife to the food scene to the entertainment, there is plenty for you to explore.

When you get to Tokyo, Japan, one of the first things that you should do is to grab a bite to eat at one of the many popular restaurants. You can literally take any pick of the type of food you want. However, one thing is for sure. No matter where you go, the food here in Tokyo is absolutely delicious.

Along with that, you must make it a point to visit Kyoto's oldest temple, Sensoji Temple. This temple is right in the heart of the historic city center in the Asakusa area. After enjoying the temple, make it a point to stroll down Nakamise Street. Many Travelers come here to take a selfie with the iconic Kaminarimon gate. 

Next, before you leave this majestic city, you will want to find a pristine spot to get an aerial view of the city below. Tokyo is mesmerizing for its hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights. It is a must that you experienced these lights up above. One of the best places to go to is the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. This building will let you have free access to the 44th floor where you can drink in the sights offered at the beautiful observation deck

Finally, before you leave the beautiful city of Tokyo, you will need to find some time to go to the Tsukiji Fish Market. This fish market is iconic for so many reasons. For starters, it is known as the world's biggest wholesale fish market. When it comes to Tokyo, this fish market is one of the most popular tourist destinations. In the outside of the market, you will find access to hundreds of restaurants and shops. It is here where you can sample some fresh sushi and delectable seafood dishes. This fish market alone is one of the top reasons that Tokyo is one of the best places to visit in Japan. For an in depth look at things to do in Tokyo, click here.

9. Kawachi Fujien Wisteria Garden, Kitakyushu

best places to visit in Japan - Kawachi Fujien Wisteria Garden

If you are visiting Japan in the spring, is one of the best places to visit in Japan is the hidden gem of a city, Kitakyushu. While this city may not seem like it offers visitors much, you are in for a big surprise. Kitakyushu is actually home to one of the most beautiful sights ever. It is here in Kitakyushu where travelers can experience the incredibly beautiful Kawachi Fujien Wisteria Garden. 

This garden is a stunning display of over 22 types of Wisteria. These invasive species have been grown in a manner that when they bloom, their purple buds are simply mesmerizing. In fact, the garden has done such a fantastic job of displaying the beauty of wisteria. There are two tunnels that are made completely out of wisteria for you to experience. These wisteria tunnels are simply something out of a fairy tale. Not only will they take your breath away, but it makes for the perfect backdrop for any photographs. If you are a travel photographer, then coming to the Kawachi Fujien Wisteria Garden is an absolute must that you can not miss out on.

The best time to visit the Kawachi Fujien Wisteria Garden is obviously during the months when the wisteria plants are in full bloom. The best time to come to Kitakyushu is during the months of April to early May. It is here where the wisteria is blooming with an absolutely breathtaking display. If you plan on traveling here and are booking your trip well in advance, be sure to get some travel insurance in case you need to change your plans, Click here for a list of some of the top rated travel insurance agencies.

10. Visit Mount Fuji 

best places to visit in Japan - Mount Fuji

If you are a self proclaimed outdoor enthusiast, then one of the best places to visit in Japan is Mount Fuji. Mount Fuji is a stunning landmark. For starters, it is currently an active volcano. Not only that, but it is one of Japan's most prominent mountains. In fact, it is currently Japan's highest mountain at an astounding 3776 feet in elevation!

For many travelers, climbing Mount Fuji is a must. However, if you plan on climbing this breathtaking beauty, then you need to come during the right season. Early July to mid September is when the official climbing season begins. It is this time where you can expect to find all the trails to be open for exploration. Not only that, but all the mountain facilities are open as well. Lastly, timing your visit just right will ensure the perfect climate. As you will not find snow in what is typically a snow capped mountain.

Lastly, when it comes to timing, you can expect that there will be plenty of fellow travelers climbing the mountain with you. In fact, the locals and Japanese natives from all over come to experience this rugged outdoor adventure. If you want to avoid the crowds, then stay away during the peak week which is also known as Obon week. During Obon week,  it is not out of the norm to find waiting queues outside of some of the popular trails. If you ask any expert, they will tell you that the best time to climb the mountain is during the first couple of weeks in July before school lets out. Not only that, but it is best to aim during a weekday where many locals are still at work and school.

For one of the most rewarding experiences, one of the best places to visit in Japan is easily the iconic Mount Fuji. Outdoor enthusiasts, both novices and experts are sure not to be disappointed.

11. Arashiyama

best places to visit in Japan - Arashiyama

If you are staying in a busy district and are looking to get out into nature,  then Arashiyama is one of the best places to visit in Japan. This quaint little town is a touristy district that is located just outside of Kyoto on the west side. For many centuries, Arashiyama has been a hotspot. In fact, during the Heian Period, many nobles and royalty would come out to Arashiyama to indulge in the beautifully serene tranquility surrounding them here.

One of the popular sites to visit Arashiyama is the Togetsukyo Bridge.  This bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in Arashiyama. When you visit it, you will quickly see why. The sea of fall foliage of the hills behind you are simply stunning when you are on the bridge. Meanwhile, the flowing river below you adds to the refreshing atmosphere that Arashiyama is so well known for.

When you stroll a little ways away from Arashiyama, you will immediately be greeted by plenty more activities to do. There is a wide collection of shops, restaurants, and other tourist destinations for you to take advantage of here.

If you are looking to get away from the more tourist ridden atmosphere, then you can make your way north of the central district to the more rural area. Here you will find a range of smaller temples that are scattered throughout the hillside. Not only that, but during the spring months, you can expect to find a wide range of blooming cherry blossoms that highlight the hills with a delicate pink.

For a wonderful mixture of tourism and nature, Arashiyama is one of the best places to visit in Japan. To truly experience this place, it is best to stay here or at least one night. Ask any local or fellow traveler, and they will assure you that you will not be disappointed.

12. The Osaka Castle

best places to visit in Japan - Osaka Castle

While it may seem that castles are scattered all throughout the whole of Europe, that is not the only place where you can find them. In fact, one of the most iconic castles in the world can be found right in Japan. One of the best places to visit in Japan is the ​Osaka Castle. 

The Osaka Castle is famous for so many reasons. For starters, this architectural beauty is simply stunning. It was built in 1583 on the site of what used to be that Honganji Temple. After its construction, the Osaka Castle has seen quite a bit of change. For starters, the castle was attacked shortly after it was built. However, it was rebuilt in the 1620s by Tokugawa Hidetada.  soon after, the Osaka castle with struck by lightning, burnt down, and was rebuilt yet again.

Today, the Osaka Castle has been modified to meet the standards of modern life. In fact, visitors can expect to find an elevator built into the castle to encourage ease of access. When you enter the castle, you will be greeted by a museum that details the history of this iconic landmark.

When you are done exploring the castle, you don't have to go far to encounter more beauty. The outside of the castle is unsurprisingly surrounded by stone walls and moats. The moat is lined with a lane of stunning pink cherry blossoms that exemplify the beauty here.

Lastly, when you are here at the Osaka Castle, you must make it a point to visit the Nishinomaru Garden. This incredible garden is home to over 600 cherry trees, the former Osaka guest house, and a delicate tea house. For an exemplary way to relax, the garden certainly delivers.

13. Vist Tokyo's Disneyland

best places to visit in Japan - Tokyo's Disneyland

You do not have to go very far to experience the magic of Disney. In fact, one of the best places to visit in Japan is Tokyo Disneyland. Tokyo Disneyland offers everything that you could want in Disneyland and features many of the same elements back at home in the states or in Europe. The Tokyo Disneyland even comes complete with Cinderella's Castle!

Tokyo Disneyland offers seven themed areas. There is the World Bazaar, Adventure land, Western Land, Fantasy Land, and Tomorrow Land. There are even two mini lands; Critter County and Mickey's Toontown.

Visitors here can expect to find the theme of the original Disneyland translated right over. However, one distinction that you will immediately pick up on is the vast space that Tokyo Disneyland offers. Despite the crowd sizes that flock here year round, you will not be disappointed in your ability to move around with ease. Tokyo Disneyland offers plenty of space so that you do not have to be burdened with large crowds. In fact,   in 2017, Tokyo Disneyland hosted nearly 16 and a half million visitors. This record number propelled it to the third most visited theme park in the world.

If you are traveling with children and are looking to have a wonderful family vacation, then Tokyo Disneyland is easily one of the best places to visit in Japan. Of course, you can come all year round. But there are certain parts of the year that are more favorable than others. Typically, right before school lets out, you can be guaranteed the opportunity to experience the park without the full rush of summer guests just yet.

14. Visit Himeji Castle 

best places to visit in Japan - Himeji Castle

Another one of the best places to visit in Japan is Himeji Castle. Himeji Castle is a popular destination for so many reasons. For starters, Himeji Castle is the first castle in Japan to be registered as a UNESCO cultural world heritage location. Because of this, the nature and atmosphere of the castle has been preserved so that tourists can experience its beauty for years to come. Along with this, when you learn about the history of this place, it is no wonder why.

The Himeji Castle was built at the start of the 17th century. The timing of the building of the castle is rather unique. When it was built, Japan was at the peak of understanding how to implement top-notch architectural techniques.

In Japanese, the name of the castle literally translates to "the white heron castle. When you take a look at Himeji Castle you will immediately understand why. Himeji Castle features a stunning white exterior that is incredibly modern for its time period. This white beauty resembles a white heron getting ready to take off.

If you visit Himeji Castle during the peak months, then you are in to witness such a beautiful and picturesque view. The blooming cherry blossoms below are a wonderful addition to this castle's beauty. In fact, one of the best things to do here is to stroll around the park outside and soak in the magic that surrounds you.

If you want to take advantage of this beauty, then you will want to visit during peak season. Peak bloom season is usually around late March and early April. This is the time period where the cherry blossoms are in full bloom and are simply stunning. Although you may not want to consider coming during peak season, because of the large crowd sizes, In fact, you typically do not have to wait any more than an hour to get into the castle if you want to explore its grounds. To really enjoy the beauty here, you will want to set aside an hour or two for exploration. Many locals and visitors will tell you that that is an ample amount of time to explore the grounds thoroughly.

Final Thoughts 

Japan is a once in a lifetime experience that you simply cannot miss out on. Before you head out on your Eastern experience, keep this list in handy. These are the best places to visit in Japan that you cannot ignore. Lastly, be sure to carve out plenty of time to explore this beautiful country. After all, there is no such thing as was having too much time to explore the iconic country of Japan.

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Nadia El-Yaouti is a mother, English language arts middle school teacher, writer, and photographer. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and two little girls. Although she considers herself a workaholic, Nadia’s greatest pride is being a mom. When she’s not juggling work, you can be sure to find her traveling the world with her little family.

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