When in Japan there are an abundance of ‘Must See’ places and attractions and I could spend hours and hours on your essential list of things to see. You’ll see from my background that I really do have a love for everything about Japan so perhaps we’ll see some more in depth articles on the attractions and places to visit in and amongst the blog in the future. It is a tantalizing mix of modernism, history, culture and technology than seems to blur the boundaries between the West and the East so it isn’t surprising that there are a huge amount of places that you just have to visit. But For now, I’ve had to cut back and I’ll be covering just ten of my favorites …
- Hama Rikyu (浜離宮, Hama Rikyū): A beautiful gardens that is saturated with interesting history, the garden was gifted to the city of Tokyo in 1945 and opened to the public in 1946, it can be found at 1-1, Hama Rikyu-teien, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0046.
- Roppongi Hills (六本木ヒルズ, Roppongi Hiruzu): Found in Minato, Tokyo, this amazing feet of architecture covers a huge 27-acres and stand 54 storeys high!
- Shopping and Harajuku: Harajuku is a vibrant fashion led district in Tokyo. It boasts one of the most unorthodox teen fashion retailers that have led to many of the world biggest trends, drawing in big international companies such as American Eagle Outfitters and H&M wanting to get in on the action.
Outside of Tokyo:
- Miyajima and The Itsukushima Shrine: Visit Myyajima (also known as Itsukushima) for colorful history lesson and some stunning views. The island is home to the Itsukushima Shrine that’s entrance is marked by the ‘floating’ torii gate. You’ll find the shrine at Japan, 〒739-0588 Hiroshima Prefecture, Hatsukaichi, 宮島町1−.
- Hiroshima and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum: The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is located in central Hiroshima and is dedicated to the WW11 atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Hiroshima itself is located on Honshu Island and is a bustling metropolitan city.
- Jigokudani and the Snow Monkey Park: Jigokudani can be found in the valley of Yokoyu River and is home to the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park. Watching the moneys at this park bathe in hot springs in the setting of the Joshinetsu-Kogen National Park is a real treat.
- Matsumoto and Matsumoto Castle: Matsumoto is a great place to base yourself if you are considering a trip into the Japanese Alps and is the second largest city in Nagano Prefecture. It is also home to Matsumoto Castle, also known as ‘The Crow Castle’ which is one of the top historical castles in the country.
- Kanazawa and the Kenrokuen Garden: The city itself boasts various beautiful and historical sites but by far my favorite is the Kenrokuen Garden. These Gardens were open to the public in 1871 and are designed in line with Chines landscape theory that suggest there are six essential elements that must be incorporated in order to make the perfect gardens.
- Okinawa and The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium: Okinawa is made up of 150 islands, boasting beautiful beaches, coral reefs and some really interesting WWII history. One of my favorite places to visit here is The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium at Japan, 〒905-0206 Okinawa Prefecture, Kunigami District, Motobu, Ishikawa, ４２４.
- Okinawa and the Yaeyama Islands: The Yaeyama Islands in Okinawa house a number of premier resorts for luxury beach vacations. Japan may not be the first country you think of when you think about a tropical beach vacation but the Yaeyman Islands offer a laid back, relaxed and stunning setting for just such a break.