Discovering Japan: our topic by topic guide to Japan

Thanks to our many topics and thousands of articles, prepare your travel itinerary to Japan. Temples, parks and gardens, festivities, onsen, the best restaurants, hikes, walks and other excursions in Japan will no longer be a secret to you! Across a network of around 40 cities, discover all the activities and points of interest in each of them.

 

Attractions and Excursions

Whether on foot or by bike, Japan is full of places to relax and enjoy the scenery on a nice walk! We give you some ideas with our selection.

Le temple Todaiji à Nara

One day visit to Nara

Spend a day in Nara to see where the arts, architecture and Buddhist religion first flourished.

The New National Stadium in Tokyo

The National Stadium is a sports complex located in Kasumigaoka, Tokyo.

In the district of Tokyo Station, the former Imperial Palace, residence of the shogun became the residence of the emperor and his family.

Tokyo Imperial Palace 皇居

The Imperial Palace, or Kokyo, is centrally located in Chiyoda ward, Tokyo, very near Tokyo Station. Kokyo is home to the Emperor of Japan and his family, and is where Edo Castle once stood.

Sunset over rocks in the ocean from Sado Island

Sado Island Guide

The history of Sado Island, north of Nagano, is one of both a land of exile and the gold rush. Today, it is primarily a destination for seasoned hikers and a center of taiko drumming.

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Parks and Gardens

Enjoy the country's natural wealth by discovering the best parks and gardens in Japan!

Tree lined path with sunlight streaming through the leaves.

Yoyogi Koen

Yoyogi Park in Shinjuku is the ideal stop after a studious morning spent visiting temples and shrines. You will feel carefree upon leaving the park, which has a festive atmosphere.

Exterior of Kyoto Imperial Palace

Kyoto Imperial Palace

Emperors, empresses, princes and concubines lived for centuries behind the walls of Kyoto-gosho. Today the former imperial palace welcomes visitors and transports them back in time.

jardin botanique de Koishikawa

Koishikawa Shokubutsuen Garden

With more than 16 hectares, Koishikawa Shokubutsuen stands out as an essential garden in the Japanese capital.

Field of yellow flowers at Hama Rikyu Gardens Tokyo

Hama-Rikyu Gardens, Tokyo

Located in the Shiodome district these beautiful gardens, with its 25 hectares, are a retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle.

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Temples and Shrines

Discover the most beautiful Japanese temples and shrines for a unique cultural and historical getaway!

Pond and exterior of Tenryuji Temple Kyoto

Tenryuji

Tenryuji is the most important temple in the Arashiyama area of west Kyoto.

Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto

Kiyomizu-dera, 'Pure Water Temple' in Kyoto

Kiyomizu-dera is a very popular place to visit for visitors who want to discover Kyoto's history.

Phoenix Hall Byodoin Temple Uji

Byodoin Temple

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this Byodoin temple is considered the height of expression of the aristocratic art of the Heian Period (794-1185).

Bridge at Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine

Sumiyoshi Taisha

Sumiyoshi Taisha, in southern Osaka, is claimed to be one of the oldest shrines in Japan.

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Onsen, Hot Springs and Public Baths

Onsen, very popular with the Japanese, are an experience not to be missed when coming to Japan! Discover our recommendations for a moment of relaxation.

Water pouring into a outdoor cooling pool in Kasatsu Onsen

Kusatsu Onsen

Kusatsu Onsen is one of Japan's most famous hot spring resorts. Located in Gunma Prefecture, north-west of Tokyo, it attracts onsen lovers all year round. 

 

Yufuin town with hills in the background

Yufuin

Yufuin is a small town of around 36,000 people nestled in the picturesque valley below Mount Yufu-dake near Beppu on the southern island of Kyushu.

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Best Onsen in Kyoto

Best Onsen in Kyoto: the city is more known for its temples but there are places to enjoy a hot spring experience in Kurama and Kyoto's many public baths.

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Aomori Onsen

Some of Japan's most fascinating ryokans are in remote Aomori Prefecture. These beautiful ryokans, traditional Japanese inns, transport guests into Japanese history.

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Museums and Galleries

History and art being very rich in Japan, there are many museums and galleries. Find our selection of the best visits!

La courge géante de Yayoi Kusama

Naoshima Island Tour

There are no temples, shrines or medieval castles to visit on this island in the Japanese inland sea (Setouchi), but seven spaces dedicated to contemporary art,  bathed in sunshine.

MORI Building Digital Art Museum

MORI Building Digital Art Museum: EPSON TeamLab Borderless

The MORI Building Digital Art Museum is a jewel of TeamLab, a Japanese artistic collective that continues to gain in popularity.

National Crafts Museum-Kanazawa

The National Crafts Museum

Recently moved from its original location in Tokyo to Kanazawa in the Ishikawa prefecture, the National Crafts Museum is a great asset in the conservation and promotion of Japanese crafts.

Sculpture at Hakone Open Air Museum

Hakone Open Air Museum

This unusual museum is experienced by way of a walk through a hundred sculptures in a natural setting.

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Outdoor Activities

Are you a fan of sports and hiking? Discover the best places to enjoy the charm of Japanese nature!

River in Kamikochi

Kamikochi

Located in the heart of the Japanese Alps, Kamikochi Valley with its breathtaking views and scenery will create a lasting memory.

Bridge over the lake to wooden buidlings with a tree in the foreground.

Karuizawa

Karuizawa is a resort town, with beautiful scenery, museums and hiking trails for those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle.

A rope bridge over a river in Iya Valley

Iya Valley

Located in the western part of Tokushima Prefecture on Shikoku Island, the region of Iya is a Japanese jungle.

 

Waterfall into a pool below surrounded by plants and trees.

Iriomote

Iriomote Island is the largest island of the Yaeyama Islands (Yaeyama-shoto), the group of 19 sub-tropical islands in the deep south western waters of Okinawa Prefecture (Ryukyu Is

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Events and Festivals

There are many matsuri throughout the year, which are a must in Japanese culture! Don't miss any of these festivities during your trip.

Yosakoi Soran Matsuri Festival

The Yosakoi festival takes place every year, in June, in the city of Sapporo on the island of Hokkaido.

Le festival des renards d'Oji

Oji's Inari Matsuri

North of the capital, Oji is a small district full of charm.

La foire du coq  à Asakusa

Festival in Asakusa: Tori no ichi

The rooster market is a typically Japanese traditional event where Kumade, "lucky rakes", are sold in a colorful and lively atmosphere.

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Otaimatsu Festival Nara

Otaimatsu Festival Nara: the Otaimatsu Fire Ceremony at Nigastsu-do Temple in Nara takes place in March; young monks carry huge, flaming torches around the open balcony of the temple.

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Shopping and Souvenirs

Discover the best places to bring back souvenirs from your trip!

A water fountain at Venus Fort Odaiba Tokyo

Venus Fort

Venus Fort is part of the Palette Town complex in Tokyo's waterside Odaiba district, and is one of the many attractions the area offers.

With this blue vault, you almost forget that you are in Tokyo, Japan.

Venus Fort

On the artificial island of Odaiba, Venus Fort shopping mall presents another side of Japan, an extravagant facet advocating delusions of grandeur.

View of Osaka from Abeno Harukas

Abeno Harukas

Abeno Harukas in Abeno ward, Osaka, is Japan's tallest building at 300m, 4m taller than the next tallest building in Japan. Its observation deck offers a fantastic view of Osaka.

Where to buy a yukata without breaking the bank in Tokyo?

Much lighter than the kimono, the yukata is an essential item of clothing for the summer season.

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Restaurants and Cafes

Japanese gastronomy is recognized as one of the finest and richest in the world. We give you the best addresses to make your culinary journey a success!

Pain et petites boules

What are the best bakeries in Tokyo?

In the land of sushi, bakeries abound. There are said to be more than 10,000 throughout Japan and several thousand in Tokyo. It is difficult to make a selection as there are so many good bakeries.

ramen

Where to eat the best ramen in Tokyo?

Ramen, a specialty noodle in broth, is one of the classics of popular Japanese cuisine.

Tekone zushi

Culinary specialties of Mie prefecture

Mie Prefecture, located east of the Kii Peninsula, is part of the Kansai region.

A busy street lined with izakaya

5 of the best izakaya in Tokyo

Izakaya are typical Japanese dining establishments, similar to a tapas bar, where it's possible to eat and drink, often at a counter. It's also the favorite place for a casual post-work drink.

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Markets in Japan

Immerse yourself in the daily life of the Japanese by browsing our selection of the best markets in Japan!

Crowds of people in a street, lined with shops, shop and cafe signs.

Ameyayokocho

Voices calling out from behind their stalls, traders dealing with customers. The smell of fresh fish, spices and candy tempt passersby. Welcome to Ameyayokocho. 

Des vendeurs de poisson au marché Tsukiji.

Tsukiji fish market

The world's largest fish market has rehearsed for decades its frenetic and nourishing dance to frenzied “tuna” every night.

Le marché aux poissons de Kii-Katsuura

Kii-Katsuura fish market

Kii-Katsuura, also called Nachi-Katsuura, is a fishing port in Wakayama prefecture which owes its fame to its thermal springs but also to its fish market.

Ameyoko, la plus célèbre des street food de Tokyo

Ameyoko, Tokyo's most famous street food market

Located between Ueno and Okachimachi stations, Ameyoko is Tokyo's most prominent street food market.

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Family Travel

Are you travelling with your children or are you a theme park fan? Discover the best places to have fun with young and old!

A deer laying on grass in a zoo enclosure

Ueno Zoo

Ueno Zoo located in Tokyo’s Ueno Park is the oldest zoo in Japan.

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Visiting Odaiba with children

Odaiba has been transformed, a small fortress in Tokyo Bay, built in 1853, has been transformed into a man-made island entirely dedicated to entertainment and relaxation. Today, Odaiba is a family-

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Moomin Valley Park

Moomin Valley Park in Hann Saitama Prefecture is a theme park dedicated to the Moomin characters created by Tove Jansson (1914-2001) and popular in Japan.

Universal Studios Japan

Universal Studios Japan Park

In Osaka, the huge Universal Studios Japan theme park gives pride of place to the most famous franchises of the prestigious Universal film studios.

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Japanese Pop Culture

Manga, anime, video games... Japanese pop culture is seducing the whole world! Discover the best of these cultural phenomena.

Nakagin Capsule Tower

Nakagin Capsule Tower

South of the Ginza district, near Shinbashi, is a unique building that stands out in the landscape of Tokyo skyscrapers, the Nakagin Capsule Tower.

In Tokyo, Taito arcades (Akihabara) terminals together the most talented hardocre gamer.

Tokyo for otakus

The otaku are young people (or not so young) who devote their time and their money to their interest: the world of manga, animes, figurines, idols, and video games.

Cosplay in japan

Cosplay has become an element of the everyday landscape in Japan.

With 634 meters high, the Tokyo Sky Tree is the tallest building in the Japanese capital.

Tokyo Skytree Tower

A major attraction located in the east of the Japanese capital, the Tokyo Skytree tower offers an impressive panoramic view of the city, day and night.

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Nightlife

In the big Japanese cities, the nightlife is often very lively and it would be a shame to miss it during your trip to Japan. Enjoy it by browsing through our best places to have a good night out in Japan!

Neon lights of a robot at the Robot Restaurant Shinjuku

Robot Restaurant

Flighting robots, futuristics choreography and other scenes of science fiction: the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku features performances straight out of anime movies.

 

Tokyo tower nuit

What to do in Tokyo when you suffer from jet lag?

With ten or more hours of time difference, flights from the West can sometimes cause some inconvenience when you arrive on Japanese soil.

L'entrée du Golden Gai.

Shinjuku's Golden Gai District

Six narrow and crowded alleys, sometimes linked by even narrower passages, some two hundred tiny and outdated stalls, a bit decrepit: welcome to Golden Gai.

L'observatoire de la mairie de Tokyo

Tokyo City Hall, Shinjuku Twin Towers Observatory

The Empire State Building is to New York what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris. But what about the city of Tokyo? Which building really makes the identity of the Japanese capital?

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