How many places can you see on your trip to Japan? The must-sees

A first trip to Japan is always exciting, and travelers always want to see as much as possible. And with good reason: this great trip to the other side of the world may be the only one you ever make in this country. So it's important to try and see as much as possible once you're there.

Tips from the team :

  • To get the most out of your trip, we advise you to buy your tickets in advance. Additionally, the Japan Rail Pass is an excellent way to make your travel easier and faster. It gives you access to the entire JR train network without a reservation! Take the first train that comes along, and off you go! And if you miss your train, don't worry, just catch the next one at no extra cost.
     
  • To make the most of your time on site and limit the need to travel too far, opt for full-day (or half-day) getaways in places close to where you live! For example, if you're staying in Kyoto, you can take no fewer than 5 excursions that are 1 hour or less by train!
     
  • Finally, be sure to organize your visits according to their geographical location. If you're visiting one area, make sure you take in all the attractions before moving on to another. This will save you time-consuming round-trips.
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  • Tokyo: The capital is obviously a must-see destination on your trip to Japan! You can visit the Imperial Palace and its Japanese gardens, the traditional Asakusa district with its famous Senso-ji temple and the Nakamise-dori shopping alley, the Shinjuku and Shibuya districts, Tokyo's nerve center, the Harajuku district, temple of fashion and its unmissable Takeshita Street, as well as the Akihabara district, the electronics district. And don't forget to take a stroll in one of the many parks, such as Meiji or Shinjuku, for a breath of fresh air, or visit one of the many museums!

To find out more about what to do in Tokyo, go to here

Asakusa à Tokyo

Stores lining the alleyway leading to Senso-ji temple in Asakusa, in the heart of Tokyo

Photo by Benjamin Wong on Unsplash

Excursions: Kamakura and the Enoshima peninsula are less than an hour away by train. Mount Fuji and the entire Hakone/Kawaguchiko region are also nearby.

  • Kamakura : If you want to take a refreshing dip in the sea during your stay in Tokyo, Kamakura and the Enoshima peninsula are the best places to do it! You can also see the Great Buddha of Kamakura (Daibutsu), the Hase-dera, Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu and Kotoku-in temples, the Zeniarai Benten shrine and the Hokoku-ji bamboo forest!
The Great Buddha of Kamakura

The Great Buddha of Kamakura

©hidefumi-ohmichi

  • Hakone and Mount Fuji: Mount Fuji is a must-do if you're staying near Tokyo. You can try the excursion and climb this sacred place, or enjoy the view by heading to the town of Hakone. You can visit Ōwakudani's Valley of the Underworld, which gives you a relentless view of Mount Fuji and the surrounding nature with the Hakone Ropeway cable car. At the foot, you can visit Lake Ashi, the Hakone-jinja shrine, the Hakone open-air museum, as well as the Pola art museum. You can also enjoy a bit of nature with the Sengokuhara bamboo forest and Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park . Last but not least, the region's must-sees are the onsens, or hot springs

  • Kyoto : L'ancienne capitale japonaise est un incontournable de votre voyage pour découvrir la myriade de paysages et d'atmosphères que vous pourrez rencontrer au Japon ! Historiquement et culturellement très riche, découvrez notamment de nombreux temples et sanctuaires tels que : le temple Kinkaku-ji (le Pavillon d'or), le temple Ginkaku-ji (le Pavillon d'argent), le temple de Kiyomizu-dera, le quartier historique des geishas de Gion, le sanctuaire Fushimi Inari Taisha qui surplombe Kyoto, le quartier d'Arashiyama avec sa forêt de bambou et sa montagne aux singes, le château de Nijo, ou encore le délicieux marché de Nishiki !
Higashiyama District - Kyoto

Higashiyama District - Kyoto

Wasin Pummarin

  • Osaka : 3ᵉ plus grande ville du Japon, Osaka vous offrira un large choix d'activités et points d'intérêts tels que le château d'Osaka, le quartier de Dotonbori,cœur du divertissement d'Osaka, le marché de Kuromon Ichiba, le quartier de Shinsekai au charme indéniablement rétro, le célèbre aquarium Kaiyukan, le temple de Shitenno-ji, l'un des plus vieux du Japon, le quartier d'Umeda, ou encore Universal Studios Japan !

Pour en savoir plus sur quoi faire à Osaka, rendez-vous ici :

Osaka - Dotonbori - Canal

Osaka - Dotonbori - Canal

© Juliana Barquero / Unsplash

  • Nara : Si vous êtes à Kyoto, la ville de Nara se trouve à seulement 30 minutes de train ! Une excursion idéale à faire sur une demi-journée ! Connue pour son parc avec ses daims, le Nara Koen, la ville de Nara est aussi réputée pour son Todai-ji (le grand bouddha de bronze), sa pagode sur l’eau du temple Kofukuji, son étang de Sariwasa et enfin, pour le sanctuaire de Katsuga.
Nara, Japan's first imperial capital.

Nara, Japan's first imperial capital.

©Joey Huang

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  • Kyushu: Japan's Kyushu region is an attractive destination for travelers due to its geographical diversity, rich culture, historical attractions and delicious cuisine! It's also known as "The Volcano Route". Discover Fukuoka, the capital, Nagasaki and its history, as well as the island of Dejima, a former Dutch enclave, Kumamoto and its famous castle, the spa town of Beppu, its monkey onsens and its valley of the underworld, and the Miyazaki and Kagoshima regions for their verdant flora and fauna!

 

Aso

Aso

©Kohji Asakawa, unsplash

  • Shikoku: One of the most famous attractions is the Shikoku Pilgrimage, a circuit of 88 Buddhist temples all over the island, the waterfalls of Iya Valley, the town of Matsuyama with its castle and above all the Dogo Onsen, famous for having inspired the thermal baths in Studio Ghibli's "Chihiro's Journey", the Oboke and Koboke gorges, or the picturesque village of Uchiko.
     
  • Hiroshima : Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Miyajima Island, Hiroshima Castle, Hiroshima Museum of Contemporary Art, Shukkeien district, Okunoshima Island (Rabbit Island)
     
  • East coast: In addition to Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe, discover Himeji for its castle, one of the most beautiful in Japan, Okayama for its castle and magnificent traditional Japanese garden, and Matsue for its historic samurai district.
Iya valley vine bridge

Iya valley vine bridge

©Japan Experience

  • Hokkaido: Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, offers a warm, relaxed atmosphere typical of this northern region. If you take the time to travel around the island, you can discover Shikotsu-Toya National Park and its spectacular lakes, the town of Furano for its lavender fields and the town of Biei for its turquoise-blue lake, Daisetsuzan National Park in the center of the island to be in the heart of the wilderness, Abashiri for its sea of ice, Asahikawa and its penguin zoo or Hakodate, in the south for its spectacular panoramic views of the city.
Le lac toya en hiver

Lake toya in winter

仁仔 何

  • The Tohoku region: This region of northeastern Japan is not often visited by tourists, making it an ideal destination for immersing yourself in the authenticity of Japanese culture and its rich history. Visit Matsushima Bay and try a boat trip, the town of Hiraizumi and its many UNESCO temples and shrines, the spectacular coastal landscapes of Sanriku Coast, or Towada-Hachimantai National Park, famous for its crater and lake.
The samurai festival, Soma nomao matsuri in the Tohoku

The samurai festival, Soma nomao matsuri in Tohoku

Hajime NAKANO

  • The Japanese Alps: You can explore the town of Kanazawa, famous for its Kenroku Japanese garden, one of the two most beautiful in Japan, and its geisha district; the village of Shirakawa-go, a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its traditional thatched houses; Matsumoto and its feudal castle; or the snow-covered town of Nagano for its mountain scenery and Zenko-ji temple, one of the oldest in Japan; or the town of Takayama and its folk village.
Shirakawago Unesco world heritage village in Japanese Alps

Shirakawago, a world heritage village typical of the Japanese Alps

©amstk/123RF

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