There is so much to see and do that it's hard to pick just a few top places to go in Japan. However, if it's your first visit, there are some places you don't want to miss.
Top Places to Go in Japan
Japan is an Asian gem ripe for touring. If you are planning a trip to the "Land of the Rising Sun," then make sure you visit the following popular places:
The first stop for most travelers to Japan is Tokyo. Fortunately, this city of more than 35 million residents has a lot to offer visitors. You should plan to spend some time at the magnificent Imperial Palace. Visitors must apply for a tour in advance via phone or online booking. While in Tokyo be sure to visit one of the many department stores, as the service will impress you. You'll also want to check out the stores for electronics. Nightlife in Tokyo is decadent and rich, so stay up late if you can. The city is full of history and energy, but can be expensive and exhausting.
Whether you take a trip to the national park near this sacred mountain or merely view it from a Tokyo skyscraper, seeing Mt. Fuji is a must. You may want to climb it yourself, but be prepared. The trail to the top of the mountain is only open in July and August and it is very crowded.
The city of Kyoto is full of history and color. It is one of the top places to go in Japan. Unlike many other cities in Japan it was not bombed repeatedly during World War II. Consequently, it has more traditional and historical architecture than the other major cities. You'll get a true sense of feudal Japan in Kyoto. The shrines and temples are particularly beautiful, and are befitting of the former capital of Japan. You might also want to browse local stores for some excellent buys.
This merchant city is the heart of the Japanese culinary experience. During the 16th century Osaka merchants were restricted as to how they could spend their incomes. Consequently, they spent lavishly where they could: puppet theaters and food. This developed into a masterful culinary heritage and adept puppet repertoire. Be sure and enjoy all the types of cuisine in Osaka. You won't regret it.
Shrines and Temples
Whether in Tokyo, Kyoto, or a small village, a pilgrimage to a Shinto shrine or Buddhist temple is worth the time. Each shrine is dedicated to a particular diety, so you can look for one that meets your needs. Temples may contain sacred spots or relics. You can also go just to enjoy the traditional architecture.
The Shinkansen Bullet Train
There are not many places you can go where you can travel legally at speeds that exceed 180 mph. No matter what the final destination, this journey will be one to remember. You can relax and enjoy the scenery while speeding through the countryside. The other advantage: you will arrive where you are going much faster than normal.
There's a festival going on somewhere all the time in Japan. You might see exotic parades or ancient military arts displays. This is a true Japanese experience and one that is worth dealing with the crowds.