Everyone ought to discover Japan not less than as soon as in their lifetime. Japan has hundreds of hidden gems and is a year-round vacation spot. You can go to its ski resorts in winter or the gorgeous shoreline in summer season. And, regardless of the season, Japan’s cities are at all times able to welcome you with fascinating points of interest, scrumptious avenue meals, and bucket a great deal of tradition.
The actual query is, which of the cities in Japan must you go to? In a super world, all of them. However, this information will slim it all the way down to the very best cities.
Explore Japan: The Top Cities in Japan
Japan has some unimaginable cities. From Tokyo to Sapporo, these are the very best cities in Japan to your subsequent journey. Let’s dive straight in.
When you consider cities in Japan, it’s protected to say that Tokyo will probably be in your high three. As the capital, Tokyo is among the main Japanese cities and attracts tens of millions of vacationers a yr. It can be the biggest metropolis in Japan, with an estimated inhabitants of round 14 million folks.
Think busy streets, fast-paced leisure, and flashing neon lights – Tokyo is hectic however thrilling. Tokyo is the place to go to if you wish to be proper in the thick of all of the motion, with loads of museums to tour, buying to bag, and enjoyable available. The sheer measurement of the town is thrilling in itself.
So, the place do you start? What are the finest issues to do in Tokyo? Well, after visiting the town just a few occasions we advise beginning with Tokyo Tower. Tokyo Tower might look acquainted, and it ought to be. The tower was closely impressed by the Eiffel Tower. In reality, the one distinction is that Tokyo Tower is 333 meters tall and pink and white.
Heading to the highest of the tower, you’ll be able to study Tokyo’s architectural historical past en route, ending with a spectacular view of the gorgeous metropolis beneath. Nearby, there’s additionally Tokyo Skytree which stands at a dizzying 634 meters and is the tallest tower in the world – so be ready to spend not less than just a few hours amongst the clouds.
To admire Tokyo’s environment on the bottom, head to Golden Gai for a downtown vibe or Shibuya Crossing for a CBD expertise. Allow time to go to museums just like the Mori Art Museum, Japan Olympic Museum, and NHL Museum of Broadcasting.
Osaka is one other one in all Japan’s giant cities. Osaka has a robust character, and the port metropolis has a industrial soul with tons occurring in any respect hours of day and night time. There’s at all times avenue meals to style, a bar to hop to, and points of interest to go to. Osaka is a good place to go to if you happen to love a mix of partying, enjoyable, and sightseeing. The metropolis has a number of character and a stability of the whole lot – like a compromise with no sacrifice.
To admire the historical past of Osaka, a visit to Osaka Castle ought to be in your itinerary. The Sixteenth-century fort is surrounded by cherry timber and a moat, and Osaka Castle is among the prettiest locations to go to in the town. While, if you need a day of light-hearted enjoyable, there’s Universal Studios Japan to discover. The theme park has Hollywood-themed rides, and it’s conveniently situated simply outdoors the middle of Osaka.
Finally, Osaka is the well-known dwelling of one in all Japan’s oldest Shinto shrines. Sumiyoshi Taisha is a well-liked Shinto shrine to go to – on tourism or spiritual grounds. We advocate visiting to totally expertise Japan’s lovely spiritual tradition.
Tokyo is likely to be the capital right now, however Kyoto was as soon as the nation’s capital. In the middle of the Kansai area, Kyoto is one in all Japan’s most conventional cities. In Kyoto, you’ll discover basic darkish wooden homes and loads of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. If you might be chasing tradition and custom, Kyoto is a good place to discover in Japan.
To expertise the standard streets lined by wood homes, head to Gion. You can wander in the early morning for the quietest streets or at night time to see the cobbled roads lit by paper lanterns. Visiting the various temples of Kyoto can be a must-do in your journey, particularly the Golden Pavilion. You can admire the Golden Pavilion from throughout its pond, being wowed by the golden tint that provides it its title and recognition.
Looking for picturesque scenes? Head to the bamboo forest of Arashiyama or the pink columned walkways of the Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine. Kyoto is filled with gorgeous surroundings and eye-opening cultural points of interest. You can learn extra in our guides on the finest locations and issues to do in Kyoto.
Hiroshima is a reputation not many neglect. Sadly, the explanation behind Hiroshima being one of the well-known cities in Japan is the atomic bombing that occurred in 1945. The US dropped an atomic bomb on the big metropolis, inflicting over 100,000 casualties. Visitors to the town can now pay their respects to the victims and destruction at many memorable points of interest, together with the Peace Park.
There is far to understand about Hiroshima in its personal proper, although. Food lovers ought to pattern the Japanese pancake, nicknamed Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki. There’s additionally Hiroshima Castle to tour and Shukkei-en scenic backyard to walk. Hiroshima’s tradition and historical past haven’t been tainted by the tragic atomic bomb, and also you’ll love the town’s number of points of interest.
Nagoya is understood for manufacturing and delivery and is the capital of the Aichi Prefecture. Have you heard of Honda? Toyota? Mitsubishi? All of those massive automotive manufacturers had been developed in Nagoya. Nagoya has an progressive, industrial environment, very best for these eager to expertise the enterprise facet of Japan.
Visitors ought to tour the Toyota Exhibition Hall to get a greater concept of automotive manufacturing in Japan. Nagoya Castle is nice for a historic introduction to Nagoya. There are additionally one-off occasions in Nagoya just like the Nagoya Sumo Tournament in July, the Nagoya Matsuri pageant in October, and the World Cosplay Summit in July and August.
Nagoya has tons occurring, so don’t neglect to examine the town’s schedule. And, in your downtime, be certain to attempt some miso katsu – miso katsu is a regional specialty.
Looking to go to the actual facet of Japan? Saitama is a primarily residential metropolis, excellent for getting a quieter expertise of Japan. One of the very best methods to expertise a rustic is by escaping its fundamental vacationer areas. If you favor this fashion of journey, Saitama is the place for you. Many residents use Saitama as a commuter city, touring to Tokyo for work throughout the week.
So, what’s there to see in Saitama? Hitsujiiyama Park is a beautiful place to go to and is famed for its carpet-like progress of pink moss. For those that like tasting periods, you may also take a sake tour across the metropolis – sampling the standard Japanese alcohol. Saitama is a stupendous place to go to, not too distant from the opposite main cities however far sufficient away to flee the fixed buzz.
Another of the main cities in Japan is Fukuoka. Fukuoka is known for its lovely islands and sits on the shoreline, surrounded by beautiful seashores excellent for a summer season getaway. The port metropolis is situated in Fukuoka Prefecture. The prefecture capital is widespread amongst younger professionals, college students, and companies.
The metropolis’s fundamental points of interest are Fukuoka Castle, Kyushu National Museum, and Dazaifu Tenman-gu, a shrine to the god of training. Fukuoka is a particular metropolis. If you’re keen on an thrilling metropolis environment filled with motion, daring delicacies, and leisure, Fukuoka is ideal. It lacks the historical past of Kyoto and the recognition of Tokyo. Still, if you need a enjoyable ‘second city’, you’ll have a incredible time.
Nara is most well-known for its deer inhabitants. If you’ve seen footage of Nara on-line, chances are high you’ve seen the idyllic temple scenes. The temples are surrounded by inexperienced area and Bambi-look-a-likes – cute, we all know. Like Kyoto, Nara was additionally as soon as a capital metropolis. However, now, Nara is best recognized for its serene environment and regal historical past.
The high issues to do in Nara are to go to Nara Deer Park, Todai-Ji Temple, and Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine. You may simply spend a complete day temple-hopping although, and Nara is filled with peaceable locations for guests to immerse themselves in Japan’s lovely tradition.
Nara can be simple to mix with visiting different cities in Japan. Traveling from Kyoto to Nara is only a quick practice journey, taking round 45 minutes a technique.
Like Hiroshima, Nagasaki was sufferer to an atomic bomb in 1945. The devastation was heartbreaking, and guests pays their respects right now at points of interest just like the Peace Park. Nagasaki has many different points that make it an academic vacation spot although. Nagasaki is among the largest port cities in Japan and has a protracted historical past of buying and selling with Europe.
The result’s a fusion of European and Japanese tradition and affect. You’ll discover Christian websites like Oura Cathedral amongst the gathering of gorgeous shrines and temples. To immerse your self in the historical past of Japan’s worldwide relations, you actually can’t discover a higher place.
Then, whenever you’re prepared, you’ll be able to go to the Atomic Hypocenter Park and Peace Park to find the darker facet of Nagasaki’s historical past. The metropolis has tons so that you can be taught.
Do you acknowledge the title Sapporo? The metropolis of Sapporo simply occurs to be the namesake (and birthplace) of one in all Japan’s most well-known beer manufacturers. Sapporo is the capital of the Hokkaido Prefecture and is definitely probably the greatest cities in Japan. Situated on Japan’s Northern Island, Sapporo is well-combined with a go to to Tokyo.
Visitors can tour the Sapporo Beer Museum or journey as much as the highest of the Sapporo TV Tower. There’s a incredible combination of points of interest in Sapporo. It has that metropolis buzz, with a number of big-city-style leisure and vacationer infrastructure.
If you’ll be able to, coincide your go to to Sapporo with the Snow Festival. The winter pageant is among the finest in the world, and the winter wonderland spreads 1.5 km – filled with ice sculptures, an ice skating rink, and sledding areas.
Kobe is one in all Japan’s largest port cities, starting to overflow with glitzy skyscrapers and fashionable dwelling. This just isn’t what bought Kobe its place in this information although; its meals scene is what makes it stand aside from Japan’s different finest cities. Kobe is world well-known for its Kobe beef and famend for its seafood. If you go to Kobe, be ready to splash out on every day restaurant meals, as its delicacies is just too tempting to cross by.
We counsel exploring Kitano Village to see Kobe’s old-school structure. Of course, if you happen to stroll by a steakhouse, you should definitely pop in and seize a desk for a style of Kobe beef. Steak Aoyama is a small, family-run steakhouse with a superb fame for scrumptious meals and fairly affordable costs. Finish your day with a stroll across the harbor, with views of the fashionable skyline lighting up after darkish.
Got a bit of additional time? Hike up Mount Rokko. Mount Rokko overshadows the town as a stupendous however fierce pure landmark. There are a spread of route choices so check out which most accurately fits your health and technical skills.
Nikko is among the smallest cities in Japan. Situated in the Tochigi Prefecture, Nikko is surrounded by the Japanese Alps. It is among the most lovely locations to go to in the nation – not to mention simply amongst Japan’s finest cities.
You can discover Nikko itself or use the town as a gateway to Nikko National Park. You’ll discover temples, monkeys, and pure surroundings galore. Nikko is ideal for lovers of the nice outdoor. Visitors can simply stability climbing days and out of doors actions with sightseeing in the Nikko metropolis heart.
When it involves issues to do in Nikko, the Shinko Bridge is a should. The iconic pink bridge is the postcard picture of Nikko, and you need to add it to even the shortest of itineraries. We additionally advocate spending not less than a day temple hopping. Outside of Nikko, Kegon Falls is incredible to go to. And, if you happen to get an opportunity, take a scenic boat tour down the Kinugawa River.
Nikko is gorgeous. To get off the crushed observe and encompass your self with nature, look no additional. Nikko has a serenity that the main cities in Japan simply can’t present. We stayed in a standard Ryokan in Nikko, and you’ll examine our expertise right here.
Matsue is in the Shimane Prefecture on the southwest coast of Japan. The giant metropolis known as ‘the water city’, because of its location between the ocean and Lake Shinji. Mastue is much less widespread than main cities like Tokyo, however those that stray off the crushed path will probably be richly rewarded. Matsue is filled with feudal historical past, historic websites, and exquisite surroundings.
The finest issues to do are to go to Matsue Castle, the Adachi Museum of Art, and one of many shrines. The Yaegaki and Miho shrines are each well-known for his or her magnificence. While, if you wish to embrace the water actions of ‘the water city’, you’ll be able to take a sundown cruise on Lake Shinji.
Matsue has a calming environment and is a superb summer season vacation spot. It is among the finest cities to unwind and be taught on the identical journey.
Beppu isn’t at all times included in lists of the very best cities in Japan. Sure, Beppu isn’t one in all Japan’s main cities. However, it is among the nation’s most enjoyable locations to go to. Beppu is a geologist’s delight and the very best vacation spot for decent springs in Japan. If you need a spa getaway or simply to expertise the pure wonders in Japan, Beppu is price visiting.
Since Beppu has over 2,000 scorching spring sources, you’ll have a number of spa-related issues to do in the town. You can select heated mineral springs or bathe in nutrient-rich heated mud or sand baths. You may even steam your individual meals over the onsen steam.
Want one thing completely completely different? Take a cable automotive journey up the Beppu Ropeway or go to the Harmonyland theme park. Beppe is among the finest cities in Japan for a brief getaway and is unquestionably price an area in your itinerary.
There are so many superb cities in Japan. The nation is a treasure trove of fascinating city scenes, and also you’ll discover a distinctive tradition, traditions, and scrumptious meals. Whether you need the neon lights of Tokyo or the blue waters of the ocean by Fukuoka, you’ll rapidly discover a metropolis to fit your wants and pursuits. Besides, all of those cities in Japan are price visiting.
We hope that you’ve a beautiful go to to Japan. The nation is bound to encourage a return go to, so put together to fall in love.