Top 10 Best Cities To Visit When in Wondrous Japan

Tags: #Japan ,   #Travel ,   #Nagoya ,   #Tokyo ,   #JapanTrip

Alex O'Brien

Alex O'Brien

Last updated:  2022-06-27 06:01:24

Welcome to fascinating Japan, the Land of the Rising Sun! This is the most beautiful country in many ways, with gorgeous landscapes and hospitable people. We may also call it the nation of contrast and diversity, as you can see everything, from the preserved nature to the most advanced technological achievements. However, we'll focus on the top ten urban centers you must visit while in Japan that are ideal for city breaksPrepare well for the trip and join us for this exotic adventure!

10. Nagoya

Old Nagoya castle in Nagoya, Japan
A beautiful castle in Nagoya is part of the history of the modern city. (photo: andiaryudha/

Nagoya is a modern city that was the center of aviation and automobile manufacturing and robotic industry. Hence, the most attractive location for visitors is the Nagoya City Science Museum, as well as two Toyota museums. Lately, Nagoya gained international fame as a World Cosplay Summit location, which includes the Cosplay Championship.  

However, it's not just the tech that Nagoya offers, as here's the country's largest castle, rivaling those in Europe. Nagoya Castle is a complex of buildings surrounded by a beautiful park, which is very attractive during the cherry blossom season. Just outside Nagoya is a Nagashima Spaland amusement park site with many exciting things to do, including a ride on Steel Dragon 2000 mega rollercoaster. Finally, close by is the Suzuka Race Circuit, one of the best in the world!

9. Yokohama

Yokohama Ferris Wheel during the night
Yokohama's Ferris Wheel looks impressive, as it glows in the night. (photo: BottonDown/

In 1859, Yokohama became the first port opened to foreign trade. That helped it quickly grow from the fisherman village to the second-largest city in Japan. The trading business formed Yokohama's architecture, so today, you can enjoy scenic harbor views, including the beautiful Ferris wheel. The harbor part includes Minato Mirai 21 urban area known as the "Harbor of the Future," full of shops, hotels, and a location of one of Japan's largest buildings, Landmark Tower.  

However, besides the harbor, Yokohama has a lot to offer. One of the main attractions is Sankeien Garden, with an exhibition of several historic buildings from all over Japan. Moreover, Yokohama has the largest Chinatown in Japan, vivid, colorful, and surely worth visiting.

8. Hiroshima

The A-Bomb Dome in Hiroshima Memorial Park
The A-Bomb Dome in Hiroshima Memorial Park is a reminder of horrifying history. (photo: uzilday/ 

Everybody has heard about Hiroshima due to its disastrous past of being the atomic bomb attack target during World War II. Today, modern Hiroshima keeps a reminder of its unfortunate history at Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park, with a Peace Memorial Museum as the main attraction. However, the place has one more important structure in it, the A-Bomb Dome. This former Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall building is one of the few constructions near the epicenter that survived A-bombing.

Carp Castle, also known as Hiroshima Castle, was the city's economic and cultural center back in the days. Today, it represents an important tourist attraction. Shukkeien Garden is full of landscape miniatures, such as mountains, forests, and valleys. The central part is a lake with a few Tea Houses around it, where you can sit and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

7. Osaka

Osaka, Japan during the night
The main reasons to visit Osaka are food and fun. (photo: xegxef/

What makes Osaka stand out from other cities in Japan? We have to say that there're two main reasons - food and fun! Osaka earned its nickname back when it was the main rice trading center, and it's "Tenka no Daidokoro," or "The Nation's Kitchen." Today, Osaka is known as a gourmands paradise. 

However, one meal stands out among various tasty menu options - okonomiyaki, a simple dish somewhere between omelet and pancakes stuffed with meat, noodles, or seafood. Still, pay attention to how you eat! Besides the food, Osaka has a vivid nightlife, revolving around restaurants, clubs, and cocktail bars. No wonder Osaka's residents are often called the most fun-loving citizens of Japan! Oh, and you can stay at that bizarre hotel.

6. Hakone

Mount Fuji
Views of Mount Fuji are the main attraction in Hakone. (photo: oadtz/

Hakone's main charm is its location in the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, as Mount Fuji is Japan's highest mountain. Hence, the best views of it are from the Hakone. Along with Mount Fuji, the lake Ashinoko symbolizes the Hakone region, offering astonishing views and boat rides.

This is the favorite escape location for Tokyo's residents, as it offers many ways to relax. One of the most popular spots to visit in the city is Hakone Hot Springs, as they are unique and have a long history.

5. Nikko 

Lake Chuzenji in Nikko, Japan
Lake Chuzenji is a favorite spot for Nikko's residents. (photo: hereisthailand/

Nikko is a beautiful and peaceful city away from crowds. Moreover, it combines nature and history, as it's set on the Nikko National Park entrance and is the location of impressive Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. Nikko's visitors are swept away while visiting volcanic lake Chuzenji. It's the highest altitude lake in Japan, surrounded by breathtaking nature and striking views. 

One of the most attractive landmarks around the lake is Kegon Falls, a highly visited sightseeing tourist spot. Moreover, the National Park region is full of waterfalls and beautiful picturesque landscapes that are so tranquil. More than a dozen buildings settled in lavishing nature qualify Tosho-gu Temple as one of Nikko's most fascinating. The simplicity of architecture and richness of decoration make it very attractive to its visitors.

4. Okinawa

Okinawa beach in Japan
Okinawa region has the best beaches and sea in the whole country (photo: s_masako/

Okinawa can't be viewed separately from it's few dozens of islands surrounding it. The sea encircling the Okinawa prefecture is considered the most beautiful in Japan, and the region has mild winters. The whole area is a target destination for scuba divers and snorkeling. 

At the same time, beautiful white sandy beaches with lush vegetation are a perfect place to relax. Furthermore, you can visit several lovely castles among the natural beauty. One of them is Shuri Castle - located on a hill with exquisite views of the surrounding area.

3. Kyoto

Four-kilometer long avenue of Fushimi-Inari Taisha Shrine in Kyoto
Fascinating four-kilometer long avenue of Fushimi-Inari Taisha Shrine in Kyoto. (photo: oadtz /

Magnificent Kyoto is the oldest city in Japan, as it's the heart and soul of ancient Japan. There's no better way to explore old traditional shrines and temples than to visit one in Kyoto. Beautiful Nijo Castle with magnificent Ninomaru Palace and impressive artworks was fit for the emperor, so you don't wanna miss it.

The most famous shrine in Japan, Fushimi-Inari Taisha Shrine, is in Kyoto. Fascinating four-kilometer long avenue with orange-colored arches is what makes it easily recognizable. Moreover, the magical Kiyomizu-Dera Temple overlooking the city has picturesque landscapes, and its views are breathtaking. We have barely scraped the surface, as Kyoto has many more exciting things to offer, but we'll leave it for the next time.

2. Tokyo

The Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan
The magnificent Imperial palace is one of the main attractions in Tokyo (photo: pierre9x6/

We could give you a relatively long list of must-sees in the capital of Japan, and of the most sensational Asian cities, Tokyo. Still, we'll stick with just a few! Indeed something worth visiting is the historic part of Asakusa. The ancient temple with red lanterns Sensō-Ji will make you feel like you're in Japan from way back.

You can spend the entire day in Tokyo's largest park Ueno, and you won't be bored at all, as it's full of museums. Finally, we saved the best for the end, as the magnificent Imperial Palace and its surrounding gardens will sweep you off your feet. The majestic castle with two bridges and beautifully decorated gardens is indeed worthy of a visit.

1. Nara

Deer in Nara Park, Nara, Japan
The main appeal of Nara Park are the deers, as they wander freely among the visitors (photo: KANENORI/

Nara, formerly known as Yamato, was the first capital of Japan. Nowadays, this is a living museum full of architecture and art older than 1300 years. One of the most exciting things about it is Nara Park, a tick forest with free-roaming deers. As a bonus to wonderful nature are temples and a shrine.

Todaiji temple is the most notable location in Nara Park and in Nara City as well. This is a structure from 752, with the 15 meters tall bronze Budhha statue, the largest in Japan. Moreover, one of the country's earliest temples is in Nara, the incredible Horyuji Temple as the world's oldest surviving wooden structure. Among the historical buildings, Nara has a few exciting gardens and festivals that attract countless visitors.

As you can see on our top ten list, Japan has a lot of exciting places to explore. On every step, you'll see nature and tradition intertwine. And just one more important thing about this country, as the prettiest time to visit is by far during the cherry blossom season.

Have you ever visited Japan? What did you love the most about it? Please, tell us your impressions in the comment section! 



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