Top 10 Wondrous Japan Cities

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

Alex O'Brien

Alex O'Brien

Last updated:  2024-01-24 08:42:48

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 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 best cities to visit in Japan, 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, automobile manufacturing, and the robotic industry. Hence, the most attractive location for visitors is the Nagoya City Science Museum and two Toyota museums. Lately, Nagoya has 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. 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 a fisherman's 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 the Minato Mirai 21 urban area known as the "Harbor of the Future." It is 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, which exhibits several historic buildings from all over Japan. Moreover, Yokohama has the largest Chinatown in Japan - it's vivid, colorful, and 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 as the atomic bomb attack target during World War II. Today, 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: 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 day. 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? There are two main reasons - food and fun! Osaka earned its nickname 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, the best in Japan.

However, one meal stands out among various tasty menu options - okonomiyaki, a simple dish between omelet and pancake 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, lake Ashinoko symbolizes the Hakone region, offering astonishing views and boat rides.

This is the favorite escape location for Tokyo's residents, offering many ways to relax. Among the most prestigious 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 one of the most beautiful cities in Japan, away from crowds. Moreover, it combines nature and history, set at the Nikko National Park entrance. Furthermore, it's 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 contains waterfalls and tranquil, picturesque landscapes. More than a dozen buildings settled in lavishing nature qualify Tosho-gu Temple as one of Nikko's most fascinating. The architecture's simplicity and decoration richness 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 be viewed in various ways from its few dozen 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 splendid 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 artwork 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. The 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 breathtaking views. We have barely scraped the surface, as Kyoto offers many more exciting things!

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 cause you to feel like you're in Japan from way back.

You can spend the entire day in Tokyo's largest park, Ueno, which is 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 worthy of a visit. Moreover, this is one of the best things to do in Japan. Finally, Tokyo is the best destination for gamers!

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 thrilling things about it is Nara Park, a thick 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 Nara City. 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 is the world's oldest surviving wooden structure. Among the historical buildings, Nara has a few exciting gardens and festivals that attract countless visitors. Therefore, it's at the top of our best cities in Japan list.

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 one more important thing - cherry blossom season is the prettiest time to visit.

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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