The capital of Japan, Tokyo city, has to be one of the most well-known and popular travel destinations within Japan and there is a good reason for this! With a population of over nine million, this city is bustling - there is so much to do and so much to see! While in Tokyo, you should visit Shibuya to walk the famous Shibuya Crossing and discover the Japanese fashion trends at Harajuku, explore the anime and game culture in Akihabara, grab some drinks at one of the many bars or karaoke establishments throughout Shinjuku, tour around the culture rich city of Asakusa in a man powered carriage, and enter another dimension at the teamLab Borderless interactive and immersive world of artworks.
Yokohama is a quieter city compared to Tokyo, however, it is just as exciting and offers experiences you may not find in Tokyo. While you’re there you should visit the coastline where you will find beautiful beaches in Zushi, Kamakura, Fujisawa, Chigasaki. Kamakura is a very popular travel destination full of little shops, shrines, and culture. If you’re a car enthusiast or just interested in seeing what the Japanese car culture is all about, the car meets at Daikoku Pier Parking Area is a must see. Daikoku is bustling most Friday nights with many JDM cars rolling up all throughout the night, you will be surprised as to how creative these car enthusiasts can be with their builds. If you miss the Friday night meet, there is usually some kind of gathering going on Sunday mornings.
If you love nature and a scenic mountain drive then you cannot miss out on Hakone Mountain. The scenic drive follows the perimeter of the mountain and you can stop anywhere along the way as there is a lot to see. Lake Ashi is definitely a stop you should make if you’re at Hakone. Lake Ashi provides an incredible reflection of the surrounding vast mountain ranges, a home to ducks and Koi fish and tranquil canoe rides (canoes are for rent at the shore of the lake).
Shizuoka is a humble little city where you can enjoy a tranquil and authentic Japanese experience. Shizuoka is known for its marvellous green tea so if you’re there, you ought to try it. If tea isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other options such as green tea ice cream, cake, pudding, Frappuccino’s, and many more desserts. The nature in Shizuoka is beautiful and we recommend visiting the Shiraito Falls - a heavenly waterfall streaming down from Mt. Fuji into a clear blue pond - it is a truly spectacular sight. Along the coastline is the Izu Penninsula, a tropical bay painted vibrantly blue by the sea and hugged by grand rock formations – definitely worth a visit!
The notorious Mt. Fuji is unlike anything you will ever see, especially in the colder months when Fuji is snowcapped. Surrounding Mt. Fuji on the western side are five lakes, we recommend stopping by one of the lakes to get a close-up view of Fuji Mountain with the option to stay the night as there are many camp grounds, cabins, and resorts around the five lakes. While you’re at Fuji, we recommend you warm up at the Fuji Yurari Hot Spring or any other hot spring around the mountain as this will be an experience like no other.
If you’re in the Iwate Prefecture you’ll want to pay a visit to the Sanriku Coast where you will find a dramatic rocky shoreline amongst a beautiful green-blue sea – a truly breathtaking sight. Another interesting place to visit in the Iwate Prefecture is Ryūsendō, on of Japan’s three largest Limestone caves. The limestone filtered lakes within these caves radiate beautiful blues and greens upon the cave walls and its definitely something you wouldn’t want to miss out on.
Hokkaido, located on the most northern island of Japan, is well-known for its wilderness and low temperatures compared to the rest of Japan. If you’re an outdoor lover, you will love Hokkaido. During colder months, we recommend going skiing at Niseko – here you will find the leading snow resort in Hokkaido. During warmer months, we recommend visiting Lake Toya where you can hike the trails, view the Usuzan craters and the Showa Shinzan (a young volcano), then relax at the Toyako Onsen (Hot Spring). While you’re there, you might want to visit Sapporo, the eventful city of Hokkaido. In Sapporo you’re bound to stumble across some event or market that peaks your interest.
If you’re visiting Osaka, you should duck into some restaurants and bars in the vibrant neighbourhood of Dontobori. Osaka is also the home of Japan’s longest shopping street, Tenjinbashi-siji, where you it might take the whole day to see every shop. We highly recommend finishing off your day in Osaka at Spa World, the seven-story establishment is abundant with different spas from around the world.
In Kyoto you will find a culture rich city scattered with temples, if you’re interested in visiting a temple or two, we recommend seeing the golden Kinkakuji Temple and walking through the vermilion Torii gates of Fushimi inari taisha that stretch 233 metres into the forest. Arashiyama is a very delightful town in Kyoto with small restaurants and shops, temples, a large river and the bamboo forest through which you can walk and be engulfed by the tall green plantation. If you get the change to pop into the neighbouring city of Nara, visiting the Nara Koen (Park) is a must! The park is abundant with friendly deer and being amongst these humble creatures is really a wholesome experience.
If you have the opportunity, you should not miss out on the beautiful beaches of Okinawa, with soft white sand, crystal clear water, and tropical vegetation surrounding. In the warmer months, you may want to swim in the beaches of Okinawa, or you may even want to go snorkeling or diving. You might want to take a boat tour to see some of the beautiful surrounding islands. Another spot we recommend visiting is Okinawa World if you enjoy theme parks, it is definitely unlike any other theme park you have been to before.
We hope you enjoyed our recommendations, please feel free to contact us if you would like any advice on commuting in Japan, accommodation, communication, or any questions you may have.