I think we can all agree on the fact there’re so many beautiful spots to visit! We can easily get lost in the amount of information we can find online so let’s cover here only the best of the best, the unmissable, the MUST-GO. As you know, this selection of the best places to visit in Japan is very subjective and we at Sugoii Japan made our choice according to our own preferences. But this list can be interactive so feel to list your best areas in Japan in the comments below.
The 12 Best Places To Visit In Japan
Rather than listing single places here, we decide to list areas you can explore during few days. I hope this will help you to build your itinerary according to what you are looking for.
- Mount Fuji
- Onsen Towns
You will probably land in Tokyo when you will arrive in Japan so it’s a city that you can’t physically miss. Tokyo has so many things to do so make sure you stay at least 3 to 4 days. Some of our favourite neighbourhoods include Shimokitazawa and Yanesen. If you are into photography, make sure to check out our 10 most instagrammable places in Tokyo here.
Kyoto is synonym of Japanese traditions and it should definitely be on your list of cities to visit in Japan! Spend your day going from a temple to another and enjoy the unique atmosphere of this city. And keep your eyes wide open, you may see a geisha here and there.
In all the big cities you will see in Japan, you will notice that Osaka is pretty different that the others. The people there are very cool and the whole atmosphere is really relaxed and friendly. It’s actually one of our favorite cities in Japan! Osaka is also famous for its delicious street food (Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki…) so make sure you stop there few days.
4. Mount Fuji
The Mount Fuji is more than just a mountain in Japan. It’s a sacred place and one of the important symbol of the nation. Its beauty is really surprising so I really advice you to get closer to Fuji-san to enjoy the view. Note that you can also climb the mountain in Summer.
Hokkaido area is starting to be more and more popular among travellers. For sky lovers, you will enjoy a really good snow during winter. Don’t miss the winter festival (Yuki Matsuri) in February. And in summer, when Japan gets hot and humid, the weather in Hokkaido is very pleasant
6. Nagano Prefecture
Nagano prefecture is home to gorgeous hidden gems that you should really consider to visit during your next trip to Japan. The old post town of Narai Juku is very special place to visit for example. It’s also in Nagano where you will be able to see the cute snow monkeys soaking in onsen baths.
7. Gifu Prefecture
Gifu prefecture is located in the center of Japan and it has its own local culture. One of the trademark of Gifu is the very photogenic Gassho houses (with thatched roof) that you can see in Shirakawago for example. Oh and don’t miss out the lovely village of Gero Onsen.
If you speak with Japanese people about Tohoku area, they will tell that it’s the “Real Japan”. Not touristy at all but with a big potential, the traditional culture in Tohoku is noticeable everywhere! Check out for example the samurai city of Aizu Wakamatsu in Fukushima prefecture.
9. Kyushu Island
Kyushu Island is located in the south west of Japan and it’s another side of Japan that you can see there. The main places to visit in Kyushu include Fukuoka and Nagasaki but don’t forget to explore less known spots like Kurokawa Onsen or Saga for example.
10. Shikoku Island
Shikoku island is a bit ignored by the tourists but it has actually a lot to offer! If you are looking for off the beaten path destination, you will love this area! Our favorite spots are probably Takamatsu, Konpira-san, Iya Valley and Dogo Onsen.
If you think you can’t find beautiful beaches in Japan, think again! Okinawa archipelago hosts some paradises like Zamami island, Taketomi or also Tokashiki island.
12. Onsen Towns
We finish this blog post with not really a place but an experience that you really need to try. I’m sure you heard about the hot springs in Japan (onsen) and the best of them are usually located in the middle of nowhere, in what we call “onsen towns”. We listed the best onsen towns in Japan so make sure you read about it and add some to your itinerary!
That’s 12! We could go like this all day but we tried to keep it short and sweet. But like we said earlier, let’s make this list interactive so please add a comment below with your favorite place in Japan. It will help all the future travellers, including Sugoii Japan team! 🙂