Everybody ought to discover Japan not less than as soon as of their lifetime. Japan has 1000’s of hidden gems and is a year-round vacation spot. You may 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 sights, scrumptious avenue meals, and bucket a great deal of tradition.
The true query is, which of the cities in Japan must you go to? In an excellent world, all of them. Nonetheless, this information will slim it right down to the very best cities.
Discover Japan: The High Cities in Japan
Japan has some unbelievable cities. From Tokyo to Sapporo, these are the very best cities in Japan on your subsequent journey. Let’s dive straight in.
If you consider cities in Japan, it’s protected to say that Tokyo will likely be in your prime three. Because the capital, Tokyo is likely one of the main Japanese cities and attracts tens of millions of vacationers a 12 months. It is usually the most important metropolis in Japan, with an estimated inhabitants of round 14 million individuals.
Assume 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 within the thick of all of the motion, with loads of museums to tour, buying to bag, and enjoyable available. The sheer measurement of town is thrilling in itself.
So, the place do you start? What are the finest issues to do in Tokyo? Properly, after visiting town a couple of instances we recommend beginning with Tokyo Tower. Tokyo Tower could look acquainted, and it needs to be. The tower was closely impressed by the Eiffel Tower. In actual fact, the one distinction is that Tokyo Tower is 333 meters tall and crimson and white.
Heading to the highest of the tower, you’ll be able to find out about Tokyo’s architectural historical past en route, ending with a spectacular view of the gorgeous metropolis under. Close by, there’s additionally Tokyo Skytree which stands at a dizzying 634 meters and is the tallest tower on the earth – so be ready to spend not less than a couple of hours amongst the clouds.
To understand Tokyo’s ambiance on the bottom, head to Golden Gai for a downtown vibe or Shibuya Crossing for a CBD expertise. Permit time to go to museums just like the Mori Artwork Museum, Japan Olympic Museum, and NHL Museum of Broadcasting.
Osaka is one other one in every of Japan’s massive cities. Osaka has a robust character, and the port metropolis has a industrial soul with heaps happening in any respect hours of day and night time. There’s at all times avenue meals to style, a bar to hop to, and sights to go to. Osaka is a superb place to go to in case you love a combination of partying, stress-free, and sightseeing. The town has a lot of persona and a stability of the whole lot – like a compromise with no sacrifice.
To understand the historical past of Osaka, a visit to Osaka Citadel needs to be in your itinerary. The Sixteenth-century fortress is surrounded by cherry timber and a moat, and Osaka Citadel is likely one of the prettiest locations to go to within the metropolis. Whereas, in order for you a day of light-hearted enjoyable, there’s Common Studios Japan to discover. The theme park has Hollywood-themed rides, and it’s conveniently situated simply outdoors the middle of Osaka.
Lastly, Osaka is the well-known residence of one in every of Japan’s oldest Shinto shrines. Sumiyoshi Taisha is a well-liked Shinto shrine to go to – on tourism or non secular grounds. We suggest visiting to completely expertise Japan’s stunning non secular tradition.
Tokyo is likely to be the capital at present, however Kyoto was as soon as the nation’s capital. Within the heart of the Kansai area, Kyoto is one in every of Japan’s most conventional cities. In Kyoto, you’ll discover basic darkish wooden homes and loads of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. If you’re chasing tradition and custom, Kyoto is a superb place to discover in Japan.
To expertise the standard streets lined by picket homes, head to Gion. You may wander within 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 may admire the Golden Pavilion from throughout its pond, being wowed by the golden tint that offers it its title and recognition.
Searching for picturesque scenes? Head to the bamboo forest of Arashiyama or the crimson columned walkways of the Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine. Kyoto is stuffed with beautiful surroundings and eye-opening cultural sights. You may learn extra in our guides on the finest locations and issues to do in Kyoto.
Hiroshima is a reputation not many overlook. Sadly, the rationale 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 massive metropolis, inflicting over 100,000 casualties. Guests to town can now pay their respects to the victims and destruction at many memorable sights, together with the Peace Park.
There may be a lot to understand about Hiroshima in its personal proper, although. Meals lovers ought to pattern the Japanese pancake, nicknamed Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki. There’s additionally Hiroshima Citadel 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 town’s number of sights.
Nagoya is thought for manufacturing and transport and is the capital of the Aichi Prefecture. Have you ever heard of Honda? Toyota? Mitsubishi? All of those large automotive manufacturers had been developed in Nagoya. Nagoya has an progressive, industrial ambiance, ultimate for these eager to expertise the enterprise facet of Japan.
Guests ought to tour the Toyota Exhibition Corridor to get a greater thought of automotive manufacturing in Japan. Nagoya Citadel is nice for a historic introduction to Nagoya. There are additionally one-off occasions in Nagoya just like the Nagoya Sumo Match in July, the Nagoya Matsuri competition in October, and the World Cosplay Summit in July and August.
Nagoya has heaps happening, so don’t overlook to test town’s schedule. And, in your downtime, make certain to attempt some miso katsu – miso katsu is a regional specialty.
Trying to go to the actual facet of Japan? Saitama is a primarily residential metropolis, good for getting a quieter expertise of Japan. Probably the greatest methods to expertise a rustic is by escaping its major vacationer areas. Should you want 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 individuals who like tasting classes, you can even take a sake tour across the metropolis – sampling the standard Japanese alcohol. Saitama is an attractive place to go to, not too distant from the opposite main cities however far sufficient away to flee the fixed buzz.
One other of the key cities in Japan is Fukuoka. Fukuoka is known for its stunning islands and sits on the shoreline, surrounded by attractive seashores good for a summer season getaway. The port metropolis is situated in Fukuoka Prefecture. The prefecture capital is common amongst younger professionals, college students, and companies.
The town’s major sights are Fukuoka Citadel, Kyushu Nationwide Museum, and Dazaifu Tenman-gu, a shrine to the god of schooling. Fukuoka is a particular metropolis. Should you love an thrilling metropolis ambiance stuffed with motion, daring delicacies, and leisure, Fukuoka is ideal. It lacks the historical past of Kyoto and the recognition of Tokyo. Nonetheless, in order for you a enjoyable ‘second metropolis’, you’ll have a implausible time.
Nara is most well-known for its deer inhabitants. Should you’ve seen footage of Nara on-line, likelihood is 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. Nonetheless, now, Nara is healthier identified for its serene ambiance and regal historical past.
The highest issues to do in Nara are to go to Nara Deer Park, Todai-Ji Temple, and Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine. You possibly can simply spend a complete day temple-hopping although, and Nara is stuffed with peaceable locations for guests to immerse themselves in Japan’s stunning tradition.
Nara can be straightforward to mix with visiting different cities in Japan. Touring from Kyoto to Nara is only a quick prepare 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 at present at sights just like the Peace Park. Nagasaki has many different points that make it an academic vacation spot although. Nagasaki is likely one of the largest port cities in Japan and has an extended 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 beautiful shrines and temples. To immerse your self within 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 town has heaps so that you can study.
Do you acknowledge the title Sapporo? The town of Sapporo simply occurs to be the namesake (and birthplace) of one in every of Japan’s most well-known beer manufacturers. Sapporo is the capital of the Hokkaido Prefecture and is definitely among the finest cities in Japan. Located on Japan’s Northern Island, Sapporo is well-combined with a go to to Tokyo.
Guests can tour the Sapporo Beer Museum or journey as much as the highest of the Sapporo TV Tower. There’s a implausible combination of sights in Sapporo. It has that metropolis buzz, with a lot of big-city-style leisure and vacationer infrastructure.
Should you can, coincide your go to to Sapporo with the Snow Pageant. The winter competition is likely one of the finest on the earth, and the winter wonderland spreads 1.5 km – stuffed with ice sculptures, an ice skating rink, and sledding areas.
Kobe is one in every of Japan’s largest port cities, starting to overflow with glitzy skyscrapers and fashionable dwelling. This isn’t what bought Kobe its place on this information although; its meals scene is what makes it stand other than Japan’s different finest cities. Kobe is world well-known for its Kobe beef and famend for its seafood. Should you go to Kobe, be ready to splash out on each day restaurant meals, as its delicacies is simply too tempting to cross by.
We recommend exploring Kitano Village to see Kobe’s old-school structure. In fact, in case you 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 status for scrumptious meals and fairly affordable costs. End your day with a stroll across the harbor, with views of the trendy skyline lighting up after darkish.
Acquired a bit of additional time? Hike up Mount Rokko. Mount Rokko overshadows town as an attractive however fierce pure landmark. There are a number of route choices so check out which most accurately fits your health and technical skills.
Nikko is likely one of the smallest cities in Japan. Located within the Tochigi Prefecture, Nikko is surrounded by the Japanese Alps. It is likely one of the most stunning locations to go to within the nation – not to mention simply amongst Japan’s finest cities.
You may discover Nikko itself or use town as a gateway to Nikko Nationwide Park. You’ll discover temples, monkeys, and pure surroundings galore. Nikko is ideal for lovers of the nice outside. Guests can simply stability mountain climbing days and outside actions with sightseeing within the Nikko metropolis heart.
In relation to issues to do in Nikko, the Shinko Bridge is a should. The enduring crimson bridge is the postcard picture of Nikko, and you must add it to even the shortest of itineraries. We additionally suggest spending not less than a day temple hopping. Outdoors of Nikko, Kegon Falls is implausible to go to. And, in case you get an opportunity, take a scenic boat tour down the Kinugawa River.
Nikko is gorgeous. To get off the crushed monitor and encompass your self with nature, look no additional. Nikko has a serenity that the key cities in Japan simply can’t present. We stayed in a conventional Ryokan in Nikko, and you may examine our expertise right here.
Matsue is within the Shimane Prefecture on the southwest coast of Japan. The big metropolis is named ‘the water metropolis’, due to its location between the ocean and Lake Shinji. Mastue is much less common than main cities like Tokyo, however those that stray off the crushed path will likely be richly rewarded. Matsue is stuffed with feudal historical past, historic websites, and exquisite surroundings.
The most effective issues to do are to go to Matsue Citadel, the Adachi Museum of Artwork, and one of many shrines. The Yaegaki and Miho shrines are each well-known for his or her magnificence. Whereas, if you wish to embrace the water actions of ‘the water metropolis’, you’ll be able to take a sundown cruise on Lake Shinji.
Matsue has a calming ambiance and is a wonderful summer season vacation spot. It is likely one of the finest cities to unwind and study on the identical journey.
Beppu isn’t at all times included in lists of the very best cities in Japan. Positive, Beppu isn’t one in every of Japan’s main cities. Nonetheless, it is likely one of the nation’s most fun locations to go to. Beppu is a geologist’s delight and the very best vacation spot for warm springs in Japan. In order for you a spa getaway or simply to expertise the pure wonders in Japan, Beppu is value visiting.
Since Beppu has over 2,000 sizzling spring sources, you’ll have a lot of spa-related issues to do within the metropolis. You may select heated mineral springs or bathe in nutrient-rich heated mud or sand baths. You possibly can even steam your individual meals over the onsen steam.
Need one thing completely totally different? Take a cable automotive journey up the Beppu Ropeway or go to the Harmonyland theme park. Beppe is likely one of the finest cities in Japan for a brief getaway and is certainly value an area in your itinerary.
There are such a lot of 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 or not 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. Apart from, all of those cities in Japan are value visiting.
We hope that you’ve got an exquisite go to to Japan. The nation is bound to encourage a return go to, so put together to fall in love.