The land of the rising sun is a country of contrasts. On the one hand, there’s the half that’s steeped in culture and tradition with tea ceremonies and a reverence for the famed samurais. On the other, there’s the world of cosplay, anime, and gyaru fashion. It’s these extremes that help make Japan an incredibly sought-after holiday destination.
What to do
Japan is a small country but despite its size, it’s home to many must-see places and invites visitors to partake in numerous activities. The Miho Museum in Shiga Prefecture showcases a private collection of heiress Mihoko Koyama’s antiques. Tourists can glimpse the Standing Buddha and the statue of Queen Arsinoe II among 2,000 other prized objects.
Visitors with a love for electronics shouldn’t miss Akihabara in Tokyo, a major shopping center that features everything from household equipment to video games and computers. It’s also one of the best places to find manga and anime.
For entertainment, visitors should make their way to a kabuki theater to witness beautifully choreographed dance dramas. The stylized performances and elaborate makeup are a sight to behold.
Those up for stimulating action should visit AkameSijuhachitaki and Ninja no Mori. Located in Mie Prefecture, they get a chance to ‘become’ ninjas and participate in ninja training.
Visitors planning Japanese holiday destinations should include a trip to the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum. Exhibits showcase the destruction of the WWII bombing through photographs and artifacts.
What to see
Mount Fuji tops the list of places to visit. The iconic volcano is one of the country’s three sacred mountains and has been a regular subject of famous artists for years.
If in Tokyo, visitors should stop to admire the famous Sensoji, the city’s oldest Buddhist temple. It showcases traditional Japanese architecture that’s a feast for the eyes.
The Meiji shrine in Shibuya, which is a Shinto shrine dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, is a popular recreation spot. The area has 365 different species of trees, serving as a beautiful green space. The inner precinct houses a museum exhibiting the belongings of the royal couple.
Kinkaku-ji or the Temple of the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto is a World Heritage Site that incorporates three architectural styles, samurai, shinden, and zen on each of its three floors. The structure itself is set in a strolling garden that features a pond with 10 islands and a fishing deck. The garden is noted for its complex and harmonious design.
When to go
Autumn, from mid-September to early December, is the best time to visit. However, visitors eager to glimpse the famed cherry blossoms in full bloom should go in spring. If skiing and hot springs are on the itinerary, winter is the time to visit.
If you’re planning your honeymoon or are looking for a place to visit that offers a multitude of experiences, Japan is it. There are numerous luxury destinations in Japan where tourists can enjoy fine dining, plush rooms, and excellent service. From five-star brands to boutique hotels, there’s something for every luxury-seeking traveler