Japan is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. It is a unique blend of traditional and modern, with many temples and buildings from the past co-existing with modern achievements in architecture and technology. Visitors can be immersed in Japanese history and culture one day and get a glimpse of the future through technological developments the next. Almost all of the historical sites are still used for their original purposes while remaining open to the public. The natural beauty of Japan can be seen all year. In addition, Japan has one of the world’s lowest crime rates which makes it ideal for travelers.
Japan has always been a popular holiday destination for foreign tourists, but last year saw a record number of tourists visit its shores. This can probably be attributed to a weaker yen and easing of visa requirements for travellers from some Asian countries, but I also think the quality of the attractions and sights on offer draws the tourists in as well. The Japanese government has also made a concerted effort to increase the amount of visitors to Japan via various promotional campaigns. Boosting tourism has been one of the cornerstones of Prime Minister Abe’s growth strategy for Japan.
The New Year in 2015 is going to be an even hotter year for travelling in Japan and below recommended places to visit in japan,
1. Tokyo Tower, Japan
Japan’s capital city, with its mixture of traditional and modern urban life, is the most popular tourist destination in the country. Sensoji Temple is one of its iconic historic sites, and the Imperial Palace provides a traditional and royal air. The city’s Ginza, the equivalent of New York’s Madison Avenue, is world famous, as is the Harajuku Japanese-teen street fashion that influences international fashion industry. While you’ll find plenty of authentic Japanese dining in Tokyo, you’ll also find top-quality international restaurants as well, since Tokyoites have a discriminating palate for authentic quality of international cuisines such as Italian, Chinese, French, etc. Sushi restaurants are plentiful in the outer market of the renowned Tsukiji Fishmarket.
This tourist attraction attracts a good number of visitors since it portrays a high level of advanced technology and modern life. It is the second tallest structure that man has ever made in Japan. Most people use it both as an observation and as a communication tower. If you desire to visit shops and restaurants as well as have unparalleled views of Tokyo, then you should make an effort of climbing this tower.
2. Fuji Mountain, Jpaan
Climbing Mount Fuji (3776 meters), the highest mountain in Japan and most prominent, can create lifelong memories. The mountain Itself may look more attractive from Afar than from close up, but the views on clear days and the experience of climbing through the early morning hours Among Hundreds of equally minded hikers from across the world, are very rewarding. There are several choices of time if you want to visit Japan, depending on the purpose of visiting Japan. If you only have once chance to visit Japan, came at the beginning of April, when Sakura blossoms.
This following are several choices of time if you want to visit Japan:
Spring (Mar-May) – around the beginning of April, when the Sakura blossom, or who in Japan is called Hanami (hana = flower; mi (ru) = to see) In this time you can get a picnic under Sakura tree, which popular in Ueno Park, Tokyo.
Summer (June-Aug) don’t miss Hokkaido. Summer in Hokkaido is great for people who love the outdoors activity. Also in July – May each year, in this time you could find the tourist attractions such as climbing on fuji mountain, because it’s opened to the public when summer. Or you can see Hanabi (fireworks) tourist attraction in all places in Japan.
Autumn (Sept-Nov) Go to Kyoto. At this time in Japan the weather is pretty good, not so hot and not cold. Momiji or who leaves change color, usually red.
Winter (Dec-Feb) winter in Japan is very suitable for you who want to feel the Christmas atmosphere. Each December, Hakodate (Hokkaido) is white Illuminations along the way. In addition, each beginning of Feb there Yuki Matsuri in Sapporo. Here you can see sculpture ice for various types of famous buildings in the world.
3. Great Buddha of Kamakura, Japan
The Great Buddha of Kamakura is a colossal outdoor representation of Amida Buddha, one of Japan’s most celebrated Buddhist figures. Cast in bronze, the Great Buddha stands at over 13 meters (40 feet) high and weighs nearly 93 tons. The statue reportedly dates from 1252. Although it originally was housed in a small wooden temple, the Great Buddha now stands in the open air as the original temple was washed away in a tsunami in the 15th century.
4. Biei, Japan
Biei is a small town in Hokkaido. This small town is famous for its natural beauty, hill flowers. The undulating hills of Biei may look like the flower fields of vast parkland, but most of the land is actually the private property of farmers. In order to be able to pass-on these rural landscapes to future generations, it is important never to encroach into the farmers’ fields and to always view the scenery and enjoy taking photographs from paved areas. (Painstaking efforts are being made to grow crops to enable safe and delicious farm produce to reach you dinner tables.) Furthermore, when stopping your car on narrow roads, please take care so as not to obstruct the passage of tractors and other farm vehicles. If you are requested to move your vehicle, please do so promptly. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation with regard to these matters.
Biei is like a page from a picture book, capturing spreading rolling hills and an almost complete panoramic view of the Taisetsu mountain range. You can enjoy Biei throughout the year, with the snow-capped tips of the Taisetsuzan contrasting the bare soil in spring, beautiful flowers and blue sky in the summer, autumn leaves and bright yellow rape blossoms in fall, and pure white powder snow in winter. You can’t help but be fascinated by the distinct visual effects produced in each season by the spectral interplay between the hills and mountains in the background.
5. Hiroshima Peace Memorial, Japan
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial is a haunting tribute to the lives lost when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Set in a park, the memorial features Genbaku Dome, the only building left standing in the vicinity after the bomb dropped. This harsh reminder of a world at war reminds visitors of the importance of human life and honors the victims so they will never be forgotten. This memorial was built in remembrance of those people that lost their lives on 6 August 1945 after a bomb blast in Hiroshima. You will find Genbaku Dome inside this memorial. Genbaku Dome is the only building that was left at the scene of the bomb blast. It further symbolizes the significance of human life as well as honors all victims of the bomb blast.
6. Todaiji Temple, Japan
This temple is located in Nara and it is the largest wooden building in the world. It acts as a feat for most engineering activities. Additionally, it hosts the largest Buddha statue in the world. If you have been wondering where you can find the Kegon school of Buddhism, then you need not worry any more. You just need to visit this temple; the school is centered in this temple. Beautiful gardens and wildlife are the key environs of this school. You will find many artifacts of both Buddhist and Japanese history at the ground of this temple. Do not be surprised if you encounter some deer at Todaiji Temple’s ground. This is because deer are allowed to roam at the ground as messengers of the Shinto gods.
7. Jigokudani Monkey Park
The Jigokudani Yaen-koen (altitude 850 meters) is located in the Valley of Yokoyu River sourced from Shiga-Kogen of the Joshinetsu-Kogen National Park in northern part of Nagano prefecture. Because of the very steep cliffs and the steam coming off the springs in everywhere, ancient people called this valley ‘Jigokudani (Hell valley)’. Also it is buried in snow almost one third of the year. Even that kind of severe environment here is a paradise on earth for monkeys to live in. The troops of wild Japanese macaque (they are popularly known as snow monkeys) inhabit here naturally through the ages. Since the establishment of Jigokudani Yaen-koen in 1964, it has been a worldwide popular place for watching the bathing monkeys in a hot spring and for ecological observation of researchers or photographers, and some of them who visited here have accomplished certain results in the area.
Jigokudani Monkey Park is a famous hot spring area near Nagano,. The name Jigokudani (meaning “Hell’s Valley”), is due to steam and boiling water that bubbles out the frozen ground, surrounded by steep cliffs and formidably cold forests. It is famous for its large population of wild Snow Monkeys that go to the valley during the winter when snow covers the park. The monkeys descend from the steep cliffs and forest to sit in the warm hot springs, and return to the security of the forests in the evenings.
8. Golden Pavilion Temple/ Kinkaku-Ji
This is the most famous tourist attraction in both Japan and Kyoto. It was built in the late fourteenth century as a retirement villa for Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. However, in 1950, this pavilion was burnt down by a young monk. Despite this, the Japanese government took the responsibility of rebuilding it after a period of five years. The new pavilion was an exact copy of the old one. A person who has visited this pavilion cannot deny the fact that it is overly beautiful. It is covered in gold leaf that portrays the reflection of the pavilion in the pond. Similarly, the pond is reflected in the building. Indeed, it is a beautiful and cool place to visit.
Kinkakuji is a Zen temple in northern Kyoto whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf. Formally known as Rokuonji, the temple was the retirement villa of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, and according to his will it became a Zen temple of the Rinzai sect after his death in 1408. Kinkakuji was the inspiration for the similarly named Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion), built by Yoshimitsu’s grandson, Ashikaga Yoshimasa, on the other side of the city a few decades later. Kinkakuji is an impressive structure built overlooking a large pond, and is the only building left of Yoshimitsu’s former retirement complex. It has burned down numerous times throughout its history including twice during the Onin War, a civil war that destroyed much of Kyoto; and once again more recently in 1950 when it was set on fire by a fanatic monk. The present structure was rebuilt in 1955.
The Interior of the first floor of the Golden Pavilion, Japan
Each floor has a different architectural style, Kinkakuji was built to echo the extravagant Kitayama culture that developed in the wealthy aristocratic circles of Kyoto during Yoshimitsu’s times. Each floor represents a different style of architecture.
- The first floor is built in the Shinden style used for palace buildings during the Heian Period, and with its natural wood pillars and white plaster walls contrasts yet complements the gilded upper stories of the pavilion. Statues of the Shaka Buddha (historical Buddha) and Yoshimitsu are stored in the first floor. Although it is not possible to enter the pavilion, the statues can be viewed from across the pond if you look closely, as the front windows of the first floor are usually kept open.
- The second floor is built in the Bukke style used in samurai residences, and has its exterior completely covered in gold leaf. Inside is a seated Kannon Bodhisattva surrounded by statues of the Four Heavenly Kings; however, the statues are not shown to the public. Finally, the third and uppermost floor is built in the style of a Chinese Zen Hall, is gilded inside and out, and is capped with a golden phoenix.
9. Kanagawa, Japan
While the name may not be very familiar to American tourists, this is the prefecture where Yokohama (Tokyo’s neighboring city) and Kamakura (a historic city along the coast) are located. With a huge Buddha statue, Kamakura is a popular and easy destination for those who stay in Tokyo (just an hour or so away by train) and travelers come to stroll between temples along the calm beaches. Hakone, where people go for hot springs, ryokan, and the magnificent view of Mt. Fuji, is also in the Kanagawa prefecture.
Just south of Tokyo, Kanagawa Prefecture is situated in the southwest of the Kanto Plains and fronts on Tokyo Bay and Sagami Bay at the south. In addition to its celebrated standing as an animated district that has led the economy of Japan, Kanagawa boasts topographic variety created by mountains, rivers, and sea, with each locality colored by distinguishing history and climate. Yokohama, the seat of the prefectural government, has grown as a major gateway of the sea to Japan, as well as the center of administration and economy for the whole prefecture. Yokohama City has the development of Minato Mirai 21 Area under way as a near-futuristic urban complex. In addition to Yokohama, there are other well-known vital cities east of the prefecture, such as Kawasaki, one of the foremost industrial cities in Japan, and Yokosuka.
10. Aichi , Japan
Aichi is situated in the center of Japan and is roughly divided into a mountainous, hilly area and a plain. It has been a pivotal point for traffic between western and eastern Japan, and has flourished as a base for industries for centuries. The major industries of the prefecture are the ceramics in Seto and Tokoname, the automobile manufacturing in Toyota, and the woolen textile industry in Ichinomiya. The City of Nagoya is the center of politics, economics and culture of Aichi Prefecture. The city has Nagoya Castle, noted for the golden pair of “shachis”, or the imaginary animals like fish with the head of the tiger, on top of the roof, and Atsuta Jingu Shrine with a history of 1,900 years. A national treasure, Inuyama Castle, stands in Inuyama City 30 minutes away from Nagoya by train.
You can explore many wonderful sightseeing spots in Aichi. Above all, the popular destinations for tourists are, for example, Mikawa Bay Quasi-National Park, Hida-Kiso River Quasi-National Park, Tenryu-Okumikawa Quasi-National Park,Aichi Kogen Quasi-National Park, Atsumi-hanto Peninsula Prefectural Park, the Korankei Valley and the Gamagori and the Minamichita Hot Spring resorts. We also have various peculiar festivals. The most famous ones are the Hadaka-matsuri Festival, or naked festival, dates back over 1,200 years in Owari-Konomiya in Inazawa City, and the Hana-matsuri, or Flower Festival (ritual Sinto art) in Oku-Mikawa region. Both are held in winter.
HOW TO REACH JAPAN
By Air: Japan is very well connected with the rest of the world, so getting to the country isn’t a problem as such. A number of international airlines regularly fly circuits linking Japan to Europe, Asia, North America and other destinations. Japan’s main international airport is Narita International, 80 km from Tokyo; there are other international airports too, at Osaka, Kyushu and Sapporo, but the volume of traffic handled by these is much less than Narita.