There are many reasons why people choose to visit Japan. You may be planning a trip to this East Asian country with the goal of doing business there. Or, you may have harbored a longtime fascination with the language or culture of Japan.
For someone only planning to stay in Japan for a few days, you will likely want to plan to make only day trips that are within a short distance from your hotel. This is fine, and if you have never been to Japan before you will surely be able to fill up your time by finding local attractions.
However, if you plan to stay in Japan for a week or more, you will probably want to fill up your itinerary with some fun things to do that may require a bit more travel to famous sites. There are plenty of cities and attractions in Japan to visit. Some of the sites reflect the innovation and liveliness of modern Japan, while others are very much historical in nature.
If you are looking for Japan sites to see that will make your trip much more memorable, here are 5 cities and attractions to see in Japan:
1. Kamakura (near Tokyo):
From 1185 to 1333, the city of Kamakura was the location of the Kamakura Bakufu, or shogunate. This was the de-facto capital of Japan, and at one time it was one of the world's most populous cities. Today, Kamakura is a midsize city of about 175,000 people, located just south of Tokyo. If you will be in or near Tokyo and have an interest in ancient Japan - including its temples and shrines - you should greatly enjoy a visit to Kamakura. Given its proximity to Tokyo, it easily makes for a convenient day trip.
2. Miyajima Shrine (near Hiroshima):
If your trip to Japan will be taking you to the Hiroshima area, consider visiting the island of Miyajima. It is famous for a famous torii gate, which belongs to the Itsukushima Shine. The bottom portion of the gate is actually immersed in water during high tide, giving it the appearance of floating on top of the water. It is considered one of the three best views in Japan.
3. Ichinoboh Onsen (in Sendai):
On northern Honshu (the main island of Japan) lies a large city called Sendai. There you will find a wonderful example of Japanese onsen, or hot spring. The Ichinoboh Onsen regularly garners very high ratings from Japanese and foreign tourists alike. If you cannot make it all the way up to Sendai during your visit, be sure to seek out any one of the other thousands of onsen in Japan. Visiting an onsen will make your experience in Japan all the more authentic.
4. Tokyo Imperial Palace East Garden (in Tokyo):
Chances are good that your trip to Japan will take you to Tokyo. If so, take a local train over to Tokyo Station or Otemachi Station and walk to the Tokyo Imperial Palace's East Garden. It is open to the public every day except Mondays and Friday. The garden is kept in wonderful shape. Especially appealing is to visit the Palace during cherry blossom season. Admission is free.
5. National Bunraku Theater (in Osaka):
Bunraku is the Japanese word for a special traditional form of puppet theater. These special puppet shows were started in Osaka in 1684. At a performance, you can see elements of old Japan of the Edo Period combined with modern theater technology. For a taste of traditional Japan through a bunraku show, check out the National Bunraku Theater in Osaka.
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