In order to at least superficially see the sights of Japan, you will need at least several weeks. The capital of the country – Tokyo , as well as the now flourishing cultural center of Kyoto (the former imperial capital) are the main objects of tourism, but do not forget about the extraordinary beauty of Japanese nature, which opens up far from the trodden tourist trails, in the mountains and on the islands.
According to Top-mba-universities, the scale and diversity of styles of big Tokyo are surprising – here is the serene calm of its main shrine, Meilji-Jingu, and the feverish, frighteningly dynamic Tsukiji fish market.. It is a city of ultra-modern architectural solutions, elegant and expensive boutiques, as well as a huge variety of restaurants.
Frequent earthquakes and American bombings during World War II have caused irreparable damage to the historic part of Tokyo, but the spirit of the past can still be felt in the alleys located near Senso Jin Temple and in the elegant imperial gardens. No less interesting cities are located not far from Tokyo – having traveled from the capital in a northerly direction, you should definitely visit Naikko, where the unique Togo-Shu complex is set among the majestic mountain forests, if you go south, you will be met by Kamakurawith the world’s largest wooden Buddha statue and great walking trails. It is best to climb to the Eternal symbol of Japan – Fujiyama in the period from June to September, and you should not deprive your attention of the hot springs (onsen) of the Hakoun resort, located near Lake Ashi-no-ko.
When driving north from Tokyo , mountains, lakes and hot spring resorts are the main tourist sites located in northern Honshu. Local sleepy villages and small towns – this is that Japan, which is customary to remember, listening to stories about those times when samurai and ronin wandered around Japanese soil. Northern Honshu is also best known for its vibrant summer festivals.
Crossing the Tsugaru Strait, one can reach the northernmost and least industrialized of the four main islands. Ainu, the indigenous population of the island, still live here in a small number. Active tourism and winter sports are most developed here – the capital of the island – Sapporo hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 1972. There are many hiking trails in the local Deisetsu-san National Park, both mountainous and flat. The northeast of the island is the land of volcanoes and primeval forests washed by the cold Sea of Okhotsk.
The most “historical” city on the island is Hakodate. with its century old wooden buildings, churches built by foreign traders and a live fish market. Sapporo is a more modern city, worth visiting the Saskino nightlife center, the local brewery and the Hokkaido Historical Village, where more than sixty buildings that are monuments of ancient architecture are presented to the attention of travelers.
The Japanese Alps, located in the central part of Honshu, attract lovers of skiing, mountaineering and connoisseurs of hot mineral springs. Accessible only from April to November, the mountain resort of Kamikochi and the immaculately preserved Edo villages of Tsumago and Magoum are the main tourist attractions in the area.
To feel the charm of fishing Japan, you need to drive around the island along the coast of the Sea of Japan (the Noto Hanto coastline), visiting one of the best gardens in Japan in Kanazawa along the way.
South of the Japanese Alps are the Kensei Plains, where ancient temples and holy sites coexist with the remains of imperial cities. The most precious gem in this crown of attractions is undoubtedly Kyoto , where magnificent temples and imperial palaces are surrounded by exquisite gardens. Also, Kyoto is the main cultural and gastronomic center of Japan. Nara, located nearby, is less impressive in terms of the number of historical monuments, but there are such sights as a huge bronze Buddha statue, museum complexes and a park of tame deer, of which there are about a thousand. The western part of the island of Honshu is known rather for sad historical events. After all, it is here that Hiroshima is located, literally restored from the ashes after the events of sixty years ago. The memorial monument, no doubt, deserves a visit to this tragic place. Moving further south, we get to Shikoku – the smallest of the main islands of Japan. The most significant Shinto shrines are located here, so it has long been an iconic place for pilgrims. There are a total of 88 temples here, in addition, there are extraordinarily beautiful gardens (Ritserin-koen in Takamatsu) and healing hot springs.
The southernmost of the islands – Kyushu also has its own tourist specifics. The capital of the island – Nagasaki, which also fell victim to a nuclear bombing in 1945, is currently a local tourist center. In addition to it, the island has an ancient garden Suizenji Koen, founded 400 years ago; Aso Volcano, Minai-No-Taki Nature Reserve and the most famous hot springs of Japan in the city of Beppu. The entertainment industry is developed on the coast – sand baths are especially famous, which are taken on the ocean, in hot sand. It is also recommended to visit the Kamikaze Museum. Okinawa Prefecture includes over a hundred small islands, stretching almost all the way to Taiwan. Everything here is conducive to a beach holiday – clean white sand and green ocean. These islands are a paradise for divers, as many other resorts envy the richness of the underwater world of Okinawa. Also, do not forget that Okinawan karate was born here, whose fans visit the islands with enviable constancy.