Must-see attractions in Japan

  • Mt Fuji and Cherry Blossom

    Mt Fuji

    Fuji Five Lakes

    Fuji-san is among Japan's most revered and timeless attractions, the inspiration for generations of poets and the focus of countless artworks. Hundreds of…

  • Tokyo, Ueno, Taito-ku: Tokyo National Museum, Honkan

    Tokyo National Museum

    Ueno & Yanesen

    If you visit only one museum in Tokyo, make it the Tokyo National Museum. Here you'll find the world's largest collection of Japanese art, including…

  • Peace Statue, Nagasaki,Japan

    Peace Park


    A still, serene and deeply moving place, Nagasaki's Peace Park commemorates the atomic bombing of the city on August 9, 1945, which reduced the…

  • Vendors prepare chestnuts to sell at Nishiki Market in Kyoto, Japan on 22 November 2016.
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    Nishiki Market

    Downtown Kyoto

    The covered Nishiki Market (Nishiki-kōji Ichiba) is one of Kyoto’s real highlights, especially if you have an interest in cooking and dining. Commonly…

  • April 29, 2018: The Robot statue in an open garden space at the Ghibli museum.

    Ghibli Museum


    This museum is the heart of the Studio Ghibli world, a beloved (even 'adored') film studio responsible for classic, critically-acclaimed animated titles…

  • Shinjuku, Tokyo, Kanto region, Japan. Tiny alleys crowded with night bars and clubs at Golden Gai district.

    Golden Gai

    Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

    Golden Gai – a Shinjuku institution for over half a century – is a collection of tiny bars, often literally no bigger than a closet and seating maybe a…

  • Tokyo, Japan view of Shibuya Crossing, one of the busiest crosswalks in the world.
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    Shibuya Crossing

    Shibuya & Shimo-Kitazawa

    Rumoured to be the busiest intersection in the world (and definitely in Japan), Shibuya Crossing is like a giant beating heart, sending people in all…

  • Tokyo, Japan - May 6, 2017: Cup noodles Museum Front display in Yokohama.; Shutterstock ID 652705672; Your name (First / Last): Laura Crawford; GL account no.: 65050; Netsuite department name: Online Editorial; Full Product or Project name including edition: BiA: Takayama, south of Tokyo POI images for online

    Cup Noodles Museum


    This impressively slick attraction is dedicated to, you guessed it, cup noodles. But in reality, its focus is more broad, with numerous exhibitions…

  • Tokushima, Shikoku, Japan, North-East Asia, Asia



    If you're travelling along Rte 439, it's not a matter of 'blink and you'll miss it', but blink, and blink again, because you may have a hard time…

  • Osaka, Japan - April 30, 2017: tourists looking Osaka city at Abeno Harukas, the tallest skyscraper in Japan. The building stands on top of Kintetsu Osaka Abenobashi Station near JR Tennoji Station.
Abeno Harukas Observatory

    Abeno Harukas


    This César Pelli–designed tower, which opened in March 2014, is Japan's tallest building (300m, 60 storeys). The observatory on the 16th floor is free,…

  • teamLab Borderless


    Digital-art collective teamLab has created 60 artworks for this museum, open in 2018, that tests the border between art and the viewer: many are…

  • Path through bamboo forest

    Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

    Arashiyama & Sagano

    The thick green bamboo stalks seem to continue endlessly in every direction and there’s a strange quality to the light at this famous bamboo grove, which…

  • Tokyo Imperial Palace, tokyo, japan
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    Imperial Palace


    The Imperial Palace occupies the site of the original Edo-jō, the Tokugawa shogunate's castle. In its heyday this was the largest fortress in the world,…

  • Japan, Hokkaido, Otaru-shi, Otaru Canal at Night. (Photo by: JTB/UIG via Getty Images)

    Otaru Canal


    Historic Otaru canal is lined with warehouses from the late 19th and early 20th centuries when this port city served as the financial centre of Hokkaidō…

  • World Heritage-listed Toshogu Shrine, Nikko



    Tōshō-gū is Nikkō's biggest attraction, a shrine to the powerful shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543–1616). No expense was spared: when the original structure …

  • Row of stone lanterns at Oku-no-in cemetery.


    Kii Peninsula

    Oku-no-in, whose name means 'inner sanctuary', is perhaps the most intensely spiritual place in Japan. At its farthest reaches is the Gobyō, the crypt…

  • Exterior of the Sensouji Temple.
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    Asakusa & Sumida River

    Tokyo’s most visited temple enshrines a golden image of Kannon (the Buddhist goddess of mercy), which, according to legend, was miraculously pulled out of…

  • Todai-ji Temple, Nara



    Nara's star attraction is its Daibutsu (Great Buddha), one of the largest bronze statues in the world. It was unveiled in 752, upon the completion of the…

  • TOKYO, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 23: Meiji-jingu in Tokyo, Japan on November 23, 2013. The shrine officially designated one of Kanpei-taisha, the 1st rank of government supported shrines.
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    Harajuku & Aoyama

    Tokyo’s grandest Shintō shrine is dedicated to the Emperor Meiji and Empress Shōken, whose reign (1868–1912) coincided with Japan's transformation from…

  • Himeji castle through Sakura



    Himeji-jō is Japan's most magnificent castle, built in 1580 by general Toyotomi Hideyoshi and one of only a few original castles from that era (most are…

  • HAKONE, KANAGAWA, JAPAN - 2014/06/20: The Hakone Open Air Museum creates a harmonic balance of the nature of Hakone National Park with art in the form of scultpures and other artwork, usually replicas, using the nature of Hakone National Park as a frame or background. The park encourages children to play and be entertained as well as to inspire visitors. (Photo by John S Lander/LightRocket via Getty Images)

    Hakone Open-Air Museum


    Occupying a verdant swath of Hakone hillside is this unmissable art safari, leading visitors past a rich array of 19th- and 20th-century sculptures and…

  • Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, Nagasaki Peace Park, Nagasaki, Kyushu, Japan, Asia

    Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum


    On 9 August 1945, the world's second nuclear weapon detonated over Nagasaki, and this sombre place recounts the city's destruction and loss of life…

  • Kazurabashi vine bridge in Japan's Iya Valley

    Oku Iya Ni-jū Kazura-bashi


    Away from the crowds and tour buses, the spectacular Oku Iya Ni-jū Kazura-bashi are two secluded vine bridges hanging side by side high over the river…

  • Naikū


    Ise-jingū's inner shrine is dedicated to the sun goddess, Amaterasu-Ōmikami, considered the ancestral goddess of the imperial family and guardian deity of…

  • Zuiryū-ji

    Kanazawa & the Hokuriku Coast

    One of Japan's National Treasures, the temple of the second generation of feudal lord Maeda Toshinaga's family is rightly famous for its manicured lawns,…

  • Sunayama Beach

    Okinawa & the Southwest Islands

    Just 4km north of the Hirara district of Miyakojima city, you'll find this little, archetypally tropical Japan beach, which lies at the bottom of a large…

  • ktoyo,japan - May 21,2018 : Mt.Hiei-zan Enryaku-ji Temple in Kyoto,Japan.Enryaku-ji Temple was founded by the priest Saicho In 788.



    Located atop 848m-high Hiei-zan (the mountain that dominates the skyline in the northeast of the city), the Enryaku-ji complex is an entire world of…

  • Horyuji Temple, Nara, Japan



    Hōryū-ji was founded in 607 by Prince Shōtoku, considered by many to be the patron saint of Japanese Buddhism. It's renowned not only as one of the oldest…

  • Kiyomizu or Kiyomizu-dera temple in autum season at Kyoto Japan
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    Southern Higashiyama

    A buzzing hive of activity perched on a hill overlooking the basin of Kyoto, Kiyomizu-dera is one of Kyoto's most popular and most enjoyable temples. It…

  • Cenotaph for A-Bomb victims and A-Bomb Dome

    Peace Memorial Park


    Hugged by rivers on both sides, Peace Memorial Park is a large, leafy space crisscrossed by walkways and dotted with memorials and tranquil spaces for…

  • Japan, Sanin Region, Shimane Prefecture, Izumo, Shimenawa at Izumo Taisha Shrine. (Photo by: JTB Photo/UIG via Getty Images)

    Izumo Taisha

    Western Honshū

    Izumo Taisha, also known as Izumo Ōyashiro, is perhaps the oldest Shintō shrine in Japan. This shrine, dedicated to Ōkuninushi, god of marriage and…

  • Detail from Konpira Jinja, a shrine on Mount Konpira in Shikoku, Japan.


    Kagawa Prefecture

    Konpira-san or, more formally, Kotohira-gū, was originally a Buddhist and Shintō temple dedicated to the guardian of mariners. It became exclusively a…

  • 500px Photo ID: 104742241 - Photo taken at Kurama-dera, Sakyo ward, Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan.



    Located high on a thickly wooded mountain, Kurama-dera is one of the few temples in modern Japan that manages to retain an air of real spirituality. This…

  • People walking under thousands of Torii at Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine.
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    Fushimi Inari-Taisha

    Kyoto Station & South Kyoto

    With seemingly endless arcades of vermilion torii (shrine gates) spread across a thickly wooded mountain, this vast shrine complex is a world unto its own…

  • (GERMANY OUT) The bell at the Chion-inTemple in the Gion district of Kyoto, Japan  (Photo by Forster/ullstein bild via Getty Images)


    Southern Higashiyama

    A collection of soaring buildings, spacious courtyards and gardens, Chion-in serves as the headquarters of the Jōdo sect, the largest school of Buddhism…

  • Osaka Castle in Morning



    After unifying Japan in the late 16th century, General Toyotomi Hideyoshi built this castle (1583) as a display of power, using, it's said, the labour of…

  • Japan, Kinki Region, Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, View of Sanzen-in Temple. (Photo by: JTB/UIG via Getty Images) (Photo by: JTB Photo/UIG via Getty Images)



    Famed for its autumn foliage, hydrangea garden and stunning Buddha statues, this temple is deservedly popular with foreign and domestic tourists alike…

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The photo shows autumn foliage around Aizendo Hall (Octagonal Hall)of Tofuku-ji Temple, Kyoto, Japan.


    Kyoto Station & South Kyoto

    Home to a spectacular garden, several superb structures and beautiful precincts, Tōfuku-ji is one of the best temples in Kyoto. It is linked to Fushimi…

  • Full length of young maikos holding red umbrellas during rainy season. Beautiful geisha girls wearing traditional dress called kimono. They are walking on wet street.


    Southern Higashiyama

    Gion is the famous entertainment and geisha quarter on the eastern bank of the Kamo-gawa. While Gion’s true origins were in teahouses catering to weary…

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