Attractions

Top Choice Shinto Shrine in Nikkō

Tōshō-gū

A World Heritage Site, Tōshō-gū is a brilliantly decorative shrine in a beautiful natural setting. Among its notable features is the dazzling 'Sunset Gate' Yōmei-mon.As the shrine gears up for its 400th anniversary,…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Asakusa & Sumida River

Sensō-ji

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 the nearby Sumida-gawa by two fishermen in AD 628. The image…
Top Choice Market in Ginza & Tsukiji

Tsukiji Market

Fruit, vegetables, flowers and meat are sold here, but it's seafood – around 2000 tonnes of it traded daily – that Tsukiji is most famous for. The frenetic inner market (jōnai-shijō) is slated to move to Toyosu in 2…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Nara

Tōdai-ji

Nara's star attraction is the famous Daibutsu (Great Buddha), centrepiece of this grand temple on the Unesco World Heritage List, with origins going back to AD 728. The Daibutsu statue itself is one of the largest b…
Top Choice Shinto Shrine in Izumo

Izumo Taisha

Izumo Taisha is also known as Izumo Ōyashiro and is perhaps the oldest Shintō shrine of all. It is second in importance only to Ise-jingū, the home of the sun goddess Amaterasu. This shrine, dedicated to Ōkuninushi,…
Top Choice Shinto Shrine in Ise-Shima

Naikū

The Inner Shrine of Ise-jingū is thought to date from the 3rd century and enshrines the sun goddess, Amaterasu-Ōmikami, considered the ancestral goddess of the imperial family and guardian deity of the Japanese nati…
Top Choice Castle in Himeji

Himeji-jō

Japan's most magnificent castle, Himeji-jō, is a Unesco World Heritage Site, national treasure and one of only a handful of original castles remaining (most are modern concrete reconstructions). It's nicknamed Shira…
Top Choice Shinto Shrine in Harajuku & Aoyama

Meiji-jingū

Tokyo’s grandest Shintō shrine is dedicated to the Emperor Meiji and Empress Shōken. Constructed in 1920, the shrine was destroyed in WWII air raids and rebuilt in 1958; however, unlike so many of Japan’s postwar re…
Top Choice Shinto Shrine in Nara

Kasuga Taisha

Founded in the 8th century, this sprawling shrine on the Unesco World Heritage List lies at the foot of a deeply forested hill, where herds of sacred deer await handouts. Until the end of the 19th century, Kasuga Ta…
Top Choice Museum in Shiga Prefecture

Miho Museum

Secluded amid hills and valleys near the village of Shigaraki, this knockout museum houses the Koyama family collection of Japanese, Middle Eastern, Chinese and South Asian art, and beautifully displayed special exh…