Japan, the country of the rising sun and a fascinating place where tradition blends perfectly with technology and modernity. There are many things to see and do in Japan, in addition to the kindness and education of its people that will allow you to enjoy all of it without the language barrier being an insurmountable obstacle, against what you can read. Other reasons to visit Japan is its gastronomy, with which its fresh fish, sushi, ramen, tempura, yakisoba or okonomiyaki will delight lovers of this food.
Kyoto, the city of geishas and maikos and our favorite city in Japan. The city is full of temples and shrines, the Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine, the Ginkakuji, Kinkaku-ji or Golden Pavilion temples, Ryoan-ji and the Kiyomizudera temple are some of the most essential places to visit in Kyoto. You can’t stop walking along the Path of Philosophy or the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, looking for a geisha in the traditional Gion neighborhood, walking along Pontocho and Ninenzaka streets, among the many other things to see and do in Kyoto.
From Kyoto you can make several excursions, one or two days to some of the wonders of Japan with the bullet train and the Japan Rail Pass Among the most outstanding are Kobe, Miyajima, Hiroshima, Himeji Castle, Osaka and Nara.
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Miyajima is an island full of magic and one of the most essential places to see in Japan, in addition to having been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The island is located near Hiroshima and its most prominent and sacred place is the Itsukushima Shrine, built partially on the sea.
Another of the outstanding monuments is The Ootorii Gate, the symbol of Miyajima, a wooden torii built in the sea that when the tide goes out you can go to its base.
For us it was one of the most beautiful places of the trip and we always recommend spending a night in Miyajima, as this allows you to wander around town and along the beach at sunset when most of the tourists have left. We also recommend sleeping one night in a ryokan, the traditional Japanese accommodation. We did it on this island in the Ryoso Kawaguchi and it became one of the memorable moments of the trip.
Shirakawa-go, the White River Town, is a historic village located in the Japanese Alps. It stands out for the architecture of its houses built in the Gassho-zukuri style with their thatched roofs that look like two hands placed in a prayer position and that are useful to withstand the large amount of snow in that area.
To get to Shirakawa-go you have to take a bus from Takayama , which will get you there in just over an hour. The town is very small and in about 3 hours you can visit it, although you should not forget to go up to the viewpoint, since the views from there are really incredible. Of course, if you do it with snow, you have to be careful, since it is a bit dangerous.
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Nara, located south of Kyoto, is an ancient capital of Japan with several notable places to visit. The most essential place to see in Nara is the Todaiji temple, where inside its great wooden structure is the spectacular Great Buddha of Nara. Before reaching the temple you will pass through the beautiful Nara Park, full of deer with several temples and gardens.
Visiting Nara is one of the most typical excursions in Kyoto and you can take advantage of the train trip to see one of the most beautiful shrines in Japan, the Fushimi Inari-Taisha.
Tokyo is an endless city with temples, skyscrapers, millenary traditions and the latest technology, in which at many moments you feel as if you were on a trip to the future.
A city like this, with such a population rate, which in other countries would be unfeasible, here we can say that it flows without large crowds.
There are many things to see and do in Tokyo , among which we can highlight the sunset over Tokyo from the island of Odaiba, the visit to the Meiji Shrine and the Sensoji Temple, climb the Tokyo Tower, eat the best sushi near Tsukiji, surprise yourself on Takeshita Dori street, cross the Shibuya crosswalk or walk through the Ginza, Akihabara or Shinjuku neighborhoods.
From Tokyo you can make several excursions taking advantage of the Japan Rail Pass such as Kamakura, Yokohama, Nikko or see Mount Fuji from one of its viewpoints.
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Himeji Castle, one of the best places to see in Japan
Himeji Castle is one of the most impressive castles in the world and one of the must see places in Japan.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is one of the few that remain from the Middle Ages. It has been under restoration for many years but since the beginning of 2015 it has been shining in all its splendor and has once again become one of the country’s star visits.
This castle is nicknamed “the White Heron“ because of its white color and is built on a hill surrounded by cherry trees, which in spring make it one of the postcards of Japan.
From Kyoto you can take the bullet train or book a tour that includes the city of Kobe.
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Nikko is another one of the World Heritage Sites and a must see in Japan. It is one of the most common excursions by tourists who are in Tokyo, standing out above all for its sanctuaries and sacred temples. One of the places that you cannot miss is the Toshogu Temple, known as the sanctuary of the 3 wise monkeys and considered as a national treasure of the country. Other places you have to see are the Shinkyō Bridge, the Rinnoji Temple, the Futarasan Shrine and the Taiyuinbyo.
Mount Fuji is a photogenic holy volcano, the highest peak in the country, and one of the best hikes in Tokyo. The volcano has very little activity and in summer many people take advantage of the good weather to climb to the top or practice mountaineering. Fuji can be seen on clear days from Tokyo, especially between the months of May and September, although it is advisable to take a day trip to see it up close. Without a doubt, one of the essential tips for traveling to Japan.
There are several places from which you have great views of Fuji, such as the Hakone area, Lake Kawaguchiko, Fujiyoshida’s Arakurayama Sengen Park or from the Shinkansen bullet train itself, among many others.
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Kamakura is a city famous for its temples and shrines that make it one of the essentials in Japan. Kotokuin Temple is the most famous with the huge bronze statue of Daibutsu or Great Buddha of Kamakura. Other important places in the city are the Kamakura-gu Shrine and the Tsurugaoka Hachiman, the Kenchō-ji and Engaku-ji Zen temples, the Tōkei-ji Nunnery, the Hase-dera temple, and the tombs of Minamoto no Yoritomo and Hojo. Masako.
And as an extra we will tell you that if you are lucky with the weather and the sky, from the beaches of Kamakura you will be able to see Mount Fuji, another reason not to miss this getaway.
Hiroshima is a city marked by its history as a result of the explosion of the atomic bomb in World War II. It is not a pleasant visit as such, but we do believe it is necessary on any trip to Japan.
As you approach the Atomic Bomb Dome, one of the few buildings that remain after the explosion, you will realize the magnitude of the disaster and the horror that its inhabitants experienced. Other essential places to see in Hiroshima are the Peace Memorial Museum, with objects, memories and information from that fateful August 6, 1945, its beautiful castle and the Shukkeien Gardens.
It is a visit that you can do from Kyoto in one day with the Shinkansen, being able to take advantage of the same day of the trip to visit the nearby Miyajima Island.