26 best attractions in Japan


Japan’s name is made up of two char­ac­ters mean­ing “Land of the Ris­ing Sun”. These words reflect the essence, cul­ture and men­tal­i­ty of a unique Asian state.


Things to do in Japan

The palaces of the shoguns attract lovers of his­to­ry and archi­tec­ture. Pow­er­ful and at the same time grace­ful, they amaze with their mag­nif­i­cence. Mod­ern build­ings in Japan­ese cities also look unusu­al — there will be some­thing to admire. In gen­er­al, local archi­tec­ture is an organ­ic fusion of tra­di­tions and new tech­nolo­gies. Sky­scrap­ers, tend­ing upwards, and qui­et streets of one-sto­ry dis­tricts are like two facets of the same coin.

Numer­ous tem­ples with curved roofs give peace and tran­quil­i­ty. Many are hun­dreds of years old. They sur­vived wars, fires and are wait­ing for those who are inter­est­ed in reli­gion and are look­ing for peace of mind.

The incred­i­ble beau­ty of Japan­ese nature is like a paint­ing by a mas­ter who did not miss a sin­gle detail. Fans of con­tem­pla­tive rest will appre­ci­ate the local land­scapes and land­scapes.

Palaces and castles

White Heron Castle

samok beloi capli

Hime­ji, also known as the White Heron Cas­tle, is proof that a for­ti­fi­ca­tion can look frag­ile and ele­gant. The archi­tec­tur­al com­plex con­sists of 83 white build­ings with ter­ra­cot­ta roofs. Due to its loca­tion on a hill among green­ery, it seems that the cas­tle is float­ing in weight­less­ness.

Hime­ji was found­ed in the 13th cen­tu­ry, and until the 17th cen­tu­ry, the palace was active­ly changed and rebuilt to please its own­ers. Their numer­ous names are engraved on clay tiles. On the roof there is anoth­er inter­est­ing archi­tec­tur­al detail — a small fish. She pro­tects the palace from fire, floods and oth­er trou­bles.

One of the tow­ers hous­es the Osak­abe Shin­to Shrine. To get to it, you have to over­come count­less steps. From the win­dows of the sanc­tu­ary offers stun­ning views of the sur­round­ings and the palace gar­den. The lat­ter is a com­plex maze of trees and paths. As planned, he was sup­posed to con­fuse the ene­mies and pro­tect the palace from an unex­pect­ed attack.

Imperial Palace in Tokyo

imperatorskii dvorec v tokio

The Japan­ese love and revere their monarch very much. He lives in the cen­ter of the cap­i­tal in a mag­nif­i­cent palace sur­round­ed by canals and gar­dens. The ter­ri­to­ry of the palace com­plex exceeds 7.5 square meters. km. Access to the res­i­dence is closed to the gen­er­al pub­lic, but you can see the mag­nif­i­cent park and the sights in it.

Among them are the walls of the wood­en Edo Palace (the fore­run­ner of the mod­ern struc­ture), the Fushi­mi-yagu­ra watch­tow­er, the Nijubashi and Megan­bashi bridges. Here you get breath­tak­ing pho­tos and self­ies. And cozy alleys with bench­es lead to long prom­e­nades.

Nijo Castle

Samok Nidse

The palace com­plex is locat­ed in the heart of the old cap­i­tal of Kyoto. Its con­struc­tion was com­plet­ed in the mid-1600s. The for­ti­fi­ca­tion was designed to demon­strate the wealth and pow­er of the Toku­gawa clan, who ruled Japan at that time.

Tourists come to Nijo to see its 33 rooms. Each had its own func­tion­al pur­pose, which can be guessed from the skill­ful paint­ings on the walls. Tigers and leop­ards — for busi­ness nego­ti­a­tions and meet­ings, lilies and oth­er flow­ers — for a pleas­ant pas­time, land­scapes in pas­tel col­ors and black and white birds — cham­bers for rest and sleep.

In total, the palace has more than 3 thou­sand paint­ings paint­ed by stu­dents of the Kano school. This par­tic­u­lar tech­nique deter­mined the devel­op­ment of Japan­ese fine art for cen­turies to come.

Anoth­er fea­ture of the palace is the “nightin­gale” floors. It is said that the floor­boards do not creak from old age. This is a kind of sig­nal­ing, noti­fy­ing that an ene­my has made his way into the cham­bers.

Kochi Castle

Samok Koti

The snow-white cas­tle of Kochi is locat­ed in the city of the same name. It was built in the mid­dle of the 17th cen­tu­ry and is con­sid­ered the old­est fortress in the region. The cas­tle burned down more than once, col­lapsed and painstak­ing­ly restored to its orig­i­nal appear­ance. Per­haps that is why it has become a place of pil­grim­age for the Japan­ese, who are com­mit­ted to their tra­di­tions and respect­ful of the past.

Now a muse­um func­tions with­in the walls of the cas­tle, where a col­lec­tion of ancient weapons is exhib­it­ed. The pearl of the expo­si­tion is a 1.5 m long samu­rai sword. A medieval sun­di­al is still pre­served in the adja­cent park. When the sym­bol­ic arrow reached 12:00, a spe­cial­ly trained per­son struck the bell. So the inhab­i­tants of the near­by vil­lage were guid­ed by time.

Kumamoto Castle

samok kumamoto

The impreg­nable Kumamo­to Cas­tle, or Crow Cas­tle, grew up on the site of an ancient citadel from 1487. By order of the ruler Kiy­omasa in the peri­od 1601–1607. tow­ers were added, an out­er wall 13 km long was erect­ed, behind which imme­di­ate­ly begins an inner wall about 5 km long.

Also, more than 100 wells were dug in the fortress and wal­nut trees were plant­ed. The lat­ter served not for beau­ty, but for prac­ti­cal pur­pos­es — samu­rai could refresh them­selves with high-calo­rie fruits dur­ing sieges and bat­tles.

The glob­al recon­struc­tion of the cas­tle was car­ried out in 2007 — for its 400th anniver­sary.

golden pavilion

solotoi pavilion

Kinkaku­ji, or the Gold­en Pavil­ion, locat­ed in Kyoto is a gem of Japan­ese archi­tec­ture. The palace was built in 1397. Its walls sparkle with real gold, and the archi­tec­ture com­bines the lux­u­ri­ous Heian style and samu­rai aus­ter­i­ty. The roof is dec­o­rat­ed with a fig­urine of a fal­con, con­sid­ered a sym­bol of cycli­cal rebirth.

The palace looks organ­i­cal­ly against the back­drop of the nat­ur­al land­scape — its facade is effec­tive­ly reflect­ed in the water of the pond, and the curved roof is hid­den in the lush crowns of trees.

Temples and shrines

Fushimi-inari Shrine

hram fusini inari

The main Shin­to attrac­tion is locat­ed in Kyoto. Its sec­ond name “Sanc­tu­ary of a Thou­sand Scar­let Gates” ful­ly reflects the archi­tec­tur­al fea­tures of the tem­ple. Scar­let tun­nels stretched for 4 km. They end at the altar of Inari, whose andro­genic image is sym­bol­ized by a fox. Inari is con­sid­ered the god­dess of fer­til­i­ty, and vis­it­ing her tem­ple brings suc­cess and pros­per­i­ty.

The com­plex con­sists of 5 chapels, inter­con­nect­ed by a grand por­tal of arch­es. The jour­ney begins at the offer­or­i­um — a box for dona­tions. Fur­ther, believ­ers enter a tori tun­nel, the walk pass­es stat­ues with fox­es and small chapels. In the mid­dle of the path, there is an obser­va­tion deck that offers a panoram­ic view of Kyoto.

Temple of Atsuta

temple acuta

This tem­ple in Nagoya is almost 2,000 years old, mak­ing it the old­est in the coun­try. About 8 mil­lion peo­ple come here every year to hon­or Amat­era­su, the god­dess of the sun. There are more than 3 thou­sand his­tor­i­cal arti­facts in the halls and prayer rooms. The most sig­nif­i­cant is the sword Kusana­gi no tsu­ru­gi, one of the three sacred impe­r­i­al relics.

Every year, the tem­ple hosts open com­pe­ti­tions in kendo (Japan­ese ver­sion of sword fight­ing).

Toshogu Shrine

temple tosegu

This Shin­to shrine is locat­ed about 130 km from Tokyo in the city of Nikko. The shrine was built in hon­or of the shogun Toshogu in 1617. It was under him that Japan turned from dis­parate prin­ci­pal­i­ties into a strong state.

On the ter­ri­to­ry of the tem­ple is the bur­ial place of the great ruler. The ash­es are kept in a bronze urn in one of the sev­en shrines. To get there, you have to go through the spruce grove.

The Japan­ese come here not only to pay trib­ute to the great per­son, but also to enjoy the beau­ty of Toshogo. The main dec­o­ra­tion of the tem­ple is skill­ful wood­carv­ing. Author­ship is attrib­uted to the leg­endary mas­ter Hidari Jin­goro. It is also worth see­ing the gifts to the impe­r­i­al court, the famous bas-relief depict­ing a sleep­ing cat with spar­rows, bright wall paint­ings and paint­ings.



The shrine is locat­ed on the island of Miya­ji­ma. On its ter­ri­to­ry there is a scar­let tori gate 16 m high. They have become a sym­bol of Japan, which is often depict­ed on mag­nets and post­cards. It is believed that the gate stands on the bor­der of the world of the liv­ing and the dead. The cam­phor wood struc­ture appeared in the 6th cen­tu­ry and has been reg­u­lar­ly updat­ed ever since. The last recon­struc­tion was car­ried out in 1875.

The tem­ple is a com­plex of 17 build­ings locat­ed on plat­forms or piles dri­ven into the seabed. The most impor­tant thing is ded­i­cat­ed to the god­dess of the sun Amat­era­su — rit­u­als are per­formed in it, includ­ing the Kagu­ra dance. The bridge con­nects the land and the tem­ple. It leads to a trea­sury con­tain­ing more than 4,000 Shin­to items. Among them are jew­el­ry, gob­lets, fans and man­u­scripts.




Vis­it­ing the Miraikan Muse­um is like step­ping into the future. There are inter­ac­tive exhibits on 6 floors that you can touch, turn on and inter­act with in every pos­si­ble way.

The halls are ded­i­cat­ed to physics, biol­o­gy, astro­nau­tics and the achieve­ments of sci­ence. At the exhi­bi­tion, you can learn how the sys­tems of the human body work, how infor­ma­tion is trans­mit­ted via the Inter­net and get thou­sands more answers to a vari­ety of ques­tions.

The pearl of the exhi­bi­tion is the ASIMO robot. This is a real cyborg with almost human intel­li­gence. He can hold a con­ver­sa­tion in pure Japan­ese, play ball, shake hands, climb stairs, fetch a glass of water, and much more.


musei poncu kan

Niiga­ta Pre­fec­ture is famous for its sake dis­til­leries. The Pon­shu-kan Muse­um invites you to get acquaint­ed with the taste vari­ety of this drink in detail. At the entrance you need to buy tokens and take a spe­cial porce­lain cup.

Next, you need to put the con­tain­er in the machine, low­er the token and get a por­tion of rice wine. The muse­um presents more than 100 vari­eties of local alco­hol. After tast­ing enough, you can buy a bot­tle of your favorite ver­sion of sake.

Kyoto National Museum

nac musei kiota

The col­lec­tion of the main muse­um of Japan has more than 12 thou­sand arti­facts, which are housed in sev­er­al build­ings. The rich­est exhi­bi­tion is locat­ed in the Main Exhi­bi­tion Hall. It is divid­ed into 3 parts:

  • fine arts — paint­ings, sketch­es, draw­ings, cal­lig­ra­phy, sculp­tures;
  • arche­ol­o­gy — objects found dur­ing exca­va­tions in palaces and tem­ples;
  • applied arts — ceram­ics, jew­el­ry, leather, met­al, ani­mal bones, fab­rics and out­fits.



Leg­endary ani­me char­ac­ters with huge eyes, porce­lain faces and exor­bi­tant­ly long legs were invent­ed at the Ghi­b­li ani­ma­tion stu­dio with the light hand of Hayao Miyaza­ki.

It is in the Ghi­b­li Muse­um, locat­ed in Tokyo, that ani­me fans from all over the world make a pil­grim­age. Here are sketch­es, paint­ings, sto­ry­boards of pop­u­lar car­toons. At indi­vid­ual expo­si­tions, you can see in detail how ani­mat­ed films are cre­at­ed. You can also get acquaint­ed with the para­pher­na­lia of the world of ani­me.

You need to pur­chase tick­ets in advance, and also stand in line at the entrance — the muse­um is very pop­u­lar with locals and tourists.


tokyo tower


The grace­ful TV tow­er was built in 1958. Its height is 333 m. Archi­tects Naito and Tatyu were inspired by the Eif­fel Tow­er in Paris. Despite the obvi­ous sim­i­lar­i­ty, Tokyo has a num­ber of sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences: it is taller, lighter and paint­ed orange. The lat­ter was done not for aes­thet­ic, but for prac­ti­cal rea­sons — for the sake of avi­a­tion secu­ri­ty.

The obser­va­tion deck offers stun­ning panoram­ic views of the cap­i­tal, you can even see Mount Fuji. Oth­er attrac­tions include an aquar­i­um on the low­er floor, a wax muse­um on the third floor, a holo­graph­ic exhi­bi­tion on the fourth floor, and sev­er­al restau­rants and bars on the upper floors.

“Sky Tree”

celestial tree

This Tokyo TV tow­er is the sec­ond tallest in the world (634 m). The roof of the struc­ture ends at a height of 470 m, the rest is an anten­na. The sky tree is the best place to take pho­tos of the Japan­ese cap­i­tal, which can be seen at a glance.

The first obser­va­tion deck is locat­ed at an alti­tude of 350 m and can accom­mo­date up to 2 thou­sand peo­ple. The sec­ond is locat­ed at around 450 m and can accom­mo­date up to 900 guests. On the top plat­form there is a spi­ral stair­case with a trans­par­ent floor for the brave ones who are not afraid of heights.

rainbow bridge

rainbow most

The cable-stayed bridge con­nect­ing the ship­yard with the arti­fi­cial island of Odai­ba has become a land­mark of the Japan­ese cap­i­tal. From a tech­ni­cal point of view, it is not a cham­pi­on — its height is only 126 m, and its length is 918 m. But in the evenings, the con­struc­tion is illu­mi­nat­ed by mul­ti-col­ored illu­mi­na­tion, and it seems that a fan­cy iri­des­cent gar­land is float­ing above the water.

From the obser­va­tion decks of the Rain­bow Bridge, you can enjoy breath­tak­ing views of the sky­scrap­ers of Tokyo and the bay. Such a spec­ta­cle attracts hun­dreds of peo­ple every day.

Natural attractions and parks

Mount Fuji

mountain food

Mount Fuji, or Fujiya­ma, is a real trea­sure of the coun­try. Its reg­u­lar shape and sym­me­try have inspired poets and artists for cen­turies.

In geo­log­i­cal terms, Fuji is an active vol­cano, which was last active in the dis­tant 1708. In cul­tur­al stud­ies, it is a sacred moun­tain, to the top of which every Japan­ese must climb at least once in his life.

There are 4 offi­cial routes lead­ing to the peak. Tourists are advised to pre-reg­is­ter with a group of ama­teur climbers at the infor­ma­tion point of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu Reserve, where the shrine is locat­ed.

Sagano Bamboo Forest

bambukovi les sagano

The bam­boo grove in Kyoto Pre­fec­ture has become a place of pil­grim­age for hun­dreds of tourists and locals. Ever­green even stems, sway­ing in time with the wind, give amaz­ing peace and tran­quil­i­ty. The for­est cov­ers an area of ​​almost 16 square meters. km.

The entire area is cov­ered with hik­ing trails and alleys, some of which are illu­mi­nat­ed at night, cre­at­ing a spe­cial atmos­phere. Almost in the very cen­ter of the grove, among 40-meter bam­boo giants, there is a pond Sojen, on the banks of which there are reli­gious build­ings.

nikko national park

nac park nikko

The reserve is locat­ed 125 km from Tokyo. Bud­dhist and Shin­to tem­ples, ancient shrines on its ter­ri­to­ry are in har­mo­ny with the pris­tine nature. Moun­tain plateaus, talk­a­tive rivers, majes­tic water­falls and mead­ows form the land­scape.

There are many ani­mals in the park: bears, roe deer, wild boars, hares, fox­es, mon­keys and hun­dreds of bird species. They found shel­ter in conif­er­ous and decid­u­ous forests.

The main nat­ur­al pearl of these places is Chuzen­ji Lake, the high­est in the coun­try. It is locat­ed at an alti­tude of 1269 m. You should def­i­nite­ly vis­it the Kegon-no-taki water­fall, which falls with a roar from a height of 97 m.

Happo-en garden

sad happy en

The gar­den was found­ed about 400 years ago dur­ing the reign of the Toku­gawa. How­ev­er, it acquired its final appear­ance at the begin­ning of the 20th cen­tu­ry thanks to the financier and entre­pre­neur Hisas­hi Hara.

The pecu­liar­i­ty of the gar­den is the lack of sym­me­try char­ac­ter­is­tic of parks. Mr. Hara want­ed to cre­ate a wilder­ness area in bustling Tokyo. Human inter­ven­tion is still notice­able — these are cozy gaze­bos and bench­es, dwarf bon­sai trees, a pago­da and stone lanterns. Some trees are 400–500 years old, and they feel great and even bloom in spring.

Ueno park

park ueno

Tokyo Ueno Park appeared in 1873 and for a long time served as the per­son­al gar­den of the monarch. Flo­ra was brought there from all over Japan — it turned out to be a kind of botan­i­cal gar­den, where you can get acquaint­ed with the rich plant diver­si­ty of the coun­try. Trees and shrubs have become home to more than 2 thou­sand ani­mals, among which there is even a cou­ple of pan­das.

On the ter­ri­to­ry of the park there are 4 active tem­ples and 4 muse­ums: Tokyo Nation­al Muse­um, Sci­ence Muse­um, Ethno­graph­ic Muse­um, as well as the Muse­um of West­ern Art, where paint­ings by Van Gogh, Dali, Mon­et are exhib­it­ed.

Koishikawa Korakuen Garden

sad koesikava

At the dawn of the 17th cen­tu­ry, a samu­rai who retired from mil­i­tary affairs turned his estate into an unusu­al park. Its land­scape is rem­i­nis­cent of the icon­ic land­scapes of Japan and Chi­na. For the trou­bled Mid­dle Ages, this was an inno­v­a­tive idea. The man-made hill looks like Mount Fuji, the crown of cher­ry blos­soms looks like the Kiy­omizu-dera tem­ple in Kyoto, and the curved stone bridge over the pond looks like the Chi­nese lake Sihu, over­grown with pines.

Interesting places

Asakusa area

area asakusa

Toky­o’s Asakusa is the epit­o­me of old Japan, where time has almost stopped. Pedes­tri­an streets invite you to enjoy the nation­al fla­vor. For decades, or even cen­turies, shops and restau­rants have been oper­at­ing in ancient build­ings, pass­ing from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion. Here you can meet Japan­ese women in nation­al clothes or wit­ness a col­or­ful pro­ces­sion ded­i­cat­ed to some hol­i­day.



The nois­i­est and most pop­u­lar area of ​​Tokyo, whose name trans­lates as “coin”. There are shops, restau­rants, clubs, bars and oth­er estab­lish­ments where you can spend mon­ey. This area nev­er sleeps, so you can hard­ly find a “closed” sign on even one door.

The area’s main attrac­tions are the Sony Cor­po­ra­tion Build­ing and the Gin­za-Wako Tow­er.



One of Toky­o’s busiest neigh­bor­hoods was once a qui­et met­ro­pol­i­tan sub­urb. Today it is the cen­ter of busi­ness life and enter­tain­ment, which, with the advent of twi­light, shines with the whole spec­trum of neon lights. It is here that the high­est sky­scrap­ers of the coun­try are locat­ed, among which is the colos­sus Shin­juku Park Tow­er (52 floors). Be sure to vis­it the geisha quar­ters and Kabu­ki­cho, as well as the “Gold­en Street”, where the local bohemia gath­ers.


Добавить комментарий