Spots in Japan

  • Fushimi Inari Taisha
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    4.5
    24494 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Fushimi-ku Fukakusa Yabunouchi cho 68
    This shrine in Fushimi Ward, Kyoto City, is the head of all Inari Shrines in Japan, which total to around 30,000 shrines. The shrine is particularly famous for its vermillion lacquered Torii gate tunnels, as well as to parishioners visiting the god for business, harvest, and fortune. Many of the buildings on the grounds are also painted with brilliant vermillion lacquer including the front shrine, main shrine, and tower gate, which has been designated an Important Cultural Properties of Japan. The torii gate corridor, said to consist of several thousand to 10,000 torii gates, twists and turns making it quite the spectacle. Beyond that is the rear shrine as well as the entrance to Mt. Inari-san which is dotted with countless small burial mounds. It is one of the most famous spots in the Kansai region to visit for the annual New Year Shrine Visit and draws huge numbers of visitors every year.

    Many shrines in Asia, we noticed, are difficult to get to. This glorious temple as well is for fit and fine to climb. We tell you, only the fit may climb.

  • Dotonbori
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    4.5
    12476 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Osaka Osakashi Chuou-ku Doutombori
    Dotonbori’s famous Glico sign seems to be peering into the Dotonbori River; meanwhile, a giant crab sign moves in a perpetual dance. Crowded with restaurants and lined with giant signs, Dotonbori is a bustling entertainment district where visitors can truly experience Osaka—the city of kuidaore (extravagant eating). Have a bite at a shop selling kushiage (fried vegetable and meat skewers) or okonomiyaki (savory pancakes filled with meat and vegetables), Osaka specialties. Or spend a day visiting the various takoyaki (octopus dumplings) or butaman (steamed pork bun) restaurants. Day and night, this lively thoroughfare is frequented by great numbers of tourists.

    We strolled through the district in the night and had a fantastic time. The street food vendors and little shops were time well spent. I highly recommend trying one of the crab restaurants and the...

  • Tokyo Tower
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    4.0
    8258 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokyo Minato-ku Shibakouen 4-2-8
    This is a full-purpose radio tower in Shiba Park in Minato City, Tokyo. The tower began operating in 1958, and has remained as a landmark symbol of Tokyo, receiving many tourists from both in and out of Japan every year. Reaching 333 meters at its apex, the tower has a main observation deck at 150 meters, and a top deck at 250 meters, providing a panoramic view of the greater Tokyo area. The lighting of the tower, changed seasonally in various colors, is popular with many. A commercial complex, the Foot Town, is arrayed with souvenir, character goods, and eatery shops at the base of the tower.

    The view from the top, no lenses can capture it, apart from human eye lense. The sort of glass enclosure that is bad for photo taking must be taken down.

  • Osaka Castle
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    4.0
    7899 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Osaka Osakashi Chuou-ku Osakajou 1-1
    Osaka Castle was built by the Imperial Regent Toyotomi Hideyoshi between 1583 and 1598. The castle was built on a magnificent scale, but was destroyed just 17 years later after the death of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and the destruction of the Toyotomi clan in the Siege of Osaka in 1615. Thereafter, the castle was rebuilt by the Tokugawa shogunate under the command of Todo Takatora but was once again lost due to a fire caused by a lightning strike. The current castle tower is the third generation to stand here and was completed in 1931 through donations from local citizens. The interior of the castle is a history museum and visitors can enjoy information about the history of Osaka Castle and dioramas. The castle was registered as a national Tangible Cultural Property in 1997.

    Beautiful castle and surroundings. I was not able to enter the castle tower due to covid restrictions but enjoyed the variety of things to do and see within the castle walls and in the gardens.

  • Himeji Castle
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    4.5
    5323 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hyogo Pref. Himejishi Honmachi 68
    Also known as the White Heron Castle, this shining white castle is registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Structures such as the castle tower built in the early Edo period still stand today, and these are also registered as National treasures and national Important Cultural Properties. One of the most prominent theories is that the castle was originally erected as a fort by Akamatsu Sadanori in 1346. Ikeda Terumasa began renovating the castle when he became the lord of the castle after the Battle of Sekigahara, expanding it into the expansive compound seen today. The castle tower is located in the southeast corner of the foundation. The castle looks to be composed of five tiers from the outside and internally is comprised of six floors above ground and one subterranean level. The castle shining a blinding white in the light of the sun is truly a beautiful sight.

    All I can say is WOW! Amazing place. There are a lot of steep stairs to climb so its not for everyone. Incredible to think that this was built in the 1600s. A truly amazing place.

  • Nijojo Castle
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    4.5
    6976 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto City Kyoto City Nakagyo-ku Nijyotoru Horikawa Western Nishi Nijo Castle Town 541
    This fortification was built in 1603 to lodge Tokugawa Ieyasu when he travelled to the capital after his victory at the Battle of Sekigahara. Later, the site was significantly renovated by the third shogun, Tokugawa Iemitsu, resulting in its present form. In addition to the entire grounds being a nationally designated Historic Site, the site is dotted with numerous historically valuable structures and beautiful sights, including the Ninomaru Palace, the outer citadel palace (a National Treasure), Honmaru Palace, the inner citadel palace (an Important Cultural Property), and Ninomaru Garden, the outer citadel palace garden (a Special Place of Scenic Beauty).

    The palace was not open due to the New Year holidays but the garden was open. Most of the buildings were being renovated anyways so we wouldn’t have been able to go inside. It would be worth visiting...

  • Tōdai-ji
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    4.5
    5652 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Narashi Zoushichou 406-1
    This temple which is located in Nara City is the head temple of the Kegon sect of Buddhism. The principal object of worship at the temple is Vairocana-Buddha which has become a symbol of Nara and is known as “Nara’s Big Buddha”. Emperor Shomu issued a decree to construct the Great Buddha in 743, and in order to enshrine that Great Buddha, Tōdai-ji was constructed using all the nation’s power. National Treasures such as the Nandaimon (Great South Gate), Daibutsuden (the Great Buddha), the bell tower and the Hokke-do Hall are dotted throughout the grounds of the temple. It is known internationally as a Japanese sightseeing spot with many foreign tourists also visiting the temple.

    Todai-ji is one of the most imressive temples in Japan. The grounds around the temple are also well worth visiting. Youll find extensive gardens, museums as well as treasure halls.

  • Nikko Toshogu Shrine
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    4.5
    3328 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Sannai 2301
    A shrine located in Sannai, Nikko City. It was founded in 1617 as a shrine dedicated to the Tosho Daigongen (Tokugawa Ieyasu). There are many buildings including eight National Treasures and 34 Important Cultural Properties in the shrine grounds as well as the beautifully adorned and richly colored carvings of the Three Wise Monkeys—Mizaru, Iwazaru and Kikazaru (see no evil, speak no evil and hear no evil)—and the Nemuri-neko (sleepy cat) attributed to Hidari Jingoro. Nikko Toshogu is also registered as a World Heritage Site as one of the Shrines and Temples of Nikko.

    An excellent place if you time your visit outside peak hours. The Covid precautions were very good. The roaring dragon is a must see.

  • Kuromon Ichiba Market
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    4.0
    3225 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Osaka Osakashi Chuou-ku Nippombashi 2-4-1
    Kuromon Ichiba Market, located not far off from Namba, helps keep Osaka, “the Kitchen of the Nation” functioning. The market where professionals from a number of famous restaurants do their shopping, shops here stock the highest quality seafoods as well as the freshest vegetables. In recent years, the market has also come to be a popular tourist destination, and one can frequently catch sight of visitors sampling the various wares on offer. Come here when you’re looking for “honmamon” (the genuine article).

    They obviously overcharge because it is popular with tourists who are willing to pay. But if you like markets it is worth a visit, lots of sushi for sale and a few small Korean food kiosks.

  • Ueno Zoo
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    4.0
    3034 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Tokyo Taitou-ku Uenokouen 9-83
    This urban zoo located in Taito City’s Ueno-onshi-koen Park is Japan’s oldest zoo, having opened in 1882. Inside are more than 500 types of animals, and it is most famous for giant panda in particular. The zoo is breeding and displaying the world’s three rarest animals that include the pygmy hippopotamus and okapi as well as the panda. From the 1990s the animal enclosures were refurbished to provide a space for patrons to see animals in more natural surroundings.

    Ueno zoo is located in a great area and easy to visit. It has so many animals and creatures you can see. However, the cage and the area for the animals are really small and I even can feel the...

  • Imperial Palace East Garden
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    4.0
    2772 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Tokyo Chiyoda-ku Chiyoda The Imperial Palace East Gardens
    The Imperial Palace East Garden was created on land that had formerly formed part of the Honmaru, Ninomaru and Sannomaru zones of Edo Castle, during the construction of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo; the East Garden is open to the public. A number of historical remains and vestiges of Edo Castle can be seen in the East Garden, including part of the Tenshu-dai (the foundation platform for the castle’s main tower), the Ote-mon Gate, the Hyakunin Bansho guardhouse, etc., and as a result the East Garden attracts large numbers of both overseas and domestic tourists. The East Garden also has a wealth of natural beauty, including the “Prefectural Trees” presented to the Garden by every prefecture in Japan, making it a popular place for a stroll or just to sit and relax.

    Better book ticket online in advance so you can go inside garden We didn’t know the ticket so just walked around & my child played with pebbles & jumped on rocks

  • Gotemba Premium Outlets
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    4.0
    1452 Reviews
    Shopping
    Shizuoka Pref. Gotembashi Fukasawa 1312
    Located in Gotemba City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Gotemba Premium Outlets is Japan’s largest outlet mall. Occupying an extensive site with views of Mt. Fuji, Gotemba Premium Outlets is divided into a West Zone and East Zone, with an impressive line-up of more than 290 shops and restaurants, including many leading international and Japanese brands. There are direct bus services to Gotemba Premium Outlets from several major railway stations, including Tokyo Station, Shinagawa Station, Shinjuku Station, Ikebukuro Station, and Yokohama Station.

    This place is HUGE!!! Fuji is in the backdrop, so you can take some awesome photos with it. Lots and lots of shopping!!! Will definitely come back!!!

  • Odori Park
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    4.0
    3793 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hokkaido Sapporoshi Chuou-ku Odorinishi 1 from 12-chome
    Odori Park is a unique park located in the center of Sapporo City running about 1.5 kilometers from Odorinishi 1-chome to Odorinishi 12-chome. It also forms a base point that divides the city into north and south. In addition to the beautiful flowerbeds and lawns, as many as 4,700 trees from 92 species are spread about inside the park, and their changing appearance can be enjoyed through the four seasons. Odori Park is also a venue for the Lilac Festival, YOSAKOI Soran Festival, and Sapporo Snow Festival, and is popular as a place where many Sapporo locals and tourists gather for recreation as well.

    I walked from end to end to enjoy the autumn leaves and hit the few highlights along the way. It was nice

  • Ghibli Museum, Mitaka
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    4.5
    1897 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Tokyo Mitakashi Shimorenjaku 1-1-83 Metropolitan Inokashira Park In Saiten
    This is an animation art museum managed by Studio Ghibli's Hayao Miyazaki with a motto of “Let's get lost together.” In addition to displaying materials and storyboards of past Ghibli works, the museum always features various sections that will expand one's perception of animation such as the replicated animation studio and the screenings of short animated films made just for the museum. With a nostalgic building and a route that blends in greenery, this is a place that both adults and children can enjoy just as they please. Entry to the museum is only by reservation and the closest station is Mitaka Station.

    They wouldn’t let me mark earlier, but I actually went in fall of 2017. No photography allowed, which almost made the experience more special. There’s Ghibli themed food, and inside looks into the...

  • Asahiyama Zoo
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    4.5
    2762 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hokkaido Asahikawashi Higashiasahikawachou Kuranuma
    Asahiyama Zoo is a zoo in Asahikawa City. The exhibits allow you to see the expressions of the animals close up and include the penguin enclosure where you can see the penguins swimming as if they are flying through the air from an underwater tunnel that gives a 360° view (at the Penguin Building), the polar bear enclosure where the 300kg giants swim around energetically (at the Polar Bear Building), the seal enclosure where you can watch the distinctive swimming of seals (at the Seal Building), and the beasts of prey enclosure where you can see tigers, lions, leopards and other from various angles (at the Beast Building). The penguin walk held outside in the snow season is also popular.

    This is a great zoo ! their famous penguin parade, check their penguin parade schedule. The zoo collection is educable and take care well by the staff. I like the way the decorated the ice when...

  • Kotoku-in Temple (Kamakura Daibutsu)
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    4.5
    3032 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kanagawa Pref. Kamakurashi Hase 4-2-28
    A Pure Land Buddhist temple founded by the great priest Honen. The 11.3 meter tall, 121 ton giant copper Buddha statue known as the Kamakura Daibutsu, a National Treasure, is the temple’s principal object of worship and depicts a seated Amitabha. The original daibutsu was made of wood and was destroyed by a typhoon. The copper form of the current statue first began to be cast in 1252. This figure, too, was damaged by typhoons and earthquakes but was repaired each time, leading to its current excellent condition. The interior of the statue can be viewed and from here visitors can see evidence of the repairs that have been made.

    Easy and fun stop with ample parking options close by. The Buddha grounds were pretty and Sakura were in bloom. Cost for entry was low. For three people and one free child it was ¥750. Not a far...

  • Ameyoko Shopping Street (Ameyoko)
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    4.0
    2733 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokyo Taitou-ku Ueno 6-10-7
    Located in Tokyo’s Taito City, this is an approximately 500 meter-long market street along the Yamanote Line tracks between Okachimachi and Ueno Stations. The street is lined with all types of shops including grocery stores, clothing stores and miscellaneous good stores, and is well-known for being crammed with people buying goods for the New Year’s holidays during the year-end season.

    Was a nice place to visit was extremely busy as you would expect- great variety of things to see and do overall we had a great sunny day

  • Suimui Utaki
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    4.0
    5163 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Okinawa Pref. Nahashi Shurikinjouchou 1-2 (within Shuri Castle Park)
    This place of worship is situated in front of the walls of Shuri Castle, and is one of 10 sacred sites within the castle. Existing since before the castle was erected, this holy site is said to have been around since the creation of the Ryukyu Kingdom, and its long history is evident in the several poems about Suimui Utaki present in the Omoro Soshi, the oldest compilation of Ryukyuan songs. The current structure was restored in December of 1997.

    Yes, the main buildings at Shurijo Castle have burnt down and there are efforts to clean the area up and start construction again. Although most buildings are no longer here, I feel the castle area...

  • Kyoto Imperial Palace
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    4.0
    2433 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Kamigyou-ku Kyoutogyoen
    The Kyoto Imperial Palace is located in the northern side of the Kyoto Imperial Gardens. The palace is surrounded by a roofed mud wall and channel of clear running water 250 meters long east to west and 450 meters long north to south. The current palace was rebuilt in 1855 and includes such facilities as six gates scattered around all four sides, the old palace’s state chamber where successive generations of emperors were enthroned, and a hall of state built in the Imperial residence style located in the center of the compound where the Imperial throne is placed. The small old palace, built in the traditional shoin-zukuri style, is located on the north side of the compound, and from here visitors can view an elegant garden with a large pond. Once, viewing the Kyoto Imperial Palace required an application to be made beforehand, but today no such reservation is required and the palace may be viewed freely by anyone year round (note that a bagger inspection will be performed prior to allowing visitors entry).

    Japans Imperial Familys offical Residence until 1868, when they moved to Tokyo. Kyoto, up until that point, was The Capital and that is why it is still very much a low-rise City, with lots of...

  • Kumamoto Castle
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    4.5
    2704 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kumamoto Pref. Kumamotoshichuouku Honmaru 1-1
    In 1607, Kato Kiyomasa built a castle in a hilly area called Chausuyama, which is one of the three premier castles in Japan. Thereafter, Kumamoto Castle has been a stage of a diverse history for 400 years from the Middle Ages to the present age. Castle buildings from those days are also in existence, and 13 of the buildings have been designated as Important Cultural Properties of Japan. Kumamoto Castle was damaged in the Kumamoto earthquake which occurred in April 2016, and restoration work is currently still under way.

    I am a tourist so I had no idea about the earthquake that devastated Kumamoto in 2016. Still today, you can see the aftermath of the earthquake on the castle. I am so glad they are restoring it to...

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