Travel / Tourism 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.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Naritasan Shinshoji Temple
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    4.5
    2151 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Chiba Pref. Naritashi Narita 1
    Naritasan Shinshoji Temple is a lead temple in the Chisan school of Shingon located in Narita, Chiba Prefecture. In order to suppress a revolt by Tairano Masakado which broke out in the Heian period, it began with the fact that Kobo Daishi was spiritually enlightened by the high priest Kancho as Acala was enshrined and became the principal image of worship at the temple. Many well-known figures had strong faith including such figures as Minamotono Yoritomo, Mito Mitsukuni and Ichikawa Danjuro, and Narita Fudo prompted many commoners to have faith. On the grounds of the temple, there are very big gardens maintained which cover an area of approximately 3.5 times that of Tokyo Dome, and you can see seasonal plants in the garden.

    Temple is the hottest spot in Narita. All the local people advertise it and you should definitely visit it. The temple is located in a huge park with lakes and waterfalls and consists of other...

  • Tenryu-ji Temple
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    4.5
    1957 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kyoto Kyoutoshi Ukyou-ku Sagatenryujisusukinobabachou 68
    The head temple of Rinzai Tenryuji Buddhsim. The temple is one of the foremost sightseeing locations in the Saga Arashiyama area. The temple was founded in 1339 by Ashikaga Takauji to memorialize Emperor Go-Daigo. The temple was founded as the first of the five Kyoto Gozan premier temples and the spacious grounds encompassed over 150 sub-temples, but these were all lost in a series of later fires. The various temple buildings standing today were reconstructed in the Meiji period; the abbot’s chamber enshrines a seated figure of Gautama Buddha created in the Fujiwara period. The temple’s circular garden, built around a central pond, is a designated Historic Site and Special Place of Scenic Beauty and makes use of Mt. Arashiyama and Mt. Kameyama in the background. The garden looks the same as it did approximately 700 years ago when it was first created by Muso Kokushi.

    The walkway to the entrance of the temple runs through the highly famous, spectacular Arashiyama bamboo groves. It is the most popular, major attraction in the Arashiyama area. You can take the...

  • Tsutenkaku
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    3.5
    1834 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Osaka Osakashi Naniwa-ku Ebisuhigashi 1-18-6
    A viewing tower located in Naniwa Ward, Osaka City and a famous Osaka landmark. Originally erected in 1912 and modeled after the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the current 108 meter tower is actually the second Tsutenkaku. The fourth and fifth floors are a viewing floor overlooking Osaka. There are figures of the Seven Gods of Fortune on the fifth floor as well as a statue of Billiken which is said to bring good luck when the soles of its feet are rubbed. The tower is filled with other interesting things to see and do, including the Kinnikuman Museum; a café produced by Mother Farm; and showroom shops by Morinaga, Glico, and Nisshin.

    Tsutenkaku was an old district but it was lively with hostels around the area. There were a few old shops, restaurants and cafes. There was also a big Donki Shop nearby. Worth the visit.

  • Shirakawa-go Gassho-zukuri Village
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    4.5
    2168 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu Ono-gun Shirakawamura Ogimachi
    The Gassho-Zukuri Village of Ogimachi, Shirakawa-go in Gifu Prefecture was registered as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1995. Of the three villages registered as the World Heritage Site, this is the largest, with 59 buildings featuring Gassho-zukuri roofs. There is plenty worth getting a look at, from the castle tower observation deck as an absolutely perfect viewpoint of Shirakawa-go to the Wada house, which is a Nationally-Designated Important Cultural Property, the Nagase house, which features one of the largest Gassho-style roofs in the village, a rare Gassho-style temple, and Myozenji Museum. There are also numerous souvenir shops and restaurants.

    I finally fulfilled a desire to visit here in the snowy winter. It was great. Due to Covid buses are reduced so double check your schedule. Nothing from Toyama but Takaoka and Takayama is ok.

  • Atsuta Jingu (Atsuta Shrine)
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    4.0
    1750 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Aichi Pref. Nagoyashi Atsuta-ku Jingu 1-1-1
    This shrine located in Nagoya City’s Atsuta Ward has been known familiarly as “Atsuta Sama” since long ago. Reported to have been established in 113, it is revered as a Great Shrine ranking second only to Ise Jingu Shrine. The shrine is famous as a place that enshrines the sacred sword Kusanagi-no-tsurugi, one of the three sacred treasures that symbolize the Imperial throne. The approximately 190,000-square meter premises are thick with kusunoki (camphor trees) that have been living for more than one thousand years, and are scattered with numerous setsumatsu-sha (smaller shrines managed under the shrine). There are numerous events and festivals held at the shrine including Hatsu Ebisu on January 5, and it is constantly bustling with visitors for Shichi-Go-San (shrine visit by children aged 7, 5 and 3), omiya-mairi (the first shrine visits by babies) and even Hatsu Mode (the first shrine visit of New Year).

    A beautiful shrine set in splendid nature that is very well-maintained. Enjoyed the serene surroundings as I strolled through the forested path to the shrine. Theres a peaceful walking trail around...

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