Japan is a country both rich in its history and enticing in its embrace of the ultra-modern. When traveling there, you are sure to find some of the most unique and memorable destinations for travelers. From roaming the forested grounds of ancient shrines to strolling the neon-lit streets of Tokyo, there is something here for visitors of all tastes. Here are 5 Must-See Spots in Japan
1. Tokyo Skytree
The second tallest structure in the world, the Tokyo Skytree towers above Sumida, Tokyo at 2,080 feet. With its neo-futuristic design, the Skytree’s unique architecture make it a captivating sight. The main observation deck, complete with a panoramic view of Tokyo, a photo station, and a cafe, sits at 1150 feet. From there you can gaze across every district in the city and on clear days, you can see as far as Mt. Fuji. On this floor you are also given the option to buy a ticket to the highest deck, which stands at 1470 feet. This once in a lifetime view will take your breath away. Be sure to buy the Fast Skytree Tickets so you can skip the lines!
2. Kinkaku-ji, “The Golden Pavilion”
Kinkaku-Ji, commonly known as the Golden Pavilion, is a Zen Buddhist Temple in Kyoto. Its gold-leaf plating make it an astonishingly beautiful structure. Its fascinating history, starting with its purchase in 1397 by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, led to its designation as a National Special Historic Site and a World Heritage Site. The pavilion is also said to house relics, or ashes, of the Buddha. The surrounding garden is the picture of serenity, with a gorgeous and tranquil pond sitting between sightseers and the temple. As you stroll the grounds, you will come across a small tea garden as well as many statues where visitors leave coins for good luck.
3. Robot Restaurant Cabaret Show
A tourist favorite, the world famous Robot Restaurant is a must-see live entertainment experience located in the heart of Shinjuku, Tokyo. If you’re looking for a slice of Tokyo’s infamous high-tech eccentricity, then you will love this immersive and colorful spectacle. Your dining experience begins in an over-the-top luxury lounge that will make you feel like you’ve been transported hundreds of years into the future. You are then ushered into an indoor arena where an ensemble ranging from go-go dancers to giant fighting robot dinosaurs share the stage in an action-packed theatrical event. You can reserve tickets in advance on their website.
4. Fushimi Inari-taisha
Nestled in the mountains of Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Japan, Fushimi Inari-taisha is an ancient shrine that offers unforgettable beauty and stunning scenery. Built in 711 AD, the shrine, with trails that lead to many smaller shrines, gives a true glimpse into the history of Japan’s Shinto tradition. In the approach to the shrine, you will walk through a pristine village with little shops to purchase souvenirs, good luck tokens, and tsujiura senbei (辻占煎餅), a form of fortune cookies dating back to the 19th century. Once you reach the mountain you will see paths lined with torii, iconic sacred gates painted bright orange and black, statues of foxes honoring “Inari,” the Shinto spirit of good fortune, and the shrine itself in all its elaborate glory. Fushimi Inari-taisha is open all hours and has no entrance fee.
Located in the much-beloved city of Osaka, along the Dōtonbori Canal, this district showcases the best that Japan has to offer in terms of food, views, and entertainment. You won’t be able to take your eyes off the brilliantly illuminated billboards and mechanized signs that line the district’s waterside. Here, you can find restaurants boasting decadent bowls of ramen, as well as dishes specific to Osaka such as tako-yaki and okonomiyaki. Be sure to experience Dōtonbori at night so you can soak in the views of its epic lighting.