Although Japan seems tiny on a map, it is home to a number of world-class cities, beautiful sights, and natural wonders. Here’s a 11 Cities Of Japan You Must Visit Before You Die to help you choose your ideal vacation spot.
Nagasaki is located on Kyushu’s southwest coast. This coastal city was originally Japan’s only official commercial port with the rest of the world, and its trading partners, notably the Dutch and Portuguese, had a considerable effect.
It was originally the capital of Catholicism in Japan, and it is home to several old churches. The Nagasaki Peace Park, Atomic Bomb Museum, and Peace Memorial Hall were created to honor the victims of the atomic bomb blasts during World War II, and draw thousands of tourists each year.
Okinawa Prefecture’s capital is Naha. It was also the historic capital of the Ryukyu Kingdom, which controlled the Okinawan islands for hundreds of years as an independent sovereign state.
Many historic landmarks, including Shuri Castle, the former seat of the Ryukyu royals, may be found in the city today. Naha is an excellent spot to visit for sun worshippers, as it has a warm, tropical climate. Naminoue Beach is located in the city’s south end, and buses go to a variety of larger beaches, including Mibaru and Manza.3.
Matsuyama is located on Shikoku, Japan’s smallest island. It is the prefectural capital of Ehime. You will be able to get a peek of the region’s rich cultural past here. The well-preserved and restored Matsuyama Castle, erected in 1603, is one of the major attractions, accessible via ropeway. Another must-see is Dogo Onsen, which is one of Japan’s oldest onsens. It has been frequented by the Imperial Family, and it is thought to have inspired Ghibli’s Spirited Away bathhouse (2001).
Nagoya is Japan’s third most populous city. It is not only a thriving center of advanced industry and manufacturing, but it has also established itself as one of Japan’s cultural capitals. The Tokugawa Art Museum, which includes ten National Treasures, is one of Nagoya’s most prominent museums. The Cultural Path, which runs between Nagoya Castle and the Tokugawa Art Museum and is a protected area of ancient buildings and constructions, is a must-see for architecture buffs.
Nara, in the Kansai region, is well known for its friendly native sika deer, also known as the spotted deer, which are mostly found in Nara Park but can be seen in other parts of town on occasion. A trip to Nara isn’t complete without stopping by the Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara, which has been designated as a Unesco World Heritage Site. The magnificent Kasugayama Primeval Forest, Heijo Palace, and Kasuga Shrine are among these historic landmarks.
Hokkaido’s capital is Sapporo. The annual Sapporo Snow Festival, which blankets the city in snow and ice sculptures, is the city’s most well-known event. It’s also a popular winter sports location, thanks to its chilly winters and plentiful snowfall. Sapporo, on the other hand, is a contemporary, modern, and urban city with tree-lined avenues and boulevards that are appealing in any season.
The Aomori Nebuta Matsuri, one of Japan’s most popular events, is held in Aomori (Float Festival). A parade of lit floats and dancers singing and enticing passers-by to see is part of this massive summer festival. The city is the capital of the Tohoku region, and it was instrumental in the rehabilitation efforts following the 2011 earthquake, which the region is currently recovering from. Aomori is an excellent spot to base yourself before exploring the rest of the region.
The Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima attracts visitors from all around the world. The memorial honors the victims of the 1945 bombs, which made it the first city in the world to be hit by atomic weapons. Hiroshima is now a bustling metropolis with a plethora of historical attractions, gardens, and parks. It is a fantastic city for live sports, and it is home to a number of national teams, such the Sanfrecce Hiroshima (football) and the Hiroshima Toyo Carp (basketball) (baseball). The Mazda Zoom-Zoom Stadium Hiroshima (yeah, really) and the Hiroshima Big Arch are the two primary stadiums.
Kyoto, Japan’s unofficial cultural capital, was also the country’s formal capital for almost 1,000 years. There are almost 2,000 Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines in the city, making it one of the most prominent cultural centers in the country. Kyoto is the place to go to observe geisha (or geiko, as they are known in Kansai) culture; one of the city’s attractions is the yearly geisha dances conducted each spring. Kyoto is also recognized for its ancient architecture, kaiseki (elevated Japanese cuisine), and ryokan (traditional Japanese inns).
The laid-back residents of Osaka are famed for their superb cuisine and lovely Kansai speech. The city comes alive in the evening with neon lights and late-night cafes, making it the finest time to visit. Thousands of visitors visit Osaka eateries each year, and the phrase kuidaore, or “eat ’til you drop,” was invented here. Dotonbori is located in the center of Osaka and is one of the city’s most famous tourist destinations. Restaurants, stores, and bright neon signs abound in the neighborhood, notably the Glico Running Man.
Tokyo is Japan’s capital and the country’s most popular tourist destination. From ancient temples and shrines to historic gardens and estates to world-class shopping, nightlife, and culinary, Tokyo has something for everyone. It has unrivaled kabuki and sumo traditions, as well as some of the top sports teams in the country. However, Tokyo is most known for its retail districts and modern architecture, both of which are among the greatest in the world.