Most Popular Places to Visit in Japan 2023

Best places to visit in japan 2023

Known as the Land of the Rising Sun, Japan's civilization dates as far back as 30,000 years. Today, the archipelago seamlessly blends its rich history with its ultra-modern present. And while its capital, Tokyo, is a must-visit for first timers, culinary options and accessibility (among other factors) to bring you the best places to visit in Japan. Have a favorite? Vote below to help decide next year's ranking. Japan is a densely packed country for visitors and tourism. There’s everything from beaches and cities to gardens and mountain trails, often found within minutes of each other. Even better, most of the top sites are easily accessible thanks to Japan’s excellent public transportation network. Here are some of the best places to go if you want to visit. Mount Fuji, Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Disneyland, Osaka Castle, Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel, Universal Studios Japan, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan and many more. The fascinating places to visit in Japan are just awe inspiring and would entice you a fall for them. You will come across some of the majestic places of worships, hidden caverns, classical landmarks, heritage sites, and alluring islands. All these places in Japan will not only give you a chance to spend time in relaxation but you will also get to learn a lot of the past era. The magnificent Japan Tourist Places such as Kyoto Imperial Palace and Fushimi-Inari Taisha Shrine will offer you the best of architecture and divinity. While the Philosopher’s Walk lets you hike along the cherry tree lined canal in Kyoto, the Kyoto Railway Museum lets you gather insights about the rail advancement of Japan. While some of the famous places in Japan like the Ninja Museum of Iga Ryu let you have a glimpse of the ancient ninjutsu writings, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park lets you remember the drop of the very first nuclear bomb by the US Military. 

#1- Kushida Jinja Shrine
Another one of the Fukuoka beautiful places and amongst the best-known Shinto shrines in Japan, the Kushida-jinja dates back to AD 757. Along with intricate carvings of the Chinese zodiac and a 1000-year-old gingko tree, the shrine also has many other unique features. The shrine is also the place where the famous festival of Hakata Gion Yamakasa is hosted every July. People, especially travellers, fishermen and sailors often visit the shrine to pray for good health, safety and prosperity on a regular basis. The shrine also houses the tombs of the lords of the Kuroda clan.

#2- Kyūshū National Museum
Looking to visit unique places in Fukuoka? Your best bet is the Kyūshū National Museum, also known as Kyūshū Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan. The museum opened its doors for the public in the year 2005, and has been awarded for its stunning architectural design. The Kyūshū National Museum is also the first new national museum to open in over 100 years in Japan. Home to a large collection of art and historical artefacts related to the history of Kyushu, the Kyūshū National Museum also has many displays of relics from the prehistoric times. You can also enjoy trade exhibits between Japan, China and Korea here.

#3- Sumiyoshi Jinja Shrine
Amongst the top Fukuoka beautiful places, the Sumiyoshi-jinja shrine is also one of the oldest shrines in Kyushu. Dedicated to the gods that protect the seafarers, this shrine is one which sailors, travellers and fishermen visit before heading to the sea. Surrounded by many Japanese cedar and camphor trees, the shrine also offers views of the Naka River. One of the main attractions of the shrine is its Main Hall, which has been rebuilt in its original style of 1623. You can also find numerous important national treasures, an ancient sword as well as a copper axe, along with old documents and manuscripts that date back to the Middle Ages.

#4- Fukuoka Castle
One of the best places to visit in Fukuoka, the Fukuoka Castle is also sometimes known as the Seki castle or Maizuru Castle. This 17th century hilltop castle is one of the only remaining examples of the lavish housings of the ruling elite of Japan from those eras. While the castle today retains only a small portion of its original structure, it is said to have covered an area of almost 47,000 square metres once. From the castle, you can enjoy impressive views of the Naka River. You can also explore many original castle gates, towers and turrets within the castle grounds today.

#5- Osaka Tennōji Zoo & Park
Amongst the Osaka beautiful places is the Osaka Tennōji Zoo and Park. Offering respite from the busy city streets and daily lives, the park is home to numerous fragrant flower beds, cherry blossom trees, sculptures, bridges and ponds, in addition to a wide number of animal species. The park opened in 1915 and also has a zoo, where you can see animals like lions, elephants, giraffes, and even hippos. The zoo also has a separate reptile house, with different types of reptiles that are sure to give you goosebumps.

#6- National Museum Of Art
One of the best places to learn about the country’s art is Osaka’s National Museum of Art. The NMAP is an underground art museum located on the small island of Nakanoshima between the Tosabori and Dōjima rivers. The museum opened its doors in 1977, and is home to a large collection of works by some of the leading international artists, especially from the post-war period. You can also find works of Cézanne, Picasso, Kuniyoshi and Foujita here.

#7- Mino Park
One of the best Osaka beautiful places, the Mino Park is also known as Minoh or Minoo Park. It is actually a forested valley located just north of the bustling streets of Osaka. Boasting of vibrant colours, lush trees and a serene ambience, the park also serves as a popular natural recreation area. Some of the main highlights of the park include its hiking trail, which is present along the Minoo River and leads up to the Minoo Waterfall. Additionally, upon reaching the waterfall, you can enjoy swimming, relaxing or even fun-filled picnics with your loved ones.

#8- The Umeda Sky Building
Along with many ancient temples and museums, beautiful parks and verdant scenery, the city is also known for its stunning architecture. And one of the best places to visit in Osaka when it comes to architectural wonders, is the Umeda Sky Building. A fine example of modern architecture, the Umeda Sky Building consists of two tall office towers that are joined at the top by a platform. This platform at the top is the main attraction of the tower, and offers scintillating views of the city located over 170 metres down below. The tower also has a rooftop observatory and garden, known as the Floating Garden Observatory, in addition to an urban garden at its base and an underground market that resembles the early 20th century Osaka.

#9- Nakanoshima Park
Located near the busy business district of Umeda in Osaka, the Nakanoshima Park is the first public park of the city and divides two major rivers here. Dating back to 1891, the park is known all over Japan for its verdant landscapes and lush greenery. The Nakanoshima Park is a popular picnic and relaxation spot for locals and tourists alike. Home to a stunning rose garden, the park boasts of over 300 varieties of roses along with beautiful vistas of the rivers. The park also has a beer garden, and is a great place to practice dance and yoga.

#10- Shitennō Ji Temple
Looking for some historic places? The Shitennō-ji temple is your answer. Having roots that date back to as early as AD 59, this temple is one of the best and oldest in Osaka, in addition to being the first Buddhist temple in Japan. Some of the attractions of this ancient temple include the five-storey pagoda, along with numerous other intricately designed and decorated buildings. You can also find the Golden Pavilion here, with many fine paintings and statues, the Lecture Hall as well as a corridor that links multiple gates of the temple.

#11- Abeno Harukas
Standing tall at 300 metres from the ground level, the Abeno Harukas is the tallest building in all of Japan. Located on top of the Kintetsu Osaka Abenobashi Station, this skyscraper is also home to the largest department store in the country, in addition to an art museum, an observation deck as well as a hotel. Here, you can enjoy views of the city from large floor-to-ceiling glass panels, enjoy a cuppa at the inner court with a café and wooden deck, or buy some souvenirs from back home from the souvenir shop or Abeno Harukas Kintetsu Department Store.

#12- Tsutenkaku Tower
Want to see some of the offbeat Osaka beautiful places? Pay a visit to the Tsūtenkaku Tower. Known as the oldest of the two towers of Osaka, the Tsūtenkaku is located in the heart of the city and is a major landmark here. The tower stands proudly on the site of a replica of the famous Eiffel Tower. This replica was destroyed in the second World War, and the Tsūtenkaku replaced it years later. Completed in 1956, the Tsūtenkaku is known to offer some of the most spectacular views of the city of Osaka. The Tsūtenkaku tower also has an observation level on the fifth floor, in addition to a shrine of the God of Happiness.

#13- Namba Yasaka Shrine
Undoubtedly one of the most unique places and attractions in Osaka, if not in all of Japan, is the shrine of Namba Yasaka. The visually mesmerising shrine features a huge stage, that has been shaped like the head of the lion. What is striking is the fact that this massive lion head in the shrine has its teeth all bare, giving a unique view. Located in the Namba district of Osaka, this is worshipped as the tutelary shrine of the region and has a height of 12 metres.

#14- Amemura
Also known as Amerikamura or the American Village, Amemura is amongst the trendiest places to go in Osaka. Whether you wish to shop or get drunk with your friends, or simply hang out, this is the place to be. Home to numerous fashion stores, boutiques and thrift shops, you can also find many bars, nightclubs and restaurants here. Amemura also has a replica of the Statue of Liberty, along with a Triangle Park, where you can find skateboarders and other local adventure junkies. It is also a great place to simply soak in views of an Americanised Osaka, owing to its East meets West vibes.

#15- Hozenji
Located close to the bustling district of Dotonbori, tucked amidst the alleys of Osaka is the tranquil and quiet temple of Hozenji. Covered with lanterns and home to a stone deity that is mostly covered in moss, this temple is a great place to relax and meditate, away from Dotonbori’s noisiness and crowd. Locals, as well as tourists from all over the world, come to Hozenji to pray and pay their respects to Fudomyoo, the Japanese god of protection. They also visit the temple on their way to the bars and izakaya on the adjacent street of Hozenji Yokocho.

#16- Dotonbori
Considered to be one of the top Osaka beautiful places, Dotonbori is a famous area in the city, known for its busy walkways and bridges. This entertainment district in Osaka dates back to the 1600s, and is the place where numerous Japanese theatres originated. In recent times, Dotonbori is a popular area to enjoy the vibrant nightlife and food scene of Osaka. Besides that, Dotonbori is also known for the many large neon signs and billboards that are displayed here. You can catch the sign of the famed Glico Maker here, in addition to other unique signs which are reflected in the waters every night.

#17- Tsukiji Hongan Ji
This Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temple can be found in the Tsukiji district of Tokyo, besides the popular area of Ginza. The temple is built in both Asian and European architectural styles, which makes it the most unique Buddhist temple in the country. Most of the temple structure, as well as the statues and motifs in it are made of stone, which makes it distinctly unique. Today it is a meeting place for intellectuals from all faiths and communities, who come to offer their respects and engag0065 in prayer at the temple.

#18- Asakusa
Asakusa is a small, traditional district in Taito in Japan, where you can visit many temples, shrines, peaceful gardens and other traditional structures that are representative of the culture of Tokyo and Japan. If you are visiting at the right time of the year, you can also attend the famous Sanja Matsuri festival. While there are several places selling authentic Japanese street food, you can also dine in the new, upscale restaurants that have come up on the waterfront in Asakusa.

#19- Roppongi
Located in the Minato district of Tokyo in Japan, Roppongi is perceived as the entertainment capital of the country. People from all over the world flock to this area to check out the nightclubs, discos, restaurants, bars and clubs that line the street and remain open throughout the night. You can also climb the Roppongi Hills skyscraper, which has an observation deck that can give you a nighttime panoramic view of the gorgeous city.

#20- Akihabara Electric Town
Included in every list of quintessential Tokyo places to visit is Akihabara, a bustling district in central Tokyo that is known for the hundreds of electric shops that can be found there. All tech, business and electric related things can be found here, including shops that specialize in Artificial Intelligence, manga, anime, video games, technology, toys, souvenirs and much more. It is a well-developed district that is rapidly expanding into becoming a hotspot for trade and consumerism in the country.

#21- National Museum Of Nature And Science
A compulsory inclusion in your list of Tokyo places to visit is the National Museum of Nature and Science, one of the biggest museums dedicated to science in Japan. You can walk through over 25,000 exhibits and learn about all aspects of world history related to science, technology and nature. There is a full-size, original dinosaur skeleton, a piece of the Nantan meteorite from the 16th century and the stuffed body of Hachiko, among other interesting exhibits.

#22- Edo Tokyo Museum
For a comprehensive insight into the life and culture of the people of Japan and especially Tokyo there are no better places to visit in Japan than the Edo Tokyo Museum. The Museum, through interactive installations, displays, artefacts from history and colourful artwork, effectively showcases how Tokyo, formerly known as Edo (till 1869) has developed, grown and thrived. Volunteer guides who speak English and other languages roam the museum for you to have the most authentic and rewarding experience here.

#23- Tokyo National Museum
When visiting places in Tokyo, one can’t do without skipping a visit to the Tokyo National Museum – the oldest and biggest of all of Japan’s top-level museums throughout the country. The museum houses over 110,000 pieces of historical artefacts, and over 100 national treasures. Apart from the 4,000 things that are always on display at the museum at any given time, you can also enjoy seasonal exhibitions and shows focusing on various aspects of Japan’s rich history.

#24- Ghibli Museum
Studio Ghibli is one of the most famous artistic products to have come out of Japan and many people visit the country simply to learn more about the animation studio of Miyazaki Hayao, who has produced some of the most emotional and well-made films in the world. If you too are interested in learning more about these famous films and animation, one of the best places in Tokyo is the Ghibli Museum in Inokashira Park in Mitaka. You can check out life-size figurines, robots, drawings, original drafts and much more at the museum.

#25- Inokashira Park
Another natural haven in the middle of the city of Tokyo is the Inokashira Park – a natural oasis that is loved by tourists and locals alike. Here, you can access features such as manicured gardens, recreational facilities, a bucolic pond, a shrine and a lawn fringed with cherry blossom trees. The fact that the park is also home to a museum and an aquarium, along with a Studio Ghibli Museum makes it one of the most peaceful and fascinating places in Tokyo.

#26- Shinjuku Gyoen
This stunning garden located in the city is one of the most interesting places to visit in Tokyo, because of its natural beauty and rich history. The garden was built in 1906 as part of the property belonging to a feudal lord from the Edo era. After many years, it was turned into a national garden, open to the public and boasting of three distinct styles in its construction – the Japanese Traditional Garden, the formal garden and the landscape garden.

#27- Ginza
Ginza is one of the poshest, most upmarket places to visit in Tokyo, with an abundance of shops, restaurants, boutiques, lifestyle experiences and much more. You can also explore galleries, nightclubs and cafes for a wholesome experience that will make your visit to Tokyo memorable. All luxury and boutique brands have a store in Ginza, which is considered a shopper’s paradise. The Ginza Wako building is symbolic of the entire district, and the good news is, window shopping here is absolutely free!

#28- Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
Topping the list of some of the most unique Osaka beautiful places is the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. With a structure that resembles giant blocks of Lego, this aquarium is one of the biggest in the world. It is here where you can see several thousand marine and other wildlife species not just from Japan, but also from Antarctica, the Pacific Ocean, the Great Barrier Reef as well as the Monterey Bay.

#29- Universal Studios Japan
One of the best places to go in Osaka is Universal Studios. One of the most recent attractions of the city, the Japanese counterpart of the Universal Studios is a place that you must definitely include in your itinerary. Attracting almost 10 million visitors every year, this Universal theme park offers you a chance to see numerous famous pop-culture franchises.

#30- Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel
When looking for Places to visit in Osaka, go to the Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel and enjoy some of the most spectacular views of Osaka, especially the port area and the Tempozan Harbour Village. Ranking amongst some of the largest Ferris wheels in Asia, the Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel stands tall at a staggering 112 metres, with a diameter of 100 metres. This Ferris wheel has been in operation since the early 1997 and offers an adventurous 17-minute ride. While it is enjoyable throughout the day, one must ride the Ferris wheel especially at night, when it is brightly lit with coloured lights.

#31- Osaka Castle
One of the best Places to visit in Osaka, the Osaka Castle was established in 1586 and was built by a famous Japanese warrior named Toyotomi Hideyoshi. One of the largest castles in Japan, the Osaka Castle has been reconstructed throughout the years in history due to destruction from enemies. Some of the major attractions of the Osaka Castle include its main tower, which has five stories and is 42 meters tall. It also consists of a museum where you can see exhibits about the castle and the city’s history.

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