The island nation of Japan is located east of North and South Korea. Japan consists of some eight thousand six hundred and fifty islands scattered in the Pacific Ocean. The most famous island is Honshu. Famous places such as Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hiroshima are located on this island. Other major islands of Japan are Hokkaido, Shikoku and Kyushu. In addition, Japan still has many medium and small islands. These small islands mainly offer beautiful beaches, diving locations and other holiday entertainment. Culture lovers will especially enjoy the larger islands with places such as Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara and Nikko. It guarantees many temples, beautiful historic parks, authentic architecture and a lot of history. Japan has many legends and stories to tell about, for example, imperial powers, Buddhism and Chinese influences. As far as we are concerned, Japan is therefore a destination where culture, art, history, religion and nature blend wonderfully harmoniously. Check topmbadirectory for how to get to Japan.
Top 10 places of interest in Japan
The bustling city of Kyoto used to play the role as the imperial capital of Japan in the past. Now nowadays it mainly fulfills the role as a cultural center of Japan. Sights such as the many temples, including Kinkaku-ji, Kiyomizu-dera and Ryoan-ji, Nijo Castle, Heian Shrine, Kyoto National Museum and Kyoto Railway Museum confirm this. The atmosphere of the city is mainly determined by the many sacred places. One of the most impressive places is perhaps the ‘Fushimi Inari-taisha’ temple area. In particular, the black and red wooden arches that form a gateway to the holy temples can be called very special. Shopping is mainly done around the Shijo-Dori street and of course you should not forget a visit to the authentic Gion district. This Geisha district of Kyoto is still decorated with charming wooden traditional buildings, tea houses, luxury restaurants and specialty shops where you can admire beautiful traditional kimonos. Check simplyyellowpages for mass media and culture of Japan.
The capital Tokyo is in many ways the center of Japan. As a metropolis, this city really has everything to offer. Spread over twenty-three districts you will find various city parks such as Yoyogi Park and Ueno Park, impressive museums such as the Tokyo National Museum, shrines such as Meiji Jingū and of course the imperial palace ‘Kyoko’. If you are looking for entertainment, you should definitely not skip the Shibuya district. The lighting of neon signs and video screens light up the entire district and keep you awake until late at night. If you are more of an early bird, then a visit to the Tsukiji fish market might be more your thing. Already at three o’clock in the morning the first fish is brought in and then auctioned to leave the building again. In the morning, restaurants buy their fresh products here, which may be on your plate later in the day. When the conditions are right you may even have a view of Japan’s highest mountain, Mount Fuji. In reality, this famous volcanic mountain is more than a hundred kilometers away, but on a clear day it seems a lot closer.
The city of Nara or Nara-shi is located in the south of Honshu Island in Japan. Very far back in history it served as the capital of Japan. Now that is Tokyo. Nara is a fascinating city to visit. The many Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines form a characteristic street scene. The rather large Tōdai-ji temple, for example, was built in the eighth century. What is also special are the many deer in Nara Park. These Sika deer are seen as messengers of the gods and thus they are a symbol of the city. In the Nara Park you can buy special cookies for the deer. In terms of museums, the Nara National Museum is highly recommended. This museum, which is also located in this park.
The huge temple complex of Todai-ji was built in the city of Nara about the eighth century. It is one of the largest and most famous temples in Japan. The main building ‘Daibutsuden’ is said to be the world’s largest wooden building. Inside the building you can admire an exceptionally large bronze Buddha statue. The gate ‘Nandaimon’ is also an impressive part of the Todai-ji. You can then admire religious art and other cultural objects in the adjacent Todaiji Museum.
#5. Matsumoto Kasteel Castle
The historic Matsumoto Castle is located in the town of the same name. The Japanese architectural style is clearly reflected in the roof construction as it was constructed around the sixteenth century. The predominantly black appearance resulted in the name ‘karasu-jō’ meaning crow’s castle. Matsumoto Castle was founded by the Takeda clan. The building now houses a weapons museum.
The Japanese pilgrim city of Nikko is less known, but certainly no less interesting. Nikko is a place where you can admire many different temples. As a pilgrimage city, Nikko attracts thousands of tourists every year who come to worship the beautiful shrines. One of the most famous shrines is the Tōshō-gū. It is a mausoleum of the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, who died in 1616. At least fifteen thousand creative people have worked on this beautiful complex for several years. The decorations are beautiful and sometimes even overwhelming. Other attractions of Nikko are the Futarasan shrines, the red Shinkyo bridge and the beautiful nature with waterfalls such as the Kegon Waterfall.
#7. Nishinomaru Garden
The beautiful Nishinomaru Garden is part of the Osaka Castle in the Osaka Castle Park. The Nishinomaru Garden used to be the residence of Kita-no-mandokoro, the wife of the Japanese ruler Toyotomi Hideyoshi. However, many visitors come to the Nishinomaru Garden for the ubiquitous cherry blossom trees that turn such a beautiful pink. Because of this, it is named as Osaka’s biggest attraction.
#8. Okinawa Islands
If you are looking for sun, sea and sand then you have come to the right place at the Okinawa islands. These delightful islands are the southernmost of Japan in the East China Sea. The climate is very pleasant, but there can be quite a lot of rain showers throughout the year. The Okinawa Islands consist of many small islands and some larger ones that are spread over an area of about a thousand kilometers. The wonderful blue water and the beautiful beaches are a direct invitation for a relaxing and/or beach holiday. You can also enjoy fantastic diving, snorkeling or other water sports. The largest island of Okinawa-honto is also very suitable for some cultural trips.
#9. Peace Memorial in Hiroshima
In the year 1996, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial was included in the list of Unesco’s World Heritage Sites. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park was built in 1915 as Product Exhibition Hall. After the atomic bomb attack on August 6, 1945, the building turned into a ruin. Hiroshima was the first city in the world to be attacked with an atomic bomb. Despite the fact that there were several plans to demolish it before 1996, it can still be admired today as a monument to peace. It now expresses the hope for world peace and the wish for the elimination of all nuclear weapons in the world.
#10. Itsukushima Shrine
The Shinto Shrine Itsukushima Shrine is located on Miyajima Island. Since the twelfth century, the Itsukushima Shrine has been an important place for the people and visitors of surrounding islands. Most visitors even came there mainly via the sea. This immediately explains the location of the entrance gate ‘Torii’ in the water. The twenty buildings belonging to the Itsukushima Shrine are built in traditional Japanese Shinto architecture. As part of that, a shrine should therefore be built at the foot of a mountain. The Shinto religion is based on worship of nature, which comes into its own with this decor.