10+ Places to Visit in Japan

If you’ve been planning a trip to the Land of the Rising Sun, here is a list of 10+ places to visit in Japan! From…

If you’ve been planning a trip to the Land of the Rising Sun, here is a list of 10+ places to visit in Japan! From Tokyo to Osaka to Kyoto, here are must-see attractions that are family-friendly, educational, and fun!

Let’s start with places to visit in Tokyo!

  1. Asakusa is a historic district filled with charming stores and restaurants. While there, try out some of the many delicious treats, Japanese street foods, and shopping along Nakamise that are available leading to the iconic Senso-ji Temple. Light an incense, say a prayer, or simply walk around to marvel at the beautiful temple and its architecture.

2. Tokyo Skytree is the perfect place to get a 360 view of Tokyo and take in all of its beauty, especially in the afternoon. Tickets can be purchased online or in person. After a quick ride on an elevator, you will be treated to breathtaking views on the observation deck along with a small glass floor, a variety of photo opportunities, and many options for shopping and dining in the adjacent building.

3. Shibuya Crossing is one of the busiest areas in the city! It’s a must-visit area to see pedestrians scramble as they cross this popular intersection. To get a good view, head to Starbucks overlooking Shibuya Crossing to grab a drink as you people-watch and explore the different shops and restaurants that are housed inside the same building, including the famous Pokemon Trading Lounge.

4. Meiji Jingu Shrine is another famous Shinto shrine in Japan. Located in a forest in the city, it welcomes visitors with a majestic torii gate that separates mortals and immortals. Before reaching the shrine, you will see the iconic display of Sake Barrels. These sake barrels were created as gifts for the gods and while the barrels on display are empty, their symbolism is heavy with significance and pays respect to the gods. At the shrine, you can pray or walk around to explore all of its charm and wonder.

5. Tokyo Imperial Palace gives visitors a glimpse into the home of successive Emperors of Japan since 1868. It includes the Imperial Residence and the Imperial Palace Complex, where the Emperor performs official duties and holds a variety of ceremonies and activities throughout the year. Visitors must reserve a guided tour to enter the palace. However, free self-guided tours are available for the East Gardens.

6. Tsukiji Fish Market is the place to be if you love seafood! World-famous for its fresh seafood, sushi, and sashimi, this is a must-visit attraction when in Tokyo! Stroll down the allies for the freshest varieties of seafood in the world and try them all cooked, steamed, grilled, or raw! You will find yourself thoroughly impressed and full!

7. Tokyo Disneyland did not disappoint! While it offers similar rides and attractions to the one in California, it is also uniquely TOKYO! From fun rides to lively parades and more, Tokyo Disneyland was so much fun and made our trip even more memorable! The cherry on top was how nice and helpful the Cast Members were! To help make good use of our time there, we used the Tokyo Disneyland app to reserve Stand-by tickets to a couple of our favorite rides, order food online for pick-up, and choose our rides according to wait times.

8. Tokyo DisneySea is also truly uniquely TOKYO as there is nothing like it anywhere else! Designed as eight themed nautical lands or ports of call worldwide, DisneySea recently opened up its eighth land, Fantasy Springs! We were so lucky as we were able to secure FastPass Tickets for new The Peter Pan Ride and were so impressed with the new technology and the new port of call! While the park has similar rides as other parks, its theme makes it so special and a definite standout on our list!

Now, let’s hop on a bullet train and move on to Osaka!

9. Dontonbori is a popular hotspot for tourists and locals! With large neon signs, billboards, and a myriad of clubs, bars, and restaurants, this bustling area is the heartbeat of the city! Bring your wallet for shopping and an appetite to try out all the local specialties including takoyaki, grilled octopus! If you want to be more adventurous and catch your own meal, visit Zauo Fishing Restaurant, where you can catch a fish straight from your table and have it prepared by a chef the way that you want it!

10. Osaka Castle is an attraction not to be missed! Filled with artifacts of the rich history of the city and Japan, this visit was not only fascinating but also entertaining and educational! You can either purchase your tickets online or in person. The tour is self-guided but you can add an option for the audio tour. Don’t forget to walk to the top of the castle for a view of the beautiful city below!

Lastly, let’s explore Kyoto!

11. Arashiyama Bamboo Forest is a sight that must be experienced in person! Nestled in the historic city of Kyoto, the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest features a grove of mōsō bamboo that towers to the sky. Come early to enjoy this wonderful sight as the pathways are crowded by the afternoon. Along the way, there are also small shrines that visitors can visit and pay their respects.

12. Ninenzaka is a true walk back in ancient times, lined with a stone-paved pedestrian road, traditional buildings, restaurants with tatami floors, and shops! Make your experience even more memorable by renting out a kimono and be prepared to immerse yourself in this beautiful and quaint traditional Japanese town. From attending a chadō or traditional tea ceremony to savoring the delicious Japanese dishes and desserts to shopping for the perfect souvenirs, this town was one of my favorite stops in Japan!

13. Fushimi Inari Shrine is one of Japan’s most famous shrines as it features thousands of beautiful traditional gates along a pedestrian path. The path can easily get crowded so plan to come early or later in the day if you want to stroll along leisurely. If walking the entire path is not for you, the shrine also has temples for praying and many food stands surrounding it. We can’t recommend the yummy crab sticks enough!

Japan has so many breathtaking places to visit. We spent two weeks there and still didn’t get to visit them all. I hope this list serves as a good starting point as you begin planning a trip to Japan soon! Happy traveling!