In this article, we’ll take you on a virtual journey through some of the must visit places in Japan, where ancient temples stand in harmony with neon-lit skyscrapers. Even frequent travelers to East Asia return to these ‘places to visit in Japan for first timers.’
Table of Contents
A tourist destination that is getting more popular with every passing year, it’s no secret why so many people are choosing Japan as their next holiday destination. It’s relatively small compared to other countries, but its composition of four islands makes it a place of variety and intrigue that evolves with the times.
For a while now, the world has considered Japan at the forefront of modern-day life, enhanced by innovative technology and smart living. And while they are, to Western eyes, living somewhat in the future, they also have beautiful cultural traditions that have been part of the country’s fabric for centuries.
Finally, there’s plenty for adventurists to get into. Whether it’s skiing on the northernmost island, hiking the famous Mount Fuji or traveling by bike along Japan’s pristine roads, there’s so much to see and do. And here are a few places that must be on your list of places to visit in Japan for first timers or return visitors.
1.) Must Visit Places in Japan: Tokyo
The eye-popping capital of Japan never disappoints. Its sheer size means there’s no way you’ll run out of stuff to do!
The city is generally split into two sides: the west side is the modern hub that houses viral districts like Shinjuku and Akihabara; the east is where you’ll find the city’s most famous temples, like Sensōji.
Going on a Japan trip will reveal the most incredible corners of this city. With so much to do, it’s a good idea to spend a decent amount of time to really experience the capital, one of the top must-visit places in Japan.
2.) Places To Visit in Japan for First Timers: Hiroshima
Perhaps not the jolliest of places, Hiroshima is where the first atomic bomb was dropped, causing mass destruction and the killing of thousands of innocent people.
And while it’s not an easy topic, it’s also an important part of Japan’s history and one of the worthy places to visit in Japan for first timers.
The site is equipped with a state-of-the-art museum that is informative about the incident and a Peace Park to pay your respects. And if it proves too much for you, Hiroshima is also a beautiful city with some gorgeous bike trails to discover.
3.) Kyoto: One of the Must Visit Places in Japan
Kyoto, the city of temples and the Buddhist epicenter of the entire country is an absolute must-do for visitors. The entire city is scattered with world-famous temples, each more beautiful than the last. Take your time visiting the various shrines, gardens and temples before ending your day at the Golden Pavilion, another of the must visit places in Japan.
Kyoto is also home to the mind-boggling Fushimi Inari shrine. It is composed of over 10,000 bright orange tori gates that lead you along picturesque forest trails.
This shrine is as iconic as they come and has people flocking from all over the world to see it.
4.) Last but Not Least Places To Visit in Japan for First Timers: Osaka
Osaka, while it is the central finance hub in the country, is where you’ll find some of the best street food in Japan.
The most famous snack has to be Takoyaki, which are Japanese octopus balls covered with Japanese mayo and teriyaki sauce. You also have skewers to grab and go, steamed pork buns and steamed beef tendon.
The city also does some of the best okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes) and has whole eateries dedicated to them.
Whatever you decide to do in Osaka, just know you’ll be fed well! And in one of the top places to visit in Japan for first timers, don’t forget to get your picture next to the Glico Running Man!
Conclusion: Places To Visit in Japan for First Timers
Japan, a land of mesmerizing contrasts, beckons us travelers with its timeless traditions and cutting-edge modernity.
Choosing which of the many sites to visit on your first trip might be difficult. Hopefully, this article about places to visit in Japan for first timers has helped you pick!
If this article benefits planning your journey to must visit places in Japan, please leave a comment below.
Hi, I’m Stacey
UNSTOPPABLE Stacey Travel is a travel blog focused on immersive travel that highlights food, wine and the spirituality of place. I also occasionally write about life as a Camino de Santiago pilgrim. I hope you enjoy what I post here. Feel free to leave comments! Read more…
JOIN MY FREE NEWSLETTER
Enjoy this story? Then never miss the latest travel news, tips and inspiring finds by signing up for free:
As is common in the travel industry, UNSTOPPABLE Stacey was provided with accommodations, meals, and other compensation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the author believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.
In addition, this blog, UNSTOPPABLE Stacey Travel, contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, Stacey earns a commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help reduce the costs of keeping this travel blog active.
“As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks for reading,” UNSTOPPABLE Stacey Wittig
Enjoy this article? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Please share this article with the red- and blue-colored social media buttons.
More Stories That You'll Love
Whale watching from Victoria BC was more than I ever imagined! Please, please, please don’t leave Victoria without doing at least one whale watching tour. I made that mistake on my first three visits to Victoria, British Columbia. However, now that I’ve whale watched there, it will be the first thing I do when I
Grand Canyon Trip Planner Things To Do at Grand Canyon Best Grand Canyon Viewpoints Best Places To Stay at Grand Canyon November 30, 2023–Sections of the Bright Angel and Tonto Trails will be closed on December 1, 2023-April 14, 2024, to support the work on the Transcanyon Waterline Project–see the Bright Angel Trail map below.
Here’s how to get from the incredible Antelope Canyon to Grand Canyon National Park. The journey is not so straightforward, so we’re including shuttle service information and how to reserve Antelope Canyon tours. INSIDER TIP: Since Antelope Canyon is on the Navajo Reservation, you must be accompanied by a Navajo guide when visiting Antelope Canyon,