A wonderful country that blends the traditionalism of the Eastern world with the modernity of the Western world, Japan is one of the most beautiful countries to visit in Asia. It is the land of one of the oldest civilizations and its history is diverse and rich. And the country’s life and true energy can be best experienced when you decide to visit its unique cities. The cities in Japan are teeming with life. And they are amazing tourist destinations too. With towering skyscrapers, many cultural sights, historical landmarks, good museums to impressive castles, shrines, and laid-back ambiance with good food and nightlife, Japan’s gorgeous cities are counted in the top travel destinations of the world. Below are some of the best cities in Japan that you must not skip.
Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe – these cities are major destinations and they are always talked about. But Japan also has some smaller but unique cities that are the hidden gems of the country. They are picturesque, nestled amidst beautiful landscape, and boast unique culture and heritage. So let’s not waste any more time and let’s get straight into the list of the best cities in Japan that you must visit at least once in your lifetime.
Most Beautiful Cities In Japan That You Must Visit:
Obviously, this city has to top our list as it is the capital city of the country and will drive you crazy with its endless classic tourist destinations. Locating at the head of Tokyo Bay, the city has everything from great food, historic places to ancient temples, offbeat fashion hotspots to the Sumo Capital, Ryogōku. The world’s most populous metropolis, Tokyo also has some of the quirkiest places on offer. For example, take the Owl Cafes.
Originally, Tokyo was a fishing village, named Edo. And now it is a cultural and economical hub that is among the best-rated tourist destinations in the world. A modern city that is famous for its unique pop culture, Tokyo does not forget its ancient heritage and that can be best experienced while you walk down its cobble-stoned alleys. From admiring its neon-lit skyscrapers to its diverse neighborhoods to exploring and shopping from its humongous shopping malls, visiting Tokyo is a treat for all your senses.
Located in the Kansai region on the island of Honshu, Kyoto is the capital city of Kyoto Prefecture in Japan. The city served as Japan’s capital till 1868 and now it is famed as the cultural capital of the country. One of the country’s ten largest cities, this mesmerizing tourist destination is home to countless temples, Shinto shrines, and stunning palaces. Serving as the imperial capital of the country for more than 1000 years, Kyoto offers so many touristy and offbeat things to do and see. The land of geisha and also the land of magical bamboo forests, Kyoto perfectly balances traditionalism and modernism.
Home to a huge number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Kyoto’s must-visit places include the Kinkaku-Ji Temple, Kyoto Botanical Garden, the Kyoto Tower, Kyoto National Museum, Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, the preserved historic district of Higashiyama, and many more. In addition to its urban sprawls, you will also enjoy its rich cultural heritage.
Being the second-largest city in the country, Yokohama, the capital of Kanagawa Prefecture, is a place with a stunning cosmopolitan vibe. It has one of the largest Chinatowns in the world and is praised for its varied architectural styles and lip-smacking global cuisines. Among the attractions, one must not miss out on visiting Chinatown which is the largest of Japan’s three Chinatowns. Other than that, the traditional Sankeien Garden which is a beautiful Japanese garden is a serene place to be at. This, one of the best cities in Japan also houses a handful of noteworthy museums like the Cupnoodles Museum (a museum about instant cup noodles!), Ramen Museum, and Yokohama Museum of Art.
If you have kids in your group, head to the Hakkeijima which is an amusement park with an aquarium and rides. The city’s extraordinary arts and jazz scene also seek mention. A thoroughly beautiful city with lots of unique attractions, Yokohama will woo travelers with every taste.
Considered as the birthplace of Japanese Civilization, Nara is a historically wealthy city that was also the ancient former capital. The city’s most famous attraction is obviously the Todai-Ji temple which is one of the most historically significant Buddha temples in Japan. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has a very impressive Great Buddha statue. Located less than one hour from Kyoto and Osaka, Nara is home to some of Japan’s oldest and largest temples. Some of the other attractions of the city are the Horyuji Temple, Nara Park, Isuien Garden. In this context, let us tell you that Horyuji Temple is the world’s oldest wooden building. There is also Kasuga Taisha which is Nara’s most celebrated Shinto shrine.
One of the best cities in Japan, Kobe shines bright as one of the top places to visit for the famous hot spring resort, Arima Onsen, and world-famous Kobe beef. Locating on a scenic harbor on the island of Honshu and boasting of some really beautiful waterfalls to gardens and also thriving city life, Kobe gifts its visitors so much of warmth and plenty of things to do. It has remained an important port city for many centuries. Now its cosmopolitan feel, excellent restaurants, exciting nightlife make it a very fun city to explore. Its pristine location between the sea and the Rokko mountain makes it a bit more interesting. Hike to Nunobiki Falls, wander through Merikan Park, and also the Chinatown of Nankinmachi.
A major financial center and the third-largest city in Japan just behind Tokyo and Yokohama, Osaka boasts its rich history that dates back to some 1,500 years. With enough popular shopping options, eateries, one of the best nightlife scenes, and also incredible futuristic architecture, Osaka is impressive and is one of the best cities in Japan to plan a trip to.
Some of the most bustling places to visit in Osaka are the Tennoji District, Universal Studios, the very beautiful Osaka Castle, and also the lively and happening Minami which is Osaka’s nightlife center.
A city that is known for its ski resorts, Sapporo is famous for its beer and the annual snow festival and is one of the best cities in Japan. The fifth-largest city of Japan, Sapporo is one of the nation’s youngest major cities and is the capital of Hokkaido. Visit this glorious city in winter to experience the best of it. A city that came into the limelight when it hosted the Olympic Winter Games in 1972, Sapporo also holds a special place in Japan’s culinary, musical, and theatrical scenes. Apart from the Sapporo Snow Festival, there are a whole lot of attractive places to visit in this pretty city. Get to the Moerenuma Park locating in the outskirts of Sapporo. Other must-visit spots include Sapporo Beer Museum, the Susukino District, the Curb Market which is a massive seafood market. Have a stroll through Odori Park and explore the amazing beer scene too.