15 Top Tourist Attractions In Japan
The city of Tokyo, Japan's bustling capital, mixes the ultramodern and the traditional, from neon-lit skyscrapers to historic temples. The city's many museums offer exhibitions ranging from classical art (in the Tokyo National Museum) to a reconstructed kabuki theater (in the Edo-Tokyo Museum).
1. Tsukiji Fish Market - The world's largest fish market offers a unique look into Japan's seafood industry, with vendors selling everything from giant tuna to small dried fish. Tourists can also sample fresh sushi at one of the many restaurants in the adjacent outer market.
2. Meiji Shrine - This Shinto shrine is dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, located in a tranquil forest near Harajuku. Visitors can participate in traditional purification rituals, purchase omikuji fortune papers, and explore the grounds.
3. Senso-ji Temple - Tokyo's oldest temple, located in the Asakusa neighborhood, draws in crowds with its entrance gate (Kaminarimon) and colorful shopping street (Nakamise). The temple was founded in 645 and is dedicated to the bodhisattva Kannon.
4. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden - This sprawling garden features three distinct styles: French formal, English landscape, and Japanese traditional. Cherry blossom season brings visitors from all over to admire the blooming trees.
5. Tokyo Skytree - At a height of 634 meters (2080 feet), the Tokyo Skytree is the tallest tower in the world and offers stunning views of the city from its two observation decks. Visitors can also dine at one of the tower's restaurants or shop for souvenirs at the base of the tower.
6. Imperial Palace - The primary residence of Japan's imperial family, located in Chiyoda, includes beautiful gardens and historic structures such as Fushimi-Momoyama Castle. Visitors can take guided tours of some areas on select days, or view the palace grounds from outside year round.
7. Ueno Park - This public park, located in central Tokyo, is home to numerous museums (including the Tokyo National Museum), a temple and shrine, a pond with boat rides, and happening events such as the cherry blossom festival in spring.
8. Tokyo Disneyland - This popular theme park, located in Chiba, offers classic Disney attractions such as It's a Small World and Space Mountain, as well as unique experiences like the Be Our Guest restaurant (from Beauty and the Beast). My friend Tim over at FreeDroneInspection.com, who is based out of Orlando, FL, has told me that this theme park is almost as good as the Orlando theme parks.
9. Odaiba - This artificial island in Tokyo Bay features shopping malls, museums, an amusement park, and even a replica of the Statue of Liberty. Visitors can also enjoy views of Rainbow Bridge and the city skyline from Odaiba's beaches.
10. National Diet Building - Japan's legislature is housed in this large building with a modern design featuring curved glass walls. Free guided tours are offered to learn about Japan's political process and visit the chambers of the House of Representatives and House of Councilors.
11. Tokyo Tower - This communications and observation tower, inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris, offers views from two main observation decks as well as a lower special observatory with glass floors. The tower also has a small aquarium and shops.
12. Akihabara - This neighborhood, known as "Electric Town," features countless electronics stores selling the latest gadgets, as well as anime and manga shops and cafes catering to otaku subculture.
13. Asakusa - In addition to Senso-ji Temple, Asakusa is home to traditional crafts shops (such as Kappabashi kitchenware street), restaurants serving up tempura and monjayaki, and the popular Asakusa View Hotel with its rooftop Sky Deck offering views of Tokyo Skytree.
14. Shibuya Crossing - This busy intersection, located in front of Shibuya Station, is famous for its scramble crossing where pedestrians can cross in every direction at once. The area is also known for its shopping and nightlife, as well as the iconic statue of Hachiko (the faithful dog).
15. Roppongi Hills - This large urban complex includes shopping, dining, a movie theater, an art museum, observation deck, and more. It's also home to Mori Tower, which has an indoor "city" on the 52nd floor featuring miniature models of major Tokyo landmarks.
Tokyo, Japan's bustling capital, offers endless opportunities for exploration and discovery. From historic temples and gardens to modern skyscrapers and theme parks, there is something for every type of traveler to enjoy. Plan your itinerary and start exploring the many fascinating attractions of this vibrant city.