Tea ceremonies, calligraphy, and flower arranging are among Japan’s traditional arts. The country is known for its unique gardens, sculpture, and poetry. Japan has over a dozen UNESCO World Heritage monuments and is the birthplace of sushi, one of the country’s most recognized culinary exports.
6. Temple City – Historic Nara
The magnificent unspoiled city of Nara, which has been the centre of Japanese culture for generations, is home to a huge number of historic structures, as well as notable national treasures and pieces of art.
The city has multiple important historical temples in addition to its many historic streets. The majestic seventh-century Kofuku-ji Temple, arguably the most well-known of Nara’s Seven Great Temples, and the splendid eighth-century Todai-ji (Great East Temple), notable for its massive bronze statue of the Great Buddha (Daibutsu), produced here in AD 749, are among them.
5. The Island Shrine of Itsukushima – Miyajima
The island of Miyajima, often known as Japan’s Shrine Island, is only a short ferry trip from mainland Hiroshima. Miyajima is primarily known for the Itsukushima Shrine, a Shinto temple dedicated to the Princess daughters of the wind god Susanoo, which spans 30 square kilometres in Hiroshima Bay.
The majority of the shrine’s buildings, which date from the eighth century, rise out of the waters of a little bay, supported only by piling. At high tide, the effect is breathtaking, giving various monuments, especially the famous Great Floating Gate (O-Torii), the appearance of floating on water.
It’s a wonderful area to explore, especially the larger rooms, which are connected by walkways and bridges. The Honden (Main Hall), the Offerings Hall (Heiden), the Prayer Hall (Haiden), and the Hall of a Thousand Mats are only a few of them (Senjokaku).
4. Historic Kyoto
Kyoto, one of Japan’s most popular tourist destinations, attracts more than 10 million visitors each year. It is one of the few cities in the country that was spared the devastation of WWII. The majority of them have come to see Kyoto’s beautiful old streets and buildings, most of which has remained unaltered since the Imperial dynasty moved here over 1,000 years ago.
The city was already Japan’s most important cultural hub at the time. This history lives on today with the city’s several museums and art galleries, each brimming with important sculptures, paintings, and other works of art.
Highlights of Kyoto’s Buddhist-influenced architecture include its many well-preserved temples, 30 of which are still in use, and important structures such as the 14th-century Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji), famous for its exquisite gold-leaf-clad exterior.
3. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
While little needs to be said about the tragedy of Hiroshima’s atomic bombing in August 1945, much can be said about the remarkable efforts made by this dynamic city to remember the countless victims of the world’s first nuclear attack. Hiroshima, maybe more crucially, has become a symbol of permanent peace.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park (Hiroshima Heiwa Kinen Ken) is visited by over a million people each year, many of whom are from outside of Japan. It is located at the epicentre of the atomic blast in what was once a bustling part of the city. A number of significant monuments, memorials, and museums related to the events of that dreadful day can be found here.
2. Imperial Tokyo
The Imperial Palace, with its exquisite 17th-century gardens enclosed by walls and moats, is a must-see for anybody visiting the nation’s capital. Don’t let the fact that the most of the palace is closed to the public (it’s still in use by the Imperial family) deter you; there’s plenty to see just meandering around the grounds.
Visitors are allowed inside the East Higashi-Gyoen Garden and other places that are available to the public as part of an arranged tour, in addition to the many beautiful views of the palace from various points in the surrounding parkland. The famed Nijubashi Bridge, or “double bridge,” is known for its aquatic reflection and offers one of the most picturesque views.
1. Mount Fuji
Mount Fuji (Fuji-san), without a doubt Japan’s most iconic sight, is also the country’s tallest mountain summit. This spectacular and fabled mountain, which rises 3,776 metres above an otherwise fairly flat landscape to the south and east, can be seen from Tokyo, more than 100 kilometres distant.
Mount Fuji has been praised in art and literature for ages, and it is now regarded such an iconic figure that UNESCO acknowledged its global cultural value in 2013. Mount Fuji, which is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, is ascended by over a million people each summer as a pilgrimage that culminates in a dawn view from its peak.