It has been a while since I last posted! Every now and then, I need to search for new inspiration and I find that one of the best possible sources of that for me is TRAVEL.
Having been back from the land of the rising sun for a few weeks now, I’ve had some time to reflect on our trip and have compiled a list of my top 7 must see places in Japan.
Most travellers visiting Japan will usually only stick to the Tokyo to Kyoto route, as there is so much to see in both destinations that you could easily fill a 2 week itinerary. I would highly recommend adding some of these destinations to your itinerary, as many of them can be reached in a day trip from other locations:
A visit to the coastal city of Hiroshima should feature on every traveller’s trip to Japan. Visiting the Hiroshima peace park, A-bomb dome and Memorial museum is a confronting experience that will most likely stir some emotions in you. The preservation of the A-bomb dome serves as a reminder that the horrors of nuclear war should never be repeated. It is very emotional place to visit, but I’m glad that I was able to see this and in some way pay my respects.
This gorgeous gem of an island is located just off the coast of Hiroshima and can be easily combined as a day trip. The island of Miyajima is best known for two things, the large Torii gates that stand alone out in the water and the wild deer that roam the island. Be sure to take the cable car journey to the top of Mount Misen for some absolutely stunning views.
Although the second largest city in Japan, Osaka is often overlooked as a standalone destination. Whilst we did not spend a lot of time here, it is a city which seemed to have a very relaxed and trendy vibe. Free from the formality of Tokyo, there are plenty of things to see and do (not to mention eat!) in Osaka. For a spectacular view of the city skyline, head to the Umeda sky building observation deck at night time.
If you’re looking to add a more regional element to your trip, you cannot look past Takayama. A small city in the mountains about 4 hours from Tokyo. This is the perfect place to spend a couple of days to relax and recharge on your trip. The old town is a major rival for Kyoto, thanks to it’s picture perfect streets that look as though they come straight out of a movie. For a step back in time, head to Hida Folk Village for a look at how life was for the locals during the Edo period.
Already at the top of most people’s Japanese bucket list is a trip to Kyoto. With countless temples, shrines and nature walks, it is easy to see why this is the second most popular tourist destination in Japan. There is truly something for everyone in Kyoto, so much so, that it will need it’s own post in the future to cover all of the must see destinations. This is quintessential Japan at it’s finest.
It may seem shocking that I’m ranking Nikko above Kyoto. There is just something about this magical place which makes it worthy of second place. Simply put, the world heritage listed temples and shrines of Nikko will outdo everything else you will see in the whole of Japan. We visited on a rainy, misty day in September, which somehow made the atmosphere even more beautiful.
An absolute must see for all tourists and an easy day trip from Tokyo.
I may be a little biased, as I briefly lived here 10 years ago, but Tokyo truly is a one of kind city. The quirky and bustling metropolis is busier than anywhere else I have ever been, giving New York and Paris a run for there money in that department. There are endless things to do in and many unique experiences that you simply wont find anywhere else in the world. It can be a overwhelming place for many, but is a destination that everyone should visit at least once in their life. More to come on Tokyo, which warrants it’s own post soon.
Feeling inspired yet? Or have you already been to Japan before? What were your favourite destinations?