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Can you believe that the land size of Japan is approximately equivalent to that of California?! For a country of its size, there are so many destinations to choose from when planning a trip to Japan. Every time I visit, I always have to sacrifice a place or city from my list – there is often not enough time!
This week, I asked some of my favorite travel bloggers to share their favorite places in Japan to visit. If you’re looking for Japan inspiration, read on – these travel bloggers have you covered!
Katherine from City and See shares why Yokohama is her favorite place in Japan:
Often overshadowed by the largest city in the world, Yokohama is a wonderful place to visit if you love being by the water, shopping or exploring cities. Being the second largest city in Japan, it is home to the largest Chinatown in Asia (you must try Matcha ice cream and steamed buns), the interactive Cup Noodles Museum and amazing views from the Ferris wheel or Landmark Tower. Check out a local festival at the Red Brick Warehouse (or ice skate if you are a visiting in winter), and even picnic at the Osanbashi Pier if warmer weather is your travel companion.
I also can’t recommend attending a Japanese baseball game during your visit to this amazing country, and the Yokohama BayStars Stadium is the perfect place! Whether you spend a weekend or make this a very doable day trip from Tokyo, I think you will be pleasantly surprised with this seaside city!
Check out that Matcha soft serve – I would lick my screen if I could!
2. Koyasan, Wakayama
Vicki from Vicki Viaja shares why Koyasan is her favorite place in Japan:
Koyasan is a cute little town South of Osaka. It is home to more than 115 temples and 500 monks. I’ve never found a place so peaceful and tranquil anywhere in the world before! Koyasan is known to be the most sacred place in Japan. During your stay, you can join the morning prayer of the monks or even stay in one of the temples overnight. For us, visiting Koyasan was definitely an amazing and unique experience.
Make sure you check out Vicki’s blog to find out more about visiting Koyasan, one of Japan’s most sacred towns.
3. Beppu, Oita
Beppu is an onsen (hot spring) city located in the Southern island of Japan – Kyushu. With more than 2000 onsens and 8 hells, Beppu has become one of the top spots for both local Japanese tourists and international visitors. Visiting Beppu, you not only enjoy the uniqueness of hells but also get to experience the hot springs with an extraordinary view. The best time to visit Japan or Beppu, in particular, is around March – April, so you can enjoy the beauty of blooming cherry blossom as well!
One of the “hells” in Beppu during Spring
Matilda from The Travel Sisters shares why Kyoto is her favorite place in Japan:
Kyoto is one of my favorite places to visit in Japan especially for those looking for a taste of old-world Japan. From Buddhist temples (over 1000!), Shinto shrines and Zen gardens to the famous bamboo forest, Kyoto has something for everyone. You can also catch a glimpse of an elusive geisha in the Gion district. Although it is beautiful year round, if you visit in the spring, Kyoto is one of the best places in Japan to enjoy the cherry blossoms.
Make sure you check out “3 days in Kyoto: The Perfect Itinerary” on The Travel Sisters blog.
One of the most popular spots in Kyoto – Kinkakuji Temple (The Golden Pavilion)
Jojo from Traveling Petite Girl shares why Hokkaido is her favorite place in Japan:
Hokkaido is one of those places where it doesn’t matter what time of year you visit– the island changes colors every season and every sight is just as beautiful as the next. Come during autumn, to walk between hills of orange, red, and yellow trees, winter– to relax in a hot spring in the middle of snow-covered mountains, spring– to run through rainbow colored fields of tulips, and summer– to cool down with lavender ice cream in the middle of a lavender field. I came during summer specifically for their Sapporo Beer Festival and was impressed by the vibrant colors of the mountains, flowers, and ocean. If you love vibrant colors of nature, relaxed living, with fresh & delicious food, I urge you to travel to Hokkaido, there’s no place like it.
Read more about what it’s like to visit Hokkaido during the summer on Jojo’s blog: “3 Perfect Days in Hokkaido for a Fun & Relaxing Summer” and “8 Hokkaido Foods You Have to Eat During Summer.”
Picturesque views from Cape Kamui in Hokkaido – check out that water!!
Lena from Social Travel Experiment shares why Kamakura is her favorite place in Japan:
Kamakura is a wonderful retreat from the hustle and bustle of one of the biggest cities in the world: Tokyo
Even though it is only about 1 hour away from Tokyo, it has a lot to offer in terms of nature (the ocean and nice beaches for surfing and other watersports activities, beautiful hiking trails through bamboo and other forests and romantic Japanese parks and gardens). But it is also an amazing place to learn about Japanese culture and history, being home to hundreds of temples and shrines, many hundreds of years old. It has so many facets that no matter what kind of interests you have, it will never get boring, and it just makes for a perfect day trip from Tokyo.
Jennifer from The Rainbow Route shares why Tokyo is her favorite place in Japan:
Japan is such a diverse and beautiful country, it’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite place. Tokyo may seem like an unusual choice in a country full of majestic landscapes, but it holds a special place in my heart. I am not a city person by nature. Usually, the first thing I do when I land in a new city in a new country is hightail it out of there. Cities have always come across to me as somewhat monotonous and definitely expensive, but Tokyo is different (though you could easily empty your wallet here if you wanted to).
The people are polite and friendly, transit is efficient and timely, and there is definitely something for everybody. There are so many neighborhoods in Tokyo, you could spend a lifetime exploring them all. For me and my wife, Laura, we especially loved the LGBTQ scene in the city. True, you won’t see any PDAs (public displays of affection), but there is a whole neighborhood devoted to bars and other establishments catering specifically to the LGBTQ crowd. What makes Tokyo even more unique is that it has a vibrant lesbian scene – something that is difficult to find the world over.
Amazing fashion from the streets of Tokyo
8. Tokyo Disney
Samantha from Have Seat Will Travel: Adventures of a Pilot’s Wife shares why Tokyo is her favorite place in Japan:
If you’re a Disney nerd like me, Tokyo Disney is a must visit when in Japan! You get to experience new takes on Disney staples like the Tower of Terror and the Tiki Room all while enjoying inventive Japanese style Disney food. Tokyo Disney has two parks: Tokyo Disney Sea and Tokyo Disneyland. Disneyland will feel a lot like the Magic Kingdom in Florida or Disneyland in California. But Tokyo Disney Sea is in a world all its own with unique lands and rides! It’s an absolute cannot miss destination in Tokyo!
Tokyo Disney: a must for all visitors to Tokyo!
So there you have it – some great travel inspiration from my favorite travel bloggers!
Have you been to Japan? What are some of our favorite places in Japan to visit?
Or are you planning a trip to Japan? Where are you inspired to visit? Do you want to see Yokohama, Kyoto or Beppu? Or is there somewhere else not listed here that you want to see?
Leave me a comment and let me know!
Want to read more Japan content? Make sure you check out some of our other Japan planning content: