Japan Tourism and Travel Guide

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japan

Best Time To visit Climate How To Reach Places To Visit Things To Do Top Restaurants Best Places To Stay Shopping Travel Agents

Japan is truly timeless, a place where ancient traditions are fused with modern life as if it were the most natural thing in the world.

Traditional Culture

On the surface Japan appears exceedingly modern, but travelling around it offers numerous opportunities to connect with the country’s traditional culture. Spend the night in a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn), sleeping on futons and tatami mats, and padding through well-worn wooden halls to the bathhouse (or go one step further and sleep in an old farmhouse). Meditate with monks or learn how to whisk bitter matcha (powdered green tea) into a froth. From the splendour of a Kyoto geisha dance to the spare beauty of a Zen rock garden, Japan has the power to enthral even the most jaded traveller.


Best Time To Visit

Japan’s climate can be distilled down into four distinct seasons (spring, summer, autumn and winter), and each is culturally important in Japan. Late spring (March to May) and late autumn (September to November) are generally the best times to visit Japan, when there is little rainfall, skies are clear, and temperatures are mild. What’s more, the delicate cherry blossom of spring and vivid hues of autumn leaves are visually stunning.

The colder months, December to February, are less appealing to most visitors which can make traveling at these times cheaper. As well as being less crowded and costing less, many of Japan’s highlights are even better in the winter months.


Climate

Winter

Japan’s weather in Winter, from December to February, is quite dry and sunny along the Pacific coast and the temperatures rarely drop below 0°C. The temperatures drop as you move north, with the Central and Northern regions experiencing snowfall. Southern Japan is relatively temperate and experiences a mild winter.

Spring

Spring is from March to May.  Temperatures are warm but not too hot, plus there isn’t too much rain.  The famous cherry blossoms are out during this time and there are plenty of festivals to enjoy.

Summer

Summer begins in June and the country experiences a three to four-week rainy season during which the farmers plant their rice.  It is hot and humid during this time and temperatures are often in the high 30’s.  Summer wraps up in August.

Autumn

Autumn is from September to November and is characterised by light breezes and cooler temperatures of around 8-10oC. It’s during autumn that many exhibitions, music concerts and sports tournaments are held in Japan.


How To Reach

Reaching Japan by Air

Narita Airport, Osaka International Airport, Kansai Airport and Haneda Airport of Tokyo are the major airports of Japan. Ibaraki Airport, north of Tokyo, also sees a number of flights landing and taking off. The major carriers of Japan are All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines. You can also fly in via Seoul on Korean Air or Asiana Airlines. Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and American Airlines have flights catering to many destinations in the US and Asia.

Reaching Japan by Water

International ferry services to Japan are available, from Korea, China, Taiwan and Russia. Busan-Osaka, Shanghai-Osaka/Kobe, Keelung-Ishigaki/Naha and Russia to Japan via Sakhalin are some of the major ferries.

Reaching Japan from India

The airlines that go from India to Japan are Jet Airways, Air India, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Jet Star, Cathay Pacific and China Airlines. There aren’t any non-stops. The most common ones are 1 stops or 2 stops.


Best Places To Visit

1. Tokyo

Tokyo is the city that reflects the colors of Japan. In Japan, places to visit are endless, and exploring everything in one trip would always be impossible. But, the popular city of Tokyo still deserves the top spot in your itinerary, thanks to its anime culture and world-class attractions. And if the historical sites don’t impress you much, the city has also got a great culinary scene!

Top Attractions:

  • Tokyo Disneyland
  • Tokyo Skytree
  • Tokyo DisneySea

Best Things To Do:

  • Spend an evening near the Tokyo Tower
  • Shop in Odaiba
  • Witness the grandeur of the Meiji Shrine

2. Kyoto

The city of shrines, gardens & palaces! Of all the major Japan destinations, the sacred city of Kyoto is one of the best places to visit in Japan in spring irrespective of whether you are holidaying with your family or your partner. The iconic temples, shrines, palaces, gardens, and the bamboo forests are a treat to the eyes, and you cannot afford to miss it on your first trip.

Top Attractions:

  • Kyoto Imperial Palace
  • Philosopher’s Walk
  • Fushimi-Inari Taisha Shrine

Best Things To Do:

  • Visit the Kiyomizu Temple
  • Explore the Nijo Castle
  • Visit the famous Kinkaku-ji

3. Nara

Home to adorable deers, temples & more! No list of the top Japan attractions can ever be complete without including Nara in it. Home to many shrines, monasteries, museums, and the famous Nara Park, this city is where you need to be to get familiarized with the famed Japanese culture and traditions. It definitely features on the list of unmissable places to visit in Japan.

Top Attractions:

  • Nara Park
  • Kasuga-taisha
  • Ninja Museum of Igaryu

Best Things To Do:

  • Visit the Isuien Garden
  • Befriend the deers at the Nara-koen Park
  • Explore the Nara National Museum

4. Mt. Fuji

The paradise for adventure seekers! Renowned around the world for offering the most thrilling experience in Japan, Mt. Fuji is the ultimate place to visit. While the official climbing season begins from July and ends in September, you can witness the beauty from a distance throughout the year. It is one of our most favorite places in Japan. Needless to say, this place ought to be on your list!

Top Attractions:

  • Mount Tenjo
  • Chureito Pagoda
  • Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine

Best Things To Do:

  • Go for skiing
  • Visit the Arakurayama Sengen Park
  • Enjoy the views of Mt. Fuji from the Subashiri 5th Station

5. Hokkaido

The abode of natural hot springs! Popular for its volcanoes, hot springs, and ski areas, this gorgeous Japanese island looks right out of a picture book. And it is because of its various attractions & experiences that it is an impeccable place to holiday with both your kids and significant other. Be it the beauty of the Blue Pond or the Zoo, you’d be left mesmerised. It is one of the most ideal places to visit in Japan during summer.

Top Attractions:

  • Asahiyama Zoo
  • Farm Tomita
  • Blue Pond

Best Things To Do:

  • Relax in the hot spring
  • Treat yourself with scrumptious seafood
  • Visit the famous national parks

6. Ishigaki

The most trending travel spot in Japan! Voted as the most trending travel spot for 2018, the Ishigaki Island is definitely amongst the best places to visit in Japan. Despite its size, the island has no limit when it comes to offering unique experiences to its tourists, and glamming up their holiday in the Japanese land. It has been also voted as the best places to visit in Japan in cherry blossom season.

Top Attractions:

  • Kabira Bay
  • Taketomi Island
  • Ishigaki Limestone Cave

Best Things To Do:

  • Indulge in snorkeling
  • Relax on the beaches
  • Savour the Ishigaki Beef

7. Hiroshima

The city that beautifies Japan’s landscape! In spite of being known around the world for being a victim of the horrendous atomic bombings, Hiroshima continues to be one of the major places to see in Japan. And believe us, apart from the dedicated monuments and sites that reflect the history, the city also has other spellbinding attractions like the Itsukushima shrine.

Top Attractions:

  • Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park & Museum
  • Hiroshima Castle
  • Itsukushima

Best Things To Do:

  • Try Okonomiyaki, the local delicacy
  • Visit the Mazda Museum
  • Capture pictures at the Shukkeien Garden

8. Sapporo

A haven for beer and ski lovers! With cities like Sapporo, ‘what to see in Japan’ would never be your top concern. The city not only helps you escape the heat and humidity but also help you discover your winter wonderland during its famous Sapporo Annual Snow Festival. If not the gardens, then the huge snow sculptures would definitely steal your heart!

Top Attractions:

  • Moerenuma Park
  • Former Hokkaido Government Office
  • Mount Moiwa Observation Deck

Best Things To Do:

  • Visit the Sapporo Beer Museum
  • Party in Susukino
  • Indulge in local delicacies at the Curb Market

9. Osaka

With the best shopping arcades, eateries that offer incredible food, and the top nightlife hotspots in the city, Osaka is one of the major places to go in Japan. Believe us, it would not only pamper the foodie or party lover in you, but also the die-hard tourist who loves witnessing the wonders of every place he or she visits.

Top Attractions:

  • Universal Studios Japan
  • Osaka Castle
  • Dotonbori

Best Things To Do:

  • Visit the Kaiyukan Aquarium
  • Visit the Hozenji Temple
  • Go beer tasting and partying at night

10. Yakushima

An island of magical waterfalls! An island in Kagoshima Prefecture, Yakushima is famous for its wildlife, cedar forests, and waterfalls. If you’re someone who loves venturing into the wild for an experience of a lifetime, then this best place to visit in Japan is absolutely worth your time.

Top Attractions:

  • Senpirono Falls
  • Jōmon Sugi
  • Mt. Miyanoura

Best Things To Do:

  • Kayaking or canoeing in Anbo river
  • Witness the Oko-no-taki Waterfall
  • Watch the Loggerhead turtles lay eggs

11. Hakuba

The ultimate winter wonderland! Situated amidst the Japanese Alps, right outside the city of Nagano, Hakuba is a village cum famous winter sports hub. The various mountain resorts that offer incredible skiing, snowboarding, and hiking experiences make the city a perfect place for including it into your Japan sightseeing tour.

Top Attractions:

  • Mt. Shirouma
  • Hakuba Happoone Winter Resort
  • Lake Aoki

Best Things To Do:

  • Ski at the Cortina Resort
  • Visit Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park
  • Hike to the Happo Pond

12. Kamakura

The Kyoto of eastern Japan! In Japan, points of interest might vary depending on the type of traveler you are. But it’s quite the opposite when it comes to the seaside town if Kamakura. Boasting bamboo groves, ancient temples, vibrant beaches, great shopping alleys, and lip-smacking local delicacies, this town has everything that would amuse you.

Top Attractions:

  • Enoshima Aquarium
  • Kamakura Museum of Literature
  • Kannon Museum

Best Things To Do:

  • Witness the Great Buddha of Kamakura
  • Go surfing at Shonan Beach
  • Visit the Jufukuji Temple

13. Nagano

The tropical retreat to beat the heat! Located in the heart of central Japan, Nagano is home to a lot of hidden gems like the Ninja Village for kids, Shiga Kogen Ski Resort, and Zenko-ji Temple that make it a perfect place for all the types of travelers. But, what makes it more exclusive is the pleasant breeze that surrounds the city throughout the year.

Top Attractions:

  • Karuizawa
  • Matsumoto Castle
  • Kamikouchi

Best Things To Do:

  • Visit the Zenko-ji temple
  • Enjoy winter sports at Shiga Kogen Heights Ski Resort
  • Rejuvenate at Shirahone Onsen

14. Kawaguchi

Japan’s most natural wonder! While this city in Japan is more famous for its Lake Kawaguchiko and the breathtaking views of Mt.Fuji in the front, it is equally known for being a paradisiacal gem for the culture vultures. The vibrant vibes and attractions of all types undoubtedly make it a great spot to tick off your bucket list.

Top Attractions:

  • Lake Kawaguchiko
  • Fujiten Snow Resort
  • Oshino Hakkai

Best Things To Do:

  • Attend the Shibazakura Festival
  • Paddle Around Lake Kawaguchiko
  • Sip on Koshu Wine

15. Takayama

The town with an old-world charm! Nestled high up in the mountains of Gifu, Takayama is amongst the best places to visit in Japan. If you’re looking for an ultimate retreat away from the bustling city life, this is where you need to go. With stunning attraction all around the city, you can experience the charm of old Japan quite easily here.

Top Attractions:

  • Hida no Sato
  • Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall
  • Sanmachi Suji District

Best Things To Do:

  • Go back in time at Takayama Jinya
  • Stay in a farmhouse
  • Attend the Takayama Festival

16. Shibuya

It is said that Shibuya has an impressive 2.8 millions footfall on a regular weekday. This is so because not only does this place have a spectacular crossing or as they say, ‘scramble crossing’ which is surely nothing less than a sight to behold, it also has multiple shopping places with really cool clothing brands of Tokyo. One of the main shopping places include the famous 109 shopping mall which is located in close proximity to the train station of Shibuya.

Top attractions:

  • Meiji Jingu
  • Yoyogi Park
  • Omotesandō

Best things to do:

  • Enjoy the nightlife at Roppongi
  • Treat your shopping craving with Takeshita Street
  • Witness mesmerizing views with Roppongi Hills

17. Naoshima

A tiny island beautifully set amidst the Seto Inland Sea, Naoshima offers a perfect weekend escapade from Tokyo. There’s no shortage of art museums, sculptures and modern architecture woven into the various attractions of the island. Since it’s a long journey to the island, it is best if you plan to stay there overnight just to get enough of the bliss and peace that the place has to offer.

Top attractions:

  • Lee Ufan Museum
  • Benesse House
  • Naoshima Bath

Best things to do:

  • Get ready to witness the fine work of Tadao Ando at Chichu Art Museum
  • Visit Kojin Island for some peace and quiet
  • Witness the splendid nature’s charm in Labyrinth of Cherry Blossom

18. Asakusa

Crowned as the cultural hub of Tokyo, Asakusa has a combination of things to do and multiple places to go to for different kinds of travelers. One of the good places to visit in Japan includes the Asahi Beer Hall which is like a gem for all party-goers who wish to try amazing booze in Japan. You can also try the Nakamise shopping block for a wild shopping spree in Japan.

Top attractions:

  • Asakusa Shrine
  • Amuse Museum
  • Hanayashiki Amusement Park

Best things to do:

  • Experience blessed vibes at Sensō-ji
  • Have a unique gaming time at Escape Game Nazobako Tokyo
  • Visit Kappabashi-dori for the various topnotch restaurants

19. Akihabara

Known as the ‘world’s geek capital’, Akihabara is famous for having a vast category of video and computer games on the planet. One of the main cafes of the like in this region is fantastical Akihabara, that will offer you a fun and engrossing gaming experience. Make sure you look out for the ones which are safe enough and not hoax in any form.

Top attractions:

  • Tokyo Anime Center
  • Ryōgoku Edo Noren
  • Ginza Line Crossing

Best things to do:

  • Shop at 2k540 Aki-Oka Artisan
  • Witness endless lush greenery at Chidorigafuchi moat
  • Rent a bike and tour the place on your own

20. Odaiba

Further ahead of Rainbow bridge, the magnificent island of Odaiba has exquisite shopping centres which also boast of a ferris wheel inside. What else can you wish for in Japan? Another reason for the fame of this place is the installation of Gundam statue right outside of Diver City mall, which literally seems to be alive! Having a theme park on board, this place is nothing less than a perfect spot for your vacation in Japan!

Top attractions:

  • Daikanransha Ferris wheel
  • Seaside Park
  • Yurikamome train

Best things to do:

  • Indulge in a fine sushi experience at the sushi bars
  • Shop at Aqua City for a unique experience
  • Spot a few fun robots at Miraikan science museum

21. Kabukicho

It is indeed not strange for a place like to have several neon signs. So, when you plan to visit Kabukicho, don’t be surprised to spot a few too many here. One of the main red light areas of Japan, this place is famous for various adult indulgences and has many pubs with the same themes for all tourists passing by. Make sure you visit Shinjuku for an extraordinary virtual gaming experience here.

Top attractions:

  • Robot Restaurant
  • Shinjuku Golden Gai
  • Museum of Haiku Literature

Best things to do:

  • Try various fun rides at VR Zone Shinjuku
  • Watch a Tokyo Robot Evening Cabaret Show
  • Get to know more about Haiku at Museum of Haiku Literature

22. Ueno Park

Having an array of diverse options in one place, Ueno park is the place to be if you wish to have a short stay in Japan. Whether you’re an history buff or not, an ancient black market like the one found in Ameya Yokocho will give you chills down the scene due to its authenticity and extraordinary fun vibes. Don’t forget to tour Yanaka if you want to explore Japan’s cultural and historic past.

Top attractions:

  • Tokyo National Museum
  • Ueno Zoo
  • Kaneiji Temple

Best things to do:

  • Try Hanami to respect and experience one of the traditions of Japan
  • Visit National Museum of Nature and Science
  • Experience bliss and serenity at Ueno Toshogu Shrine

23. Yokohama

Having so many thrilling adventures and simply fun things to do, it is slightly sad that Yokohama doesn’t attract as many visitors as Tokyo, even though it is located quite close to Tokyo. Having a charming Minato Mirai waterfront on board, along with one of the biggest Chinatown regions, this place will surely surprise you more than you’d expect. Get ready to have a warm welcome from the locals here as it is weaved into their culture.

Top attractions:

  • Yokohama Chinatown
  • Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse
  • Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

Best things to do:

  • Visit Enoshima island for some bliss
  • Witness a traditional Japanese garden at Sankeien Garden
  • Enjoy a fun outing at Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum

24. Nikko

Called as one of the most important regions of Eastern Japan, Nikko is located in close proximity of Tochigi Prefecture and has various shrines to be visited by travelers. These include Kanmangafuchi Abyss and Toshogu Shrine. If you wish to try something different, pay a visit to Edo wonderland which is a theme back taking you back to the ancient era. If you’re thinking, ‘places I should visit in japan’, make sure you don’t miss out on this one!

Top attractions:

  • Kegon Falls
  • Nikko Futarasan jinja
  • Tobu World Square

Best things to do:

  • Dip your toes in the hot springs of Kinugawa Onsen
  • Walk down the history with Rinnō-ji museum
  • Go hiking through Senjōgahara

25. Tohoku

Also known as the hidden gem of Japan’s main island region, Tohoku has something for every kind of traveler planning to visit this place. But all that is just the tip of the iceberg, since the tourists from all over the world travel to this place exclusively for Aomori Nebuta Festival. Make sure to book in advance as the domestic travelers might make it a housefull!

Top attractions:

  • Lake Ogawara
  • Hotto Plaza Suginoko Hot Spring
  • Eboshi-dake

Best things to do:

  • Camp at Ogawarako Park
  • Try a soothing nature walk at Komaki Onsen Shibusawa Park
  • Indulge in a good dining experience at Onsen inn Matsuzono

26. Kawagoe

One of the surreal Japan points of interest, Kawagoe encompasses remnants of the ancient town from the Edo Period i.e. 1603-1867 and allows visitors to disapparate to the streets from past centuries. This tiny town is known as ‘Little Edo’ and is nothing less than a paradise for history buffs. Being one of the most important cities of trade, Kawagoe envelops an extremely rich history of Edo culture and architecture.

Top Attractions:

  • Kitain Temple
  • Warehouse District
  • Honmaru Goten
  • Candy Alley

Best Things To Do:

  • Visit the city museum to understand Kawagoe’s history
  • Feel the essence of spirituality in Kitain Temple
  • Explore the only remnants of Kawagoe’s palace from Edo Period

 

27. Nagoya

Home to little hidden gems of Japan, Nagoya is one of the unique places to visit in Japanand is often treated as a layover en route to Kyoto from Tokyo. Being one of the biggest cities in Central Japan, Nagoya was the heart of castle towns in Japan during the Edo period. Nagoya Castle is undergoing reconstruction by using traditional methods at present and this gives the explorers and wanderers a perfect chance to be a part of the rebirth of one of the most important aspects of the ancient times.

Top Attractions:

  • Nagoya Castle
  • Atsuta Jingu
  • Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens
  • Tokugawa Garden
  • Nagoya City Science Museum

Best Things To Do:

  • Stroll through the castle and take in the ancient vibes of this town
  • Witness the serenity of Tokugawa Garden
  • Get in touch with the scientific technologies at the science museum
  • Explore the famous cherry blossoms and the stunning landscapes at Tsuruma Park

 

28. Kanazawa

Serving as the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture, Kanazawa blankets numerous historical attractions such as reconstructed residences and contemporary museums. One of the less popular tourist places in Japan, Kanazawa experiences less footfall, which makes this destination a perfect escape from the usually crowded world. Famous for its seafood, Kanazawa is a perfect jewel for those travelers who prefer taking the road less traveled.

Top Attractions:

  • Kenroku-en Garden
  • 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Omicho Market
  • Kanazawa Castle

Best Things To Do:

  • Devour the famous authentic seafood
  • Take a tour of the castle and explore the hidden passageways and tunnels
  • Witness the beauty of the garden with three landscapes

 

29. Shirakawago

Shirakawago is a cute little village in the valley of Ono District in Japan and it looks right out of a fairytale. With ‘gassho-zukuri’ buildings built by the inhabitants themselves, this destination is an epitome of the traditional village life of Japan. Shirakawago is famous for its residences that are crafted to shrug off the heavy snow from the roofs during winter months. For explorers seeking to learn about the authenticity of the Japanese countryside, Shirakawago will leave no stone unturned to help you get a glimpse of the same.

Top Attractions:

  • Fairytale Houses
  • Wada House
  • Gassho-zukuri Minkaen
  • Hakusan National Park

Best Things To Do:

  • Get hands-on experience about the traditional life of Japan
  • Witness the soul-soothing landscapes of the village
  • Camp at the Hakusan National Park and satiate your adventurous inner self

 

30. Shikoku

One of the four main islands of Japan, the charming island of Shikoku reflects the perfect blend of nature, tranquility, culture, and cuisine. Home to one of the oldest Japanese spa’s, Shikoku is famous for its breathtaking landscapes, pristine flowing rivers, and surreal Pacific coastline.

Top Attractions:

  • Muroto-Misaki
  • Ishizuchi-San
  • Iya Valley
  • Dogo Onsen

Best Things To Do:

  • Relax your mind and soul at the oldest spa in Japan
  • Stroll along the pilgrimage route that connects around 88 temples on the island
  • Hire a cycle and explore the city like a local

Best Things To Do

Things to Do in Tokyo

1. Have fun at Tokyo Disneyland- Indulge your inner child at Tokyo Disneyland where fun and frolic await. Meet your favourite Disney characters, go on thrilling rides and shop at numerous stores.
2. Watch Tokyo Tower at night- Japan’s second tallest structure, the Tokyo Tower comes alive at night when it’s fully illuminated. It’s quite a dazzling sight to behold.
3. Visit Senso-Ji Temple- Visiting Tokyo’s oldest temple is one of the best things to do in Japan. Go during Sanja Matsuri in mid-May, an important Shinto festival that draws over a million visitors.
4. Tsukiji fish market – Japan’s seafood is legendary and Tsukiji fish market is where all the action happens. It’s the world’s largest wholesale seafood market and definitely worth a visit.
5. sumo wrestling at Ryogoku Kokugikan- Sumo wrestling is Japan’s national sport and the best place to watch it is at Ryogoku Kokugikan. Go during January when the sport begins. It’s held again in March, May, July, September and November.
6. Walk across Shibuya Crossing- It’s believed to be the world’s busiest intersection and when you actually get to Shibuya Crossing, it’s easy to see why. The buzz of energy is palpable with as many as 1,000 people crossing at a time!
7. Shopping at Ginza- Shopping at the country’s oldest department store chain is one of the most enjoyable things to do in Japan. You can find high-end fashion stores, boutiques and emporiums.
8. Visit Asakusa at Taito- Go temple-hopping in Asakusa, Taito. Senso-Ji has located here along with several others such as Asakusa Jinja and Chingodo Shrine.
9. Enjoy at Ueno Park, Taito- Escape the overwhelming excitement of Tokyo at Ueno Park in Taito. The 19th century Park has museums, fountains and lovely cherry blossoms.
10. Explore Tokyo National Museum- Tokyo National Museum is the country’s oldest such establishment and is among the world’s biggest art museums. It’s home to collections of visual artworks, arms and armour and archaeological finds.
11. Have a look at Tokyo Skytree- Tokyo Skytree offers a splendid view of the city. It has an observation deck, a cafe and a shopping complex.
12. 200 miniature bars at Golden Gai- Golden Gai is like another world with a collection of around 200 tiny bars in one place. They exude a down-to-earth and casual vibe.
13. Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Bay- The colourful Rainbow Bridge is lit up in several colours come nighttime. Pay a visit when daylight dies to watch the colours unfold.
14. Gundam anime robot statue- Japan is famed for its robotics and Tokyo’s massive Gundam anime robot statue is another testament to this. At over 60 feet tall, it features pulsating lights and is a faithful reproduction of the Gundam Unicorn.
15. Cycling in Yoyogi Park- Hire a bicycle and get in a little workout at Yoyogi Park. Ride through a lovely forest and breathe in the fresh air.
16. Walk around Tokyo Imperial Palace- This is one of the top things to do in Japan! Tokyo Imperial Palace is a stunning display of traditional Japanese architecture and features the lush Fukiage Garden.
17. Enjoy Yakatabune boat trip- Yakatabune boat trips give a glimpse into the life of Japan consisting of old tatami-matted floors, lanterns and protruding Miyoshi bows.
18. Boating Inokashira Park- Inokashira Park is a piece of heaven and you feel you’ve stepped into another time and place. Boating is the best way to take in the gardens, wooded areas and cherry blossoms.
19. Visit Shinjuku Gyoen- Another oasis in the midst of busy Tokyo is Shinjuku Gyoen. Thousands of trees, ponds, French and English garden and a greenhouse are found here.
20. Dance with robots at Robot Restaurant- If the Gundam statue failed to satiate your fascination for Japanese robotics, head to Robot Restaurant. You’ll be thoroughly entertained with special effects, dancers and robots.
21. Dine with ninjas at Akasaka Restaurant- It may be corny, but, where else can you dine with legendary ninjas? Akasaka Restaurant’s ninja-themed eatery is a fun place to visit especially if you love the guys in black.

Things to Do in Kyoto

22. View of the city from the Kyoto Tower- The Kyoto Tower is a modern marvel in a city of old charm. The structure contains a hotel, shops and a public bath.
23. Visit Kyoto’s best Fushimi Inari-Taisha- The foothills of Inari Mountain are home to Fushimi Inari-Taisha, the head shrine of Inari, a Shinto spirit. There are trails that lead to smaller shrines up the mountain.
24. Chourakukan Cafe- Chourakukan Cafe is a lovely establishment built at the turn of the 20th century. It serves continental cuisines ranging from French to Italian as well as delectable desserts.
25. Shopping at Mamemasa’s Goshiki-mame- The confectionery at Mamemasa’s Goshiki-mame is to die for. Sample as many as you can and pick up a few to take back home!
26. Kyoto International Manga Museum- Manga fans will go crazy at Kyoto International Manga Museum. Exploring the huge collection of indigenous and international manga will keep you occupied for hours.
27. Visit Kiyomizu-dera Temple- Kiyomizu-Dera Temple is an architectural wonder with not a single nail used. The wooden stage provides a wonderful view of cherry blossom and maple trees.
28. Sagano Bamboo Forest- This breathtaking forest of graceful bamboos is unlike any you’ve seen. Narrow paths snake through the dense forest and if you head far enough away from tourists, you’ll hear the bamboos create a mesmerizing sound.
29. Nishiki Market- One of Kyoto’s best food markets, Nishiki Market is a bustling place with dozens of shops and eateries. You can find a range of items from dried seafood to Japanese sweets.
30. Discover Sanjusangen-do- The Hall of the Lotus King is a sprawling temple that features 1,001 statues of the goddess Kannon. It’s also the longest wooden structure in the country.
31. Japan’s oldest Yamaboko Festival in Kyoto- Travel to Japan in July and you can watch the Yamaboko Festival. It’s one of the oldest festivals in the country and began as a purification ritual.
32. Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama- Almost 200 Japanese macaques rule Monkey Park Iwatayama. The native monkeys are wild but can be fed food.
33. Nishi Honganji Temple- This 16th-century temple is the headquarters of the Jodo-Shin section of Buddhism. It showcases old architecture dating back to the Edo and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.
34. Go green at Honen-In- Honen-In stands out from the hundreds of other temples in Kyoto for its gorgeous greenery! This includes a moss-covered gate and garden. It also features a stone bridge, a grotto and cemetery.
35. Attend tea ceremonies at Kyoto- Japanese tea ceremonies are well-known and Kyoto is one of the best places to witness the elaborate rituals. Camellia and Tea Ceremony KOTO are a couple of venues for this.
36. Illuminations Shoren-in’s- Shoren-in temple is a lovely place to visit and it takes on another level of beauty when illuminated. Try to go when the cherry blossoms bloom as the garden is dotted with blue spheres of artificial light.
37. Visit Kyoto Railway Museum- Discover the history of Japan’s railways and see retired trains like steam trains and electric trains at Kyoto Railway Museum. You can also learn how a freight train operates.
38. Discover historic Kyoto- Where Tokyo is incredibly urban, Kyoto still retains much of its traditional identity. It is home to around 1,600 temples, Japanese gardens and historical buildings.
39. Eikando Zenrinji Temple- Eikando Zenrinji Temple is the head temple of Japanese Buddhism’s Jodo sect. Autumn is the best time to visit as this is when the gardens burst into fall colors.

Things to Do in Osaka

40. Do Osaka river cruise – Aqualiner- Tour Osaka on the Aqua-Liner, which is an aqua bus that covers some of the city’s most famous attractions. The tour takes about an hour to complete.
41. Visit Osaka Castle- Osaka Castle is a beautiful landmark that was built in the 16th century. Today, it features a modern interior with a museum and an elevator.
42. Popular entertainment area Dotonbori- Dotonbori is a sensory overload with numerous restaurants, entertainment centres and shops inviting visitors to explore Osaka’s trendy side.
43. Osaka Shochikuza for the art lovers- Osaka Shochikuza is the place to experience dance drama, Kabuki. The theatre was modelled after Milan’s Teatro Alla Scala.
44. Nakanoshima Park- Nakanoshima Park is Osaka’s first public park and continues to draw locals and tourists. The peaceful green space is illuminated at the end of the year.
46. Tempozan Ferris Wheel- Get a thrill and a great view from Tempozan Ferris Wheel. The 369-foot structure offers an incredible view of Osaka Bay, the Rokko Mountains and Mount Ikoma.
47. Dotonbori Konamon Museum- A favourite dish among locals is takoyaki and you can sample it at Dotonbori Konamon Museum, a themed museum based on popular Osaka foods. You can see experts making the popular snack too.
48. Enjoy water activities at SpaWorld- Spa World introduces you to a world of relaxation with onsens, ganban-yoku and a swimming area. It also has a hotel with western and Japanese style rooms.
50. Discover Sea World at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan- Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is one of the largest aquariums in Japan and features marine animals from the Pacific Rim. It also has a restaurant and shopping centre.
51. Have delicious food at a ramen shop- Ramen in Japan is the real deal and you absolutely have to try it when you’re here. Popular restaurants include Hokkaido Nagurikomi Ramen Betsubara, Sodaisho and Men-Ya 7.5 Hz+.
52. Universal Studios- You can never run out of things to do in Japan when you’re at Universal Studios. See where all your favourite superheroes hang out at numerous sets.
53. Visit Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine- Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine is the main Sumiyoshi shrine in Japan. Explore the 4 halls, the pretty arched bridge and the Sumiyoshi-zukuri style of architecture.
54. Admire the beauty of the twin towers: Tsutenkaku and the Kobe Port Tower- Tsutenkaku and the Kobe Port Tower are excellent viewing points that let you see Osaka from a unique perspective. Like many Japanese structures, they’re illuminated at night.
55. Visit Mint Museum- See the history of Japanese coinage and learn about the minting process at the Mint Museum. Dioramas, a cherry blossom wing and a mint shop are found here.

Things to Do in Yokohama

56. Visit the centrepiece of Yokohama’s skyline, Yokohama Marine Tower- At over 100 meters tall, Yokohama Marine Tower dominates the city’s skyline. The 360-degree panorama is spectacular. The tower also has restaurants and shops.
57. Customize your Cup Noodles at Cup Noodles Museum- Learn the process of making ramen, create your own Cup Noodles and trace the history of instant noodles.
58. Enjoy the spa Minato Mirai Manyo Club- Relax at Manyo Club’s spa complete with a Japanese onsen, sauna, massage treatments and a rooftop foot bath.
59. Walk around the oldest seaside park, Yamashita Park- Yamashita Park offers gorgeous views of the Port of Yokohama and is a favourite among locals and tourists. You can see a huge ocean liner, Hikawa Maru and Yokohama Marine Tower from here.
60. Experience the real beauty at Sankei-en Garden- Each element of a Japanese garden is in perfect harmony with the other. Sankei-en Garden reflects this with traditional buildings peeking out between lush trees, ponds with koi fish, a tea room and an inner garden that’s closed to the public.
61. Enjoy a night cruise at Marine Rouge- Take in the sights of Yokohama from Marine Rouge. Sit down for a meal and watch the city’s landmarks lazily pass by.
62. Yokohama Stadium for sports lovers- Baseball fans will love a visit to Yokohama Stadium, which is mainly used for baseball. It mimics an American stadium and features natural turf.
63. Visit real Aqua World at Hakkeijima Sea Paradise- Hakkeijima Sea Paradise is a large aquarium that’s free to enter. You pay only if you want to venture into Pleasure Land and Aqua Resorts.
64. Adventure ride at Cosmo Clock 21- Cosmo Clock 21 was at one time the world’s tallest Ferris wheel and continues to command attention today. It has a massive clock at the centre.
65. Chinatown- Yokohama’s Chinatown no longer has a thriving Chinese population but there’s a lot to see and eat. Visit Chinese themed shops and restaurants and try popular Chinese cuisines with a Japanese twist.
66. Spend some time at Nippon Maru- Discover a part of Yokohama’s marine history at Nippon Maru. Explore the interior and sit on an educational program.
67. Delicious historical food at Tanakaya- This old establishment commands an impressive flow of visitors. Try specialities like Kuroge Beef Sukiyaki, Iberico pork in miso and black Wagyu beef in sweet rice wine.
68. Zoorasia- Japan is not really known for its stellar zoos but Zoorasia is better than most. The enclosures are spacious and there are fewer animals per enclosure.
69. Enjoy street food at Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum- You’ll be amazed by the varieties of ramen on offer at Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum. The traditional street food court serves up a list of goodies, each better than the last.
70. Kirin Beer Factory- Go on a brewery tour of Kirin Beer Factory, one of the country’s most prominent breweries. You’ll get to see fermentation tanks and the bottling area before finishing the tour with a free tasting of beer.
71. Old Yokohama dishes at Kadohei- Sample traditional Japanese dishes at Kadohei. The soba noodle shop serves delicious soba with tempura and soup – a truly heartwarming meal.

Things to Do in Hakone

72. Explore Hakone Open-Air Museum- Hakone Open-Air Museum balances nature and art perfectly. The collection is displayed both indoors and outdoors and features works by artists like Picasso.
73. Ride Hakone Ropeway- Visit the mountainous town of Hakone by riding the Hakone Ropeway. The journey is incredibly picturesque and takes you over Owakudani Valley.
74. Enjoy mountain railways in Japan- The scenic mountains of Japan are appreciated best by taking a ride on a mountain railway. Hakone Tozan Railway and Oigawa Railway Ikawa Line are two to try.
75. Hiking at Hiryu Falls- Hiryu Falls is a gorgeous green wonderland that will envelop you in its embrace. Go on a hike and you’ll see it along the way.
76. Kayaking tour around Lake Ashi- While you’re in Hakone, take a kayaking tour around Lake Ashi, a serene locale that offers lovely views of Mount Fuji when the sky is clear.
77. Have volcanic eggs at Ata Owakudani- Hard-boiled eggs are nothing to write about but at Ata Owakudani, they are! The eggs are boiled black in natural volcanic springs and carry a sulphuric odour.
78. Pirate ship boarding at Lake Ashi- We’re back to Lake Ashi but this time aboard a pirate ship! Cruise the lake on an ornate vessel complete with pirate figurines and paraphernalia.
79. Visit POLA Museum of Art- POLA Museum of Art showcases the art collection of Suzuki Tsuneshi, the late owner of POLA, a cosmetics company. The museum is set in a forest of several hundred beech trees.
80. Travel Hakone Shrine / Kuzuryu Shrine Singu- Hakone Shrine is hidden amidst the forest of Mount Hakone. Try to visit when mist permeates the air as the shrine takes on an ethereal look.
81. Treat yourself at Naraya Cafe- Naraya Cafe is a relaxing space that chases away stress, thanks to its mountain view, foot bath tables and corner library. Shared tables make it a great place to mingle.
82. Explore Owakudani Station- Owakudani Station isn’t just the departure zone of the Hakone Ropeway; it also has a walking trail that leads to the volcanic zone and others that lead to Mount Kamiyama and Lake Ashi.
83. Visit Hakone Sekisho- Hakone Sekisho is the reconstructed Hakone Checkpoint that’s also an idyllic relaxation spot. It has a lookout tower, a museum and a tea house.
84. Witness the natural beauty of Onshi Hakone Park- Just like many of the attractions in Hakone, Mount Fuji and Lake Ashi steal part of the show at Onshi Hakonays Park. The park’s natural beauty is another with walkways that skirt the lake, viewing points and a garden.
85. Understand the art of wood at Kanazashi Woodcraft- The woodcraft method of yosegi-zaiku is a highly intricate process and you can see the stunning results at Kanazashi Woodcraft. Take home souvenirs for yourself and loved ones.
86. Visit Chisuji Falls- Although tiny, Chisuji Falls is nonetheless impressive in its beauty. The surrounding foliage changes colours with the seasons and there are hiking trails to help you explore the area in depth.
87. Eat the best sushi at Sushi Miyafuji- Japan has numerous good sushi restaurants but Sushi Miyafuji is a cut above the rest. Try the ajidonburi and sashimi. Don’t be surprised if you have to wait in line!
88. Soak yourself at Tenzan Onsen- Unwind at Tenzan Onsen, a traditional Japanese bath that uses hot spring water loaded with minerals. You can choose from several types of baths.

Other Offbeat Things to Do in japan

89. Enjoy hot springs at Shirahama Beach, Wakayama- Shirahama Beach is a pretty stretch of sand with blue water creating a striking contrast. But that’s not all it has – there are hot springs you can visit to de-stress before continuing on your sightseeing trip.
90. Scuba diving at Miyakojima Beach, Okinawa Prefecture- Discover Japan’s marine life by scuba diving at Miyakojima Beach. Coral, native fish and sea anemones are just a few of the wonders you’ll see.
91. Visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park- Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is a must-visit when in Japan. It was established in memory of the victims of the atom bomb dropped during World War II.
92. The trip to the highest mountain in Japan, Mount Fuji- Mount Fuji is a Japanese icon and hiking it is one of the best things to do in Japan. Join others eager to see it up close by hiking in the early morning.
93. The Fukiware Falls in Gunma- Although not incredibly high, Fukiware Falls still takes the breath away with its gushing waters. See it from below for the best view.
94. Witness the beauty of Akame 48 Waterfalls, Mie- Akame 48 Waterfalls is a series of captivating cascades in Mie Prefecture. A 4-km hiking trail will take you to them.
95. Hiking and cycling through the Oirase National Park, Aomori- Oirase National Park is a sea of green with trees and shrubbery dominating the landscape. Falls, a stream and a valley create a beautiful scene.
96. Climb Mount Rishiri volcano in Hokkaido- Mount Rishiri is an amazing piece of work with its cone shape often resembling Mount Fuji. The ascent can be challenging but experienced hikers will love it.
97. Video Game Bar Space Station (Osaka) for video game lovers- Gamers will go crazy over the number of video games on offer at Video Game Bar Space Station. Nintendo, Atari, PlayStation, Xbox – you name it and it is here.
98. Canyon down at waterfall slide in Minakami, Gunma- Enjoy water sports in Minakami, Gunma. The water slide is a thrilling ride and perfect for adventure seekers.
99. The real beauty of flowers at Akasoba No Sato, Nagano- Takane ruby or red buckwheat bursts into colour in Akasoba No Sato. Visiting in September when these little beauties are in full bloom is one of the best things to do in Japan.
100. Travel Tsujunkyo Bridge, Kumamoto- This 19th-century structure is an awe-inspiring stone arch aqueduct bridge and the country’s largest. Walk across and peer down to appreciate its size.
101. Witness the beauty of Shimoguri no Sato- This secluded village looks like something straight out of a fairytale. It’s nestled in a valley and surrounded by green mountains that stand like sentinels.

Best Places To Eat

1. Kobe Beef Kaiseki 511

Located near the Akasaka station in Tokyo, the restaurant is famous for their quintessential wagyu beef dishes. The ambiance of the restaurant is luxurious yet relaxing with the option of the main dining area and private/semi-private rooms. The Kobe beef is cooked at a particularly high temperature to acquire the desired texture on the exterior while keeping the meat juicy. One can opt for either a set Kobe lunch or dinner course with wine or an ala carte menu. The prices are budget friendly and the place is perfect for a romantic dinner date.

Location: B1, Dear plaza Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo
Cost for two: INR 4500 including drinks
TripAdvisor rating: 4.5/5

2. Touzan-Hyatt Regency

Touzon restaurant in the Hyatt Regency of Kyoto is a well-known Michelin star restaurant. With its minimal interiors, Touzon offers authentic Japanese dishes such as udon noodles and sashimi made with fresh produce. This Japanese restaurant prefers smart casuals for visitors so as to maintain the decorum of the stylish place. Beer and wine from the restaurant’s bar play along well with the delicious cuisine.

Location: 644-2, Sanjusangendo, Hyatt Regency, Kyoto
Cost for two: INR 3600
TripAdvisor rating: 4/5

3. Robot Restaurant

As bizarre as it may sound, the Robot restaurant in the Shinjuku nightlife district of Tokyo is quite well known across the globe. It is not a traditional restaurant but a place where one can enjoy theatrical performances by people dressed in colorful costumes and robots while enjoying the delicious food. The interiors are a bit intimidating with throbbing lights and blaring music. The Robot restaurant is one of the coolest restaurants in Tokyo, Japan that should be in everyone’s list.

Location: 1-7-1 Kabukicho, Shinjuku 160-0021, Tokyo
Cost for two: INR 6000
TripAdvisor rating: 4/5

4. Narisawa Restaurant

Narisawa is a Michelin star restaurant acclaimed to be one of the best restaurants in Tokyo, Japan 2018. The restaurant specializes in avant-garde satoyama cuisine that resembles the nature and landscapes on a plate. They have a set lunch and dinner menu that changes with a change in every season. They have limited seating in this sleek, uber chic restaurant and thus reservations are strongly recommended. The wine collection of the restaurant goes well with every dish on the menu.

Location: 2-6-15 Minami Aoyama, Minato, Tokyo
Cost for two: INR 32000
TripAdvisor rating: 4.5/5

5. Ninja Akasaka

This Japanese restaurant in Japan is the only restaurant that provides a fascination for dining with ninjas. The restaurant specializes in Kaiseki and sushi dishes but international cuisine is also available. The interiors of the restaurant are like a revamped ninja residence with trap doors, false ceilings, and hidden hallways. The food served by ninjas are very pleasing as they are cooked with passion. They have a set dinner menu and an a la carte option. The desserts here are to die for. It is a fun place to bring kids along as there will be some impromptu ninja shows in between.

Location: Akasaka Tokyu Plaza, Chiyoda, Tokyo
Cost for two: INR 10000
TripAdvisor rating: 4/5

6. Honke Owariya Restaurant

This is a traditional Japanese restaurant that serves up soba noodles and soba rice cakes for a pocket-friendly price. Located at a stone’s throw away from the major sightseeing places of Kyoto, Honke Owariya has a history of 400 yrs of selling soba confectionaries. The interiors of the restaurant are very homely with traditional low tables, tatami mats, and low benches. The soba noodle and vegetable soup are a must try here.

Location: 64 Tienmeianocho, Shijo, Simogyo-Ku, Kyoto
Cost for two: INR 2500
TripAdvisor rating: 4/5

7. Nobu Restaurant

Nobu restaurant is one of the well-known restaurants in Tokyo, Japan for serving authentic Japanese food with an interesting twist. The ambiance of the restaurant is very classy and has panache complete with a sushi bar. Their most sought-after dishes are yellowtail sashimi with jalapenos and black cod miso. It is a perfect place to hang out with friends and business associates while sipping down some best collections of cocktails and wine. The lunch and dinner menus are a bit pricey but are worth it as they are carefully curated according to one’s dietary needs.

Location: 4-1-28 Toranomon tower, Minato, Tokyo
Cost for two: INR 16000
TripAdvisor rating: 4.5/5

8. Mikawa Zezankyo

This restaurant in Japan is famous for its seafood tempura dishes alone. The restaurant is located in the residential area of koto by the Sumida river in Tokyo. The interior of this restaurant is pretty basic with an L-shaped low table favoring the tradition of having food on the mat. The tempura prawns are a must try here with sake and local beer. One can visit this restaurant for a late lunch and enjoy some drinks with friends.

Location: 1-3-1 Fukuju, Koto, Tokyo
Cost for two: INR 22,000
TripAdvisor rating: 4.5/5

9. Jimbocho Den

One of the most sought-after restaurants in Japan for its delectable food, Jimbocho Den is known for its quirky presentation skills. It is a petite and a humble restaurant located in Chiyoda and the dishes are made with particular care according to the customers’ needs. They have a fixed menu that is susceptible to frequent changes. They serve sake or western wine along with their meals. The place is perfect for a lunch date with family and friends.

Location: Kanda Jimbocho, Chiyoda, Tokyo
Cost for two: INR 18000
TripAdvisor rating: 4.5/5

10. Inakaya Restaurant

The restaurant specializes in robatayaki style of cooking. It is an art of cooking that resembles a barbeque where different elements are cooked in different temperatures. The food is cooked on the dining tables and served using a long wooden spatula over the fire. They use fresh seafood and meat produce and the selection of dishes are innumerable. The traditional Japanese wine called sake is served along the set menu and the prices are a bit on the higher side. Nonetheless, it is an experience in itself that is worth a visit.

Location: Alo building 1F, Minato, Tokyo
Cost for two: INR 20000
TripAdvisor rating: 3.5/5

Tips For Dining In The Restaurants In Japan

  • Follow the strict dining etiquettes in Japan.
  • Make reservations for a table beforehand.
  • Eat using chopsticks.
  • Japanese restaurants take their “no tipping” policy very seriously.

Best Places To Stay

Homestays In Japan

Have a hospitable and gracious experience in the homestays of Japan. Here is a list of the best homestays in Japan to look up during your vacation in Japan:

1. Toshiro and Tanya’s

This Tokyo place, situated in Setagaya Ku near Shibuya, is an island of tranquility in the fast-paced of the largest urban complex in the world. The hosts are experienced at welcoming guests from all around the world, and speak fluent English, Japanese as well as Russian. There are two rooms available here usually, built in the trademark style of homestays in Japan, and the hosts offer sufficient space and privacy. Privately designed tours are on offer, and it helps if you speak to the hosts beforehand. The homestay is about 20 kilometers from the Haneda airport and only about 15 minutes away from the city center of Shibuya.

Location: Setagaya Ku
Starting price: INR 3000

2. Kumi’s downtown apartment

Situated right in the center of downtown Tokyo, this is a lovely place hosted by experienced hosts who have built a reputation for unconventional knowledge of places around the city, often taking their guests on tours themselves. The hosts speak fluent English as well as some Greek, in addition to Japanese. The apartment is also popular with travelers for the unbelievably cute cat that the hosts have. If you are looking for a great place to stay close to the city center, this is one of the best homestays in Japan for students.

Location: Iriya, Tokyo
Starting price: INR 2000

3. Mai’s Home

While it is something to experience, the endless glitz of the Tokyo skyline can get a little tiring after a while. In that case, you might want to travel to the north where the mountains and the untouched countryside provides a completely different perspective on the country. Located in Kobuchizawa in the Yamanashi Prefecture, Mai’s Home is beautifully accentuated by the mountains that make up the beautiful landscape here. The host and her three kids make for lovely hosts in this beautiful example of homestays in Japan for tourists that comes with a large garden space where you can relax and enjoy the quiet peacefulness of the place. There is also a barbeque grill in the garden, should you ever feel peckish. The homestay has ample space for parking and there is also complimentary Wi-Fi access.

Location: Kobuchizawa
Starting price: INR 3000

4. Sassa’s Homestay

If you are a religious tourist or simply interested in the heritage of the country, Kyoto is one place that you have to be. The ancient capital of the kingdom, Kyoto is full to bursting with monasteries, palaces and other Buddhist and Taoist shrines, as well as homestays in Japan for tourists. Sassa’s homestay is perhaps the best way to explore this side of Japan. Located on the road to the famous Kinkakuji Temple, the place offers easy access to most of the beautiful city. The homestay has four single rooms, a lovely garden with patio and internet connectivity. Sassa is a popular host who offers demonstrations of Japanese traditions such as the tea making ceremony, Japanese calligraphy as well as sushi making.

Location: Kinkakuji Temple, Kyoto
Starting price: INR 3000

5. Matt’s Homestay

Located in central Kyoto near the Nijo Castle, this is a convenient place to live if you find yourself for lengthier stays in the city. With four subway stations within the one-mile radius and a host of shops and restaurants around, Matt’s Homestay offers the best Japan homestays experience. The host, Matt, is an outgoing and cheerful person who speaks good English in addition to Japanese, and the place has been appreciated for the amount of privacy that guests get. There are two bikes that the host will rent you out, and there are discounted deals if you want to rent out the rooms on a monthly basis.

Location: Nakagyo-Ku, Kyoto
Starting price: INR 1500

6. Shimizu

The authentic experience for rural Japan, Shimizu is hosted by an experienced host who knows what his guests are looking for. The traditional gassho zukuri homes are complemented by the traditional food that is served by the hosts. Located in Shirikawa, tourists are treated to such lovely things as sunset walks through the paddy fields as well as views of the Japanese meadows. Although the facilities are very basic(the inn is run by a farmer), there is an unmistakable air of tradition in everything the hosts bring their guests. Feel free to explore the village on your own too!

Location: Shirikawa, Gifu Prefecture
Starting price: INR 5500
Tripadvisor Rating: 4.0

7. Hideko’s Home

For the outgoing and adventurous, Mount Fuji is a great place to visit. Combining the charm of the Japanese hinterland with the romantic bent of the most famous volcano in the world, Fuji Town is a place that tourists have to explore. Hideko’s Home is a good option to stay if you are here. With an experienced and gracious guest and a majestic view of Mount Fuji, this is one of the most Japanese things to do. The place has two bedrooms and a bath and is located close to a variety of shops and restaurants, adding to the convenience factor. Japan homestays experience does not get better than this!

Location: Denbo, Fuji City
Starting price: INR 2000

8. Homestay Plus Hakodate

This very personal homestay in Hakodate is the perfect way to explore this north Hokkaido town. The host Daisuke is a traveler himself and understands the needs and all potential problems that tourists in the town are likely to face, making him the perfect troubleshooter for all your problems. Daisuke is fluent in English, a big plus for visitors. There is a small kitchen for guests, and all rooms are air-conditioned and have internet access. The place also has free parking and there is a concierge that can help hash out your travel plans.

Location: Hakodate, Hokkaido
Starting price: INR 2000
Tripadvisor Rating: 5.0

9. Emiko’s Homestay

The southern Japanese island of Kyushu offers a very different window into our traditional understanding of Japan. Emiko’s Homestay is located in Dazaifu, one of the busiest ports in Japan and the home to the Zen temples that the south is famous for. The Dazaifu Tenmangu Temple is about 20 minutes from the homestay, and train stations are close by so connectivity is not an issue. Emiko, the host, is a housewife and an expert on the city and all the sights around Dazaifu. The house is a lovely mix of Japanese and Western styles and is one of the most affordable homestays in Japan for students.

Location: Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, Dazaifu
Starting price: INR 1500

10. Sachiko and Kurara’s Homestay

If you want to stay in one of the homestays in Japan Tokyo but enjoy some of the sightseeing places that are outside of the metropolis, this homestay is perfect. The hosts are a family of three who have been around the world and have experience and expertise to make your stay very informative and comfortable. Located close the East Side, especially the Shinjuku shopping area, the homestay has good access to the city too. The place has a garden, a dining and living room and free internet and laundry services too. Because the host is a housewife, you can have most of your breakfasts here, and they are recommended too!

Location: Tokyo
Starting price: INR 1000

Top Villas In Japan

You will have sufficient time to explore the attractions while luxurious villas are going to make your tour momentous. Given below is a list of famous villas in Japan where you can spend a quality time with your loved ones and rest without any inconvenience after a long day of exploration.

1. NIPPONIA Sawara Merchant Town Hotel

NIPPONIA Sawara Merchant Town Hotel ensures a novel approach to enjoying your trip to explore Japan’s tourist attractions. This villa is located near the Narita International Airport thus it makes easy for the travellers to commute. Located at the center of this town, this hotel is made up of various renovated historical buildings. Its surroundings are peaceful and blessed with the scenic beauties.

Each building of this villa has been renovated in such way that they preserve the charm and appearance from when it would have been first built. The guest rooms literally give you the feeling of the past. Well-equipped and decorated restaurants of this villa offer its guests food from both local and international cuisines. Dishes of its restaurant are prepared by the locally grown ingredients. The menu thus remains unique for you to a taste which represents the local food culture.

Location: 1720 Sawarai, Katori, Chiba Prefecture 287-0003, Japan
Starting Price: ₹ 28,315/-
Google Rating: 4.8
TripAdvisor Rating: 5.0

Website

2. Nikko Cottage FU-SHA

Your trip to Japan would remain incomplete if you fail to search and stay time in the most fascinating luxury villas in Japan. There are several villas to consider there that also includes Nikko Cottage FU-SHA. It is located amid a peaceful environment and scenic beauty. It shows its guests from the worldwide locations the eternal beauty Japan—both natural and man-made. This private Japanese style cottage offers Japanese styled rooms with the tatami mats which are divided through the fusuma (sliding doors).

Apart from all modern amenities, this cottage offers its guests traditional Japanese style of living. There are number of sightseeing spots nearby this cottage that include Kanman-ga-fuchi Abyss, Jakko Falls, Nikko Edo Wonderland and Botanic Garden to name a few.

Location: 321-1433 Tochigi Prefecture, Nikko
Starting Price: ₹ 9, 230/-
Google Rating: 4.9
TripAdvisor Rating: 5.0

Website

3. Balls Deep Inn Villas

Balls Deep Inn Villas in Hakuba is a combination of of 4 self-contained villas. This must-stay villa in Japan prides itself on its level of service. Each villa here is equipped with modern amenities that meet the requirements and preferences of all kinds.

Whether you want to explore Japan with your family or friends, staying in Balls Deep Inn Villas ensure your needs are taken care of dedicatedly. With delicious food prepared through using the locally grown ingredients, you are literally coaxed to visit this place again.

Location: 24199-81 Kamishiro Hakuba-Mura Nagano, Hakuba, Nagano Prefecture 399-9301
Starting Price: ₹ 17,446/-
Google Rating: 5.0
TripAdvisor Rating: 5.0

Website

4. Neo Oriental Resort Yatsugatake Kogen

Neo Oriental Resort Yatsugatake Kogen is considered as one of the most popular villas of Japan. It is well-equipped with all modern amenities and facilities. In addition to that, it also offers free Shuttle bus from the Kobuchizawa Station and Kai-Koizumi Station.

Surrounded on all sides by the mountains, this villa has become popular for offering scenic beauty and spectacular views. It is surrounded by almost 100 famous Japanese mountains. Guests can start their mornings in the villa from listening to the chirpings of birds to feel as if nature invites them for a new hope and optimism.

Location: 8741 Oizumicho Yato, Hokuto, Yamanashi Prefecture 409-1502
Starting Price: ₹ 10,767/-
Google Rating: 4.0
TripAdvisor Rating: 3.5

Website

5. Le Nessa Akazawa

Located near the Shijigasaki Coast, Le Nessa Akazawa Villa offers most incredible services and facilities to its guests. The Shijigasaki Coast is one of the most famous scenic spots in Izu, thus this villa remains packed round the year.

This villa in Japan is situated among the rich nature where the ocean and the forest face each other. They literally make an incredible view for all. It is recommended for those willing to enjoy a hot spring, where people can relax at any time.

Location: 〒413-0233 Shizuoka Prefecture, Itō, 赤沢190−5
Starting Price: ₹ 8,941/-
Google Rating: 3.7
TripAdvisor Rating: 3.5

Website

6. Kawaguchiko Country Cottage Ban

One of the best villas in Japan, Kawaguchiko Country Cottage Ban is just 2 km away from the Lake Kawaguchi. It has a well-equipped and advanced barbecue. In addition to that, it also caters to the exclusive needs of children by providing them a modern children’s playground to play. Travellers from around the world come here to enjoy the breathtaking views of Mt. Fuji for 4 seasons.

Location: 2092 Kawaguchi, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi Prefecture 401-0304
Starting Price: ₹ 12,180/-
Google Rating: 4.3
TripAdvisor Rating: 4.5
Website

7. Yanagawa Ohana

Yanagawa Ohana is a perfect gateway for the travellers to enjoy their time passing slowly in a relaxed atmosphere. Also called “OHANA BATAKE (Flower field)”, the entire surrounding of this villa offers incredible scenic beauty. There are varieties of flowers, so you can consider the place and get unlimited memories from there.

The residents of Yanagawa loved the canals of the Yanagawa Castle too much, so they have started calling this place “SUIGOU (City of Water)”. If you want to have amazing view and memorable stay, then consider this villa only.

Location: Yanagawa Tachibana-tei OHANA
Starting Price: ₹ 12,591/-
Google Rating: 3.8
TripAdvisor Rating: 4.0

Website

8. Villa Ensoleille

If you, along with your family members or friends, search for the luxury villas in Japan, then Villa Ensoleille could be the easiest choice. Apart from modern amenities and facilities, its warm sunshine and refreshing wind from the Kawaguchiko fills in each room with great refreshing breeze.

Apart from the Jacuzzi bath with magnificent Mt. Fuji views, its visitors enjoy the covered private terrace as well. This villa is covered with the peaceful mountains and greeneries. People visit it again and again in order to enjoy their private time slowly.

Location: Fujikawaguchiko, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi Prefecture 401-0304
Starting Price: ₹14,435/-
Google Rating: 4.7
TripAdvisor Rating: 5.0

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9. Villabu Resort

If you want to have awesome food and are looking for amazing villas in Japan, then Villabu Resort could be the ideal getaway for you. Being the first all-villa resort hotel in Okinawa which is built in the oceanfront of Irabu-jima, this villa is one-stop accommodation for the travellers.

Laced with all modern facilities, this villa offers celebrity-filled hospitality without compromising with the comfort and relaxation aspect. Its guests can overlook the horizon spreading straight from the rooms or its luxuriously arranged terraces.

Location: Irabu-817 Irabu, Miyakojima, Okinawa Prefecture 906-0503
Starting Price: ₹46,651/-
Google Rating: 4.5
TripAdvisor Rating: 4.5

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10. Churaumi Village

Churaumi Village is a perfect getaway for the tourists visiting this beautiful nation. This hotel is nearby Churaumi-Aquarium., which remains popular in not only Japan, but also on the global level. Visitors can enjoy having BBQ with their families or friends in the private garden. The villa is located at a stone throw distance from the famous Bise Fukugi Namiki where Okinawa’s old-fashioned landscape still remains.

Location: 905-0204 Okinawa Prefecture, Kunigami District
Starting Price: ₹ 5,734/-
Google Rating: 4.6
TripAdvisor Rating: 4.5

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Shopping In Japan

1. Ginza, Tokyo

Ginza is a luxury shopping area in the heart of the capital city of Tokyo. It is known to be one of the premium and the best shopping places in Japan. The area has almost all the luxury shopping brands. During the 1980s, the land in Ginza was the most expensive in the world. Though the rise in prices has slowed, it still remains one of the most expensive areas in Tokyo. You are very likely to rub shoulders with celebs.

Location: Ginza, Tokyo
Timings: Varies from 10:00 – 21:00

2. Umeda, Osaka

Umeda is the biggest shopping area in Osaka and is the only place that is at par with the large shopping areas of Tokyo. Umeda is the area around the large Osaka Station City complex. The area includes 4 large departmental stores and numerous shops. It is one of the best and premier places for shopping in Japan. We suggest you to visit this place to shop for clothes.

Location: Umeda, Osaka
Timings: Varies from 10:00 – 21:00

3. Shinjuku, Tokyo

Shinjuku is known as the busiest neighborhood in Japan, with a passenger flow of 3.64 million passengers. This place hosts the largest shopping area in Japan after the famous Ginza luxury shopping area in Tokyo. Home to large departmental stores, malls, and markets, this shopping area has an abundance of electronic stores. Any guide highlighting the tips for shopping in Japan would recommend you to buy your electronics from here because of the highly subsidized and competitive rates that are on offer here.

Location: Shinjuku, Tokyo
Timings: Varies from 11:00 – 21:00

4. Minato Mirai, Yokohama

Minato Mirai is a futuristic looking shopping area in the heart of the port at Yokohama. The place is one of the prime shopping areas in the city of Yokohama and includes some really large malls where you can shop for all kinds of stuff, from any of your favorite brands to local stuff. Some of the well-known shopping malls in the area are the Landmark Plaza, Queen’s Plaza and the World Porters.

Location: Minato Mirai 21, Yokohama
Timings: Varies from 10:00 to 21:00

5. Grand Front, Osaka

Just like its name, Grand Front is a grand 44,000 m shopping mall in Osaka. It has been recently opened in the city. Popularly known as one of the biggest malls in Japan, it is unlike any other shopping place. It is also one of the best places for clothes shopping in Japan as it is predominantly devoted to apparel. This huge mall is divided into three main divisions, primarily known as Umekita Plaza, South Building and North Building. It involves over 266 special shops, Intercontinental Osaka Hotel and numerous office spaces. The restaurants in this space open from 11 AM onwards.

Location: 4-1 Ofukacho, Kita Ward, Osaka, 530-0011, Japan
Timings: 10:00 – 21:00

6. Hakata, Fukuoka

Hakata is the downtown area in the city of Fukuoka, which is solely dedicated to shopping complexes and malls. The area has numerous shopping options, which also include the shopping complex known as Canal City. Canal City boasts of being the biggest shopping complex in the world. The area also includes the famous JR Hakata City Mall. You can shop for all your favorite brands here.

Location: Hakata, Fukuoka

7. Yokohama Station Area, Yokohama

Yokohama Station Area lies in the city of Yokohama. The place has a variety of shopping complexes and malls for all kinds of shopping, from electronics and groceries to furniture and more. Some of the most popular departmental stores in the area include Sogo, Lumine, Marui and Takashimaya, among others. Yokahome Station Area is famous among the residents of Yokohama and you can see a swarm of people getting out of the station and heading to this shopping hub to fulfill their shopping needs.

Location: Yokohama Station Area, Yokohama
Timings: Varies from 10:00 – 21:00

8. Shibuya, Tokyo

Shibuya has historically been a youth-oriented shopping area which used to cater to the under the 20s population of the city. Recently, numerous departmental stores and malls have opened up in order to cater to a wide spectrum of the population and not just limit the scope of shopping in the area. The area includes all kinds of shopping areas from big shopping complexes and shopping malls to markets and small shops. Due to its diverse range, Shibuya is one of the preferred places for shopping in Tokyo, Japan.

Location: Shibuya, Tokyo
Timings: Varies from 10:00 – 21:00

9. Akihabara, Tokyo

Akihabara was formerly a black market that came into being during World War II in the capital city of Imperial Japan. The area quickly changed its image with the economic miracle in Japan and quickly rose to become the largest electronics market in the world in the 1980s. In recent years, the place has been facing stiff competition from the neighboring shopping areas like Shinjuku and Shibuya and the area has again relied on its revitalizing ability to transform into an area specializing in Otaku Stuff and maid cafes. These days, the area is more popular for robot parts.

Location: Akihabara, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0006
Timings: Varies from 9:00 – 21:00

10. Kyoto Station Area

Known to be among the largest public buildings in Asia, the Kyoto Station area houses a number of departmental stores, malls and shops. Of these stores and shops, three major departmental stores lie in the premises of the Kyoto station. While the Kyoto Station branch of the Isetan Departmental Store is above the ground, the two other departmental stores remain underground. The shopping hub is frequented by a huge crowd daily. It is one of the most popular places for shopping in Japan.

Location: Higashishiokoji Kamadonocho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Japan
Timings: Varies from 8:30 to 20:00

11. Den Den Town, Osaka

Den Den town is a shopping area in the city of Osaka which is famous for its affordably priced electronics items. Just like the Akibahara area of Tokyo, this area also faced competition from the bigger neighboring shopping areas and has since expanded into Otaku related products such as manga comics. Historically, Osaka has been a town comprising of shoppers and merchants and the people who come here to shop know how to bargain really well. This is the reason why the major things on display here often have competitive prices.

Location: 4 Chome-12 Nipponbashi, Naniwa Ward, Osaka, 556-0005, Japan
Timings: 10:00 to 19:00

12. Motomachi, Yokohama

Motomachi Shopping area in the city of Yokohama is more of a European style shopping area of Japan. Stretching across 5 blocks, this shopping area predominantly consists of small luxury shops and boutiques and also numerous European Cafes and restaurants. Popular among those who like the elegant shopping style of Europe, this a premium shopping area as per reviews.

Location: Motomachi, Naka Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa 231-0861

13. Nakamise Street, Tokyo

Nakamise Street in Tokyo has been a market site for travelers for about 300 years, with many shops being operated by the same family for generations. Nakamise Street is the street leading up to the famous and old Sensoji temple which is the oldest and most visited temple in all of Japan. The market on Nakamise Street predominantly has souvenirs, lucky items, craft items, masks, packaged snacks, among other things.

Location: 1 Chome-20 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan
Timings: 10:00 – 17:00

14. Odaiba, Tokyo

Odaiba is located on an artificial island which is built in the middle of Tokyo Bay. Popular with both families as well as young couples, the famous shopping complexes in this area include Venus City, Divercity Tokyo Plaza, Aquacity and Decks Tokyo Beach. All these shopping hubs cater to every age group. Go ahead and buy souvenirs from here.
Location: Odaiba, Tokyo

Tips For Shopping In Japan

When shopping in Japan, you must take care of a few things. Some of the tips have been listed below for your convenience.

  • You might be surprised to know but sizes may differ in Japan from your own country. So, try everything, whether clothes or shoes, before buying anything from shops in this country.
  • For cheap shopping in Japan, look for 100 Yen shops which offer souvenirs along with household goods and groceries under 100 yen only.
  • Japan is not a place to bargain and you have to pay the price written on the tag. So, avoid price negotiation at local shops.
  • If you are confused about something then do not hesitate to ask for help from the staff. The staff in the shopping malls in Japan are always ready to help.
  • If you are heading out to shop for shoes then do not forget to take a pair of socks with you because trying shoes barefoot is not considered polite in the country.
  • Take extra care while shopping for accessories like bags, shoes, and wallets. Things at display are not scattered everywhere and are put to their exact places. So, ask for assistance if you want to try out something.

Travel Agents

1. Motherland India Holidays Pvt Ltd

Address: 195 3rd Floor Lane No 1 Western marg Saidulajaib (Behind saket metro Gate No 2), Delhi, 110030, India

2. Citrion Holidays

Address: A-3, Malad Ganga CHS, Mith Chowki, Link Road, Off Marve Road, Besides Zenith hospital,Malad w, Mumbai, 400064, India

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