It leaves you speechless and then turns you into a storyteller - Ibn Batuta
Did you know that Japan is also known as Nihon or Nippon in Japanese? Located in the northwest part of the vast Pacific Ocean, Japan is an island country in East Asa. One of the most densely populated countries of the world, Japan ranks 11th in the world's population.
Japan is mostly hailed as a great economic power with access to many powerful international organizations including the United Nations, OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), and the Group of Seven. Japan, although a superpower, has renounced its right to declare war. It, however, maintains its own Self-Defense Forces that are also the fourth most powerful military in the world. By 1990, Japan had risen tremendously in its economic power to become the world's second largest economy. Although Japan is popular as a leader in the electronics and automotive industries, its contributions to the field of science and technology are also unmissable.
Japan ranks highly on its Human Development Index (HDI) and has the world's highest life expectancy. Japan's culture is also acclaimed across the world thanks to its contributions in the field of arts, cuisine, pop culture, and music. These are also the sources of inspiration for many prominent animation and video games. Every year, Japan attracts millions of people to experience its rich culture with Tokyo being the hub of all its economic and tourist activities. So, if you're planning a trip to Japan, be sure to have these tourist attraction Japan on your list.
Mount Fuji Japan
Mount Fuji is part of the Three Holy Mountains of Japan, the other two being Mount Tate and Mount Haku. UNESCO declared it as a world heritage site in June, 2013 for the inspiration it has given to many artists, poets and pilgrims for many centuries. There are 25 locations in this world heritage site that are popular and of cultural interest. These include the mountain itself. the Shinto Shrine, the Fujisan Hingu Sengen Taisha and the Buddhist Taesekiji Head Temple, among others.
Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan with a height of 12,389 feet and the second-highest volcano on an Asian island. It is an active volcano that last erupted in 1707-1708.
Remember to carry your passport and a valid visa wherever you visit in Japan.
The Itsukushima Shrine is a popular tourist attraction Japan. What makes it so attractive is the torri or the dramatic, floating gate installed on the outskirts of the shrine, encompassing the sacred peaks of Mount Misen, and the surrounding forests with a breathtaking view of the ocean. There are two main buildings within the Itsukushima Shrine complex, namely,
- Honsha Shrine.
- Sessha Marod-Jinja.
There are 17 other buildings and structures apart from the two main buildings. The Itsukushima Shrine is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site while six of its buildings and possessions have been designated the rank of National Treasures of Japan.
Himeji Castle is the most visited and also the largest castle in Japan. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993, while the middle moat of the castle complex is declared a Special Historic Site. Five other structures in the castle complex are considered National Treasures by the Government of Japan. Himeji Castle, along with the Matsumoto Castle and the Kumamoto Castle, make up the three premier castles of Japan.
Built on a hilltop in the city of Himeji, the Himeji Castle is a testament to the fine Japanese castle architecture. The castle comprises a network of 83 rooms that are accentuated with advanced defensive systems designed during the feudal period. The castle is popularly known as Hakuro-jo (White Egret Castle) or Shirasagi-jo (White Heron Castle) because of its uncanny resemblance to a bird taking flight and its brilliant white exteriors.
Nara Park Japan
Located in city of Nara in Japan, this is open to the public who want to soak in the beauty of Mount Wakakusa and find some peace and tranquility. It is one of the oldest Japanese parks that was opened to the public in 1880. You are in for a real treat when you get a glimpse of one of the 1,200 sika deer roaming freely around in the park. No wonder the park is categorized as national treasure. The park includes the grounds of Kasuga Shrine, Todai-ji, and Kofuku-ji and expands across a whopping 1,600 acres of open space.
With the Nara Park being one of the most famous tourist attraction Japan, many gardens that are privately owned have also opened their doors to the public. These actually have the advantage of making use of the temple building as an aide to make the landscapes more beautiful and attractive. The park also houses the Nara National Museum, where you will find a 50-ft high statue of the Buddha in the world's largest wooden building, the Todai-ji.
Considered one of the three scenic views in Japan, Amanohashidate is a sandbar that connects the two opposing sides of the Miyazu Bay. Located in the northern Kyoto Prefecture, the sandbar is a part of the Tango-Amanohashidate-Qeyama Quasi National Park. The sandbar is covered with 7,000 pine trees and is 3.3 km long.
TheKono Shrine and Shinto Shrine make up the northern end of the sandbar, while the southern end houses a Buddhist temple, the Chion-ji.
The Nine Hells of Beppu
Of the most famous Japanese landmarks, this has to be right there at the top. Designated as a place of scenic beauty, this is one of the most famous tourist attraction Japan. The name is derived from the presence of nine hot springs located in Beppu on the island of Kyushu in southern Japan. There are about 3,000 hot springs in the city of Beppu alone out of which these stand out. They are said to be the second largest producer of geothermal water in the world, the first being the Yellowstone National Park in the USA.
They are called hells of Beppu because of the water temperatures that are said to reach as high as boiling point. Which is when tourists are also banned from visiting.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
Once a year, go someplace where you have never been before - The Dalai Lama
No matter when and why you visit Japan, you must make it a point to visit this landmark that is a testament to the courage and perseverance of human kind. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is a vastly famous landmark not just in Japan, but in the whole world. Located in the center of the city of Hiroshima, the park is the legacy of the city itself that stood the test of time after the horrors of the nuclear attack. It is also a tribute to the loss of lives, which is said to be close to 150,000.
Every year, the memorial is visited by millions of people from around the world to pay their respects to those they lost or just to observe peace. The park was planned and designed by Kenzo Tange, a Japanes architect at Tange Lab.
The island of Naoshima is famous for its contemporary art museums. You must visit the Chichu Art Museum that boasts of installations by famous artists like James Turrell and Walter De Maria. The museum is deigned by Tadao Ando and is situated on the highest point of the island.
Also by Ando is the Bensse House which is both a museum and a hotel. The Naoshima Fukutake Art Museum is also pretty famous for its outdoors sculpture garden, while the James Bond Museum became famous thanks to the 2002 Bond novel The Man with the Red Tattoo.
Locally named as the Nippon denpato or Japan Radio Tower, the Tokyo Tower was built as a communications and observation tower. The structure is inspired by the Eiffel Tower lattice architecture.
At the base of the tower is a 4-story Foot Town which is the real attraction for tourists. The first floor houses an Aquarium Gallery, a Family Mart, souvenir shops, and Tower Restaurant. The second floor is mainly a shopping mall. It is the third floor that attracts most visitors and houses the Museum Tokyo, a Guinness World Records Holder that has life-size figures, memorabilia, and photos enacting and representing famous records from the Book. You can also visit the Tokyo Tower Wax Museum that house figures from pop culture to religion. Don't miss out the Trick Art Gallery that has intriguing optical illusions and objects that can talk to you!
The Kobe Port Tower, Osaka
Osaka is home to some very famous Japanese landmarks including the Kobe Port Tower. Located on the outskirts of the city in the port area and near the main harbor, this tower is the newest addition to Osaka's tourist attractions. Although a little far off from the main city, it is still a must-visit.
Don't miss out on spending time on the observation deck that is going to give you some breathtaking views of Osaka city and the Kobe Port area. And if you are all tired and hungry from the hopping around town, you can even catch a sumptuous meal at the rotating restaurant on the tower, while enjoying the spectacular views from all around.