What to see in Japan: 5 places not to be missed

byVerónica Crocitti

From greater Tokyo to ancient Kyoto, passing through Hiroshima and Osaka: here's what to see in Japan with a two-week itinerary.


Far away and multi-faceted land, theJapanit has always fascinated the minds of adults and children. From Manga hunters to Zen meditators, from ninja and martial arts enthusiasts to sushi and raw fish worshippers, from Buddhism to Shinto enthusiasts, in the collective imagination, Japan is a land of myth, legend and enchantment. Let's discover an itinerary through the destinations of Japan which, more than all, represent the different souls of this wonderful country.

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Itinerary and travel ideas for Japan

WHAT TO SEE IN JAPAN: ITINERARY IN 5 STAGES

Tokyo

It is the great capital of Japan, the metropolis par excellence, the place where millions and millions of Japanese pass by every day.Tokyoit is the eastern "center of the world", a megalopolis made up of skyscrapers, stations, subways and "Japanese" buildings in grand style. To grasp its essence, just stop for 5 minutes on the corner ofShibuyaand watch the enchantment of dozens and dozens (and dozens!) of people crossing the intersection at the same time.

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If you love fresh fish there is Tsukij, the renowned neighborhood where, every day at 5 in the morning, the fishmongers begin their lively auction. A walk in Chiyoda, along the river from which it is possible to observe the Imperial Palace, a visit to theMeiji Shrine and to the Sensō-ji Temple, a "climb" to the Skytree and the Rapponji hills then complete the mini tour of the city.

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NBIf you love the thrill of "getting lost" don't hesitate to use the internetTokyo Metro, as well as the endless tunnels built in the "underground", intertwined and immense Tokyo.

Kyoto

Among the things absolutely to see in Japan in a two-week itinerary, the wonderful Kyoto stands out. All you need to do is emerge from the central station and take a breath of fresh air to understand that this old capital has something indescribably magical. When organizing your ideal itinerary in Japan,Kyotoit could be inserted immediately after Tokyo. This city, built to the size of a Zen garden, will leave you speechless with its sublime temples, well-kept green spaces and impenetrable silences.

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The best way to explore every street and experience the most beautiful Kyoto is certainly to rent a bike. From the Imperial Palace to the Golden Castle of Nijō, from the Shorenin to the Yasaka Temple, from the giant Buddha toKinkaku-Ji Golden Pagoda, from the enchanting panorama of Kiyomizu-dera (true symbol of the city) to the thousand golden statues kept in the Sanjūsangen-dō, from Maruyama Park to the lively and characteristic neighborhoodHigashiyama, where you can taste delicacies and buy typical souvenirs: Tokyo will give you timeless emotions. You will be surprised to know that, here, the "kimono" is truly the dress par excellence for girls and boys. In the evening you can explore the alleys of Gion, theGeisha neighborhood, and let yourself be enchanted by their candid beauty.

WHERE TO SLEEP IN KYOTO: Find all the offers

Hiroshima

The itinerary among the most beautiful and significant places in Japan passes throughHiroshimawhere you can still feel a sense of decadent beauty today. Sixty years after the atomic bomb, Hiroshima seems not to have forgotten even one of its victims. The sadness enters straight into the veins and never goes away. You can feel it floating through the streets, in that almost mystical aura that envelops thePeace Memorial, the Memorial Museum, the Park, the Promenade of Peace.

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It is a "slow" city, at times grey, and this despite the fact that a very lively shopping market has been built right in the center where, really, it is possible to find everything. Among the things absolutely to see in Japan, theMijayima Island, a stone's throw from Hiroshima, very famous for its Temple with the red torii built directly on the water.

Osaka

Too often "mistreated" by tourist guides and reviews of travelers who only stop there for a few hours,Osakainstead it contains within itself a very lively soul, waiting to be discovered. A fundamental stage is certainly theOsaka Castlewhich is located inside a beautiful park where, if you have time, a picnic with a view is absolutely recommended.

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The second green area not to be missed is that of Tennōji where, through the park, you will find yourself straight in the lively Tsūtenkaku district. Here you will begin to see the true "Japaneseness", but that's not all yet. The last step ("last" only because the advice is to visit it in the evening) is theDotonbori. Without ifs or buts, this is the “center of the world” of Osaka. Walking along the river bank, you will find yourself catapulted among thousands and thousands of people, surrounded by the smells ofTakoyaki and Okonomiyaki, typicalfood street of the city.

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Other things to see in Japan

I leave in this category the other wonderful things to see in Japan that have not found space in the four big cities. First of all theMount Fuji, with a visit to the Chureito Pagoda and Lake Ashi (Hakone). There are several organized tours that depart directly from Tokyo and which allow you, in one day, to live this magnificent experience.

The second unmissable "glimpse" is theArashiyama Bamboo Forest, a few kilometers away from Kyoto and reachable by a local JR train. Also in the surroundings of the old capital of Japan stands the Sanctuary ofFushimi Inari Taisha, characteristic for its endless tunnel of red torii.

What to see Japan

Lastly, but only because I want to dedicate the role of icing on the cake to it:Nara. In this city you will discover that coexistence between humans and animals is more than possible. In Nara the deer walk freely through the streets, play with people, let themselves be petted and photographed. This animal, here, is considered sacred. There are thousands of them, you just need to let yourself be carried away by the magic...

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