How to Plan an Unforgettable Vacation To Japan

When planning your vacation in Japan, a tourist-friendly country, careful consideration is needed to choose the perfect starting point. Japan’s renowned lifestyle, known for its uniqueness, serenity, and eco-friendliness, goes beyond its distinct culture. Besides sightseeing, tourists can engage in various activities such as outdoor adventures, sampling local cuisine, and experiencing vibrant nightlife.

You can sing at a karaoke bar or try your luck at pachinko. Gambling is prohibited in Japan so playing pachinko or casino games online at is a gambler’s only option. In this article, we will give you tips and recommendations on the best places to visit in Japan as well as the must-see and do activities for your next visit to the country of the rising sun.

Exploring Japan’s Historical Sites

When it comes to sightseeing in Japan, the country boasts a wide array of historical sites, museums, galleries, and captivating attractions that are sure to fascinate visitors. Here are some of our top recommendations for the best historical places to visit in Japan


Kyoto, in particular, is well-known for its extensive historical history. Among the must-see historical landmarks in Kyoto is the iconic Fushimi Inari Shrine, which earned worldwide recognition after appearing in the film “Memoirs of a Geisha.” You’ll be surrounded by thousands of colorful torii gates as you explore this fascinating shrine, creating a hypnotic and picturesque walkway. Consider spending a night in a traditional ryokan for an immersive experience, where you can sleep on actual tatami mats and learn more about Japan’s fascinating history.

The Gion District in Kyoto is another renowned location, famed for its lovely cobblestone lanes and maintained ancient buildings. This district provides a view into the realm of geisha culture, with the opportunity to interact with these graceful performers as they stroll the streets. Enjoy traditional Japanese cuisine while savoring delectable local delicacies at modest restaurants nestled away in this historic neighborhood.


Kanazawa, the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture, has many Edo-era ancient districts that survived WWII air raids. Kanazawa is also well-known for its art museums and handicrafts. Kanazawa Castle, built in the 1580s, recalls Japan’s only Buddhist territory, the Peasant’s Kingdom. The castle is next to the 17th-century Kenrokuen Garden, built by the Maeda clan, and is one of Japan’s Three Great Gardens, along with Koraku-en and Kairaku-en. Kanazawa is also great for learning about the Geisha and Samurai lifestyles.

Visit The Natural Marvels of Japan

Japan is blessed with an abundance of natural marvels that showcase its stunning landscapes. Here are some of the best natural wonders to visit in Japan:

Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji, Japan’s tallest active volcano, towers majestically around 100 kilometers southwest of Tokyo. The mountain is a UNESCO World Heritage site as well as an iconic emblem of Japan. Visitors can enjoy stunning views of Mount Fuji from a variety of vantage points and perhaps embark on an unforgettable climbing excursion to the peak.

Nara Park

Nara Park, located in the historic city of Nara, is famous for its enchanting blend of nature and fauna. Over a thousand friendly and free-roaming deer, considered spiritual messengers in Japanese culture, live in the park. Visitors can engage with these friendly creatures, feed them, and admire their beauty in the park’s tranquil setting.


Hakone is a refuge of natural beauty and leisure, situated among breathtaking surroundings. This hilly region is well-known for its onsens, or hot springs that offer refreshing and therapeutic swimming experiences. Visitors can have a soothing dip while admiring the breathtaking vistas of Hakone’s unspoiled countryside. Mount Fuji may be seen from the town, which is located on the banks of Lake Ashinoko.

Takachiho Gorge

Situated in Miyazaki Prefecture, Takachiho Gorge is a breathtaking natural wonder that captivates visitors with its sheer beauty. Carved by the Gokase River, the gorge features dramatic cliffs covered in lush greenery, and its crystal-clear waters flow through a narrow chasm. Boat tours allow tourists to admire the gorge’s enchanting scenery up close.

Engaging in Japan’s Fascinating Cultural Activities

Japan has an abundance of fascinating cultural activities that are unique to the country. There’s much for everyone to discover, from breathtaking temples and shrines to busy towns, calm gardens, and attractive mountain villages. Here are some of our favorites:


Takayama, located in the hilly Hida region, is a mesmerizing respite from hectic metropolises. Shirakawa-go, the town’s historic district, is famous for its traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses. Witness the magnificent night illumination that transforms the 250-year-old dwellings into a cinematic spectacle during the winter. Visit local sake breweries to sample the region’s renowned sake or indulge in the delicate flavors of Hida beef at preserved homes.

Onsen Towns

Visit one of Japan’s tranquil onsen towns for the ultimate onsen (hot spring) experience. These lovely resort communities in rural locations are perfect for both tourists and locals seeking relaxation. Stay at a ryokan (traditional inn) and relax in the onsen’s medicinal hot waters while dressed comfortably in a yukata (cotton kimono) and traditional geta (wooden sandals).


Witness the appeal of Japan’s legendary geishas, who are known for their elegance and grace as traditional dancers. Geishas emerge from wooden teahouses on the alleyways of Miyagawacho, Kyoto, creating a captivating spectacle. Attend one of the yearly spring or fall dances, such as the Miyako Odori in April, for a true geisha experience.

Japan’s Outdoor Adventures and Culinary Delights

Aside from sightseeing, travelers visiting Japan can participate in a variety of engaging activities tailored to their own interests. There’s something for everyone, from exhilarating winter sports to restorative hot spring baths, outdoor excursions like hiking and camping, and indulging in a shopping binge. Visiting a karaoke bar, which is regarded as one of Japan’s favorite hobbies, is a popular activity enjoyed by both locals and tourists. When it comes to cuisine, Japan’s distinct culinary landscape provides a diverse range of dining alternatives, ranging from classic restaurants to delicious street food vendors located throughout the country.

Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido prefecture and Japan’s fifth-largest city, is a winter sports enthusiast’s paradise. Having previously held the Winter Olympics, the city provides exceptional chances for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports. If you visit in February, you will be able to participate in the spectacular Snow Festival, a week-long event attended by nearly two million people. Admire the magnificent ice creations and enjoy the festive atmosphere.

Final Thoughts

Japan has an irresistible charm, thanks to its rich heritage and magnificent natural scenery. But aside from its cultural and natural beauties, Japan also appeals to travelers with its dynamic nightlife and a wealth of recreational activities. From dawn to night, Japan promises an extraordinary adventure of exploration and enjoyment.

Riley Foster

Riley Foster, a graduate of Outdoor Education from Northern Arizona University, has been a trailblazer in outdoor recreation for over 18 years. His expertise includes guiding high-altitude treks and designing outdoor education programs. His experience includes managing national park services contributing to conservation research adding value to various outdoor activities. A key member of our team since 2021, Riley is also an accomplished landscape photographer and a certified wilderness first responder.

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