Travel Overview

Japan

Image of Japan
Photo:Japan

Located in East Asia, Japan is an island nation surrounded by the sea on all sides.
It consists of four major islands - Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu - and about 7,000 other islands, which are divided into 47 prefectures, including Hokkaido, Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Okinawa.

Approximately 70% of Japan is covered in mountains and forests, making it one of the most nature-rich countries in the world.
Japan has four seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter, and each season adds color and charm to the country's natural landscape.
Although there are other countries with four seasons, they are especially prevalent in Japan.
From March to May, cherry blossoms in full bloom turn the country a bright pink in the spring, from June to August, you can feel the power of nature through the heat of summer, from September to November, you can see the autumn leaves, said to be the most beautiful in the world, change to brilliant shades of red and orange, and from December to February, you can see the white of the snow that blankets the country in winter.
Each season has its own distinct charm.
Japanese cuisine uses ingredients from each season to create a wide variety of dishes to enjoy each of the four seasons.
It is a unique part of Japanese culture and is seldom seen in other countries.

As of 2020, Japan's population ranks 10th in the world at approximately 126 million people.
Japan's capital city, Tokyo, which will host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, is Japan's most populous metropolis and is the political, economic, and cultural center of the country.

Popular Tourist Destinations in Japan

Image of Hiroshima・Hiroshima Victims Memorial Cenotaph at Peace Memorial Park
Photo:Hiroshima・Hiroshima Victims Memorial Cenotaph at Peace Memorial Park

The number of tourists to Japan is increasing every year, and according to the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), the annual number of foreign visitors to Japan in 2019 (2019) increased by 2.2% to 31,882,000, the highest number since statistics began being collected in 1964.
All of Japan's 20 major cities recorded a record number of visitors to Japan, with an increase in the number of tourists from China (8.38 million), South Korea (7.54 million) and other Asian countries.

Many foreign tourists enjoy Japan's popular tourist spots and famous landmarks, including places like Mt. Fuji, a world natural heritage site, and TripAdvisor, one of the world's largest travel and review sites, has compiled "Travelers' Choice! Top 30 Attractions in Japan by International Travelers 2020." That list is as follows:

No. 1 Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum (including the Atomic Bomb Dome and Peace Memorial Park) [Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Prefecture]
No. 2 Fushimi Inari Shrine [Kyoto City, Kyoto]
No. 3 The Hakone Open-Air Museum [Hakone, Kanagawa]
No. 4 Todai-ji Temple [Nara City, Nara Prefecture]
No. 5 Kenroku-en [Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture]
No. 6 Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden [Shinjuku, Tokyo]
No. 7 Nikko Tosho-gu Shrine [Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture]
No. 8 Dolls Museum [Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture]
No. 9 Himeji Castle [Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture]
No. 10 Okunoin at Koya-san (Mt. Koya) [Koya, Wakayama Prefecture]
No. 11 Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building observation room [Shinjuku, Tokyo]
No. 12 Eikan-do Zenrin-ji [Kyoto City, Kyoto]
No. 13 Shukkeien [Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Prefecture]
No. 14 The Golden Pavilion [Kyoto City, Kyoto]
No. 15 Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple [Kyoto City, Kyoto]
No. 16 Daishoin [Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima Prefecture]
No. 17 Itchiku Kubota Art Museum [Fujikawaguchiko, Yamanashi Prefecture]
No. 18 Miyajima (Itsukushima) [Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima Prefecture]
No. 19 Jigokudani Monkey Park [Yamanouchi, Nagano Prefecture]
No. 20 Nezu Museum [Minato City, Tokyo]
No. 21 Nara Park [Nara City, Nara Prefecture]
No. 22 Sanjusangendo [Kyoto City, Kyoto]
No. 23 Senso-ji Temple
No. 24 Kyoto Railway Museum [Kyoto City, Kyoto]
No. 25 Chureito Pagoda [Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi Prefecture]
No. 26 Hase-dera [Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture]
No. 27 Ritsurin Garden [Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture]
No. 28 Magome-juku (Nakasendo) [Nakatsugawa City, Gifu Prefecture]
No. 29 Oirase Gorge [Towada City, Aomori Prefecture]
No. 30 Mt. Misen [Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima Prefecture]

Other popular Japanese places of interest include Meiji Jingu Shrine [Shibuya, Tokyo], Shiratani Unsui Gorge [Yakushima, Kagoshima Prefecture], Kyoto Station Building [Kyoto City, Kyoto], Byodoin Temple [Uji City, Kyoto], and Tokyo Disney Sea [Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture].
As you can see, popular travel and tourist destinations top the list, ranging from classic Japanese travel and tourism destinations to spots, areas, and regions full of historical attractions.

In addition to these popular destinations, travel agents also organize tours to hidden, lesser-known areas that are not often introduced on travel websites, and many foreigners come to Japan in search of these hidden gems for the spectacular views they harbor.

There are also other tours that offer a taste of both Japan's traditional and modern culture, as well as unique activities that can only be experienced in Japan. There are also festivals and fireworks, tours to various power spots such as Mt. Fuji, bus tours to shopping districts, and downtown areas and city landmarks. One of the attractions of traveling in Japan is that it offers a variety of travel options that satisfy travel enthusiasts from all over the world. You can even grab a guidebook and map, hop on a train, and blaze your own trail through the country's scenic landscapes!

Tours and experiences are becoming more and more popular with foreign tourists every year.
Some of these tours include sake tasting at a sake brewery and making ramen from scratch.
Here's a look at TripAdvisor's 2020 "Travelers' Choice! Top 30 Activities and Tours in Japan by International Travelers 2020."

Image of an Owl Cafe
Photo:Owl Cafe

No. 1 Akiba Fukurou (Owl Cafe) [Chiyoda City, Tokyo]
No. 2 Osaka Free Walking Tour [Osaka, Osaka]
No. 3 Tokyo Localized - Free Walking Tour in Tokyo & More [Chiyoda City, Tokyo]
No. 4 Street Kart Tour Akihabara #1 and others [Chiyoda City, Tokyo]
No. 5 Street Cart Osaka [Osaka City, Osaka]
No. 6 Street Kart KYOTO [Kyoto City, Kyoto]
No. 7 Ebisuya, Kyoto Arashiyama (Rickshaw tours) [Kyoto City, Kyoto]
No. 8 KUJIRA ENTERTAINMENT [Shinjuku, Tokyo]
No. 9 Ninja Food Tours [Shinjuku, Tokyo]
No. 10 Private English Tours, Machi-Taxi [Kyoto City, Kyoto]
No. 11 Ami Kyoto [Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture]
No. 12 Kyoto Insider Sake Experience [Kyoto City, Kyoto]
No. 13 Aloha Divers Okinawa [Kadena, Okinawa]
No. 14 Mayuko's Little Kitchen Japanese Cooking Class [Shibuya, Tokyo]
No. 15 Tokyo Ramen Tours [Meguro, Tokyo]
No. 16 MAIKOYA KYOTO [Kyoto City, Kyoto]
No. 17 Turismo Victoria [Fuji City, Shizuoka Prefecture]
No. 18 Prime Scuba Ishigaki Diving Center - Day Tour [Ishigaki City, Okinawa Prefecture]
No. 19 Nariko's Kitchen [Arakawa, Tokyo]
No. 20 KSK-Tour [Kyoto City, Kyoto]
No. 21 Cooking School Yuka Mazda [Minato, Tokyo]
No. 22 Street Cart Okinawa [Naha City, Okinawa]
No. 23 Comburger -Cooking with Sato- [Shinjuku, Tokyo]
No. 24 Calligraphy Kyoto [Kyoto City, Kyoto]
No. 25 Ebisuya Asakusa (Rickshaw tours) [Taito City, Tokyo]
No. 26 Ramen Factory Kyoto [Kyoto City, Kyoto]
No. 27 Tokyo Free Guide [Shinjuku, Tokyo]
No. 28 Samurai Armor Photo Studio [Shibuya, Tokyo]
No. 29 Tokyo Localized Free Walking Tour [Shinjuku, Tokyo]
No. 30 Initia Japanese Cooking Class [Kyoto City, Kyoto]

There are plenty of transportation options for sightseeing in Japan, including trains, subways, monorails, airplanes, bullet trains, taxis, express buses, local buses, charter buses, rental cars, bicycle rentals, boats, rickshaws, and more!
Please note that many of theses require reservations in advance.

Japan's Delicious Cuisine!

Image of Hegi soba and Tempura・Tokamachi, Niigata Prefecture
Photo:Hegi soba and Tempura・Tokamachi, Niigata Prefecture

The objectives of visitors to Japan are diverse and include things like sampling Japanese food (gourmet food and sake), shopping (souvenirs, etc.), nature and sightseeing tours, Japanese history and traditional culture experiences, exploring shopping districts, and bathing in hot springs.
Among these, sampling Japanese food is overwhelmingly the most popular among visitors to Japan, with a wide variety of delicious dishes, including meat dishes, sushi, ramen, kaiseki cuisine, yakitori, sukiyaki, tempura, etc., attracting millions of foreign visitors to Japan each year.
Here are some popular dishes in each of the 47 prefectures that you should definitely try when visiting Japan.
※Via Jalan's "47 Best Local Dishes of Japan's 47 Prefectures! Enjoy a Delicious Gourmet Trip Across Japan!"

■Hokkaido・Tohoku Area
【Hokkaido】Sapporo Ramen
【Aomori】Towada Barayaki
【Iwate】Morioka Chilled Noodles
【Miyagi】Sendai Ramen
【Akita】Kiritanpo
【Yamagata】Yonezawa Beef
【Fukushima】Kitakata Ramen

■Kanto Area
【Tochigi】Utsunomiya Gyoza
【Gunma】Himokawa Udon
【Ibaraki】Stamina Ramen
【Saitama】Kumagaya Udon
【Chiba】Namero
【Tokyo】Tsukishima Monja
【Kanagawa】Shirasu
【Yamanashi】Yoshida Udon
【Nagano】Togakushi Soba
【Niigata】Hegi Soba

■Hokuriku・Tokai Area
【Toyama】Toyama Black Ramen
【Ishikawa】Kanazawa Curry
【Fukui】Echizen Crab
【Shizuoka】Unaju (Unadon)
【Gifu】Hida Beef
【Aichi】Tebasaki Chicken Wings
【Mie】Akafuku Shaved Ice

■Kansai Area
【Shiga】Omi Beef
【Kyoto】The Side Dishes of Kyoto
【Osaka】Negiyaki
【Hyogo】Himeji Oden
【Nara】Miwa Somen
【Wakayama】Wakayama Ramen

■Chugoku・Shikoku Area
【Tottori】Mosa Ebi (Shrimp)
【Shimane】Izumo Soba
【Okayama】Okayama Ramen
【Hiroshima】Hiroshima Oysters
【Yamaguchi】Blowfish
【Tokushima】Tokushima Ramen
【Kagawa】Sanuki Udon
【Ehime】Uwajima Taimeshi
【Kochi】Bonito

■Kyushu・Okinawa Area
【Fukuoka】Mizutaki
【Saga】Yobuko Squid
【Nagasaki】Sasebo Burger
【Kumamoto】Kumamoto Horse Sashimi
【Oita】Saiki Kaisendon (Seafood bowl)
【Miyazaki】Miyazaki Chicken
【Kagoshima】Shirokuma Shaved Ice
【Okinawa】Soki Soba (Okinawa soba)

Shopping and Sightseeing in Japan!

Image of Shinjuku・Don Quijote
Photo:Shinjuku・Don Quijote

Japan is lined with a variety of commercial facilities, including department stores, shopping malls, station buildings, supermarkets, and more.
Popular shopping spots for visitors to Japan include drugstores, Don Quijote, 100 yen shops, and Muji among others.

Here we'll introduce some of the most popular shopping spots in Tokyo, one of the world's leading shopping paradises.
Be sure to stop by for a souvenir of your visit to Japan!
※Via Jalan's "Tokyo Shopping Ranking"
No. 1 Isetan Shinjuku [Shinjuku, Tokyo]
No. 2 Tokyo Solamachi [Sumida, Tokyo]
No. 3 Omotesando [Shibuya, Tokyo]
No. 4 Nihombashi Mitsukoshi Main Store [Chuo, Tokyo]
No. 5 Tsukiji Outer Market [Chuo, Tokyo]
No. 6 Marunouchi Building [Chiyoda, Tokyo]
No. 7 Kinokuniya Shinjuku [Shinjuku, Tokyo]
No. 8 Ikebukuro Seibu [Toshima, Tokyo]
No. 9 Ameyoko [Taito City, Tokyo]
No. 10 Yebisu Garden Place [Shibuya, Tokyo]
No. 11 Tokyu Hands Shibuya Store [Shibuya, Tokyo]
No. 12 VenusFort [Koto, Tokyo]
No. 13 Roppongi Hills [Minato, Tokyo]
No. 14 Tokyu Hands Ikebukuro Store [Toshima, Tokyo]
No. 15 Akihabara Electric Town [Chiyoda, Tokyo]
No. 16 Takashimaya Times Square [Shibuya, Tokyo]
No. 17 Aqua City Odaiba [Minato, Tokyo]
No. 18 Tobu Department Store Ikebukuro [Toshima, Tokyo]
No. 19 Yurakucho Marion [Chiyoda, Tokyo]
No. 20 Odakyu Department Store Shinjuku [Shinjuku, Tokyo]
No. 21 Harajuku Takeshita Street [Shibuya, Tokyo]
No. 22 Akihabara [Chiyoda, Tokyo]
No. 23 Tower Records Shibuya Store [Shibuya, Tokyo]
No. 24 Keio Department Store Shinjuku [Shinjuku, Tokyo]
No. 25 Kitaro Chaya [Chofu City, Tokyo]
No. 26 Shibamata Teishakuten Sando [Katsushika, Tokyo]
No. 27 Sunshine 60 [Toshima, Tokyo]
No. 28 Tennozu Isle [Shinagawa, Tokyo]
No. 29 Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street (Yanaka Silver Mint) [Taito City, Tokyo]
No. 30 Bic Camera Main Store [Toshima, Tokyo]
No. 31 Ikebukuro PARCO [Toshima, Tokyo]
No. 32 Nihonbashi Takashimaya [Chuo, Tokyo]
No. 33 IKEA Tachikawa [Tachikawa, Tokyo]
No. 34 Omotesando Hills [Shibuya, Tokyo]
No. 35 First Avenue Tokyo Station [Chiyoda, Tokyo]
No. 36 Matsuya Ginza [Chuo, Tokyo]
No. 37 Fabric Street, Nippori Textile Town [Arakawa, Tokyo]
No. 38 Yodobashi Camera Nishiguchi Main Store [Shinjuku, Tokyo]
No. 39 Tokyo Character Street [Chiyoda, Tokyo]
No. 40 Village Vanguard Shimokitazawa Store [Setagaya, Tokyo]
No. 41 GINZA SIX [Chuo, Tokyo]
No. 42 Jimbocho (Kanda Jinbocho) [Chiyoda, Tokyo]
No. 43 Tokyu Plaza Ginza [Chuo, Tokyo]
No. 44 UNIQLO Ikebukuro East Exit Shop [Toshima, Tokyo]
No. 45 DECKS Tokyo Beach [Minato, Tokyo]
No. 46 ABAB Ueno Shop [Taito City, Tokyo]
No. 47 Wako [Chuo, Tokyo]
No. 48 Hibiya Chanter [Chiyoda, Tokyo]
No. 49 Gatec City Plaza [Shinagawa, Tokyo]
No. 50 Village Vanguard [Koto, Tokyo]

Take a Tour of Japan's Hot Springs!

Image of Steam rising from Beppu's hot springs at night
Photo:Steam rising from Beppu's hot springs at night

In recent years, tourism to onsen (hot springs) located throughout Japan has become increasingly popular among visitors to Japan.
The reason for their popularity is that it allows visitors to experience the good old days of Japan and the spirit of Japanese hospitality.
The number of onsen ryokan (hot spring inns) and hotels that offer multilingual services to foreign tourists is also increasing.

Here's a look at some of the most popular onsen destinations for the first half of 2020.
※Via My Mytrip's "Hot Spring Resort Ranking for the First Half of 2020"
No. 1 Atami Onsen [Shizuoka Prefecture]
No. 2 Beppu Onsen [Oita Prefecture]
No. 3 Kusatsu Onsen [Gunma Prefecture]
No. 4 Hakodate Onsen and Yunokawa Onsen [Hokkaido]
No. 5 Kinugawa Onsen [Tochigi Prefecture]
No. 6 Gero Onsen [Gifu Prefecture]
No. 7 Akiu Onsen [Miyagi Prefecture]
No. 8 Shirahama Onsen [Wakayama Prefecture]
No. 9 Nasu Onsen [Tochigi Prefecture]
No. 10 Ito Hot Spring [Shizuoka Prefecture]
No. 11 Ikaho Onsen [Gunma Prefecture]
No. 12 Hakone-Yumoto Onsen [Kanagawa Prefecture]
No. 13 Gora Hot Spring [Kanagawa Prefecture]
No. 14 Arima Onsen [Hyogo Prefecture]
No. 15 Kinosaki Onsen [Hyogo Prefecture]
No. 16 Dogo Hot Spring [Ehime Prefecture]
No. 17 Echigo-Yuzawa Onsen [Niigata Prefecture]
No. 18 Toba Onsen [Mie Prefecture]
No. 19 Yufuin Onsen [Oita Prefecture]
No. 20 Jozankei Onsen [Hokkaido]

Nowadays, the Japanese government and local governments are putting a lot of effort into attracting tourists to Japan, and you can find information and announcements in English and other foreign languages at tourist sites, streets, hotels, and other accommodation facilities.

It is now easier than ever to get information on these popular Japanese tourist attractions through the Internet and social networking services.
Japan's unique lifestyle information? Japan's top travel and tourist attractions? Even trivial things you couldn't imagine are filmed by travelers in Japan and transmitted to the world via YouTube, Vimeo, and other video streaming services.
There are many great travel and tourism PR videos and inbound videos from all over the country that can be useful for gathering information before your trip.

COOL JAPAN VIDEOS is a site that introduces the charms of Japan through videos related to tourism, travel, culture, etc., in Japan!

Recommended Articles