Japan. A country so rich in culture yet known for its modernity. Filled with skyscrapers yet popular for its natural beauty. A paradise for both shoppers and foodies alike. Japan is a vast country with attractions for almost every kind of traveller.
For the nature lover there are the ever-so-popular Cherry Blossom trees, mountains and volcanoes, lakes and rivers, jungles and waterfalls. Active traveller can get a taste of adrenaline with mountain climbing, skiing, hiking and water sports. Foodies can gorge on ramen, sushi, soba noodles, Kobe beef and even octopus balls (to name a few). Shopaholics can shop till they drop at shopping districts, malls, thrift shops and discount stores. The various castles, museums, temples and ancient ruins will keep the history lover well occupied.
If you are fascinated by culture, Japanese culture is second to none with its unique architecture, art, script, clothing, cuisine and much, much more. They say that Japan is a country that is mandatory on all travel bucket lists and it’s hard to argue with that statement once one learns about its wonders.
Of the countless activities you can find in Japan, here are a few you should not miss!
Visit / climb Mt Fuji
This active volcano is considered a sacred mountain in Japan and is one of the most iconic symbols of the country. Surrounded by the Fuji Five Lakes and found in between the country’s largest cities, this magnificent natural wonder is easy to get to. With its almost symmetrical shape and its stunning white-capped summit, it’s hard not to see why Mt Fuji is a must visit destination while in Japan.
Ride the bullet train
The Japanese bullet train – or the Shinkansen– reaching speeds of up to 320 km/hr, is one of the world’s busiest trains and is a popular tourist attraction. It has stops in most of the major cities and is highly efficient, clean, and an experience you cannot miss.
Try some authentic Japanese food
While we’ve all claimed to have eaten Japanese food, authentic Japanese cuisine is known to have no competition. Ramen, Sushi, tempura, Kobe… the list is endless. You will most definitely leave a few pounds heavier but it will definitely be worth the ‘weight’.
Go flower viewing (Hanami)
If you happen to travel to Japan in Spring (March-April), the country transforms into a picture-perfect dreamland with countless Cherry Blossom (Sakura) trees in full bloom. Most trees are even illuminated in the night and make for envy-inducing travel pictures.
Marvel at the Japanese Palaces
A visit to one of the many castles in Japan is an absolute must. The unique Japanese architecture and breath-taking views make it hard to leave this out of your itinerary.
Visit the Peace Memorial
Since Hiroshima is widely known for the devastation that was caused there, it is poetic that it is now home to a memorial where people from around the world visit and leave a prayer for peace.
While the above list simply scratches the surface of what Japan has to offer, the country is easily one of the most fascinating destinations you can visit and keep visiting as it is constantly evolving and expanding. I hope that this appetizer inspires you to start planning your trip and fill your plate up!