Japan is a place that’s steeped in history, tradition, and a lot of culture, making it one of the most interesting and exciting destinations on the planet. I love visiting Japan whenever I can, as it’s home to some of the most fascinating cities. I hope you enjoy reading about the amazing cities that you can find in Japan.
Hiroshima played an important role during World War II, when the atomic bomb was dropped here, effectively signalling the end of the war. The city is a moving place to visit, especially when you stop to learn about the history of the war and the huge impact that the atomic bomb had on the city. The Peace Memorial Museum is located at the site of the bombing in the building that survived. In addition to its military past, Hiroshima is home to some beautiful forests and a few shrines and temples that are also worth visiting.
Tokyo is the nation’s capital and the best known city in all of Japan. It’s a business hub, and it’s packed with a multitude of skyscrapers. To make the most of your time in the city, grab a Tokyo guide and get to know the most interesting neighbourhoods, including Harajuku and Shibuya. Each has its own unique characteristics and inhabitants, and you can see “salarymen” walking the streets alongside girls dressed all in pink. The contrast is striking, but people in Japan live side by side very peacefully, which is what makes this country so interesting to me.
Byōdō-in Phoenix Hall, Uji Kyoto Japan, 1059. Image via Wikimedia by 663highland
This is probably as far as you could get from Tokyo when it comes to the attitude of the people and the pace of life. Kyoto is extremely peaceful, and it isn’t hard to see why, with the hundreds of temples that dot the countryside. A number of these temples are very special and serve as beautiful examples of Japanese temple architecture. You can learn more about Zen Buddhism here, and you can also experience a ryokan, or traditional inn. These inns feature rooms furnished with tatami, or straw mats, as well as traditional Japanese baths.
Although they might not be typically Japanese, these islands offer a reminder of the nation’s diversity. Okinawa’s beaches and tropical climate make it more closely aligned with destinations in Southeast Asia than with most parts of Japan. Naturally, visiting the beach is a great thing to do, but diving is king here. The Yonaguni Monument is one extremely curious diving site that every diver should visit. It’s famous for its geometric shapes and natural stepped design. Many people share a theory about how the monument got there, but all I know is that it’s an amazing sight.
Okinawa is definitely one of the best places to chill out in Japan, and it’s a great spot for a beach holiday. In fact, you could stop in Okinawa to break up your visits to all the big cities.
Japan definitely has a place for every kind of traveler. I hope this provided you with a little inspiration and helped you get to know Japan better. Enjoy!