Japan might be the most interesting country on Earth. It’s history goes back centuries, yet it is consistently on the bleeding edge of technology and culture. And that culture is multifaceted, making it an all-engrossing place to travel.
The country exists on an archipelago of 6,852 islands, though most people are familiar with the main island of Honshu which is home to Tokyo. While that city is a must visit, Japan has several incredible cities that are more than worth visiting.
Yokohama is the second biggest city in Japan, and has found prominence as a major port. While it’s filled with beautiful parks and gardens, it also has a variety of museums. That includes the Ramen Museum and the Cupnoodles Museum. They are ridiculously fantastic.
Hakkeijima Sea Paradise is also worth adding to the list of destinations in Yokohama. It’s located on a small island but is easily accessible by train. It is a fantastic combination of amusement park and aquarium, which features everything from whale sharks to polar bears.
Until 1868, Kyoto was the capital city of Japan. As such, it is overflowing with outstanding shrines, temples and buildings of incomparable historic value. This was a big reason it was intentionally left off the list of atomic bomb targets in World War II.
Kyoto has been described by some as magical, and the core of Japan’s traditional culture. Much of what visitors can do there revolves around absorbing the living history that surrounds you, in the architecture, the clothes and the food.
A key city in Japan’s economy, Nagoya is home to the headquarters to major companies like Toyota. As such, visitors can take some incredibly interesting tours related to the storied automaker. But that’s not the only reason to go to Nagoya.
The city is home to incredible sights like the Nagoya Castle, Atsuta Shrine and Osu Kannon Temple. It also has the Nagoya City Science Museum which has an immense planetarium and the Tokugawa Art Museum which features amazing historical exhibits.
Hearing the name Kobe immediately makes foodies think of the exquisite Japanese beef. That makes sense as it was named after this Japanese city. Naturally, anyone traveling to Kobe needs to try the beef on its home turf but there is more to do than eat steak. Still eat a steak, though.
The Nada Premier Sake District is an key stop for sake fans. Additionally, Arima Onsen, a hot spring resort within the city, is perfect for a relaxing day. And no trip to Kobe is complete without a walk along the Shin-Kobe Ropeway. The views of Kobe from the it are incomparable.
Osaka has amazing shrines, picturesque castles and outstanding temples. That doesn’t even dip into all the museums and markets, not to mention the Osaka Aquarium, Science Museum and their massive Universal Studios theme park. But visiting Osaka could be summed up in one word.
Eat. The food scene in Osaka is massive, inventive and outrageous. There are entire districts devoted to non-stop eating orgies that must be experienced. It covers everything from traditional Japanese cuisine to modern dining to insane fast food. On a diet? Kiss it goodbye.