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10 Can’t-Miss Vacation Spots in Japan That Will Transport You to a Different World

There’s no better way to take in the experience of Japanese culture than by visiting some of the country’s famous sites and attractions during your travels there. One thing that makes traveling in Japan so enjoyable and memorable is the fact that there are just so many places to visit, no matter where you may be going or what part of Japan you plan on exploring! In this travel guide, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at 10 vacation spots that are absolutely worth exploring if you find yourself in Japan, as well as providing some tips for how to make the most of your trip!

1) Tokyo

Once you land in Tokyo’s Haneda Airport (HND), you’ll find yourself with several transportation options. The fastest and easiest way is via limousine bus, which runs 24/7 to major hotel and apartment complexes. If you do not have plans already, consider checking out Tokyo Disney Resort, one of Tokyo’s top tourist attractions. Located just outside of central Tokyo, it’s an easy day trip by train or car.

2) Kyoto

Famed for its ancient shrines, temples and world heritage sites, Kyoto is one of those cities that’s so steeped in history that it just seems otherworldly. Take a walk around Fushimi Inari Shrine or stroll through Arashiyama bamboo forest—and you might just feel like you’ve been transported back to feudal times.

3) Shikoku Island

If you’re looking for tranquility, look no further. Shikoku is one of four islands that make up japan, and is known as The Island of Peace. There aren’t any modern cities there—instead, most people live on farms and small villages, where they can take it easy every day. It sounds like paradise to me!

4) Okinawa

Okinawa is Japanese culture at its most pure and authentic. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by Tokyo, it’s well worth hopping on a plane for a few days to recharge. While Okinawa doesn’t have any must-see attractions, it does offer miles of pristine beaches and tropical weather year round.

5) Hokkaido

If you’re looking for true Japanese culture, head to Hokkaido. The island is made up of lush farmland and stunning natural beauty that make it an ideal vacation destination for those looking for relaxation. Additionally, since Hokkaido is one of three Japanese islands, it makes for easy travel from Tokyo—meaning you don’t have to worry about missing out on major attractions while visiting.

6) Nara

If you’re looking for an authentic taste of traditional Japan, look no further than Nara. Here, you can wander around ancient temples and shrines while being serenaded by some of country’s iconic deer. There’s also plenty of wonderful shopping opportunities (the city is famous for its pottery), as well as tons of great food and drink options. If you’re lucky enough to visit during cherry blossom season, prepare yourself for one magical trip!

7) Himeji

This tiny city is home to one of Japan’s most unique attractions: Himeji Castle. The stunning fortress was built for an Emperor of Japan over 400 years ago, and it’s now on Unesco’s World Heritage list. Visitors can tour its grounds and view some of its interior spaces, which are intricately decorated with traditional Japanese art. Himeji also has plenty of other points of interest for history buffs—including temples and shrines—as well as modern amenities like hotels, restaurants, bars and shops.

8) Fukuoka City

The Fukuoka City Prefectural Art Museum houses an impressive collection of international works, including paintings by Picasso, Monet and Warhol. The museum is part of a larger complex that also includes two traditional Japanese teahouses, an elegant Japanese garden and several restaurants. The museum is also conveniently located near popular attractions like Fukuoka Castle and Canal City Hakata.

9) Sendai City

Nature lovers will want to take a trip to Sendai City, which is home to some of Japan’s most beautiful natural landscapes. The city is also close to Mount Zao, one of Northern Honshu’s three sacred mountains, and Lake Inawashiro. For travelers looking for interesting culture and history, Miyagi Museum is well worth your time. Here you can learn more about life during feudal times and view artifacts from ancient Japanese castles that were destroyed by earthquakes or fire.

10) Ishigaki Island

Ishigaki Island is less than an hour from Okinawa by plane, and has many things that make it stand out from other islands—most notably its coral reefs. For divers and snorkelers, Ishigaki’s vibrant marine life is reason enough to visit. The sea also attracts non-divers: Whale sharks are attracted by deep-sea fish that swim beneath coral heads; these whale sharks can reach more than 40 feet (12 meters) long.

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