Tourist attractions in Japan include Tokyo’s Harajuku, Shibuya, and Odaiba districts, Imperial Palace (Tokyo), Fuji mountain, Himeji Castle, and Universal Studios Japan in Osaka.
Harajuku, Shibuya, and Odaiba each have their own unique features as districts of Japan’s capital city, Tokyo.
Of the districts, Harajuku is a place worth visiting especially on Sundays, when the local youth dresses up with very special fashion styles (including “Gothic Lolita” and “Japanese Elvis” costumes), convening at the Yoyogi Park.
Harajuku also features Meiji Jingu Temple (www.meijijingu.or.jp/english/), Tokyo’s largest temple, built to commemorate Emperor Meiji, in 1920.
During summer weekends, there is a good probability that within your visit to the temple area, you can also see the an ongoing Japanese marriage ceremony at the temple.
Shibuya (www.city.shibuya.tokyo.jp/eng/index.html), in turn, is one of the best shopping districts in Tokyo, with the district having also gained world-fame for being a center for Japanese fashion.
As a district, Shibuya numerous shops and impressive shop displays, even two story tall TV screens.
The district also has one world’s most famous street crossings, where pedestrians can walk across the square from any of its corners…which has become an iconic symbol for Tokyo in general.
Odaiba district, meanwhile, is situated within an large artificial island in Tokyo Bay, accessible by a Rainbow Bridge from central Tokyo.
The district has been purposely-built since the 1990s as an area for tourism, leisure, and entertainment, resulting in that many of its buildings are characterized as “hyper-modern“.
Odaiba district highlights include:
- Fuji Television studios,
- Decks Tokyo Beach shopping mall (which has Sega Joypolis and Little Hong Kong),
- Venus Fort (Venice-themed shopping mall),
- Palette Town Ferris Wheel (height: 115 m / 377 ft), and
- Tokyo Leisure Land entertainment center.
Imperial Palace (sankan.kunaicho.go.jp/english/guide/koukyo.html), in Tokyo, is the official residence of the Japanese Emperor.
The Imperial Palace is in fact a complex of buildings, containing, for example, the main palace and the residential, private buildings for the imperial family.
In terms of size, including its famous gardens, the palace contains 3.41 square kilometers (1.31 sq. miles) of the most central Tokyo, in Chiyoda, near the city’s central train station.
Most of the palace is closed to the public, with the exception of the eastern Imperial Palace gardens, which may be visited freely.
There are organized tours to the palace from time to time, however, through the “Imperial Household Agency“.
Tourist attractions in Japan also feature Fuji mountain, Japan’s tallest mountain, and a major symbol of the country, similarly to, say, how Matterhorn is a symbol of Switzerland.
On a clear day, you can see Fuji mountain from Tokyo, for example, from the Rainbow Bridge, as it is located just west of Tokyo, within the main Japanese island of Honshu.
At the foot of the mountain, the less steep walking trails provide an opportunity to enjoy an afternoon strolling in the fresh mountain air…
…but for longer or more demanding routes, you should obtain expert guidance, using, for example, Fuji Mountain Guides (www.fujimountainguides.com).
Most of the guided walking tours to Fuji mountain take a day or two, with varying degrees of difficulty.
Of tourist attractions in Japan, Himeji Castle is one of Japan’s three famous castles (others being Matsumoto Castle and Kumamoto Castle), and it is the most visited of these castles.
The castle, built from 1333-1346, is now part of the UNESCO World Heritage List, and it is the country’s best remaining example of a typical historical Japanese castle.
The fortress complex consists of a total of 83 buildings, all of which have been built out of wood.
The place is also known as “Hakurojo or Shirasagijo” (“White Heron Castle“), due to the castle’s bright white exterior walls.
The beauty of the castle has been used in many films, including Hollywood’s “The Last Samurai” (2003), starring Tom Cruise.
Tourist attractions in Japan also include Universal Studios Japan theme park (www.usj.co.jp/e/) in Osaka, one of Universal Studios’ theme parks around the world…
…with the amusement park rides here often being related to the company’s films, such as “Shrek” and “Jurassic Park”.
The theme park is visited annually by over 10 million visitors, making it one of the world’s most popular attractions.
As a theme park, the tourist attraction is divided into nine sections, each of which has its own unique features.
Most popular theme park rides at Universal Studios Japan include The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, Shrek’s 4-D Adventure, and Jurassic Park – The Ride.