10 of the Best Areas to Visit in Japan

Mar 24, 2022 | Adventure Travel, Japan, Travel Tips

There are countless reasons to come to Japan, since the country has something to offer to almost every type of traveller. Whether you want to learn about Japanese history and culture at one of the country’s many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, eat delicious Japanese cuisine, or ride the ultra-fast Bullet trains, a trip to Japan offers adventure around every corner. 

The Shimokitazawa Neighbourhood, Tokyo 

Shimokitazawa is the spot to stay in Tokyo that is off-the-beaten-path but not too off-the-beaten-path, a place that supports counterculture while yet having all of the things that make Tokyo spectacular. This area is brimming with chic cafés, unique stores, and superb pubs.

Shimokitazawa is a spot where a local’s viewpoint is very valuable—popular travel guides don’t really explore Shimokitazawa to the same amount as other regions in Tokyo, so you’ll definitely want advice from someone who lives in the neighbourhood.

From seeing some of the country’s many beautiful temples and castles to taking a soak in an Onsen hot spring, there’s something for everyone. That’s why we’re giving you a list of 10 of the best places to visit on your holiday in Japan!

 people walking in the rain with umbrellas in Shimokitazawa, Tokyo

Sapporo, Hokkaido

Sapporo is one of those places in Japan that you MUST visit. Sapporo, a world away from city-centric Tokyo, provides wonderful cold-weather sports including skiing and snowboarding, as well as onsens (Japanese hot springs). Sapporo is also lovely in the summer since it is less humid than the rest of the country.

Plus, we absolutely buried the lead: one of the finest things to do in Japan is to taste the world’s best sake in Sapporo! Oh, and Sapporo offers some of the greatest beer in Japan. So if you are someone who likes to drink, Sapporo is the place for you!

Snow covered Sapporo seen from Mount Moiwa

The Ginza Neighbourhood, Tokyo

Stay in Ginza if you want to engage in one of Tokyo’s most popular pastimes: shopping. Stroll down Chuo-Dori to window shop at high-end shops, visit the more cheaply priced Uniqlo flagship store, or go to Japan’s largest toy store, the Ginza Hakuhinkan Toy Park.

Keep an eye out for some of the trendiest items to buy in Japan, such as interesting candies and other Japanese snacks to bring home for friends and family. Ginza, being a retail district, also offers several fantastic restaurants: wonderful noodles, tempura, and so much more.

 girl walking on the street in Ginza

Downtown Kyoto, Kyoto

Kyoto is a spectacular place to stay—one of Japan’s most ancient cities, known for its temples, gardens, and the Kyoto Imperial Palace.

On the other hand, Kyoto is home to the vibrant Nishiki Fish Market, which is stuffed with fresh seafood and full with the voices of Japanese chefs negotiating over supplies. Checking around the market is a fantastic thing to do in Japan—perhaps you’ll want to try your hand at making some Japanese food yourself, and you can take a Japanese cooking lesson while you’re there!

man selling fish at  Nishiki Fish Market in Kyoto

Kobe

Kobe beef is Wagyu beef from the Tajima strain of Japanese Black cattle, raised in Japan’s Hyōgo Prefecture according to rules set out by the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association. The meat is a delicacy, valued for its flavourful, tenderness, and fatty, well-marbled texture.

If you’re looking for things to do in Kobe other than eat steak, there are lots of options (but definitely try the steak). Kobe is a terrific place to visit because of the range of activities available—soak in the onsens, tour the city via cable car, and discover hidden beauties like the UCC Coffee Museum.

Slices of steak on a black grill in Kobe

The Shinjuku Neighbourhood, Tokyo

Shinjuku is regarded as the district that never sleeps, so you’ll be surrounded by other night owls around the city. If your Tokyo agenda does not start until the sun goes down, you should be in Shinjuku. Some of the greatest things to do in Tokyo at night can be found here, including bar hopping through the tight alleyways of Golden Gai, tasting some of the world’s rarest whiskeys, and checking out some of Japan’s must-do activities, such as eating at the insane Robot restaurant. We will visit the Robot Restaurant on day 3 of our Japan tours, ​​where robots dance to the theme of thriller whilst lasers and lights bounce off the walls at the world famous Robot Restaurant!

 udon noodles in a bowl

Dotonbori, Osaka

Osaka, popularly known as “Japan’s Kitchen,” is Japan’s second biggest metropolitan area after Tokyo. Foodies, take note: Osaka’s reputation isn’t just a humble brag. One of the best things to do in Osaka (and one of the best things to do in Japan in general) is to explore its fantastic restaurant scene, which includes everything from street food to high-end cuisine. Osaka is famous for takoyaki, which is octopus and green onion folded into a batter and deep fried. So. Delicious.

On day 9 of our Japan tours, we will head out into the Dotonbori area, a wild ride of an inner city complex, the ‘kitchen of Japan’ will take you in with its lights, colours, food and people and after our food tour you won’t want to leave. There is no better way to view this incredible, living, breathing city than tasting your way through it. In the evening we’ll wrap up our tour with one final Japanese tradition – Karaoke!

 people walking on the streets of Dotonbori near a river with a boat

The Shibuya Neighbourhood, Tokyo

Shibuya is jam-packed with activities, making it an ideal area to stay. What you can’t do in Shibuya is a better question.

Whether you want to eat sushi off conveyor belts, visit sacred temples, explore Shibuya’s amazing art scene, or do something completely different, you’ll find it in this vibrant area of Tokyo. Whatever you choose, don’t miss out on one of Tokyo’s must-do activities: navigating the ordered chaos of the Shibuya Crossing.

Thousands of people at the Shibuya crossing in Tokyo

Kitakyushu

Japan is renowned for its famous cherry blossom festivals, and another flower-themed thing to do in Japan is to explore the stunningly gorgeous wisteria tunnels at the Kawachi Fuji Garden in Kitakyushu.

The best time to visit Japan (and the Garden) if you want to see petals ranging from blush pink to deep purple is late March–early May. Plan your visit during the fall for a whole other palette—the 700 maple trees turn yellow, orange, and burgundy in November. But Kitakyushu isn’t only about flowers: it’s also home to the Toto museum, one of Japan’s odder attractions. It’s a museum dedicated to the history of toilets!

Japanese Shrine in Kitakyushu

Hondori, Hiroshima

Hondori is the place to visit if you’re seeking for the greatest nightlife in Hiroshima. This small area in the Naka Ward is just a short walk from downtown Hiroshima. Hondori is vibrant, alive, and full of excitement! Restaurants, cafés, stores, and nighttime entertainment can all be found here. This location is great for any night owl and is rated Hiroshima’s number one neighbourhood for a night out. Hondori is home to some of the city’s most popular nightclubs, trendy bars, and hipster cafés, as well as a variety of fantastic eateries. On weekends, when visitors and residents alike gather here, the streets of this area are alive with bustle. With its flashing neon lights, crowded streets, delicious drinks, and pulsing music scene, a nightclub is a must-visit destination.

Busy streets of Hondori, Hiroshima

If you want to explore the amazing country of Japan with us we ensure it will be a trip to remember! We can show you some of the best destinations Japan has to offer. Our 2022 dates are available for booking so don’t wait! Secure your spot with a $1 AUD deposit today. 

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