What you Should See when you Travel to Japan
September 18, 2015
Perhaps one of the most distinguishable cultures in the world, Japan is a very popular tourist destination for those looking to find historically significant landmarks and breath-taking scenery.
Japan is one of world's culturally rich countries and, over the years, has maintained many important pieces of architecture. Dating back to the founding in 660 BC, castles and temples have been built all over the land, with some still standing to this day. This country has many popular tourist attractions spread all over the region, so it can be difficult to decide which ones to see on limited time. We hope this article will help you make the decision of what to see while you visit.
Mount Fuji, Honshu Island
Known to movie-goers as the home of Godzilla, this 12,388ft tall mountain is the largest landmark in Japan. Hundreds of thousands of tourists make the near eight-hour climb every year to reach the summit and peer down on the land below.
Hikers and adventurers will surely want to climb the mountain to take in the beautiful scenery from above. Many tour guides run trips to the summit of the mountain, so it may be best to go with a guide who knows the lay of the land. It might be wise to take a reliable phone with you, too!
At first glance, people may wonder: why would you want to climb to the summit of a volcano? There actually hasn't been an eruption since 1707, but Japanese volcanologists are starting to worry that rising CO2 might be the sign of a possible eruption in the near future.
Himeji Castle, Himeji
Dating back to its completion in 1561, Himeji castle is said by many to be the best representation of older Japanese architecture in the country. If you're interested, there are tours of the castle interior you can take, but seeing the castle itself is also an amazing sight to see.
Originally remodelled from an old fort, the castle was made with the intention of repelling attackers during the country's feudal period. This castle has had several reconstructive periods, but has withheld the test of time. Himeji Castle has managed to survive these 450 odd years (which includes the WWII bombings) because of the solid design and construction.
Golden Pavilion, Kyoto
Originally constructed in the 16th century as a retirement village for a high shogun, this location has become one of the most popular tourist destinations because of the surrounding beauty. The pavilion has a certain harmony with its surroundings that can be hard to describe, so it's best to experience for yourself.
The current standing Golden Pavilion was actually recreated in 1955 because a young monk had burnt down the building a few years prior. The new building was coated with gold leaf to enhance the reflection on the water and natural surroundings.
Jigokudani Monkey Park, Nagano Prefecture
Don't let Jigokudani's translation to "Hell's Valley" deter you from checking out this location. It got the name from the high concentration of hot springs in the area where steam rises from the ground as if the earth underneath were on fire.
One of the main attractions to this location is the amount of Snow Monkeys that come down during winter periods to wash and warm up. While we can't guarantee they will all have as dreamy eyes as the one pictured here, it's very fun to see them come down from their perches to interact with the environment.
These are only a few of the many sights to see in Japan, so make sure you bring a reliable phone plan while you explore. Happy travels!