Known as one of the most amazing tourist destinations, Japan offers a huge range of unique experiences of which you could simply never find anywhere else in the world. Combining ancient culture, breathtaking natural landscapes and incredible modernity, Japan has something to entice almost any traveller.
In the below article, we have collected our best reasons as to why you should travel to Japan at least once in your lifetime.
The first reason as to why you should travel to Japan is the beautiful natural scenery. Whilst when many picture Japan, they think of bright lights, technology and skyscrapers. However, there are many ways in which Japan is an excellent destination for nature lovers.
As soon as you travel out of the big cities, you’ll discover some of the best scenery in the world. Ranging from the beautiful wilderness of Hokkaido and the white beaches of Okinawa, Japan’s nature is diverse and can be enjoyed all year round.
Mount Fuji is possibly one of Japan’s most famous landmarks and it’s a must-visit destination, all year round. It’s not just any mountain however, it’s an incredibly sacred place in Japanese culture.
Since the 7th century, Mount Fuji has been a sacred site for Shintoism, the indigenous region of Japan.
Today, climbing Mount Fuji is a challenge at the top of many people’s bucket lists, with an estimated 400,000 people climbing the mountain each year.
Even though you can dine on great Japanese cuisine all around the world, there is nothing that compares to experiencing authentic Japanese food.
Each year, millions of tourists visit Japan to try some of the unusual dining experiences, including sushi conveyor belts and sake bars. In fact, many visit Japan for the opportunity to try authentic, traditional Kaiseki food; which uses ingredients hardly found elsewhere in the world.
Temples, Shrines and Zen Gardens
Did you know that there are around 80,000 temples and shrines across Japan? In fact, some are even over 1,000 years old!
The Buddhist temples and beautiful zen gardens are definitely a must-visit in Japan, to experience how peaceful and quiet they truly are.
A Shopper’s Paradise
Another reason as to why you should visit Japan is shopping. Tokyo and other cities have incredible shopping centres as well as traditional local markets that sell handicrafts and souvenirs.
Popular shopping areas in Tokyo are Harajuku, Venus Fort and Akihabara, whereas, in Osaka, Umeda and Shinsaibashi are a must-visit.
If you are planning to visit Japan in Spring, you’ll see the beautiful Sakura. For two weeks, everyone and everything will be in a great spirit because of these beautiful flowers. It is a part of Japanese culture to picnic under the cherry blossom.
Sakura presents the arrival of spring, a time for renewal and optimism. In fact, in Buddhism, the cherry blossoms represent the transience of life.
Onsen and Sento
When thinking about the best parts of visiting Japan, many people will answer onsen. An Onsen is a hot spring filled with mineral-rich spring water, which is also heated with geothermal forces. These baths contain several minerals that are beneficial for the body, and it is definitely a must-try for visiting tourists as it’s an experience you’ll never find elsewhere in the world.
These hot springs aren’t just a tourist experience; they’re a big part of Japanese culture for unwinding and relaxing.
Sento, on the other hand, are communal bathhouses, where people pay for their entrance. Traditionally used by households that didn’t have their own bath, these bathhouses can be found dotted around both big cities and smaller villages.
Historically, in Japan, a number of castles were built; however unfortunately many were destroyed during battles and earthquakes.
Some still remain and can be visited, many of which are designated UNESCO sites.
Another cultural event unique to Japan is the Grand Sumo Tournaments that take place every odd-numbered month.
Sumo is not just a sport, it is full of Shinto rituals. Watching a Sumo match is a great way to understand this ancient sport even better, and it is definitely an unmissable experience!
Japan is, of course, home to a number of western-style hotels, however, if you really want a taste of Japanese culture, you can stay in a traditional Japanese Ryokan. A Ryokan is a type of Japanese inn, which features tatami-floor rooms, onsen and other public areas where visitors wear yukata, a traditional casual kimono.
If you are wondering ‘why travel to Japan?’, it’s important to note that the above reasons are just a small handful and that the rest of the list is truly endless. Nowhere else in the world will you discover such an eclectic collection of experiences as you will in Japan. With a unique blend of ancient traditions and modern technology, you’ll definitely be in for a treat when you travel to Japan.