The Five Star Vagabond

Super travel tips, all road tested by David Herd. I'm an Australian guy who moved to Thailand in 2011 & still travel the world as often as possible.

Japan, five popular places to visit

July 23, 2019 by David Herd

Japan, five popular places to visit

Japan, five popular places to visit

Japan, five popular places to visit. Japan is a beautiful country, with one of the most ancient civilizations in the world. There are many Japanese customs that have endured for hundreds of years – you’ll love their commitment to politeness and their incredible hospitality. The depth of Japan’s history is reflected in the many breathtaking tourist attractions waiting to be discovered, both natural and man-made. Here are five of the top ones for you to explore yourself.

1. Mount Fuji

Japan, five popular places to visit

Image by Yash Raut on Unsplash

At 3,776 metres high, Mount Fuji is Japan’s highest mountain. It is an exquisitely-shaped volcano that has long been worshiped as a sacred natural monument and is a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike. It remains active, though its most recent eruption was in 1707, and it can even be seen from Tokyo and Yokohama when visibility is good. You can take the world-famous bullet train to enjoy views of this awe-inspiring landmark, and there are many attractions and resorts near the foot of the mountain to see it up close.

2. Snow monkeys

Japan, five popular places to visit

Image by Steven Diaz on Unsplash

You may have heard of the famous snow monkeys of Japan, which are actually Japanese macaques. There are numerous attractions in Jigokudani, Yamanouchi and Nagano based around these majestic animals. The Jigokudani Yaenkoen park is a particular favourite for visitors, where the primates can be observed in their natural habitat. It’s a great diversion if you are staying at one of the ski resorts of the Shiga Kogen region which are renowned for their beauty. Just make sure everyone in your party takes ski safety seriously – a surprising number of people still ski without helmets, for example, with helmet wearing rates in Germany falling as low as 40%!

3. Kyoto Temples

Japan, five popular places to visit

Image by David Emrich on Unsplash

There are more than 1,600 temples in Kyoto, so it can be quite challenging choosing which ones to visit in the city. To help you out, here are a few recommendations:


  • Nanzen-ji Temple – this is a sprawling Zen haven amid luscious green hills.


  • Tofuku-ji Temple – reputed to be one of the most beautiful of Kyoto’s temples, Tofuku-ji also has the advantage of not being overly crowded (unless you visit during the autumn).


  • Daitoku-ji Temple – more than just a temple, this is a whole world of temples, with some of the most exquisite Zen gardens you’ll find anywhere.   
  • 4, The Japanese Alps 
  • Japan, five popular places to visit
  • If you want to soak up some of Japan’s most breathtaking natural beauty, the Japanese Alps are the best place to go. There’s plenty of opportunity for hiking, skiing and enjoying a soak in some of the country’s most scenic locations. There are also some unique attractions to discover, like a ninja theme park and a wasabi farm. A journey around the region could also involve a trip to Matsumoto, Kamikochi, Nagano and Obuse.

5, Himeji Castle

Japan, five popular places to visit

Image by Sebastian Sammer on Unsplash


When it comes to places of historical significance in Japan, Himeji Castle ranks highly. It has an elegant, white appearance and is exquisitely preserved for tourist visits. It is a world heritage site, one of Japan’s 12 original castles, and has stood since the 1400s. As it survives today, the complex is over 400 years old, made up of over 80 buildings connected by various gates and winding paths. The castle almost personifies Japanese culture and is not to be missed.

The magic and wonder of Japan comes from over a thousand years of rich cultural heritage, and there is so much more beyond these five highlights for you to discover. If you are visiting, you will enjoy the absolute privilege of taking in this wonderful culture.


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