Fujinomiya, Shizuoka, Japan with Mt. Fuji and spring foliage at Taiseki-ji Temple.

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The Onsen hot springs in the Akita Prefecture in Japan.
The onsen (hot springs) during winter in the Akita Prefecture in Japan.

Japan is one of the most unique countries with its fascinating history. There will be attractions for both outdoor enthusiasts and those who prefer quiet recreation and privacy with nature and the history of the area. 

Japan is just a place for everyone, so if you’ve come to find activities to have fun here – you’re at the right place! But before you go, here’s a list of the most popular tours in Japan:

The most popular tours in Japan

  • 🌄 Discover Mount Fuji, one of the world’s most famous mountains and a UNESCO World Heritage Site on this day tour
  • 😋 Dive into the fascinating world of local seafood during this tour at the famous Tsukiji Fish Market (outside area) and Uogashi wholesaler market with a local and friendly guide
  • 🤿 Experience the crystal-clear waters of the Kerama Islands and swim next to tropical fish on a half-day snorkeling tour with hotel transfers.
  • 🕍 Go on a culturally-enriching day trip from Osaka to Kyoto and stop at the Fushimi Inari Temple and the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Kinkakuji Temple, and Arashiyama
  • 🎎 Visit the theme park of ancient Edo Japan, filled with Ninjas, Samurais, and Geishas and enjoy a full day of fun experiencing the Edo period through live performances, classes, costume, and exhibits

1. Take a bath in Onsen Hot Springs

A significant part of Japanese culture is centered around onsen, the Japanese name for a hot spring. Due to the active volcanic area, there are thousands of hot springs in Japan, which are often used by the Japanese to relax.

The most popular onsen in Japan is in the vicinity of Nikko, at the foothills of Mount Fuji, then in the west of Shikoku Island, as well as Hakone hot springs. Also, one of the most famous onsens is located in Kinosaki, near Kyoto.

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Top Experiences and Tours in Japan:

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Entry into the public onsen is prohibited for persons who have tattoos. However, in private guesthouses, Ryokan often do not have the entry ban rule for tattoos.

If you enjoy relaxing in water temperatures up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), be sure to visit the onsen. Keep in mind that in such warm water, you can only sit for about 10 minutes, and then you should take a break.

2. Visit the historically significant city of Hiroshima

Hiroshima is a city in southern Japan known for being hit by an atomic bomb during World War II. Although everything was destroyed within 2 kilometers (1.24 miles) of the explosion site, the city was rebuilt. Many tourists come to visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum.

One of the biggest tourist attractions in Hiroshima is the A-Bomb Dome, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This building served to promote the Hiroshima industry, and as the atomic bomb exploded, it remained one of the few buildings that was not demolished.

When you are in Hiroshima, you can visit the Mazda Museum. The famous automaker has opened the museum and parts of the factory for the public. You will learn more about the history of this brand, and you will see the vehicle assembly line and popular car models.

Sumo wrestling in Tokyo, Japan.
A heated sumo wrestling competition in Tokyo, Japan.

3. Watch sumo wrestling live

Sumo is a national sport in Japan. It’s the kind of wrestling where the winner is the competitor who throws an opponent out of the ring. The match lasts briefly, just seconds.

The best opportunity to watch sumo wrestlers live is at one of the big tournaments held each year in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka. Most tournaments are organized at the Kokugikan sumo stadium, located in Tokyo’s Ryogoku district. The tournaments last for 15 days each, so you can also coordinate your stay in Japan with one of these events.

4. Explore beautiful Kyoto

Kyoto was the capital of Japan for a long time until 1869. That is the reason why the city has many old temples and castles. There is also a former imperial palace, one of the main tourist attractions of this city.

Best Tips & Tools to Plan Your Trip

Gion is a famous district of Kyoto with geishas. You can find many restaurants, teahouses and shops here. Other trendy tourist spots in Kyoto are Fushimi Inari shrine, Kinkaku-Ji temple and Monkey Park Iwatayama. But, the most famous place is Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, a beautiful 4 km (2.48 miles) walking trail.

Kyoto is also the best place in Japan to admire cherry blossoms. The cherry blossom season usually starts in March.

A fascinating place in Kyoto is the Nishiki Market. This centuries-old market features locally produced fresh seafood and Kyoto specialties. If you love to explore new flavors, this is an excellent place for you.

This Kyoto early bird tour gives you an opportunity to enjoy one of Japan’s most popular travel destinations without crowds.

Cherry blossoms mix into the view of Mount Fuji in Japan.
Cherry blossoms mix into the view of Mount Fuji in Japan.

5. See the sacred Mount Fuji

Located on Honshu Island, Mount Fuji is a volcano whose peak is covered with snow for most of the year. The last eruption was about 300 years ago, but it is still active.

For the Japanese, Mount Fuji is one of three sacred mountains. Each year, about 200,000 people climb to the highest peak at 3,776 meters (12,388 feet) above sea level.

Mount Fuji is an inspiration to many artists, and it is found in many paintings and souvenirs. There are also special tours where guides take you to unique places with the most beautiful views of Mount Fuji.

Take this tour and enjoy Mount Fuji with a professional guide.

6. Explore Japan by bullet train

Shinkansen bullet trains organize public transport in Japan very well. They are operated by Japan Railways, and the lines connect all parts of the country. Bullet trains’ speed is up to 320 km an hour (almost 200 miles an hour).

You can discover Japan via nine Shinkansen lines that connect the most prominent cities, like Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka and Kyoto. Tickets for bullet trains can be bought at ticket machines or offices, and online.

You are allowed two pieces of luggage with you on the bullet train. Also, trains have space for passengers in wheelchairs, as well as elevators and escalators. Trains in the Shinkansen network are safe, comfortable and arrive on time.

A bullet train getting ready to depart from Tokyo Station, Japan.
A bullet train getting ready to depart from Tokyo Station.

7. Sleep in small capsule hotels

If you are looking for low-budget accommodation in Japan, capsule hotels are an interesting option. Capsule hotels are mostly located around train stations, and some have segregated areas for men and women.

Each capsule is equipped with a mattress, pillow and blanket. Also, you can use TV, radio, alarm clock, power outlets and wi-fi internet. You can share showers, toilets and washrooms with other guests, like in a hostel. 

Some of the capsule hotels provide lounge rooms, video games, libraries and machines with foods and drinks.

8. Taste the specialties of Japanese cuisine

The first association with Japanese food is probably sushi. This dish is a trademark of Japanese cuisine and the most famous Japanese dish in the world. The combination of rice, fish and vegetables, with a beautiful arrangement, is a dish that the Japanese adore. In Japan, you can eat Oshi sushi, Nigiri sushi, Temaki sushi, etc.

The second-most-famous Japanese dish is ramen. This dish consists of soup, ramen noodles and additions like mushrooms, eggs or chicken. In addition to sushi and ramen, miso soup is often eaten in Japan. Other famous Japanese dishes you should try are shabu-shabu, katsudon, kare raisu and tempura.

When it comes to Japanese drinks, make sure to try sake. It is an alcoholic beverage made from rice. Drinking green tea, of course, goes without saying.

A chef talking to customers at one of the restaurants in Tsukji Market in Tokyo.
A chef talking to customers at one of the restaurants in Tsukji Market in Tokyo.

9. Learn more about Japanese shrines and temples

The Japanese people are very respectful of their heritage. A large number of tourists visit Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples that you can find all over Japan. The most famous shrines and temples in Japan are the Sensoji Temple in Tokyo and Todaiji Temple in Nara, as well as the Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto.

You will recognize shrines by wooden torii gates. You must follow the rules of conduct when visiting shrines and temples.

Some temples are used as monasteries. Each temple also has rooms where sacred objects, like statues of Buddha, are stored. There are also lecture halls for teaching. The most famous Buddhist temples in Japan are Kinkaku-Ji, Hokoku-Ji and Kiyomizu-Dera temple.

Thousands of vermilion torii gates make up this shinto shrine in kyoto, Japan.
Thousands of vermilion torii gates make up this Shinto shrine in Kyoto.

10. Experience completely different areas in Tokyo

The capital of Japan has more than 20 million people and many areas with exciting places to visit.

Harajuku is the hub for Japanese pop culture, with many fashion shops.

The largest business and entertainment area in Tokyo is Shinjuku. It is famous for clubs and karaoke rooms, as well as bars and restaurants. Some of the most popular places there are Robot restaurant and Metropolitan Government Office, with observation decks.

Shibuya is the most famous shopping area in Tokyo. Famous Shibuya Crossing is also located there.

If you love electronics, you will be in love with the Akihabara district in central Tokyo. There are plenty of shops with electronic gadgets. We recommend visiting the Tokyo Anime Center and Radio Kaikan.

If you want to explore traditional craft shops, Asakusa is an excellent place. Popular tourist spots in this area are Hanayashiki amusement park and Sensoji temple. Also, you can taste Japanese beer, sweets and street food here.

Another great place worth visiting in Tokyo is Ueno Park, with many museums and the Ueno zoo. You will be delighted with the museum exhibitions, especially with the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and the Tokyo National Museum.


🏘️ Book your accommodation

Booking.com will help you to book accommodation in advance and check availability on the days of your trip

✈️ Book your flight in advance

To find the cheapest flight options, you can use WayAway and find the most suitable option for you

🧾 Get your tickets and guided tours

with GetYourGuide and Viator to get the most out of your journey

Looking for things to do in Tokyo? Check out these tours:

Understanding Japanese Culture Mythology and Lifestyle Through Study of Shinto

Private 90-Min. Elite Ninja or Samurai Experience: Stealth Walk, Shuriken, Sword

Private Tokyo Photography Walking Tour with a Professional Photographer

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Author Bio: Based in Serbia in Europe, Marija Stojanovic Petkovski worked as a journalist but realized writing about the most beautiful places in the world is something that inspires her. She is sure that a pint of good craft beer perfectly accompanies a tasty homemade lasagna. In her spare time, she enjoys playing with her children and spending time outdoors with her family. 

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  1. This is invaluable information and inspiration for travelers visiting Japan. This beautiful country has
    something for everyone. I would love to explore its architectural and natural wonders and savor
    culinary delights.