This author has put together a top-ten list of tourist attractions in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Japan attracts a large number of tourists annually. Most tourists are attracted to Japan's advanced technology as well as its beautiful ancient traditions. The top ten tourist attractions in Japan including temples, palaces, and parks are discussed below.
10. Tokyo Imperial Palace
The imperial family of Japan resides in this palace. It is located at the former site of Edo Castle. Tourists are only allowed in the inner palace grounds on 2 January and 23 December. Emperor's birthday is held on 23 December, while the New Year's greeting is held on 2 January. During these two occasions, visitors get the chance to see the members of the Imperial Family since they make several public appearances on a balcony. This palace further acts as a museum to showcase Japanese history and art as well as an administration center. It is surrounded by traditional Japanese gardens that are highly attractive.
9. Kiyomizu-Dera Temple
This temple was built in the late eighth century, in the year 798. It is one of the most popular temples in Kyoto. Its veranda is supported by high wooden columns that are 13 meters in height. The temple is in continuous harmony with nature, thanks to an indoor waterfall that is fed from the outside rivers. In the past, locals used to jump off the edge of this temple to have a wish granted. This exposed them to high risks; in fact, only 85.4 percent of these locals came out alive. Nevertheless, tourists enjoy artwork, shrines, and talismans on display without risking their lives. On the grounds of this temple, there are many waterfalls and landmarks. Many people fetch water from these falls since they believe that it has some therapeutic properties.
8. Great Buddha of Kamakura
Amida Buddha is one of the most celebrated Buddhist figures in Japan. It is located in the city of Kamakura and is the second-largest Buddha in Japan. Research shows that this monument dates from 1252. It weighs about 93 tons and is approximately 13.35 meters in height. This monument stands in the open air after the original temple was washed away in the fifteenth century by a tsunami, even though it was originally housed in a small wooden temple. You only take a five-minute walk from Enoden Railway Hase Station to the Great Buddha.
7. Jigokudani Monkey Park
Any person interested in seeing wild monkeys bathing in a natural hot spring should visit this park. It has a man-made pool located near the park's entrance that attracts many monkeys. This park was commonly known as Hell Valley by the ancient people since it has very steep cliffs and steam that emanate from its various springs. This park is covered in snow for almost one-third of the year; however, this does not prevent monkeys from inhabiting it. In fact, troops of wild Japanese macaque spend most of their time here. In the daytime, monkeys sit in the warm hot springs before returning to the security of the forests in the evenings.
6. Himeji Castle
Most people consider this castle the best in Japanese castle architecture. It is located at the center of Himeji city. It will take you approximately four hours from Tokyo to reach this castle if you are travelling by bullet train. Its white walls are covered with white plaster that is fireproof. It has a highly complicated and effective defensive design. As a result, it provided defense against enemies during the feudal period. Its strength is portrayed by the fact that it survived the bombings of the Second World War.
5. Hiroshima Peace Memorial
This memorial was built in remembrance of those people that lost their lives on 6 August 1945 after a bomb blast in Hiroshima. You will find Genbaku Dome inside this memorial. Genbaku Dome is the only building that was left at the scene of the bomb blast. It further symbolizes the significance of human life as well as honors all victims of the bomb blast.
4. Todaiji Temple
This temple is located in Nara and it is the largest wooden building in the world. It acts as a feat for most engineering activities. Additionally, it hosts the largest Buddha statue in the world. If you have been wondering where you can find the Kegon school of Buddhism, then you need not worry anymore. You just need to visit this temple; the school is centered in this temple. Beautiful gardens and wildlife are the key environs of this school. You will find many artifacts of both Buddhist and Japanese history on the grounds of this temple. Do not be surprised if you encounter some deer at Todaiji Temple's ground. This is because deer are allowed to roam about as messengers of the Shinto gods.
3. Golden Pavilion Temple/ Kinkaku-Ji
This is the most famous tourist attraction in both Japan and Kyoto. It was built in the late fourteenth century as a retirement villa for Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. However, in 1950, this pavilion was burnt down by a young monk. Despite this, the Japanese government took the responsibility of rebuilding it after a period of five years. The new pavilion was an exact copy of the old one. A person who has visited this pavilion cannot deny the fact that it is overly beautiful. It is covered in gold leaf that portrays the reflection of the pavilion in the pond. Similarly, the pond is reflected in the building. Indeed, it is a beautiful and cool place to visit.
2. Tokyo Tower
This tourist attraction attracts a good number of visitors since it portrays a high level of advanced technology and modern life. It is the second tallest structure that man has ever made in Japan. Most people use it both as an observation and as a communication tower. If you desire to visit shops and restaurants as well as have unparalleled views of Tokyo, then you should make an effort of climbing this tower.
1. Mount Fuji
Any person who loves mountains should make an effort of visiting Mount Fuji. It is the highest mountain in Japan; it is about 3776 meters. Its volcano has a symmetrical cone, which most Japanese use in photographs and arts. This mountain attracts a large number of tourists annually. In fact, researches show that about two hundred thousand tourists visit this mountain every year; 30 percent of these tourists are international foreigners. You may take approximately three to eight hours to climb this mountain and approximately two to five hours to descend it.