Japan is unlike anywhere else on the planet that you’ve ever been. From robot restaurants with rainbow spaghetti to the peaceful peaks of Mount Fuji, this country seems to contain multiple worlds within its own borders.
Tokyo is a fantastic city, but it is only one of many options when it comes to traveling. Why not spend a week in Tokyo then choose a range of day trips and cities that you can explore for a second week?
Want to plan a dream trip to Japan? Here are ten places to visit, that aren’t Tokyo!
FUSHIMI INARI SHRINE
A world away from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo you’ll find tranquility in Kyoto. Surrounded by nature, things move much slower here.
Japan is one of the most unique countries in the world. It has unique culture, an excellent health care system, and a rich history. It’s the perfect place to discover authentic Japanese culture.
Start planning with my guide to three days in Kyoto for an unforgettable experience.
Despite being the second-most populous city in Japan, Osaka is often overlooked by tourists. If you’re one of them, you’ll be missing out on a number of culinary delights, however.
Osaka is a great place to eat! Not only do you get to enjoy some of the finest culinary delights, but you can also eat your way through this bustling metropolis. Check out some of the best chefs in the world and experience their unique creations. You’ll also find some of those dishes that you probably haven’t ever
Get a local’s perspective on life in Japan by taking day trips around Kyoto and Nara. For a deeper look into the culture, visit Universal Studios Japan and see what else you can discover.
The northern island of Hokkaido is a world away from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. Famous for its snowy ski slopes and locally brewed beer, this hidden gem will show you a very different side of Japan.
Of all the cities in Japan, Sapporo is one of the best. It’s called “White Snow City” because it gets a lot of snowfall each year. During January, Sapporo sees lots of snowfall, and during February they host an impressive festival.
Planning Tip: It’s essential to think about the best time of year for your travel plans before you leave. To check out The Best Time to Travel to Japan, click here.
Which one of Japan’s most beautiful cities is the best? It’s not easy to decide! The lush gardens and stunning shrines and temples in Nara are truly beautiful. However, Kyoto has many more historical sites.
Nara is a great day trip from Kyoto and Osaka. With such a stunning array of picture-perfect districts, however, it’s worth planning a long weekend here if you can.
For international travelers, the past often dominates their view of life in Hiroshima. The Peace Memorial Park and Museum are a must-see here, but this city is much more than that.
On the island you will find many places to go hiking. There are plenty of trails for hikers, making it an ideal destination for photography. You won’t find any bad weather here!
When it comes to foodies, nothing beats Hiroshima, Japan. Sample the fresh oysters and other dishes that the city is known for.
Get your appetite ready for the road by trying my delicious recipe for miso ramen.
You may recognize this town from movies like The Last Samurai, but don’t be fooled. Chichibu City is not so peaceful and quiet as it may seem to be. It contains many theatres, bars, restaurants, and souvenir shops that are extremely popular with tourists.
If you’re looking for a fantastic place to visit, then Himeji Castle is the place you want to check out. This UNESCO world heritage site is viewed as a national treasure and it’s visited by locals and tourists alike.
To visit Himeji, it is best to combine it with a trip to the surrounding areas. First, taking in some of the sites like Himeji Castle and Shoshazan Engyo-ji Temple while enjoying an afternoon tea at Kokoen Garden. Second, seeing the famous deer park of Ashiya Otsu Shrine. Third
From the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries Nagasaki was the only port in Japan that was open to foreign trade. This has left an indelible mark on the landscape both culturally and architecturally on the city.
Nagasaki is a melting pot of Japanese-Portuguese-Chinese-Dutch-British influence.
From the colorful temples of Chinatown to the Catholic churches of the European districts, you can see and feel the layered past of this dynamic city. And oh, that fusion food!
On the famous Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route you’ll find Toyama. Sitting beside the Sea of Japan this city has been recognized by UNESCO for having one of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World.
From amazing seafood to sweeping views of the Japanese Alps it’s well worth exploring the historic old town and beyond as you start on the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route.
If you’re traveling between two of my favorite cities, Tokyo and Kyoto, stop off in Takayama. Stay at a traditional Japanese inn called a ryokan and sleep on a traditional Japanese mat.
Like a bed and breakfast this is the kind of place where guests come down in a kimono and pull up a seat at the table.
Get to know the friendly locals, then explore the traditional downtown area and lovely temples of this region.
If you’re in Tokyo and looking for a quick day trip, head to Hakone on your way to Kyoto or Osaka. With Instagram-worthy views of Mt. Fuji, this place will be a nature lover’s dream come true. Take in the views from the top of the hillside then meander around to soak up some