Japan is one of the top destinations to visit. It’s always on our list, if not on top, probably top five places to go. As the land of the rising sun offers a rich culture, delicious food, kawaii (cute) things, and unique experiences. If you are on the fence about whether you should visit or not, then these top reasons to visit Japan will convince you. Take it from my experience. 2016 when I came here. I had high expectations of the Japanese politeness, safety, rich history, its beautiful sceneries, and Japan didn’t disappoint. I didn’t intend to stay longer but I decided to.
Warning: This article will persuade you to visit Japan at least once in your life.
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1. JAPANESE SEASONAL EVENTS
I teach English in elementary schools and the second unit of our book is all about Japanese events. Japan’s four seasons include spring, summer, fall and winter. Each season offers spectacular events such as festivals, nature-focused events, cherry blossom viewing, and many more. The Sapporo Snow Festival, one of the largest events in winter, attracts 2.74 million visitors each year as it showcases fascinating snow and ice sculptures.
The biggest attractions Japan has to offer in summer are the Nebuta festival in Aomori, Tenjin festival in Osaka, and Awa Odors in Tokushima. Summer festivals give you the chance to see parades, and beautiful fireworks, eat ice cones, karate chicken, and yakisoba. You can enjoy the music and dances.
Spring will not be complete without the cherry blossom viewing. People would go to parks to view Sakura trees and flowers, talk and drink Japanese sake. In this season, cherry blossom flavored snacks and sweets are also everywhere. The KitKat Sakura flavored is my favorite. Check out Tokyo treats to experience Japanese snacks.
Fall is my favorite season in Japan, and I think it’s the best season to travel to Japan because of the foliage. I love the colors and fall fashion and it’s my top reason to visit Japan. Kyoto offers the most beautiful places for autumn leaf viewing. Just look at this picture and tell me it’s not enough reason. Also, check these best places to visit in Kyoto in Autumn
2. JAPAN’S CLEANLINESS EVERYWHERE
One of the first things you will notice when you visit Japan is its cleanliness. The streets barely have garbage bins, yet they are very clean. Trains and toilets too are clean at their finest. You will be struck by how clean the country is yet there are no street sweepers on the street.
This should give you enough reason to visit Japan at least once in your life. It will also make you curious why and how does Japan do this? It all starts with schools. I witness every day how schools prioritize cleanliness. Students have to do environmental activities such as picking up garbage on the streets and cleaning the school’s environment. They don’t have Janitors, so students clean their own rooms after lunch. This teaches them to value their environment and always keep it clean. This is one of the lessons Japan has taught me – considering your surroundings and take responsibility to keep it clean.
Japanese students leave their outdoor shoes at the entrance of the school and use inside shoes. This is also usual in Japanese homes. I was not used to this when I first came here, so I kept forgetting to take off my shoes. This is considered rude and it’s embarrassing when you visit a friend’s house. A big part of the school’s curriculum centers on social consciousness and awareness of their surroundings. The results? Huge gatherings like festivals and baseball matches are always left clean because people take responsibility for their garbage. They take their own garbage home.
There are countless reasons to visit Japan, as the country has more to offer. From its’ rich culture, castles and temples, hot springs, gardens, and architecture, here are top reasons from fellow bloggers who are desperate to travel to Japan. Some have been to Japan and at no doubt, would love to visit again.
3. THE INDEPENDENT DOMESTIC CULTURE
The top reason to visit Japan. It feels a lot more unique than any Asian country you would travel to someday. The independent domestic culture means they have the power to make you feel special and content by receiving such humble and thoughtful requests in every restaurant.
Despite the language barrier, you will know their inner words by their gestures. For example, one tourist traveling alone on the street tries to talk to a Japanese citizen looking for direction, which will help you no matter how hard your conversation goes in minutes. They value human connection a lot. Japanese people are so polite and warmhearted. The modern era is inclined with their captivated past that turns out to be one of the countries you must visit from temples to food dining.
If you ever travel to Japan, there’s a way to avoid awkward conversations and difficult situations like getting lost, reading Kanji (Chinese Characters). You won’t have to worry about the language barrier when you learn the basics or even become conversationally fluent in Japanese. You will make the most out of your trip, gain friends and explore more of the deeper things about Japanese culture. The best way to fast track your Japanese studies is through italki. Prepare your trip to Japan and learn the basics of their language.
ALSO READ: MY JOURNEY AND TIPS ON LEARNING JAPANESE
4. NO THEFT TENSION ANYWHERE
As we can see in movies or J-dramas, most of their houses or establishments have no gates unless they are petting animals. As you walk on the street, you will never feel uncomfortable and anxious to reach your destination on one day tour.
Alongside, they are similar to South Korea because they have “LOST AND FOUND” (wasuremono) or otoshimono (literally “dropped thing”) offices. You can go there to reporting the lost property.
7. JAPAN EMERGING WITH SUSTAINABILITY
Japan is well known for its fast-growing technology and culture. Aside from that. Sustainability is part of their enriched uniqueness when it comes to plastic waste. They have proper units or regions wherein they usually recycle or used plastic wrap in the garbages. It was said to be one of the lessons you would ever learn during your first step in the country.
An organized crowd is proof of their remarkable discipline and love for unity when together. The harmony brings together passion and hope for better. It is a sign you will deeply love the country.
In this regard, no matter how deep is your adoration for their culture and community. It brings back good memories that last forever because you learn something better than you should do during your travels.
8. MANGA AND ANIME EXPERIENCE
When I think of Japan the first thing, I have in mind is anime, because I am an anime lover. Japanese manga and anime are the best! There are many best spots in Japan for anime lovers like me. They have places like cafes, restaurants, shops, museum, and parks which have anime themed attractions.
Top three best anime spots
1. The One Piece’s theme park in the country. I can’t imagine how many photos I will take if I’m there with the replicas of my favorite anime characters. And oh, I want to dine-in in Sanji’s Restaurant. As a big One Piece fan, I’ll take all the chances to do different activities related to Mugiwara Pirates.
2. Akihabara, a famous district in Tokyo, that is popularly known for its Japanese geek culture. Anything about Otaku Culture (people with consuming interests) can be found here. Another thing I want to experience here is the Maid Cafes, where guests are served by maids wearing cute and lovely costumes like those in anime characters. And they call their guests as “Master”, isn’t that thrilling?
3. Ghibli museum showcases the work of the most famous anime studio, the Studio Ghibli. The museum is a must-visit even if you are not a fan. The museum tributes to Hayao Miyazaki’s anime films, technical & creative process of animation. Watch out for special exhibitions and keep in mind that you need to reserve a ticket in advance. Check out here.
9. Indulge in Japanese Cuisine
Japanese cuisine represents the diverse and unique culture of the country. It’s one of the well-known cuisines in the world. And it’s not a wonder why. Aside from it’s incredibly healthy and flavorful, the presentation is also a work of art. Just looking at it is already a feast in the eyes.
I love Japanese foods especially Ramen, Sashimi, Sushi, and Tempura. Which country serves these best if not Japan? There are so many foods to try in Japan aside from these. There are Rice balls, Gyudon, Champon, Ginger pork, Sukiyaki, and many more.
To experience different Japanese cuisine means experiencing the Japanese culture because each region in Japan has a unique specialty that reflects their culture and traditions. And every delicacy is of various types, styles, and presentation. Just by the thought of these Japanese foods can’t stop me from craving! Check out this Japanese Wagyu Cubes to try.
10. Japanese people and culture
Japanese people are known for many good traits. They are known for being punctual because they take time management very seriously. They value hard work as a religion. Japanese people also have a reputation for being respectful, polite, and formal. They are known for cleanliness. Marie Kondo serves as an example and her book “The Life-changing Magic of tidying up” is a life-changer as stated in the title.
Japanese culture is not only represented in their cuisines. Unlike other countries in which cultures and traditions are heavily influenced by modern trends, Japan—which is known for advanced technologies— can maintain its culture and tradition distinctively. You will see and experience Japanese culture and tradition everywhere.
I want to explore Japan’s historical and cultural destinations. There are many reasons to explore the country by interest, from visiting an Old Townscape and noteworthy residences, enjoy the shopping streets and local markets, witness their local festivals, dress like a geisha, or watch Sumo. Japanese people and culture are some of the things I respect as a foreigner, because of their diverse, distinct, yet unified characteristics. And there are just many good things foreign people can learn from them.
10. JAPANESE NATURE
There are so many beautiful spots in Japan, that can be enjoyed in any season. From the beautiful celebration of the blooming cherry blossoms in spring to the sea of red trees during the autumn. Japan is by far one of the most stunning countries when it comes to nature it is definitely a bucket list item to tick off.
Also, Japan has a perfect combination of tradition and modernization. You can experience both traditional Japanese culture in the beautifully, preserved shrines and temples in Kyoto to the top of the end technology hubs in Tokyo. There are tons of fun activities outdoors and indoors in Japan. You can even experience go-karting through the streets of Tokyo or rent kimonos and go to Kyoto.
11. KAWAII THINGS ARE EVERYWHERE
If you are looking for all things cute and loveable then Japan is the place to be. The kawaii culture in Japan is loud and proud. You can pop into a themed café and find beautifully decorated desserts that are too cute to eat. Pop into a dedicated character store and see your beloved childhood friends in all sorts of forms, including stationary and giant plushies.
If you make it to Japan, don’t forget to shop their beauty products and make-ups as well. They have tons of affordable but quality products as they have one of the highest beauty standards. Check this list to help you decide.
12. NATURAL WONDERS AND LANDMARKS
I have never been to Japan but I have heard a lot about it. And every time I hear someone talk about it, I feel the love and admiration for the country. If I ever go to Japan, my primary reason for visiting would be to know and learn their way of life. Known for having many centenarians, this country, for me, is a place of lasting health of body, mind, and spirit.
Little did I know of the many natural wonders and iconic landmarks of Japan. Having the privilege to write this has ignited a blaze of desire to visit Japan. This article talks about awe-inspiring natural wonders and iconic landmarks that Japan is known for. Get ready for the enticing and real captivating tourist destinations that will bring your memories to and back to the land of the Rising Sun. Let’s dig into some!
1. MT. FUJI
Known as a spiritual symbol of Japan. Climb up and gaze at the magnificent view on top of the tallest peak in Japan.
Journey to the mysterious limestone cave buried within the mountains of Fukushima. The illuminated caverns left impressive marks to its tourists.
Tottori’s most famous tourist attraction and is the largest dunes in Japan.
4. TAKACHIHO GORGE
Japanese natural beauty at its perfection. Excellent for boating and walking with nature. A stunning cut through the rock of Gokase is worth a visit.
5. FUKIWARE NO TAKI WATERFALL
Known as the “Niagara of the Orient.” Lush forest greens surround this vast waterfall that will leave you fascinated.
Japan’s natural monument is typically a lava cave that was formed after the historic Mount Fuji eruption.
7. MATSUSHIMA IN MIYAGI
It is known for fresh and strong-flavored kinds of seafood. The beautiful place boasts legendary shrines, temples, and coastal landscapes.
It is also known as White Heron Castle due to its pure and elegant white walls. It is considered the most preserved castle in Japan.
9. TOKYO TOWER
The original icon of Japan’s capital was used as a communications facility. It is also a perfect spot for tourists to gaze at the cityscapes.
Explore the awe-inspiring Shrine floating on the Water of the Seto Inland Sea. The name means “The Island of Worship.” It is considered a holy place of Shintoism in the early days.
12. UNIQUE EXPERIENCES: VISIT JAPAN IN A RUNNER’S EYES
Japan is the third country I was able to travel alone. I went to Japan in 2019 for the first time to run a marathon. For some, Japan is maybe a complex country first because of the language barrier. Most if not, all speak their language even in train stations I rarely heard it in English.
Before visiting Japan, my only goal is to get into the ballot entry first of an all-women marathon which is the Nagoya Marathon an international all women’s marathon recognized by AIMS (Association of International Marathons and Distance Race), World Athletics, and JAAF (Japan Associations of Athletics Federation).
After getting in the ballot entry, I created my own itinerary since I will be going alone and meet some friends in Nagoya to run together. Planning a trip is so much fun and confusing because even before getting to your destination you will be confident enough once you have a thorough research of your itinerary and planned everything especially transportation.
My trip to Japan is about a week and I’m happy that I was able to cover my itinerary starting from Osaka, my main arrival points then experiencing Japan’s bullet train to reach Nagoya for the marathon.
When going to Japan bear in mind that facemasks are normal to wear even before the pandemic especially during the cold season up to Spring. I made sure I have mine and wear it most times and it’s true aside from it keeps you warm you also will feel like blending with the locals.
Joining a marathon in Japan is such a unique experience, it’s just so clean and organized. The Nagoya women’s marathon is followed by the Nagoya city marathon with distances such as 10.5 and 21.1 km.
After the marathon, I headed back to Osaka via the Shinkansen bullet train. I stayed in a capsule hotel to experience this mini-hotel. The service and food have been wonderful plus they have a bonus hot spring area to experience if you cannot go to an authentic Hot spring in the mountains.
Just be mindful of the rules and manners when using the onsen. It is a nice experience with lots of great benefits for the body.
Things I did in Osaka include exploring Osaka Castle, Shitennoji Temple, and Dotonbori which is one of the busiest places in Osaka, great for shopping, vintage and signature hauling, and definitely the food. I also ride the HepFive in Osaka which is a few km walks from my hotel.
Most of the places I explored are either by local train, a fast train next to the local trains, and by foot. I just made sure I have my GPS with me and Icoca card which is helpful during my stay in Japan.
While I’m trying to save visiting Kyoto during autumn I couldn’t wait anymore since I’m already in the area and visited Kyoto Prefecture. It feels like I am not in Japan seriously, it’s just so quiet being immersed with nature and appreciating the heritage of Japanese culture.
Trying authentic green tea is a must when you are in the area. Although I only explored Kyoto for a day I suggest allocating more time like two or three days to really explore the area.
OVER TO YOU
There you have it. Top twelve reasons to visit Japan. If these won’t convince you to travel to Japan then I don’t know what will. Japan has so much more to offer. Explore the country, imbibe with culture and gain unique experiences and bring home some Omiyage (souvenirs) for your friends and family. If you want to come to Japan to work instead, check this article on how to land your dream job in Japan