Japan is composed of the perfect combination of urban and rural beauty. The culture is enough to make you never want to leave. Whether I was eating sushi or ramen, visiting Bunny or Deer Island, or admiring the imperial architecture of Temple City, the atmosphere was unlike any other I’ve ever experienced. The people were extremely polite, the scenery was breathtaking, and the food was exquisite. From island to island, there was never a dull moment throughout the entirety of my trip; however, a few places stood out more than others in my eyes. These are my three must-see attractions in Japan.
Standing an incredible 3,776 meters above sea level, Mount Fuji is the tallest peak in Japan. It may look like a mountain, but it is really an active volcano, although it has been dormant since its last eruption in 1707. Mount Fuji, also known as Fuji-san, is the main attraction of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park on the island of Honshu, the largest of the four islands that make up Japan.
To be honest, Fuji is unlike any other mountain I’ve seen, including the towering Himalayas. It stands more than 12,000 feet in the air, but it looks even bigger than that because the surrounding area is largely flat. The massive volcano can even be seen from Tokyo, which is more than 100 kilometers away.
Speaking of Tokyo, you must see the center of Japanese culture when you visit the Land of the Rising Sun. For my American audience, think of New York City. It can also be compared to other major cities like Paris, London, and Hong Kong. You can certainly find plenty to do if you want to stay downtown, and the night life is incredible, as the entire city is lit up like Time Square; however, my favorite attraction in Tokyo is the Imperial Palace.
The Imperial Palace is the most famous landmark in Tokyo. It’s 17th-century parks, authentic brick walls, and historic moats create an ambiance that will literally take your breath away. As I was staring at the imperial architecture and the famous Nijubashi Bridge, I couldn’t help but feel like I was transported back in time.
From one capital to the next, Kyoto served as Japan’s capital for almost 1,100 years from 794 to 1868. It couldn’t be more different than Tokyo though, as it was one of the few major cities in Japan that was spared of any World War II attacks, leaving Kyoto’s historical landmarks untouched and unaltered. Countless temples, shrines, and other historically significant structures remain standing in their original composition.
I have to say, out of all the beautiful views offered in Japan, the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove was the most mesmerizing thing I came across. Tall bamboo trees completely surround you as walk along the path that navigates you through the magnificent forest. Needless to say, it was one of those moments that will stick with you forever.