Japan; a place where ancient history and cutting-edge technology harmonise like no other. From beautiful Buddhist temples and serene gardens to the technicolour urban sprawl of Tokyo, these beautiful Japanese landscapes will inspire you to visit the Land of the Rising Sun now.
Osaka’s Shinsekai district
Created in 1912 and translating to ‘New World’, Shinsekai was inspired by New York and Paris. Its Tsutenkakau Tower even resembles the Eiffel Tower. Today it’s a colourful neighbourhood that comes alive with illuminations after dark.
Framed by pretty cherry blossoms in spring, Osaka Castle is one of Japan’s most famous landmarks. Construction began in 1683, but over the centuries it’s been destroyed and restored many times.
Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
One of nature’s greatest wonders, Arashiyama Bamboo Forest is an atmospheric avenue of towering bamboo just outside Kyoto. Being inside is an incredible, otherworldly experience.
A quintessentially Japanese pagoda, Kiyomizu-dera Temple (‘Pure Water Temple’) sits at the site of the Otowa Waterfall, amid maple and cherry trees. It was originally associated with the Hosso sect, one of the oldest schools of Japanese Buddhism.
Tokyo Tower Skyline
At night, Tokyo’s skyline dazzles with light. That dizzying structure is the Tokyo Tower, a vast communications mast. The skyline is always changing and 45 new skyscrapers are popping up before the 2020 Olympics.
Sensoji Temple Tokyo
An ancient Buddhist temple in Asakusa, Tokyo, Sensoji is one of the Japanese capital’s most beautiful constructions. Over 30 million visitors come to this colourful temple every year.
This bustling, vibrant boulevard is one of Japan’s oldest shopping streets. You’ll find quirky stalls selling local crafts and tasty street food dishes. It runs from the Thunder Gate to the Sensoji Temple.
Shining brighter than Times Square or Piccadilly Circus, Tokyo’s Akihabara district is a shimmering urban space packed with shopping and video game hotspots. Nicknamed ‘Electric Town’, it’s a lively temple to entertainment.
One of Japan’s most iconic sights, Mount Fuji’s majestic, snow-capped peak is instantly recognisable. It’s also an active volcano and one of Japan’s Three Holy Mountains, along with Mount Tate and Mount Haku.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the charming village of Oshino Hakkai features a set of eight springs fed by melted snow from Mount Fuji. The timbered buildings look like something out of a fairy tale.
A sleepy mountain dwelling, Gokayama is a traditional Japanese village of gassho-zukuri minka wooden houses. They’re characterised by steeply sloped thatched roofs, built sturdily to withstand heavy snowfall.
Tranquillity. Reflection. Harmony. Kenrokuen Gardens is one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan. Its grounds were formerly a garden of Kanazawa Castle, constructed by the powerful Maeda family who ruled for two centuries. Whatever time of you visit, there’ll be colour here, from cherry blossom in spring to golden maples in autumn.
With its single Shinto shrine seemingly rising alone out of the water, Miyajima Island, off the South Coast, has long been one of Japan’s most scenic and sacred spots. The historical island is peppered with ancient monuments, Buddhist statues and well-preserved temples.
Famous, of course, for its harrowing atomic bombings, but today, Hiroshima has blossomed into a beautiful destination. Despite being directly under the explosion, the Atomic Bomb Dome remains almost intact and is a compelling reminder of the past.
Kurushima Bridge Seto Inland Sea
Seto Insland Sea is the body of water that separates Honshu, Kyushu, Oshima and Shikoko from mainland Japan. The colossal Kurushima Bridge connects Oshima and Shikoko, and is the world’s longest suspension bridge.
Image Credits: Akihabara © iStock/martinhosmart. Arashiyama Bamboo Forest © iStock/FilippoBacci. Hiroshima © iStock/Sara_Winter. Kiyomizu © iStock/toey19863. Kurushima Bridges © iStock/paprikaworks. Miyajima © iStock/mariusz_prusaczyk. Mount Fuji © iStock/prasit_chansareekorn. Osaka Castle © iStock/ikuni. Oshino-Hakkai © iStock/Payless images. Sensoji-ji-Temple © iStock/NanoStockk. Shopping street © iStock/Sienj. Tokyo © iStock/SeanPavonePhoto. Gokayama © iStock/nicholashan. Osaka Tower © iStock/Nikada. Kenrokuen Gardens © iStock/