It is really a matter of surprise that Japan, one of the most industrialised countries around the world, also boasts of some wonderful places and a rich history that dates back to centuries. Did you know that the Buddhist temples and Japanese Shinto were built much before the most picturesque cathedrals of Europe? At the same time, the nation was also honing its skills in trading that paved the way for its riches from fine ceramics to exotic silk. So, if this country is at the top of your bucket list for the next vacation, you should check out some of the most beautiful places in Japan.
1. Imperial Palace in Tokyo
The most beautiful landmark of Tokyo, the Imperial Palace consists of parks embraced by moats and walls constructed in the 17th Century. The East Higashi Gyoen Garden and the surrounding area remain open for the public and you simply can’t miss it. Also, the amazing Nijubashi Bridge which literally translates to the double bridge is also a must-visit if you want some solitude with your partner in the lap of nature.
2. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
This place perhaps requires no introduction of its own. The horrors of bombing here in 1945, August has found its way in the commemorate the sacrifice of this barbaric nuclear attack. But Hiroshima has risen above all these and stands tall as a remarkable symbol of world peace. Every year over a million people come to this place and the memorial park is stranded in the middle of the atomic blast. You will be caught up by the elegance of the museums, memorials, and monuments associated with the events of this terrifying day.
3. Nara: the city of temples
When it comes to the most beautiful places in Japan, Nara deserves a special mention. It is home to several national treasures and historical monuments along with spellbinding pieces of art. The city also has other significance. It hosts the magnificent Kofuku-ji Temple which is or the most famous of the Seven Great Temples of Nara. Another temple, Todai-ji, built in the Eighth century is known for its gigantic bronze statue of Lord Buddha that was cast in 749 AD.
4. Osaka Castle
Constructed by the well-known politician and warrior of Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1586, the Osaka Castle was at one time the most powerful and critical fortress of the nation. Even though it was devastated and rebuilt several times, the current structure which was revamped in 1931 holds true resemblance to the original one. When in Osaka Castle Park, you cannot miss visiting the Hokoku Shrine and the Shitenno-ji, which is also the most famous temple of Osaka.
5. Sapporo, Hokkaido
Situated at the northernmost island of Japan, Hokkaido, a city in Sapporo brings numerous points of attractions for the visitors. Being the largest city in the country, it plays s pivotal role in the cultural activities of the nation and hosts many festivals and traditional events all year round. The Odori Park is the center of this downtown area and it houses a wonderful brother of green that’s pleasing to the eyes. Besides, the culinary traditions, museums, galleries, and theatres are some important areas to explore in Sapporo.
6. Motonosumi Inari
The people of Shinto believe that spirituality dwells in all beings and natural objects. And if you are in search of the most beautiful places in Japan, the Motonosumi Inari is perhaps the best location that allows you to feel this divine connection. You will have to ascend your way forward through 123 torii gates that demarcate transition from the regular place to a sacred one. If you manage to visit this place, don’t return without making a wish. If your coin lands on the offering box placed at the top of the gate, nothing can stop your wish from coming true.
7. Mount Fuji
There is no denying that the majestic Mount Fuji is the most significant landmark of Japan. The highest peak of the country, rising to 3776 meters from the sea level is tall enough to be witnessed from the capital city, Tokyo situated over a hundred kilometers away. In 2013, UNESCO recognizes Mount Fuji for its global cultural significance and more than a million climbers scale this mountain as an act of reverence and pilgrimage.
8. Kabira Bay, Okinawa Perfecture
If you have known that Japan is all about mountains and temples, then you are surely mistaken. The Okinawa island with its beautiful beaches, coastal reef, and clear waters are there to welcome you with some of the happiest people on the planet. Even though you cannot swim or snorkel here, you can simply sit on the beach with your loved ones and enjoy the scenic natural beauty of the place.
One of the most beautiful places in Japan, Kyoto is among the handful of cities that have been saved from the terrors of the Second World War. Every year, over ten million tourists come to Kyoto for exploring the olden architecture and fascinating streets, much of which have remained unaffected since the present Imperial family has started residing here and taking up the maintenance work. When in Kyoto, you shouldn’t miss the amazing Bamboo Grove of Arashiyama, the Nijo Castle and the Golden Pavilion.
10. Jigokudani Monkey Park
The serene and calm mountain setting with lovely hot springs in the town of Yamanouchi is also home to thousands of snow monkeys. These Japanese macaques live here for it remains covered in snow for the most part of the year. You can only access this park through a very narrow and snow-covered oath which takes around half an hour from the main road. As it is completely cut-off from the hustle and bustle of city life, you can experience calmness in its truest sense over here.
Despite the natural devastation and war that have been frequented in Japan, most of these attractive places and points of interest have either been reconstructed or preserved. For witnessing these spectacular monuments and peaceful temples, a trip to Japan is certainly going to be one of the most cherished memories of your life.
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