The Kanto is Japan's largest plain and very densely populated. The large metropolises of Tokyo and Yokohama are located in the Kanto Region which consists of seven prefectures. The Kantō region is the most highly developed, urbanized, and industrialized part of Japan. The following are the important must-see destinations in Kanto region.
Tokyo's Imperial Palace is the primary residence of the Emperor of Japan and the imperial family. Set in the center of Tokyo and surrounded by the Imperial Palace gardens, the residence was constructed where the original Edo Castle once stood.
At 1,092 feet (333 meters) tall, Tokyo Tower is an impressive Japanese landmark that offers 360-degree views of the city. Housing an aquarium, two observation decks, a Shinto shrine, a wax museum and the famous Foot-Town, Tokyo Tower is a great center for entertainment. Built in 1958 and inspired by the Eiffel Tower, this structure is the central feature of Tokyo. At night, the tower lights up, creating a beautiful glow throughout the city.
On the first floor travelers will find an aquarium of more than 50,000 fish, a souvenir shop, multiple restaurants and an observatory. The second floor houses the food court, while the third floor includes the wax museum and the Guinness World Record Museum. An arcade center can be found on the fourth floor, and finally, on the top floor is the main observatory and the amusement park roof garden.
Located within Hakone National Park with the mighty Mt Fuji as its backdrop, Lake Ashi, also known as Lake Ashinoko, is a scenic spot to take a boat ride and take in the lush mountain views. Considered sacred by the Japanese, Lake Ashi features the famous Hakone Shinto shrine, easily seen from the trails around the water frequented by nature lovers and avid walkers.
The 47-foot (14-meter) tall bronze Buddha statue of Kotokuin (Great Buddha of Kamakura) is only the second tallest statue of Buddha in Japan though likely the most recognizable. The seated figure is that of Amitabha Buddha, worshipped by Japanese Buddhists as a deity of salvation. The statue was completed in 1252 after the site’s previous wooden Buddha and its hall were damaged in a tsunami in 1248. Hundreds of years later, you can still see traces of the original gold leafing. The identity of the artist who cast the statue remains a mystery. The temple of Kotokuin where the Buddha statue resides falls under the Jodo Sect of Buddhism, the most widely practiced branch of the religion in Japan. While the Great Buddha is the real draw, visitors can tour the temple grounds to see the four bronze lotus petals originally cast as part of a pedestal for the Buddha, as well as the cornerstones of the hall that originally sheltered the statue.
Ueno Park is a public park made up of museums, historical landmarks, and natural beauty. It houses the Tokyo National Museum, the National Science Museum, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Fine Art Gallery. Other popular attractions include the Tōshō-gū Shrine, a zoological garden, the Shinobazu Pond, and an abundance of cherry trees.
Japan s thriving art scene has been the catalyst for a museum boom throughout the country in recent decades. like the rest of the country’s culture, Japan’s museum scene has something for everyone. Whether you’re a conventional museum lover looking for a survey of Japanese heritage, a person interested in history wanting to delve into Japan’s past, or an explorer seeking something unique, you’ll find what interests you in the Land of the Rising Sun. The following are the list of some must see museums in Japan.
As Japan's highest mountain, the legendary Mt. Fuji stands 12,388 feet (3,776 meters) tall. Travelers from around the world head to Hakone National Park to see the mountain, and over 1 million of them hike all the way to the top each year for the 360-degree views of Lake Ashi, the Hakone mountains, and the Owakudani Valley.
The Tsukiji Fish Market is the largest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world, handling more than 2,000 tons of marine products a day. Although the market wasn’t originally intended to be a major tourist attraction when it opened in 1935, Tsukiji now regularly shows up on visitors’ lists of must-see destinations in Tokyo. Witnessing the fresh tuna auction before the sun rises is the primary draw.
The neighborhood of Shinjuku, one of 23 city wards in Tokyo, houses a thriving business, entertainment and shopping district centered around Shinjuku Station, the busiest railway station in the world with more than 2 million passengers moving through daily. The 11-square mile (18-square kilometer) area houses approximately 300,000 people with a sizable concentration of foreign residents.
Known for its impressive botanical garden, intricate Iemitsu mausoleum, and ornate Toshogu Shrine (a UNESCO World Heritage site), Nikko National Park is an area of incredible natural beauty with plenty to see and do. In addition to shrines and temples, the park is home to numerous lakes, elaborate bridges, excellent hiking trails, and two stunning waterfalls—all set against a backdrop of dramatic mountain scenery.
Opened in May 2012, Tokyo's newest landmark, the Tokyo Skytree, has entered the record books as the world's second tallest structure, and the tallest tower in the world. It's the primary TV and radio broadcast site in Tokyo. A broadcasting tower that houses a restaurant, a café and two observation decks, Tokyo Skytree towers above Tokyo at a height of 634 meters (2,080 feet). At 350 meters (1,148 feet) and 450 meters (1,476 feet) high, the Tokyo Skytree has the highest observation decks in Japan with unsurpassed views over Tokyo. To reach the highest observation deck, visitors can walk up a spiraling corridor that circles the tower and offers dizzying views across the city below.,
With its neon lights, towering department stores, and nightclubs, the Ginza Shopping District is a chic, cosmopolitan adventure. You can catch a live Kabuki show, check out the latest Japanese film, or tour the most prestigious and innovative restaurants of Tokyo. And of course, there’s shopping! Featuring the most exclusive stores and brands, like Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Chanel, this is window shopping at its finest. Highlights include the Sony Building and Hakuhinkan Toy Park. Another must-see attraction is the Wako Department Store, a Neo-Rennaisance-style building known for its impressive clock tower. The Ginza Shopping District is also a great destination for entertainment. The Kabuki-za Theater presents traditional Kabuki Theatre daily. On the side streets of Ginza, there are clusters of art galleries, and things to see and do.
Akihabara, also called Akihabara Electric Town, is the go-to district in Tokyo for electronics, anime and manga products. Hundreds of electronics stores line the neighborhood streets, selling everything from computer parts to home goods and ranging in size from small stalls to mainstream chains. North of Akihabara Station sit stores selling video games, popular manga comic books, card games, costumes and souvenirs. In recent years, Akihabara has become famous for its "otaku" culture, or diehard anime and manga fans. It is a great place to people-watch and see "cosplay," short for costume play, in which fans dress up as their favorite characters in anime and manga. Numerous maid cafes are found in this area as well, where you’ll find a dining experience in which the servers dress as maids and other characters. The streets of Akihabara are decorated with manga and anime images, and the neighborhood is designed to make visitors feel as if they are wandering through an actual comic or animated production.
The must-see Asakusa Temple (also known as Senso-ji or Asakusa Kannon) combines architecture, centers of worship, Japanese gardens, and traditional markets to offer visitors a modern-day look at Japan’s rich history and culture. Erected in AD 645 in what was once an old fishing village, Asakusa Temple was dedicated to Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy. Stone statues of Fujin (the Shinto wind god) and Raijin (the Shinto thunder god) guard the entrance, known as Kaminarimon or the Thunder Gate. Next is Hozomon Gate, which leads to Nakamise’s shopping streets, filled with vendors selling handicrafts and Japanese snacks. Don’t miss the Asakusa Shrine or Kannon-do Hall.
You'll want to grab an (english language) map upon entering this large park that stretches across Shinjuku and Shibuya. There is a lot of ground to cover here. The park is split into gardens of three distinct styles: French formal, English landscape and Japanese traditional. Not surprising the Japanese section is the most interesting and beautiful with waterlily ponds, artfully trimmed bushes and statues. The nearby Taiwan pavilion is an elegant spot for photos. The original gardens date back to 1906, but were destroyed and rebuilt after the war. The diverse and well manicured gardens are great for wandering, taking photos or having an afternoon picnic. The garden has over 1500 cherry trees trees that burst into vivid blooms in late March or early April. It's a favorite spot for blossom viewing and can be very crowded during those times.
Shibuya is a popular shopping district and entertainment center in Tokyo. It is home to the eccentric fashions of Harajuku, department stores and boutiques, post-modern buildings, and many different museums. Known for its busy streets, flashing lights, and neon advertisements, Shibuya is a definite sight to see.
Tokyo Disneyland is a theme park based on the films produced by Walt Disney. It was opened in 1983 as the first Disney theme park outside of the United States. Modeled after Disneyland in California and the Magic Kingdom in Florida, Tokyo Disneyland is made up of seven themed lands and features seasonal decorations and parades. The seven themed areas are the World Bazaar; the four traditional Disney lands: Adventure land, Western land, Fantasy land and Tomorrow land; and two mini-lands: Critter Country and Mickey's Too town. Many of these areas mirror those in the original Disneyland as they are based on American Disney films and fantasies. Fantasyland includes Peter Pan's Flight, Snow White's Scary Adventures, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, based on Disney films and characters. The park is noted for its extensive open spaces, to accommodate the large crowds that visit the park. In 2013, Tokyo Disneyland hosted 17.2 million visitors, making it the world's second-most visited theme park behind the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney