Top 9 Places To Go in Tokyo This April: Must-do Activities in a Must-see City!

  • X
  • line



Traveling to Japan in the spring means the weather is great, the flowers are gorgeous, and all the Japanese students starting their new school year lend an air of excited anticipation all over the country. This makes it a popular time to visit, with tons of travelers planning their trips around the season. The lovely plum and cherry blossoms have never been the only attractions for travelers, though, and this year is no different. As the zenith of cherry blossom season has passed, and sakura petals are slowly raining down on the city, visitors may now be at a loss as to what else Tokyo in the spring has to offer. But we're here to tell you: spring is just beginning!

Whether it's wisteria trees or imperial exhibitions, azaleas or Dragon Ball experiences, you're bound to find something fun to do. Please take a look at what we recommend for your April trip to Tokyo, and check out what the city has to offer!

Natural Wonderlands: Luxurious Flower Viewing

Wisteria Tunnels Straight out of Your Dreams: Ashikaga Flower Park’s Great Wisteria Festival 2019

Ashikaga Flower Park offers lovely views in all seasons, but the curtains of wisteria flowers that blossom and create graceful hanging tunnels in the spring are the real draw. Visitors from all over the world come to wander the park and admire upwards of 350 wisteria trees in an area covering 1,000 square meters (about 10,800 square feet). Streams of flowers in pink, yellow, white, and a rich purple all blow in the breeze, surrounding you with lovely shifting colors, and making it feel like you just walked into fairyland (or perhaps a Ghibli film?) Some of these trees are over 150 years old, so you can stroll the park and imagine yourself alongside the many others doing the same thing 100 years ago. On top of all this, there are more than 5,000 azalea bushes in the park, for visiters who appreciate more vibrant blooms. With such majestic trees, the park has even been designated a natural monument by Tochigi Prefecture.

Perhaps the most romantic option, though, is visiting the park in the evening. If these wisteria trees seem magical in the sunlight, their beauty really shines at night, when the flowers are lit up from the ground. With such a totally different atmosphere, a night-time visit gives you a whole new experience, perfect for those looking for an enchanting evening activity.

When you go to Ashikaga Flower Park's "A Tale of the Wisteria" festival this year, you can also head over to Ashikaga City to try on some Showa Era kimonos and walk around the historical site of Bannaji Temple.



Image Source: AC Photo

"A Tale of the Wisteria" – The Great Wisteria Festival 2019, Ashikaga Flower Park
Event Dates: April 13 (Sat.) to May 19 (Sun.)
Business Hours: 7:00~18:00 (21:00 when doing the night-time "light up")
Admission Fees: Adults 900~1,800 yen, Children: 500~900 yen

Evening "Light Up" Dates: April 18 (Thu.) to May 12 (Sun.)
Night Admission Hours: 17:30~21:00
Night Admission Fees: Adults 600~1,500 yen, Children 300~800 yen

Access: 3 minute walk from JR Ashikaga Flower Park Station
Official Website
 

An Ocean of Blue, on Land: Hitachi Seaside Park’s Baby Blue Eyes

If you head to Hitachi Seaside Park in the late summer or fall, you might find yourself surrounded by vibrant red shrubs, covering the gentle slopes of the ground. In spring, though, you'll be greeted by waves of baby blue eyes flowers, smallish blue flowers that carpet the ground. With such large expanses of the flowers in every direction, a visit to Hitachi Seaside Park makes you feel like you're in the sea, without even looking for the actual water nearby. This year's flower forecast expects the flowers to bloom in mid-April, and continue a ways into May. These blue blossoms should be "in full glory," as they put it, around April 24th to May 3rd.

If you want to flesh out your trip to Ibaraki a little more, be sure to take a look at the impressive Kamiiso no Torii shrine gate, the "gate at the beach of the gods," which is part of the nearby Oarai Isosaki Shrine.



Hitachi Seaside Park: Baby Blue Eyes Bloom
Event Dates: Mid-April to Early May
Admission Fees: Adults 900~1800 yen, Children 500~900 yen
Access: Take a bus from bus stop 2 at JR Katsuta Station, get off at the Seaside Park West Entrance or South Entrance
Official Website

A Mountain of Azalea: Nezu Shrine’s Azalea Festival 2019

The Bunkyo Ward of Tokyo plays host to a handful of flower festivals each year, one of these being the Tsutsuji Matsuri (つつじまつり), or Azalea Festival, at Nezu Shrine. The azaleas bloom each spring without fail, drawing Tokyo residents out to enjoy the flowers and springtime weather. Layered onto the hills surrounding the walkway, the azaleas create a lovely mosaic of red and purple. On top of this, Nezu features a whole path full of torii shrine gates, similar to Kyoto's Fushimi Inari Shrine, adding some extra atmosphere to the shrine. Our Taiwanese writers went out to visit last year, and took the video below, showing off some great views of the Nezu Shrine and its flowers.



Nezu Shrine Bunkyo Ward Azalea Festival 2019
Event Dates: April 6th (Sat.) to May 6th (Monday)
Admission Fees: 200 yen (free for children in elementary school or younger)
Access: 5 minute walk from Tokyo Metro Nezu, Sendagi, and Toudaimae Stations
Official Website

Enchanting Wisteria in the City: The Kameido Tenjin Shrine Wisteria Festival

If you're looking for that wisteria magic, but aren't quite feeling up to getting all the way over to Ashikaga Flower Park, we have one more suggestion for you: the Kameido Tenjin Shrine in Tokyo! While the scope isn't quite the same as the park, this shrine does have more than 50 wisteria trees, many of which are even older than the ones in Ashikaga. During the day, you can look into the water and enjoy the frankly adorable turtles swimming around, which are Kameido Tenjin Shrine's namesake. At night these wisteria trees get lit up just like those at Ashikaga Flower Park! You can even sample some tasty treats at one of the little food stalls specially set up at the shrine for this festival.

Kameido Tenjin Shrine Wisteria Festival 2019
Event Dates: April 13th (Sat.) to May 6th (Mon.)
Access: 15 minute walk from JR Kameido Station or Tokyo Metro Kinshichou Station
Official Website

Urban Excitement: Tokyo Events and Exhibitions

A Return to the Hundred Acre Wood! Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic

For all of us who grew up reading about Pooh Bear and his friends, new Winnie-the-Pooh-related opportunities on the horizon are always exciting. That's why we were pretty psyched when this exhibition featuring original Winnie-the-Pooh art opened in Shibuya earlier this year, to great fanfare. Sink into the nostalgia, and spend an afternoon with Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and all of your favorites, at this great exhibition!



Image Source: Official Website

Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic
Event Dates: February 9th (Sat.) to April 14th (Sun.)
Hours: 10:00~18:00
Location: Bunkamura B1F (2-24-1 Dougenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo)
Admission Fees: 1,500 yen
Access: 5~7 minute walk from JR and Tokyo Metro Shibuya Station
Official Website

Buoyant Jellyfish and Gently Falling Cherry Blossoms: an Interactive Exhibition at Sumida Aquarium

Looking to check out some cherry blossoms, but the weather isn't great? Or maybe you're just hoping for a more intense and modern flower-viewing experience. If that's the case, the Sumida Aquarium at Tokyo Skytree has just the thing for you. Their Sakura and Jellyfish digital exhibition features cool lightscapes and glowing jellyfish aquariums inside their "kaleidoscope tunnel", working together to create kind of a magical atmosphere. If you want to feel like you're in a spring-themed movie dream sequence, take a walk through this Sumida Aquarium exhibition.



Image Source: Official Website



Image Source: Official Website

Sumida Aquarium Sakura and Jellyfish Digital Interactive Exhibition
Event Dates: from now until April 25th (Wed.)
Hours: 9:00~21:00
Admission Fees: Adults 2,050 yen, High School Students 1,500 yen, Middle and Elementary School Students 1,000 yen, Younger Children (3+) 600 yen
Access: Oshiage Station (Skytree), via Tokyo Metro, Tobu, Keisei, or Toei Subway
Event Official Page
Sumida Aquarium English Website

Fish Flying in The Air!? Tokyo Tower’s Koinobori Carp Banners and Giant Saury

To celebrate Japan's Children's Day, a part of the week of Japanese holidays called Golden Week, the famous landmark Tokyo Tower is getting a head start on the tradition of koinobori (鯉のぼり), or carp-shaped windsocks. Representing the 333 meter height of the tower, 333 bright, fishy banners are hung to blow in the wind, now a yearly practice at Tokyo Tower. These days this includes a six meter sanma-nobori (さんまのぼり), which is not a carp but a saury fish banner! Giving off very different impressions in the daylight and when lit up at night, it's worth checking out Tokyo Tower at both times of day during the spring season (or maybe even enjoying a romantic sunset with the fish!?) These carp will stick around for Children's Day (May 6th), of course, but swim away at the end of Golden Week, so don't miss them before they head back upstream.



Image Source: Official Website



Image Source: Official Website

Tokyo Tower's Koinobori Carp and Saury Banners
Event Dates: from now until May 6th (Mon.)
Access: 5 minute walk from Toei Akabanebashi Station
7 minute walk from Tokyo Metro Kamiyacho Station
6 minute walk from Toei Onarimon Station
10 minute walk from Toei Daimon Station
15 minute walk from JR Hamamatsucho Station
Official Website

Celebrate The End of an Era: Special Exhibition on the Emperor’s 30th Anniversary

April 2019 is the very last month of the Heisei Era, meaning that this is also the end of Emperor Akihito's reign, before he officially abdicates in May. While political power in Japan is now held by politicians, the imperial family is still very much around, and a change in emperor (and therefore era) is a meaningful event. As of May, children in Japan will be born in the Reiwa Era, and bureaucratic forms around the country will change accordingly! First, though, Takashimaya is holding an exhibition in honor of the Emperor's 30 years on the throne, along with his 60 years of marriage to his wife, Empress Michiko. The exhibition will display 200 images of the Emperor and his reign, records, and a variety of items used by the imperial family and received as gifts. For anyone interested in royalty, this is a great chance to see Japan's take on the theme, and how the imperial family in Japan is still a national symbol.



Takashimaya's Imperial 30 and 60 Year Anniversary Exhibition "国民とともに歩まれた平成の30年"
Event Dates: April 3rd (Wed.) to April 21 (Sun.)
Hours: 10:30~19:30 (~18:00 on the final day)
Admission Fees: free of charge
Location: Nihombashi Takashimaya Shopping Center Main Building, 8th floor
(2-4-1 Nihombashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo)
Access: Tokyo Metro Nihombashi Station, 5 minute walk from Tokyo Metro Tokyo Station, 
Official Website

Image Source: Official Website

A Dragon Ball Themed Escape Room… Available in English!? What More Could We Ask For?

Known for making other anime-themed escape rooms, unusual escape room brand SCARP has really outdone itself this time with a Dragon Ball room, giving us all a chance to imagine ourselves saving the planet. Realizing that Dragon Ball is a true classic, popular not only in Japan but abroad as well, the creators took pity on our English-speaking souls and decided to add an English-language version at some locations. This means that those of us with less-than-stellar Japanese will also be able to truly get into the experience, and immerse ourselves in Dragon Ball goodness. If you're hoping to try this out while in Tokyo, head over to Ajito of Scrap in Asakusa, where English support is provided.



Image Source: Official Website

Dragon Ball Escape Room
Event Dates: from now until May 31st (Fri.)
Location: Ajito of Scrap Asakusa/Real Escape Room Asakusa (1-17-2 Azumabashi, Sumida-ku, Tokyo)
Hours: weekdays 13:00~20:00, weekends: 10:00~20:00
Admission Fees: in advance 2,400 yen, day-of 2,900 yen
Access: 5 minute walk from Tokyo Metro Asakusa Station
Official Website

So, where will you go this April?

Having learned about just a handful of the many fun things Tokyo has to offer this month, are you starting to feel like there's too much to do, and too little time? Maybe thought about extending your trip a couple days, just to squeeze in some more great activities? If you're still looking for more, this is Tokyo, there's always something new to do! Check out some of our past articles about the city below, and keep an eye out for new things to do coming soon! (And let us know if you find any amazing things going on in Tokyo that we missed!

Be sure to look at JAPANKURU🐶 for more exciting articles every day!!

Or add us on Instagram and Facebook to share your Japanese pictures. 💖🗾

PROFILE

Follow us @Japankuru on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

  • facebook
  • line

COMMENT

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

FEATURED MEDIA

VIEW MORE →

⚔️The Robot Restaurant is gone, but the Samurai Restaurant is here to take its place. Check it out, and don't forget your coupon!
🍣신주쿠의 명소 로봇 레스토랑이 사무라이 레스토랑으로 부활! 절찬 쿠폰 발급중
💃18歲以上才能入場的歌舞秀,和你想的不一樣!拿好優惠券去看看~
#tokyo #shinjuku #samurairestaurant #robotrestaurant #tokyotrip #도쿄여행 #신주쿠 #사무라이레스토랑 #이색체험 #할인이벤트 #歌舞伎町 #東京景點 #武士餐廳 #日本表演 #日本文化體驗 #japankuru #japantrip #japantravel #japanlovers #japan_of_insta

⚔️The Robot Restaurant is gone, but the Samurai Restaurant is here to take its place. Check it out, and don't forget your coupon! 🍣신주쿠의 명소 로봇 레스토랑이 사무라이 레스토랑으로 부활! 절찬 쿠폰 발급중 💃18歲以上才能入場的歌舞秀,和你想的不一樣!拿好優惠券去看看~ #tokyo #shinjuku #samurairestaurant #robotrestaurant #tokyotrip #도쿄여행 #신주쿠 #사무라이레스토랑 #이색체험 #할인이벤트 #歌舞伎町 #東京景點 #武士餐廳 #日本表演 #日本文化體驗 #japankuru #japantrip #japantravel #japanlovers #japan_of_insta

Japanese appliance & electronics shopping with our KOJIMA x BicCamera coupon!
用JAPANKURU的KOJIMA x BicCamera優惠券買這些正好❤️
코지마 x 빅 카메라 쿠폰으로 일본 가전 제품 쇼핑하기

#pr #japankuru #japanshopping #kojima #biccamera #japaneseskincare #yaman #dji #osmopocket3 #skincaredevice #日本購物 #美容儀 #相機 #雅萌 #日本家電 #일본여행 #면세 #여행꿀팁 #일본쇼핑리스트 #쿠폰 #일본쇼핑 #일본브랜드 #할인 #코지마 #빅카메라 #japankurucoupon

Japanese appliance & electronics shopping with our KOJIMA x BicCamera coupon! 用JAPANKURU的KOJIMA x BicCamera優惠券買這些正好❤️ 코지마 x 빅 카메라 쿠폰으로 일본 가전 제품 쇼핑하기 #pr #japankuru #japanshopping #kojima #biccamera #japaneseskincare #yaman #dji #osmopocket3 #skincaredevice #日本購物 #美容儀 #相機 #雅萌 #日本家電 #일본여행 #면세 #여행꿀팁 #일본쇼핑리스트 #쿠폰 #일본쇼핑 #일본브랜드 #할인 #코지마 #빅카메라 #japankurucoupon

Which snacks make the best Japanese souvenirs?~ Jaga Pirika ~
일본과자 선물 뭐하지?~자가피리카 편~
#pr #calbee #jagapokkuru #japanesesnacks #japanesefood #japanesesouvenir #japantravel #japantrip #naritaairport #hokkaido #나리타국제공항 #일본여행선물 #흔하지않은기념품 #일본쇼핑리스트 #일본과자추천 #고구마과자 #일본간식추천 #일본면세점쇼핑 #개별포장 #일본감자칩 #도쿄나리타공항면세점 #현지인추천 #일본여행 #일본기념품리스트 #자가포쿠루 #자가피리카

Which snacks make the best Japanese souvenirs?~ Jaga Pirika ~ 일본과자 선물 뭐하지?~자가피리카 편~ #pr #calbee #jagapokkuru #japanesesnacks #japanesefood #japanesesouvenir #japantravel #japantrip #naritaairport #hokkaido #나리타국제공항 #일본여행선물 #흔하지않은기념품 #일본쇼핑리스트 #일본과자추천 #고구마과자 #일본간식추천 #일본면세점쇼핑 #개별포장 #일본감자칩 #도쿄나리타공항면세점 #현지인추천 #일본여행 #일본기념품리스트 #자가포쿠루 #자가피리카

Niki Golf offers a huge selection of new and used golf gear in Ueno, Tokyo. Between the weak yen and the shop's willingness to haggle, there's never been a better time for beginners or seasoned experts to pick up some clubs, golf wear, or limited-edition Japanese golf equipment!
#ueno #nikigolf #golfshopping #golfgear #🏌️ #golflife #golf #golftips #golfjapan #jpangolf #golfclub #honma #ameyoko #二木ゴルフ #二木ゴルフアメ横本店 #nikigolfameyoko #tokyo #tokyotrip #tokyoshopping #japantrip #japantravel #japanlovers #japan_of_insta #japankuru #pr

Niki Golf offers a huge selection of new and used golf gear in Ueno, Tokyo. Between the weak yen and the shop's willingness to haggle, there's never been a better time for beginners or seasoned experts to pick up some clubs, golf wear, or limited-edition Japanese golf equipment! #ueno #nikigolf #golfshopping #golfgear #🏌️ #golflife #golf #golftips #golfjapan #jpangolf #golfclub #honma #ameyoko #二木ゴルフ #二木ゴルフアメ横本店 #nikigolfameyoko #tokyo #tokyotrip #tokyoshopping #japantrip #japantravel #japanlovers #japan_of_insta #japankuru #pr

Odaiba's DiverCity Tokyo Plaza is home to the famous real-size 20m-tall Unicorn Gundam, and the popular shopping center has even more Gundam on the inside! Check out the Gundam Base Tokyo on the 7th floor for shelves upon shelves of Gunpla, and the Gundam Base Tokyo Annex on the 2nd floor for cool anime merchandise. Both shops have tons of limited-edition items!
#pr #odaiba #tokyo #tokyotrip #japantrip #japantravel #PR #divercity #divercitytokyoplaza #tokyoshopping #gundam #unicorngundam #gundambasetokyo #anime #otaku #gunpla #japankuru #오다이바 #다이바시티도쿄 #오다이바건담 #건담 #일본건담 #건프라 #건담베이스도쿄

Odaiba's DiverCity Tokyo Plaza is home to the famous real-size 20m-tall Unicorn Gundam, and the popular shopping center has even more Gundam on the inside! Check out the Gundam Base Tokyo on the 7th floor for shelves upon shelves of Gunpla, and the Gundam Base Tokyo Annex on the 2nd floor for cool anime merchandise. Both shops have tons of limited-edition items! #pr #odaiba #tokyo #tokyotrip #japantrip #japantravel #PR #divercity #divercitytokyoplaza #tokyoshopping #gundam #unicorngundam #gundambasetokyo #anime #otaku #gunpla #japankuru #오다이바 #다이바시티도쿄 #오다이바건담 #건담 #일본건담 #건프라 #건담베이스도쿄

|

MAP OF JAPAN

SEARCH BY REGION →

    • HOKKAIDO

      VIEW MORE →

      Hokkaido (北海道) is the northernmost of the four main islands that make up Japan. The area is famous for Sapporo Beer, plus brewing and distilling in general, along with fantastic snow festivals and breathtaking national parks. Foodies should look for Hokkaido's famous potatoes, cantaloupe, dairy products, soup curry, and miso ramen!

    • Niki, in south-west Hokkaido, is about 30 minutes from Otaru. The small town is rich with natural resources, fresh water, and clean air, making it a thriving center for fruit farms. Cherries, tomatoes, and grapes are all cultivated in the area, and thanks to a growing local wine industry, it's quickly becoming a food and wine hotspot. Together with the neighboring town of Yoichi, it's a noted area for wine tourism.

    • Niseko is about two hours from New Chitose Airport, in the western part of Hokkaido. It's one of Japan's most noted winter resort areas, and a frequent destination for international visitors. That's all because of the super high-quality powder snow, which wins the hearts of beginners and experts alike, bringing them back for repeat visits. That's not all, though, it's also a great place to enjoy Hokkaido's culinary scene and some beautiful onsen (hot springs).

    • Otaru is in western Hokkaido, about 30 minutes from Sapporo Station. The city thrived around its busy harbor in the 19th and 20th centuries thanks to active trade and fishing, and the buildings remaining from that period are still popular attractions, centered around Otaru Canal. With its history as a center of fishing, it's no surprise that the area's fresh sushi is a must-try. Otaru has over 100 sushi shops, quite a few of which are lined up on Sushiya Dori (Sushi Street).

    • SAPPORO

      VIEW MORE →

      Sapporo, in the south-western part of Hokkaido, is the prefecture's political and economic capital. The local New Chitose Airport see arrivals from major cities like Tokyo and Osaka, alongside international flights. Every February, the Sapporo Snow Festival is held in Odori Park―one of the biggest events in Hokkaido. It's also a hotspot for great food, known as a culinary treasure chest, and Sapporo is a destination for ramen, grilled mutton, soup curry, and of course Hokkaido's beloved seafood.

    • Consisting of six prefectures, the Tohoku Region (東北地方) is up in the northeastern part of Japan's main island. It's the source of plenty of the nation's agriculture (which means great food), and packed with beautiful scenery. Explore the region's stunning mountains, lakes, and hot springs!

    • Akita Prefecture is on the Sea of Japan, in the northern reaches of Japan's northern Tohoku region. Akita has more officially registered important intangible culture assets than anywhere else in Japan, and to this day visitors can experience traditional culture throughout the prefecture, from the Oga Peninsula's Namahage (registered with UNESCO as a part of Japan's intangible cultural heritage), to the Tohoku top 3 Kanto Festival. Mysterious little spots like the Oyu Stone Circle Site and Ryu no Atama (Dragon's Head) are also worth a visit!

    • FUKUSHIMA

      VIEW MORE →

      Fukushima Prefecture sits at the southern tip of Japan's northern Tohoku region, and is divided into three parts with their own different charms: the Coastal Area (Hama-dori), the Central Area (Naka-dori), and the Aizu Area. There's Aizu-Wakamatsu with its Edo-era history and medieval castles, Oze National Park, Kitakata ramen, and Bandai Ski Resort (with its famous powder snow). Fukushima is a beautiful place to enjoy the vivid colors and sightseeing of Japan's beloved four seasons.

    • YAMAGATA

      VIEW MORE →

      Yamagata Prefecture is up against the Sea of Japan, in the southern part of the Tohoku region, and it's especially popular in winter, when travelers soak in the onsen (hot springs) and ski down snowy slopes. International skiiers are especially fond of Zao Onsen Ski Resort and Gassan Ski Resort, and in recent years visitors have been drawn to the area to see the mystical sight of local frost-covered trees. Some destinations are popular regardless of the season, like Risshakuji Temple, AKA Yamadera, Ginzan Onsen's nostalgic old-fashioned streets, and Zao's Okama Lake, all great for taking pictures. Yamagata is also the place to try Yonezawa beef, one of the top 3 varieties of wagyu beef.

    • Japan's most densely populated area, the Kanto Region (関東地方) includes 7 prefectures: Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, and Kanagawa, which means it also contains the Tokyo Metropolitan Area. In modern-day Japan, Kanto is the cultural, political, and economic heartland of the country, and each prefecture offers something a little different from its neighbors.

    • Gunma Prefecture is easily accessible from Tokyo, and in addition to the area's popular natural attractions like Oze Marshland and Fukiware Falls, Gunma also has a number of popular hot springs (Kusatsu, Ikaho, Minakami, Shima)―it's even called an Onsen Kingdom. The prefecture is popular with history buffs and train lovers, thanks to spots like world heritage site Tomioka Silk Mill, the historic Megane-bashi Bridge, and the Watarase Keikoku Sightseeing Railway.

    • TOCHIGI

      VIEW MORE →

      Tochigi Prefecture's capital is Utsunomiya, known for famous gyoza, and just an hour from Tokyo. The prefecture is full of nature-related sightseeing opportunities year-round, from the blooming of spring flowers to color fall foliage. Tochigi also has plenty of extremely well-known sightseeing destinations, like World Heritage Site Nikko Toshogu Shrine, Lake Chuzenji, and Ashikaga Flower Park―famous for expansive wisteria trellises. In recent years the mountain resort town of Nasu has also become a popular excursion, thanks in part to the local imperial villa. Tochigi is a beautiful place to enjoy the world around you.

    • Tokyo (東京) is Japan's busy capital, and the most populous metropolitan area in the world. While the city as a whole is quite modern, crowded with skyscrapers and bustling crowds, Tokyo also holds onto its traditional side in places like the Imperial Palace and Asakusa neighborhood. It's one of the world's top cities when it comes to culture, the arts, fashion, games, high-tech industries, transportation, and more.

    • The Chubu Region (中部地方) is located right in the center of Japan's main island, and consists of 9 prefectures: Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, Toyama, and Yamanashi. It's primarily famous for its mountains, as the region contains both Mt. Fuji and the Japanese Alps. The ski resorts in Niigata and Nagano also draw visitors from around the world, making it a popular winter destination.

    • Nagano Prefecture's popularity starts with a wealth of historic treasures, like Matsumoto Castle, Zenkoji Temple, and Togakushi Shrine, but the highlight might just be the prefecture's natural vistas surrounded by the "Japanese Alps." Nagano's fruit is famous, and there are plenty of places to pick it fresh, and the area is full of hot springs, including Jigokudani Monkey Park―where monkeys take baths as well! Thanks to the construction of the Hokuriku shinkansen line, Nagano is easily reachable from the Tokyo area, adding it to plenty of travel itineraries. And after the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, ski resorts like Hakuba and Shiga Kogen are known around the world.

    • Aichi Prefecture sits in the center of the Japanese islands, and its capital city, Nagoya, is a center of politics, commerce, and culture. While Aichi is home to major industry, and is even the birthplace of Toyota cars, it's proximity to the sea and the mountains means it's also a place with beautiful natural scenery, like Saku Island, Koijigahama Beach, Mt. Horaiji. Often used a stage for major battles in Japanese history, Sengoku era commanders like Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu left their own footprints on Aichi, and historic buildings like Nagoya Castle, Inuyama Castle, and those in Meiji Mura are still around to tell the tale.

    • NIIGATA

      VIEW MORE →

      Niigata is a prefecture on Japan's main island of Honshu, situated right on the coast of the Sea of Japan, and abundant with the gifts of nature. It's known for popular ski resorts such as Echigo-Yuzawa, Japanese national parks, and natural hot spring baths, plus local products like fresh seafood, rice, and sake. Visitors often spend time in the prefectural capital, Niigata City, or venture across the water to Sado Island.

    • SHIZUOKA

      VIEW MORE →

      Shizuoka Prefecture is sandwiched between eastern and western Japan, giving the prefecture easy access to both Tokyo and Osaka. Not only is it known for beautiful natural attractions, with everything from Mount Fuji to Suruga Bay, Lake Hamanako, and Sumata Pass―Shizuoka's Izu Peninsula is known as a go-to spot for hot springs lovers, with famous onsen like Atami, Ito, Shimoda, Shuzenji, and Dogashima. Shizuoka attracts all kinds of travelers thanks to historic connections with the Tokugawa clan, the Oigawa Railway, fresh eel cuisine, Hamamatsu gyoza, and famously high-quality green tea.

    • Kansai (関西) is a region that includes Mie, Nara, Wakayama, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, and Shiga Prefectures. Kansai contained Japan's ancient capital for hundreds of years, and it's making a comeback as one of the most popular parts of Japan. Kyoto's temples and shrines, Osaka Castle, and the deer of Nara are all considered must-sees. Plus, the people of Kansai are especially friendly, making it a fun place to hang out.

    • Kyoto flourished as the capital of Japan between the years 794 and 1100, becoming a center for poilitics and culture, and to this day it's a great place for close encounters with Japanese history. The cobbled streets of Gion, the atmospheric road to Kiyomizudera Temple, Kinkakuji's golden walls and countless historic attractions, even Arashiyama's Togetsukyo Bridge―Kyoto is a place of many attractions. With new charms to experience throughout the seasons, travelers can't stop themselves from returning again and again.

    • Nara Prefecture's important history reaches back to 710, a time now called the Nara era, when it was once capital of Japan. Called "Heijo-kyo" during its time as a capital, it's said that nara was once the end of the silk road, leading it to flourish as a uniquely international region and produce important cultural properties of all kinds. To make the most of each season, travelers head to Nara Park, where the Nara deer who wander freely, or climb Mount Yoshino, a famous cherry blossom spot.

    • Osaka is known for friendly (and funny) people, but its history is nothing to laugh at, playing a major part in Toyotomi Hideyoshi's 16th century unification of Japan. Thanks to long years of economic activity, it's one of Japan's biggest cities, and Osaka's popular food culture earned it the nickname "The Kitchen of the Nation." To this day Osaka is the model of western Japan, and alongside historic structures like Osaka Castle, it also has major shopping malls like Umeda's Grand Front Osaka and Tennoji's Abeno Harukas. Osaka is a place to eat, eat, eat, with local specialties like takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and kushi-katsu, and for extra fun, it's home to Universal Studios Japan.

    • CHUGOKU

      VIEW MORE →

      The Chugoku Region (中国地方) consists of five prefectures: Hiroshima, Okayama, Shimane, Tottori, and Yamaguchi. In Chugoku you’ll find the sand dunes of Tottori, and Hiroshima’s atomic bomb site, plus centers of ancient history like Grand Shrine of Izumo.

    • HIROSHIMA

      VIEW MORE →

      Hiroshima Prefecture has everything, from world heritage sites to beautiful nature and delicious local cuisine, and it's either an hour and a half from Tokyo by plane, or four hours by train. Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island and the Atomic Bomb Dome, two Hiroshima UNESCO sites, are famous around the world, but in Japan it's also famous for food. Seafood from the Seto Inland Sea, especially oysters, Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, and Setouchi lemons are all popular, and the natural scenery alone is worth seeing.

    • SHIKOKU

      VIEW MORE →

      On the other side of the Seto Inland Sea opposite Japan’s main island, Shikoku (四国) is a region made up of four prefectures: Ehime, Kagawa, Kochi, and Tokushima. The area is famous for its udon (in Kagawa), and the beautiful Dogo Onsen hot springs (in Ehime).

    • Kagawa Prefecture is on the northern part of the island of Shikoku, facing Japan's main island and the Seto Inland Sea. It's known for being the smallest prefecture in Japan, by area, but at the same time Kagawa is called the "Udon Prefecture" thanks to its famous sanuki udon. Aside from Kotohiragu Shrine and Ritsurin Garden, the prefecture's small islands are popular, and Kagawa is full of unique destinations, like Angel Road. They say that if you lay eyes on Zenigata Sunae, a huge Kagawa sand painting, you'll never have money troubles ever again.

    • Located in the most southwestern part of Japan, Kyushu (九州) is an island of 7 prefectures: Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Oita, Miyazaki, and Kagoshima. The island's unique culture has been influenced by Chinese and Dutch trade, along with missionaries coming in through Nagasaki's port. Modern-day travelers love the lush natural scenery and fresh food, plus the natural hot springs found all throughout the area (thanks to volcanic activity)!

    • FUKUOKA

      VIEW MORE →

      Fukuoka Prefecture has the highest population on the southern island of Kyushu, with two major cities: Fukuoka and Kitakyushu. Thanks to growing transportation networks, Fukuoka is more accessible than ever, and so are the many local attractions. On top of historical spots like Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, travelers shouldn't miss Fukuoka's food scene, with motsu nabe (offal hotpot), mentaiko (spicy cod roe), and famous Hakata ramen―best eaten from a food stall in the Nakasu area of Hakata. Plus, it's full of all sorts of destinations for travelers, like trendy shopping centers, and the beautiful nature of Itoshima and Yanagawa.

    • KAGOSHIMA

      VIEW MORE →

      Kagoshima Prefecture played a major role in Japan's modernization as a backdrop for famous historical figures like samurais Saigo Takamori and Okubo Toshimichi, who pushed Japan out of the Edo era and into the Meiji. Because of that, Sengan-en Garden is just one of many historical destinations, and when it comes to attractions Kagoshima has plenty: the active volcano of Sakurajima, popular hot springs Ibusuki Onsen and Kirishima Onsen, World Heritage Site Yakushima Island, even what Japan calls the "island closest to heaven," Amami Oshima. Kagoshima might be found on the very southernmost tip of the southern island of Kyushu, but there's plenty to see.

    • OKINAWA

      VIEW MORE →

      The island chain of Okinawa (沖縄) makes up the southernmost tip of Japan, which is why it's also the most tropical area in the country. Thanks to a history of independence and totally distinct political and cultural events, Okinawa has a unique culture, and remnants of the Ryukyu Kingdom are still visible all over the islands. Food, language, traditional dress, it's all a little different! It's also said to be the birthplace of karate.

MOST POPULAR

RELATED ARTICLES

PARTNERS