A New Guide to Ginza ・ Seeing the Cool Side of Tokyo’s Glitziest Neighborhood

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Shopping, eating, and sightseeing in Ginza. How to have fun in this unique part of Tokyo without spending a fortune.

A Walk Through Ginza’s Freshest Destinations



Ginza is known to be one of Tokyo's most expensive neighborhoods, with broad sidewalks and even broader streets, flagship shops for expensive international brands and luxury boutiques, and plenty of wealthy Tokyoites coming to spend with abandon. The area's opulent reputation is well-earned, since Ginza has been an upscale shopping district for well over 100 years now, and there's no better place to see some of Tokyo's classiest old ladies. But that reputation doesn't quite cover all of what makes Ginza so special, either! Ginza has a strong traditional streak, but the neighborhood also finds ways to be at the forefront of new trends and modernization, and the contrast between these two sides can be seen in the retro architecture and modern highrises, the trendy cafes and the traditional coffee shops, or even the history-filled traditional department stores down the block from modern shopping malls. There's a lot that makes Ginza cool, and you don't have to empty your pockets to see it all, either!

A Morning at the Art Aquarium



Tokyo's Art Aquarium Museum is a little hard to pin down, as it's part art exhibit, part goldfish-centric aquarium, and part photoshoot zone, too. Created by Tokyo artist Hidetomo Kimura, this museum started as a traveling exhibit, with enormous art piece fish tanks in fantastic shapes inspired by Japanese design, ceilings or walls filled with fish, and unique Japanese goldfish specimens, all traveling throughout Japan as temporary installations. But in recent years Kimura's art has found a more permanent home, first in Nihonbashi and now here in Ginza, where the work and all its fishy residents can stay put for a while. The resulting Art Aquarium Museum, with tens of thousands of gleaming fish swimming before your eyes in dark rooms lit with glowing neon, is a space that feels like a sci-fi movie set – probably a nightclub in futuristic Tokyo. You'll certainly see some visitors there dressed to the nines to take pictures, too, so maybe some of those sci-fi movies got it right after all. Not a bad way to spend a morning in Tokyo!

Art Aquarium Museum (アートアクアリウム美術館)
Mitsukoshi Ginza 8F, 4-6-16 Ginza, Chuo City, Tokyo
Hours: 10:00 – 19:00
Official Website (en)

Plant-Based Food for Lunch



In recent years, Western-style vegan, vegetarian, and "plant-based" foods and restaurants have all had their moments as trends among Japan's young and fashionable crowd, but it's actually chains inspired by the UN's Sustainable Development Goals that seem to be moving towards making the fads a little more permanent! Komeda is a coffee shop chain found nationwide in Japan, and their menus usually look a lot like the original Nagoya cafe that started the chain, with coffee, free toast for breakfast, and some sandwiches and pastries to nibble on. But their "Komeda Is □" shop, found on the east side of Ginza, is what they call a "plant-based kissa," or a plant-based cafe, and it's a great place to grab lunch in Ginza without breaking the bank. Each seat is equipped with a digital menu, offering up (mostly) vegetarian or vegan drinks and food, like a classic Japanese hamburger steak made with plant protein, their popular katsu sandwich made with soy meat, coffee with oat milk, and almond-based ice cream atop their desserts. Even the shop's interior screams "plant-based," thanks to the cool tree-like columns at the center of the room, and the vines trailing down from the ceiling above a range of retro seating.

KOMEDA is □ (Higashi Ginza)
1-13-1 Tsukiji, Chuo City, Tokyo
Hours: 7:00 – 22:00
Official Website (jp)

Shop the Day Away

Lumine Yurakucho



Broad streets lined with ritzy high-end labels, historic Japanese department stores, and tiny boutiques with astronomical prices… Ginza is synonymous with shopping. But the Ginza shopping experience actually doesn't have to blow the budget! There are some amazing Ginza stationery shops, a number of second-hand clothing stores that offer expensive Ginza styles at a fraction of the cost, some unexpected specialty shops, and regular shopping malls too. Lumine Yurakucho is on the border between Ginza and the neighboring area of Yurakucho, and it promises "the latest trends and fashions representative of Japan." Japanese shopping centers really do tend to be proactive about refreshing stock for each new season, changing up tenants once or twice a year, and even renewing their layouts with surprising frequency! These days, a trip to Lumine Yurakucho will give you a chance to check out popular Japanese brands like Gelato Pique (known for the fuzziest possible room wear), Cosme Kitchen (who specialize in natural and organic cosmetics), and Adam et Rope (a minimalist fashion brand that does men's and women's clothing). It's a great place to see what styles are big in Tokyo these days!

▷ Online shopping tip! Don't feel like carrying lots of heavy shopping bags around Tokyo? Or maybe you'd rather do your Tokyo shopping from the comfort of your own home, in your own country? Fortunately, the Lumine webshop has a broad selection that includes plenty of products from Gelato Pique, Cosme Kitchen, Adam et Rope, and much more.

Lumine Yurakucho (ルミネ 有楽町)
2-5-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda City, Tokyo
Hours: 11:00 – 21:00
Official Website (jp)

Ginza Natsuno



Hoping to pick up some nice souvenirs while you shop the day away in Ginza? A fancy pair of chopsticks makes a great memento of your time in Tokyo, since your beautiful Japanese chopsticks are bound to remind you of all the fresh sushi and mouth-watering ramen you ate in Japan. (Friends and family back home tend to love a practical and artfully crafted pair of Japanese chopsticks as a souvenir, too!) And when it comes to chopsticks in Ginza, Ginza Natsuno is the go-to destination, as one of the most well-stocked chopstick stores in Japan. Somewhere around 3,000 pairs of chopsticks line the walls, sit in stacks on shelves, are contained in tall cups, and are even tucked away in deep drawers – and they're all unique. Chopsticks come in different lengths, shapes, and materials, each style with its own merits, and it can be hard to find a favorite, although you can always ask the staff for advice on finding the perfect pair for you! It's not a bad idea to let them know your price range, too – chopsticks at Ginza Natsuno range from very reasonable prices around 1,000~2,000 yen, to extremely opulent price tags ranging into the tens of thousands. (One look at the beautiful high-priced chopsticks, though, and you'll probably want a pair for yourself!)

▷ Online shopping tip! It's fun to feel the chopsticks in your hand to try them out, but even if you can't make it to the shop in Ginza any time soon, you can still treat yourself to some fantastic chopsticks! The Ginza Natsuno webshop has a great selection, and even has a cool feature where you can choose your chopsticks by the region where they were manufactured!

Ginza Natsuno (銀座 夏野)
6-7-4 Ginza, Chuo City, Tokyo
Hours: 10:30 – 19:30 (~19:00 on Sun)
Official Website (jp)

Hakuhinkan Toy Park



Whether you're a Pokemon fan at heart, a gamer, an anime and Studio Ghibli lover, or even a boardgame player, the Hakuhinkan Toy Park has multiple floors of toys and games, and a little something to cater to all kinds of hobbies. There are displays of remote-control dinosaurs, walls of Pokemon stuffies, an enormous slot car racetrack, plus all the little things that make great gifts for friends… or yourself. Pick up new games for consoles and for card tables, or cool merchandise from this year's most popular anime series… then play some tiny arcade games just for fun! It might not seem like a very "Ginza" shopping experience, but whether you plan to walk out weighed down with shopping bags, or you just want to look around, there's always something fun to do or see at Hakuhinkan Toy Park!

▷ Online shopping tip! Hakuhinkan Toy Park has an online presence, too! Check out the Hakuhinkan Online Shop to get some of their many toys and games delivered right to your doorstep, which might be for the best if you've been eyeing one of their giant Totoro cushions!

Hakuhinkan Toy Park (博品館トイパーク)
8-8-11 Ginza, Chuo City, Tokyo
Hours: 11:00 – 20:00
Official Website (jp)

A Monstrous Meal for Dinner



You might have heard of the Harajuku Kawaii Monster Cafe, but there's a much more traditional monster waiting to join you for dinner on your next visit to Ginza! Namahage Akita Dining is a restaurant focused on Akita cuisine, from the northern reaches of Japan's Tohoku region, and a dinnertime visit promises a meal full of kiritanpo rice cakes added to boiling pots of broth, flavorful Hinai-dori chicken, babahera ice cream, and a whole selection of sake brewed in Akita Prefecture. But when all these tasty northern recipes found their way south to Tokyo, they were followed by the fearsome "namahage," a demon-faced monster with a knack for scaring children, and a more recent penchant for taking photos with dinner guests. If you're lucky, you'll catch a glimpse of the namahage without ever having to visit Akita – or even leave the restaurant!

Namahage Akita Dining (なまはげ 銀座店)
Nakashima Joji Building 9F, 8-5-6 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Official Website (jp)

Seeing Another Side of Ginza



Whether you're looking for vegan treats or traditional Japanese meals, the latest Japanese fashion trends and video games or traditional handcrafted Japanese artisan goods, Ginza's contrasts are a big part of what make the area so appealing, like a distillation of the "old meets new" that is so often used to describe Japan. Sometimes those factors are even found in the same place, like the traditional Japanese design that helped inspire the futuristic fishtanks of the Art Aquarium Museum. So if you find yourself imagining Ginza as just a bunch of luxury shops, or even the domain of stuffy old ladies, then you'll want to check out some of the stops on this new guide to Ginza to set yourself straight!

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NAME:Ginza (銀座)

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⚔️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
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⚔️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

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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~
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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!
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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!
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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

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    • HOKKAIDO

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      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

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      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

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      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

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      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

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      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

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      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

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      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

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      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

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      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

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      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

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      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

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      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

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      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.

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