Japan Travel Information

36There are few places in the world that hold as much mystique for Westerners as does Japan. Even with all of the attention that Japan has garnered on the world stage over the past few decades due to its very strong economic success, there is much about this country that remains unknown.

To really get a sense for what Japan is like, of course, you will need to visit there yourself. Just like reading a recipe book about apple pie does not substitute for an actual taste of warm apple pie, there is really no way to really start to understand Japan until you have visited or lived there.

If you are planning on traveling to Japan for the first time – or if you live in Japan and just want to get out and see the country on your next vacation break – a great place to start your journey is with the various attractions that Japan offers.

If you are looking for Japan travel information, 5 attractions in Japan that you must see are the following:

1. Tokyo Tower:

The Tokyo tower is very much a symbol of modern Japan, including Japan’s economic success. In fact, the tower was created in 1958 as a symbol for the country’s growing economic prominence in Asia and the world. The Tokyo Tower was modeled on the Eiffel Tower in Paris – and in fact is 13 meters taller. This makes it the world’s tallest self-supporting steel tower. Today the tower contains TV and radio antennas – as well as a great view of much of Tokyo (and Mt. Fuji!) for visitors to enjoy.

2. The Daibutsu (Great Buddha) at Nara:

Now, let’s take a little trip to ancient Japan. Buddhism has been an influential force in Japan for well over 2,000 years. One of the most notable single physical symbols of the reverence that many Japanese have held for Buddhism over the years has been the Daibutsu (meaning, literally, Great Buddha) in the city of Nara. Nara is located near Kyoto in Western Japan.

The Daibutsu statue is located in the Todaiji Temple. And, it is really something to behold in person. At 15 meters tall and weighing 250 tons, it is the largest gilt-bronze statue in the world. The statue was completed in A.D. 752, but it has been damaged (and therefore rebuilt) many times over the centuries.

3. Ueno Zoo in Tokyo:

Back in Tokyo: if you love visiting the zoos, you are sure to love the Ueno Zoo (official name: Onshi Ueno Dobutsuen). This is Japan’s oldest and most famous zoo and has been in operation since 1882. Today, the zoo houses well over 400 species of animals, making it the zoo with the greatest variety of species anywhere in Japan. Visitors can even ride the monorail located within the park, which connects the eastern and western portions of the zoo.

4. Osaka Aquarium:

Do you like to watch marine life in its natural environment? Then you will love the Osaka Aquarium (Osaka Kaiyukan). It is one of the largest in the world. This aquarium is located in the Minato ward of Osaka, near Osaka Bay (in Western Japan). You can get to Osaka from Tokyo via the shinkansen (bullet train), then take local trains or buses to the aquarium. The Osaka Aquarium features 16 tanks, the largest of which holds 5,400 cubic meters of water.

5. Nagoya Zoo & Botanical Garden (Higashiyama Koen):

Botanical gardens are a wonderful place to view nature in a relaxing, unrushed fashion. If your trip to Japan will bring you to the Nagoya area, be sure to check out the Nagoya Zoo & Botanical Garden (Higashiyama Koen).

This is a large park with well-maintained paths. You can easily spend hours among nature here and forget that you are in the middle of a very large city. If you are a walker or a runner and want a place to exercise, the rolling hills of the Garden await you. A visit to this place can be a great treat after being in the hustle and bustle of the big city.