5 Beautiful Sites in Japan
One of the countries that we’ve spent the most time in is super-friendly Japan, though we haven’t even scratched the surface with our sightseeing! After going through photos from our 2011 stay in Japan, I wanted to share some of the most beautiful sites we saw.
Japan definitely seems to have it all, from the natural beauty of Mt. Fuji, waterfalls, ice caves, and spectacular gardens, to the interesting architecture of temples and castles and the modern city of Tokyo.
The number one thing I will always remember about Japan is the people. I have never met more friendly, helpful people in my life! If we looked lost or confused for more than a few minutes, someone would come to our rescue whether or not we could speak the same language. One time, at a bus stop, we spoke to a very kind Japanese man completely in Spanish and made our way back to our hotel. The lesson here? Attempt to learn more than one language. You never know when it will come in handy!
Planning on visiting Japan? Here are 5 sites that you should definitely add to your list. Of course, these are not ALL of the beautiful places in Japan! I’m not sure you could ever see them all, but these are places that we visited in 2011 and highly recommend.
1. Kinkaku-Ji (The Golden Pavilion)
Where is it? Kyoto
The Golden Pavilion is a Zen Buddhist temple that is covered in gold leaf. This temple dates back to 1955, though the original was constructed around 1397. Surrounding the Golden Pavilion is one of the most quiet, serene landscapes you’ll ever see with a calm pond and Japanese strolling garden that is landscaped to perfection.
The ornament on the top of the temple is a phoenix with its wings spread.
2. Mt. Fuji (Fujisan)
Where is it? Located on the border between Shizuoka and Yamanashi Prefectures
Mt. Fuji is Japan’s tallest mountain, and, on clear days, it can be seen from Tokyo, which is about 60 miles away! Surrounded by gorgeous lakes, it’s easy to find a spectacular view of the mountain from any angle…as long as the clouds stay away!
Not only is Mt. Fuji a glorious mountain, but it is also an active volcano. Notice the concave shape of the top of the mountain.
3. Shiraito Falls
Where is it? Shizuoka Prefecture at Mt. Fuji
Shiraito Falls is spring water making its way down from Mt. Fuji. The area was formed by past eruptions of Mt. Fuji. It definitely has a prehistoric feel to it!
This was probably the most surprising beautiful spot we saw! I had absolutely no idea what we were walking do see. I can remember the falls coming into view, and I just thought, “Okay, this is like something out of Jurassic Park.” And it gave me that same feeling as watching Jurassic Park and seeing that brontosaurus for the first time. Remember that feeling??? Magic.
Believe it or not, this photo only shows a small section of the falls. They seem to wrap around the landscape forever! Beautiful, beautiful place.
4. Nagoya Castle
Where is it? Nagoya
Okay, so any of the castles in Japan are beautiful. They’re definitely different from what we Westerners usually think of when we hear the word “castle.” I love the shapes of the architecture, the colors, and the golden dolphin on top.
Work began at this site in 1610, but the original structure had to be rebuild in the late 1950’s after the castle was destroyed by the US bombing during World War II.
The golden dolphin, or Kinshachi, has become the symbol of Nagoya. If you’d like to see one up close, there are replicas inside the castle. We even got to sit on one for a photo op!
5. View of Tokyo from Tokyo Tower
Where is it? Tokyo
We visited Tokyo Tower in 2011, before Tokyo Sky Tree opened. Tokyo Tower is the second tallest structure in Japan, after the Sky Tree.
The tower houses an antennae that is used for TV and media, but is a popular tourist spot as well. The observation deck allows for amazing views of the city, and, if you’re brave enough, there are glass sections of floor so you can see alllll the way down to the ground below.
Going up high, whether in Tokyo Tower or Sky Tree, is a must in Tokyo. You just won’t believe how big (and jam-packed!) this place is!
Any visit to Japan will be fulfilling, no matter how many sites you visit! I’m not convinced that you could ever truly visit and appreciate all of the beauty in this country, but we’d like to give it a try!
Are you adding these places to your Japan itinerary? Have you visited these places before? What beautiful sites would you recommend? Let us know in the comments below!
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Jennifer is the founder of Just Chasing Rabbits travel blog. She lives in Mississippi with husband/travel companion, Mark, and three fur babies. After obtaining a BA degree in studio art and working in the field of photography for years, Jenni has combined her love of travel and photography to form this blog. Mark and Jenni share their experiences in hopes of inspiring others to have wonderful adventures and see the world.
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