Sights
Obviously, a visitor to Japan should leave ample time to sightsee. As there are countless of places to choose from, this section is divided into the following categories to help narrow your search:
Tokyo
Osaka/Kobe/Kyoto
Hakone
Kamakura
Hokkaido
Tokyo 
Ah, Tokyo. The country’s capital city has more than its fair share of sightseeing. Here are a few of its must-see attractions.

Imperial Palace
Kokyo, or the Imperial Palace, is in Chiyoda prefecture in Tokyo. Visitors my wander the outside garden, although the East Garden is closed on Mondays and Fridays.

Tokyo Tower
At 333 meters, Tokyo Tower is the world’s tallest self-supporting steel tower, making it an obvious sightseeing attraction. It was modeled after France’s Eiffel tower, which is 320 meters tall. Visitors can choose to visit the main observatory located about mid-way, or they can visit the special observatory 250 meters above the ground. The cost is approximately 1,500 yen (roughly $14) per adult to get a bird’s-eye view of Tokyo from the top floor.

The tower is located just outside of Roppongi, famed for its entertainment and nightlife. Those visiting the tower during the day should also consider stopping by the Zojoji Temple, an excellent example of the many Buddhist temples located throughout Japan.

Tokyo Dome City
This leisure complex is located in the center of Tokyo and consists of the Tokyo Dome baseball stadium, an amusement park, a spa and a hotel.

Tokyo Dome is the home of the Yomiuri Giants, but also serves as a venue for large concerts with its capability of seating 55,000. It is nicknamed “Big Egg” because it is round, large and white.

Korakuen, the amusement park in Tokyo Dome City features several roller coasters. It is ultimately named after nearby Koshikawa Korakuen, one of the three most famous Japanese gardens. Those who visit Tokyo Dome City should also consider visiting the garden as it is located only a short walking distance from the city.

Shopping
If you want to go shopping, Tokyo is the place to be. Walk down Shinjuku to find the latest technology (and go to the kabuki theater afterwards) or Shibuya and Harajuku to find the latest fashions (and, if time allows, stop by a karaoke box or a local café). Often, major department stores such as Takashimaya or Mitsukoshi can be found these areas.

Tokyo Disneyland
Tokyo Disneyland attracts millions of both Japanese and foreigners every year. What makes this Disneyland different from others? During Japanese holidays, Disney characters sometimes dress up in traditional Japanese clothing during the parades.

Yokohama China Town
Although located just outside of Tokyo, Yokohama’s China Town is a must if you want to eat some of the best Chinese food available. If you drive to Yokohama, you will pass the famed Rainbow Bridge, which is especially attractive at night.

Osaka/Kobe/Kyoto 

Osaka

Osaka is located in the Kansai region and is the third most populated city in Japan with 2.7 million people. The Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area has a total of 16.6 million people.

The main attraction in Osaka is Osaka-jo, or the Osaka Castle. The view of the castle is especially pretty in the Spring

Kyoto

Kyoto, formerly Japan’s capital, is now considered the country’s culture capital. The city was spared its 1,600 Buddhist temples, 400 Shinto shrines, palaces, gardens and architecture during World War II.

The city gives visitors the feel of “old Japan,” when they walk through the geisha districts. Geisha are artist-entertainers that are trained in traditional customs such as tea ceremonies and dancing, and they can still be seen in Kyoto today wearing traditional kimonos and makeup.

If you visit Kyoto, make sure to visit Uji Byodoin (the structure featured on the 10 yen coin), Kiyomizu-dera, Kinkaku-ji and Ginkaku-ji. These are some of the most well-known shrines and temples in the country.


Hakone 
For a truly relaxing experience, visit Hakone. The Japanese often come to Hakone for its many onsen, or hot spring baths, as well as its gorgeous views of Mt. Fuji and the surrounding parks and mountains. Many opt to stay in traditional-style inns. Patrons sleep in tatami rooms on futons.
Kamakura 
The main attraction in Kamakura is hands down the Amida Buddha, or Big Buddha. The bronze statue has stood outside since the 15th century when a tsunami washed away the temple in which it was once housed. Other sights in Kamakura include the Hase Kannon Temple and the Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine.

Kamakura has many traditional-style inns that attract visitors from all over, as well as a popular beach.

Hokkaido 
The northernmost island of Japan is Hokkaido, which is known for its excellent skiing conditions. Perhaps the best time of the year to visit would be in February, during Sapporo’s annual snow festival. Sapporo hosts an ice sculpting competition at Odori Park, attracting two million people every year.

All content © June Cappiello unless otherwise stated. For more information contact at seisen4@ufl.edu