When traveling to Japan, it is important to know beforehand which places you should visit—you should have a game plan, but if you don’t, worry not, because down below are 7 places in Japan that are absolute must-sees.
From the sacred to the peculiar, this list will take you on a virtual journey through Japan that will leave you wanting to pack up your bags and catch the first flight out-of-town as soon as possible. Remember: Japan is a magical place magic, where walking through the streets at any given moment can take you back in time hundreds of years, so prepare yourself for the unknown, because in the Land of the Rising Sun, anything can happen. . . .
Located in central Japan, the former imperial capital, Kyōto, is home to 2,000 temples and shrines, and about 1.5 million residents.
It’s a big city, and old, with human activity in the area first being recorded around the 6th century AD, with further evidence suggesting that the area was first settled sometime around the Paleolithic Era—it’s a city literally steeped in history, and while it can be a dream come true for those who have brought along their fedora and bullwhip (I’m looking at you, you connoisseurs of history out there), it can also be a city where those looking for a fun night out, be it at a bar, cafe or an art museum, can find what they are looking for without feeling that they are awash in a city that is stuck in time, tethered to the past and to its ancient traditions.
But that is the beauty of Kyōto: it is tethered to its past and to its ancient traditions, but it also has an open arm around the shoulders of the contemporary age, the modern age. Kyōto is a wondrous place full of magic and of extremes, where temples and shrines can be found nestled between metal-and-glass office buildings, and long stretches of reverential peace and quiet can give way to crowded and bustling streets in no more than a few paces.
Kyōto is Japan’s oldest gem, and is worth taking a look at.