Top Sites to See in Japan

Goryokaku Fort

Goryokaku is unarguably one of the top sites to see in Japan and also one of the most recognizable landmarks in the country because of its beautiful star-shape design. The military fort of Goryokaku is today a stunning park surrounded by thousands of cherry trees making Goryokaku fort one of the best places to see cherry blossoms in Japan.

A visit to Goryokaku Fort costs around $4 (500 yen) and it is open to the public most of the year, though the month of May is one of the best times to visit the fort because of the lovely cherry blossoms. Goryokaku fort is located in the city of Hakodate (island of Hokkaido), and it’s about 15 minutes walk from Goryokaku Koen Mae tram station.


Sannai-Maruyama is located in Aomori in the Tohoku Region of Japan and is another of the top sites to see in Japan. The site of Sannai-Maruyama isn’t only over 6,000 years-old but it's also one of the most peculiar ruins in Japan because of its huge pole posts.

Sannai-Maruyama site is free entry, and the best thing is that you’re allowed to wander freely through the excavation grounds, as well as visit the on-site museum where you'll be able to see all the recovered artifacts and objects. The Sannai-Maruyama is literary located next to the Sannai-Maruyama-Iseki-mae bus stop.

Motsuji Temple Garden

Motsuji Temple Garden is one of the oldest and best preserved gardens in the country, and it’s definitely one of the top sites to see in Japan. You can see beautiful flowers and blossoming trees at Motsuji Temple Garden throughout the year such as cherry blossoms in May and lotus flowers in July.

Motsuji Temple Garden is located in the town of Hiraizumi in the prefecture of Iwate and costs around $4 to get in. Motsuji Temple Garden is another easy-to-get-to site as it’s located a short walk from Hiraizumi Station.

Tokyo Imperial Palace

Tokyo Imperial Palace is not only one of the most popular places to go in Japan but also one of the top 10 tourist attractions in Japan. The Imperial Palace is truly an impressive landmark to visit not only for its beauty but also for its historic value being the residence of the imperial family who make special appearances throughout the year such as on New Year’s Day.
Top 10 places to go in Tokyo
You’re only allowed to take a guided tour of the grounds of the Imperial Palace, though admission to the Tokyo Imperial Palace is free of charge. The Imperial Palace is located around 15 minutes walk from Tokyo Station.


If you’re planning to visit a few sites in Japan, Hiroshima is without a doubt one of the top sites to see in Japan that you can’t miss visiting. Hiroshima was the spot where the first atomic bomb was dropped, and its aftermath can still be appreciated today in buildings such as the “Dome” which is today just a skeleton building.

There are also many other interesting sites to visit in Hiroshima besides the “Atomic Bomb Dome” such as the Hiroshima Castle, the Peace Memorial, the Shukkeien Garden, and the Mazda Museum.

Eiheiji Temple

Eiheiji Temple is a beautiful monastery located in the outskirts of the city of Fukui which is run by Zen Buddhist monks. The temple of Eiheiji Temple is another of the of the top sites to see in Japan because visitors are allowed to book a stay at the temple (around $63 per night) and live the monks' daily routine.

The Eiheiji Temple is located in the Fukui prefecture and cost to visit is relatively inexpensive at around $4. The temple itself is about 35 minutes by bus from Fukui Station.


Enryakuji is located atop Mount Hiei and it’s one of the top sites to see in Japan primarily because of the panoramic views you can get of Kyoto. Enryakuji is actually one of the most extensive and historic sites to visit in Japan as it boast many 16th century buildings such as the Great Lecture Hall, the East Pagoda and the Bell Tower.

Enryakuji offers plenty of photo opportunities and a chance to take in the pristine and calm outdoor surroundings. You can easily get to Enryakuji Site by bus or cable car from Kyoto Station or Demachiyanagi station.

Nara Old City

Nara’s old city is one of the oldest parts in the country and one of the top sites to see in Japan as it’s home to the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Heijo Palace, the Kasuga Grand Shrine, and the Kasugayama Hill Primeval Forest which boasts trees over 1000 years-old!

There are also half a dozen temples in Nara Old City which are over 1000 years old such as the Todaiji Temple which is home to a huge Bhudda statue. If you’re basing your stay in Japan in either Osaka or Kyoto, the old city of Nara is a great side trip destination as Nara is located a short drive from either city.

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