Japan

TRAVEL GUIDE

Loading...
Japan GALLERY
2019 2019 Fodor’s Go List Destination
Read More

Tradition and modernity share space in this island nation where ancient shrines bump up against skyscrapers. Castles and palaces whisper of history, and bullet trains shuttle you through spectacular landscapes to cities packed with world-class restaurants and shopping. From Tokyo’s urban sprawl to the peacefulness of Kyoto, from boisterous Osaka nightlife to Hiroshima's contemplative spirit, Japan’s big attractions never fail to dazzle first-time visitors. What keeps people coming back is astoundingly delicious food, a unique culture, and warm hospitality.

Find a Hotel

Filter By:

Tokyo

Lights, sushi, manga! Sprawling, frenetic, and endlessly fascinating, Japan’s capital is a city of contrasts. Shrines and gardens are pockets...

Kyoto

The astonishing number of temples, shrines, and palaces that adorn the city make Kyoto's architecture its most famous feature worldwide. Japan...

Osaka

From Minami's neon-lighted Dotombori and historic Tenno-ji to the high-rises and underground shopping labyrinths of Kita, Osaka pulses with...

Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park

This region, southwest of Tokyo between Suruga and Sagami bays, is one of Japan's most popular resort areas. The main attraction, of course...

Kobe

Kobe resonates with a cool, hip vibe, a condition of its internationalism and its position between mountains and sea. With more than 42,000...

Nagoya

In 1612 Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa established Nagoya by permitting his ninth son to build a castle here. Industry and merchant houses sprang up...

Sapporo

Modern, openhearted Sapporo is a good planning base for any trip to Hokkaido's wilder regions. Hokkaido's capital is also worth a few days'...

Nara

Nara is a place of synthesis, where Chinese art, religion, and architecture fused with Japanese language and Shinto traditions. The city was...

Kanazawa

Twenty-first-century Kanazawa presents an extraordinary union of unblemished Old Japan and a modern, trendsetting city. More than 300 years...

Naha

Okinawa's capital city is the center of commerce, tourism, and youthful enterprise in the region. People here are more laid-back than elsewhere...

Matsuyama

Shikoku's largest city, Matsuyama prides itself on a great history, friendly disposition, fantastic cultural attractions, and a love for fine...

Hiroshima

On August 6, 1945, at 8:15 am, a massive chunk of metal known as Little Boy fell from an American plane, and the sky ignited and glowed for...

Sendai

Sendai is Tohoku's largest city, and its million residents enjoy the big-city amenities coupled with the easygoing vibe of a small town. Devastated...

Nagasaki

Blessed with a breathtaking location, Nagasaki is strung together on a long series of hillocks in a scenic valley that follows the arms of the...

Kochi

Kochi has earned a reputation for being different. The locals are rough-talking, boisterous, and social, and their spirited city has an attitude...

Hirara City

On the main island of Miyako-jima, sprawling, unremarkable Hirara, population 48,000, doesn't have much to see but offers plenty of budget...

Niseko

For the best skiing in Hokkaido, head for Niseko's Grand Hirafu, Annupuri, Niseko Village, and Hanazono runs. Popular with Japanese skiers in...

Takamatsu

If you're coming to Shikoku by train, your first stop will likely be Takamatsu, the capital of Kagawa Prefecture. Takamatsu combines urban verve...

Shikotsu-Toya National Park

Mountains, forests, hot springs, caldera lakes, and volcanoes are virtually in Sapporo's backyard, less than an hour's drive away. Route 230...

Fukuoka

Fukuoka is an excellent base to begin exploring Kyushu. To get a sense of the city, walk along the meandering Naka-gawa River. The stunning...

Morioka

Morioka is a busy commercial and industrial city ringed by mountains, but it's more of a travel hub than a destination to visit; for that reason...

Naoshima

In past centuries, pirate attacks were the biggest surprise you might encounter on the Seto Inland Sea. Now, it's the world-class art museums...

Tokushima

Tokushima means "virtuous island"—ironic, considering the local residents' fondness for drinking, dancing, and hard partying. The city's annual...

Matsue

Matsue is a city blessed with so much overwhelming beauty and good food that you will wonder what to look at, what to eat, and what to do first...

Matsumoto

Snowcapped peaks surround the old castle town of Matsumoto, where the air is cool and dry on the alpine plateau. More interesting and picturesque...

Yufuin

Southwest of the majestic twin peaks of Yufu-dake, this tranquil village resembles a checkered quilt. Forests nestle up to clusters of galleries...

Kumamoto

Kumamoto is nearly midway along the curve of the west coast of Kyushu. From here you can go west to Nagasaki, north to Fukuoka, east to Aso...

Aomori

Throughout the year you can enjoy delicious seafood from Aomori Bay, including Oma no Maguro (Oma tuna), as well as delicious fruits and vegetables...

Shiretoko National Park

A highlight of any trip to Hokkaido, the spectacular and miraculously uninhabited Shiretoko National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site. On...

Takayama

Originally called Hida, Takayama is a tranquil town whose rustic charms are the result of hundreds of years of peaceful isolation in the Hida...

Otaru

Otaru nets its wealth in tourists these days, but the canal where barges used to land the catch of the day is still the center of action for...

Ishigaki-jima

A day of beachside R&R and a night in Ishigaki City's fun bars and cheap restaurants may be all it takes to make you want to move here....

Hagi

Hagi is virtually surrounded by two branches of the Abu-gawa—the river's south channel, Hashimoto-gawa, and the river's northeast fork, Matsumoto...

Noto-hanto (Noto Peninsula)

Thought to be named after an Ainu (indigenous Japanese) word for "nose," the Noto-hanto, a national park, juts out into the Sea of Japan and...

Hakodate

Facing out on two bays, Hakodate is a 19th-century port town, with clapboard buildings on sloping streets, a dockside tourist zone, streetcars...

Akita

In the scenic, faraway realm of Akita, the peaks of the Dewa Sanchi (Dewa Range), marked by Mt. Taihei, march off to the east, and the Sea of...

Nagano and Environs

Nagano Prefecture is called the "Roof of Japan," home to the northern, central, and southern Japan Alps and six national parks that offer year...

Sado Island (Sado-ga-shima)

Sado is known as much for its unblemished natural beauty as for its melancholy history. Revolutionary intellectuals, such as the Buddhist monk...

Yamagata

Yamagata, or Mountain Terrain, is the capital of the prefecture of the same name (and the sister city of Boulder, Colorado). It's a community...

Tsuwano

This hauntingly beautiful town, tucked into a narrow north–south valley at the foot of conical Aono-yama and its attendant dormant volcanic...

Gifu

Gifu's main attraction is its 1,300-year tradition of ukai fishing, which uses live birds to catch fish in the river. The city center spreads...

Hirosaki

Hirosaki is one of northern Tohoku's most attractive cities. It's most famous for its sweet apples, and its only real cultural attraction is...

Toyako

...

Kurashiki

From the 17th through the 19th century, this vital shipping port supplied Osaka with cotton, textiles, sugar, reeds, and rice. Today Kurashiki...

Kagoshima

Kagoshima is a laid-back, flowery, palm-lined southern getaway on the Satsuma Peninsula with mild weather, outgoing people, and a smoking volcano...

Ise

When you step off the train, you may feel that Ise is a drab city, but hidden in two forests of towering cedar trees are the most important...

Iriomote-jima

Surging brown rivers, dense green forests, and crystal-blue seas are Iriomote's essential draws, and there's a surprising amount of helpful...

Akan National Park

This national park is sometimes overlooked in favor of Daisetsu and Shiretoko, but offers great fishing and hiking opportunities. ...

Kakunodate

The little samurai town of Kakunodate, sometimes called "Little Kyoto," was founded in 1620 by Yoshikatsu Ashina, the local lord, who chose...

Takachiho

Deep in the sacred mountains, a spiritual place full of atmosphere, is the birthplace of Japanese mythology. A visit to the Takachiho region...

Hakuba

In the northwestern part of Nagano Prefecture, Hakuba Village lies beneath the magnificent Hakuba mountain range, the best of the northern Japan...

Towada–Hachimantai National Park

Including the windswept expanse of Hachimantai Plateau, scenic Lake Towada, beech forests, marshes of wild flowers, and many hot springs, this...

Niigata

The coast between Kurobe and Niigata is flat and not so interesting. Two towns along the way, Naoetsu and Teradomari, serve as ferry ports to...

Inuyama

Inuyama sits along the Kiso River, on the border between Aichi and Gifu prefectures. A historically strategic site, the city changed hands several...

Koya-san

This UNESCO World Heritage site is the headquarters of the Shingon sect of Buddhism, founded by Kukai, also known as Kobo Daishi, in AD 816. ...

Abashiri

A good touring base for eastern Hokkaido, Abashiri is a small town in the shadow of Tento-san. On the town outskirts are shallow coastal lakes...

Tsuruoka and Dewa-Sanzan

South of Akita along the Nihon-kai coast are small fishing villages where nets hang to dry only inches from train windows, vast plains of rice...

Miyajima

Miyajima's majestic orange O-torii, or “big gate,” is made of several stout, rot-resistant camphor-tree trunks, and is famed for the illusion...

Matsushima

Matsushima and its bay are the most popular coastal resort destinations in Tohoku, and they owe this distinction to an infatuation in Japan...

Daisetsuzan National Park

The country's largest nature preserve, Daisetsuzan National Park contains the very essence of rugged Hokkaido: vast plains, soaring mountain...

Okayama

The city of Okayama claims to have the most sunny days in Japan, and the disposition of the locals tends to reflect this. A beautiful black...

Karuizawa

When Archdeacon A. C. Shaw, an English prelate, built his summer villa here in 1886 at the foot of Mt. Asama in southeastern Nagano Prefecture...

Hiraizumi

A culture of gold flourished in Hiraizumi in the late 11th and 12th centuries, when the Oshu Fujiwara family, a then-powerful clan, chose to...

Uchiko

This small farming town in the mountains south of Matsuyama was a major producer of Japanese paper and wax until the early 20th century Now...

Kashikojima

...

Kiso Valley

This deep and narrow valley is cut by the Kiso River and walled in by the central Alps to the east and the northern Alps to the west. From 1603...

Zamami-jima

An island paradise with wonderful beaches, snorkelling, diving, and sea kayaking, on Zamami-jima, late January through March is prime whale...

Tazawa-ko

The beautiful azure waters of Tazawa-ko, an almost perfectly round crater lake, can be enjoyed from the paths along the shore, a rented paddleboat...

Yamadera

If you'd like to see one of Japan's most revered—and scenic—temple complexes, come up here on an easy day trip from Sendai or Yamagata. ...

Shingu

Shingu is home to one of the three great shrines of the Kumano Kodo, Hayatama-taisha 速玉大社 , which sits at the mouth of the Kumano River. ...

Uwajima

A quiet fishing town south of Matsuyama on the Uwa Sea, Uwajima has two unusual claims to fame, its sumo-style bullfights and a sex museum that...

Kotohira

Kotohira's draw is the Konpira Shrine, a mountaintop temple to the Shinto deity who protects seafarers. Though it's a long climb up a flight...

Shirahama

Rounding the peninsula 54 km (34 miles) northwest of Shio-no-misaki, Shirahama is a small headland famous for its pure white-sand beach. If...

Nachi

Reputed to be 1,400 years old, this is perhaps the most impressive of the Kumano Kodo shrines. ...

Fukui

Fukui, the capital city of the small eponymous prefecture on the Sea of Japan, doesn't have much to draw foreign visitors beyond amazing seafood...

Kusatsu

The highly touted hot springs at Kusatsu contain sulfur, iron, aluminum, and even trace amounts of arsenic. Just inside the border of Gunma...

Kamikochi

The incomparably scenic route from Matsumoto to Takayama winds over the mountains and through Chubu-Sangaku National Park (Chubu-Sangaku Kokuritsu...

Shirakawa-go

It's speculated that the Shirakawa-go area—and particularly Ogi-machi, an Edo-period hamlet deep within—was originally populated by survivors...

Biei and Furano

Flower fields and small farms at the base of the Daisetsuzan mountain range attract thousands of domestic and East Asian visitors hoping to...

Asahikawa

Asahikawa, Hokkaido's second-largest city, is the principal entrance to Daisetsuzan National Park. It is not terribly cosmopolitan; daytime...

Toyama

Busy, industrial Toyama is beautified by Toyama-joshi Koen (Toyama Castle Park), a spread of greenery with a reconstructed version of the original...

Iga Ueno

This small city halfway between Nagoya and Nara has some interesting claims to fame. Noted haiku poet Matsuo Basho was born here in the 1640s...

Nibutani

Nibutani is one of the last places in Hokkaido with a sizable Ainu population—or at least part Ainu, as few pure-blooded Ainu are left. The...

Izumo Taisha

The oldest of Japan's Shinto shrines, Izumo Taisha has been of tremendous cultural significance—second only to the great shrine at Ise Jingu...

Tokashiki-jima

...

Yudanaka Onsen and Shibu Onsen

Northwest of Nagano, these historic hot-spring towns are the gateway to the Shiga Kogen Plateau ski area, known for its alpine skiing and...

Nagano

Rimmed by mountains, Nagano has been a temple town since the founding of Zenko-ji in the 7th century. In time for the 1998 Winter Olympics,...

Doro-kyo

The wide ocean views of the coastal journey to Shingu give way to gorges and mountainsides of a deep mossy green when you pass through the tunnel...

Aka-jima

...

Tokyo

Lights, sushi, manga! Sprawling, frenetic, and endlessly fascinating, Japan’s capital is a city of contrasts. Shrines and gardens are pockets...

Kyoto

The astonishing number of temples, shrines, and palaces that adorn the city make Kyoto's architecture its most famous feature worldwide. Japan...

Osaka

From Minami's neon-lighted Dotombori and historic Tenno-ji to the high-rises and underground shopping labyrinths of Kita, Osaka pulses with...

Kobe

Kobe resonates with a cool, hip vibe, a condition of its internationalism and its position between mountains and sea. With more than 42,000...

Nagoya

In 1612 Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa established Nagoya by permitting his ninth son to build a castle here. Industry and merchant houses sprang up...

Sapporo

Modern, openhearted Sapporo is a good planning base for any trip to Hokkaido's wilder regions. Hokkaido's capital is also worth a few days'...

Nara

Nara is a place of synthesis, where Chinese art, religion, and architecture fused with Japanese language and Shinto traditions. The city was...

Kanazawa

Twenty-first-century Kanazawa presents an extraordinary union of unblemished Old Japan and a modern, trendsetting city. More than 300 years...

Naha

Okinawa's capital city is the center of commerce, tourism, and youthful enterprise in the region. People here are more laid-back than elsewhere...

Matsuyama

Shikoku's largest city, Matsuyama prides itself on a great history, friendly disposition, fantastic cultural attractions, and a love for fine...

Sendai

Sendai is Tohoku's largest city, and its million residents enjoy the big-city amenities coupled with the easygoing vibe of a small town. Devastated...

Hiroshima

On August 6, 1945, at 8:15 am, a massive chunk of metal known as Little Boy fell from an American plane, and the sky ignited and glowed for...

Nagasaki

Blessed with a breathtaking location, Nagasaki is strung together on a long series of hillocks in a scenic valley that follows the arms of the...

Kochi

Kochi has earned a reputation for being different. The locals are rough-talking, boisterous, and social, and their spirited city has an attitude...

Hirara City

On the main island of Miyako-jima, sprawling, unremarkable Hirara, population 48,000, doesn't have much to see but offers plenty of budget...

Niseko

For the best skiing in Hokkaido, head for Niseko's Grand Hirafu, Annupuri, Niseko Village, and Hanazono runs. Popular with Japanese skiers in...

Takamatsu

If you're coming to Shikoku by train, your first stop will likely be Takamatsu, the capital of Kagawa Prefecture. Takamatsu combines urban verve...

Fukuoka

Fukuoka is an excellent base to begin exploring Kyushu. To get a sense of the city, walk along the meandering Naka-gawa River. The stunning...

Morioka

Morioka is a busy commercial and industrial city ringed by mountains, but it's more of a travel hub than a destination to visit; for that reason...

Naoshima

In past centuries, pirate attacks were the biggest surprise you might encounter on the Seto Inland Sea. Now, it's the world-class art museums...

Matsue

Matsue is a city blessed with so much overwhelming beauty and good food that you will wonder what to look at, what to eat, and what to do first...

Matsumoto

Snowcapped peaks surround the old castle town of Matsumoto, where the air is cool and dry on the alpine plateau. More interesting and picturesque...

Tokushima

Tokushima means "virtuous island"—ironic, considering the local residents' fondness for drinking, dancing, and hard partying. The city's annual...

Yufuin

Southwest of the majestic twin peaks of Yufu-dake, this tranquil village resembles a checkered quilt. Forests nestle up to clusters of galleries...

Kumamoto

Kumamoto is nearly midway along the curve of the west coast of Kyushu. From here you can go west to Nagasaki, north to Fukuoka, east to Aso...

Aomori

Throughout the year you can enjoy delicious seafood from Aomori Bay, including Oma no Maguro (Oma tuna), as well as delicious fruits and vegetables...

Otaru

Otaru nets its wealth in tourists these days, but the canal where barges used to land the catch of the day is still the center of action for...

Ishigaki-jima

A day of beachside R&R and a night in Ishigaki City's fun bars and cheap restaurants may be all it takes to make you want to move here....

Hagi

Hagi is virtually surrounded by two branches of the Abu-gawa—the river's south channel, Hashimoto-gawa, and the river's northeast fork, Matsumoto...

Takayama

Originally called Hida, Takayama is a tranquil town whose rustic charms are the result of hundreds of years of peaceful isolation in the Hida...

Noto-hanto (Noto Peninsula)

Thought to be named after an Ainu (indigenous Japanese) word for "nose," the Noto-hanto, a national park, juts out into the Sea of Japan and...

Hakodate

Facing out on two bays, Hakodate is a 19th-century port town, with clapboard buildings on sloping streets, a dockside tourist zone, streetcars...

Akita

In the scenic, faraway realm of Akita, the peaks of the Dewa Sanchi (Dewa Range), marked by Mt. Taihei, march off to the east, and the Sea of...

Nagano and Environs

Nagano Prefecture is called the "Roof of Japan," home to the northern, central, and southern Japan Alps and six national parks that offer year...

Toyako

...

Gifu

Gifu's main attraction is its 1,300-year tradition of ukai fishing, which uses live birds to catch fish in the river. The city center spreads...

Hirosaki

Hirosaki is one of northern Tohoku's most attractive cities. It's most famous for its sweet apples, and its only real cultural attraction is...

Yamagata

Yamagata, or Mountain Terrain, is the capital of the prefecture of the same name (and the sister city of Boulder, Colorado). It's a community...

Tsuwano

This hauntingly beautiful town, tucked into a narrow north–south valley at the foot of conical Aono-yama and its attendant dormant volcanic...

Kurashiki

From the 17th through the 19th century, this vital shipping port supplied Osaka with cotton, textiles, sugar, reeds, and rice. Today Kurashiki...

Ise

When you step off the train, you may feel that Ise is a drab city, but hidden in two forests of towering cedar trees are the most important...

Kagoshima

Kagoshima is a laid-back, flowery, palm-lined southern getaway on the Satsuma Peninsula with mild weather, outgoing people, and a smoking volcano...

Iriomote-jima

Surging brown rivers, dense green forests, and crystal-blue seas are Iriomote's essential draws, and there's a surprising amount of helpful...

Hakuba

In the northwestern part of Nagano Prefecture, Hakuba Village lies beneath the magnificent Hakuba mountain range, the best of the northern Japan...

Niigata

The coast between Kurobe and Niigata is flat and not so interesting. Two towns along the way, Naoetsu and Teradomari, serve as ferry ports to...

Kakunodate

The little samurai town of Kakunodate, sometimes called "Little Kyoto," was founded in 1620 by Yoshikatsu Ashina, the local lord, who chose...

Takachiho

Deep in the sacred mountains, a spiritual place full of atmosphere, is the birthplace of Japanese mythology. A visit to the Takachiho region...

Koya-san

This UNESCO World Heritage site is the headquarters of the Shingon sect of Buddhism, founded by Kukai, also known as Kobo Daishi, in AD 816. ...

Inuyama

Inuyama sits along the Kiso River, on the border between Aichi and Gifu prefectures. A historically strategic site, the city changed hands several...

Abashiri

A good touring base for eastern Hokkaido, Abashiri is a small town in the shadow of Tento-san. On the town outskirts are shallow coastal lakes...

Miyajima

Miyajima's majestic orange O-torii, or “big gate,” is made of several stout, rot-resistant camphor-tree trunks, and is famed for the illusion...

Tsuruoka and Dewa-Sanzan

South of Akita along the Nihon-kai coast are small fishing villages where nets hang to dry only inches from train windows, vast plains of rice...

Matsushima

Matsushima and its bay are the most popular coastal resort destinations in Tohoku, and they owe this distinction to an infatuation in Japan...

Okayama

The city of Okayama claims to have the most sunny days in Japan, and the disposition of the locals tends to reflect this. A beautiful black...

Karuizawa

When Archdeacon A. C. Shaw, an English prelate, built his summer villa here in 1886 at the foot of Mt. Asama in southeastern Nagano Prefecture...

Hiraizumi

A culture of gold flourished in Hiraizumi in the late 11th and 12th centuries, when the Oshu Fujiwara family, a then-powerful clan, chose to...

Kiso Valley

This deep and narrow valley is cut by the Kiso River and walled in by the central Alps to the east and the northern Alps to the west. From 1603...

Kashikojima

...

Uchiko

This small farming town in the mountains south of Matsuyama was a major producer of Japanese paper and wax until the early 20th century Now...

Yamadera

If you'd like to see one of Japan's most revered—and scenic—temple complexes, come up here on an easy day trip from Sendai or Yamagata. ...

Tazawa-ko

The beautiful azure waters of Tazawa-ko, an almost perfectly round crater lake, can be enjoyed from the paths along the shore, a rented paddleboat...

Shingu

Shingu is home to one of the three great shrines of the Kumano Kodo, Hayatama-taisha 速玉大社 , which sits at the mouth of the Kumano River. ...

Kotohira

Kotohira's draw is the Konpira Shrine, a mountaintop temple to the Shinto deity who protects seafarers. Though it's a long climb up a flight...

Uwajima

A quiet fishing town south of Matsuyama on the Uwa Sea, Uwajima has two unusual claims to fame, its sumo-style bullfights and a sex museum that...

Shirahama

Rounding the peninsula 54 km (34 miles) northwest of Shio-no-misaki, Shirahama is a small headland famous for its pure white-sand beach. If...

Nachi

Reputed to be 1,400 years old, this is perhaps the most impressive of the Kumano Kodo shrines. ...

Kusatsu

The highly touted hot springs at Kusatsu contain sulfur, iron, aluminum, and even trace amounts of arsenic. Just inside the border of Gunma...

Toyama

Busy, industrial Toyama is beautified by Toyama-joshi Koen (Toyama Castle Park), a spread of greenery with a reconstructed version of the original...

Kamikochi

The incomparably scenic route from Matsumoto to Takayama winds over the mountains and through Chubu-Sangaku National Park (Chubu-Sangaku Kokuritsu...

Iga Ueno

This small city halfway between Nagoya and Nara has some interesting claims to fame. Noted haiku poet Matsuo Basho was born here in the 1640s...

Asahikawa

Asahikawa, Hokkaido's second-largest city, is the principal entrance to Daisetsuzan National Park. It is not terribly cosmopolitan; daytime...

Fukui

Fukui, the capital city of the small eponymous prefecture on the Sea of Japan, doesn't have much to draw foreign visitors beyond amazing seafood...

Biei and Furano

Flower fields and small farms at the base of the Daisetsuzan mountain range attract thousands of domestic and East Asian visitors hoping to...

Shirakawa-go

It's speculated that the Shirakawa-go area—and particularly Ogi-machi, an Edo-period hamlet deep within—was originally populated by survivors...

Nibutani

Nibutani is one of the last places in Hokkaido with a sizable Ainu population—or at least part Ainu, as few pure-blooded Ainu are left. The...

Nagano

Rimmed by mountains, Nagano has been a temple town since the founding of Zenko-ji in the 7th century. In time for the 1998 Winter Olympics,...

Yudanaka Onsen and Shibu Onsen

Northwest of Nagano, these historic hot-spring towns are the gateway to the Shiga Kogen Plateau ski area, known for its alpine skiing and...

Izumo Taisha

The oldest of Japan's Shinto shrines, Izumo Taisha has been of tremendous cultural significance—second only to the great shrine at Ise Jingu...

Doro-kyo

The wide ocean views of the coastal journey to Shingu give way to gorges and mountainsides of a deep mossy green when you pass through the tunnel...

The Kansai Region

Stretching from Mie Prefecture in the east to Hyogo Prefecture in the west, the Kansai region is both a snapshot of archetypal Japan and a showcase...

Side Trips from Tokyo

As diverse and exciting as the neighborhoods of Tokyo are, a short day trip or overnight away from the city offers a refreshingly different...

Hokkaido

Hokkaido is Japan with breathing space. People here don’t put on the air-conditioning in summer—they open the windows. Outside, fragrant air...

Tohoku

Tohoku translates as "east–north," and it is a path less traveled by foreign tourists. Though the recent addition of bullet trains has made...

The Japan Alps and the North Chubu Coast

Until the 20th century brought highways and railways to central Japan, villages in this alpine region were largely isolated from the rest of...

Shikoku

The smallest of Japan's four main islands, Shikoku has been a travel destination for Japanese people since the 8th century, when the Shingon...

Kyushu

Kyushu's landscape couldn't be more varied, with active yet accessible volcanoes, numerous thermal spas, endless fields of rice and famous potatoes...

Nagoya, Ise-Shima, and the Kii Peninsula

Nagoya punches well above its weight. The present-day industries of Japan's fourth-largest city are a corollary to its monozukuri (art of...

Okinawa

Tropical climate, sun-kissed beaches and crystal-blue waters, deserted islands ringed by rainbow-hued coral reefs, verdant jungle trails, and...

Western Honshu

Like disparate siblings, the two coasts of western Honshu have distinctly different personalities. Taken together, they embody the ancient and...

Miyako Islands

Some intensive beach therapy can be engaged in here. In the southwest corner of the main island, Miyako-jima, is Maehama, perhaps Japan's finest...

Northern Okinawa

North of Okinawa Honto, small towns sprawling up the coast are cut at intervals by resort hotels and some great treasures: active artisan enclaves...

Kerama Islands

The Kerama Islands have many pristine beaches, and divers rate the coral and clear water off their coasts highly. There are two main islands...

Iya Valley and Oboke-Koboke Gorges

In the Iya Valley, mountain villages cling to the side of improbably steep hills while turquoise rivers rush through the ravines below. This...

Aso-san (Mt. Aso)

Aso-san comprises the world's largest caldera—128 km (80 miles) in circumference, from 18 km to 24 km (11 to 15 miles) wide in places—formed...

Shimanami Kaido

This 60-km (37-mile) road-and-bridge route connects Imabari and Onomuchi and offers some of Japan's most pleasant cycling. ...

The Northern Cape and Islands

Japan's northernmost point is windy and empty. In the short summer season, tiny alpine flowers bloom in coastal grasslands and on rocky outcrops...

Kirishima-Yaku National Park

According to Japanese myth, the mountainous, volcanic Kirishima is one of two possible places where Amaterasu's grandson descended to Earth...

South of Naha

The culture park Okinawa World is an interactive trip through the islands' Ryukyu past, with restored houses, a large limestone cave, and traditional...

Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park

This region, southwest of Tokyo between Suruga and Sagami bays, is one of Japan's most popular resort areas. The main attraction, of course...

Shikotsu-Toya National Park

Mountains, forests, hot springs, caldera lakes, and volcanoes are virtually in Sapporo's backyard, less than an hour's drive away. Route 230...

Shiretoko National Park

A highlight of any trip to Hokkaido, the spectacular and miraculously uninhabited Shiretoko National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site. On...

Akan National Park

This national park is sometimes overlooked in favor of Daisetsu and Shiretoko, but offers great fishing and hiking opportunities. ...

Towada–Hachimantai National Park

Including the windswept expanse of Hachimantai Plateau, scenic Lake Towada, beech forests, marshes of wild flowers, and many hot springs, this...

Daisetsuzan National Park

The country's largest nature preserve, Daisetsuzan National Park contains the very essence of rugged Hokkaido: vast plains, soaring mountain...

All Destinations
Expand All Collapse All

Filter By:

Our worldwide travel correspondents bring you the best and most up-to-date coverage of over 7,500 global destinations.

Shop Now

Fodor's Essential Japan
Written by locals, Fodor's Essential Japan is the perfect guidebook for those looking for...

View Details

Fodor's Tokyo
Whether you want to stay in a ryokan, stand in awe at busy Shibuya Crossing, visit...

View Details

Fodor's Tokyo 25 Best
Compact and affordable, Fodor's 25 Best Tokyo is a great travel guide for those who want...

View Details

Around the Web