Ideas for your Japan Vacation 

Three great places to see when vacationing in Japan are Mount Fuji, Nara and Kyoto. One thing they all have in common is they are accessible via Japan’s world famous Bullet Train. There are 2 and 3 day excursions available on the Bullet Train that can take you from Tokyo to any of these three locations. The ride on the Bullet Train is an exciting and fun part of the trip. The train will whisk you away and then provide an in depth tour of the destination your destination. Overnight hotel accommodations are provided.

If you are a fan of Disney, you should plan a visit to the Tokyo Disney Resort. It has all the fun and excitement that Disney is famous for. The Disney Resort includes Tokyo Disney, Tokyo DisneySea, Cirque du Soleil Theater Tokyo, Disney Theme Hotels as well as shopping and dining. At Tokyo Disney you can enjoy themed attractions like Fantasyland, Toontown, Tomorrowland and Westernland.

DisneySea has the Lost River Delta, Mermaid Lagoon, Mysterious Island and other fun spots. The most convenient way to enjoy the resort is to stay at one of the three Disney hotels inside the resort property. There’s the Disneyland Hotel, Disneysea Hotel MiraCosta and the Ambassador Hotel.

The town of Hakone is definitely worth considering when visiting Japan. It’s about an hour and a half bus ride from Tokyo. The Hakone district is well known for its beautiful lakes and scenery, natural hot spring spas, museums and historical spots.

Two famous historical spots are the Hakone Barrier and the Hakone Checkpoint. The Arial Ropeway is a cable car that gives you wonderful panoramic views of Lake Ashi, Owakudani Volcano and Mount Fuji.

A popular tourist attraction is a sightseeing boat cruise on beautiful Lake Ashi. Some excellent museum can be found here such as Narukawa Art Museum, Hakone Open Air Museum, Venetian Glass Museum and Pola Museum.

Last November I went on a trip to Japan. The flight over was a bit rough (13 hours non-stop!), however once landing I knew it was worth it. The Japanese culture, aside from being very polite and respectful, is also geared towards making outsiders feel safe and welcome. My flight landed in Narita Airport in Tokyo. After a 2 hours bus ride I arrived at the Marriott in the Ginza district of Tokyo. The hotel was extremely nice and quite reasonably priced. In Tokyo I was able to visit Tokyo tower (a scaled replica of the Eiffel tower in Paris.

I also traveled to numerous shrines and flea markets (the two usually go hand in hand in Tokyo). Night life was great. I visited Ropongi district where young Korean and Philippine girls pack the clubs looking to meet servicemen. All in all the experience was wonderful. Japan is clean and safe. I would recommend a visit for anyone willing to tolerate the 13 hour flight along with having an extra day or two to recuperate from the jet lag. - Dan from CA


Japan Cherry Blossoms
Just last year, a friend of mine took a short trip to Japan with his older sister. It was my first time on a plane and I was indeed frightened, but it was all worth it when we arrived. We had planned on staying just for a week, but I wasn't surprised at all when that week turned into two and a half.

The very first thing we did when we got there was find our hotel; which was Hotel Nikko. Soon after that, we took a short rest to rejuvenate ourselves after the flight. Nap time was over; we then rushed to Yasukuni Shrine. It was the month of April and we all knew what that meant. It was one of the exact reasons why we visited when we did to be exact.

The cherry blossoms had bloomed. They were so beautiful, that blinking seemed nearly impossible. One thing that was sweet was the elderly couple we saw. The old woman wore a beautiful sakura patterned kimono and walked hand in hand with her old husband. The cherry blossom viewing seemed to have lifted all of our spirits even more, so from there, we decided to go shopping.

We made sure to cover all types of clothing stores and anime shops (Baby, the Stars Shine Bright and Mandarake. Some time through the second week, we visited the great Mount Fujiyama. We went as far as we could. The sight was simply magnificent. I can honestly say that those were the best weeks of my life thus far. - Kie Wash from Milwaukee WI

One of the best vacations I had in my life was when I flew to Osaka, Japan. It was coming up to cherry-blossom season (early April), and the weather was balmy during the daytime. Still a little chilly at night.

While waiting for the blossoms to bloom fully, I toured Osaka. I rode the elevator up to the top of the highest building in Osaka, the Umeda Sky Building. From there, you can see the ocean itself and even some of Kobe. The nighttime view is even more impressive, with all the neon lights.

Osaka's Shinsaibashi district is just as lively and as neon-lit as the Las Vegas Strip. As one of the top Japan tourist attractions it's absolutely swarming with people.Osaka's also known for their takoyaki--octopus dumplings--and their okonomiyake--a kind of omelette.

Both were delicious, hot, and savory, just the kind of thing to eat on a chilly April evening. Finally, the cherry blossoms were in full bloom, so I took the train from Osaka to Kyoto and went to Arashiyama, a mountain famous in and around that part of Japan.

The slopes are thick with white and pale-pink cherry trees. I rented a canoe to paddle down the river and look at the blossoms. What a hectically lovely trip it was. I’d go again. - Karen from Las Vegas

I went to Hokkaido, Japan last June. It was summer time in Japan and so the temperature in Hokkaido was bearable. Weather was wonderful and skies were clear. As I am from a tropical country, I was not used to the cold temperature at first, but I gradually got used to the strong winds and grew to enjoy the natural air-conditioning.

I went with a tour agency that helped to book the hotels and travel bus. Meals were also settled for me. There were two different types of hotel rooms, the standard ones with beds and carpeted flooring, and the traditional ones with tatami flooring and sleeping mats.

Tatami was reported to be able to help people sleep better and it also smells nice in my opinion. The aroma lingers in your clothes even until the next day. In the hotels which provide traditional rooms, there are also hot spring baths where the spring water comes from natural underground hot spots.

The food served was delicious. Sashimi is a must-try! It’s fresh, succulent and sweet! The scallops are also mouth-watering!

The food is usually boiled or steamed, thus, the cooking method is very healthy. Condiments are separated from the food and thus, it’s optional for those who prefer to taste the original flavors of the food.

Japonica rice is very rich in texture and taste. Enjoy the food there as you can't find it anywhere else in the world. The shopping in Japan is also fantastic.

There is no need to bargain as the things there are value-for-money. Similar items would be priced at the same price throughout the whole of Japan, so there's no need to worry about comparing prices or bargaining. If you're paying a higher price for a product, it means that it’s of higher quality than the cheaper one. On the whole, Japan is a fun and exciting place to go. Will look forward to going again! - John from Seattle

One of the best Japan tourist attractions is one of the county’s fourteen World Heritage Sites. Your vacation ideas for Japan should include one or more of these wonderful spots. They offer a chance to experience the fascinating cultural heritage and natural wonders of this beautiful country.

Here are some of the Japanese World Heritage Sites.

  • Shrines and Temples of Nikko - Shogun era architecture, sculptures and carvings located in Nikko City, Tochigi prefecture.
  • The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama - Gassho-style houses in traditional farm villages located among the beautiful and remote mountains of Gifu and Toyama prefecture.
  • Shirakami-sanchi – Beech forest covered mountain range offering a truly primeval environment to experience.
  • Shiretoko - Wilderness area in Japan offering world-class unique wild life viewing.
  • The Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara – Features the The Great Buddha of Todaiji, Emperor’s royal palace, temples and primeval forest.
  • Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities) - Nijo Castle, temples and shrines from the 1,000 year long reign of Kyoto as the capital of Japan.
  • Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area - Horyu-ji Temple, oldest wooden structure in the world, national cultural treasures.
  • Kii Mountain Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes – Three sacred sites in the Nara, Wakayama and Mie prefectures connected by pilgrimage routes.
  • Himeji-jo Castle – Warlord castle dating from 1346 and incredibly well preserved.
  • Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine – World class silver mine for 400 years open to explore the passages and shafts.
  • Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome) and Itsukushima Shinto Shrine – Site of the World War II atomic bomb attack.
  • Yakushima – Island of unspoiled ancient natural mystery.

The cherry blossoms are the Japan tourist attractions that I was looking for when I visited Kyoto. I went for three days and stayed at the Kyoto Kokusai Hotel. This was in late March, and the cherry blossoms were just beginning to bloom when I arrived. I was able to get a tourist map from the Kyoto Train Station (which is an interesting place to visit in itself) and followed the map closely through my trip, walking and taking the bus.

I visited the Golden and Silver Pavilions, several shrines and temples - including Kiyomizu-dera (where the cherry blossoms were absolutely gorgeous), Heian Jingu, and the Daisen-In where Japanese tea ceremony has its roots. The weather was good, if a little chilly, and it was wonderful to see such a beautiful city during such a beautiful time of year.

In Kyoto all the sites you could want to see are almost literally packed in one next to the other, yet the city feels open and spacious rather than crowded. Most sites are within easy walking distance of one another, and those that aren’t close to one another are simple to navigate by bus or subway.

The best part was that the city is very tourist friendly, and signs were often available in English for those who don’t speak Japanese. Also a special treat: the hotel hired a maiko (geisha in training) to dance at the hotel, and it was a beautiful performance under the moonlight. I wish I’d had longer to stay – Kyoto was a dream. - Erin from Oregon

Don't stop now! Here are some more great vacation ideas to check out.
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