It’s no doubt that Tokyo is one of the most amazing cities in Japan (and in the world!). It even made our list of top destinations to visit in 2020. With stunning scenery, amazing culture, and a bustling city full of endless things to see and do, it’s at the top of many people’s bucket lists. But while you’re in a country as amazing as Japan, you shouldn’t limit yourself to just one city! Japan has so much more to offer than just Tokyo.
Check out six more of the best cities to visit in Japan.
Kyoto is often considered the cultural capital of Japan, and honestly, it’s a can’t-miss if you’re in the country. It’s known for its historical temples, shrines and palaces, as well as some amazing scenery and gardens. While Tokyo is a modern metropolis bursting with restaurants and nightlife, Kyoto has a bit more relaxing pace and is also cheaper for travelers as well.
Must-sees in Kyoto:
- Explore the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
- Fushimi Inari-taisha, one of the most famous Shinto shrines
- Go to a traditional tea ceremony
Osaka is a coastal city and is well-known for its amazing food and nightlife, so if you’re ready to experience some of the best in food and drinks that Japan has to offer, Osaka is where it’s at! All of the big-city excitement that Tokyo offers is here as well, just on a slightly smaller scale. In between all of your eating and exploring, check out the Osaka castle. It’s one of Japan’s most famous landmarks, and it’s well worth exploring.
Must-sees in Osaka:
- Osaka Castle and Park
- Enjoy nightlife in Dotonbori
- Ride the Tempozan Ferris Wheel
Sapporo is a pretty unique city in Japan—known for its popular Sapporo beer, but also for it’s world-class ramen and annual snow festival. Whether you want to visit the Sapporo Beer Museum, hit the slopes at the popular Niseko ski resort or just stuff yourself full of noodles, Sapporo is one of the best cities to visit in Japan.
More must-sees in Sapporo:
- Spring: Visit the Hokkaido University Botanical Garden
- Summer: Picnic in Odori Park
- Fall: day trip to Jozankei for amazing autumn colors and hot springs
- Winter: Stay for the Sapporo snow festival!
Located just 30 minutes from Tokyo by train, Yokohama is the perfect next-stop during your trip to Japan. Plus, it has everything—from a stylish downtown waterfront (Minato Mirai) to traditional gardens (Sankeien Gardens), art and silk museums to the Cupnoodles museum.
More things to do in Yokohama:
- Visit Japan’s largest Chinatown.
- Explore Minato Mirai
- Stroll through Yamashita park.
Experience a different side to Japan with a trip to the more rural Toyama, surrounded by both mountains and ocean. It’s right outside a number of mountains and national park areas, so it’s perfect for hiking, skiing and all kinds of outdoor adventures. Mount Yakushi, Mount Tate, and the Kamikochi region offer plenty of trekking and other activities for the adventure seeker. Or, stay in town and enjoy quiet villages, hot springs and delicious local seafood. Pro tip: Toyama is especially beautiful in the fall.
More things to do in Toyama:
- Experience the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route
- Explore the historic village of Gokayama
- Go skiing or hiking in the nearby mountains
Fukuoka (pronounced Fu-koka) is definitely a lesser-known city in Japan, but that doesn’t mean it has less to offer travelers who are looking for an authentic Japanese experience. For a solid blend of traditional and modern Japanese life and culture, Fukuoka is a great place to visit. This coastal city is home to not only beaches, watersports and plenty of hiking but also some amazing food!
Must-sees in Fukuoka:
- Ohori Park
- Fukuoka Castle
- Plum Blossoms at Dazaifu Shrine
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