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These Are 21 Reasons to Visit Japan This Year

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If you decide where to go on your next trip, Japan is one of the best destinations to explore. As one of the largest Asian countries in East Asia, Japan is famous for its rich heritage, samurai swords, ancient castles, temples, and amazing views. These are our favorite reasons to visit Japan this year.

Each aspect bears a rich historical significance that sculpts the path to Japanese success in the modern world. 

Japan is undoubtedly one of the most distinctive places to visit and offers experiences that are hard to find anywhere else. The unique Japanese culture integrates Eastern traditions and Western modernity, which will fascinate you. 

Tokyo skyline at sunset with vibrant hues and cityscape silhouette
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The best time to visit Japan is autumn and spring, when the country is most vibrant. People shouldn’t consider Japan a tourist attraction but a learning experience to discover the diverse culture, Japanese castles, new structures, rich art, pop culture, and amazing food. 

A mix of history, culture, and modern comfort, Japan gives a lot of reasons for people to explore it. It offers a cluster of different experiences which attracts tourists from around the globe. 

Wondering what makes Japan a special tourist destination? Here are some of the answers to why visit Japan. Though there are several reasons, we have listed some of the best to visit Japan at least once in your lifetime. Let’s check them out. 

Reasons Why You Need to Visit Japan

Shibuya Night Lights

1. Public Transportation Makes it Easy to Get Around

Utsunomiya Train Station
Kristina Blokhin –

When we visit a foreign country, transportation is the first thing that concerns us. Japan has one of the most reliable and efficient public transportation systems on the map. The country offers several transfer options, including train, subway services, and bus.

The famous and most recommended one is the Shinkansen. Also called the bullet train, this high-speed train network interlinks all parts of the country, including Kyushu, Honshu, and Hokkaido. The best part is you can buy a JR Rail Pass, which gives you unlimited high-speed rail access during your visit, making it easy to fly around to major cities in Japan.

With frequent departures and 300 km/h (186 mph) speed, train travel makes it convenient for tourists to cover different corners of the country in a short period. Also, trains in Japan are super punctual. The advanced and best public transport systems are the best answers to why you visit Japan.

See Related: Best Sabbatical Destinations

2. Japan is Among One of the Cleanest Countries

Busy Ginza intersection with modern buildings and shoppers in Tokyo
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Japan has a strong cleanliness culture. Japanese people are welcoming and considerate about cleanliness and maintaining hygiene. After landing here, you will be amazed by the sparklingly clean streets.

Every corner is super clean, and there’s almost no litter anywhere. Public spaces, including train stations, subway stations, and restrooms, are highly tidy. The metropolitan city of the country, Tokyo, is so clean that it puts other bustling cities to shame.  

Overall, Japan is the best example of a society where people respect their surroundings. You will experience the true meaning of cleanliness after exploring this gorgeous country.

One downside of being in Japan is that there are hardly any trash bins in public spaces. That means you must carry your garbage until you find a place to dump it while roaming around.  

3. You Can Train To Be a Samurai Warrior

Samurai Warrior Display

The samurai were a group of warriors of premodern Japan. They used to perform military service for the nobles.

Tourists can learn this traditional martial art form in many Japanese schools. You can join a private one-hour session where a professional samurai will teach you some skills. If you are really into it, you can also master the art of Kembu and practice fighting and defensive moves with a samurai sword. 

The best way to do this is to join this Samurai Kembu Class on your trip to Kyoto. They provide one- or two-hour sessions, so join either if you’re interested. In the one-hour class, the instructor will teach you basic samurai skills. The longer session will teach more complex moves using a folding fan and sword. 

Samurai training is definitely not a piece of cake. However, you can try your hand at it if you’re interested. With the guidance of the right trainer, you can gain a hobby you would’ve never experienced before.

See Related: Kyoto vs Tokyo: Differences You Need to Know

4. You Can Get to See the Traditional Kyoto Palaces

Nishiki-Tenmangu Shrine Entrance
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

After your training as a samurai in Kyoto, you can walk around the scenic city as it is home to some of the most beautiful museums. Kyoto is one of the most beautiful cities to visit in Japan.

A tour of the Gold Pavilion and Imperial Palace showcases a glimpse of history. In the Golden Pavilion, also known as the Kinkajuki Temple, you will admire the distinct architectural designs linked to the Japanese warriors and aristocrats. 

Imperial Palace is a marvelous meditational palace where you can experience the serenity of your surroundings. You can also learn about the interesting history of Japanese legends and the kings who lived there.

There is a Kyoto private walking and sightseeing tour with an informative guide who will take you through the significance of different attractions in Kyoto. You will also tour the UNESCO-listed Nijo Castle, Golden Pavilion, and Fushimi Inari Shrine.

If you’re visiting Japan in spring, Kyoto is a must-see city with majestic views to explore for every tourist.

5. The Country Offers Pristine Natural Scenery

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Kyoto
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

One of the first things that will encourage you to visit Japan is its natural beauty. People often think Japan is all about technological advancements and busy streets, but it can impress you with its nature and pristine beauty.

When you travel outside a big, modern city, you will find that the country is home to some of the best natural scenery. Japan offers the best wildlife experiences. You can enjoy various dimensions of the country, including the rugged mountains, rocky coastlines, bamboo forests, pristine white beaches, and some of the most beautiful waterfalls.

From the deep wilderness of Hokkaido to pristine beaches in Okinawa, there’s much to cherish in the country. This is one of the best reasons to visit Japan. Travel insurance is something to consider when visiting other countries- it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

See Related: Family-Friendly Spring Break Ideas

6. Japan is One of the Safest Countries in the World

Girl Wearing Mask

Safety is another crucial factor before traveling to a foreign country. If you’re worried about your safety in Japan, there’s no need! Japan is among the safest countries in the world, with a low crime rate.

Since Japan ensures maximum tourist safety, you can have a memorable trip. Japanese people often feel safe leaving their doors unlocked, children are safe on subways, and visitors can walk around the cities safely at night. Japan is so safe that you can sleep on trains while leaving your stuff nearby.

The low crime rate in Japan is partly due to cultural belief and their strong focus on crime prevention. Overall, Japanese people are very respectful and helpful. Nevertheless, you should be careful and use common sense when traveling to any foreign destination.

7. You Can Bar Hop in Shibuya

Shibuya Pedestrian Crossing
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Shibuya is one of the best districts to visit in Tokyo, where you can unwind and relax with your friends and family. If you love to party, Shibuya is the place to go. It is an excellent option for first-time travelers as you can soak up the lively atmosphere of the party scene in Shibuya.

A fun-filled night will guarantee a great way to learn about the Japanese lifestyle. Bar hopping is popular in Shibuya as Tokyo is home to specific izakaya-style bars. Izakaya bars are a type of Japanese bar that serves a variety of alcohol and liquors. 

Shinjuku Golden Gai Street
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

If you’re visiting the city for the first time and looking for the best Tokyo bars, my tip is to book a Shibuya bar hopping tour. This guided night tour will take you to several izakaya-style bars. Enjoy a drink and Japanese cuisine at every bar while you mingle with locals.

See Related:Most Beautiful Places in the World

8. You Can Learn about Shinto and Buddhism

Zōjō-ji Temple with the Tokyo Tower in the background
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Shinto is an indigenous Japanese religion in East Asia traditionally known for “kami” (gods). The kami is thought to be a supernatural entity that can inhabit inanimate objects.

The Shinto practice is sacred to Japanese culture. However, it is taught to those who want to learn about purity and Japanese symbols. The Shinto religion is the largest one in Japan, numerically. Some beliefs of Shintoism are family respect, purity, respect for nature, and harmony.

Great Buddha in Kotoku-in Temple

Buddhism is another religion in Japan, where you can get to see Buddhist monks and learn about their practices in meditation and spirituality. The design of the Buddhist temple is important as it wards off evil and provides protection. You can spend a day practicing spiritual healing and meditation at one of these beautiful temples.

Learning about new religions is one of the best reasons to visit Japan. Most Japanese follow either Buddhism or Shintoism or both. 

See Related: Friend Vacation Ideas

9. Japan is Home to Incredible Food

Beer Bistro Kadoya Honten
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Though Japanese cuisine is available around the globe, the country attracts millions of tourists every year to experience authentic Japanese food. One of the most well-known types of Japanese food is sushi. You can try the best sushi at Toyosu Market, Sushi Dai, Daiwa Sushi, and Sushizanmai Bekkan. Don’t forget to taste Japanese curry.

Different Sushis
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

For most visitors, a trip to Japan offers the opportunity to taste some authentic Kaiseki food. Kaiseki is the traditional form of cuisine that has evolved over the past thousand years using some unique ingredients. This multi-course Japanese dinner usually starts with appetizers followed by sashimi, a rice course, cooked dishes, and dessert.

Snoopy Cookies
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

You can even try konbini foods, including instant noodles, sandwiches, onigiri, vegetables, cold drinks, and baked goods. Since Japan offers a wide range of delicious food to its tourists in every city, you can have the experience of a lifetime. Overall, Japanese food is one of the reasons people visit Japan.

10. Learn How to Make Handmade Ramen

Ramen with Beer
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Ramen is universally known as a type of comfort food, specifically among college students. You can learn how to make authentic Japanese ramen from scratch in a personalized ramen cooking class in Japan.

Tokyo is the birthplace of ramen, and the best part is that several local Japanese ramen factories offer classes on how to make world-class ramen. Become a ramen connoisseur and be ready to make your personalized ramen bowl with lots of toppings. 

Every group will receive a guide and instructions for making this Japanese staple. The instructors will help you throughout, from the noodle-making techniques to the draining and soup-making process. 

The best part of these classes is that they accommodate many different dietary restrictions by providing Halal-chicken, vegan, and vegetarian options for toppings. Your instructor will create an enjoyable experience that will become one of your Japan trip highlights.

Enjoy a one-of-a-kind Tokyo ramen kitchen experience. You will prepare ramen in a ramen shop’s kitchen. Get the feel of a professional ramen chef using fresh ingredients and proper cooking equipment. Learning to make ramen is fun, and you should definitely try it.

See Related: Family Vacation Ideas

11. Beautiful Shinto Shrines and Buddhist Temples

Kinkaku-ji temple Scenery
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

There are thousands of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines in Japan of all different sizes. It is almost impossible to stroll around the country without passing a shrine or temple. Temples and shrines in every city, town, and remote mountain region. Some of them are over 1,000 years old.

Though there are several Shinto shrines across Japan, you must visit some world-famous ones to appreciate their architectural power, spiritual weight, and historical significance. Top shrines include Fushimi Inari in Kyoto, Ise Grand Shrine, Meiji Jingu, and Udo Shrine.

Top of Sensō-ji Temple
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Similarly, the Kinkakuji Temple or Golden Pavilion in Kyoto, the Senso-Ji Temple at Asakusa in Tokyo, the Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto, and the Minobusan Kuonji Temple in Minobu are some of the best Buddhist temples in Japan. A visit to these temples and shrines is the best way to experience true wisdom and peace.

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12. Learn About the Birthplace of Anime and Gaming Culture

Anime Drawing of a Temple in Torii Forest

Anime is a Japanese art form that uses computer-generated and hand-drawn animation to create characters and comics. Irrespective of the origin, anime has become popular globally, with anime lovers flocking to annual conventions to show their appreciation for the art.

Anime is a lucrative industry, and many people travel to Japan to learn about the etymology of anime. There is an English walking tour in Japan where a guide will take you through the best Akihabara experiences. Akihabara, also known as Akiba, is a district in central Tokyo well-known for its electronics shops and otaku (anime and video game) culture.

This Akihabara Tokyo anime center and gaming tour will take you through all the must-do activities around the area. You can visit a retro game shop, a photo booth, and a maid cafe. Your guide will tell you exciting stories about the neighborhood, and you can learn about Japanese culture from a local perspective by walking in a small group.

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13. Japanese People are Generally Friendly and Kind

Tourists in Zaka Street, Kyoto

Japanese people are generally welcoming, friendly, and very kind. Though the language barrier could be an issue, they try their best to help tourists.

You will get to experience their politeness and helping nature while strolling around. If you have any doubts or want directions to any place, you can always ask Japanese people. Most of the time, they will help you as much as possible.

Japanese are not just polite to foreigners but also each other. Tourists are often surprised at how gracious, polite, and courteous the society is, and you may experience some culture shock when visiting Japan for the first time.

If you visit Japan anytime soon, brushing up on your Japanese etiquette is always great. Locals will truly appreciate your efforts to value and respect local customs.

14. Participate in the Tea Ceremony and Kimono Experience

Japanese Tea Ceremony

Another reason to visit Japan is to participate in a tea ceremony and kimono experience. The tea ceremony in Kyoto is a spiritual experience that is a must-do on your visit to Japan. Get Japan’s cultural introduction during a tea ceremony in a traditional kimono. 

There’s a tea ceremony tour in Kyoto MAIKOYA where a professional guide will explain everything you need to know about the tea ceremony and the kimono draping session. Take this opportunity to learn about the significance of Japanese culture over some hot matcha tea wearing a kimono.

It begins with mixing matcha, a type of green tea. This ceremony brings participants prosperity, mindfulness, peace, and harmony as they drink the tea. This auspicious tea ceremony is one of the great reasons to visit Japan.

Since Japan is known for its creativity and style, don’t forget to buy some souvenirs. The country offers a vast range of souvenirs that are worth buying. 

15. Japan Offers Thrilling Experiences

Tokyo Dome Stadium and Skyline
kuremo –

The picturesque land of Japan is home to some of the most exciting and thrilling experiences. This culturally rich country offers exhilarating and rejuvenating art, architecture, nature, music, lifestyle, and food-related activities.

Be it cycling along the Seto Inland Sea or snowboarding in Hokkaido, you will find a list of fun things to do in Japan on your getaway. If you’re an adventure enthusiast, you must climb Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest active volcano.  

You can also plan a weekend trip to Arashiyama, explore Nijo Castle & Ninja Museum, and admire the natural beauty at Oirase National Park. If you are traveling with kids, visit Tokyo DisneySea. From fun rides to themed attractions, this is one of the best theme parks to spend your entire day.

Also, since 70 to 80% of the land in Japan is mountainous, you can enjoy some breathtaking hiking trips. If you’re interested in Japanese history, don’t skip a visit to the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

16. Cherish the Beautiful View at the Top of Mount Fuji

Flowers and Mount Fuji

Mountain climbing is an adventurous sport that offers stunning views of surroundings and an experience of a lifetime. Rising to 12,388 feet, Mount Fuji is one of the most famous mountains in Japan. 

Commonly known as Fuji-san, this is an active volcano located around 62 miles southwest of Tokyo. Mount Fuji is one of Japan’s three sacred mountains, surrounded by five beautiful lakes. 

The official climbing season is from early July to mid-September. The weather is mild during this time, making public transportation accessible and climbing conditions safer than any other time of the year. 

You can also join a guided tour. This tour from Tokyo will take you to Mount Fuji and then continue to Lake Ashi and Mount Komagatake Ropeway. The guide will explain the history and significance of these gorgeous sights and beautiful wildlife on the way. 

You can stay at a beautiful ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn, to relax and slow down time near Mount Fuji in Hakone. Check out this review of one of the best traditional Japanese inns or ryokans in Hakone.

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17. Japan is a Shopper’s Paradise

Kabukichō Night Lights
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

When we talk about shopping, London, Paris, Seoul, and Tokyo are some of the top places that come to mind. These places are commonly known as “Shopper’s Paradise.” Shopping is another reason to visit Japan, especially for local brands and Japan-exclusive items from high-end brands.

Tokyo and other cities throughout the country have major shopping centers and traditional markets where you can shop for local handicrafts. Cities of all sizes will often have their local shopping streets.

Those in Tokyo should visit the city’s famous shopping districts, including Akihabara, Harajuku, and Shibuya. Japanese fashion is unique, robust, and fully displayed in these areas. Plus, you have to experience the crazy crowds at the Shibuya crossing.

Umeda and Shinsaibashi are some of the must-visit places in Osaka. These two shopping streets each feature a giant shopping arcade of apparel shops, cosmetics stores, and more.

In addition, Pokémon Mega Center Tokyo is a dream shop for Pokémon fans. It features an incredible range of merchandise, games, and toys. Some items are limited editions that you won’t find anywhere else.

18. Learn About the Famous Bonsai Cultivation

Japanese Bonsai Plant

The Bonsai is one of the most practiced art forms in Japan. It uses many mini trees to create creative art shapes. In Tokyo, the Bonsai is a promising plant that is often pruned and shaped using many techniques. The bonsai art is unique, making it another valid reason to visit Japan. 

The Bonsai Mecca and Hikawa-Jinja shrine tour is the best way to discover the art of bonsai. On this tour, you will learn the history of bonsai and the different techniques of shaping and pruning bonsai trees.

Omiya Bonsai Art Museum Aerial View

You will also get a tour of the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum and a bonsai garden, which will offer you an overview of everything related to bonsai. 

Learn how to sculpt like a professional in one of the training sessions provided by the museum. Learn all the tricks to create the best bonsai plant. These beautiful plants are native to Japan, making them one of the best reasons to explore Japan.

See Related: How to Book a Flight Without a Credit Card

19. Sakura Viewing in Japan

Japan Sakura Trees

A visit to Japan is incomplete without viewing sakura, the Japanese word for cherry blossom trees. The Japanese cherry blossoms are famous around the globe for their delicate, radiant, and transient beauty. They are beautiful and represent Japan’s history, identity, and culture.

Cherry blossom season is one of the most fascinating times to visit Japan, usually from mid-March to early May. These iconic trees attract thousands of locals and tourists yearly to cherish their natural beauty. The blooming of these trees symbolizes human life, nobleness, and transience for many Japanese.

Everyone must see this million-dollar view and hanami (cherry blossom viewing). Sakura represents the arrival of the spring season, and the cherry blossom symbolizes the transience of life.

The Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is one of the famous parks in Tokyo to see cherry blossom trees. The garden houses a couple of cherry trees of all shades, pink, white, and green.

See Related: Where to Stay in Shinjuku

20. Experience A Night in a Capsule Hotel 

Capsule Hotel in Japan
Pawel Pajor –

Whether you check in for a few hours or a day, staying in a capsule hotel offers a unique experience for visitors. The purpose of these pod hotels is to provide quick and affordable accommodation in Japan. This option is ideal for those not looking for the luxury of a standard hotel.

Originating in Japan, capsules are cost and space-efficient. These hotels can house many people in small, individual units, making them more ideal than ordinary hotels. Most people enjoy taking photographs inside capsules as they offer a unique and new experience.

They’re incredibly popular If you want to save money on accommodation or want a unique experience for a night. There are several capsule hotels throughout Japan, ensuring a convenient stay on an affordable budget.

21. Sumo Wrestling in Japan

Japan Sumo Wrestling

Sumo, Japan’s national sport, is one of the most beloved sports in the country. Watching a sumo match is an experience you must have at least once in Japan. Doing so with a guide can help you understand this ancient game better.

In the old days, sumo matches were the primary source of money used to construct temples and shrines and to replace bridges. This traditional sport is full of Shinto rituals and ancient customs.

Every year, Tokyo hosts around six official tournaments, three occurring at Sumo Hall in Tokyo. If you’re interested in watching sumo wrestling, sumo heya or training quarters are open to tourists in the Ryogoku district of Tokyo.

Plan a Trip to Japan Today

These are some of the best reasons to visit Japan on your next vacation. Home to many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, this country offers everything a tourist might expect to make unforgettable memories.

So, what are you waiting for? Check for amazing flight deals today and book your tickets at the best reasonable rates. 


What makes Japan unique?

Japan is famous for its traditions, art, crafts, architecture, and beauty. It is also known for its pop culture. Only this amazing country can offer this type of cultural dimension. 

How old is Japan?

Japan is around 15 million years old. This oldest Asian country is also one of the oldest countries in the world. During its lifetime, Japan has seen several empires rise and fall. 

What is the most popular food in Japan?

Sushi is one of the most popular foods in Japan. Born in ancient times, this is the first thing that comes to mind regarding Japanese cuisine. 

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