Recent Searches
Clear
Things to do in Japan

Things to do in  Japan

Welcome to Japan

In Japan, the past and the future are gloriously juxtaposed. Robots dance to techno beats in Tokyo; snow monkeys soak in hot springs in Yamanouchi; and geishas serve green tea ceremoniously in Kyoto. Tokyo, the Land of the Rising Sun's capital, is the obvious starting point for any Japan trip. Must-do activities in and around the city include watching a cabaret show at the Shinjuku Robot Restaurant, witnessing the early-morning tuna auction at Tsukiji Fish Market, and taking a day trip to Hakone to gaze at the snow-capped peak of Mt. Fuji during a Lake Ashi cruise. Visit hundreds of UNESCO World Heritage–listed shrines and Buddhist temples in Nara; ski and snowboard on the frozen slopes of Hokkaido; or relax on white-sand beaches lapped by the Pacific Ocean in Okinawa. Super-speed bullet trains make ticking off less central cities such as Nagoya, Osaka, and Hiroshima (home to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park) possible on a day trip, while food tours of major cities showcase the best of local Japanese cuisine, from sushi to ramen and gyoza (dumplings). For the ultimate sensory banquet, take your Japan vacation during the sakura (cherry blossom) season between March and April, when the country is carpeted in pastel-pink blooms.

Top 15 attractions in Japan

#1
Fushimi Inari Shrine (Fushimi Inari Taisha)

Fushimi Inari Shrine (Fushimi Inari Taisha)

star-51,680
One of Kyoto’s most sacred temples and among the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan, the Fushimi Inari Shrine (Fushimi Inari Taisha) is dedicated to Inari, the God of rice. The shrine’s five magnificent temples lie at the foot of the Inari mountain, and thousands of red torii gates (the Senbon torii) mark the forested trails to the top.More
#2
Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)

Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)

star-52,779
With its gleaming gold tiers reflected in the lake below and a backdrop of forests and twisted pines, Kinkaku-ji (the Golden Pavilion) is an enchanting sight. Dating back to the 14th century, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of Kyoto’s most popular attractions and among Japan’s most visited temples.More
#3
Mt. Fuji 5th Station

Mt. Fuji 5th Station

star-5209
At 7,546 feet (2,300 meters), Mt. Fuji’s 5th Station affords incredible views over Fuji Five Lakes and Hakone National Park. Easily accessible by road, 5th Station lies at the midpoint of the Yoshida Trail to Mount Fuji’s summit; many hikers begin their ascent here.More
#4
Senso-ji Temple (Asakusa Temple)

Senso-ji Temple (Asakusa Temple)

star-52,653
The must-see Senso-ji Temple (also known as Asakusa Temple or Asakusa Kannon Temple) combines architecture, centers of worship, Japanese gardens, and traditional markets to offer visitors a modern-day look at Japan’s rich history and culture. Erected in AD 645 in what was once an old fishing village, Senso-ji Temple was dedicated to Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy. Stone statues of Fujin (the Shinto wind god) and Raijin (the Shinto thunder god) guard the entrance, known as Kaminarimon or the Thunder Gate. Next is Hozomon Gate, which leads to Nakamise’s shopping streets, filled with vendors selling handicrafts and Japanese snacks. Don’t miss the Asakusa Shrine or Kannon-do Hall.More
#5
Gion Corner

Gion Corner

star-52,826
Gion Corner is a convenient place for art lovers to visit while in Kyoto, as it brings seven traditional Japanese performing arts together under one roof. Attending one of its nightly performances is an ideal way to spend an evening in the heart of the Gion entertainment district while learning about traditional Japanese culture.More
#6
Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Kiyomizu-dera Temple

star-51,070
Kiyomizu-dera Temple is one of Japan’s oldest and most eye-catching Buddhist temples. Its classic red pagoda has been influential to Japanese architecture for centuries. Located on a hilltop, Kiyomizu-dera Temple is also worth visiting for its sweeping views over Kyoto.More
#7
Mt. Fuji (Fuji-san)

Mt. Fuji (Fuji-san)

star-55,630
As Japan's highest mountain, the legendary Mt. Fuji (Fuji-san) stands 12,388 feet (3,776 meters) tall. Travelers from around the world head to Hakone National Park to see the mountain, and over 1 million of them hike all the way to the top each year for the 360-degree views of Lake Ashi, the Hakone mountains, and the Owakudani Valley.More
#8
Shibuya

Shibuya

star-51,216
The area surrounding Shibuya Station—famous for its busy streets, flashing neon advertisements, trendy boutiques, and teeming malls—ranks among Tokyo’s most energetic neighborhoods. Shibuya Crossing, one of the world’s busiest pedestrian intersections, has become somewhat of a tourist attraction in its own right.More
#9
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

star-5187
The Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima commemorates the atomic bombing of the city at the end of World War II, in August of 1945. The park sits just below the site of the bomb’s mid-air explosion and includes the UNESCO-listed Atomic Bomb Dome, the Peace Memorial Museum, and many smaller memorials dedicated to affected groups of people.More
#10
Ginza

Ginza

star-52,479
With its neon lights, towering department stores, and trendy nightclubs, Tokyo’s upscale shopping district of Ginza is a chic, cosmopolitan adventure. You can catch a Kabuki performance, check out the latest Japanese film or art exhibition, and dine at some of Tokyo’s best restaurants. And, then, of course, there’s the shopping.More
#11
Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingu)

Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingu)

star-52,348
The Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingu) is the most important and popular Shinto shrine in Tokyo. Dedicated to the Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken, in 1926, the shrine comprises buildings of worship, gardens, and a forest where each tree was planted by a different citizen of Japan wanting to pay respects to the emperor. A highlight of the shrine is the Meiji Memorial Hall, where visitors find more than 80 murals dedicated to the emperor.More
#12
Tokyo Imperial Palace

Tokyo Imperial Palace

star-52,183
Home to Japan’s Emperor, the Tokyo Imperial Palace occupies the site of the original Edo Castle (Edo-jō), the Tokugawa shogunate's castle, which was once the largest fortress in the world. Located in the center of Tokyo, the palace is surrounded by moats and serene gardens.More
#13
Universal Studios Japan

Universal Studios Japan

star-52
Universal Studios Japan—Asia’s first Universal Studios theme park—is second only to the Tokyo Disney Resort as Japan’s most visited amusement park. Beloved characters like Shrek, Hello Kitty, and Spiderman are in attendance, and a spectacular variety of rides, movie simulators, and parades keep all ages entertained.More
#14
Yokohama Zoo ''Zoorasia''

Yokohama Zoo ''Zoorasia''

star-515
At Zoorasia, a zoo in Yokohama with minimal fencing, animals live in an environment as close to nature as possible. The zoo is divided into seven different geographic and climatic zones, including Asian Tropical Forest, Japanese Countryside, and Subarctic Forest, that house animals belonging to more than 100 species.More
#15
Nishiki Market

Nishiki Market

star-5513
With more than 100 shops, stalls, and vendors selling everything from fresh-off-the-boat fish and seafood to tasty sweets and sushi takeaway, Nishiki Food Market is a wonderland of culinary delights. It's no surprise then that Kyoto’s biggest and most popular food market is a local institution and a popular attraction for traveling foodies.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Japan

Tokyo Full-Day Private Tour with Government-Licensed Guide
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Private tour - All "Must-Sees"! Enjoy your First-Time Visit Tokyo!
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Shibuya Bar Hopping Night Food Walking Tour in Tokyo
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Japan

star-5
Excellent experience
Sid_A, Feb 2022
Online Cultural Art Experience by Japan’s National Art Museum
An excellent alternative to visit museum if unable to travel.
star-5
Tour guide John did an outstanding job!!
Julio_T, Jun 2022
Popular Blue Cave Snorkel! 【Okinawa Prefecture】 Feeding & photo images free! English, Chinese, Korean guide available!
He was fluent in English and Japanese and accommodated for smaller children.
star-5
1 day private tour to Mnt Fuji from Tokyo
Yoel_R, May 2022
Private Tour: Chartered Car to Mt. Fuji Lake Kawaguchiko or Hakone and Lake Ashi
Fuji Peace park We arrived at the best moment to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom.
star-5
Very fun and memorable experience!
ray_r, Feb 2022
Nagano Snowshoe Hiking Tour
As a person coming from a country without snow, this tour was the best way to experience the beauty of winter.
star-5
A friday well spent!
Ana_C, Nov 2020
Best of Tokyo in Small Group: Japanese Traditions, Shopping & Food Experience
the guide was well informed and spoke very good english.
star-5
Mt. Fuji
Irv_G, Feb 2020
Mt Fuji Day Tour with English Speaking Guide
His driving habits, knowledge and english are excellent.
star-5
The Village historu
Brian_E, Feb 2020
[Day trip bus tour from Kanazawa Station] Weekend only! World Heritage Shirakawago Day Bus Tour
We do not speak Japanese but the tour did cater for English.
star-5
Tokyo economy
mrjacobamiller, Feb 2020
Private Tour - Nihonbashi Walking Tour: Founding City of Japanese Economy
The tour guide had a good command of both English and Japanese which made translation relatively easy.
star-5
Amazing!
moonbum1, Jan 2020
Nikko 1-Day Bus Tour :World Heritage of Nikko Toshogu,Lake Chuzenji,Kegon Falls
Nikko was an amazing place to visit.
star-5
Good trip
Gustav_J, Jan 2020
Mt Fuji, Hakone, Lake Ashi Cruise and Bullet Train Day Trip from Tokyo
We had a limited time in Japan so this was a good way to see quite a bit in a day.
star-5
Takayama drum and live performance
Lana_L, Jan 2020
Takayama's only Japanese drum and live performance show of traditional arts
English and Japanese narration.
star-4
Had a great time!
snitkdan, Dec 2019
Discovering Shibuya
Offered good recommendations for other things to do, and was general very nice and cordial.
star-5
Many thanks to Hiro!
Milada_V, Dec 2019
Osaka Half-Day Private Tour with Government-Licensed Guide
Adopted the tour to a senior person for whom is English a second language.
star-5
Sadahiro Yamasaki San is a super guide👍👍👍👍👍
Wanderer07913574217, Dec 2019
Hiroshima / Miyajima Full-day Private Tour with Government Licensed Guide
His English is excellent.
star-4
Well organised but you have to be lucky to see Mount Fuji
Nixon Q, Nov 2019
Mt Fuji, Hakone, Lake Ashi Cruise and Bullet Train Day Trip from Tokyo
Be prepared to only look at a bunch of clouds or to see the mount for 1st Station with little visibility.
star-5
Excellent Driver and Service
Patricia_B, Nov 2019
Tokyo Private Chauffeur Driving Sightseeing Tour - English Speaking Driver
Highly recommend the service and in particular our Spanish-english speaking driver Oriol He was well versed in the streets, parks and sights of Tokyo, often explaining the temples visited and the customs of the people of Japan.
star-5
Private tour of yokohama
Jayrome2019, Nov 2019
Yokohama Private Full Day Tour
Mr Kitamura speaks excellent english.
star-5
Tokyo with a local
tony g, Nov 2019
Tokyo Tours By Locals: Private & Tailored to You, See the City Unscripted
We had the great opportunity to see Tokyo and talk about the city, Japan and it’s people with a local.
star-4
Excellent Kyoto & Nara Bus Tour
Gary S, Oct 2019
Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Trip - Golden Pavilion and Todai-ji Temple from Kyoto
Very good Japanese lady with good English speaking guide.
star-5
Around Japan
Thys_V, Oct 2019
Private tour - All "Must-Sees"! Enjoy your First-Time Visit Tokyo!
Ted took as around Japan to see all the amazing attractions - good understanding of english...
We perform checks on reviews

All about Japan

When to visit

Summer is festival season in Japan, and major events include the Obon Festival, Gion Matsuri in Kyoto, and Awa Odori (Tokushima). The entire country blooms with cherry blossoms in springtime, with the best viewing periods typically from late March to early April—to avoid the biggest crowds, visit before Japan’s Golden Week in May.

Currency
Japanese Yen (¥)
Time Zone
JST (UTC +9)
Country Code
+81
Language(s)
Japanese
Frequently Asked Questions