Top 10 Best Cities to Visit in Japan | Most Beautiful Cities in Japan to Visit

Cities of Japan, with a rich history and unique culture and wonderful places ranging from amazing skyscrapers or bustle streets to ancient shrines and temples or tranquil bamboo forests, are the destinations that appear in millions of people’s dreams. But it is hard to choose a place among dozens of wonderful cities for your holiday. Besides, it depends on many factors such as each person’s preference, the financial ability, the seasons, and so on. So discover these best cities in Japan to visit below to make your own choice for an exhilarating vacation. 

Japan City Name List

1. Tokyo

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Definitely holds the top position in the list of best cities to visit in Japan, Tokyo is the capital and the largest city of Japan. Tokyo is a fast-paced and sprawling city, a mixture of the modern and the traditional. It offers tourists not only impressive buildings and luxurious stores but also the oldest shrines and temples and beautiful natural places. With electronic gadgets and modern applications, Tokyo is famous for the latest technology. You can visit Yodobashi Akiba – the largest electronics store in Japan and this is also the center of otaku culture.There are dozens of famous attractions in Tokyo you can visit: get a nostalgic feeling for the Imperial Palace, the Sensō-Ji Temple, The Meiji Shrine, etc; visit Ueno Park and Zoo to immerse yourself in nature, or go to The Miraikan and Edo-Tokyo Museums or The National Art Center to be awed by the ultra-modern and superb exhibits. Such as Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea, Kabukichō, etc, there are many places worth visiting.

2. Kyoto

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Kyoto, the capital of Japan during the period from 794 to 1868, has a rich history and culture. You can find almost everything here: shrines, shops, restaurants, gardens, etc. Kyoto is one of the top cities in Japan and people should come here once in their lives. Kyoto is reputed to be the “city of 1000 shrines”. Tourists will have an interesting experience on Japanese culture when visiting ancient shrines and temples in Kyoto, to name but a few Kinkakuji Temple, Kifune Shrine, Yasaka Pagoda, etc. In addition, there is Ine no Funaya – a charming village on the Tango Peninsula. This most beautiful city in Japan is known as “Venice of Japan” with more than 200 floating houses forming a picturesque and romantic scene. Kyoto is home to Matcha (Japanese green tea). There is even a town called Wazuka specialized in producing green tea. So it is undoubted that tourists can enjoy a wide range of best matcha – flavored desserts in Kyoto.

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3. Hiroshima

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Hiroshima is famous for the nuclear bombing in 1945, yet it is more than that. This beat city of Japan has now become a modern and peaceful city with many attractions. People will give you the warmest welcome here. Hiroshima Memorial Park appeals to thousands of people around the globe. Miyajima Island on which there is Itsukushima Shrine offers breathtaking natural scenes. Miyajima Water Fireworks Festival in summer on this island is an illumination event that you should never miss. The Itsukushima Shrine was recognized as world heritage by UNESCO. The very famous symbol of Hiroshima is the “floating” torii gate of the Shrine. In addition, Shukkeien Garden and Hiroshima Castle are other historical places people should visit. Foods and drinks in Hiroshima are also delicious. In regards to foods, oysters are a popular seafood which can be served in many ways such as raw oysters, grilled, deep-fried, etc.

4. Kanazawa

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Kanazawa is the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture. It is one of the top cities to visit in Japan because of historical temples and museums, beautiful gardens and sophisticated crafts and arts. Enjoy your holiday in Kenrokuen garden, Kanazawa castle park, Utatsuyama temple area (include more than 50 temples and shrines), Higashi Chaya area (with many geisha houses), Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art (the display of Japanese art), 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (collection of art produced in the 1980s). Kanazawa is celebrated as the City of Crafts and Folk Art. It is the city of gold leaf and there is even an ice cream cone served in real gold. The images of this sweet dessert are so eye-catching and widely shared on social media. In addition, you should experience the art of traditional handicraft: gold lacquer decoration, Kaga-Nui embroidery, Kutani porcelain and so on.

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5. Nara

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Nara is the former ancient capital of Japan. As a result, dipped in historical and cultural values, it is the cradle of Japanese civilization. No wonder why it is also listed as one of the top cities to visit in Japan. Get yourself a great day in historical attractions: Todai-Ji Temple, Kasuga-Taisha Shrine, Sangatsu-do Hall, Yakushi-Ji Temple or go sightseeing to enjoy the breathtaking natural scenes in Yoshiki-en Garden, Kofuku-Ji Temple, Isui-en Garden, etc. Nara’s cuisine is famous for foods that originated from Nara period: somen noodles, manju (a steamed bun), narazuke (a kind of pickle since the 8th century), kakinoha-zushi (a type of sushi with salty mackerel fish), kuzu mocha (a very refreshing and sweet dessert). Nara is really an interesting city, do you know that there are about 150 accidents caused by deer? The city had to create “deer zones” on the road to help drivers notice and avoid. Another surprising fact is that many stores in Nara close very early, often after 6 p.m.

6. Osaka

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Osaka is also one of the largest cities in Japan located on the Honshu island impresses tourists with glorious neon lights, diverse local foods, historical places, and entertainment centers. Nestles among cherry blossoms at the heart of the city, Osaka Castle offering a very charming view. Shitennoji Temple, Hozen-Ji temple, Kasuga Taisha Shrine, and Sumiyoshi shrine are not only the best ancient places but also tell many mysterious folks and tales. There are more museums in Osaka that make this city more beautiful than any other cities in Japan. Osaka Aquarium, universal studios, the pokemon centers, and Round 1 stadium are all celebrated entertainment centers in Osaka. Tourists can enjoy fresh seafood in Kuromon Market and other traditional foods of Japan like takoyaki (grilled octopus meatballs), okonomiyaki (a Japanese pancake), ramen in Dotonbori street.

7. Sapporo

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Sapporo is the capital city of the second largest island of Japan – Hokkaido. Sapporo itself is Japan’s fifth largest city. No words can describe the beauty and charm of this city. It must be on many people’s checklist of major cities to visit in Japan. There are countless fascinating things to discover in Sapporo, the colorful and fantasy Ishiya Chocolate Factory for people having sweet teeth, Maruyama Zoo for animal lovers, the reputable Snow Festival with ice sculptures. It cannot go without saying that like other top cities in Japan there are many green spaces, temples, and museums in Sapporo. Besides the traditional foods of Japan (ramen, soup curry), here a very famous drink is beer. Sapporo beer has a long history that dates back to 143 years ago. There is even Sapporo Beer Museum where you can learn all about the history of beer making.

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8. Yokohama

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Yokohama is Japan’s second largest city located on the southwestern coast of Tokyo Bay. As it is the most famous port city open to foreign trade, Yokohama remains one of the popular cities in Japan.  Now becoming one of the modern and dynamic cities to visit in Japan,  Yokohama, originally used to be a small fishing village. However, in Harbor View Park you can see the oldest houses in the old days or visit Yokohama Foreign Cemetery where many western traders were buried a long time ago. Sankeien Garden owns a number of inspiring historical architectures and a very beautiful green space. Tourists should also experience Yokohama Chinatown, Zoorasia (one of the largest zoos in Japan), Yokohama boat cruise, Ramen Museum (for ramen lovers). There are some other interesting facts about Yokohama that certainly makes you surprised: Yokohama exports many commodities such as silk, steel, canned fish, etc; the climate here is diverse with humid, hot summer and chilly winter. 

9. Fukuoka

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Fukuoka is the largest city of Kyushu island. It is actually the combination of 2 towns: Hakata, the port town and Fukuoka the castle city. Fukuoka is really one of the most popular cities to visit in Japan and you will know why. The sightseeing spots in Fukuoka will never disappoint you: Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine (worship the god of learning), Canal City Hakata, Kyushu National Museum, Ohori Park, Nokonoshima island (with colorful blossoms), Marine World Uminonakamichi (more than 450 marine species) and many other famous festivals. Experience the famous specialty of Fukuoka: ramen in 2 styles – Hakata and traditional Kyushu. The broth of Kyushu ramen has a stronger taste than that of Hakata one. Another delicacy of Fukuoka is Hakata Torimon – a toothsome pastry whose ingredients are butter, milk, and sweet beans. Hakata no Hito is another renowned pastry made from eggs and red bean jelly. Seafood in Fukuoka is also fresh and diverse: Karachi mentaiko (pollack roe seasoned in red peppers and sauce), gomasaba (mackerel soaked in sesame and soy sauce).

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10. Kamakura

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Kamakura is a small city in Japan located in the south of Kanagawa prefecture. Kyoto is famous for numerous shrines and temples, so it is also known as a historical city embedded with cultural values. In addition, tourists can go hiking, enjoy a variety of seafood and lie on the sandy beaches. The famous symbol of Kamakura – the Great Buddha in Kotoku-in Temple. You definitely visit the famous symbol of this city – the Great Buddha in Kotoku-in Temple. There are many other shrines and temples like Megetsuin temple (with charming hydrangea blossoms), Hokokuji temple (to take a stroll in a green bamboo forest), Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine, Yuigahama beach. Kamakura has so much street food like croquettes (a fried bread-crumbed roll), Dango (mochi sticks), fishcakes, matcha – flavored sweet desserts, and so on.

11. Beppu

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Beppu, the city located on the island of Kyushu, is renowned for hot springs resorts. Surrounded by mountains and long coastal lines, tourists coming to Beppu city can relax on the beautiful beaches or go hiking. They can also visit many famous attractions in this city. The first place in Beppu that people must visit is definitely onsens (hot springs): take a tour in Hell Circuit consisting of 8 stunning hot springs. You can experience the sand bath in Takegawara Bathhouse, walk around Beppu Park, visit Takasakiyama Monkey Park (monkeys are on the loose), etc. One thing that distinguishes foods in Beppu from other cities to visit in Japan is that foods are cooked with hot spring steam. Thus, come and try the unique and healthy cuisine of Beppu.

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12. Aomori

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Aomori is a small city on the Honshu island. This most beautiful city in Japan is truly a hidden gem in Japan as it is full of natural landscapes and tranquil places. You can relax in Fujita Memorial Garden, enjoy the colorful Nebuta Festival, go skiing or snowboarding in winter, visit Nebuta Warasse (a cultural center of Aomori), Asamushi aquarium, Aomori Museum of Art, etc. In Aomori, you can eat apples everywhere and experience apple-picking. Other famous foods you can find in Aomori are Kenoshiru (Miso soup), Ginger-Miso Oden (best served in winter), Barayak (beef cooked with onions and a sauce called “tare”), Kaiyaki-Miso (a simple Miso soup with ingredients of scallops). 

Japan city name list is letting us know all the best cities in Japan to visit as it is providing a brief description of the top 10 cities to visit in Japan and some most beautiful cities in Japan. Hope this article would be beneficial for you as it provides the name of cities to be visited in Japan with their brief explanation and please share your views in the comment section after reading this article and let us know your thoughts.

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