First Time Visiting Japan? – Where to go!

Japan is a fascinating and diverse country with a wealth of attractions and experiences to offer visitors. For first-time travellers, here are some destinations that are popular and highly recommended:


Japan’s capital city is a must-visit destination for first-time travellers. Tokyo is a unique blend of modern and traditional culture with a bustling metropolis. It offers a range of attractions, from high-tech shopping districts like Shibuya and Akihabara, to historic landmarks like the Sensoji Temple and the Imperial Palace. Tokyo also has a thriving food scene, with everything from street food to Michelin-starred restaurants.

Visit the Tokyo Skytree, the observation tower offers stunning views of Tokyo from its 450-meter-high observation deck.

Explore the Tsukiji Fish Market, this bustling market is the largest fish market in the world and offers a wide variety of fresh seafood.

Visit the Sensoji Temple, the historic Buddhist temple is one of Tokyo’s most popular tourist attractions, with a bustling street of food stalls leading up to the temple gate.

Explore the trendy neighbourhood of Shibuya, this bustling district is known for its shopping, dining, and nightlife, as well as its iconic pedestrian scramble crossing.

Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

Relax in a park. Tokyo has many beautiful parks and gardens, including Shinjuku Gyoen, Yoyogi Park, and the Imperial Palace Gardens. Take a break from the city and enjoy the natural scenery and peaceful atmosphere.

Tokyo has many excellent museums, including the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of Nature and Science, and the Mori Art Museum. Learn about Japanese history, culture, and art while exploring these fascinating museums.

Tokyo National Museum of Nature and Science, japan

What to eat in Tokyo

Sushi: Tokyo is known for having some of the best sushi in the world. Some popular places to try sushi in Tokyo include Sushi Jiro, Sushi Saito, and Sushi Dai.

Ramen: Ramen is a popular Japanese noodle dish that is especially beloved in Tokyo. Some popular places to try ramen in Tokyo include Ichiran, Tsuta, and Nakiryu.

Yakitori: Yakitori is a type of grilled chicken skewer that is a popular snack or appetizer in Japan. Some popular places to try yakitori in Tokyo include Torikizoku, Bird Land, and Isehiro.


Kyoto is known for its beautiful temples and gardens, rich history and traditional culture. It was the capital of Japan for over 1,000 years, and it has preserved much of its historic architecture and traditions. Highlights of Kyoto include the Fushimi Inari Shrine, the Kinkaku-ji Temple (also known as the Golden Pavilion), and the Gion district, which is known for its geisha culture.

Visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine, this iconic shrine is famous for its thousands of vermillion torii gates that wind up the mountain.

Fusihimi Inari, Kyoto, Japan

Explore the Kinkaku-ji Temple, it’s known as the Golden Pavilion, this temple is a stunning example of traditional Japanese architecture and is surrounded by beautiful gardens.

Stroll through the Gion district, this historic neighbourhood is known for its traditional wooden buildings, winding alleys, and geisha culture.

three Geisha women near trees in Japan

Visit the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, take a stroll through this serene bamboo forest located on the outskirts of Kyoto.

Experience a traditional tea ceremony. Kyoto is known for its tea culture, and there are many opportunities to experience a traditional tea ceremony in a historic teahouse.

What to eat in Kyoto

Kaiseki: Kaiseki is a traditional multi-course Japanese meal that usually includes a variety of small dishes made with seasonal ingredients. Some popular places to try Kaiseki in Kyoto include Gion Karyo, Kikunoi, and Hyotei.

Yudofu: Yudofu is a simple dish made with boiled tofu that is often served with dipping sauces and other accompaniments. One popular place to try Yudofu in Kyoto is Yudofu Sagano.

Matcha sweets: Kyoto is known for its matcha (powdered green tea) sweets, which are often made with high-quality matcha powder. Some popular places to try matcha sweets in Kyoto include Tsujiri and Gion Tsujiri.


Hakone is a mountainous region near Tokyo that is known for its hot springs, stunning views of Mount Fuji, and traditional Ryokan (Japanese inn) accommodations. It is a popular destination for relaxing and rejuvenating, with many onsen (hot spring) resorts and hiking trails.

Take a dip in a hot spring. Hakone is known for its onsen (hot springs), and there are many resorts and public baths to choose from.

Ride the Hakone Ropeway, the cable car ride offers stunning views of Mount Fuji and the surrounding mountains.

Visit the Hakone Open-Air Museum, this outdoor museum showcases a collection of contemporary sculptures set among beautiful gardens and natural landscapes.

Take a boat ride on Lake Ashi, this scenic lake is surrounded by beautiful forests and mountains, and a boat ride offers a unique perspective on the landscape.

Lake Ashi

Stay in a traditional ryokan. Hakone is known for its traditional Japanese inns, which offer an authentic and luxurious experience.


What to eat in Hakone

Kaiseki: Like Kyoto, Hakone is a popular place to try Kaiseki, with many restaurants offering multi-course meals featuring local ingredients. Some popular places to try Kaiseki in Hakone include Gora Kadan and Mizuno.

Onsen Tamago: Onsen Tamago are eggs that are boiled in the hot springs that are abundant in Hakone. The resulting eggs have a unique texture and flavour that is worth trying. Some popular places to try Onsen Tamago in Hakone include Tenzan Onsen and Hakone Kowakien Yunessun.

Black eggs: Black eggs are another local specialty in Hakone. They are boiled in the hot springs, which gives them their distinctive black colour. Some popular places to try black eggs in Hakone include Owakudani and Togendai Viewpoint.


Hiroshima is a city with a tragic past, but it has also emerged as a symbol of peace and resilience. The city was devastated by an atomic bomb during World War II, and now it is home to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum, which commemorates the victims of the bombing and promotes peace and nuclear disarmament. Hiroshima is a beautiful city with a rich history, and there are many things to do and see there.

Visit the Peace Memorial Park, this park is dedicated to the victims of the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima during World War II. It includes the Peace Memorial Museum, the Atomic Bomb Dome, and various memorials and monuments.

Explore Miyajima Island, Miyajima is a small island off the coast of Hiroshima that is famous for its giant torii gate, which appears to be floating in the water. You can also visit Itsukushima Shrine, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Miyajima, Miyajimacho, Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima, Japan Published on January 30, 2020 NIKON CORPORATION, NIKON D810 Free to use under the Unsplash License Itsukushima Shrine, in Miyajima Island. Hiroshima, Japan

Take a walk along the Hondori shopping street, pedestrian street is lined with shops, restaurants, and cafes, and is a great place to do some shopping and people-watching.

Visit Hiroshima Castle, this castle was built in the 16th century and is a popular tourist attraction in Hiroshima. It has a museum inside that showcases the history of the castle and the city.


Take a stroll through Shukkei-en Garden, this traditional Japanese garden is a peaceful oasis in the heart of Hiroshima. It features a central pond, tea houses, and various walking paths.

Visit the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, this museum showcases contemporary art from both Japan and around the world. It also has a beautiful sculpture garden outside.

What to eat in Hiroshima

Okonomiyaki: Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki is a popular local dish that features layers of noodles, cabbage, and other ingredients cooked on a griddle. Some popular places to try okonomiyaki in Hiroshima include Okonomi-mura and Nagataya.

Hiroshima-style tsukemen: Tsukemen is a type of noodle dish where the noodles are dipped into a separate bowl of soup or sauce. Hiroshima-style tsuk.


Osaka is a vibrant city with a rich food culture and plenty of things to see and do. Here are some suggestions for places to go in Osaka:

Osaka Castle is one of the most famous landmarks in Osaka, and it offers beautiful views of the city from its observation deck. The castle also has a museum where you can learn more about the history of Osaka.

Osaka Castle, Japan

Dotonbori is a popular entertainment district in Osaka that is known for its bright neon signs and street food. It’s a great place to go for a lively atmosphere and to try some of Osaka’s famous foods.

Universal Studios Japan is a theme park that offers rides and attractions based on popular movies and TV shows. It’s a fun place to go for a day of entertainment.

The Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is one of the largest aquariums in the world, and it features a variety of marine animals from around the world.


Visit a traditional Japanese garden: There are several beautiful traditional Japanese gardens in Osaka, including the Katsuo-ji Temple and the Shitennoji Temple. They offer a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

What to do in Osaka

Try your luck at a pachinko parlour: Pachinko is a popular Japanese game that is similar to pinball. You can find pachinko parlours all over Osaka, and they offer a unique experience that is worth trying.

Take a cooking class: Osaka is known for its food culture, and taking a cooking class is a great way to learn more about it. You can learn how to make dishes like takoyaki (octopus balls), okonomiyaki (a type of savoury pancake), and more.

What to eat in Osaka

Takoyaki: Takoyaki is a popular street food in Osaka that consists of small balls of batter filled with diced octopus, tempura scraps, and green onions. They are usually served with a savoury sauce and mayonnaise.

Okonomiyaki: Okonomiyaki is another popular Osaka dish that is made with batter, cabbage, and various fillings like pork, seafood, and cheese. It’s cooked on a griddle and topped with a sweet and savoury sauce, mayonnaise, and bonito flakes.

Kushikatsu: Kushikatsu are skewers of meat, seafood, and vegetables that are breaded and deep-fried. They are usually served with a sweet and savoury sauce for dipping.

Ramen: Ramen is a popular Japanese noodle dish that is especially beloved in Osaka. Some popular places to try ramen in Osaka include Ichiran and Ippudo.

Conveyor belt sushi: Osaka is known for its conveyor belt sushi restaurants, where plates of sushi pass by on a conveyor belt and you can take the ones you want. Some popular places to try conveyor belt sushi in Osaka include Kura Sushi and Genki Sushi.


Sapporo is the largest city on the northern island of Hokkaido in Japan, known for its delicious food, winter sports, and lively atmosphere. Sapporo is located near some of the best ski resorts in Japan, and visitors can enjoy a variety of winter sports and activities in the nearby mountains. Sapporo Snow Festival is held every February, featuring amazing ice sculptures, snow slides, and winter sports.

Skiing in Sapporo

Hokkaido is famous for its natural hot springs, and visitors can relax and rejuvenate in the many onsens located in and around Sapporo.

Odori Park runs through the heart of Sapporo, and is a great place to relax and enjoy the city’s beautiful natural scenery.

Hokkaido is known for its beer, and visitors can learn about the history of Sapporo Brewery and enjoy a tasting of their famous brews when you visit Sapporo Beer Museum.

Sapporo Beer Museum, Sapporo, Japan

Hokkaido Shrine – the historic shrine, located in the heart of Sapporo, and is a great place to learn about traditional Japanese culture and spirituality.

What to eat in Sapporo

Soup Curry: This spicy and flavorful soup is a local specialty, made with a variety of vegetables and meats in a curry-based broth.

Genghis Khan: This grilled lamb dish is a Hokkaido specialty, usually cooked on a table-top grill with onions and other vegetables.

Sapporo Ramen: Sapporo is famous for its rich and savory ramen, usually featuring a miso-based broth and topped with local ingredients like butter and corn.

Written and Shared by Youin Travel Team


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