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20+ Mindblowing Spots in Japan

Insider Guides
by Matador Creators Nov 30, 2016

THERE ARE FEW PLACES THAT ARE as unique and beautiful as Japan. Few places combine such unique urban landscapes as the concrete jungle of Shinjuku with natural wonders like the forests of Takaosa, or the beautiful Kitayamazaki Coast.

On top of the views, Japan has one of the most aesthetically beautiful cultures in the world. There’s the beautiful artwork of Hayao Miyazaki, there are stunning Buddhist and Shinto shrines, and there are meticulously cultivated Japanese gardens.

The members of our new travelstoke app have scoured the Islands of Japan for the coolest, most picturesque spots, and this is what they’ve come up with so far. If you think we’ve missed something, come join us on the app! It’s a great place to meet other travelers, and it’s amazing as a crowd-sourced travel guide.

Bamboo Forest

 Bamboo Forest 嵐山竹林Kyōto-shi, Japan#hiking

Great Buddha

 Great BuddhaKamakura-shi, JapanThe Great Buddha in Kamakura(beach town) is still a special place despite the throngs that come every day. Kamakura is a fun day trip from Tokyo but you could easily spend a couple of nights here with all the temples.

Plus there’s multiple surf breaks nearby!! #free #history #hiking

Cape Maeda

 Cape MaedaKunigami-gun, JapanI explored Cape Maeda and came to the “secret beach”. It has emerald blue sea water where coral reefs are visible and clear to see from that cliff where I was standing.
#beach #hiking #scenicviews

Tokyo Skytree

 Tokyo SkytreeSumida-ku, JapanThis is the tallest lookout in the world and Tokyo is a city worth seeing from up above. Be here for sunset to get some rad pics. Don’t get your schedule too tight, leaving the tower can be a really long process.

Southeast Botanical Garden

 Southeast Botanical GardensOkinawa-shi, JapanA place for animal and exotic plant lovers. I especially enjoyed walking thru these Alexander palm trees.
#palmtrees #photography


 ShinjukuShinjuku-ku, JapanWalking the streets of Shinjuku at nighttime is the perfect way to end a day in Tokyo. Getting lost in these neon filled streets is a must.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

 Shinjuku Gyoen National GardenShinjuku-ku, JapanIf you’ve ever thought of going to Japan, experience the ultimate in Japanese culture. Sakura season was an acci-coincidence for my first trip to Japan. And the people and country leftnits mark in such a beautiful way. #japan #tokyo #sakura #cherryblossom

Don’t think, just travel!!

Kinosakionsen Station

 Kinosakionsen StationToyooka-shi, JapanKinosakionsen- come to go onsen (hot spring) hopping and stay to explore the basalt caves and northern coastline by bike

Ueno Park

 Ueno ParkTaitō-ku, JapanGorgeous park with temples, a zoo, and a dinky little amusement park. There are museums nearby and Ameyoko, a cool shopping district near the train tracks, is within walking distance. But you can be entertained enough in the park without having to spend a single yen simply by people watching – especially on weekends! #free

Robot Restaurant

 Robot RestaurantShinjuku-ku, JapanA tourist trap of course, but the shows are a must. Food’s not worth the price, so grab a couple beers and enjoy the quirky performances. There are plenty of good options to have a nice dinner around Shinjuku after the show. Book in advance.

Chichu Art Museum

 Chichu Art MuseumKagawa-gun, JapanBeautiful subterranean museum by tadao ando

Kawaii Monster Cafe

 KAWAII MONSTER CAFEShibuya-ku, JapanWeird is not enough to describe the experience you’ll get here. The place charges a cover and the food is not that good (even if eye catching), but the place and the show are awesome. Drinks are good as well.

Benesse House

 Benesse HouseKagawa-gun, JapanStay at the benesse house if you’re looking for ultimate zen and have a few hundred bucks to drop – or just stop by for the breakfast and check out the local beach and art

Teshima Art Museum

 豊島美術館Shōzu-gun, JapanTeshima Art Museum – quite possibly my favorite piece of architecture and art in the world. Go there as part of the larger naoshima experience

Ghibli Museum

 Ghibli MuseumMitaka-shi, JapanIf you’re a fan of Studio Ghibli films, you must not leave Tokyo without coming to this museum. The experience is surreal and will totally surpass your expectations. Book with plenty of time.

Fushimi Inari Taisha

 Fushimi Inari TaishaKyōto-shi, JapanAmazing temple complex with winding paths surrounded by striking torii. Go early, because it can get pretty crowded.


 Shisen-dōKyōto-shi, JapanLaid back temple and garden to beat the crowds and find zen in Kyoto

Tokyo Tower

 Tokyo TowerMinato-ku, JapanGood lookout point in the middle of Tokyo. Avoid during school hours.

Heda Port

 Heda Port, JapanBeautiful little fishing village with spectacular views of Mt. Fuji. Stay at one of the many insensitive and enjoy the incredibly fresh seafood #fine-dinning #cheap-eats #hiking #beach

Gio-ji Temple

 Gio-ji TempleKyōto-shi, JapanThis was probably my favorite temple in Kyoto. Not as awe-inspiring or elaborate as many of the others, but beautiful, peaceful, and serene.


 RikugienBunkyō-ku, JapanBeautiful, serene, and not crazy expensive to enter: what more can you ask for in a Japanese landscape garden?

Roppongi Hills

 Roppongi HillsMinato-ku, JapanThe observation deck at the top of Roppongi Hills is a great spot to look out at the city of Tokyo.

Kegon Falls

 Kegon FallsNikkō-shi, JapanMultiple observation decks for this stunning waterfall, and plenty of places to grab snacks too. Pro tip: Take the elevator down 100m to the lower level. It’s $5 well spent. #waterfalls #snacks #photoop


 Shin-kyoNikkō-shi, JapanA beautiful bridge in an even more beautiful location. It was built in the 1600s, but thanks to renovations over the last few decades, you can walk across it for a small fee. #culture #photoop #mustsee

Kawachi Fuji-en

 Kawachi Fuji-enKitakyūshū-shi, JapanBuzzfeed has this on its list of places so beautiful you won’t believe they actually exist. If you come here in early May, you’ll be surrounded by purple wisteria flowers with this tunnel and lots of other areas. Bring lunch and have a picnic! Just gorgeous. It’ll make you obsessed with wisteria. Naturally, a photographer’s dream! #flowers #gardens #japan #kitakyushu

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