Recently, the users of travel website Trip Advisor recently ranked Japan’s best free sightseeing spots. This is a list of some of the best free places to visit in Japan. The website also liststhousands of other things to do around Japan, like this list of 1305 things to do in Tokyo. In order to make your own list, simply type in a city you’d like to visit in the top of the site and a list should be generated.
20 Top things to do in Japan
20. Universal Studios Japan (Osaka)
USJ (as it’s called by the locals) may not have ever been the filming location for classics of the silver screen, but it does have numerous attractions based on blockbuster hits (Jurassic Park, Spider-Man)
19. Tokyo Tower (Tokyo)
Probably a bit in the shadow of the newest tower built in Tokyo, the Tokyo skytree, but Tokyo tower is by far the most famous.
18. Meiji Shrine (Tokyo)
Tokyo’s premier Shinto shrine was built in 1920 in remembrance of the emperor Meiji and his wife. In contrast to the hustle and bustle of Asakusa’s Sensoji Temple, Meiji Shrine is an oasis of calm in the center of the capital.
17. Odaiba (Tokyo)
The island’s attractions include a gigantic Ferris wheel, classic car museum, sandy waterfront area, the 1:1 scale statue of giant anime robot Gundam, numerous indoor theme parks, the lego museum and a number of other attractions
16. Omotesando (Tokyo)
A famous place to shop for the latest of brand name clothing
15. Hakone Tozan Train Line (Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture)
The town of Hakone, famous for its hot springs, is located high in the mountains of Kanagawa Prefecture
14. Umeda Sky Building/Floating Garden Observatory (Osaka)
At just 40 stories tall, the Umeda Sky Building might not seem like anything to get excited over, especially in a country where skyscrapers are a dime a dozen. What makes it special, though, is the final approach to its open-air rooftop observation deck
13. Miraikan (Tokyo)
Home of the future, miraikan (literally Future Home, or Future Museum). The Miraikan houses displays on aerospace engineering, genetics, and is also the sometimes-residence of Honda’s robotic ambassador Asimo.
12. Asahiyama Zoo (Asahikawa, Hokkaido)
One of Japan’s most-visited zoos, Asahiyama Zoo was also the setting for the popular 2009 film Penguins Flying in the Sky.
11. Tsukiji Fish Market (Tokyo)
If you like loud places where everything smells of fish, this is the place for you.
10. Cup Noodle Museum (Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture)
Love your cup noodles?
9. Nijo Castle (Kyoto)
Nijo Castle is conveniently located near the center of the country’s former capital. As a result of being built in 1626 during a period of relative peace, Nijo Castle was more a luxurious estate for the Shogun to use on visits to Kyoto than an actual fortress, giving it a comparatively open design unique among Japanese castles.
8. 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture)
A showcase for ultra modern art
7. Ghibli Museum (Tokyo)
Love movies like Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery service or Ponyo? Here’s a museum for all things Studio Ghibli.
6. Tokyo DisneySea (Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture)
Right along side Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo Disney Sea is a newer amusement park and has everything the Disneylands in America has.
5. Oedo Onsen Monogatari (Tokyo)
Oedo Onsen Monogatari is a love letter to historical Tokyo (Oedo) and hot springs (onsen). Visitors change into cotton yukata robes and pass through a central area styled after a traditional Japanese festival with games and food stalls before reaching the complex’s numerous bathing areas, including a foot bath/walking path in the open-air garden.
4. Fushimi Inari Shrine (Kyoto)
This is my favourite place to visit in Japan. Dedicated to Inari, the deity of rice and agriculture, the buildings of Fushimi Inari Shrine are scattered across a mountain crisscrossed by walking paths. Along the way, hundreds upon hundreds of tori gates donated by the faithful form virtual tunnels with slivers of sunlight seeping through the narrow gaps between them. Such a beautiful place.
3. Dotonbori (Osaka)
The center of Osaka’s vibrant entertainment scene, Dotonbori is at its most impressive at night, with the neon from its towering billboards reflecting off the waters of the canal that bisects the district.
2. Kaiyukan (Osaka)
Home of a giant aquarium with a whale shark.
1. Takeshita-dori (Tokyo)
Also located in Harajuku, Takeshita-dori runs parallel to the previously mentioned Omotesando. The eclectic teen to Omotesando’s sophisticated grown-up, Takeshita-dori is the place to see people sporting Japan’s trendiest youth fashions, and the place to shop if you’re aiming to make the look your own.
Title Image: StevenduncanART.com
Insert images: Goo, Its-mo, Ganref, Design Channel, Exblog, Wikipedia, Change Fashion, Hostel 64, Miraikan, Pub, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries,Rakuten, Menamomi, Kanazawa 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, So-Net,Disney Hotels, Trip Advisor, Osaka Info, Yahoo! Japan, Waooh