Travel and Leisure named Japan the #1 destination of 2018, and it’s easy to see why! Japan is a land where ancient tradition and modernity blend and blur into an unforgettable and utterly unique cultural experience. From the busy streets of Tokyo to the undiscovered village of Wazuka, Japan is a land filled with wondrous adventures… and here are 5 must-see places that truly uncover the beauty of Japan.

1. Tokyo

Behind Tokyo’s glimmering modern façade, the long history of the city is still easy to discover. Soak in the local life along Nakamise, a traditional shopping street, and visit Sensoji, Tokyo’s oldest temple.

Tokyo skyline

2. Hakone

Visit the Hakone Shrine, a hidden Shinto retreat favored by the Samurai in the 12th century. The crimson tori gate is one of Japan’s iconic sights, rising from the waters of Lake Ashi.

Temples in Japan near the water

3. Kyoto

It’s said that 20% or more of Japan’s most important national treasures are in Kyoto and they are now recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Monuments.

A pagoda near a lake in Kyoto, Japan

4. Wazuka
Wazuka is famous for its excellent quality tea. This region is where tea cultivation is said to have started when it was brought over from China, and is the birthplace of what we know today as Japan’s rich tea culture.

Woman harvesting tea in Japan

5. Hiroshima

In the four syllables of Hiroshima lie an infinite number of feelings and a range of experiences that have made the city one of Japan’s most-visited destinations. As a memorial to human tenacity over the utter destruction of war, this is an essential for every traveler who seeks to understand our world.

Peach Memorial Park in Hiroshima, Japan

Join Classic Journeys’ Japan Culture + Walking tour to see all these places and more!