Japan

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Additional Information
Capital Tokyo
Currency
Timezone Asia/Tokyo
Total States 47 Prefectures
Airport City Haneda Airport, Narita International Airport, Kansai International Airport, Fukuoka Airport, New Chitose Airport
Ruling Type Government
Offical Languages Japanese, Ryukyuan , Ainu , Orok, Evenki
National Animal Japanese macaque
Food Sushi/Sashimi, Ramen, Tempura
Seasons Autumn  : Sep - Dec
Summer : Jun - Sep
Winter     : Dec - Mar
Sprint      : Mar - Jun


Destination



1 ) Tokyo Prefecture
Popular - Metropolitan City     Location - Tokyo Prefecture, -Tokyo, -Japan

Tokyo, is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. It has served as the Japanese capital since 1869,its urban area housing the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese government. Tokyo forms part of the Kantō region on the southeastern side of Japan's main island, Honshu, and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo was formerly named Edo when Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu made the city his headquarters in 1603. It became the capital after Emperor Meiji moved his seat to the city from Kyoto in 1868; at that time Edo was renamed Tokyo. The Tokyo Metropolis formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture (東京府 Tōkyō-fu) and the city of Tokyo (東京市 Tōkyō-shi). Tokyo is often referred to as a city but is officially known and governed as a "metropolitan prefecture", which differs from and combines elements of a city and a prefecture, a characteristic unique to Tokyo..

 


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2 ) Narita
Popular - Naritasan Buddhist Temple     Location - Narita, -Chiba, -Japan

Naritasan is a Shingon Buddhist temple located in central Narita, Chiba, Japan. It was founded in 940 by Kanchō Daisōjō, a disciple of Kōbō Daishi. It is a lead temple in the Chisan branch (Chisan-ha 智山派) of New Shingon (Shingi Shingon 新義真言宗), includes a large complex of buildings and grounds, and is one of the best-known temples in the Kantō region. It is dedicated to Ācala (Japanese: Fudō myōō ("Unmovable Wisdom King")) who is usually depicted holding a sword and rope and surrounded by flames.Often called a fire god, he is associated with fire rituals.

Several of the structures at Narita-san temple have been designated National Important Cultural Properties: the Kōmyō-dō, built in 1701 and dedicated to the Dainichi Nyorai Buddha (Vairocana), the principal image of Shingon Buddhism; the three-storied, 25-meter high pagoda built in 1712; the Niōmon main gate, built in 1830; the Shaka-dō (Shakyamuni Hall), built in 1858; and the Gaku-dō (Votive Tablet Hall), built in 1861. The Kaizan-dō (Open Mountain Hall) shrine to Kanchō Daisōjō was built in 1938, in time for the temple's 1000th anniversary. Narita-san Park (16.5 hectares) opened in 1928, the current Great Main Hall dates from 1968, a 58-meter high Great Pagoda (Daitō) was added in 1984, and a hall dedicated to Prince Shōtoku, regarded as the father of Japanese Buddhism, was erected in 1992.


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3 ) Nagoya
Popular - Industrial and Manufacturing     Location - Nagoya, -Aichi, -Japan

Nagoya, capital of Japan’s Aichi Prefecture, is a manufacturing and shipping hub in central Honshu. The city’s Naka ward is home to museums and pachinko (gambling machine) parlors. Naka also includes the Sakae entertainment district, with attractions like the Sky-Boat Ferris wheel, which is attached to a mall. In northern Naka is Nagoya Castle, a partly reconstructed 1612 royal home displaying Edo-era artifacts.

Nagoya  is the largest city in the Chūbu region of Japan. It is Japan's fourth-largest incorporated city and the third-most-populous urban area. It is located on the Pacific coast on central Honshu. It is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japan's major ports along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Chiba, and Kitakyushu. It is also the center of Japan's third-largest metropolitan region, known as the Chūkyō metropolitan area. As of 2015, 2.28 million people lived in the city, part of Chūkyō Metropolitan Area's 10.11 million people. It is also one of the 50 largest urban areas in the world.


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4 ) Okayama
Popular - Museum & Galleries     Location - Okayama, -Okayama, -Japan

Okayama is the capital city of its namesake prefecture, in western Japan. It’s known for the 16th-century Okayama Castle, dubbed “Crow Castle” for its black exterior, and for Korakuen, an iconic formal garden. The Hayashibara Museum of Art shows East Asian art and artifacts. The Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art displays regional works. To the west, 15th-century Kibitsu-jinja Shrine features a long, covered walkway.

Okayama Castle and Kōraku-en are Okayama's most notable attractions.

Okayama Castle (nicknamed Ujō (烏城), meaning "crow castle") was constructed in 1597 by Ukita Naoie, a Japanese feudal lord. It was destroyed by bombing in 1945 during World War II but reconstructed in 1966.

Kōraku-en, known as one of the three best traditional gardens in Japan, lies south of the castle grounds. Kōrakuen was constructed by Ikeda Tsunamasa over 14 years, and completed in 1700.

Sōgen-ji, a large Buddhist monastery belonging to the Rinzai sect, is located near the center of the city. Several of the abbots of major monasteries in Kyoto are from Sōgen-ji


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5 ) Hakone Machi
Popular - Theme Park     Location - Hakone Machi, -Kanagawa, -Japan

Hakone, in Japan's Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park west of Tokyo, is a mountainous town known for its hot springs resorts (onsen) and views of the iconic volcano Mount Fuji. It also encompasses Hakone Shrine, a Shinto shrine with a red “torii” gate overlooking Lake Ashi, which can be toured by boat, as well as the boiling sulphur springs of the Owakudani Valley.

Hakone is the location of a noted Shinto shrine, the Hakone Gongen, which is mentioned in Heian period literature. During the Genpei War, Minamoto no Yoritomo prayed at this shrine for victory over his enemies, after his defeat at the Battle of Ishibashiyama, which was fought in neighboring Manazuru. As with the rest of Sagami Province, the area came under the control of the later Hōjō clan of Odawara during the Sengoku period. After the start of the Edo period, Hakone-juku was a post station on the Tōkaidō highway connecting Edo with Kyoto. It was also the site of a major barrier and official checkpoint on the route known as the Hakone Checkpoint (箱根関所 Hakone sekisho), which formed the border of the Kantō region. Under the Tokugawa shogunate, all travellers entering and leaving Edo along the Tōkaidō were stopped here by officials. Their travel permits and baggage were examined to enforce Tokugawa laws that restricted the travel of women and weapons.


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6 ) Kyoto
Popular - Scenic Area     Location - Kyoto, -Kyoto, -Japan

Kyoto, once the capital of Japan, is a city on the island of Honshu. It's famous for its numerous classical Buddhist temples, as well as gardens, imperial palaces, Shinto shrines and traditional wooden houses. It’s also known for formal traditions such as kaiseki dining, consisting of multiple courses of precise dishes, and geisha, female entertainers often found in the Gion district.

In 794, Kyoto (then known as Heian-kyō) was chosen as the new seat of Japan's imperial court. The Emperors of Japan ruled from Kyoto in the following eleven centuries until 1869, when the court relocated to Tokyo. The city was devastated during the Ōnin War in the 15th century and went into an extended period of decline, but gradually revived under the Tokugawa shogunate (1600–1868) and flourished as a major city in Japan. The modern municipality of Kyoto was established in 1889. The city was spared from large-scale destruction during World War II and as a result, its prewar cultural heritage has mostly been preserved.

Kyoto is considered the cultural capital of Japan and a major tourist destination. It is home to numerous Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, palaces and gardens, many of which are listed collectively by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Prominent landmarks include the Kyoto Imperial Palace, Kiyomizu-dera, Kinkaku-ji, Ginkaku-ji and the Katsura Imperial Villa. Kyoto is also a center of higher learning, with Kyoto University being an institution of international renown.


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7 ) Osako
Popular - High Tech City     Location - Osako, -Osaka, -Japan

Osaka is a large port city and commercial center on the Japanese island of Honshu. It's known for its modern architecture, nightlife and hearty street food. The 16th-century shogunate Osaka Castle, which has undergone several restorations, is its main historical landmark. It's surrounded by a moat and park with plum, peach and cherry-blossom trees. Sumiyoshi-taisha is among Japan’s oldest Shinto shrines.

Osaka was traditionally considered Japan's economic hub. By the Kofun period (300–538) it had developed into an important regional port, and in the 7th and 8th centuries it served briefly as the imperial capital. Osaka continued to flourish during the Edo period (1603–1867) and became known as a center of Japanese culture. Following the Meiji Restoration, Osaka greatly expanded in size and underwent rapid industrialization. In 1889, Osaka was officially established as a municipality.

Today's Osaka is a major financial center of Japan. It is home to the Osaka Securities Exchange and the multinational electronics corporation Panasonic. Landmarks in Osaka include Osaka Castle and Shitennō-ji.


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8 ) Toyama
Popular - Historical     Location - Toyama, -Toyama, -Japan

Toyama is a coastal city on Japan’s main island, Honshu. In the center, Toyama Castle Park has a restored castle dating to the 1500s, plus small museums of history and art. The nearby Toyama Glass Art Museum displays striking contemporary works. Rakusui-tei is an art museum in a traditional home with a formal garden. On the Fugan Canal, Kansui Park has views of the distant Tateyama mountains.

Located in the middle of its prefecture, Toyama is a seaside city by the coast of the Sea of Japan. Its municipal territory borders with the Gifu Prefecture and with the municipalities of Imizu, Namerikawa, Tonami, Nanto, Hida and Takayama.

The nearest towns are Imizu (west), and Namerikawa (east), both by the sea and part of the Toyama urban area. The nearest city is Kanazawa, the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture, which is 65 km (40 miles) away

Toyama (富山市 Toyama-shi, Japanese: [toꜜjama]) is the capital city of Toyama Prefecture, Japan, located on the coast of the Sea of Japan in the Chūbu region on central Honshū, about 200 km (120 mi) north of the city of Nagoya and 300 km (190 mi) northwest of Tokyo. As of 1 June 2019, the city had an estimated population of 415,844 in 176,643 households,[2] and a population density of 335 persons per km². Its total area was 1,241.77 square kilometres (479.45 sq mi).

The city has been designated an environmental model city by the national government for its efforts to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.


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9 ) Kanazawa
Popular - Scenic Area     Location - Kanazawa, -Ishikawa, -Japan

Kanazawa is the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture, on Japan’s central Honshu Island. It's known for well-preserved Edo-era districts, art museums and regional handicrafts. Kenrokuen Garden, begun in the 17th century, is celebrated for its classic landscape designs incorporating ponds and streams. Adjacent Kanazawa Castle was built in the 1580s, after the defeat of the Peasant’s Kingdom, Japan's only Buddhist fiefdom.

In the mid-nineteenth century Kanazawa was Japan’s 4th largest city, built around a grand castle and the beautiful garden. Today, the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture continues to cultivate the arts and contains an attractive old town. Having escaped bombing during World War II, traditional inner-city areas, such as Nagamachi with its samurai houses and the charming geisha teahouse district of Higashi Chaya, remain intact and are a joy to wander around.

The area around Kanazawa was part of ancient Kaga Province. The name "Kanazawa" (金沢, 金澤), which literally means "marsh of gold", is said to derive from the legend of the peasant Imohori Togoro (literally "Togoro Potato-digger"), who was digging for potatoes when flakes of gold washed up. The well in the grounds of Kenroku-en known as 'Kinjo Reitaku' (金城麗澤) to acknowledge these roots. The area where Kanazawa is was originally known as Ishiura, whose name is preserved at the Ishiura Shrine near the Kenrokuen.


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10 ) Numazu-Shi
Popular - Hills     Location - Numazu-Shi, -Shizuoka, -Japan

Numazu is a city in central Japan. Hilltop Kanukiyama Park has views of Mount Fuji, and is known for spring cherry blossoms. By Suruga Bay, Deepblue Aquarium has rare species of fish. Ose Beach sits on a narrow peninsula at the tip of the bay. Nearby, Ose Shrine is surrounded by juniper trees. Tiny Awashima Island has a marine park with dolphin and sea lion shows. To the south, trails run to the top of Mount Daruma.

Numazu is at the northwestern end of the Izu Peninsula, which is a leisure destination known for its numerous hot springs. Mount Fuji, Japan's tallest mountain, may also be seen from Numazu on clear days. Numazu is located 130 kilometres (81 mi) west of Tokyo and is on the Tōkaidō Main Line, the main railway line from Osaka to Tokyo. Warmed by the Kuroshio Current, the area enjoys a warm maritime climate with hot, humid summers and mild, cool winters. The Kano River runs through the middle of the city. Mount Ashitaka (1188 meters) is the highest point in the city

Numazu is an ancient settlement, mentioned in Nara period records as the original provincial capital of Suruga Province before the separation of Izu Province from Suruga in 680 AD, and subsequent transfer of the provincial capital to the banks of the Abe River in what is now Shizuoka city. During the early part of the Tokugawa shogunate, Numazu was ruled as part of Odawara Domain, but with the construction of Numazu Castle in 1777, it became the separate Numazu Domain. Numazu prospered in the Edo period as a from its location on the Tōkaidō highway connecting Edo with Kyoto, with Numazu-juku and Hara-juku as two of the 53 post stations.

 


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11 ) Ishigaki
Popular - Beach     Location - Ishigaki, -Okinawa, -Japan

Ishigaki is a city on Japan’s Ishigaki Island and a jumping-off point for beaches and coral reefs. Near the port, the Misakichō district is home to the covered Euglena Mall. The Yaeyama Museum chronicles the history of Ishigaki and the other Yaeyama Islands. Connecting to a small island park, the Southern Gate Bridge offers views over the coastline. East of the city is Maezato Beach, a popular water sports hub.

Ishigaki  is a city in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. It includes Ishigaki island and the disputed Senkaku Islands territory.The city is the political, cultural, and economic center of the Yaeyama Islands. New Ishigaki Airport serves the city.

Located west of Okinawa, Ishigaki is Japan’s premier beach destination and makes a good base to explore the other islands in the Yaeyama archipelago. Blessed with Japan’s best beaches, it is particularly popular with families since the beaches at Fusaki and Maezato are net-protected. Located 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) south of Tokyo, Ishigaki may not have the shrines and temples that other Japanese cities have, but it does have an exuberant nightlife for visitors who have the energy after a day of beachcombing, water sports or climbing Mount Nosoko.

 


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12 ) Takayama
Popular - Hills     Location - Takayama, -Gifu, -Japan

Takayama is a city in Japan's mountainous Gifu Prefecture. The narrow streets of its Sanmachi Suji historic district are lined with wooden merchants’ houses dating to the Edo Period, along with many small museums. The city is famed for its biannual Takayama Festival, going back to at least the mid-1600s, celebrating spring and fall with parades featuring ornate, gilded floats and puppet shows.

Takayama gained importance as a source of high quality timber and highly skilled carpenters during the feudal ages. The city was consequently put under direct control of the shogun and enjoyed quite a bit of prosperity considering its remote mountain location. The Takayama Festival, held in spring and autumn, is considered one of Japan's best festivals.

The area around Takayama was part of traditional Hida Province, and was settled as far back as the Jōmon period. During the Sengoku period, Kanamori Nagachika ruled the area from Takayama Castle and the town of Takayama developed as a castle town. During the Edo period, the area was tenryō under the direct control of the Tokugawa shogunate. In the post-Meiji restoration cadastral reforms, Ōno District in Gifu prefecture was created, and the town of Takayama was established in 1889 with the creation of the modern municipalities system. At the time, it was the most populous municipality in Gifu Prefecture. On November 1, 1936, Takayama merged with the town of Onada, forming the city of Takayama.[8] Takayama annexed the village of Josue in 1943 and the village of Ohachiga in 1955. On February 1, 2005, the town of Kuguno, and the villages of Asahi, Kiyomi, Miya, Nyūkawa, Shōkawa and Takane (all from Ōno District), the town of Kokufu, and the village of Kamitakara (both from Yoshiki District) were merged into Takayama,[8] which made Takayama both the largest city and largest municipality in Japan by area.


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13 ) Hiroshima-Shi
Popular - Historical     Location - Hiroshima-Shi, -Hiroshima, -Japan

Hiroshima, a modern city on Japan’s Honshu Island, was largely destroyed by an atomic bomb during World War II. Today, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park commemorates the 1945 event. In the park are the ruins of Genbaku Dome, one of the few buildings that was left standing near ground zero. Other prominent sites include Shukkei-en, a formal Japanese garden, and Hiroshima Castle, a fortress surrounded by a moat and a park.

Hiroshima was founded in 1589 as a castle town on the Ōta River delta. Following the Meiji Restoration in 1868, Hiroshima rapidly transformed into a major urban center and industrial hub. In 1889, Hiroshima officially gained city status. The city was a center of military activities during the imperial era, playing significant roles such as the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War, and the two world wars.

Towards the end of World War II, Hiroshima is best remembered as the first city targeted by a nuclear weapon, when the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) dropped an atomic bomb on the city at 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945.Most of the city was destroyed, and by the end of the year 90,000–166,000 had died as a result of the blast and its effects. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) serves as a memorial of the bombing.

Hiroshima was rebuilt after the war. It has since become the largest city in the Chūgoku region of western Honshu, the largest island of Japan.


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Activity



1 ) Kokugikan Sumo Stadium & Museum
Activity Duration - 10:00 am to 4:30 pm (closed on weekends)     Activity Category - Museum

Another of the great free museum of Tokyo, the Sumo Museum is right at the heart of the Sumo world, housed inside the Ryogoku Kokugikan  (the sumo stadium itself). Dedicated to displaying a wide range of materials from 3,700 wood-block prints to embroidered belts, you can learn everything there is to know about Sumo right here. They have the Banzuke: the official rankings of sumo wrestlers today as well as over 500 dolls of wrestlers. The museum is also home to a research center, studying the role of Sumo in Japanese culture.


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2 ) Robot Restaurant
Activity Category - Restaurants

First things first: the Robot Restaurant is a restaurant in name only. There is a bar upstairs (actually a different business from the Robot Restaurant) to hang out in before the show. During the show, there are cinema-type snacks on sale between acts in the performance. Also, a simple meal can be pre-ordered (three different choices) when reserving a seat online, for an extra fee. But a performance space it is, with arena-style seating, and not a dining space.

The pre-performance upstairs lounge bar is a foretaste of what's to come downstairs insofar as it is a sense-assaulting cornucopia of faux-luxurious folly. A multitude of accouterments, ornaments and decorative fixtures fights for your attention. But the music stage comes to the rescue, where an accomplished pianist, drummer, bassist and soloist - all but the latter in "robot" attire - capture the ears and eyes of the growing crowd, entertaining with polish and verve.


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3 ) Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingu)
Activity Category - Mortuary Temple

Meiji Jingu is one of Japan's most popular shrines. In the first days of the New Year, the shrine regularly welcomes more than three million visitors for the year's first prayers (hatsumode), more than any other shrine or temple in the country. During the rest of the year, traditional Shinto weddings can often be seen taking place there.

Emperor Meiji was the first emperor of modern Japan. He was born in 1852 and ascended to the throne in 1867 at the peak of the Meiji Restoration when Japan's feudal era came to an end and the emperor was restored to power. During the Meiji Period, Japan modernized and westernized herself to join the world's major powers by the time Emperor Meiji passed away in 1912.


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4 ) Nikko National Park
Activity Duration - 8:00 am - 05:00 pm     Activity Category - National Park

 The national parks of Japan differ from national parks worldwide in that the land within the national parks is not exclusively designated for national park use and is made up of private property as well as public and protected areas. Visitors are free to enter and leave at any time.

This mountainous region of the Nasu Volcanic Belt has peaks such as Mt. Shirane (2,578 meters), the highest peak in the northern Kanto region; Mt. Nantai (2,486 meters), renowned as an object of worship from ancient times; and Mt. Nasu (1,917 meters), an active volcano. 


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5 ) Mt. Fuji (Fuji-san)
Activity Category - Attraction

Japan’s Mt. Fuji is an active volcano about 100 kilometers southwest of Tokyo. Commonly called “Fuji-san,” it’s the country’s tallest peak, at 3,776 meters. A pilgrimage site for centuries, it’s considered one of Japan’s 3 sacred mountains, and summit hikes remain a popular activity. Its iconic profile is the subject of numerous works of art, notably Edo Period prints by Hokusai and Hiroshige.


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6 ) Senso-ji Temple (Asakusa Temple)
Activity Duration - 6:00am to 05:00pm     Activity Category - Temple / Mosque / Church

Sensō-ji   is an ancient Buddhist temple located in Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan. It is Tokyo's oldest temple, and one of its most significant. Formerly associated with the Tendai sect of Buddhism, it became independent after World War II. Adjacent to the temple is a five-story pagoda, the Asakusa Shinto shrine,  as well as many shops with traditional goods in the Nakamise-dōri.

The Sensoji Kannon temple is dedicated to Kannon Bosatsu, the Bodhisattva of compassion, and is the most widely visited spiritual site in the world with over 30 million visitors annually.

The temple has a titanium tiled roof that maintains the historic image but is stronger and lighter.


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7 ) Tokyo Imperial Palace
Activity Duration - 09:00am –11:15am &1:30pm to 2:45pm     Activity Category - Palace

The Imperial Palace has served as the residential place of the successive Emperors since 1868. It contains the Imperial Residence and the Imperial Palace Complex, where His Majesty the Emperor undertakes official duties. Various ceremonies and public activities are held there too. Other major buildings in the Palace include the building of the Imperial Household Agency and the Palace Sericulture Centre, where the successive Empresses have raised silkworms following the precedent set in 1871 by Empress Dowager Shoken, Empress and consort of Emperor Meiji. The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace are located on the eastern part of the palace grounds and opened to the public.


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8 ) LEGOLAND® Japan Resort
Activity Duration - 10am to 5pm     Activity Category - Theme Park

LEGOLAND® Japan Resort is a theme park providing a full day of fun and excitement for children aged 2 through 12 and their families. The whole family can enjoy the many rides, LEGO® models to play and build with, and interactive, adventurous attractions themed on the Lego block world.

  • Over 40 rides, shows and attractions
  • Full day theme park experience with family
  • Outdoor attractions for year round enjoyment
  • Seven different themed lands


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9 ) Nagoya Za Kabuki Café
Activity Duration - 11:30am to 1:30pm & 4:30pm to 6:30pm     Activity Category - Entertainment

This Kabuki show is based on traditional Japanese myths with a modern twist, featuring lots of action and interactive elements. It is suitable for all ages and there is no need of understanding the language.
Throw ohineri tips to your favorite “mie” cut, watch actors flying above you, shout and cheer for them in a traditional kabuki way, and protect yourself from the actions going on at the stage here are two show times: a daytime show and an evening show on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays: The daytime show begins at 1:30pm on Fridays and 11:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays.  The evening show begins at 6:30pm on Fridays and 4:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays.The show is about 2 hours, including total 80-minute performance and a 15-minute short break. All shows include a complimentrary drink of choice (alcoholic drinks and soft drinks). Shows with a dinner option include a dinner at Nagonoya Cafe, less than a minute walk away from the theater.


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10 ) Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium
Activity Duration - 9:30am to 5:30pm     Activity Category - Aquarium

 Nagoya Aquarium is a world class aquarium showcasing marine life from across the globe and boasting one of the largest outdoor tanks in the world. Embark on a journey spanning 3.5 billion years in the Nagoya Port Aquarium North Building and be introduced to the world of Cetaceans (such as whales, dolphins, porpoises), who have adapted to living in water and developed a magnificent intelligence over years of evolution. You'll see killer whales perform, dolphins at play, and even beluga whales! Get a closer look at Japanese, Australian and Arctic marine life in the South Building and watch schools of fish at play, colorful corals, deep sea creatures, freshwater Australian life, turtles, and more than a few penguins! The South Building's main attraction is 'Fuji', an ice-cruising ship now on display in its original condition.


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11 ) Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology
Activity Duration - 9:30am to 5pm     Activity Category - Museum

The Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology  in Nagoya is one of Nagoya's best museums and a main attraction in this industrial power house of a city in central Japan.

The Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology showcases the history and cultural importance of one of the region's most important companies, from its beginnings as a textile machinery manufacturer to its modern-day industrial superpower status.

Technoland is a hands-on interactive experience in the development of textiles and automobiles. Kids particularly enjoy peddling the Virtual Weaving Machine, driving around the Techno Circuit and getting blown away by the wind tunnel.

 


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12 ) Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)
Activity Duration - 9am to 5pm     Activity Category - Temple / Mosque / Church

Kinkakuji  is a Zen temple in northern Kyoto whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf. Formally known as Rokuonji, the temple was the retirement villa of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, and according to his will it became a Zen temple of the Rinzai sect after his death in 1408. Kinkakuji was the inspiration for the similarly named Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion), built by Yoshimitsu's grandson, Ashikaga Yoshimasa, on the other side of the city a few decades later.

Kinkakuji is an impressive structure built overlooking a large pond, and is the only building left of Yoshimitsu's former retirement complex. It has burned down numerous times throughout its history including twice during the Onin War, a civil war that destroyed much of Kyoto; and once again more recently in 1950 when it was set on fire by a fanatic monk. The present structure was rebuilt in 1955.

 


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13 ) Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Activity Duration - 6 am to 6 pm     Activity Category - Temple / Mosque / Church

Kiyomizudera is best known for its wooden stage that juts out from its main hall, 13 meters above the hillside below. The stage affords visitors a nice view of the numerous cherry and maple trees below that erupt in a sea of color in spring and fall, as well as of the city of Kyoto in the distance. The main hall, which together with the stage was built without the use of nails, houses the temple's primary object of worship, a small statue of the eleven faced, thousand armed Kannon.

Behind Kiyomizudera's main hall stands Jishu Shrine, a shrine dedicated to the deity of love and matchmaking. In front of the shrine are two stones, placed 18 meters apart. Successfully finding your way from one to the other with your eyes closed is said to bring luck in finding love. You can also have someone guide you from one stone to the other, but that is interpreted to mean that an intermediary will be needed in your love life as well.


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14 ) Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyoto Gosho)
Activity Duration - 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.     Activity Category - Palace

Kyoto Imperial Palace Park, the Kyoto Imperial Palace is a walled compound containing several sumptuous buildings built in the classical Japanese style. If you’re expecting a European-style palace, you might be surprised to discover the low rooflines and wooden construction of the Kyoto Imperial Palace. It’s a bit troublesome to apply to visit (see below) and touring the compound as part of a guided tour with a big group can make you feel a bit like you’re on a school excursion, but the Imperial Palace might hold some interest for serious fans of Japanese history. That said, of the four imperial properties in Kyoto – Kyoto Imperial Palace, Katsura Rikyu, Sento Gosho, and Shugaku-in Rikyu – this is probably our least favorite – the buildings are a little too new, the gardens are not as good as others in Kyoto and the tour tends to be a little too structured.


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15 ) Nijo Castle
Activity Duration - 8:45am to 4pm     Activity Category - Historical Place

Nijo Castle is Kyoto's largest and best preserved castle. It consists of two fortifications (kuruwa) in Japanese. The Ninomaru Palace, the main fortification of the castle, and the ruins of the Honmaru Palace, the second fortification, as well as support buildings and gardens. The castle is surrounded by stone walls and moats. 

The castle is especially popular with those interested in Japanese history. The founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, Tokugawa Ieyasu, ordered all of Japan's fuedal lords to construct the castle, which was completed in 1626. Parts of Fushimi Castle, another castle in Kyoto, including its main tower, were moved to Nijo Castle during the last year of its construction. The castle served as the shogunate's residence during his visits to Kyoto. 


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16 ) Sanjusangen-do Hall
Activity Duration - 8am to 5pm     Activity Category - Temple / Mosque / Church

Sanjusangendo  is the popular name for Rengeo-in, a temple in eastern Kyoto which is famous for its 1001 statues of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. The temple was founded in 1164 and rebuilt a century later after the original structure had been destroyed in a fire.

Measuring 120 meters, the temple hall is Japan's longest wooden structure. The name Sanjusangendo (literally "33 intervals") derives from the number of intervals between the building's support columns, a traditional method of measuring the size of a building. In the center of the main hall sits a large, wooden statue of a 1000-armed Kannon (Senju Kannon) that is flanked on each side by 500 statues of human sized 1000-armed Kannon standing in ten rows. Together they make for an awesome sight


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17 ) Gion Corner
Activity Duration - 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM     Activity Category - Entertainment

Gion Corner is a place where you can take in seven kinds of performing arts, most notably kyo-mai dance performed by maiko dancers. Here you can see Japan’s traditional performing arts in ‘digest’ form all on one stage. Located in Yasaka Hall next to the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo Theatre, the spot has a very international flavour, as it is popular with Japanese and foreign tourists

A more accessible experience is the cultural show held everyday at Gion Corner at the end of Hanami-koji. Aimed at foreign tourists, the show is a highly concentrated introduction to several traditional Japanese arts and include short performances of a tea ceremony, ikebana, bunraku, Kyogen comic plays and dances performed by real maiko. If you are in Kyoto in April, check out the Miyako Odori with daily dance performances by maiko.


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18 ) Tenryu-ji Temple
Activity Duration - 8.30 am to 5.30 pm     Activity Category - Temple / Mosque / Church

Tenryuji  is the most important temple in Kyoto's Arashiyama district. It was ranked first among the city's five great  Zen temples, and is now registered as a world heritage site. Tenryuji is the head temple of its own school within the Rinzai Zen sect of Japanese Buddhism.

Tenryuji was built in 1339 by the ruling shogun Ashikaga Takauji. Takauji dedicated the temple to Emperor Go-Daigo, who had just passed away. The two important historic figures used to be allies until Takauji turned against the emperor in a struggle for supremacy over Japan. By building the temple, Takauji intended to appease the former emperor's spirits..


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Festival

1 ) Yuki Matsuri

Festival Month - February

Yaki Matsuri is the Japanese name of the snow festival that occurs every year in Sapporo, the capital city of Hokkaido Island in northern Japan. For seven days in February, a large number of visitors travel to Sapporo to admire the two hundred snow sculptures and ephemeral statues displayed in the city's several districts.


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2 ) Omizutori

Festival Month - March

Omizutori Festival is an annual dramatic celebration of repentance to fire and water. This two-week long Buddhist festival has been going on for the past 1250 years, combining the elements of sacred water with purifying flames.


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3 ) Kanamara Matsuri

Festival Month - April

Japan’s festivals are opportunities for local people to exchange the strictures of daily life for drinking, dancing and generally cutting loose. At the Kanamara Matsuri, or the Festival of the Steel Phallus, it’s sexual repression that gets set aside for one joyful day of cross-dressing, penis-shaped lollipops and, of course, a few giant phalluses. It may seem incongruous to have a raucous festival celebrating genitalia in Japan, given the country’s reputation for being mild-mannered, discreet and extremely private.


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