Nicole Tj
April 17, 2023

Why You Have To Visit Japan At Least Once In Your Life (+ Top Hotel Picks!)

Welcome to the land of the rising sun - Japan! A country that's so much more than just sushi and anime. From the bustling streets of Shibuya to the peaceful gardens of Kyoto, Japan is a mesmerizing destination that will leave you in awe. 

As soon as you step off the plane and breathe in the crisp, fresh air, you'll know that you've arrived in a place like no other. With an efficient public transport system that includes the bullet train and local metro, getting around the country is a breeze. And with an abundance of attractions to explore, from the iconic cherry blossom trees in Hokkaido to the charming traditional town of Takayama, you'll never run out of things to do. 

So get ready to indulge in unique experiences, explore stunning scenery, and immerse yourself in a culture that's both ancient and modern.

  1. Soak in an Onsen: No trip to Japan is complete without indulging in the country's hot springs, known as onsens. Japan has over 3,000 hot springs throughout the country, each with their unique benefits and minerals. Some famous onsen regions to visit include Hakone, Beppu, and Kusatsu. Don't forget to try an onsen tamago, a delicious soft-boiled egg cooked in the hot spring water.
  2. Savor Authentic Japanese Cuisine: Japan is home to some of the world's best and most unique cuisine. From sushi and ramen to takoyaki and okonomiyaki, there's something for every palate. Make sure to try the local specialties such as Kobe beef, Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, and fresh sashimi. And of course, no meal is complete without a cup of green tea or sake.
  3. Stay in a Traditional Ryokan: For a true Japanese experience, stay in a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn. These accommodations offer a unique glimpse into Japanese culture, with tatami floors, futon beds, and hot springs. Some ryokans even have private onsens in each room. Don't forget to try the yukata, a traditional Japanese robe, and enjoy the kaiseki, a multi-course Japanese dinner.
  4. Explore the Natural Wonders: Japan is a land of stunning natural beauty, from snow-capped mountains to turquoise waters. Don't miss the chance to visit Mount Fuji, Japan's tallest peak and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or the colorful Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto. The breathtaking scenery of the Arashiyama bamboo forest is also a must-see.
  5. Embrace the Unique Culture: Japan has a rich cultural heritage that's sure to fascinate and delight. From the tea ceremonies and kabuki performances to the bustling fish markets and bullet trains, Japan has something to offer everyone. Take a stroll through the vibrant Harajuku district in Tokyo, visit the ancient temples in Nara, or experience the neon lights and nightlife in Osaka.

Where to stay in Kyoto

Umekoji Potel: Unwind in the luxurious public bathhouse, complete with complimentary drinks and snacks. Perfect for those seeking relaxation after a long day of exploring Kyoto.

Kyoisuke Otonari: Get a taste of traditional Kyoto living with a stay in this beautiful machiya. Immerse yourself in local culture and history, and feel like a true local.

The Blossom Kyoto: Relax in style in these modern, spacious rooms, complete with a beautiful public bathhouse. Perfect for those who love to indulge in a little luxury during their travels.

Mimaru Suites: Gather the whole family or group of friends and stay in these spacious apartments, complete with all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay. Plus, enjoy the convenience of being located close to all the best attractions.

Wayfarer Hotel Kyoto Shijo: Spread out and make yourself at home in these large, family-friendly rooms. Ideal for those traveling in groups, and looking for a comfortable base to explore Kyoto.

Candeo Hotel Kyoto Rokkaku: Experience the best of both worlds with this hotel built around a traditional machiya. Enjoy the public bathhouse, and the added luxury of rooms with open-air baths. Perfect for a romantic getaway.

tokyo street at night

Where to stay in Tokyo

Four Seasons Otemachi: As soon as you step into the Four Seasons Otemachi, you're greeted with a sense of tranquility in the heart of Tokyo. With its sleek, modern design and impeccable service, this hotel is perfect for those seeking a luxurious urban getaway. Located just 60 minutes from Narita International Airport by car, it's easily accessible for travelers.

Shiba Park Hotel: If you're looking for a hotel that's close to some of Tokyo's most iconic sights, the Shiba Park Hotel is a great option. Located within walking distance of the Zozoji Temple and with a backdrop of the Tokyo Tower, this hotel offers both comfort and convenience. The Library Hotel, a cozy on-site reading room, is a unique feature that sets this hotel apart.

Park Hotel Tokyo: With its Artist in Residence program and Artist Rooms that feature stunning views of Tokyo Tower, the Park Hotel Tokyo is a must-visit for art lovers. The hotel is located in the heart of Tokyo and is just a short walk from Shimbashi Station, making it easy to explore the city.

Hotel Gracery Shinjuku: The Godzilla Hotel, as it's affectionately known, is a fun and unique place to stay in Tokyo. Just a short walk from JR Shinjuku Station, this hotel is a great base for exploring the city. The Godzilla head looming over the building is a quirky touch that's sure to delight fans of the iconic monster.

JR KYUSHU Hotel Blossom Shinjuku: This hotel's prime location just minutes away from JR Shinjuku station makes it the perfect choice for travelers looking for convenience. The hotel's spacious and comfortable rooms can accommodate families and large groups. The nearby Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a must-visit.

tokyo ramen shop

Top hotels outside of Tokyo and Kyoto?

Nishimuraya Honkan, Kinosaki Onsen: If you're looking to splurge on a luxurious onsen ryokan experience, the Nishimuraya Honkan in Kinosaki Onsen is the place to go. This iconic and historic ryokan has been providing traditional Japanese hospitality for over a century. Don't miss the opportunity to try their famous crab dishes.

Hotel Mahoroba, Hokkaido: The Hotel Mahoroba in Noboribetsu is a paradise for onsen lovers. With approximately 31 different types of hot springs on offer, you're sure to find the perfect one to suit your needs. Some of the rooms even have their own private onsen.

Hotel Around Takayama, Takayama: The Hotel Around Takayama is a modern and spacious hotel located just a 5-minute walk from JR Takayama Station. The hotel's indoor public onsen is a great place to relax after a day of exploring the charming old town of Takayama. For an extra special experience, opt for a room with a private onsen.

Are you ready to visit Japan?

Anyone who has experienced the magic of Japan, will tell you that it's a country that will stay with you long after your trip is over. The blend of ancient tradition and modern innovation creates a truly unforgettable atmosphere that you won't find anywhere else in the world. And the food... oh, the food! From savoring a steaming bowl of ramen on a chilly day to indulging in freshly-made sushi, your taste buds will be in a state of pure bliss. Let Japan sweep you off your feet!

Images from Unsplash

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