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Japan Hotspots for Every Type of Traveler

ViaHero · October 26, 2018

Think carefully about your ideal trip to Japan—are you surfing with dolphins? Chowing down on a sushi conveyor belt? Cuddling a baby fox? If you’re an adventure enthusiast, you might have trouble choosing just one—so why not choose them all?

Pick which of these travel style best suits you and start crafting your dream trip to Japan. After all, when it comes to Japan, there’s something for every traveler.

Want to explore Japan differently? Have a local plan your trip.

The Animal Lover

dog in kimono in Japan

How can one island have so many adorable (and tame) animals? If you’re an animal lover, you absolutely have to:

Pro tip: Zoos, aquariums, and animal sanctuaries often offer great discounts for students, kids, and seniors—check out discounted tickets at a 7/11 or FamilyMart.

The Spiritual Seeker

Man in temple in Japan

As the birthplace of Zen Buddhism and Shintoism, Japan is the perfect destination for spiritual seekers. Pilgrimage routes, thousand-year-old shrines, and Buddhist lodgings provide quiet spaces for self-reflection and soul care. To experience Japan’s most serene spots, visit:

  • The Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail (it’s absolutely stunning).
  • The mountainside town of Kamikochi.
  • The iconic and sacred Mount Fuji.

The Good-Eats Guru

People eating in a restaurant in Japan

From udon noodles to ramen, fugu fish to tuna, Japan is home to some of the world’s most mouth-watering, mind-bending dishes. No judgment if you customize your trip around Japan’s best eats. Unique culinary experiences await at:

Pro tip: Some of Japan’s best culinary creations actually have their own museums! Ask a Hero how to get to interactive museums like Yokohama’s Cup Noodles Museum or the Kirin Beer Factory.

The Tree Hugger

Girl in Kimono in Bamboo Forest in Japan

Home to some of Asia’s most eco-friendly cities, Japan is covered from head-to-toe in gorgeous forests and beaches. In many of Japan’s must-go spots, people thrive alongside nature rather than building over it. If nature is your first love, you’ve got to visit:

  • The swinging vine bridge of Iya No Kazura.
  • The Sagano Bamboo Forest—seriously, Japan’s natural wonders will refresh your soul.

The Adrenaline Junkie

Guy hiking in Japan

Japan is the ultimate adventure destination—with mountains, active volcanoes, coral reefs, and ancient forests, Japan is an adrenaline junkie’s paradise. A couple unmissable adventures:

Pro tip: The coolest activities often require reservations or vary by season—ask a Hero about the best times to visit Japan so you don’t miss a thing!

The Photo-Op Hunter

Girl taking photos of cherry blossoms in Japan

If you travel with a camera around your neck, a phone in one hand, and a GoPro in the other, Japan is about to be your favorite destination, period. Check out:

Pro tip: Don’t be afraid to get in on the shots—dress as a geisha, join a tea ceremony, or wander through Tokyo, and get that perfect shot!

The Laid-Back Vacationer

Woman in beach caves in Japan

Don’t feel like legging it all over Japan? Build your Japan itinerary around relaxation essentials, like:

Best of all, Japan’s hidden gems are often the most laid-back spots, with welcoming locals and only a handful of tourists.

Pro tip: Even in big cities like Tokyo and Kyoto, it’s totally possible to kick back and enjoy Japan at a leisurely pace—get a local’s input on the most chill big city locations.

The Night Owl

Girl in the city at night in Japan

If you come alive in the nighttime, Japan is the place to be for endless festivals, clubs, and parties from dusk to dawn. With over 200,000 yearly festivals, odds are that you’ll find a celebration no matter when you go to Japan. Especially in whopping cities like Tokyo, the nightlife scene is always popping—be sure to check out locals’ favorite spots to dive into Japan’s nighttime ambiance.  

The Budget-Savvy Spender

Shoppers at Shibuya Crossing in Japan

We’ve all heard rumors about Japan’s crazy-high prices—but you can leave your worries at the door! You can totally do your dream Japan trip on a budget, without giving up the major cities and Japan’s must-go spots. If you’re big on saving your yen, take a look at:

  • Airbnb Japan for awesome accommodations at a fraction of the price.
  • Off-the-beaten-path gems like Shizuoka, or spots further south like Okinawa.

Pro tip: Accommodations in Japan can be pricey—save by checking out ryokans, Buddhist temple lodgings that go for insanely low prices.

The History Buff

Woman playing drums in Japan

It almost goes without saying that Japan is a history buff’s dream come true. You’ll feel like you’ve gone back in time at Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage sites, like:

These spots are untouched by time and aren’t full of run-of-the-mill tourists—perfect for immersing yourself in Japanese history.

Whether you’re a History Buff, Adrenaline Junkie, or Laid-Back Vacationer, you’ve got a blueprint for customizing your own Japanese adventure. Now that you’ve got the wanderlust bug, get more insider tips on traveling to Japan:

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