Japan is an amazing place for countless reasons. The country always strive for efficiency. The culture of respect creates a safe atmosphere. Everyone seems to automatically does the right thing to make life easier for everyone else. The people can be very quite but always willing to help when you ask them. The people act with others in their mind instead of just only thinking of themselves. It can be very expensive here but I think it’s just right when you know where your taxes are going.
Here are the top places that I visited during my trip.
(1) Mt Fuji: Every traveler should experience this breathtaking view of Japan’s iconic mountain. Commonly called as “Fuji-san”, it’s the country’s tallest peak, at 3,776 meters.Note: If you are planning to climb Mt. Fuji, climbing season is early July to early September. In other periods and during the snow season, climbing Mt. Fuji is prohibited. You can actually have a good view of Mt Fuji straight from (1) Fuji-san Station but my recommendation is to visit (2) Chureito Pagoda among other viewing points. Check out below details to know how.
How To Get Here:
- If you are coming from Tokyo, head to Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal and buy a ticket heading to Fujisan Station which cost ¥ 1,750 (Php 820+/-). They have regular schedules but I suggest to leave in the morning. It takes about 2 hours.
- From Fujisan Station ride a train, take the Fujikyuko Line (going to Otsuki) and get off at Shimoyoshida Station (2 stops) which cost ¥220 (Php 100+/-).
- Walk for about 1.1km (25 mins) from Shimoyoshida Station to Chureito Pagoda. There are about 398 steps to challenge yourself. After climbing tough steps, is a great red pagoda and a stunning view of Mt Fuji. It’s free!
(2) Yoyogi Park (TOKYO): One of Tokyo’s largest city park with wide lawns, ponds and forested area. It’s also good for jogging, pick-nick, other outdoor activity or simply just relax.How To Get There:
- If you are coming from Tokyo, take the Yamanote Line (going to Shibuya/Shinagawa) and get off at Harajuku Station (11 stops) which cost ¥200 (Php 90+/-).
- If you are coming from Shinjuku, take the Yamanote Line (going to Shibuya/Shinagawa) and get off at Harajuku Station (2 stops) which cost ¥140 (Php 60+/-).
- Walk for about 950m (15mins) from Harajuku Station to Yoyogi Park. It’s free!
(3) Akihabara (TOKYO): If you’re into shopping anime goods, cafes, electronics or would like to visit anime exhibition then it’s the place you shouldn’t miss.How To Get There:
- If you are coming from Tokyo, take the Yamanote line (going to Ueno/Ikebukuro) and get off at Akihabara Station (2 stops) which cost ¥140 (Php 60+/-).
- Stroll around the area and enjoy yourself.
(4) Odaiba (TOKYO): A man made island in Tokyo bay, popular for shopping and entertainment. A must for Gundam fanatic as a huge Gundam statue is here standing in front of Diver City Tokyo Plaza.How To Get There:
- If you are coming from Tokyo station, take the Yokosuka Line and get off at Shimbashi Station (1 stop) then change to Yurikamome Station (going to Toysu) and get off at Daiba Station which cost ¥460 (Php 215+/-).
- Walk for about 800m (10mins) from Daiba Station to Diver City Tokyo Plaza and stroll around the place.
(5) Kinkaku-ji Temple, The Golden Pavillion (KYOTO): Perhaps one of the most renowned image of Kyoto, this gorgeous pavilion beautifully reflects in the water of Kyokochi a.k.a the mirror pond.How To Get There:
- If you are coming from Kyoto station, walk for about 400m (5 mins) to Kyoto Ekimae Bus Stop.
- From Kyoto Ekimae Bus Stop, take the 205 bus to Kinkakujimichi Bus Stop (23 stops) which cost ¥230 (Php 110+/-). It takes about 40 mins. They have regular bus schedules but it’s advisable to go in the morning as there are a lot of people visiting the place.
- Walk for about 400m (5 mins) from Kinkakujimichi Bus Stop to Kinkaku-ji Temple. It’s open from 9-5PM. The entrance cost ¥400 (Php 190+/-).
(6) Arashiyama Bamboo Forest (KYOTO): One of Kyoto’s most iconic image. Charming in its way, the only downside is that the place tends to be VERY busy.How To Get There:
- If you are coming from Kyoto station, take the San-In Line (going to Sonobe) and get off at Saga-Arashiyama Station (6 stops) which cost ¥240 (Php 115+/-).
- Walk for about 1.2km (20 mins) from Saga-Arashiyama Station to Arashiyama Bamboo Forest.
(7) Fushimi Inari Taisha (KYOTO): Famous for thousands of vermilion torii gates which straddles network of trails that leads into the wooded forest of the sacred Mount Inari.How To Get There:
- If you are coming from Kyoto station, take the Nara Line (going to Joyo) and get off at Inari Station (2 stops) which cost ¥140 (Php 60+/-).
- Walk for about 190m (3 mins) from Inari Station to Fushimi Inari Taisha. It’s Free!
(8) Nara Park (NARA): Home to hundreds of freely roaming deer.How To Get There:
- If you are coming from Kyoto station, take the Kintetsu-Limited Express (going to Kintetsu-Nara) and get off at Kintetsu-Nara Station (4 stops) which cost ¥1,130 (Php 530+/-).
- Walk for about 1.5km (20 mins) from Kintetsu-Nara Station to Nara Park.
- If you are coming from Osaka-Abenobashi station, walk for about 260m (3 mins) to Tennoji Station, take the Yamatoji Line (going to Kamo) and get off at Nara Station (6 stops) which cost ¥470 (Php 220+/-).
- Walk for about 2.2km (25 mins) from Nara Station to Nara Park. Its Free!
(9) Dōntonbori (OSAKA): The bright heart of Osaka with huge number of restaurants and amusement facilities.How To Get There:
- Walk for about 170m (2 mins) from Osaka-Abenobashi station to Tennoji Station and take the Midosuji Line (going to Senrichuo) and get off Namba station (3 stops) which cost ¥230 (Php 110+/-).
- Walk for about 450m (6 min) from Namba Station to Dōntonbori. Enjoy the place.
(10) Universal Studios Japan (OSAKA): Another theme park that kids and kids at heart will surely enjoy, specially for Harry Potter fanatics.How To Get There:
- Walk for about 260m (3 mins) from Osaka-Abenobashi station to Tennoji Station and take the Osaka Loop Line (Platform 14) and get off at Nishikujo station (6 stops) then change to Sakurajima Line and get off at Universal City Station which cost ¥190 (Php 90 +/-).
- Walk for about 400m (5mins) from Universal City Station to Universal Studios Japan. Entrance is about ¥7500 (Php 3500 +/-).
(11) Osaka Castle: Ensure to drop by in this castle with a beautiful scenery and soothing ambiance. This played a major role in the unification of Japan during the sixteenth century of the Azuchi-Momoyama period. Note: There are different tours that allows you to go inside the castle or do the river cruise but you can actually enjoy by just strolling around the park.
How To Get There:
- Walk for about 260m (3 mins) from Osaka-Abenobashi station to Tennoji Station and take the Osaka Loop Line and get off at Morinomiya station (5 stops) which cost ¥160 (Php 75 +/-).
- Walk for about 1km (12mins) from Morinomiya Station to Osaka Castle.