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Popular Japanese Tourist Sites

May 30th, 2009

japanese-tourist-attractionsFor tourists, Japan offers the hustle and bustle of modern cities, many historical sites, some of which are showcases of architecture from centuries past, and a slower, contemplative yet invigorating experience at many national parks and hot springs sites.

Cosmopolitan Nagoya, situated in central Japan, is the country’s fourth largest city in terms of population. Home of the world’s largest automaker, the Toyota Motor Corporation, which was formed during the 1930s, it offers the tourist an interesting mixture of the old and new. One of its important historical sites is Nagoya Castle, originally built in 1612, where tourists can view paintings and artifacts that reflect 2,000 years of Japanese history.

No one can dispute the historical significance of the destruction of the city of Hiroshima when the Unites States dropped an atomic bomb there. In effect, that action brought about the end of World War II. Tourists are reminded of the enormity and horror of this wartime event with a visit to Peace Memorial Park, where they view the ruins of the A-Bomb Dome, which is thought to be the exact spot over which the bomb exploded.

Nara National Museum is on the list of high priority visits for most Japanese tourists. Its collection of Buddhist sculpture, images, religious relics, and the Art Library are all well known. The museum, built in 1894, is considered an extraordinary example of European-style architecture from the Middle Meiji Period. The city of Nara has historical significance in and of itself due to its status as Japan’s capital city from 710 to 784.

Two historical castles are visited by large numbers of tourists each year. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Himeji Castle, which can be reached from Kyoto in half a day, is considered an invincible fort. Since its original structure was built in the 14th century, it has never succumbed to military assaults or natural disasters like earthquakes or fires. Modifications to the original castle were carried out by various clans and finally completed in 1609. The castle as seen by today’s tourists has undergone no further changes since then.

Hirosaki Castle, an officially declared Historic Site located at Shimo-Shirogane-cho in the Aomori Prefecture, was built in 1611 by Lord Tsugaru. It boasts a three-story tower and corner turrets, and is well fortified by enormous gates and moats. Nestled inside of cherry trees, tourists especially like to visit Hirosaki Castle during the last week of April and the first week of May because that is the short period when the sight of the beautiful cherry blossoms can be taken in and relished.

Built in 1879, the Takayama-Kusakabe Heritage House was actually the home of the Kusakabe family, who were successful merchants and moneylenders. Since the second half of the 20th century, the House has been a major attraction for tourists as a folkcraft museum where furniture and other Japanese items from the 18th and 19th century are displayed. After a fire, Jisuke Kawashiri rebuilt the structure in 1879. It is representative of houses built by commoners during those centuries.

To escape from the larger cities, Japan offers tourists some beautiful national parks. At Daisetsuzan National Park, tourists may catch a glimpse of brown bears and deer as they hike along trails that lead deeper into the mountains. Akan National Park is well known for its hot springs and crater lakes. Tourists are attracted by its Lake Masshu, which is considered to be Japan’s most beautiful lake.

Besides the national parks, another way to wind down from the fast-paced cities and visits to historic sites is to walk through the Chaniwa Gardens. The purpose of the Gardens is to offer its visitors a place of solitude, far removed from the world, where they can find enlightenment through meditation. The gardens lead to a teahouse where tourists can take part in a tea ceremony, a tradition that has a close connection to Zen Buddhism, which was introduced into Japan during the Kamakura Era.

Japan is home to many hot springs sites, such as the Nyuto Onsen Hot Springs, the Nikko Hot Springs, and the Kusatsu Onsen Hot Springs. At Kusatsu, weary tourists can relax in public baths that are fed by the springs. The bacteria-free hot water springs contain minerals that are believed to cure dermatological problems. The springs also seem to alleviate chronic fatigue and muscle aches and pains, conditions which a tourist might very well experience at the end of his or her sojourn in Japan.


This article on popular Japanese tourist sites was written by a Constant Content author under the username of “welles”. If you are this author and would like to provide more descriptive information for your bio box here, feel free to send us your favorite credentials through the Contact page.


One Response to “Popular Japanese Tourist Sites”

  1. comment number 1 by: Janice

    SPREAD THE JOY AROUND!!!! XD

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