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The top places to fall in love with Japan

Capital of Japan

1Tokyo

2,407 properties in Tokyo

Welcome to Tokyo

The capital of Japan, Tokyo is a vast, teeming metropolis nestled between mountains and Tokyo Bay. It’s so huge that you’ll have to come to grips with public transport and maybe even experience being pushed onto a train. Yes, it does actually happen!

What travellers love about Tokyo

  • Shopping

    56,423 recommendations

  • Food

    49,441 recommendations

  • Convenient public transport

    43,331 recommendations

  • Sightseeing

    42,148 recommendations

2Kyoto

1,477 properties in Kyoto

Welcome to Kyoto

Kyoto is the very essence of bygone-era Japan. Painted geishas totter along narrow streets, paper lanterns swing from wooden gables, and myriad shrines beguile all comers. Add in the stunning colours – ethereal blossom-pink in spring, rich red in autumn – and you’ve got a real wonderland.

What travellers love about Kyoto

  • Temples

    45,502 recommendations

  • Culture

    37,571 recommendations

  • Sightseeing

    33,576 recommendations

  • History

    33,279 recommendations

3Osaka

2,148 properties in Osaka

Welcome to Osaka

At the meeting point of river and sea, huge Osaka combines forward-thinking development and sure-footed tradition. This is symbolised in its temple-like, 16th century castle, guarded by ramparts and enlivened by vibrant spring cherry blossom. Dominating the surrounding skyline is Osaka Business Park, a reminder of the city’s strong role in the Japanese economy.

What travellers love about Osaka

  • Shopping

    33,498 recommendations

  • Food

    29,878 recommendations

  • Sightseeing

    21,947 recommendations

  • Universal Studios

    18,275 recommendations

4Sapporo

187 properties in Sapporo

What travellers love about Sapporo

  • Food

    9,249 recommendations

  • Shopping

    6,865 recommendations

  • Seafood

    6,558 recommendations

  • Nature

    5,246 recommendations

Best places to see in Japan

Nijo castle
Landmarks
A shogun abode. This 17th-century castle was built for Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun (military commander) of the Edo period. It’s a complex of concentric walls and moats that was nigh-on impenetrable back in the day. Pick up an audio-guide to get juicy details like the “nightingale” flooring, squeaky boards that acted as a mediaeval burglar alarm.
Accommodation near Nijo castle
Kinkaku-ji Temple
Landmarks
A golden oldie. This Zen Buddhist temple is named after its shining centrepiece, the Kinkaku-ji pavilion. This three-tiered tower is coated in gold foil, which gives off a luxuriant gleam amongst the backdrop of pine trees. To see Kinkaku-ji at its radiant best, stroll around the pond at sunset, when the horizon’s glow illuminates the gold in the twilight.
Accommodation near Kinkaku-ji Temple
Glico Man Sign
Landmarks
Selfie alert! Join the throng in raising arms and a left knee in imitation of the Glico man. Amid the blinding neon billboards, this tireless icon has been running for the last 80 years. This animated athlete is a symbol of the confectionary brand of the same name. Caught mid-run on a track, he’s been repurposed to highlight whatever sport event is in vogue.
Accommodation near Glico Man Sign
Akihabara
Railway stations
If Robocop needed a new knee joint, you’d probably find him trawling the stores of Akihabara. Known as ‘Electric Town’, get tinkering in Akihabara’s electronic shops that sell high-end appliances, DVDs, computers – and the odd robot-part. It recently became a mecca for anime and manga fans called ‘otaku’ (geeks) who buy collectibles and figurines here.
Accommodation near Akihabara
Ponto-cho
Popular areas
A throwback to old Kyoto. This alleyway comes alive after dark, when the mysterious glow of paper lanterns and the scent of sizzling food entices you in. All along both sides, tiny eateries tantalise with the promise of age-old recipes in the cosiest of settings. Duck inside, take a seat on the tatami, and settle down for a tasty slice of Kyoto past.
Accommodation near Ponto-cho
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Landmarks
A temple for all seasons. Kiyomizu-dera’s treetop setting is a stunner at any time of year. It rises out of the forest canopy, its gabled roofs floating on a sea of fronds. Stand on its veranda in winter and you’ll look out over a snow-blanketed valley. In spring, pink cherry blossom bubbles all around, and in autumn, spicy reds and warm ochres splash the scene with colour.
Accommodation near Kiyomizu-dera Temple

What travellers love about Japan

Food
Recommended by 219,454 travellers
Sightseeing
Recommended by 193,556 travellers
Scenery
Recommended by 154,919 travellers