Japan will be my forever favorites! I bet many people out there also agree with that, don’t you think? Remember that late better than never then go plan your holiday to visit Japan!
I will share with you some iconic places don’t dare to miss if it is your first time ever to visit Japan. Well, for you that probably has a chance to visit Japan it also OK to visit this iconic place more than one time, but I think better to spare your time to explore other places. Indeed, Japan has SO MANY great places to visit 🙂
Since I spent my time mostly in Tokyo so places just in around Tokyo region. Places mentioned here was based on my experience then other people might have a different reference.
Well known as a place for fans of Japanese manga/anime or called Otaku. Since most of the time I have stayed in Akiba (sometimes called to shorten by local) then I have plenty of time to explore the area. You could check on seharian di Akihabara for more information.
Then the reason why I should advice come to Akihabara is you could enjoy many places here! From shopping many kinds of anime related from action figure, comic, book, then play interesting game tools such as UFO catcher, retro game machines (actually I am not familiar with the type) until instrument music game. Indeed, LOTS of games you could find here.
If you are not so into with manga or anime then you could probably enjoy shopping here. Listed also as a touristy place in Tokyo, Akiba serves many store shopping. You could enjoy shopping cosmetic and beauty care in Matsumoto Kiyoshi and buy some souvenirs in Don Quijote for your friends and relatives in your hometown.
Iconic place in here for me might be AKB 48 Cafe. LOL
Because here, in Indonesia, we just only have JKT 48 kind of studio in FX mall then it was so interesting to visit the first famous Japanese idol girl group 😉
I did not enter the cafe since most of the visitors at that time was a man. It was natural that girl group idolized by man and vice versa.
Many hostels you could find around this area shows that Asakusa becomes another popular place in Tokyo. The atmosphere has made you feel the old Tokyo at past decades. Completed to enjoy area by using rickshaw or jinrikisha (in Japanese) even it is quite expensive but actually worth to try 😉
Another option to enjoy strolling this area is by walking. Go ahead to Nakamise street to enjoy many kinds of traditional souvenirs and local snacks. No need to worry how to go to this street because most people come to visit this long shopping street. Just follow the crowd then you will be there easily.
At the end of the Nakamise street, you will arrive at the most famous temple in Tokyo named Sensoji Temple. You should take a picture in front of the iconic big red lantern in Kaminarimon or Kaminari Gate as a large entrance to Sensoji temple. It was not easy to get a good picture with no people walking passed because this place really crowded. One of the tricks is to choose the best time by taking a picture at early morning before people comes and late at night while people remain less because there is no operational time or it might say this gate always open 😉
Do you know Hachiko? It inspired to be a movie titled Hachi: A Dog’s Tale in 2009 starring Richard Gere as the owner of a dog. This film was the remake of the original Japanese film, Hachiko Monogatari, The Tale of Hachiko released in 1987. Even I got little confused by watching the English version because the dog’s name was different, but still, I cried by touching on the story.
To memorize the legendary dog and the story within, there is the Hachiko Statue just a couple steps from Hachiko exit of the very crowded Shibuya Station. Not only for a spot to take a must photo but sometimes people pointed the statue as a meeting point.
Beside Hachiko statue, Shibuya is also known as a center of fashion for a young generation. Well, it is up to you to choose fashion collection in a big department store or just in small and medium store inside the area. For sure, you will spend more and more money if you are not standing enough for Kawaii clothing. LOL
During walking to some store from Hachiko exit, you might be noticed to across the large intersection as famous crossing named as Shibuya crossing. Because many people visit this area from many directions, then LOTS of pedestrians will across just right after the light turns to green. Many people sometimes take a picture from the center of the street and capture the crowd as they standing still.
Because could not get a great picture at that time, so I decided to capture the crowd from the other side, here in the 2nd floor of Starbucks in Tsutaya building. But that’s also not easy to get space, especially near the window to see this view.
Beside Shibuya, there is another place as a heavenly place for fashion lovers. You might already know the place named Harajuku. In my point of view, Shinjuku more suitable for teenager and cosplay fans. After walking outside from Harajuku station you will welcome by famous, Takeshita gate. Similar to Nakemise street in Asakusa, you just need to follow the crowd and enjoy strolling around to see fashion, souvenirs, and food store as well. If you are lucky enough, you will meet people wear unique clothes as cosplay.
Right beside Harajuku Station, you could also enjoy temple in the middle of forest area named Meiji Shrine or Meiji Jingu. The shrine was dedicated to Emperor Meiji and the Empress Shoken in 1920, eight years after the passing of the Emperor and six years after the passing of the empress. By walking in the temple you will catch mix energy or nature and modern style at the same time. Surrounded by building, this green area just like “oasis in the middle of the desert”.
As informed by my Japanese friend, the best time to visit Meiji Jinggu is on autumn season (during late Oct to early Dec) because the leaves will turn to be yellow, red and gradation of those colors. Must be very pretty!
Last but not least place is Tokyo Tower. Tokyo tower is actually purposed as communication, both television and radio also an observation tower. Standing 333 meters high in the center of the city, Tokyo Tower claimed as the world’s tallest self-supported steel tower. Even higher than Eiffel Tower in Paris.
There are 2 main observatories, the main observatory with 150 m height and special observatory in 250 m height. It cost you more to enjoy the scenery, but it will worth to try if you are city lights lover. Actually, there is another place to enjoy the view, from Roppongi Hills. It might be also spectacular! For this time I only enjoy the tower view from outside since I feel so tired.
Best time to visit tower is about 4 PM because you could enjoy daytime, sunset and night view at one time. To enjoy Tokyo Tower you could reach from various lines and exit station. But at that time, I used Metropolitan Subway, Oedo Line and exit in Akabanebashi Gate and continue to walk about 5 minutes.
If you had checked list all the place then you are now completed. Welcome to Japan! Irasshaimase!