Question

What places should I definitely not miss seeing in Japan?

I am planning a trip for my family to Japan. We have already planned to visit Ghibli Museum. Is there any other place I should'nt skip? Also please recommed some good places to shop for clothes, soveniers and anime products. Which restaurants do you suggest?

Location

Country: Japan

Answers

They say Kyoto is the most beautiful place in Japan.
Coming soon? do cherry blossom viewing in Kudanshita
near the Emperor's Palace, for clothes, Ginza if you are older and Shibuya if younger, Paris Hilton loves Shibuya.
famous department stores are Takashimaya and Mitsukoshi.
Most people go to Akihabara for anime and related goods.
Jimbocho is the used book zone in Tokyo.
for souvenirs, a place called "Oriental Bazaar" is best
it is in Harajuku which is also a pretty cool place for
shopping and galleries and such.

Have a great trip
Christiaan
Don't skip the airport, and your flight. Anime is found at but not the Ghibli type. Yufuin in Kyushu has a Ghibli shop, and there are others about the country.
Hi..There are so many places to see its hard to know where to start...Tokyo area you should go to sensoji temple asakusa, akihabara, if you have time Kyoto is No.1 kinkakuji (golden temple is amazing)..Himeji castle in Himeji is also worth the travel..You can then continue on to Hiroshima...If you want to come to where I live its a small town just out of Nagoya called Gifu...Some nice sightseeing spots but nothing as good as kyoto...Restaurants- well they are all good ! Make sure you try takoyaki and okonomiyaki!!
If you let me know how long you will be in Japan for; if you have booked accomodation in any particular area and your age, interests etc.. I can advise you on the best way to see as much as possible without wasting time or money.
Let me know the period of choice, what kind of accomodation and the length you plan to stay in
japan, and i can arrange it.
Are you getting a Japan Rail Pass? You should take the shinkansen (bullet train) to Hiroshima and visit the Peace Museum. It's educational for kids as well.

If you come to Osaka then you must try okonomiyaki - a cabbage pancake type dish - find plenty of tourist friendly restaurants around Dotonbori in Namba/Shinsaibashi.
The Himeji Castle, the Dotombori in Osaka at night, the Kyomizu-dera in Kyoto.
Nara.
For the clothes, you have fantastic prices at Shinsaibashi Suji in Osaka for used kimonos. Ebisubashi for the knifes and kitchenware. For the restaurants Osaka is the best for the choice. For kaiseki food Kyoto of course ;)
hello, in addition to Christian7s response, if you can travel in japan, go to Kyoto and Osaka. Kyoto is the old Capital and a sightseeing must. In osaka you can visit Osaka castle and the Nanba district, food and shopping spot of Osaka. Also the Warner Brothers, Japan version, are there.
Hi, I would definatly recommend that you make a trip to Oita prefecture. There are too many things here to see and do. Beppu city would be my first stop. Here you can see whats called Hells hotsprings, it is really an amazing place. You can also go to the massive water park, Umi Tamago. It is really a great place and just across the road is Monkey mountain. There you can watch the monkeys being feed. They are running around free so its really good. Also there is whats called USA ginger. Ive heard its the biggest buddist temple in Japan. Not far from there is what many believe the birthplace of Japan. Where three daughters of the gods came down from heaven, and hence Japan was born. Usa city also has some wonderful waterfalls and even an African safari park. Its really easy to get here. You just fly into Fukuoka international airport, take the shuttle bus to the domestic airport. At the domestic airport you can buy your tickets for the bus to Oita. You will see the ticket window next to the entrance doors at the airport. If you buy four tickets its cheapest. It works out to about $20 us dollars a ticket. So come on down.
If you are coming to Japan in April, I recommend you to come to Kyoto. You can see beautiful cherry blossom along Kamogawa River. Also, Kinkakuji is a great thing to see. For shopping, if you are going to Tokyo, Shibuya is good place to shop for clothes, and Akihabara for electronic devices. You also can shop in Osaka and Kyoto either.
The Japan rail pass is a very good idea, and for working out your travel schedule I recommend using



It's a very convenient tool, so check it out.

As for restaurants, there's a chain called zauo (za-oo-oh) where customers catch fish from a huge and well stocked tank before having the fish prepared in whatever manner they desire by the chefs. I'm a big fan of both fishing and sashimi (raw fish), so this was great for me.



If you are interested, but have any trouble with finding a location the site that fits into your schedule, I'll be happy to help (the site is in Japanese). Just reply to this message.
Since you will be in the Tokyo Area for the Ghibli Museum, there are many other great places you can visit from there.
If you want to see beautiful shrines and temples, go to Kamakura! It's called the little Kyoto and it's less than 1 hour away from Tokyo by JR (so you can go there for free if you have the JR Pass). There are tons of famous temples (you don't have enough time in one day to see all of them!), the city itself is old and really pretty, there are many restaurants (some where you can sit down and eat and there are also some food stands, it's a lot of fun!). Near the station, there is actually a Ghibli Goods shop in a small but famous shopping street (you can't miss it!) ! (-^_^-)
By the way, if you choose to get the JR pass AND you are planning to go from the Airport to Tokyo using the "Narita Express", you could save a lot of money buying the combination of JR Pass and Suica prepaid transportation card (also called Pasmo) package. For more information, I recommand this web site:



Other than that... Oh! If you go to Harajuku (and I really recommand that you do!), there is a shop that you mustn't miss: Kitty Land! There is also a huge 100 yen shop where you can find loooots of souvenirs for you and your family for really cheap!
Again, here is a link to more information about Harajuku.

And if you are planning to stay long in the Tokyo Area, I can recommand you a lot more places!
Have fun!!!
From my perspective (in my 20's), following places might be some options for you.

Anime related products : Akihabara (there is a whole street with lots of stores and arcades)

Shops: Shibuya and Harajuku. Shibuya is known for the busiest intersection in Tokyo worth seeing.. maybe you have seen in movies like Lost in Translation.

Tokyo tower is really pretty to see at night.

Asakusa temple is one of the big toursy temple in Tokyo.

Kushiya (in Shinjuku, Tokyo) is a fun restaurant where lots of people gather and fry their own food at the table.

Ninja restaurant in Akasaka, Tokyo is really interesting, too. Ninja will searve you in a cave-themed restaurant food is really great too. They also show you an incredible magic.
How long are you going to stay? I assume that you'll start in Tokyo coz you are going to Ghibli Museum in Mitaka. There are a lot of good sights in and around Tokyo. Asakusa Temple, Imperial Palace, Edo Museum, are all within Tokyo city limits. For a day trip outside Tokyo, you can try Kamakura, Nikko, Fuji-Hakone. If you have more time (and funds) you should deifinitely visit Kyoto and Nara to see more of old Japan. Further south, you have Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Okinawa. Up north you have Sendai and Hokkaido. Let me know your interests so I can provide a more detailed tour plan.
What kind of clothes you wanna buy and what kind of food u'd like to try?As you konw Tokyo is a big city.People like its modern,fashion,and crowded.
You should head to Akihabara to shop for anime products. Try places like Animate - chain of anime products that has one of its largest branches in Akihabara. The eight floors are packed with goodies for anime fans. (Address: 4-3-2 Soto-kanda, Chiyoda-ku)
It would be more helpful if you tell me the ages of your family, there is just so much. I live in Tokyo, so I would recomend places and day trips from here. Also do you have interest in certain areas? Like science and technology, art?
maritime interests?
This is all Tokyo -

Places you shouldn't skip:
- Tsukiji Fish Market (hustle, bustle, and good sushi)
- Tokyo Tower (cause it's a symbol)
- Meiji Shrine (once again, a symbol)
- Odaiba (ferris wheel, shopping, the occasional forum, onsen; kind of an all in 1)
- sunshine city (i'm a big fan of food, so a food amusement park is just...unskippable to me)
- Disney Sea (nothing quite like it anywhere else in the world; Disney is generic though)

Shopping
- Harajuku is for the younger crowds, brighter colors, cuts and designs that'll probably be in and out of fashion; there's Kinji and Hanjiro, popular used and new stores. Nearby are KiddyLand and Oriental Bazaar. At KiddyLand you'll be able to find some anime stuff and it's fun to browse.

For the widest selection of anime products, like others have said, Akihabara is the place to go. Mixed in with the electronics are buildings and floors of fandom stuff. If you go up the bridge into the building, there's also an official store (i forgot the name.. UDX, i think)

For food souvenirs, Tokyo station is quite large and accomodating as well as several stands in Shinagawa station. Tokyo also has an underground mall, so maybe something for all tastes?

Suggested Restaurants:
- Shakey's (it may not seem like tourist-ing to go here, but the lunch buffet is pretty awesome and the change-up on pizza toppings definitely Japanizes things)
- Tsurutontan (a famous and popular lunch stop in Roppongi, with larger than life bowls, and very Japanese-y seating in the back with servers dressed in traditional attire; there's also a location in Yurakucho)
- Lock Out (not exactly a restaurant, but this is a must-stop for the traveling vistor; you get charged for the seat and must order a drink, but you get some nice entertainment)
- Momo's Paradise (i think that's the name; anyways, in Shibuya, there's the TripleBerry or whatnot yogurt shop; all you can eat shabu-shabu is onthe 6F)
Visiting Tokyo.

If you have kids, and they like Hello Kitty and the bunch of Sanrio cartoon characters, I can recommend Sanrio Purorando for them. Visit

Of course, who would not want to miss Tokyo Tower in Shiba, Minato-ku area. Take the Subway Oedo Line (地下鉄御江戸線) and get off at Akabanebashi(赤羽橋) E-21 Then walk around 5 minutes to Tokyo Tower. Tokyo Tower is best to visit during the evening as you can see the Tokyo Skyline at its best.

Sensouji Temple in Asakusa (Toei Asakusa Line) is the best place for bargain souvenirs and clothes.

Hibiya Park and the Imperial Palace grounds is the best place to see the Royal side of Japan. Take the Yurakuchou Line and get off at Yurakuchou Station or Yamanote Line and get off at Yurakuchou Station. Its a 10 minute walk from the station.

Also, visit the famous Tsukiji fish market during 3AM and see the site of the auction. Get off at Tsukiji Station (築地 H-10) on the Hibiya Subway Line.

The Ameyoko Shopping district between Okachimachi and Ueno Stations in the JR Yamanote Line is the best wet market at reasonable prices. Some shops sell goods made in Japan but mostly from China. :-D

Anime Products? Of course, its Akihabara at the JR Yamanote Line. Don't forget to visit At Home Maid Cafe. Look for a local information booth outside of the station and an English speaking person is ready to give you a brochure and instructions how to get around.

Hachiko Crossing in Shibuya (JR Yamanote Line, Shibuya Station). The famous crossing featured in Lost in Translation, Jumper and many other films.

National Railway Museum in Omiya. If you want to know history of Japanese trains, this is the best place to visit. From Shinjuku, take the Shonan-Shinjuku Line to Omiya Station. Then from Omiya Station, take the New Shuttle Line and get off at Tetsudou Hakubutsukan (鉄道博物館) or the Railway Museum.

Kamakura Temples. A district in Kanagawa Prefecture filled with so many temples and the Big Buddha. Take the Shonan-Shinjuku Line bound for Kamakura Station (terminal/last stop).

Odaiba District. Take the Yurikamome Line from JR Yamanote Shimbashi Station. At 900 a day ticket, you can tour the entire Odaiba area with so many museums, exhibits and shopping districts to choose from.

Ramen Museum. On Shin-Yokohama Station on the Yokohama Line. From Tokyo Station, take the Keihin Tohoku Line and get off at Higashi-Kanagawa and change train to Yokohama Line, then get off at Yokohama Line. Ramen Museum is around 10-15 minutes walk from the station.

Shibazakura. A little far from Tokyo but a day's tour is definitely worth it. If you come to Tokyo during the end of April until 1st week of May, this is the best place to be. Shibazakura is in Chichibu City in Saitama Prefecture. Around 2 hours via train from central Tokyo. From Ikebukuro Station of the Yamanote Line, take the Seibu Chichibu Line and get off at Ohanabatake Station. From there, day tour busses will take you to the site within 20-30 minutes.
Well you're headed to Mitaka/Kichijoji then and Kichijoji is the small Shinjuku of West Tokyo (outside the central 23 districts) and it's a nice town with typical Japanese shopping street and typical Japanese street fashion, only less people than Shibuya and Shinjuku.

Though in Tokyo you've got to:
1. eat sushi: Wake early in the morning and eat cheap sushi at Tsukiji
2. Go to a temple: near Harajuku, Asakusa are the famous ones
3. Shop fro clothes: Walk between Harajuku and Shibuya, this neat little walk has the major brands that the chic in young fashion go to buy, if you go between the tiny street from Harajuku's Bvlgari, you'll find neat little men's shops too.
4. Shop cheap: 100 store provided a lot of entertainment to one of my visitng friends and cheap gifts!
5. Eat other things: SO much food in Tokyo, Tokyo (although expensive) has a taste of every prefecture of Japan, ask for more details I guess or refer to a Lonely planet
6. Experience alternative culture: Akihabara... may it be the hight tech, the anime, the Japanese girls dressed to them to please, you should see it to believe the wrid culture of Japan
7. See the fancy stuff: ealk down Ginza, visit a 5 star hotel like the Ritz Carlton, Mandarin Oriental and go in at night or sunny day and voila a sight of the city, pretty incredible and you won't have to pay to get in like Tokyo Tower (I know men's toilet in Mandarin oriental is a great view)

That's all at the top of my head, but looks like you're covered with all the advice you have from people, personally I'd also reccomend:

Cirque u Soliel: If you have the time, money and can get tickets see ZED the permanent show that is on near Tokyo Disney Resort, incredible. The back seats aren't too bad.
Well you're headed to Mitaka/Kichijoji then and Kichijoji is the small Shinjuku of West Tokyo (outside the central 23 districts) and it's a nice town with typical Japanese shopping street and typical Japanese street fashion, only less people than Shibuya and Shinjuku.

Though in Tokyo you've got to:
1. eat sushi: Wake early in the morning and eat cheap sushi at Tsukiji
2. Go to a temple: near Harajuku, Asakusa are the famous ones
3. Shop fro clothes: Walk between Harajuku and Shibuya, this neat little walk has the major brands that the chic in young fashion go to buy, if you go between the tiny street from Harajuku's Bvlgari, you'll find neat little men's shops too.
4. Shop cheap: 100 store provided a lot of entertainment to one of my visitng friends and cheap gifts!
5. Eat other things: SO much food in Tokyo, Tokyo (although expensive) has a taste of every prefecture of Japan, ask for more details I guess or refer to a Lonely planet
6. Experience alternative culture: Akihabara... may it be the hight tech, the anime, the Japanese girls dressed to them to please, you should see it to believe the wrid culture of Japan
7. See the fancy stuff: ealk down Ginza, visit a 5 star hotel like the Ritz Carlton, Mandarin Oriental and go in at night or sunny day and voila a sight of the city, pretty incredible and you won't have to pay to get in like Tokyo Tower (I know men's toilet in Mandarin oriental is a great view)

That's all at the top of my head, but looks like you're covered with all the advice you have from people, personally I'd also reccomend:

Cirque u Soliel: If you have the time, money and can get tickets see ZED the permanent show that is on near Tokyo Disney Resort, incredible. The back seats aren't too bad.
I agree with some of the previous answers. If you only have a short time though and are based in Tokyo, then make sure to visit Kamakura and Enoshima, easily accessible by train from Tokyo within an hour. Kamakura is an old capital of Japan, before Kyoto, so has lots of temples, the Daibutsu (giant buddha) an island (Enoshima) and lots of other good stuff. An easy day or 2 from Tokyo.
Kyoto was Japan's capital 794-1869.
Kamakura was the place of militaly and political center 1192-1333.
Some part of present Royal palace in Tokyo is open to publick but it is not welknown.You can get permission to visit on Kunaicho's website.
If you want to include a genuine experience of traditional Japanese culture in your trip to Japan, you can never say, "kekko", until you've seen Nikko.

Never say "Kekko" (splendid, satisfied) until you have seen the extraordinary natural beauty of Nikko City, and the Toshogu Shrine of the Tokugawa Shoguns who ruled Japan for 250 years.

Designated as a World Heritage Site, the Nikko shrines and temples, together with their environment, are the paramount example of traditional Japanese religious (Shinto) perception of the relationship of man with nature, in which mountains and forests have a sacred meaning and are objects of veneration.
hmmm... if u're around Tokyo much, u should go to Harajuku and Shibuya for clothes and souvenirs, and you should check Akihabara if u like gadgets :)

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