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Many first-time visitors to Japan are often surprised to find that as one of the most advanced industrialized countries in the world, this relatively small Asian country also boasts a rich and fascinating history dating back thousands of years. .

In fact, long before many of Europe's most magnificent cathedrals were built, the Shinto and Buddhist temples of Japan were already well-established and attracted pilgrims and patrons to their elaborate designs and decorations. At the same time, the country was already perfecting the skills and trades that would set it on the path to wealth from fine porcelain and ceramics such as silk, porcelain.

Despite wars and natural devastation, much of this rich tradition has been preserved (or rebuilt), and a trip to Japan is a memorable adventure. With an endless list of top attractions, fun things to do, and points of interest to explore, a holiday in Japan is definitely a big investment of time and money. Discover the best places to visit in the country with our list of top tourist attractions in Japan.

1. Fuji Mountains

Without doubt Japan's most recognizable landmark, the majestic Mount Fuji (Fuji-san) is also the highest mountain peak in the country. Situated at an altitude of 3,776 meters in an otherwise largely flat landscape to the south and east, this majestic and furnished mountain is worth seeing from more than 100 kilometers from Tokyo.

Mount Fuji has been celebrated in art and literature for centuries and is now considered so important that UNESCO recognized its world cultural importance in 2013. Mount Fuji, a part of Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, is climbed by more than one million people. Each summer as an act of pilgrimage, which culminates in watching the sunrise from its summit. Of course, for many, simply looking at the mountain from afar, or from the comfort of a fast-paced train, suffices to say "there has been, it has been done."

2. Imperial Tokyo

Tokyo's most famous landmark, the 17th-century beautiful park surrounded by walls and trenches, is a scene when visiting the country's capital, the Imperial Palace. Do not shy away from the fact that most of the palace has been closed to the public (it is still in use by the Imperial family), as there is still enough to see just walking the grounds.

Another must see for tourists visiting Tokyo, is the famous Ginja shopping district. This always bustling area is home to the Kabuki-Za Theater as well as the Kabuki performances as well as the Shimbashi Enbujo Theater for its traditional Ajuma-Odori dance and Buraku performances.

3. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

While little can be said here about the horrors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima in August 1945, much can be said about the incredible efforts made to commemorate the many victims of the world's first nuclear attack in this vibrant city. .

Perhaps even more importantly, Hiroshima has become a symbol of lasting peace. Along with the grounds and gardens, as well as their colorful cherry blossoms, the park is where you will find the Peace Memorial Museum, which has many exhibits related to the issue of world peace. It is also where you will find the Memorial Cenotaph and the Flame of Peace, as well as the ruins of the Atom Bomb Dome, an administrative building that is at the center of the explosion.

Photo by Su San Lee / Unsplash

4. Historical Kyoto

One of Japan's most visited cities, the lovely Kyoto - one of the few cities in the country that can be saved from the devastation of WWII - attracts more than 10 million visitors annually. Most of them are here to explore the fine old streets and architecture of Kyoto, mostly unchanged as the Imperial family inhabited here more than 1,000 years ago. Even then, the city was Japan's most important cultural center.

This legacy, in fact, continues to this day with its many museums and art galleries, each bursting with important sculptures, paintings and other art forms. The main features of Kyoto's Buddhist-influenced architecture include its many well-preserved temples, 30 of which are still in use, and important structures such as the 14th-century Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji), which is exquisite Gold leaf-clad are famous for the exterior. .

Also visit the 17th-century Fort Nijo Castle, which retains its original walls, towers and trenches. Apart from this, the palace has beautiful gates to see, as well as fine interior decoration along with its interior. Another place to visit is the original Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyoto-Gosho). Built in AD 794, it is one of the most visited historical sites in the city. Finally, no trip to Kyoto is complete without spending time exploring the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. This beautiful area of ​​long bamboo is just a few minutes walk from the city center.

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