If you’ve thought much about places you’d like to visit in your lifetime, travel to Japan is almost certainly on your list. Japan is an incredibly old country with a diverse and vibrant population. Japanese culture is very different from American culture in many ways, making it a wonderful place to explore and learn. A savvy tourist could arrange thousands of different types of trips to Japan, but we think that you should consider these four destinations.
Ishigaki is one of Japan’s many islands, and it is a favorite spot for beach vacations. The beaches here are pristine and truly beautiful. With several net-protected swimming areas, it’s a favorite destination for families, but Ishigaki also boasts an impressive nightlife. The island is a great place to start when exploring other islands in the Yaeyama archipelago, or it can cap off a great trip to Okinawa. Beyond relaxing on the beach, you can also enjoy water sports and a hike up Mount Nosoko on this beautiful island.
Hiroshima is a must-see destination for history buffs. It has the ominous distinction of being the first city to have an atomic bomb dropped on it, and the city is marked with countless reminders of that terrible event. Many of the city’s attractions center on peace and remembrance, such as Peace Park, Peace Memorial Museum, and the Peace Memorial.
Japan is known for its bustling cities, but there is a quieter side to this country that can be best experienced in rural locales like Takayama. Takayama has one of the most well-preserved old towns in all of Japan. Here you can see what life used to be like in Japan while enjoying views of the northern Japan Alps. Be sure to visit Sanmachi, the prettiest portion of the city with narrow lanes, wooden buildings, and sake breweries.
You were unlikely to leave this off of your list of Japanese destinations, but we wanted to make extra sure you visited Tokyo. This bustling city is unlike any other in the world. You’ll find temples and shrines mixed in with karaoke bars, fancy restaurants, and some of the strangest clubs you’ve ever been to. There are literally countless new experiences to be had in Tokyo. And when you need a break from the fast-paced life here, you can visit shrines, museums, and the beautiful Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.
If you have an active US passport, you don’t need any sort of Japan visas in order to visit the country for either business or pleasure for 90 days or less. If you don’t have a US passport, or if you need to stay in Japan longer than 90 days, contact the Swift team today. We can answer any Japan travel visa questions you might have.
Laurie Lee is co-founder and CEO of Swift Passport and Visa Services. A Chicago native, Laurie loves adventure travel, especially to the Caribbean. She enjoys writing for the Swift Post, as well as for her personal blog, Spare Parts- www.sparebodyparts.com.