Japan tourist attractions number so many, and are so diverse, it can be tough to narrow down what you'll see and experience during vacations. There are some attractions, such as onsens and temples, that are all over the country and easy to access. Then there are much more specific places to go in Japan which can require a lot of traveling. Of the almost fifty prefectures in Japan, many are home to major Japan tourist attractions. The lodging choices themselves can almost be attractions to many Western visitors, from tiny capsule hotels to traditional ryokans.
The most common way to enter Japan is at one of the two major international airports, either Narita or Osaka International, with Narita being the major entry point. It makes the most sense to explore Tokyo on the way home rather than right at the very beginning of a trip for two reasons. The first is it's too easy to get sucked into the city and spend beyond your means right off the bat. This is especially true for first-time visitors. The second is you'll better appreciate the culture much more on the way out, after experiencing more of the country.
Whether on your way in or out, there are plenty of major Japanese tourist attractions around Tokyo. Tokyo Disneyland, Roppongi Hills, and the Imperial Palace are a few. Shop in the famous Ginza District of Tokyo, visit Senso-ji Temple, and explore the Sword Museum for a better understanding of martial arts. The Tokyo National Museum and the Tokyo Tower are two more of the top Japanese tourist attractions in Tokyo, among an endless list of others. Even a random walk around can often lead to many surprising attractions.
Outside Tokyo, there are many excellent places to go in Japan. Northern Hokkaido has scores of major Japanese tourist attractions. Especially including outdoor activities such as ski resorts, Hokkaido is a great vacation spot. Hiking, cycling, and golf, as well as historical cities, beautiful temples, and hot springs are in Hokkaido. All roads in Hokkaido lead to unspoiled nature in some way or another.
Kyoto is second in popularity only to Tokyo, making it one of the major Japanese tourist attractions. Out of any places to go in Japan, Kyoto is one of the best, illustrating ancient history through numerous historical sites, many with UNESCO World Heritage designations. Kyoto is the former emperor's residence and historic capital. It is peppered with magnificent temples, and exhibits the country's feudal history perhaps the best out of any city in Japan. Though highly visited, it is an essential part of a trip to Japan.
Festivals and special events are also on the list of Japan tourist attractions. Some visitors time vacations to directly coincide with festival celebrations such as New Years Eve, dragon boat races, bean-throwing festivals, and even Christmas. For some of these celebrations, there are particular places to go in Japan for the best experience.
There are many other great places to go in Japan, which is an amazing country that has something for just about anyone who comes here. There are beaches and urban delights in Okinawa, plenty of entertainment in cities like Osaka, and sobering experiences in Hiroshima. Many outdoor enthusiasts climb sacred Mount Fuji in Fuji Hakone Izu National Park as a rite of passage and tack on adventure sports such as canyoning (a newer and hot outdoor pursuit in Japan), rafting, skiing, and rock climbing. From history to the outdoors, and a modern country fusing the old and new for a distinct take on culture, Japan offers incredible diversity cloaked in major appeal.