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  • 1 Ueno Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Parc de Ueno JPN - Tokyo

    The Ueno district blends into Ueno Park, which is a great place to take time out close to the business district. You can get something to eat in one of the cheap snack joints in the area and eat it in the shade of the cherry trees before visiting the..

  • 2 Tokyo National Museum Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Museums and art

    Parc de Ueno JPN - Tokyo

    A must-see museum whose collection of treasures is astounding both in terms of scope (110 000 exhibits) and quality. Four buildings, an affiliated research centre, two restaurants... you would need at least a whole day to see everything. If you don't..

  • 3 Tosho-gu Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Religious buildings

    JPN - Tokyo

    Built in 1627 and extended in 1651, this Shinto shrine, which was founded to house the relics of the shogun, has miraculously escaped the disasters which have hit Tokyo. Stop to admire the magnificent Chinese-style door. The two dragons which flank i..

  • 4 Tokyo Metropolitan Government Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    2-8-1 Nishi-Shinjuku JPN - Tokyo

    Designed by the architect Tange Kenzo, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (town hall), which bears a passing resemblance to Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral, is easily identifiable. You can go up either of its two skyscraper towers (243m) to enjoy amazing..

  • 5 Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    11 Naito-cho - Shinjuku-ku JPN - Tokyo

    Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, which became the imperial garden after 1906, brings together several distinct styles. Next to a Japanese garden, in the "stroll garden" category developed in the urban environment, you will find an English la..

  • 6 Meiji-jingu Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Religious buildings

    JPN - Tokyo

    Enshrined in the Meiji-jingu temple are the venerated and deified spirits of Emperor Meiji (who died in 1912) and his wife, Empress Shoken (who died in 1914). This shrine (1920) is also one of the most important Shinto buildings in Tokyo and it is wh..

  • 7 Mount Takao Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    JPN - Hachioji 192 8501

    Mt Takao, located in the city of Hachioji (just outside Tokyo), peaks at almost 600m. The mountain offers great opportunities for hiking, with species native to both the subtropical and temperate climates of Japan ranging over its slopes in tiers. On..

  • 8 Hokoku-ji Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Religious buildings

    2-7-4 Jomyo-ji JPN - Kamakura 248 0034

    The tranquility of the Zen temple of Hokoku-ji is enhanced by its isolated location, which spares it from the hordes of tourists. A teahouse as tiny as a dollhouse provides the ideal spot from which to look at the Buddha sculptures as well as the for..

  • 9 Tokei-ji Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Religious buildings

    Kamakura-kaido JPN - Kamakura 248 0034

    Founded in 1285, Tokei-ji temple was Japan's first nunnery and its residents enjoyed unusual privileges for several centuries. They obtained from the shogun the right to divorce at a time this was still deemed an unreasonable demand from women. The s..

  • 10 Mount Fuji Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    JPN - Fujiyoshida 403 8601

    An active volcano that has been dormant for centuries, Mt Fuji inspires both fear and respect. Fear, as it lies on the Pacific Ring of Fire, where eruptions are violent. Respect, as it has been considered sacred by the Japanese since the 7C. A perfec..

  • 11 Itchiku Kubota Art Museum Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Museums and art

    2255 Kawaguchi - Fujikawaguchiko JPN - Kawaguchiko

    The kimono has 1 000 years of history and neatly summarises the Japanese aesthetic of purity and elegance based along simple lines. The kimonos on display in the Art Museum in an exquisite collection entitled "Symphony of Lights" are the wo..

  • 12 Tosho-gu Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Religious buildings

    Derrière le Rinno-ji JPN - Nikko

    Among the many temples of the holy city of Nikko, Tosho-gu is recognised as the finest example of architectural virtuosity and freedom of expression in ornamentation. The 18C builders, aided by 15 000 craftsmen, excelled themselves. The five-storey p..

  • 13 Sanjusangen-do Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Religious buildings

    JPN - Kyoto 604 8571

    The 13C Sanjusangen-do Temple is an unadorned wooden structure that stretches out over 120m. In contrast to this austere external appearance is the incredible extravaganza inside. In the dim lighting you can make out 1 001 statues of the Goddess of M..

  • 14 Kyoto National Museum Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Museums and art

    JPN - Kyoto 604 8571

    Inaugurated in 1897, the Imperial Museum was created to preserve Kyoto's cultural treasures, which were under threat from the Emperor's own modernisation plans for the city. Now the National Museum, the old Baroque-style building is given over to exc..

  • 15 Ginkaku-ji Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Religious buildings

    JPN - Kyoto 604 8571

    Ginkaku-ji, or "Silver Pavilion", was built upon the wishes of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa (1435-1490), whose grandfather constructed the Golden Pavilion. The Onin War interrupted work and the temple was never clad in precious metal. The ..

  • 16 Kiyomizu-dera Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Religious buildings

    JPN - Kyoto 604 8571

    Dedicated to merciful Kannon, Kiyomizu-dera dates back to the 8C, although the current buildings date from the 17C. The main building has a vertiginously high terrace with panoramic views. In the olden days believers would throw themselves off it ont..

  • 17 Daitoku-ji Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Religious buildings

    JPN - Kyoto 604 8571

    Daitoku-ji is a vast Buddhist complex reminiscent of a miniature village with its layout of one main temple surrounded by 22 sub-temples. Each of the temples is encircled by highly symbolic gardens, only four of which can be visited. The most handsom..

  • 18 Ryoan-ji Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Religious buildings

    JPN - Kyoto 604 8571

    So much has been written about this garden that it is easy to overlook the Buddhist temple for which it was created, the Ryoan-ji, temple of the "peaceful dragon", which was founded in 1473. The rectangular garden is surrounded by three cla..

  • 19 Katsura Imperial Villa Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    JPN - Kyoto

    Prince Toshihito (1579-1629) and his son dreamed up this holiday resort as a string of pavilions spread along the banks of the Katsura River, "each one set upon a reflection of the moon". Here you will discover the ultimate expression of th..

  • 20 Saiho-ji (Moss Temple) Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Religious buildings

    56 Kamigayacho - Matsuo - Nishikyo-ku JPN - Kyoto 615 8286

    Saiho-ji is a good example of how an abandoned building can flourish. Founded in the 7C, restructured in the 14C by the gardener monk Soseki, twice set on fire then flooded with water, the temple finally fell into disuse. A huge variety of mosses pro..

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