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  • 1 Kenroku-en Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    JPN - Kanazawa

    An elegant space. Since the 17C, the Japanese have strived to make Kenroku-en one of the most sumptuous gardens in the country, expressing a visual harmony where nature is organised in the most beautiful way possible. You can stroll around the deligh..

  • 2 Zuigan-ji Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Religious buildings

    91 Matsushima Aza-Chonai JPN - Matsushima

    This superb temple was first erected in the 9C. Date Masamune then rebuilt it in the 17C, bringing in the Kano school's greatest craftsmen and artists, to serve as a residence and place of worship. Note in particular the Jyodan no ma (a room reserved..

  • 3 Shiretoko National Park Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    JPN - Abashiri

    Shiretoko National Park covers the northern half of this 65km-long peninsula shaped like a finger pointing toward the Sea of Okhotsk. Still virtually unspoilt, at its centre is a volcanic ridge culminating in Mt Rausu-dake (1 661m), with Mt Lo and Mt..

  • 4 Kinkaku-ji Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Religious buildings

    JPN - Kyoto 604 8571

    The shogun and aristocracy used to come here to admire the moonlight in meditative silence. Noisy crowds of holidaymakers have since taken over, endlessly filing past the Kinkaku-ji, or Golden Pavilion (14C). The building is reflected in the shimmeri..

  • 5 Todai-ji Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Religious buildings

    Parc de Nara JPN - Nara

    Built in 743 on the instigation of Emperor Shomu, Todai-ji centres on the Daibutsu-den, the main pavilion. There is a reason for its gigantic size (57m long and 50m wide): this wooden structure houses the enormous bronze statue of the cosmic Buddha, ..

  • 6 Asakusa Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    JPN - Tokyo

    Now rid of its brothels and kabuki actors dressed as women, Asakusa has redeemed itself since the devastation of the Second World War. It has become a commercial district that is popular with tourists and whose main street, Nakamise-dori, is lined wi..

  • 7 Edo-Tokyo Museum Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    1-4-1 Yokohami - Sumida-ku JPN - Tokyo

    The spectacular Edo-Tokyo Museum, whose design is inspired by the traditional Japanese rice loft, is home to a striking collection that recounts the history of Tokyo from its very beginnings. Children can have their photo taken in rickshaws or sedan ..

  • 8 Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    4-1-1 Miyoshi - Koto-ku JPN - Tokyo

    In addition to the temporary exhibitions, you can see part of the permanent collection which focuses on the last 50 years of 20C art: Gerhard Richter, Roy Lichtenstein, David Hockney, Frank Stella, Julian Schnabel and a number of Japanese artists suc..

  • 9 Yanaka District Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Yanaka-Ginza JPN - Tokyo

    The district of Yanaka has remained miraculously untouched by natural and man-made disasters. Filmmakers come here to shoot footage of an idealised version of urban Japan, a pleasant flashback to a past with fewer cars and buildings. The promenade ru..

  • 10 Asakura Choso Museum Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    18-10 Yanaka 7-chome - Taito-ku JPN - Tokyo

    This delightful studio and home laid out around a fine Japanese garden was the property of the sculptor Asakura Fumio (1883-1964), the father of modern Japanese sculpture. His bronzes, in particular his studies of cats, exhibit a truly feline agility..

  • 11 Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    3-1 kitanomaru-koen JPN - Tokyo

    Tokyo's National Museum of Modern Art presents a good summary of Japanese art from the Meiji period up to the 1980s. Of the 9 000 works in its collection, 300 are on display at any one time. A few artists deserve a special mention: Tomioka Tessai (18..

  • 12 Yushukan War Memorial Museum Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    3-1-1 Kudankita - Chiyoda-ku JPN - Tokyo

    The Yushukan War Memorial Museum divides opinion. There has been much discussion about this military museum, which has found itself under fire for presenting the history of the wars of the last century from a biased Japanese perspective. This aspect ..

  • 13 Tokyo International Forum Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    3-5-1 Marunouchi - Chiyoda-ku JPN - Tokyo

    Housed in a delicate-looking glass and steel building that is an experiment in weightlessness and transparency, the Tokyo International Forum has stood in the heart of the business district since 1997. The huge sums of money and technological prowess..

  • 14 Idemitsu Museum of Arts Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    3-1-1 Marunouchi - Teigeki Bldg, 9e étage - Chiyoda-ku JPN - Tokyo

    Established in 1966 by Sazo Idemitsu, founder of the eponymous large oil company, this museum is renowned for the quality of its temporary exhibitions. Its collection includes some very fine Japanese pieces (Hizen porcelain, masterpieces by the paint..

  • 15 Bridgestone Museum of Arts Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    1-10-1 Kyobashi - Chuo-ku JPN - Tokyo

    Malraux himself once sang the praises of this arts centre with a fine and well-presented collection. Come and admire the judicious selections made by the great collector Ishibashi Shorijo, who also founded the Bridgestone Group. The Bridgestone Museu..

  • 16 Ginza Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Chuo-Dori JPN - Tokyo

    Europeans will be surprised by the absence of noise in this modern shopping Mecca. The ubiquity of neon will come as less of a shock. Built in the 19C, Ginza was established on a site ravaged by fire. A few fine examples of the original brick buildin..

  • 17 Roppongi Hills Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    6-10-1 Roppongi - Minato-ku JPN - Tokyo

    Tokyo, which is on a par with Shanghai when it comes to architecture of gigantic proportions, has a liking for shopping complexes housed in skyscrapers. Roppongi Hills is a foremost example, with its innovative design esplanades, shops, cinemas, muse..

  • 18 Mori Art Museum Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    52 F Mori Tower JPN - Tokyo

    The Mori Art Museum is located on the 53rd floor of Mori Tower. Temporary exhibitions (of which there are two or three at any given time) follow on from each other at a hectic rate. The museum is often used as the venue for important international ex..

  • 19 Suntory Museum of Art Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    9-7-4 Akasaka - Minato-ku JPN - Tokyo

    The Suntory Museum of Art was reconfigured by the architect Kuma Kengo in April 2007 when it was relocated to the heart of the Midtown Tower. The museum possesses a 3 000-piece collection (lacquerware, Satsuma ceramics, textiles, Noh costumes), eleme..

  • 20 Shinjuku Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Nishi-Shinjuku JPN - Tokyo

    The railway cuts in two this district with a tendency towards schizophrenia. In the west there is the studious atmosphere proper to business and administrative hub (head offices and town hall) as well as the cultural polish of the Seijo Togo Memorial..

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