Prime Minister Kishida recently announced he plans to relax entry restrictions into Japan as much as other G7 countries. Additionally, he stated that although this transition will be executed in stages, it could begin as early as June.
Before the pandemic, Japan was already one of the most popular destinations in the world, and foreign tourists have had to wait years for their chance to visit. If you want to beat the crowds, it is best to book your trip now. Here are the places you should visit before the rush.
Fushimi Inari Taisha
The red torii gate is one of Japan’s most iconic symbols, and the Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto is perhaps the best place where you can see them. The gates line up to create mesmerizing tunnels that you can walk through while admiring the surrounding greenery.
Nara is a great option for travel destinations near Kyoto. Nara Park is famous for the deer that populate the 511 hectares of land. The deer have become so accustomed to visitors that they even know how to bow before enjoying treats bought from nearby shops. Within the park, you can also visit a number of World Heritage sites such as Kofukuji Temple and Kasuga-Taisha Shrine.
The iconic silhouette and snow-covered peak of Japan’s largest mountain is best admired before large tour groups crowd the area. It is just becoming the time of year when Mount Fuji can be climbed, and it’s ideal to catch glimpses of it from surrounding areas such as Gotemba and Mount Takao.
Also known as the Golden Pavilion, this Zen temple located in Kyoto was actually the former home of shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. The glimmering building is surrounded by a tranquil pond and lies next to what used to be the priest’s living quarters. This is a favorite among landscape photographers in Japan, so be sure to pack your camera.
Like Fushimi Inari Taisha, Miyajima is a place most known for its torii gate. Miyajima is an island located just off the coast of Hiroshima, with most of its structures being built above the water. During the high tide, it appears as though its main attraction, the torii of Itsukushima Shrine, is floating above the water. Anyone traveling through Japan will want to visit this place at least once, which is one more reason to see it sooner rather than later.
Along with its impressive appearance, it is the story of Osaka Castle that makes it such an intriguing travel destination. It was rebuilt on three separate occasions due to civil wars and was once struck by lightning. Despite this, it has become one of the most popular destinations for those who come to see its walls, wide moat, and tower. It has also become a favorite during hanami season as well.
If you are currently residing in Japan, chances are you have visited one or more of the places on this list. However, you may want to visit them again soon so that you can enjoy them without the crowds. It is the calm before the storm, so you may need to wait a while to enjoy another time before they are this cheap and relatively tourist-free.