Things to do for History Buffs in Japan 

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  • 1

    Temple of the Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji)

    83 reviews

    Kinkakuji is a stunning gold temple in Kyoto, and a must see for any visitor to the ancient capital of Japan. Kyoto was for many hundreds of years the cultural capital, what with the sacred lineage of the royal court before the Tokugawa period. So for a long time, Kyoto was the spiritual capital of Japan, where the emprerors lived ...

    Popular withSpiritualLocalHistory
  • 2


    日本, 京都府京都市東山区清水1丁目−294
    40 reviews

    A must-see. Be ready for a little bit of uphill walk through the gorgeous, traditional streets with yummy snack stores along the way. The temple itself is a great architectural wonder with no nails used in its structure. Drink the water from the waterfall which represents longevity, love, and knowledge. The scenery around the temple and through the greenery makes ...

    Popular withLocalDesignHistory
  • 3

    Meiji Jingu Shrine

    1-1 Kamizono-cho, Tokyo, 13 151-0053 Japan
    35 reviews

    The entrance to this very important shrine is lined with sake barrels on one side and wine barrels on the other side. Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken are enshrined here. They are held in highest esteem by the Japanese people. These sake barrels are offered every year to show respect and gratitude for industrial growth and modernization of Japan that ...

    Popular withHistoryLocalDesign
  • 4

    Tokyo National Museum

    13-9 Ueno Park, Tokyo, 13 110-8712 Japan
    8 reviews

    The Tokyo National Museum takes you on a tour of Japanese culture by era century by century. Great to check out for an overview of Japan and Japanese culture and history. What I remember most about the exhibits was the impressive Buddha collection and the ornate kimonos!

    Popular withHistoryLocalSpiritual
  • 5


    13 Goryonoshita-cho Ryoanji, Kyoto-Shi, 26 616-8001 Japan
    13 reviews

    The most famous example of a zen rock garden. A must-see in Kyoto. At first glance, the garden may seem simple or even boring to some but well worth taking the time to sit and appreciate the details.

    Popular withLocalDesignHistory
  • 6

    Asakusa Shrine

    2-3-1 Asakusa, Tokyo, 13 111-0032 Japan
    68 reviews

    Tokyo is a hyper-modern city. But this ancient Shinto shrine in a more traditional neighborhood is where you want to come to see Old Japan without leaving the city limits. The gigantic vermilion lanterns, pots of smoking incense and stalls crammed with crazy souvenirs make it a scene, day or night.

    Popular withFamiliesHistoryLocal
  • 7

    Osaka Castle

    1-1 Osakajo, Chuo-ku
    40 reviews

    Beautiful on the outside, modern on the inside with lots of history and information. Definitely worth a visit.

    Popular withHistoryDesignFamilies
  • 8

    Kumamoto Castle

    日本, 熊本県熊本市中央区本丸1丁目
    12 reviews

    Lovely castle and museum. Enjoy the climb to the top.

    Popular withBudgetFamiliesHistory
  • 9

    Hiroshima Peace Memorial

    1-2 Nakajima-cho, Hiroshima-Shi, 34 730-0811 Japan
    25 reviews

    Must when you're at Hiroshima. If you want to learn more about the history of Hiroshima, it's a must-go-place for you. Walk it through, use a lot of time, spend the whole day in there. You will see so much that you won't even notice that the time passed.

    Popular withHistory
  • 10

    Ueno Park

    Next to JR Ueno Station, Tokyo, 13 110-0007 Japan
    28 reviews

    A huge and diverse park fun for exploring. There are several interesting museums located within the park as well. During cherry blossom season this park gets mobs of people camping (aka drinking) overnight. Lots of fun.

    Popular withOutdoorLocalHistory
  • 11

    Hiroshima Castle

    3−3 2丁目, Hiroshima, Japan
    3 reviews

    The castle is not as big as one would expect, but it houses a great museum on the history of Hiroshima. It was rebuilt from the ground up after being completely destroyed by the atomic bomb.

    Popular withHistory
  • 12

    Asakusa Senso-j

    Sensoji Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan
    15 reviews

    It's spelled Sensouji. Anyway, great place to visit. Very historical and nice to get a feel of old Japan while Tokyo is in it's modern state. Definitely a lot of shopping and eating! I would recommend kuriko taiyaki and gindaico takoyaki!

    Popular withHistorySpiritualBackpackers
  • 13

    Tsukiji Fish Market

    Tsukiji, Chuo, Tokyo, Japan
    80 reviews

    The largest fish market in the world is a site to see! get there early and have sushi for breakfast while walking amongst the hundreds and hundreds of fish mongers selling their wares.

    Popular withFoodiesLocalHistory
  • 14

    Takedera (竹寺)

    Japan, Hanno, Saitama Prefecture, Japan
    6 reviews

    Takedera is worth visiting whenever you're in Hanno. Walk around or hike until Nenogongen. They also have a Shojin Ryori restaurant though its by reservation only. The restaurant's closed during winter and summer.

    Popular withHistoryFamiliesAdventure
  • 15


    Gion, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
    18 reviews

    If you are lucky might see one of the last remaining Geisha. The Gion district in Kyoto is one of the last places to still have real Geisha. I was fortunate enough to see one of these mysterious women leaving a residence and entering a a vehicle but only for a brief moment. Out of respect you are not supposed ...

    Popular withLocalFoodiesHistory
  • 16


    日本, 京都府京都市東山区清水1丁目294
    22 reviews

    Kiyomizu-dera is an ancient temple in Kyoto, with a famous fountain fed by the pure spring waters from the mountains above it. This famous fountain is split into 3 end points at this temple, and Japanese and tourists alike come here to drink the waters from one of the 3 final spouts of the flowing stream. Each of the 3 ...

    Popular withFamiliesLuxuryHistory
  • 17

    Yokohama Ramen Museum

    2−14−21 Shinyokohama, YokohamaKohoku Ward, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
    3 reviews

    Love this fun museum yet the main attraction are the delicious restaurants. Several versions of ramen to choose from. Ask for help using the ticket ordering machines.

    Popular withHistoryFoodiesBudget
  • 18

    Take-dera Temple

    Japan, Hanno, Saitama Prefecture, Japan
    1 review

    If you're in Hanno, make sure to check out Takedera. It's a temple/shrine 16 kilometers from the town. It's pretty far but it's worth it. There are only a handful of remaining combined temple and shrines in Japan, and Takedera is one of them. They also have a Shojin Ryori restaurant, but its by reservation only. The restaurant's closed during ...

    Popular withAdventureLocalHistory
  • 19

    Daikaku-ji Temple

    4 Saga, Osawa-cho, Kyoto-Shi, 26 616-8411 Japan
    2 reviews

    My favorite spot in Kyoto. It's peaceful, solemn, yet humble.

    Popular withBackpackersLocalHistory
  • 20

    Ghibli Museum

    日本, 東京都三鷹市下連雀1-1-83
    17 reviews

    You needn’t be a fan of anime to enjoy the whimsical Ghibli Museum, a combo art, science, and children’s museum in a complex reminiscent of a hobbit village. A central atrium topped by a glass dome and giant fan, inspired by Hayao Miyazaki’s drawings, is a maze of staircases, passages, and hiding places; stained glass fitted into the ironwork casts ...

    Popular withDesignFamiliesHistory
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