Most photographed tourist spots in Japan

Most photographed tourist spots in Japan
Most photographed tourist spots Japan

Most photographed tourist spots Japan | Let’s try to describe the land of the rising sun with just six photos. We know, this will become a tremendous fail. But that’s what tourists do. They usually fail in getting to know the real character of their vacation spot. Blame it to the lack of time :)

Shibuya Intersection

Japan, Tokyo, Shibuya intersection
Japan, Tokyo: Shibuya Intersection

Shibuya got a special intersection in Tokyo that is photographed very often. The area around is known as one of the fashion centre of Japan, particularly for young people, and as a major night life area. Shibuya Station is Tokyo’s busiest railway station, The famous scramble crossing is located in front of the Shibuya Station, Hachikō exit, and it is indeed the world’s busiest intersection. Each time the light turns green, hundreds, sometimes up to a thousand people come from all directions at once, but still manage to dodge each other and find their way through the crowd. Sometimes comparisons with Times Square in New York are made because the intersection is heavily decorated by neon advertisements and giant video screens. Shibuya Crossing is often featured in movies and television shows which take place in Tokyo, such as Lost in Translation, Fast and Furious , and Resident Evil, as well as on domestic and international news broadcasts.

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The statue of a dog named “Hachikō”, a loyal dog, between Shibuya station and intersection, is a common meeting place and is always very crowded. Story has it that the dog Hachiko waited for his owner every day in front of the train station until his death. Check the Richard Gere movie made in Hachiko’s memory to get a better understanding. So ya, in case you find yourself in Tokyo, it would be probably ok to take a walk across this famous intersection. There is not much else you can do anyway.

Mount Fuji

Japan, Mount Fuji
Most photographed tourist spots Japan: Mount Fuji is #1

This one is actually worth the money: Japan’s Mt. Fuji volcano rises about 100 kilometers southwest of Tokyo. The last eruption was on December 16, 1707. Commonly called “Fuji-san,” it is the country’s tallest peak (3,776 m). A pilgrimage site for centuries, it’s considered one of Japan’s three sacred mountains, and summit hikes remain a popular activity. Its iconic profile is the subject of numerous works of art, notably Edo Period prints by Hokusai and Hiroshige.

Grand Torii Gate

Grand Torii Gate, Hiroshima Bay, Japan.
Grand Torii Gate, Hiroshima Bay, Japan.

In case you make to Itsukushima (Miyajima): That’s a small island in Hiroshima Bay. It is known for some forests and ancient temples. Just offshore, the orange Grand Torii Gate partially submerges at high tide. It kind of marks the entrance to that Itsukushima Shrine, which was first built in the 12th-century. Looks kind of Japanese, right? That’s why many tourists flock here to take a snapshot.

Jigokudani Monkey Park

Macaque monkeys taking a bath in the Jigokudani hotspring in Nagano, Japan
Macaque monkeys taking a bath in the Jigokudani hotspring in Nagano, Japan at Jigokudani Monkey Park. Photo by Yosemite, CC BY-SA 3.0

The seed was laid in 1964, when natural hot springs became a highlight at Jigokudani Yaen-koen NP. Macaque monkeys shows interest in doing it like the humans. The park staff granted them one of the upper hot tabs. The real international hype broke out in 2007, when award-winning photographer Jasper Doest spent 7 weeks with these Japanese snow monkeys, watching their behavior and getting to know them on an individual basis. National Geographic aired his footage. Jigokudani Yaen-koen is located in the Valley of Yokoyu River.

Bamboo Forest

Japan, Arashiyama, Bamboo Forest
Japan, Arashiyama, Bamboo Forest

The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is one of Kyoto’s top sights and for good reason: standing amid these soaring stalks of bamboo is like being in another world. Therefore this Bamboo forest is also photographed a lot. Since Kyoto in general draws a lot of touristy attention, the Bamboo forest got an easy supply of visitors. Wear a comfy pair of boots and a waterproof jacket because it rains there quite often.


Chinese tourists climbing and kicking the cherry blossom trees in Japan.
Chinese tourists climbing and kicking Japanese cherry blossom trees.

Each year the Japanese Weather Association’s annual cherry blossom forecast prompts a rush of international bookings as travelers race to experience the country’s famed Sakura blooms. This annual ritual is actually called Hanami. Meaning: Stop to view and appreciate the beautiful spring blossoms. Most commonly it’s cherry trees appreciated. Hanami gives Japanese a chance to recognize and reflect on the beauty of nature while welcoming the new season. Japan’s highly urbanized population desperately needs this kind of recognition of nature. 94% of all Japanese live in cities that have more skyscrapers than trees.

Nobody outside Japan really gave Hanami/Sakura a serious thought until the internet changed our way of life. Apart from watching cats, naked women and photos of food, tourist selfies now became a vital part of our daily dose of online entertainment. Sakura and Mt. Fuji pretty much sum up Japan for an unprepared tourist. And the ugly side of a perfect tourist selfie at Hanami: Tourists shake, kick and climb trees to create ‘pink rain’ for photographs or video clips. We recommend: Don’t fly to Japan for Sakura. Instead enjoy your own cherry blossoms at home.

Book a hotel in Japan
Book a hotel in Japan

You find our complete list of stereotype tourist photos here:

Photographed tourist spots Japan. By Chili & Chirp | © International Destinations | Visit our Travel Alphabet.