Until 1868, Kyoto was the capital of Japan since the end of the 8th century, it is one of the most popular destinations amongst overseas tourists to Japan. With a variety of historically valuable structures such as temples, shrines and Japanese gardens the city draws over 50 million visitors annually from all over the world.
Osaka is an exciting city for visitors and the town becomes more vibrant after sunset. Large neon billboards along the Dotonbori River in the Minami (southern) area is the most iconic landscape of the town. There are dizzying arrays of restaurants, food stalls, and shops in Dotonbori, Hozenji Yokocho and Shinsekai. The traditional atmosphere in the busy quarters of the town have not changed for decades.
Mount Koya or Koyasan is the center of a Buddhist sect. Shingon Buddhism was introduced to Japan by Kobo Daishi (Kukai) about 1200 years ago. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004 along with neighboring Kumano, Yoshino and Ominesan as the “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range.” Visitors can experience an overnight stay at a temple lodging (shukubo), experience eating a vegetarian monk's cuisine (shojin ryori) and attend morning prayers that are offered at about 50 temples.
Mt. Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan and has long been worshipped as a sacred place. Pilgrimages to the top traditionally started at Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine near Lake Kawaguchiko in the Fuji Five Lakes region (Fujigoko). You can find some of the best views of Mt. Fuji here within easy access from Tokyo. Great places to take pictures include the Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway and Arakurayama Sengen Park Chureito Pagoda. Another fun highlight in the area is Fuji-Q Highland, one of Japan’s best amusement parks with a huge haunted house and several record-breaking roller coasters and rides.