Updated on January 18th, 2019
If you’ve never thought about taking a trip to Japan, you need to. The Land of the Rising Sun is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, with one of the most ancient and exotic cultures in history.
Let me be clear – I think Japan is one the best places on Earth to take a vacation. Don’t believe me? Read these five great reasons why Japan will make the perfect getaway for you and your family. See if that doesn’t convince you!
1. The Rich Culture And Wonderful People
First and foremost, Japan has one of the most unique cultures to be found anywhere in the world. Much of the culture is a mix of Shinto and Buddhist traditions, combined with a forward-looking worldview that started in the Edo era. This means that the Japanese people are dignified, kind, considerate, and incredibly open to new ideas and technologies.
Additionally, respect is one of Japan’s most valued characteristics. People are very polite in Japan. People respect each other’s space and are always courteous when speaking with others.
2. It’s One Of The Safest Countries In The World
Anytime you travel internationally, there’s risk involved. With the state of the world right now, you want to do everything you can to protect your family and make sure your destination is safe. A trip to Japan is one of the safest bets you can make because it’s one of the safest countries in the world. CBS News ranked the 39 most popular travel destinations by U.S. citizens according to their level of safety. Japan took #13.
Of course, no country is completely safe. There’s always the chance you could become the victim of a crime or become involved in an accident. You always need to take extra precautions when you travel internationally, especially if you’re a senior citizen. The elderly are always the most likely to be the targets of scams and crime.
3. The Night Life And The Shopping
If your idea of living life to the fullest involves a night out on the town or a trip to the mall, then Japan is the perfect place for you! Tokyo, in particular, is one of the most modern cities in the world and offers everything you could ever want.
The Lonely Planet recommends that you check out these Tokyo districts for all your shopping needs:
- Ginza – Boutiques, department stores, handmade crafts, and souvenirs
- Shibuya – Teenage fashion, music, and gadgets
- Akihabara – Electronics, books, anime, manga, and J-pop
- Asakusa – Arts, crafts, decor, and religious trinkets
- Shimo-Kitazawa – Restaurants, vintage clothing, drinking clubs, and karaoke bars
4. The Love Of All Things Anime
Anime, or Japanese animation, has been a cultural staple in Japan since at least the 1920s. Japan loves its anime and has plenty of great destinations for anime fans (“otaku”) to indulge themselves.
- The Ghibli Museum : The Ghibli Museum showcases the history and techniques used by the famous animation studio. It contains original storyboards, animation cells, and other artifacts from such beloved classics as Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away.
- Gundam Front Tokyo : This museum and gift shop is the home of all things Mobile Suit Gundam. The long-running mecha franchise is considered to be the Star Wars of Japan, and the museum houses a collection of over 1,000 different Gunpla (Gundam models). The main attraction is the life-size recreation of the RX-0 Gundam Unicorn, which stands over 50 feet tall, and transforms between two different modes!
- The Pokemon Center MEGA Tokyo : Having become a cultural icon all over the world thanks to the anime series, video games, and trading cards, Pokemon Center MEGA is the #1 destination for Pokemon fans! The store has thousands of different Pokemon collectibles, some sold exclusively in-shop, and dozens of life-size statues of different Pokemon. While there are different locations around the city, Pokemon Center MEGA is the largest.
5. The Shrines And Historical Sites
Japan is a land steeped in shrines and famous historical sites. I’ve already mentioned that Shinto and Buddhism play a big role in Japanese culture. These shrines are sacred places where the Japanese come to pray, ask for guidance and protection from their ancestors, and seek inner peace.
Some of the most famous shrines and temples you can visit include:
- The Temple of the Golden Pavillion
- The Meiji Shrine
- Itsukushima Shrine
History buffs will also love the chance to visit Kyoto and Himeji, where certain scenes from The Last Samurai were filmed. Another great destination is the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, housed next to the only building left standing after the detonation of the atomic bomb in World War II.