Tokyo Imperial Palace – Tokyo
The old residence of the Japanese royal family, the Imperial Palace located in Tokyo, is one of the most famous attractions in not only the shore excursions to Tokyo but also the entire country. With the traditional architecture revealed in every detail of the building, the palace is home to a plenty of priceless items and artifacts belonging to the imperial family which serves as a cultural and historical site.
Although the inner palace is not opened to the public, the surrounding areas including Imperial Palace East Garden provide a beautiful place for visitors coming to admire the Japanese traditional garden structure and enjoy your free picnic time under cherry blossom trees. Moreover, from the garden, you can witness the two bridges Nijubashi leading to the main palace. Meganebashi Bridge means Eyeglass due to its look like eyeglasses, while the other, the wooden Nijubashi Bridge means Double with two levels.
Mount Fuji – Shizuoka
The highest mountain and also the symbol of Japan, Mount Fuji, is spectacular all year round. The mountain is an extinct volcano with the uniquely symmetrical cone which is the endless inspiration for photographers and artists around the world.
With the height of over 3700 meters, Mt. Fuji attracts around 200,000 climbers per year. The best time to visit the mountain is from July to mid-September when the weather is not snowy but pleasant and lack of rainfall for outdoor activities. The view when you reach the top is breathtaking with clouds surrounding and fresh air blowing your mind.
Fushimi Inari Shrine – Kyoto
In the cultural shore trips to Kyoto, Fushimi Inari Shrine is the most important Shinto shrine. The shrine attracts thousands of visitors each year thanks to the line of thousands of vermilion torii gates creating a trail leading to the main shrine. Highlighted from the green pattern of forest surrounding, the red velvet color of gates will steal every attention. Inside the grounds, there are a lot of fox statues which serve as Mount Inari’s messengers.
Great Buddha – Kamakura
Join a Japan trip cannot miss a visit to religious sites. In Kamakura, the spotlight will go to the Great Buddha which is a huge outdoor statue of Amida Buddha. This bronze statue has the height of 13 meters and the weight of nearly 93 tons. The image of gentle Buddha sitting with legs crossing through each other is one of the most attractive sights in the city.
Himeji Castle – Himeji
Japan is famous for being the land of castles. Coming to Himeji, there is a must-visiting attraction, Himeji Castle. The castle is the most featured structure representing for Japanese traditional architecture although being destroyed and rebuilt several times by war and fire in the past.
Formerly served as a fortress to protect the Lord’s family from enemy’s attack during the feudal period, its structure is extremely stable that can survive after the bomb disaster dated back to the World War II. Nowadays, the pure white walls with beautiful scenery created by cherry blossom trees surrounding are one of the most popular places to enjoy Japan shore excursions.
Jigokudani Monkey Park – Hakodate
The highlight of Hakodate shore excursions is Jigokudani Monkey Park. This park is not a normal one where monkeys climbing trees and eat food people throw them. Jigokudani is home to hot spring bathtub for monkeys to avoid being frozen in the snowy winter. The name means Hell Valley in English referring to steam and boiling water every time although the ground is totally frozen. During the day, you can admire hundreds of monkeys cover the park, soak in the hot spring, and mischievously jump around. In the evenings, to avoid being attacked, they come back to the forests where they feel most safe.
Peace Memorial – Hiroshima & Nagasaki
Almost everyone knows about the bloody bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in the wartime many years ago. The consequence still exists in the spiritual life of Japanese people. To get a glimpse of the bombing and take an act of reminding the victims, hop on a shore excursion to Hiroshima and Nagasaki to Peace Memorial Parks. Both two parks are home to many artifacts and remnants of surviving after the bomb. Note that the quiet and gloomy atmosphere here is not suitable for weak-heart people.