GaijinPot’s travel site, GaijinPot Travel, has gained readers steadily since its inception in 2016. The site continues to gain traction and as the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games come closer, Japan continues to improve its tourist infrastructure to make it an easier place to navigate. Tokyo and other big cities are always popular among travelers, but this year, we saw more interest in the northern and southern regions, as well. That’s best displayed via the most-read article in 2017: a locale that’s more than six hours from Tokyo by train.
In the true spirit of end-of-year round-up articles, here are the 10 most popular GaijinPot travel destinations of 2017.
1) Mount Koya
Mount Koya is one of those Japan experiences that is 100 percent worth the money, time and effort. Experience the life of a Buddhist monk by staying overnight in a temple and attending the morning chants and ceremony!
Free-range foxes. Not too difficult to see the attraction here. While you’re in Miyagi Prefecture, check out Sendai City, too!
A popular street graffiti really sums it up: “Tokyo is yours!” This towering, maze-like metropolis will let you come and go as you please, yet sweep you up entirely. Hard to describe, the city is best discovered via a long stroll with an open mind.
As Kyoto surges with tourists, this bamboo grove is a popular and accessible treat in the ever-beautiful Arashiyama area of the city.
Maid cafés are arguably a little on the creepy side, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t want to experience one. A true “only in Japan” moment!
Gamer, otaku and collectors’ paradise. Enough said.
The annual Snow Festival and partaking in the amazing seafood are just a few reasons tourists have flocked to the northern-most part of Japan. Hokkaido Prefecture is full of enriching natural sites and is also home to Noboribetsu, one of GaijinPot Travel’s Top 2018 Destinations.
Being next to Tokyo has its perks, but all jokes aside, this prefecture has a lot going for it besides its proximity to the world’s foremost megalopolis, including (but not exclusive to) gorgeous nature spots in Chichibu.
Built around 200-meters offshore, the picturesque giant red torii (Shinto archway or gate) looks as though it’s floating in the sea during high tide, while low tide lets you walk right up to touch its imposing cedar wood pillars. A superbly popular spot in Hiroshima.
Osaka City is cheap, tasty and super convenient. It’s not hard to see why so many people want to go here. Check out the Dotonbori area for the fine food offered up in “Japan’s Kitchen,” as it’s nicknamed.
While this is where peoples’ heads were at last year, we predict these 2018 Japan destinations to be hot in the coming year.