Two geishas walking by the Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan
Whether you take a guided tour or explore on your own, Tokyo will never disappoint. Scope out the cutting-edge fashion in Harajuku and learn all about Otaku culture in Akihabara. Stop off at the forested Meiji shrine and see the bright Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, a well-known geisha district.
A bronze statue of the Great Buddha in Japan
Every summer, Tokyoites escape the heat by heading to the picturesque town of Kamakura. Take the classic Enoshima Electric Railway to the breathtaking Hase-Dera temple housing a gold-leafed statue of the goddess Kannon. Known for the popular Giant Buddha (Daibutsu), you can spot Mt. Fuji from the nearby charcoal black beaches of Inamuragasaki park.
Sankeien Garden is the extravagant creation of a 20th-century silk trader. Dotting the grounds are 17 recreations of iconic buildings from across Japan. All perfectly balanced according to the season, the garden is a celebration of Japan. Cruise to Tokyo and join in a traditional tea ceremony, and learn how to wear a kimono.
Japan has some of the world's most renowned cuisine, and Tokyo is the epicenter of all that goodness. Try nigirizushi-style sushi, with simple, single cuts of delicate raw fish served over vinegared rice. Indulge in Tokyo's unique approach to the pan-Japanese noodle soup ramen — here, thin, wavy noodles luxuriate in a soy-infused chicken broth. Or snack on yakitori, grilled chicken skewers seasoned simply with salt or tare, a savory blend of fish-infused dashi broth, soy and vinegar.
Harajuku in the heart of Tokyo is a shopaholic's dream. From the weird to the classy, you'll find the latest fashion and the coolest brands. For a broader experience, head to Yokohama's 150-year-old Motomachi Shopping street. Hosting a massive sale in September and February, Motomachi has something for everyone. Jump onboard a Tokyo cruise and make sure to bring home some of the region's famous silk, either in the form of a floral kimono or scarf.