Tokyo, Kyoto and Nara – What to See in Japan’s Most Important Cities

Tokyo, Kyoto and Nara are comfortably connected in about two hours by the efficient Japanese railway system. These three cities are the embodiment of Japan’s soul: always oriented towards innovation, but with strong links with its tradition. For this reason they are an excellent starting point for discovering the Rising Sun’s charming culture.


The Tokyo National Museum is located in Ueno Park, an unmissable stop during hanami – the trees’ spring  fioritura. The Museum hosts over 110.000 items in total and a complete visit requires at least half a day.

The Kabuki-za theatre in Ginza is Japan’s oldest and most popular kabuki theatre, recently reopened after a long renovation. Here you may attend to a full show lasting about four hours, or just to a single act. Nearby is the Kabuki-za Gallery, an interesting cultural centre hosting temporary exhibitions of rare dresses, accessories and tools used in kabuki performances.

Kabuki-za theatre - Tokyo, Japan

Tsukiji fish market is the world’s largest fish market. Along its stands the fishermen work on the fish you bought, while the ancient shops sell almost any kind of stuff and in the small restaurants is served the best sushi on Earth.

The ever crowded Shibuya cross road enlightened night and night by huge screens located on every building. Young cosplayers roaming around make this place even more funny and colourful.

For a stunning view of the whole town, climb on the Tokyo Tower, or over the new Sky Tree, or on the Sky Deck in Roppongi, or on the Metropolitan Government Office in Shinjuku. Even better if at dusk.

Have a trip in your childhood memories at the Ghibli Art Museum by Miyasaki, in Mitaka, which recollects the works of the celebrated anime director through his most popular characters.


In Kyoto you can’t miss a visit to the suggestive Kiyomizu-dera temple, one of the town’s most ancient sites. The temple overlooks Kyoto from a hilltop and was built on a thermal spring which is said to lend long life, success and love. And then you can have a walk in Kinkaku-Ji’s zen garden and take a look at the temple’s pavilion, fully covered by golden leaves.

Kinkaku-ji temple - Kyoto, Japan


In Nara you should enjoy the many temples located inside the town’s park. There are many deers here, always looking for food and the local culture believes them to be divine messengers. Your trip should end with a look at Daibutsuden, one of the world’s largest pagodas, hosting a huge Buddha made entirely of bronze.

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Passionate travel planner, wife and foster mother of Calimero and Silente, I travel since I was 12 and I want to see the whole world!

1 thought on “Tokyo, Kyoto and Nara – What to See in Japan’s Most Important Cities”

  1. I love the picture of the Kiyomizu-dera, is it very touristy or do you have the chance to just sit down and enjoy the quiet of the place? Thanks for sharing your experiences! 🙂

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