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City Guide

Below you will find information about some of the most well-known cities in Japan.


With nearly 10 percent of the population of Japan within its city limits, Tokyo still manages to flow and function in providing visitors and residents alike a world-class level of historical attractions, entertainment, cultural activities, dining and hospitality. All this, along with general safety, public services, and transportation delivered on a scale befitting the world's largest metropolitan region.

Tokyo is a cornucopia of sightseeing delights: the old downtown area where the futuristic Tokyo Skytree coexists with an ancient temple; Harajuku, setting trends for youth culture; Shibuya and its famous pedestrian scramble crossing; Odaiba, the popular waterfront area; the Ogasawara Islands, a world heritage site; and many more.


Sapporo is the largest city in the northernmost main island of Hokkaido, with a population of 1.9 million. The city is a popular destination for Japanese and international travelers alike, who flock to the city for cultural events. The annual Sapporo Snow Festival has gigantic ice sculptures, culinary delights ranging from ramen and Genghis Khan lamb barbeque to fresh seafood. Enjoy the natural scenic beauty of Hokkaido's wide plains, mountains, and coastlines. Sapporo hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics and the 2002 FIFA World Cup. The city is also home to professional baseball and soccer teams.

Odon Park serves as an oasis for its citizens and the park is popular with many people. Located in the heart of the city, this park is blessed with lush greenery, as various events are held throughout the year, highlighting its four seasons.


Feisty and proud in its individuality, Osaka is Japan's third most populous prefecture. The capital is Osaka City and Osaka Prefecture is the core of the Kansai region, widely considered to be the cultural and historical "heart" of Japan.

Many historical landmarks here include Osaka Castle, Shitennoji Temple (the first and oldest Buddhist temple in Japan), and the Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine (prominently featured in the world's first novel The Tale of Genji).

Osaka also has had a significant historical role in being the doorway to the Asia continent; it was known as the gate to the ancient Silk Road for Japan. Osaka is also well-known as an industrial and commercial center, headquarters for leading Japanese companies in such categories as pharmaceuticals, trade, electronics, foods, and construction.

Osaka Castle serves as a symbol of Osaka's prosperity, both old and new. Culturally and socially, Osaka and the Kansai region has maintained an identity very distinct from Tokyo and the Kanto region to the east. This distinction manifests itself across expressions and dialect to favorite foods. In fact, Osaka had long been the "kitchen of Japan" for its role as a food distribution center for the entire country. Some of the most cherished items include the ubiquitous takoyaki battered octopus snacks, okonomiyaki "pancakes" made on your own table's griddle, and kushikatsu deep-fried skewers of bite-sized vegetables, meats, and seafood. Food lovers will also appreciate Osaka's role as the birthplace of instant noodles, cup noodles, and conveyer belt sushi.


Kobe City is Japan's sixth-largest city and the capital of Hyogo Prefecture. Along with Kyoto and Osaka, the city is a core pillar of the Kansai region of Japan. Visit Kobe’s spectacular waterfront vistas and the oldest hot springs in Japan, Amira Hot Springs.

The Port of Kobe Fireworks Festival is held every summer. Visitors can enjoy the illuminated night sky from these colorful and spectacular fireworks. Also, Kobe is famous throughout the world for its superb Kobe Beef, but Kobe is also renowned for high-quality seafood and many other delicious local specialties. The Nadagogo district is home to numerous sake breweries that continue to produce great-tasting sake, making this Japan's leading sake-producing region.


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