Japan : Places to see

Mount Fuji (Fuji-san):
Mount Fuji is the highest and famous mountain in Japan through out the world, rising to 3776 m from the sea level, many climbers aim to reach its top. Visible from Tokyo on a clear day, the beautiful cone-shaped mountain is located west of the city, surrounded by lakes in a national park.

Mt. Fuji is named for the Buddhist fire goddess Fuchi and is sacred to the Shinto goddess Sengen-Sama, whose shrine is found at the summit. It is the holiest of Japan's "Three Holy Mountains." Every summer, thousands of pilgrims and tourists climb to the summit, many of them hiking throughout the night to witness the sunrise from the summit.



Nijo Castle was built in 1603 as the Kyoto residence of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo Period (1603-1867). His grandson Iemitsu completed the castle's palace buildings 23 years later and further expanded the castle by adding a five story castle keep.

After the Tokugawa Shogunate fell in 1867, Nijo Castle was used as an imperial palace for a while before being donated to the city and opened up to the public as a historic site. Its palace buildings are arguably the best surviving examples of castle palace architecture of Japan's feudal era, and the castle was designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1994.


Atami is a small seaside resort town located on the east coast of Izu, where the peninsula joins the mainland. A popular onsen resort, Atami has lost the luster it once had during the bubble era days when it was a favorite get away for honeymooners and Tokyo executives with their secretaries. At the east end of the beach a small breakwater encloses a small harbor against the main sea wall.


Nagoya is located at roughly the geographic heart of Japan. Besides being a major urban center and the capital of Aichi Prefecture, Nagoya is also vital to Japan's manufacturing industry. Japan's image as a world leader in manufacturing is, in a large part, due to the industries based in Nagoya and its surrounding area. On the outskirts of Nagoya, for example, is Toyota City, the location of the headquarters of Toyota Motor Corporation, famous all over the world as a maker of motor vehicles. In addition, the Nagoya area is studded with any number of other manufacturing businesses.

Historically, Nagoya has also been the birthplace of many historic military figures, including shogun. From the latter half of the Muromachi-era (16th century), such historic figures as Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu emerged from the Nagoya area and left their names forever written into Japanese history.

These men also left Nagoya with a monument to their prosperity, Nagoya Castle. Built in the Edo-era in the year 1612 by the Owari Tokugawa family, this castle served as their fortress and living quarters at the height of their achievement. The brilliant gold mythical sea creature that adorns the roof of the castle tower has become synonymous with Nagoya itself.


Osaka is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe. Located at the mouth of the Yodo River on Osaka Bay, Osaka is the third largest city by population after Tokyo (special wards) and Yokohama.

Keihanshin is the second largest area in Japan by population and one of the largest metropolitan areas highly ranked in the world, with nearly 18 million people, and by GDP the second largest area in Japan and the seventh largest area in the world.

Historically the commercial centre of Japan, Osaka functions as one of the command centers for the Japanese economy. The ratio between daytime and night time population is 141%, the highest in Japan, highlighting its status as an economic center. Its nighttime population is 2.6 million, the third in the country, but in daytime the population surges to 3.7 million, second only after Tokyo (combining the Special wards of Tokyo, which is not a single incorporated city, for statistical purposes. See the Tokyo article for more information on the definition and makeup of Tokyo.) Osaka used to be referred to as the "nation's kitchen" (tenka no daidokoro) in feudal Edo period because it was the centre of trading for rice, creating the first modern futures exchange market in the world.

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