Japan is an incredible destination, offering a captivating blend of rich history, modern cities, traditional culture, and awe-inspiring wonders. No matter where you travel to in the country, the allure of backpacking in Japan is that there is truly an adventure for everyone.
Tokyo is Japan’s dynamic capital, which seamlessly combines ancient traditions with cutting-edge technology. While you’re visiting, you can explore the historic Asakusa District, home to the revered Sensō-Ji temple. You can indulge in the freshest seafood at Tsukiji Outer Market, or admire the panoramic views from the Metropolitan Government Building. You might engage in Japan’s national obsession with baseball, or, for some relaxation, unwind at a traditional bathhouse like the locals.
Journey south to Kamakura, a coastal city immersed in medieval history. While you’re here, you can discover ancient shrines and temples that transport you back in time, marvel at the awe-inspiring Great Buddha statue at Kotoku-in Temple, and hike to the Zeniarai Benzaiten Ugafuku Shrine. Or, if you’re a sunbather, take the chance to relax on Kamakura’s picturesque beaches and savour a refreshing drink at one of its beachside bars.
Home to the iconic Mount Fuji, Hakone is a nature-lover’s paradise. While you’re there, stroll along the Old Tokaido, relishing a lunch with a view near Moto-Hakone, or cruise across Lake Ashi’s crystal-clear waters aboard a ship. You can unwind in an authentic onsen, a traditional Japanese hot spring bath, or indulge in a sake tasting session where you’ll gain new insights into the art of Japanese rice wine.
Hop on the bullet train to Kyoto, a city that epitomises traditional Japan. You can visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kiyomizu Temple, which offers breathtaking views of the city, or immerse yourself in the enchanting Gion Area, where geishas can occasionally be spotted along Pontocho Alley. You might explore the serene Arashiyama Monkey Park and Bamboo Forest, before cranking things up a notch when you unleash your inner superstar during a lively karaoke night.
Hiroshima and Miyajima Island
From here, you can venture west to Hiroshima, a city with a poignant history unlike any other. Pay tribute to the past at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum, gaining a deeper understanding of World War II’s tragic events and the city’s resilience and hope. Then take a ferry trip to Miyajima Island, home to the iconic Itsukushima Shrine and its majestic torii gate, which towers above the reflective waters.
You can conclude your journey in Osaka, a vibrant city known for its diverse culinary delights and lively atmosphere. Indulge in a mouthwatering lunch in the bustling Shinsaibashi area before visiting Osaka Castle, a historic landmark with an intriguing past. Explore the vibrant neighborhoods at your own pace or get a exciting introduction to the nightlife scene of Dotonbori.
Backpacking in Japan offers an unparalleled adventure, where ancient traditions coexist with modern marvels to create a travel experience unlike anywhere else in the world.
Find out more about The Dragon Trip’s 13-day Japan adventure here.