Best Places to Visit in Japan for First-timers with Family

Best places to visit in Japan for first-timers with family – First-time family travel to Japan may be an amazing journey full of culinary delights, breathtaking scenery, and fascinating cultures.

It is a small but fascinating Asian country in the Pacific Rim volcanic belt, on the western coast of the Pacific. Also, the nation comprises more than 6,800 small islands and four large islands, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, and Hokkaido, arranged in an arc from northeast to southwest.

Best Places to Visit in Japan for First-timers with Family

Ultimately, Japan is a well-known tourist destination due to its distinct geographical distribution, producing radically different national styles and customs in the north and south.

10 Best Places to Visit in Japan for First-timers With Family

Choosing travel destinations that appeal to a wide range of ages and interests is crucial to making the most of your trip. Here are the best places to visit in the country with family:


Tokyo is located in central Japan and is one of the best places to visit in Japan for first-timers with family. It is a world-famous international city and Japan’s capital. Since the Tokugawa shogunate era, it has gradually grown into Japan’s political and economic hub. Although, there are numerous attractions, the Japanese Imperial Palace and Meiji Shrine are noteworthy.

Tokugawa Ieyasu, the Tokugawa shogunate’s first general, built Japan’s Imperial Palace in 1590. It is a palace occupied by Japanese emperors and their families. This palace exemplifies traditional Japanese architecture’s elegant and concise design style, which reflects the nation’s introverted personality.

Climbing the palace’s watchtower, tourists will see the solemn city walls on one side and modern Tokyo buildings on the other, creating a wonderful sense of timelessness.

The Meiji Shrine is located in Yoyoki, Shibuya District. This shrine, dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Dowager Zhaoxian, is one of Japan’s most important shrines, attracting thousands of visitors annually. The lush trees cover this shrine, where tourists can walk slowly to enjoy the beautiful scenery and feel the forest atmosphere in the heart of the city while breathing.


Mount Fuji stands 3775.63 meters tall and has a circumference of 125 kilometres. It is an active volcano that spans Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures on Honshu Island’s south-central coast. Also, it is the highest point in Japan.

Ultimately, because of the crater’s eruption, this mountain has formed countless caves of various sizes in the foothills, and the cave walls are also covered in crystal-like icicles. These multiple types of icicles create a rare spectacle.

Also, the holy temples, Kusushi Shrine and Asama Shrine, located at the top of the mountain, are popular tourist destinations. In Mount Fuji, Sakura is in full bloom in spring, the mountain breeze blows gently in summer, the hills are covered in red leaves in autumn, and it snows in winter.

In summary, it features a distinct four-season scenery. When the weather is nice, tourists can climb the mountain and watch the sunrise and sea of clouds to enjoy the beautiful natural scenery.


This is one of the best places to visit in Japan for first-timers with family. Nara’s Todaiji is one of the seven temples of Nandu. It has over 1,200 years of history and is currently the world’s largest wooden building. The Great Buddha Hall at Todaiji is 57 meters wide and 50 meters deep.

The world’s largest ancient bronze statue, Vairocana Buddha, is inside the hall. The temple houses many precious Buddha statues and exquisite Buddha paintings, rare art treasures.

Todaiji is located in Nara Park, a landmark attraction in Nara City. It is a majestic, tree-lined historical park. In recent years, watching the deer herd has become a popular tourist attraction.

Kasugataisha Shrine has approximately 1,400 wild Japanese deer, which are carefully cared for as messengers. Furthermore, these docile Japanese deer are very playful and cute, and when they see tourists, they interact with them cordially.


Kyoto is located in western Japan and is known as the “millennium ancient capital”. Its long history has made it not only one of the most important cities in traditional Japanese culture but also a symbol of Japanese aesthetics and art.

Kyoto is home to many historical buildings with Japanese characteristics, including shrines, Buddhist pavilions, and temples. However, Kiyomizu Temple and Fushimi Inari Taisya are popular destinations for tourists from all over the world.

Kiyomizu Temple, built in 1633, is Kyoto’s oldest temple. 139 columns support the temple’s famous suspended stage, also known as the “Kiyomizu Stage”. Its structure is exquisite, and it is a valuable cultural relic in Japan.

There is also a spring inside this temple. This spring is regarded as one of Japan’s top ten famous springs, representing longevity, wisdom, and health. The spring water is clear and sweet. It is believed that those who drink spring water will be blessed by the gods.

Fushimi Inari Taisya, founded in the eighth century, is one of Kyoto’s most incense-filled shrines. The dense scarlet “Senborn Torii” behind the shrine’s main temple is one of the area’s most well-known scenes.

When visitors enter here, they are met with a visual shock because of the dense intertwining of the bright scarlet archway and the old, faded dark red archway. This is especially striking and charming in the sunlight.


The famous Osaka Castle can be found in Osaka Castle Park, Osaka Central District. It was built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi during the Warring States Period. It has a steep 20-meter-high wall made of boulders with various ancient engravings carved into the stones.

There is a museum here that houses many precious historical and celebrity relics. These cultural relics silently teach people about Japan’s wonderful history. Today, Osaka Castle is an open park where tourists can relax and enjoy themselves.

Cherry, ginkgo, and plum trees can be found throughout the park. The garden is especially beautiful during the flower season.


Kobe is located in western Japan and is the birthplace of the world-famous Kobe beef. As one of Japan’s first coastal cities to open ports for business, its economic and cultural exchanges over the years have resulted in exotic customs in architecture, food, and culture that other cities lack.

Kobe beef is the most popular ingredient in Japanese cuisine recipes. Each year, only about 3,000 cattle can meet the quality requirements for this type of beef. It is the most famous beef in the world due to its scarcity, fresh and tender meat, and excellent taste, which draws a large number of diners each year.

Rokko Mountains, located northeast of Kobe, is a well-known plateau leisure resort. This mountain also houses a one-of-a-kind museum with a collection of ancient eight-tone boxes, automatic instruments, and the world’s largest automatic organ.

When night falls, tourists who climb here can enjoy the stunning scenery of Kobe’s city lights.


Hiroshima is a coastal city in southwestern Japan. It was damaged by the US atomic bomb during WWII and rebuilt in 1958. It has regained its former prosperity. Walking down the streets, you can feel the city’s full vitality thanks to its clean and tidy streets, starry shops, and many modern high-rises.

The Japanese government established the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on the site of the atomic bombing to pray for eternal peace. In addition to many statues and monuments, the park includes a Peace Memorial Museum and the famous Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Dome House.

Anzo Animal Park is also one of Hiroshima’s most popular parks. It covers a large area and raises a variety of rare animals, including giraffes, African elephants, and tigers.


Himeji is located in western Japan, near the Seto Inland Sea. It is a picturesque coastal city. What’s more, many tourists are drawn to the area because of its beautiful seascape and delicious seafood. Egret City is named after the Himeji Castle, which is white and resembles an egret with wings to fly.

It is the largest representative castle among Japan’s ancient castles. Himeji Castle was originally built for military defence, so its architecture is both strict and elegant. Well-preserved buildings and peripheral fortifications demonstrate the exquisite and powerful strategic defence abilities of Japanese castle architecture.


Hakone is in southwestern Japan. It is Japan’s hot spring hometown and health resort. It is difficult to believe that this lava-spattered volcanic city is now surrounded by greenery. The streets are said to have a thousand-year history.

Because the volcano here erupted hundreds of thousands of years ago, the combination of rainfall and magma created a gushing hot spring that is high in trace elements that are beneficial to human health.

The hot spring here is well-known throughout the world. It is situated halfway up the mountain, and the pool is completely covered in white fog all day. Tourists can relax physically and mentally by soaking in the warm and comfortable hot spring water while taking in the quiet and simple natural scenery.

Also, Lake Ashi is a volcanic lake that covers approximately 7 square kilometres. On a sunny day, tourists visiting the lake by boat can see Mount Fuji’s famously beautiful scenery. The scenery is breathtaking when the snow-covered Mount Fuji is reflected in the clear lake.


This is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Japan for first-timers with family. Kamakura is situated in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. There are few people here, and life moves slowly.  However, it has many historical sites and modern facilities, resulting in an ancient capital with both natural beauty and a cultural atmosphere.

Hasedera Temple is famous for its Buddhist carvings. It is dedicated to a Japanese wooden Guanyin statue with eleven faces and stands nine meters tall. It is Japan’s largest wooden Buddha statue.

Flowers bloom all year round at Hasedera Temple, with the June hydrangea being the most famous. In June, the temple will be filled with thousands of hydrangea flowers of various colours.

Kamakura also has a distinct modern railway transportation line, the Enoshima Dentetsu Line. This 10.27-kilometre-long railway line is well-known for its spectacular sea views and rich theme car design.

The car has a carriage full of Japanese style inside and a bright bay scenery outside. Although the journey is short, it appears to transport tourists through time to witness the urban style of history and modernity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions.

Do They Speak English in Japan?

English speakers are common in Tokyo and Kyoto, particularly at tourist-friendly hotels and restaurants. However, most locals speak very little English.

Are there any Cultural Considerations to Keep in Mind When Traveling to Japan with Your Family?

Yes, there are. It is essential to respect Japanese customs and traditions. For example, bowing when greeting someone is considered polite, as is removing shoes before entering a home or certain establishments.

What are the Best Activities for Families in Japan?

Family-friendly activities in Japan include going to theme parks like Tokyo Disneyland, exploring historical sites, attending traditional tea ceremonies, and watching sumo wrestling.


Everyone can find something to enjoy in this fascinating country, whether they choose to explore the energetic streets of Tokyo, immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of Kyoto, or unwind on the sun-kissed beaches of Okinawa.

Selecting the appropriate locations and pursuits will help you make priceless memories that you will remember for years to come. Prepare for an incredible journey through the Land of the Rising Sun by packing your bags, gathering your loved ones, and starting now.