When travelers think “Japan”, they think about the ultra-modern Tokyo. They think about Kyoto, or they imagine traveling to Osaka.
Two of the most overlooked areas in Japan that tourists should consider spending some time are Nagoya and Fukuoka. Both cities will give travelers a completely different take on Japan and its culture, making them both a “must” for anyone who wants to get a real taste of Japan. If you’re looking flights to Fukuoka or Nagoya, ANA are a brilliant option and well worth looking into.
Attractions In Nagoya
Nagoya is often overlooked because it’s known as the industrial “heart” of Japan. While the word “industrial” doesn’t really appeal to most visitors, when you consider Japan’s industry includes state of the art robots and other tools that we don’t see in our home countries, it really is a sight to behold. Don’t pass up the chance to go on a Toyota Plant Tour while you’re in Nagoya if you want to see a robot workforce in action.
For the art lovers and history buffs, then the Tokugawa Art Museum is a “must see” attraction. The exhibits mostly span across the 14th and 18th century, and include all of the paraphernalia and pieces from the Tokugawa family (the Tokugawa family ruled in Japan throughout the Edo era).
Lastly, while you’re on Nagoya, there’s a good chance that your visit will happen at the same time as one of the dozens of ceremonies and festivals that are head annually at the Shinto shrine, Atsuta Jingu. Stop by to get a real taste of Japan’s culture. You can find out more about Nagoya here, on japan-guide.com.
Attractions In Fukuoka
In just under a decade Fukuoka has gone from a nearly unknown city to a hot new tourist destination. This city has become one of the most internationalised and cosmopolitan cities in Japan, and is gaining more and more international attention by the year. Unlike Nagoya, Fukuoka is more contemporary and features modern architecture. That being said, there are still areas that are loaded with tradition, such as the Gion. The Gion area features a number of Buddhist temples and historical shrines, some of them dating back to the 8th century (Kushida Shrine). This area is also home to Japan’s very first Zen temple, the Shofukuji.
If a good view of the city is what you seek, then walk across Tenjin Chuo Park and visit the ACROS. This rooftop garden offers great views of the city that you won’t be able to find elsewhere. You can then visit the Prefectural Guest House which is located just east of ACROS if you want to get a taste for this areas turn of the century architecture.
Last but not least, make sure that you make a stop at the Ohori Park and the Maizuru Park. Both are a sight to behold, and found within Maizuru Park are the ancient ruins of the Fukuoka Castle.