Photo by Galen Crout
Tokyo’s Shibuya Crossing—often referenced as the busiest pedestrian intersection in the world—is a surreal experience and, surprisingly, doesn't feel too touristy. If you’re only going to see one shrine in all Japan, it should be Meiji Jingu, located beside Yoyogi Park in Tokyo. Kyoto’s Kinkakuji, also known as the Golden Pavilion, is especially stunning against Japan’s autumnal red maples. A trip to the country would not be complete without a traditional Japanese hot spring experience. While these onsen can be found throughout the country, the most magical are often tucked away near mountains and volcanoes. If you’re in Tokyo during January, May, or September, get tickets for the grand sumo tournament. The remainder of the year, you can visit a sumo stable and see the wrestlers practice on their home turf.