Ranking culinary experiences to cultural activities, the ancient city of Kyoto is named as the top place to visit in Japan by travel website, The World Bucket List.

Japan is a mystical land, filled with wonder and beauty, cultural prominence and historical significance.

Each year, travellers en masse visit the island with an approximate 31 million tourists setting foot on Japanese soil.

Depending on your personal preferences, there is much to do in Japan. From culinary experiences to historical pursuits, cultural exhibits to ancient wonders, a trip to Japan will not be soon forgotten.

And, with so many sites of interest and attractions, a Japan bucket list outlining the ultimate places to see is key!

Delving into the best things to do across the country, The World Bucket List’s crowns the ancient city of Kyoto named as top place to visit in Japan.

The country

Located in East Asia, Japan is in the Pacific Ocean, comprising of five main islands in total. These include Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, and Okinawa.

At the heart of Japan is Tokyo, its largest and most prominent city; home to some 126.5 million people.

With a vibrant history spanning centuries, the first records of the country date back to the 1st century AD, in Chinese texts. However, it was between the 4th and 9th centuries that the island nation took true form as a kingdom ruled by an imperial court.

Throughout the ages, Japan has seen a wildfire of cultural, social and political shifts. Its tapestry has been marred by civil unrest, but also significant economic success.

Today, it is known for modern development, technology and even anime (Japanese animation), but its cultural roots remain the primary draw for tourists across the globe.

The Contenders

Highlighting key attractions across the country, this Japan bucket list offers visitors the ultimate itinerary of “must-see” places for their visit.

Depending on whether you’re an avid fan of history or prefer enjoying the great outdoors, this round-up from The World Bucket List features an even keel of things to do.

Key attractions such as Hiroshima (a prime location for World War II buffs) and Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo (the most intense zebra crossing you’re likely to experience) are featured in this Japan bucket list.

However, some lesser-known – yet equally thrilling experiences – are also shared in this insider’s guide.

Hanami, the Japanese tradition of enjoying nature in full bloom is featured as the sixth top thing to do on this Japan bucket list while visiting the snow festival of Sapporo takes fourth place.

The Winner

The top spot on this ultimate guide to Japan goes to the ancient city of Kyoto.

Formerly the capital of the country, Kyoto is located on the island of Honshu.

As the leading site of imperial Japan, the city remains today the cultural hub of the country and a well-preserved portal to Japan’s ancient past.

Many Buddhist temples, palaces, shrines and gardens pepper its streets, and due to this, Kyoto welcomes throngs of tourists each year.

Kyoto is also a significant place for UNESCO listed World Heritage Sites, so if you’re looking to cram as much culture as possible into a short visit, this is the place to be.

The best times to visit Kyoto are in Spring (when nature blossoms) and in Autumn (when the leaves turn) although you can expect larger numbers of tourists during these periods, and more hefty travel and hotel costs.