Best Things to Do in Kanto

Discover the Enchanting Charms of the Kanto Region

Best Things to Do in Kanto

Kanto is the captivating heart of Japan! If you’re seeking a mesmerizing blend of tradition and modernity, this region is an absolute must-visit for travelers.

Kanto offers an extraordinary array of experiences that cater to all interests. From the bustling metropolis of Tokyo, where towering skyscrapers coexist with ancient temples, to the serene landscapes of Nikko and the picturesque coastal areas of Kamakura, Kanto promises an unforgettable journey.

Immerse yourself in vibrant festivals, indulge in mouthwatering cuisine, and embrace the rich cultural heritage. Whether you’re an adventurer, a history enthusiast, a food lover, or a pop-culture enthusiast, Kanto has something exceptional in store for you. Here is our list of the best things to do in the Kanto region.

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Kanto Region

Located in the eastern part of the country, Kanto offers a blend of history, culture, and modernity. Tokyo, the bustling capital, is a vibrant metropolis with iconic landmarks like the Tokyo Tower and Shibuya Crossing. Explore ancient history in Kamakura, home to majestic temples and the Great Buddha. Visit Nikko’s breathtaking shrines amidst lush nature.

Kanto’s rich culture is reflected in traditional festivals and arts like Kabuki theater. Don’t miss savoring mouthwatering sushi, ramen, and tempura. Whether you seek tradition or urban adventure, Kanto promises an unforgettable journey filled with diverse experiences.

1. Explore the Big Cities

Welcome to Tokyo, a vibrant metropolis with iconic districts showcasing Japan’s diverse culture!

Shibuya (渋谷) enthralls with its bustling streets, famous scramble crossing, and trendy fashion scene. Akihabara (秋葉原) is a haven for anime and gaming enthusiasts, representing modern pop culture. Harajuku (原宿) is a youthful neighborhood, known for its unique fashion and vibrant street art.

Experience Tokyo’s breathtaking skyline from Tokyo Tower and the Tokyo Skytree, offering panoramic views of the city’s skyline.

Not far from Tokyo, Yokohama (横浜), with its historic port, embraces international influences and boasts cultural gems like the Red Brick Warehouse and Chinatown. These big cities within Tokyo epitomize Japan’s contemporary urban lifestyle and vibrant heritage.

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2. Explore the historic temples and shrines

nikko toshogu

In the Kanto region, ancient tranquility awaits at its numerous Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. These sacred sites hold immense cultural and historical significance, attracting visitors seeking spiritual solace and architectural wonders.

The opulent Nikko Toshogu Shrine (日光東照宮) is a UNESCO World Heritage site adorned with intricate carvings. Kamakura’s Great Buddha (鎌倉大仏), a massive bronze statue, captivates with its serene presence. Shorinzan Daruma-ji (少林山達磨寺) in Gunma is renowned for its Daruma dolls and Zen atmosphere. Naritasan Shinshoji Temple (成田山新勝寺) offers a peaceful escape near the airport. And lastly, Sensoji Temple (浅草寺), Tokyo’s oldest temple, welcomes guests with its iconic Thunder Gate and vibrant shopping street.

▶ Nikko Toshogu Shrine official website: https://www.toshogu.jp/

▶ Kotoku-in Temple official website: https://www.kotoku-in.jp/

▶ Takasaki City tourism official website: http://www.takasaki-kankoukyoukai.or.jp/?p=7432

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3. Discover Tokyo Disney Resort for family-friendly fun

overview
©Disney

This magical destination comprises two enchanting theme parks: Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea.

Tokyo Disneyland offers classic Disney attractions and beloved characters, creating cherished memories for families. Tokyo DisneySea, unique to Japan, features immersive lands inspired by sea myths and adventure. Both parks boast impeccable attention to detail, cutting-edge technology, and exceptional entertainment, making them a dream come true for visitors of all ages.

The seamless blend of Disney’s enchantment with Japanese hospitality and cultural nuances creates an unforgettable experience, attracting international visitors seeking the ultimate fantasy escape in the heart of Japan.

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4. Relax in an onsen (hot spring) resort

Onsen Resorts offer a rejuvenating experience like no other in Kanto! Hakone Onsen (箱根温泉) in Kanagawa and Kusatsu Onsen (草津温泉) in Gunma are renowned for their therapeutic hot springs, surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty.

The mineral-rich waters provide relaxation and healing, drawing international visitors seeking serenity and cultural immersion. These Onsen resorts offer traditional Japanese accommodations, delectable local cuisine, and picturesque views of Mount Fuji and the Japanese Alps. Embrace the time-honored ritual of Onsen bathing, a cherished part of Japanese culture, and let the tranquil ambiance soothe your body and soul amidst Kanto’s enchanting landscapes.

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5. Explore the historic views of traditional Japan

Kawagoe town view

Traditional Japanese atmosphere comes alive in charming towns across the Kanto region. Places such as Kawagoe (川越) in Saitama, Sawara Town (佐原) in Chiba, and Nikko Edo Village (日光江戸村) in Tochigi are great examples of these places.

Kawagoe’s Edo-period streets and historical warehouses enchant visitors with a nostalgic ambiance. Sawara Town’s well-preserved townscape and serene canals offer a glimpse into Japan’s past. Nikko Edo Village showcases a replica of a samurai town, providing an immersive experience of ancient culture.

These places hold immense cultural significance, captivating international visitors with their timeless beauty, traditional festivals, and authentic glimpses into Japan’s rich heritage, making them must-visit destinations for an unforgettable journey through the country’s history and charm.

▶ Nikko Edo Wonderland official website: http://edowonderland.net/en/

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6. Visit the largest Fish Market in the world

Toyosu Market: World's Largest Fish Market

The Toyosu Fish Market (豊洲市場) in Tokyo is the world’s largest fish market! Formerly located in Tsukiji, Toyosu continues the rich tradition of showcasing a vast array of fresh seafood from early morning auctions to bustling wholesale and retail activities.

International visitors are drawn to its vibrant energy, witnessing the tuna auction and indulging in mouthwatering sushi made from the finest catch. The market’s cultural significance and culinary experiences make it a must-visit destination, offering a unique insight into Japan’s seafood industry and a delectable feast for all senses.

And although the fish market has moved from Tsukiji, you will still find a vibrant market with many things to see and taste at Tsukiji.

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7. Enjoy the Summer Festivals

hanabi

Kanto is where the fiery spirit comes alive with mesmerizing fire festivals! These events hold deep cultural significance, uniting communities to celebrate tradition and ward off evil spirits.

The Fukuroda Falls Fireworks in Ibaraki, Takasaki Fireworks in Gunma, and Choshi Fireworks Festival in Chiba are renowned for their spectacular displays, lighting up the night sky with vibrant colors. The Chichibu Night Festival (秩父夜祭) in Saitama, a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, showcases dazzling floats and traditional music, immersing visitors in a captivating ambiance. These exhilarating festivals not only offer thrilling entertainment but also provide a unique glimpse into Kanto’s rich heritage and the warmth of its people, making them an unforgettable experience for all.

▶ Takasaki Matsuri official website: https://www.takasaki-matsuri.jp/oohanabi_taikai/

▶ Choshi City official website: https://www.city.choshi.chiba.jp/kanko/page1101_00015.html

▶ Chichibu Night Festival official website: https://www.chichibu-matsuri.jp/en/

8. Experience Traditional Japanese Culture

sumo

Traditional Japanese arts come to life in Many places across the Kanto region.

Witness the power and grace of Sumo wrestling (相撲) in Ryogoku, Tokyo, a beloved national sport with grand tournaments showcasing Japan’s cultural heritage. Immerse yourself in the world of Kabuki (歌舞伎) theater in Ginza, Tokyo, where elaborate costumes and mesmerizing performances tell timeless stories.

In Saitama, explore the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum (大宮盆栽美術館), marveling at meticulously cultivated miniature trees that reflect the essence of Japanese aesthetics. These cultural experiences offer a glimpse into Japan’s rich history, artistry, and reverence for tradition, making your journey through the Kanto region a truly captivating and immersive encounter with authentic Japanese arts.

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9. Immerse yourself in the vast nature spots

kegon no taki

If you think Kanto is mostly about big cities, you should also know that you can find places where you can experience the vast nature.

Hike Mount Tsukuba (筑波山) in Ibaraki, offering scenic trails and breathtaking vistas from its twin peaks. Visit Kegon Falls (華厳の滝) in Tochigi, a majestic waterfall amidst lush greenery, and experience its awe-inspiring grandeur. Bathe in the serene waters of Kujukuri Beach (九十九里浜) in Chiba, stretching for miles with soft sand and stunning sunsets. In Gunma, embrace the winter wonderland at Shiga Kogen (志賀高原), a premier skiing and snowboarding destination boasting numerous slopes and powder-filled adventures.

These nature experiences in Kanto promise unforgettable moments, allowing you to reconnect with the great outdoors and immerse yourself in Japan’s diverse landscapes.

▶ Mount Tsukuba official website: https://www.mt-tsukuba.com/global/en/

▶ Nikko City tourism official website: https://www.visitnikko.jp/en/

▶ Shiga Kogen official website: https://www.shigakogen.gr.jp/english/index.html?hl=en

10. Indulge in the exquisite local foods

sushi assorted

In Tokyo, indulge in iconic Sushi (寿司), made with fresh seafood and precise craftsmanship. Savor steaming bowls of Ramen (ラーメン), offering a diverse range of flavors. Don’t miss Tempura (天ぷら), light and crispy, showcasing the region’s finest ingredients. In Ibaraki, try Natto (納豆), a traditional fermented soybean dish adored for its unique texture and health benefits. Tochigi’s Gyoza (餃子), pan-fried dumplings filled with savory goodness, are a popular appetizer. And in Gunma, relish the succulent and marbled Gunma beef, a local delicacy that delights meat enthusiasts.

These Kanto specialties epitomize the region’s culinary prowess and cultural heritage, leaving visitors craving for more.

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Best Things to Do in Ibaraki

Ibaraki Prefecture (茨城県) is known for its captivating mix of rural charm and modernity.

Explore the rich history at Kasama Inari Shrine and Kairakuen, one of Japan’s top three gardens. Witness the futuristic Tsukuba Science City. Nature lovers will adore Hitachi Seaside Park’s stunning flower fields. Embrace the local culture through traditional festivals like the Fukuroda Falls Fireworks.

Also, be sure to savor unique delicacies such as natto (fermented soybeans) and melons.

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Best Things to Do in Tochigi

Tochigi Prefecture (栃木県) is steeped in history and natural beauty. It also beckons with its diverse attractions.

Discover ancient Japan at Nikko’s UNESCO World Heritage Shrines and serene landscapes like Kegon Falls. The Edo Wonderland theme park offers a thrilling glimpse into the Edo period. Embrace traditional arts like Yuba (tofu skin) making and pottery in Mashiko. Indulge in local delicacies such as gyoza and strawberry picking.

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Best Things to Do in Gunma

Gunma Prefecture (群馬県) offers breathtaking landscapes, vibrant festivals, and delectable cuisine.

Discover a perfect harmony of nature and culture. History comes alive in Takasaki’s Daruma Doll tradition and Tomioka Silk Mill, a UNESCO site. Explore the majestic mountains, such as Mount Akagi and Mount Haruna, offering stunning vistas and onsen (hot springs) experiences. Experience the thrilling Ikaho Stone Steps and the Shorinzan Daruma Temple. Gunma hosts exciting festivals like the Takasaki Fireworks and Kiryu Yagibushi Dance. Savor local delights like Gunma beef and konjac dishes.

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Best Things to Do in Saitama

In Saitama Prefecture (埼玉県), you can embrace a delightful fusion of history, entertainment, and gastronomy.

Explore Kawagoe’s charming Edo-period streets and the majestic Chichibu Shrine. Dive into modern fun at the iconic Railway Museum and the bustling Omiya Bonsai Village. Immerse yourself in vibrant festivals like the Chichibu Night Festival. Discover Saitama’s love for sports at the Saitama Super Arena. Indulge in local delicacies like eel dishes and the renowned Hanyu Sake.

With its rich heritage, lively attractions, and mouthwatering food, Saitama offers a perfect blend of tradition and excitement for an unforgettable Japanese adventure.

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Best Things to Do in Chiba

Chiba Prefecture (千葉県)‘s mix of history, amusement, nature, and gastronomy makes it a captivating destination for all types of travelers.

Explore history at Narita’s ancient temples and the samurai district of Sawara. The iconic Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea are must-visit attractions for family fun. Delight in Chiba’s beautiful coastal areas, like Kamogawa Sea World and Kujukuri Beach. Experience traditional festivals like the Choshi Fireworks Festival. Embrace the local culture through Sumo wrestling and martial arts events. Savor delectable seafood dishes, including fresh sushi and tempura.

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Best Things to Do in Tokyo

Tokyo (東京), Japan’s vibrant and bustling capital in the Kanto region! Tokyo is a city of contrasts, blending rich history with modern innovation.

Immerse yourself in the ancient temples of Asakusa and the serene gardens of the Imperial Palace. Explore contemporary wonders like Shibuya Crossing and the Tokyo Skytree. Embrace the vibrant pop culture in Akihabara and Harajuku. Discover the world of traditional arts through Kabuki and Sumo wrestling. Indulge in mouthwatering sushi, ramen, and tempura. Tokyo’s electrifying atmosphere, diverse attractions, and fascinating fusion of tradition and modernity make it a must-visit destination for an unforgettable Japanese experience.

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Best Things to Do in Kanagawa

Kanagawa Prefecture (神奈川県)‘s diverse offerings make it an exciting destination for all travelers.

Discover the historic Kamakura with its iconic Great Buddha and serene temples. Yokohama, a vibrant port city, boasts the stunning Minato Mirai skyline and the immersive Ramen Museum. Experience traditional festivals like Sankeien’s cherry blossom celebrations. Nature lovers can explore the picturesque Hakone hot springs and Mount Fuji views from Enoshima Island. Embrace the local culture through arts and crafts in Odawara. Don’t miss savoring Yokohama’s delectable Chinese cuisine and Kamakura’s mouthwatering shirasu (whitebait) dishes.

How to Get to Kanto

To get to Kanto, there are several convenient options. For international visitors, major airports like Tokyo Narita and Tokyo Haneda serve the region with direct flights from many countries.

From Narita, you can take the Narita Express (N’EX) train to Tokyo and surrounding cities. For domestic travelers, Shinkansen (bullet train) connects major cities like Tokyo, Yokohama, and Sendai. In most cases, the most convenient option is to take the train.

Additionally, regional trains and buses offer extensive coverage within Kanto. If you’re arriving from neighboring prefectures, highways and expressways provide easy access by car.

Whether by air, train, or road, Kanto offers excellent transportation networks to explore its diverse attractions.

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