While the building does have a unique exterior design, we’re guessing its high ranking is a direct result of its awe-inspiring whale shark. Try to synchronize your visit with its feeding time, when the gentle giant opens its mouth wide and sucks in the surrounding water like a colossal vacuum cleaner in order to get its fill of tasty plankton.
The center of Osaka’s vibrant entertainment scene, Dotonbori is at its most impressive at night, with the neon from its towering billboards reflecting off the waters of the canal that bisects the district. And see if you can make it there when Osaka's Tigers win!
Oedo Onsen Monogatari is a love letter to historical Tokyo (Oedo) and hot springs (onsen). Visitors change into cotton yukata robes and pass through a central area styled after a traditional Japanese festival with games and food stalls before reaching the complex’s numerous bathing areas, including a foot bath/walking path in the open-air garden.
Must-see for anime fans sits in a wooded area of Tokyo’s Mitaka neighborhood. The museum has daily showings of Ghibli animated short films that are screened nowhere else, and is also the only place where you can buy Nausicaa-themed Beer of the Valley of the Wind.
One of Japan’s most-visited zoos, Asahiyama Zoo was also the setting for the popular 2009 film Penguins Flying in the Sky. Needless to say, this cemented the Antarctic birds as one of the zoo’s star attractions, along with its polar bear enclosure.
Built on reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay, Odaiba first gained popularity as a date spot where fashionable couples could dine at stylish restaurants while enjoying a romantic view of the Tokyo skyline across the water. The island’s permanent attractions now include a gigantic Ferris wheel, classic car museum, sandy waterfront area, and the 1:1 scale statue of giant anime robot Gundam.
Tokyo’s premier Shinto shrine was built in 1920 in remembrance of the emperor Meiji and his wife. In contrast to the hustle and bustle of Asakusa’s Sensoji Temple, Meiji Shrine is an oasis of calm in the center of the capital. The shrine’s expansive wooded grounds are, astoundingly, not a natural forest, but the result of extensive planting of trees donated during its construction.