Japan was officially the best place to travel in 2018. Here are 15 photos that will make you want to visit ASAP.

Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, Japan

  • Travel + Leisure named Japan its 2018 destination of the year.
  • The magazine selects each year’s choices among a jury of writers, editors, and relevant experts.
  • Towering mountains, beautiful cherry blossoms, and neon-flooded streets make Japan a remarkable place.
  • Some of the best things to do include taking the bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto to see Mount Fuji on the way and walking the Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine for an unparalleled view of Kyoto.
  • You can also take a dip in the natural hot springs at Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, which is widely considered the world’s oldest hotel.

Tokyo may be an impressive city, but that’s not all Japan has to offer.

The country’s islands, shrines, world-renowned cuisine, and beautiful scenery are just a few reasons why it’s a great place to travel. So it should come as no surprise that Travel + Leisure named Japan its 2018 destination of the year.

From the bustling streets of Shibuya, Tokyo, to the majestic Mount Fuji, here are some things to see and do in Japan that will make you want to visit immediately.

SEE ALSO: A Japanese park attendant let 160,000 foreign tourists in for free because he was too scared to charge them the entrance fee

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Ride a bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto and see Mount Fuji along the way.

Traveling across Japan isn’t a terribly difficult undertaking thanks to its Shinkansen bullet train network. With trains that travel at speeds of up to almost 200 miles per hour, passengers riding south from Tokyo to cities like Kyoto and Osaka can take the window seat and enjoy a beautiful view of Mount Fuji, a dormant volcano and Japan’s highest mountain.

Visit a cherry blossom festival in the spring.

The cherry blossom, or sakura in Japanese, is a revered flower in Japan. Considered a symbol of life and its vulnerability, many Japanese families congregate to practice hanami, or the tradition of publicly watching and celebrating cherry blossoms when they bloom in the spring. 

While there are plenty of festivals devoted to the flower in Japan, the southern city of Matsuyama is most famous for its historic cherry blossom-themed spring festival where the flowers bloom amid Matsuyama Castle each year.

Visit an island where cats outnumber people.

Tashirojima earned its nickname as “Cat Island” for good reason. While the island is home to around 100 humans, they are heavily outnumbered by their feline friends. Initially brought to the island for pest control, the cats are now taken care of by the island’s residents, largely due to the good luck cats are said to symbolize in Japan.

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