Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
  • Hokkaido
Sub-zero temperatures and the greatest of outdoor environments, complemented by sizzling soul food and warm-hearted welcomes. Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Sleek apple-red and electric-green shinkansen whisk you up to a haven of fresh powder snow, fresh fruit and fearsome folk legends Fearsome festivals, fresh powder and vast fruit orchards—the rugged northern territory of Tohoku offers a fresh perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
Mountains and sea meet in one of Japan's wildest regions, and the result is sheer beauty. Once largely inaccessible, Hokuriku is now reachable by shinkansen from Tokyo in a matter of hours An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Characterized by the constant buzz of the world's most populous metropolitan area, the Kanto region is surprisingly green with an array of escapes that include mountainous getaways and subtropical islands Experience diversity at its fullest, from the neon of Tokyo to the ski slopes of Gunma, exotic wildlife of the Ogasawara Islands and cultural heritage of Kamakura
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Served by the shinkansen line that connects Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the Tokai region provides plenty of interesting diversions and easy excursions Tokai means "eastern sea," and this region stretches east from Tokyo to Kyoto and includes blockbuster attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
From raucous nights out to outdoor thrills to peaceful reverie, trying to categorize the Kansai region is a futile task The Kansai region is one of extreme contrasts—the neon lights of Osaka and glittering Kobe nightscape, the peaceful realms of Shiga, Wakayama and Nara, and the cultured refinement of Kyoto
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Less-traveled and delightfully inaccessible at times, the Chugoku region is a reminder that the journey is sometimes more important than the destination Welcome to Japan's warm and friendly western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Providing the stage for literary classics, fevered dancing and natural wonders Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
Easily reached by land, sea and air, the dynamic Kyushu prefectures are bubbling with energy, culture and activity The southern island of Kyushu is home to volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky, succulent seafood, steaming hot springs and the country's hottest entrepreneurial town
  • Okinawa
Ruins and recreated castles of the Ryukyu kings nestle amid magnificent beaches in Okinawa, a diver's paradise teeming with an amazing array of coral and undersea life Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings


Omotesando & Aoyama 表参道&青山

Tokyo's Champs-Élysées, Aoyama and Omotesando for the city's finer things

If Harajuku is the youth-oriented fashion capital of Tokyo, then the Omotesando and Aoyama areas are the mature, sophisticated older sibling. Filled with high-end fashion boutiques, groundbreaking design houses, and perhaps the fanciest cafe culture in all of Japan, spending a lot of time (and a lot of money) is easy to do when visiting this trendy pocket of the city.

Don't Miss

  • Seeing what Tokyo's trendsetters are wearing this season while shopping on Cat Street
  • Souvenir shopping at Oriental Bazaar and Kiddy Land, relics from the area's post-war past
  • Contemporary art and fashion gallery Espace, on top of the Louis Vuitton building

How to Get There

The main avenue of Omotesando is located outside Omotesando Station on the Chiyoda metro line.

If you're traveling via the JR Yamanote line, get off at Harajuku Station and take the scenic walk down the tree-lined boulevard just to the right of Harajuku's main drag, Takeshita Dori, and you'll find Omotesando.

Omotesando Hills, a shopping complex with style

Some consider it an offshoot of Harajuku, or part of Harajuku itself, but Omotesando's high-end shopping and tucked-away designer stores separate it from the bold, candy-coated streets of Harajuku's Takeshita Dori. The cosmopolitan street is often compared to Paris's Champs-Élysées, and its crowning jewel is the Omotesando Hills shopping complex.

If shopping were a sport, then Omotesando Hills would host the Olympics. Designed by famous Japanese architect Tadao Ando, best known for Church of the Light, the massive open halls are sometimes called the "Omotesando-within-Omotesando." With over 75 stores that sell the latest high-end clothing, beauty products, and accessories, as well as exhibition spaces and a floor of cafes and restaurants, there's something for everyone under this carefully designed roof.

Get into the newest trends at Cat Street

Moving out into the open and across the boulevard; it's time to check out Cat Street. Though not a street filled with cute kittens (you'll have to go to neighboring Harajuku for those), Cat Street is the runway through which the area's fashion-forward youth show off their looks while searching for the next.

Running from north to south through the middle of Omotesando and Harajuku, this street is often considered the retail and design heart of the area. Though it does house some of the biggest names in contemporary fashion, one shop you can't miss in the area is RAGTAG. A local institution, this store is home to some of the best vintage and new Japanese-brand designer wear you'll be able to find anywhere in the world. If you're chasing a special Issei Miyake piece or want to get ahold of some Comme De Garçon on the cheap, a trip to RAGTAG is recommended.

Couture cafe culture

What good is shopping for stunning fashion if you can't show off your recent purchases in public? Offering a wide selection of international and local options, a visit to the high-end suburb isn't complete without a luxurious cafe treat to really enhance the Parisian vibe.

With al fresco dining aplenty, Omotesando's streets are the perfect spot to people-watch and fashionista-spot when the sun is out. For great coffee, don't miss out on Oakland-implant Blue Bottle Coffee, and for French cuisine with a Japanese twist check out Aoyama Flea Market Tea House. Omotesando is also home to the Tokyo location of Paris-favorite Coutume and Norwegian original Fuglen.

As the day rolls on into the evening, make your way to open-air food court and occasional live music space Commune 246, where the rotating cast of food trucks and mini-bars offer everything under the sun (quite literally).

Farmers market in a fashion world

Though Tokyo is one of the most densely urban areas in the world, the city still manages to squeeze in green spaces and open-air events. Walking from Omotesando crossing towards Shibuya you'll find a farmer's market nestled on the grounds of The United Nations University.

Featuring some of the finest produce from the wider Kanto region, the market is open most weekends from the early morning. The site also seasonally hosts the famous Coffee Festival, which sees caffeine connoisseurs line up to taste the best brews the world has to offer.

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