15 Totally Instagram-Worthy Spots in Japan

One of my biggest goals in travel blogging has been to work with Lonely Planet. Recently, I landed an opportunity to take over their Instagram account to share pictures from my trip to Japan. I am SO excited about this collaboration that I decided to write a blog on what I found to be the most Instagram-worthy spots in Japan.

Below are a few of my favorites, from the big cities of Tokyo and Kyoto to Mount Fuji and the islands of Okinawa. My trip was entirely too short and I’m excited to go back again one day as there is so much to explore, eat, and do. I would also love to visit Japan for every season given the vibes change so much.

Note that I’ve also included photos below from accounts I love that always inspire me to travel to Japan – including Life in Tokyo, Tara Milk Tea, and Tokyo Luxey.

15 Instagram-Worthy Spots in Japan

1. Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Kyoto

View this post on Instagram

Do MORE of what makes your soul shine✨ ••••• Since the summer of ‘14, I started a nomadic journey that I thought would only last a few months, I was certain I was going to be back in San Francisco in no time. But here I am a few years later still on the road. A lot of people tell me they could never do what I’m doing. I wouldn’t have known without trying. People ask how I’m able to keep going – mentally and financially. I’m constantly learning about new cultures, meeting new and interesting people, and the excitement that comes with novelty experiences and freedom to go anywhere has kept me going. I’ve grown quite a bit in the last few years and to say this journey was easy would be a joke. I quit my corporate job last year when I felt beyond burnt out working 70+ hour weeks, I didn’t have a life. I lived off of savings for a while, and I’m now trying my best to make ends meet by freelancing. Being a digital nomad isn’t always easy as people make it seem on social media, it‘s a road filled with its own set of ups and downs. Knowing that has helped me mentally prepare for challenges that present themselves along the way but ultimately have contributed to personal growth. I typically share only the highlights on IG bc hey it’s IG and well we all know that whole discussion 😅😂 Financially speaking it took quite a bit of hard work, major budgeting and travel hacks to be able to continue on like I am! I’m so excited to have reached a new 30k milestone today and am thankful to have so many of you following along my journey! I guess I just wanted to share more about what life is really like behind the scenes, for any of you that have recently started following and wondered how I’m able to do what I’m doing, there you go😊✌️ ••••• BTW did you guys know bamboo is the fastest growing plant in the world!? 💚🎋 ••••• #welivetoexplore #exploremore #kyoto #bamboo #bambooforest #arashiyama #japan #japanese #japantravel #japantrip #asiatravel #asiatrip #instagramjapan #ig_japan #ilovejapan #cooljapan #travelstoke #huffpostgram #travelgirl #travellushes #girlaroundworld #lpfanpics #lppathfinders #travelblogger #thetravelwomen #wearetravelgirls #sheisnotlost #gltlove

A post shared by Monica Houghton •San Francisco (@fromheretosunday) on

2. Fushimi Inari-taisha, Kyoto

3. Mount Fuji

4. Harajuku

5. Takeshita Street, Harajuku

View this post on Instagram

Ohayōgozaimasu from JAPAN! 🇯🇵 So excited to start sharing pictures from my adventures around Japan with @jenniferscamera 👯 We had such a blast exploring Tokyo, though we barely scratched the surface of all there is to do. One of our fave times was exploring Takeshita Street in Harajuku!! It was here we went shopping for some fun Halloween costumes, ate delicious and colorful cotton candy, & also enjoyed yummy udon 🍜😝 📸: @jenniferscamera / @thetravelwomen •••••• #japan #tokyo #street #japan #japanese #japantravel #japaneseculture #japantrip #asiatravel #asiatrip #instagramjapan #ig_japan #ilovejapan #japanvacations #cooljapan #harajuku #shibuyatokyo #takeshitastreet #timeouttokyo #thetravelwomen #sheisnotlost #sheexplores #wearetravelgirls #gltlove #dametraveler

A post shared by Monica Houghton •San Francisco (@fromheretosunday) on

6. Onsen (Hot Springs) from Life in Tokyo

View this post on Instagram

Hello from the most relaxing place on Earth called hot springs 😁 If you ever have a chance to relax the same way in Japan, here are some tips in order not to get lost in translation: 🔸Wash yourself completely undressed while sitting down on a stool in the shower area before entering the onsen. 👉🏼 It is the custom to remain seated when washing your body with soap. 🔸 Enter the bath quietly and reveal yourself in a modest manner. Avoid running, splashing or jumping. 👉🏼It is a traditional custom that everyone goes into onsen together nakedly. 🔸 Towels are not allowed in the bath. Place the towel on your head or on the side of the bath as you soak. Never rinse your towel in the bath or let it touch the water. 🔸 After leaving the bath, wipe off excess water prior to re-entering the locker room. 🔸Most public onsens don't accept bathers with tattoos. If your tattoo is small, cover it up with a bandage. 👉🏼 From historical background tattoo is something that is associated with illegal organizations. 🔸In most onsens, taking photographs is not allowed due to privacy concerns. 👉🏼One option for a picture is to stay at an inn that has a private or reservable bath. * Всем привет из самого релаксирующего места на земле под названием Онсен 😁 Если вы когда-нибудь окажетесь в Японии, то вот они, простые правила посещения: 🔸Перед тем, как погрузиться в горячие источники нужно обязательно принять душ, сидя на низких табуретах. 👉🏼 Душ принимают сидя, чтобы не обрызгать других посетителей. 🔸После всех приготовлений можно пройти к самому бассейну, медленно погрузиться в него и расслабиться. 👉🏼 В онсенах принято купаться голышом. В онсэне не следует плавать, плескаться, брызгаться и громко разговаривать. 🔸С собой можно взять специальное маленькое полотенце, однако его нельзя опускать в воду для сохранения ее чистоты и прозрачности. Японцы чаще всего кладут его на голову, когда сидят в горячих источниках. 🔸С татуировками вход запрещён (они ассоциируются с японской мафией якудза). 👉🏼 Небольшие тату можно заклеить лейкопластырем. 🔸 В онсене нельзя фотографировать. 👉🏼 Единственное исключение – это если в восстановились в отеле, где можно арендовать купальню.

A post shared by Japan & SG ✨ Япония и Сингапур (@life_in_tokyo) on

7. The Nara Deer by Life in Tokyo

View this post on Instagram

It’s time to FALL back! 🍂 Grannies of a small town of Nara (or, the ancient capital of Japan) wrap a few photogenic packages with crackers in a small plastic bag slowly counting a bunch of coins. For what? – you would ask. All because streets of the city are full of deers 🦌 wondering around its streets. They know that if you hide your hands in your pockets or look for something in the bag – it’s time to approach you for food that might be otherwise taken by fellow deers 😬There are some beggars who endlessly poke their noses or can even bite you if you try to tease them. Or, there are some who will bow politely waiting for a treat. They say, “Even deers polite in Japan” and even though it’s only part of the truth… Who can ignore these mysterious animals?) * Кто-нибудь, включите осень обратно?) 🍂 Бабушки небольшого городка Нара (и по совместительству древней столицы Японии) кокетливо заворачивают в пластиковый пакетик фотогеничные упаковки с крекерами, медленно отсчитывая серебрянные монетки. Для чего? – спросите вы. А всё потому, что на улицах города вы с равным успехом встретите как человека, так и настоящего дикого оленя 🦌 Они прекрасно знают, что если вы прячете руки в карманы или что-то ищите в сумке, то надо быстрее бежать клянчить еду, пока она не досталась коллегам-оленям 😬 Бывают и такие попрошайки, которые без конца тыкаются носом или могут ухватить вас за одно место, если вы попробуете их дразнить. А есть и такие, которые будут кланяться, вежливо ожидая угощения)) А вы когда-нибудь кормили с руки диких животных?i

A post shared by Japan & SG ✨ Япония и Сингапур (@life_in_tokyo) on

8. Hakone, Japan by Life in Tokyo

View this post on Instagram

Stop worrying. Stop getting angry at things that aren't worth the energy you put into staying angry. Take a shower. Take five showers. Hell, take ten showers if you want to. Stay in bed all day and do 'nothing'. Watch sh*tty romantic movies and cry your heart out. Stay outside all day. Wake up in the morning with the determination to fall in love with your city all over again. Find quiet cafes and independent bookstores that you've never come across before. Pretend you're a tourist and take photographs. Stay out all night. Do things. Take care of yourself. Breathe. ー Unknown * Перестаньте беспокоиться. Не сердитесь на вещи, которые не стоят вашей энергии, которая превращается в гнев. Примите душ. Примите душ пять раз. Да что уж, примите душ десять раз, если хотите. Проведите весь день в постели и ничего не делайте. Смотрите весь день дурацкие романтические фильмы и ревите сколько влезет. Проведите весь день на улице. Проснитесь утром с задачей влюбиться в ваш город заново. Найдите тихие кафе и книжные магазины, в которые вы ни разу не заходили. Притворитесь, что вы – турист и фотографируйте. Не ложись спать. Занимайтесь любимыми вещами. Берегите себя. Дышите.

A post shared by Japan & SG ✨ Япония и Сингапур (@life_in_tokyo) on

9. Wakayama Prefecture by Tokyo Luxey and Visit Wakayama

10. Osaka Castle by Tara Milk Tea

11. Shibuya, Tokyo by Tara Milk Tea

12. Meiju Jinju, Tokyo

View this post on Instagram

Wrapping up my Japan picture series with this shot captured by @jenniferscamera in front of Meiji Jingu 😂😀💓 Our Japan trip came and went so fast, we had 8 days total to explore Tokyo, Fuji, and Kyoto. I’ll definitely be back one day to explore more, there’s too much to see, do and eat here! 🗻⛩🍣🍱🎋👘🥢 ••••• #japan #tokyo #japanese #japantravel #japaneseculture #japantrip #asiatravel #asiatrip #instagramjapan #ig_japan #ilovejapan #japanvacations #cooljapan #beautifulmatters #travelstoke #sheexplores #travelwriter #travellushes #girlaroundworld #tlpicks #lpfanpics #lppathfinders #timeoutsociety #thediscoverer #travelblogger #luxuryworldtraveler #thetravelwomen #wearetravelgirls #sheisnotlost #gltlove

A post shared by Monica Houghton •San Francisco (@fromheretosunday) on

13. The Cherry Blossoms by Life In Tokyo

View this post on Instagram

While "cherry blossoms" (or "sakura" in Japanese) are famous all over the world for its spectacular views, only a few people know that there are over 100 cherry tree varieties in Japan. Cherry trees differ from each other in terms of the shape of petals, colors and the blooming period: 🌸Somei Yoshino is by far the most common kind of Sakura trees seen in Japan today: it serves as a standard in the sakura forecasts of cherries blossoming across Japan. 🌸Yamazakura is the most common wildly growing cherry tree in Japan. Its blossoms are slightly pink with five relatively small petals. . 🌸Shidarezakura is a weeping cherry tree famous for its dropping branches. Apart from these three main types of Sakura, there are some early bloomers such as Kawazuzakura, Kanhizakura or some late bloomers like Ukon, Kanzan, Kikuzakura and many more. So, don't worry whether you can catch these magic trees: Sakura start blooming not only from south to north throughout Japan but also has an amazing variety of trees that bloom according to their own schedule) * Несмотря на то, что сакура известна на весь мир благодаря своим необыкновенно красивым и краткосрочным цветением, лишь немногие знают что Япония насчитывает сто и более разновидностей этих волшебных деревьев. Деревья сакуры отличаются друг от друга по цвету, количеству и форме лепестков, а также по периоду цветения: 🌸Сомэй Йосино: самый распространённый сорт сакуры в Токио: именно на её расцвет ориентируются метеослужбы в Токио для прогноза сакуры. 🌸Ямадзакура – дикая разновидность горной вишни, которая растёт в Японии из покон веков. 🌸Сидаредзакура или "плакучая сакура": с давних времён этот вид преобладает на территориях храмов и святилищ. Помимо этих трёх видов сакуры, существуют "ранние виды" (Кавадзудзакура или Канхидзаукра), "поздние" (Укон, Кандзан, Кукудзакура) и много других разновидностей со сложными именами) Поэтому те, кто планирует свою поездку в Японию для того, чтобы быть хоть раз поглядеть, как страна окунается в нежно-розовое облако, не волнуйтесь: сакура начинает цвести по всей Японии с юга на север и делится на столько разнообразных подвидов, что вы точно не упустите хотя бы одного её представителя)

A post shared by Japan & SG ✨ Япония и Сингапур (@life_in_tokyo) on

14. Jigokudani Monkey Park by Tokyo Luxey (photographer: @sitwsi and @tokoyluxey) two pictures because, macaques 

15. Okinawa by Tokyo Luxey and @sheratonokinawa

Any other Instagram-worthy spots out there in Japan?

Please comment below and fill us in!

Pin Me:

Want More?

Thinking about a Japan Rail Pass? Learn more about the bullet trains and JPR

Need a hotel in Tokyo or Kyoto? Check out Park Hotel Tokyo and Suiran, A Luxury Collection Hotel in Kyoto

Want to play dress up? Get a Maiko/Geisha Makeover in Kyoto. One of the coolest experiences ever.

Visiting more of Japan? Here are all of my posts on Japan


  • I’ve always wanted to go to Japan! These places look amazinggggg! Those monkeys are toooo cute. And congrats on the collab with Lonely Planet! 🙂

    • Thanks Michelle 🙂 The monkeys are adorable, I didn’t get a chance to see them on my first trip, but definitely a priority for the next time I go!

  • Japan is high on my list! I am a little skeptical when it comes to IG worthy spots, as they are nothing IRL as on IG 🤷‍♀️ Although I must admit that these photos look amazing 😍

    • It’s high on my “go back to” list haha and yea, these spots are photographed often for obvious reasons (they’re too pretty not to)! I agree though, a lot of people over edit things for the gram.

I ♥ Your Comments ~ Please Share