Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago of 6,852 islands. The four largest islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku, which together comprise about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area. Due to its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire, Japan is substantially prone to earthquakes and tsunami, having the highest natural disaster risk in the developed world. Japan has the world's tenth-largest population, with over 126 million people. Honshū's Greater Tokyo Area, which includes the de facto capital of Tokyo and several surrounding prefectures, is the largest metropolitan area in the world, with over 30 million residents.
See the main sights of both Kyoto and Nara, all in one day! Visit Nijo Castle, the Kyoto residence of the Tokugawa era shoguns, and the Golden Pavilion, a gold-leaf covered structure that houses sacred relics of Buddha. Take a stroll through the Kyoto Imperial Palace and see its elegant interiors.
In Nara, visit Todaiji, the world's largest wooden structure and home of the Great Buddha. Mingle with the deer at Nara Park and marvel at the lanterns at Kasuga Taisha Shrine.
Travel by bus to the Aerial Garden Observatory, where you will get a sweeping view of Osaka. After lunch, visit Osaka Castle, built in 1583 as the intended capital of Japan, before the capital was moved to Edo (now known as Tokyo). Walk through the newly renovated castle while learning from the exhibit detailing life in old Osaka. From there, walk to the nearby river boat dock to board the Aqua Liner for an hour-long cruise around Nakanoshima.
Aerial Garden Observatory
The Aerial Garden observatory is on the 40th floor of the building and allows you to enjoy full view of the city of Osaka.
Osaka Castle is noted for its magnificence and immense stones used in its construction. The castle, towering over the city, stands on a stone rampart. Many relics of the Toyotomi who built the castle originally, and Old Osaka are exhibited inside.
Enjoy a 60-minute boat ride with passing views of Osaka Castle, Twin Towers, City Hall on Nakanoshima Isle, etc.
Enjoy a panoramic view of Tokyo from the observation deck of Tokyo Tower, and then take a stroll around the Imperial Palace Plaza where you can savor the splendid view of the moats and walls around the seat of Japan's imperial household. In Asakusa you can browse the many colorful stores lining the Nakamise walkway leading up to Sensoji Temple, Tokyo's oldest and most famous Buddhist temple.