Pinays Share Their Dream Destinations in Japan
Created with Cebu Pacific
Whether you’re recovering from devastating heartbreak or escaping a source of headache back home, immersing yourself in the sights and sounds of Japanese culture can help you reset and unwind. After all, there’s a reason why countless Pinays enjoy visiting this ultimate travel destination on a regular basis. It also doesn’t hurt that the picturesque surroundings provide the perfect backdrop for that next banging profile picture.
Regardless of how many times you’ve gone to Japan, there will always be a reason to return for more adventures. A week is not even enough to fully explore Tokyo alone! You could plan an annual trip and never run out of new activities. Fortunately, Cebu Pacific flies directly to a variety of cities in Japan. To get you started on the next trip’s itinerary, we asked fellow Pinays about their future travel plans and rounded up a list of Japanese hotspots to check out and eventually check off the bucket list.
“[I want to visit] Shirakawa-g? during the winter. It’s a small, traditional village that’s one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. I also want to visit Furano during spring and Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki during spring and fall.” —Jeni Villaraza
Shirakawa Village, Gifu Photo Keena Chua
Shirakawa Village is famous for their gassho-zukuri, centuries-old traditional houses with a charming design that looks straight out of a fairy tale book. The architectural style is most recognizable for having large, thickly thatched roofing with triangular eaves—specifically built to withstand the region’s heavy snowfall during winter. You can travel to the Gifu Prefecture via Nagoya's Central Japan International Airport. Cebu Pacific flies directly to Nagoya. Book your flights here.
“[Kamikochi] came highly recommended to me and the pictures [that I found] online were absolutely gorgeous! I want to leisurely hike around, take a few photos, and soak in all the nature.” —Keena Chua
Kamikochi, Nagano Photo Pixabay
Kamikochi offers a hiking trail along the Azusa river and climbing spots that allow tourists to fully explore and get a better view of the mountain scenery. (The forests would not look out of place in a Ghibli film!) The popular adventure destination draws in backpackers from around the world. You can travel to Nagano from Tokyo via Hokuriku Shinkansen. Cebu Pacific flies directly to Tokyo. You can book your flights here.
“I want to check out the traditional architecture and probably soak at an onsen.” —Feanne Hontiveros Mauricio
Kyoto Photo Darren Cheng
Kyoto Photo Darren Cheng
Kyoto is the cultural core of Japan, reflecting the country’s rich history through upholding time-honored customs and preserving ancient architecture. In the former imperial city, there are many Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, zen gardens, and ryokan, the classic Japanese inn. Geisha in full-formal traditional garb can also be found walking along the city’s cobbled streets. Head to Kyoto via Osaka by booking your flights through Cebu Pacific.
“I want to hike all the way up the steps to view the Chureito Pagoda overlooking Mt. Fuji, while getting some cardio in the process. I am also fond of beautiful landscapes so would want to have a photo taken by the Sankeien Garden in Yokohama.” —Karen Mae de Vera
Chureito Pagoda Photo Darren Cheng
The Chureito Pagoda stands five-stories tall and provides a postcard-perfect view of Mt. Fuji. However, you can only reach the tiered structure by going all the way up 400 stone steps from the Arakurayama Sengen Shrine’s main site. (The magnificent sight at the top is well worth the hike, though!)
Yokohama Photo Darren Cheng
Sankeien Garden is a gorgeous public park that’s been open since the early 1900s. The tourist destination features a lush landscape and historical structures that were brought in from all over the country. The main pond is a great spot to take photos and view the cherry blossoms when they are in season.
“It’s gotta be Sendai in Miyagi because they have a Fox Village, Date Masamune’s mausoleum (Zuihoden), and of course, [I want to try] their local dishes!” —Nikki Sun
Fox Village Photo Keena Chua
The Miyagi Zao Fox Village serves as an animal sanctuary for fluffy kitsune. The caretakers have made the enclosed area available to the public so they can fund efforts that will help take care of these furry creatures. There are designated areas where you can take pictures of the foxes, visit their forest dwelling, and even safely feed them. You can take the JR Tohoku Shinkansen from Tokyo to get to the Shiroishi-Zao station.
Sendai, Miyagi Photo Pixabay
You can find one of the most ornate mausoleums in Japan at Sendai. An influential leader during the Edo Period named Date Masamune is buried at this mausoleum. Before passing away, the daimyo left very specific instructions on how his final resting place should look like, resulting in an architectural marvel featuring intricate sculptures.
“I want to visit the Fox Village or Nara Deer Park, also Niseko (during the winter) because I love animals and fun stuff. I want to play with them and explore everything. I will soak at an onsen with an awesome view.” —Kristine Chan
Nara Park Photo Keena Chua
Nara Park is home to hundreds of sika deer that freely roam the area and occasionally interact with tourists. When they come across a human, they do this neat trick of politely bowing to get treats. If you feed them enough of those special deer rice crackers or shika-senbei, they will be more than willing to pose for the ‘Gram. Nara is accessible via train from Fukuoka, Nagoya, Osaka, and Tokyo. Book your direct flights to any of these destinations via Cebu Pacific.
“I wanna go there [to Japan] and look for ninjas! And if I don’t see a single ninja, then I would be going home, content with the fact that ninjas really are ninjas!” —Mai Cruz-Bacena
Iga Ueno Ninja Town Photo Keena Chua
Iga offers the most immersive ninja experience around with a dedicated museum documenting its history of espionage and action-packed live demonstrations of various weapons, including the shuriken and katana. There’s even a house filled with clever mechanisms such as trap doors, revolving walls, and secret compartments.
“I want to go to Kobe or Hokkaido! My tito went there with his son and they [dined on] the most interesting food that I had ever seen. It looks super simple, but it makes me drool just thinking about it. Basically, Japan is a food haven for me!”
Kobe Photo Darren Cheng
The bustling city is known for its world-famous Kobe beef and a very recognizable red tower by the seaside. The Kobe Port Tower is a famous landmark that gives you the ultimate sightseeing experience. Enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of Kobe from the observation deck.
“Three places come to mind: Mount Yoshino, Hokkaido’s Lavender Fields, and the Bamboo Grove in Kyoto. The outdoorsy girl in me loooves seeing pretty naturescapes in other countries. I would probably cry!” —Mika Fabella
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Kyoto Photo Peejo Pilar
The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove has a unique pathway filled with towering stalks at every turn. The rustling of bamboo gently swaying with the wind may provide the soothing sound that you desperately need to destress. Just don’t get too lost in the sights and sounds or you might forget the time.
“Kyoto and Osaka because I would love to take photos of all the historical places there. I could probably juxtapose my modern streetwear [against the ancient architecture] in my #OOTD photo.” —Lulu Manay
Osaka Photo Darren Cheng
Osaka Castle represents the classic awe-inspiring aesthetic of old Japan. The castle is built on an elevated stone platform overlooking the cherry trees of Nishinomaru Garden from across the moat.
“I want to visit the Tokyo Dome so I can watch Wrestle Kingdom (the Wrestlemania of New Japan Pro Wrestling) and enjoy a top-tier performance. [I could also visit the] Naeba Ski Resort [so I can attend the] Fuji Rock Festival.” —Tala Wong
Tokyo Dome Photo Pixabay
Tokyo Dome contains a hotel, theme park, sports stadium, event hall, and other establishments all inside a sprawling entertainment complex. (You could practically live there!)
“I want to go to Osaka [so I can check out] Universal Studios Japan! I also want to visit Tokyo and see if Shibuya 109 still exists to [appease] my gyaru heart.” —Jocelyn Bordador-Putnam
Universal Studios Japan, Osaka Photo Georgia Pastorfide
Universal Studios Japan shares most of the attractions of its western counterpart such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
However, they have added a few otaku-approved extras to their theme park like the Sailor Moon and Final Fantasy rides.
Shibuya, Tokyo Photo Jaykee Evangelista
The Shibuya district is peak Japanese youth culture and has the trendiest themed cafés, shops, and of course, the iconic Shibuya 109 fashion complex. Don’t forget to take a photo by the Shibuya Scramble—a constant fixture when depicting Tokyo in anime, video games, and live-action films—but be careful of bumping into people crossing the street!
“I want to visit the Ginza district to dine at Kyubey, one of the highly rated sushi restaurants in Tokyo!” —Danielle Fernandez
Ginza, Tokyo Photo Jaykee Evangelista
You can feel fancy for a day by visiting Tokyo’s luxury district. Ginza has high-end fashion boutiques, expensive real estate, swanky art galleries, and Michelin-starred restaurants.
“I want to visit a host club and be entertained by ikemen [good-looking men].”
“I’m going to Shinjuku so I can spend my money purchasing art stuff at the Sekaido Store!” —Nadine Flores
Shinjuku, Tokyo Photo Kristine Chan/Red Tani
The district that never sleeps has the best izakaya and bars fit for the weary nocturnal traveler who needs to unwind. Shinjuku has a mix of quirky establishments, like the Robot Restaurant, and traditional throwbacks, like the Samurai Museum.
Where is your dream destination in Japan? Cebu Pacific has direct flights to Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and Fukuoka. Book your flights here. Don't forget to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates on seat sales.