Arama They Didn't

12:33 pm - 01/27/2013

Top Five Worst Places to Visit in Japan

According to a recent survey conducted by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), as of September 2012, numbers of foreign tourists visiting Japan reach 430,000, an increase of 32.7 percent. Japan’s tourist industry suffered as a result of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, but it looks like tourism is on the rise in Japan once again.

When foreigners do find themselves in Japan, travel guidebook in hand, they are inundated with advice regardin must-see places. But the worst part about taking a trip is arriving to one of these “must-see” locations and realizing it isn’t all that great. That’s why we’ve gathered up a list of the top five most disappointing tourist spots in Japan as recommended (unrecommended?) by users on Reddit.

#1 – Roppongi

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Roppongi is famous for catering to a large number of foreigners, but foreign tourists said they were most disappointed with their trip to this area. “Don’t go to the bars,” comments one user. “They are okay forgaijins foreigners) wanting to spend time with othe gaijins r hook up with locals who lik gaijins, but for tourists they aren’t worth the time.” Another user commented on the large number of African immigrants who work in Roppongi trying to get foreigners to patronize bars. Many are said to use aggressive tactics. Even more disappointing news about Roppongi: “Even for someone who lives in Japan and is not there for tourism, it’s still just one expensive waste of time, unless you’re really keen on throwing down ¥4000 (US $44.40) cover to get into a nightclub full of westerners.” It’s understandable to think that a place with lots of foreigners must be a good tourist spot, but according to tourists, it’s anything but.

#2 – Tokyo Disneyland

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Disneyland, known for its impeccable customer service and dream-like atmosphere. seems like a great tourist spot for foreigners visiting Tokyo. However, the crowds are enough to drive even the most dedicated Disney fan away. One user comments, “I loved the 20 minutes on the rides. I hated the 4 hours waiting in lines for those 20 minutes.” Another says they waited in line for 45 minutes just to buy popcorn. Tokyo Disneyland has worked up a bad reputation amongst foreign tourists, but Tokyo DisneySea is another story. “DisneySea is AWESOME, just get advice before you visit there,” cautions one Reddit user. “I went on a normal weekday once and walked right onto every ride. I went back on a New Year’s day, and the lines were so long it was literally only possible to go on one ride in the whole day.”

#3 – Imperial Palace

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Many Japanese also flock to the Imperial Palace right alongside the hordes of foreign tourists. However,one user doesn’t hold back his disappointment with the palace, stating, “There’s nothing to see. It’s a tourist trap.” Although there was harsh criticism of the Imperial Palace, there was enough praise to keep it away from the number one overrated tourist spot. One Reddit user praises the palace gardens, mentioning, “The Imperial Palace is only a few minutes’ walk away [from Tokyo Station], and while the interior is inaccessible, the surrounding greenery is really beautiful.”

#4 – Sapporo Clock Tower


Described by some as “a boring rip-off,” the Sapporo Clock Tower is considered a tourist trap by many.One user recommends that if you find yourself at the Sapporo Clock Tower, you should “have your picture taken (there is a platform outside for free) BUT do not go inside.” Others laugh at the term “clock tower” being used to describe this tourist attraction. Compared to Big Ben, London’s famous clock tower, the term is barely applicable due to its short stature.

#5 – Tokyo

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When you think, “Japan,” what pops into your head? One of the first words is probably “Tokyo.” However, although Tokyo and Japan go together like peas and carrots, some tourists recommend avoiding the bustling city. “I would say DO at least explore rural Japan,” comments one user. “Especially for a tourist I think it can provide quite a few treats. DON’T get shrined-out and visit all the temples. Pick a few and enjoy them.” In addition, some tourists make the mistake of feeling they absolutely must visit Tokyo to get the “Japan experience.” However, one user is not convinced: “I don’t think there’s any one place in the world that typifies a ‘real’ experience of the entire country that it happens to be a part of.”

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with this list of the worst places to visit in Japan?

Source: Madame Riri, rocketnews24

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theciz 27th-Jan-2013 08:22 pm (UTC)
Oh hell no, no one hates on Tokyo Disney on my watch. It snowed when I was at DisneySea and it constantly rained when I was at DisneyLand and it still magical. Imperial Plaza was cool too, and you don't even have to pay anything for it!
breathless31 28th-Jan-2013 07:33 pm (UTC)
yes, this so much
age_of_green 27th-Jan-2013 08:31 pm (UTC)
Sounds like Tokyo Disneyland has the same problems as the American one. And telling a foreigner to go to Tokyo would be like telling a Japanese person to go to New York. You're not going to get an accurate feel of the country that way.
_pink_starz_ 27th-Jan-2013 08:37 pm (UTC)
For Roppongi, it sounds like the main complaint is about clubs. There's a lot more there then that, and if you know people who live in Tokyo, they can take you to amazing restaurants and beautiful, classy bars there. Just stay away from the clubs, which it's infamous for, and it's a decent place. There's also a lot of exhibitions that go on in Roppongi, just have a look out for it.

I loved Tokyo Disneyland. The key is to go on a weekday, with great people who make the lines memorable, and it's pretty fun. I never waited more than 1 hour in a line cuz I knew when to go.

I agree with Tokyo itself. It's fun if you live there and you have local friends but if you're someone visiting, don't spend too much time in the city. My favorite places in Japan were all rural, and my friends and family agreed. In fact, I don't even take visitors to Tokyo anymore. It's not worth it.

sibylblack 27th-Jan-2013 08:43 pm (UTC)
I agree about Roppongi. I've been to some nice places with Japanese friends, none of those were clubs.
sibylblack 27th-Jan-2013 08:45 pm (UTC)
I don't really agree with this list... but I can see why some people would have these opinions. It's just a matter of taste.

I miss Tokyo so much.
reii_chan 27th-Jan-2013 08:48 pm (UTC)
I don't know about #5 lol
inachan89 27th-Jan-2013 08:49 pm (UTC)
I've never been to Japan but i'm so going to Tokyo when i have the possibility lol but i also plan to visit other places as well,bit by bit^^
burger 27th-Jan-2013 08:51 pm (UTC)
I think most Disney parks have that problem lol
wheresthepaper 29th-Jan-2013 06:41 am (UTC)
I am a hardcore Disney park addict, but I have to admit that I agree with this. I love the parks--one of the first dates I went on with my husband when were were still in that nauseatingly cute dating stage was to Disney sea--but they honestly do have that issue.

Although, I lived in Florida for years and had the season passes where you could go to any and every park any time. We KNEW what days were bad days to go. You wait two hours or more for some rides, and like...20 minutes for some of the nicer food places. However, the Disney parks ARE slightly worse in Japan. I can't speak for other countries, but part of the biggest issue, IMO, is that the Japanese parks are simply massively smaller than the ones in America, yet I think the amount of patronage is comparable. That simply doesn't work so well, haha.
unbroken_glass 27th-Jan-2013 08:51 pm (UTC)
I'm bringing my friends to Tokyo though, because they're not the 'rural' kind of people and they just wanna go shopping and bask in high technology kind of stuff. They're not really fond of shrines and temples AT ALL so I guess it depends on the traveller actually.
exdream1999 27th-Jan-2013 09:48 pm (UTC)
This is so true, when my brother and mom came to Japan during Golden Week, we spent most of it up in Nagano, and my mom LOVED it, but hated the few days we had in Tokyo.

Yet, two years later, my brother came again when I had to moved down to Kanagawa, mostly to hit up all the places in Tokyo we couldn't go to with our mother.

Also, if you know people who know their way around Tokyo you can find a lot of interesting places not in guide books.
arimi_skywalker 27th-Jan-2013 09:01 pm (UTC)
Agree with number 1, 2, 3 and 4, but disagree with 5.
It's true Tokyo doesn't represent Japan, but honestly... which city represents a whole country?

Tokyo is a dream. For me, it's a must.
But then again, I'm a city girl, so I may be biased :P
icecoveredheart 27th-Jan-2013 09:02 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't say "don't visit Tokyo", but visit other places as well. Actually, visiting Tokyo and quieter places would give one a feel for the variety in this country. Also, I walked A LOT in Tokyo; just walked to different places, checked out some stores along the way, etc. I didn't follow a guide book at all because I didn't want to be a "tourist" in the typical sense; I wanted to feel the city, not just hang out at places that have other foreigners only.

I didn't go to the Sapporo clock tower and as far as the imperial palace goes, I've only passed by it by car because I couldn't think that anything interesting would be there really.

I went to DisneyLand on Dec. 23rd i.e. the emperor's birthday i.e. a public holiday which gets EVERYONE into Disney, so definitely, the lines were crazy long and my ankle was killing me (from all the above mentioned walking and not suitable shoes :P), but the rides were fun and at times, I got to interact with some of the locals that are lining up behind me or such. If I had to do it all over again, I would've still went; maybe on a different day though so that it's less crowded, but I'd still go nonetheless. I think it's worth mentioning that I wasn't even that excited about going to Disney, but my friend from Osaka was visiting Tokyo while I was there and wanted to go.

As for Roppongi, I don't like night clubs generally, more like I hate them, but my original new year's eve plan last year had fallen through and I found myself with no choice but to stay in my hotel room or go to Roppongi, so I did. I went to small club there which had a group of 2 or 3 westerners while the rest were Japanese. It's a night club. There's not much to say about it. If the tourist likes to go there and dance and drink and all, it's not much different than night clubs elsewhere (minus the sumo wrestler dude that was there the night I went and the Soba noodles since it was New Year's). Personally, I just kept to myself sitting and humming the songs that were playing but I got asked out by a Japanese sitting next to me that was there with friends. So, I guess, as the users said, it can be a place to hook up with locals if the person wanted to.
2hothere 27th-Jan-2013 09:14 pm (UTC)

how can you go to Japan and not visit Tokyo? that's dumb. I'd go to Tokyo first and then the other rural places later.
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futaba01 27th-Jan-2013 09:25 pm (UTC)
I was blessed enough to be at all places, so here is how I see it:
Roppongi is a nice place, and you don't have to "waste" money to enjoy, it's full of gorgeous buildings and all, you don't have to to bars. I mean if someone wants to go to a bar they will, doesn't matter the price, and if they don't want to then it doesn't matter how much is it people won't go to them.
Tokyo Disneyland is really not that amazing as The Disney Sea, but I think you could feel the magic if you would only walk around and would't take any ride. I could just hang out on a bench and I would feel the disney magic. Altought it's the best if you go on weekdays because then you can check more things. For me Disneyland is a must and I were there 3 times in 4 weeks and didn't regret it.
The imperial palace... well I gotta be honest it really wasn't a big deal but I might remember it wrong. However it was gorgeous and I think it deserves a visit if you have the time.
Well yeah the "clock tower"... I wasn't inside (i think it was closed when we were there. what is inside?) but it was cute, and the Odori park is spectacular, so if you are there you can also check the "clock tower", which is at the begining of it.
I don't think people should go to Tokyo to have the "Japan Experience", they should go to Tokyo because it's awesome, and full of incredible districts, buildings etc. but it's true that you won't really find jinjas (except the one in Asakusa, and the one next to the Tokyo Tower and some smaller). If you want to see temples there are lot better places for that, but Tokyo is a totally different thing, and I could hang out there for a week easily, but if it's not your thing... it's all about people preferences. Altough I love the temples too, but after Kyoto, Nikko and Hiraizumi it can be too much (however Shimokita Hanto (Osorezan), Yamadera and Udo Jingu is a must!).
chochajin 28th-Jan-2013 01:59 am (UTC)
Totally agree with what you said! :)
Mt. Osore is a must indeed! *g*
There are so many places in Japan that most tourists don't know about.
It's a shame that Kyoto, Tokyo and Hiroshima are promoted and advertised so much that other places have no chance.

I've been to all 47 prefectures and neither Tokyo nor Kyoto or Hiroshima are anywhere near my top 10!
45s 27th-Jan-2013 09:32 pm (UTC)
Reddit is as dumb as ever.
sukidesukara 27th-Jan-2013 09:39 pm (UTC)
Uh, no.
mikarocker 27th-Jan-2013 09:37 pm (UTC)
I haven't had a chance to explore Japan outside of Tokyo yet, but honestly speaking I LOVED Tokyo. I'm from NY so it was definitely a fun experience to see a different sort of cityscape and to see how it varied from where I grew up. I can see how many tourists would be unimpressed, but personally I enjoyed being in Tokyo. I would love to see some more rural areas on my next trip though.
chochajin 28th-Jan-2013 01:57 am (UTC)
It's a shame, though, that a lot of tourists only visit Tokyo and think they've seen and experienced Japan. They have not!
Some go to Tokyo AND Kyoto but that's still not quite it.

I understand that people don't have so much time, but many spend too much time in Tokyo ... like 2 weeks! At least they should do some day trips to Kamakura, Hakone, Enoshima, Kawaguchiko etc. ...

Tokyo is nice and an important part of Japanese culture, but I want people to also visit the less known areas of Japan! ^-^;
exdream1999 27th-Jan-2013 09:45 pm (UTC)
I find that assessment of Tokyo Disney Resort hilarious.

Not has my brother (who has been to California Disney multiple times), but also the family he went with (who has now been to every Disney park except Hong Kong), say it's one of the best Disney parks. Especially in terms of food.

And yeah, if you go on a weekend, ESPECIALLY during a major holiday, it's going to have long lines, like every other Disney park. Also, LEARN 2 FAST PASS.
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