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Churaumi aquarium makes top 20 tourism spots list

Date Posted: 2012-06-01

Hiroshima Prefecture’s the most popular tourism spot in Japan for foreign tourists, with Kyoto close behind, but Okinawa’s Churaumi Aquarium’s in the Top 20, too.

The Japanese arm of tourism website TripAdvisor gathered user comments and evaluations from the past year and used them to rank the Top 20 travel destinations in Japan over that time. Hiroshima Prefecture placed two destinations in the Top 5 while five Kyoto sightseeing spots made the list. Okinawa’s Churaumi Aquarium placed 17th on the list.

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and A-Bomb Dome moved to the top of the list after coming in second last year. Foreign visitors left glowing reviews, among them “Americans visiting Japan should include this spot on their itineraries at all costs” and “The exhibits present a surprisingly damning case and deeply move viewers with sadness, but they are not judgmental at all. They simply present what happened that day and how it affected what happened afterward.”

The second-place Hakone Open Air Museum was hailed as more beautiful than the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. Kyoto’s photogenic Fushimi Inari Shrine and its impressive scenery placed third.

The Top 20 Japanese Travel Destinations for Foreign Visitors are:1. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum (*2) in Hiroshima, 2. Hakone Open Air Museum in Hakone Town, Kanagawa Prefecture, 3. Fushimi Inari Shrine (6) in Kyoto, 4. Miyajima (Itsukushima Shrine) (1) in Hatsukaichi City, Hiroshima Prefecture, and 5. Jigokudani Monkey Park (7) in Yamanouchi Town, Nagano Prefecture.

Number 6 is Kenroku-en (8) in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture, 7. Niseko Grand Hirafu Ski Resort, Kutchan Town, Hokkaido, 8. Kinkaku-ji (19) in Kyoto, 9. Todai-ji (17) in Nara City, Nara Prefecture, 10. Kiyomizu-dera (13) in Kyoto, 11. Arashiyama in Kyoto, 12. Historic Village of Shirakawa in Gifu Prefecture, 13. Nikko-Toshogu Shrine in Nikko City, Tochigi Prefecture, and 14. Mitaka-no-Mori Ghibli Museum in Mitaka City, Tokyo Prefecture

Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea (4) in Urayasu City, Chiba Prefecture was No. 15, 16. Narita-san Shinsho-ji in Narita City, Chiba Prefecture, 17. Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Motobu Town, Okinawa Prefecture, 18. Nanzen-ji in Kyoto, 19. Hakone Ropeway in Hakone Town, Kanagawa Prefecture, and 20. Matsumoto Castle (3) in Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture

The rankings were composed of comments and evaluations sent in by travelers from the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Australia, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea and Indonesia. Niseko Great Hirafu Ski Resort and Jigokudani Monkey Park were popular amongst Americans while European tourists preferred Kenroku-en and Miyajima. Visitors from Asia steered their vacations toward Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea and Universal Studios Japan.

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