They are diverse, beautiful, peaceful (sometimes), and fascinating with many rituals to observe. The fleeting sakura (cherry blossoms) are truly spectacular, and they are everywhere, not just limited to a certain park or canal. And to make more cute, they all dressed with the lovely uniforms. Disney is easily accessible from central Tokyo in about 30 minutes, but on our third visit we stayed a short walk away at the inexpensive Hotel Mystays Maihama and loved avoiding rush hour travel and being able to take a break during the day. Well, maybe not EVERYone, but at least a lot do. Wasabi, anyone? One of the most famous sights in Tokyo is the insane Shibuya Crossing, the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing. Learn how your comment data is processed. The setting is just so perfect and thousands of Japanese tourists pave their way to … Don Quixote Ferris wheel in Dotonburi, Osaka. You can also find vending machines that sell alcohol. Japanese cities are vast and impressive with towering skyscrapers and neon signs. The most special favor is Matcha Sakura that is always sought by visitors when traveling to Japan. See our other Japan blog posts for more tips: I hope this post has given you plenty of ideas for what to do in Japan. Top tip: Miyagawacho is the perfect area to stay in Kyoto for spotting geisha without the crowds of Gion. There’s a wide variety of cooking classes available in Japan where you can learn to make okonomiyaki, sushi, tempura or regional dishes. Not only that, but it’s also popular for having lots of cafes, restaurants, markets, and some of the best hotels in Japan. They are simple, elegant, and the perfect place to meditate. You can even order drinks and food. It looks best at night when all the neon signs are lit up. Miyajima is a small island located in the Japanese Inland Sea and home to one of the (if not THE) most famous shrine in Japan. Most of them are shared, but some ryokans have private baths you can reserve. These unique things to do in Japan are activities you don’t find elsewhere and are the best ways of experiencing Japanese culture. Night illuminations at Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto. With the heat lasting for between 8 and 12 hours and costing just 400 yen for a 10 pack, they are a great novelty (yet practical) Japanese souvenir. Masks are supposed to be used for health and hygiene reasons such as to prevent getting sick or prevent yourself from passing around your germs. Here are just some of the top things to do in Japan in nature. Tatami mat rooms are elegant, minimalist spaces, usually with just a table and low chairs where you can enjoy green tea on arrival. It’s walkable to Dotonburi but is in a much quieter area with some great shops and restaurants nearby. From unique lotteries to strange vending machines, there are a lot of things that only exist in Japan. The highlight is the immense Daibutsu-den (Hall of the Great Buddha) at Todaiji. If ramen is one of the cheapest Japanese meals, kaiseki is the most expensive. I personally found the Golden Pavillion, although beautiful, definitely wouldn’t be number one on that list, with so many other better things to see and do. On my very first visit to Japan, I arrived in Tokyo on a stormy August night. Please read our, stylish machiya formerly owned by a geiko, buy discounted tickets in advance from Voyagin, authentic tea ceremony near the Golden Temple, Where to Stay in Japan: A Guide to Accommodation Options, 15 Fascinating Books to Read Before Visiting Japan, Malee Highlands Review: Stylish Apartments on Koh Lanta. It features traditional thatched houses from across the Hida region that were moved to the museum in 1971. Edo Wonderland was perhaps the most fun things to do in Japan. Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki also contains noodles. From there you can walk through the forest over the mountain to Kurama-dera, a temple with fantastic views. A nighttime visit to Osaka’s Dotonbori neighbourhood is a must-do in Japan with its overwhelming display of neon, giant food models, and many restaurants and food stalls. And Shibuya, being Tokyo’s special ward is a popular tourist destination in the country. But I have to admit I came across some weird things in Japan! It’s not something vegetarians can usually eat, so we were ecstatic to find a tiny takoyaki stand in Osaka that not only does a vegetarian version but also lets you make your own. A worthwhile half-day trip from Kyoto is to take a 30-minute train ride to the village of Kibune in the Kitayama Mountains. The highlight is the immersive Wizarding World of Harry Potter where you can wander the snowy cobbled streets, stroll through Hogwarts, drink butterbeer, shop for sweets in Honeydukes, and even cast your own spells if you buy a magic wand. It’s a difficult restaurant to get a reservation for, and you can’t just call yourself, but Voyagin can make a reservation for you. It was fascinating to see what life was like for rural Japanese in the Edo period. You must buy your tickets at least a month in advance—see the Ghibli website for details. Buttons for summoning a server at family-style restaurants, 5. Their 5 and 50 yen coins have holes in them. Early in the morning you can join the monks for their chanting and fire ceremony. From winter illuminations to bathing monkeys, here are best places to visit and things to do in Japan … They are often set amongst lovely natural settings in forests or on mountainsides. Enjoy exploring this weird and wonderful country! In some okonomiyaki restaurants, you make your own, while in others it’s made on an iron griddle in front of you. It’s not fancy, but it’s reasonably priced for the area, and our room (with separate living room) was our largest in Japan. 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