There are so many fun and unique things to do in Japan. It really has something for everyone. Whether you’re into history and culture, sports, food, shopping, or all of the above, you will find numerous options. Here are 15 things most people enjoy while visiting Japan.
15 Fun and Unique Things to Do in Japan
1. Eat Japanese Food
Eating Japanese food seems to be a favorite for most foreigners. With so many different kinds of restaurants, you can find something new to eat everyday while you’re there. Be sure to try ramen, udon, sushi, yakitori, yakiniku, miso-katsu, okonomiyaki, and tempura.
2. Go Shopping
Shopping is everywhere. Depending on what you want, there are markets, shopping arcades, electronics stores, malls, outlet shopping, and department stores. Don’t miss a major department store opening in the morning!
3. Soak in a Hot Spring
Soaking in a hot spring is a wonderful way to relax and truly experience Japanese culture. The mineral rich water makes you feel rejuvenated after a long day of sightseeing. Many hot springs offer accommodations, or you can just visit one for a few hours.
4. Go to a Theme Park
Theme parks are very popular in Japan with both children and adults. The most visited are Tokyo Disneyland and Universal Studios Japan (USJ), but Fuji-Q Highland and Edo Wonderland are also attractions worth a visit.
5. Visit Temples
The temples and shrines in Kyoto and throughout Japan have beautiful architecture and vast gardens. Some buildings are very old and others have been restored because of natural and man-made disasters. Some Buddhist temples allow you to stay the night and practice Zen meditation.
6. Ride the Bullet Train
The bullet train or shinkansen is the best way to travel Japan. It is very comfortable and almost always on time. With speeds of up to 200 mph, you can get from Tokyo to Osaka in just 2 1/2 hours. The rail pass (one week, two weeks, or three weeks) offers an excellent savings for visitors to Japan.
7. Sing Karaoke
Many foreigners give karaoke a pass, but it’s a lot more fun than you think. Modern karaoke chains, such as Big Echo or Shidax, seat you in a private room with your party. There are plenty of English songs and a phone to order food and drinks.
8. Experience Pop Culture
Pop culture in Japan is somewhat unique and visiting areas such as Akihabara and Harajuku are a must. You can see people dressed up like their favorite anime (animation) characters and visit manga (comics) cafes.
9. Drink Japanese Alcohol
Alcohol plays a large role in Japanese culture. Choose from a variety of Japanese alcohol including beer, happoshu, sake, whisky, shochu, chuhai, and umeshu.
10. Stay at a Ryokan
A Japanese ryokan is a traditional style inn or bed and breakfast. The price of the accommodation usually includes dinner and breakfast and use of the shared bath. Rooms have a tatami floor and futon beds that get rolled out at night.
11. Attend a Festival
Festivals in Japan are so much fun. Most involve beautiful costumes, large floats, traditional music, choreographed dances, and food stands. Whether large or small, a Japanese festival is a favorite for most tourists.
12. Go to a Museum
Japan has many museums throughout the country often designed by famous architects. You can visit national museums, art museums, and various exhibitions throughout the year.
13. Experience Japanese Theater
Kabuki, Noh, and Bunraku are traditional Japanese theater performing arts that stretch back hundreds of years. They tell stories through singing and dancing and involve lavish costumes and masks.
14. Attend a Sporting Event
Attend a sporting event to get a feel for modern everyday culture. There are baseball games from March to October and soccer games throughout the year. Sumo wrestling has six tournaments each year and is a real cultural experience.
@Nagano Tourism Organization
15. Go Skiing
Skiing in Japan is a popular winter sport because of the many mountains and fine, powdery snow. There are over 500 ski resorts mostly found in Hokkaido and in the Japanese Alps of Nagano and Niigata.
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Becki and Shawn
Japan Travel Specialists
Hi, we’re Becki and Shawn! We love Japan and are truly passionate about Japan and Japan travel.
We’ve lived, worked, and traveled in Japan for 20+ years, so we know where to go, what to see, and how to get there. Join us in Japan for an adventure of a lifetime!