12 Things to Add to Your Japan Trip Bucket List
How Make the Most Out of Your Japan Trip
There are so many things that you’ll find you want to do on your Japan Trip, the country is filled with so much variety and character that makes it the perfect destination for many. Here are 12 experiences that should be at the top of your Japan Trip bucket list!
1. Take the Bullet Train
With so much to see and do in Japan, there is only one method of transport – the Bullet Train. The Shinkansen or Bullet Train should be experienced by everyone with speeds reaching up to 320km/hr we can see where it gets its name. Aside for the rapid speed you’ll experience, whilst travelling on the Shinkansen you will be surrounded by spectacular scenery. It is also Japanese tradition to drink sake whilst on the train, cheers!
2. Visit an Onsen
Japanese Onsen are hot springs which should be experienced during the Japanese winter. There are many different types of hot springs which are known to offer different health benefits so do your research and you’ll be feeling refreshed in no time. Here’s our guide to Visiting a Japanese Onsen with tips and tricks on Japanese etiquette and which onsen is best for you.
3. Watch a Traditional Sumo Match
And when we say traditional, we mean traditional. Imagine sumo wrestlers wearing only a little belt to cover their modesty. Watching a Japanese Sumo Match is quite the experience however there are only 6 each year so seeing one can be quite a struggle. Here’s a Sumo Wrestling 101 from Boutique Japan including dates, pricing and seating arrangements.
4. Experience Cherry Blossom Season
Enjoy Japan in bloom during the Cherry Blossom Season. Celebrated all over Japan during the late March/early April and in some areas as early as January! Cherry Blossom Season is celebrated with locals and tourists with picnics in parks, drinks and groups of friends enjoying the spectacular atmosphere. Throughout the season, you’ll see traditional Japanese performing arts taking place, tea ceremonies, speciality foods and crafts for all the family.
5. Sleep with the Monks
Viewing the many Japanese temples and shrines from the outside may not excite some so why not stay the night inside with some traditional Japanese Monks. Experience a simplistic outlook on life and taste delicious vegetarian cuisine.
6. Go Skiing
Another reason to visit Japan during the winter is to experience the world class ski resorts. Japan hosts some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world, some of the best places to visit are Hokkaido and Nagano Prefecture in the Japanese Alps. The best part is that they are so close to the cities, you can go for a day trip however you must enjoy a little apres-ski tipple including hot sake to end your day in style.
7. Visit a Cuddle Café
Cat Cafes are starting to pop up all over the world however when in Japan, cats aren’t the only thing which cuddle cafes are dedicated to. Expect rabbits, owls, reptiles and there are even penguin bars. Each café allows you to cuddle up to the animals whilst enjoying some food and drink, usually animal related. Traveling can be hard when you can’t take your pet with you so spend a little time with a fluffy friend and watch your emotions rise.
8. Climb Mount Fuji
Climbing the highest mountain in Japan is a must for all visitors. Climbing seasons where the temperature and weather is best are during June to September. Mount Fuji is extremely popular with tourists as well as Japanese nationals so expect there to be quite a lot of people hiking alongside you. There are 10 stations leading up to the summit, each station has a different degree of difficulty but expect spectacular views throughout your trek. There are also mountain huts where you can spend the night however they are usually busy so book beforehand if you are considering it.
9.Eat like the Japanese
In Japan there are so many unique and delicious meals which you should tryincluding nabe, yakitori, ramen and sushi. Instead of visiting a English speaking run of the mill restaurant, try going off track and eat like a local. Piss Alley (yes, you read that right) is a popular road filled with small traditional restaurants and a couple of bars. Food is Piss Alley, also known as Memory Lane can be quite adventurous, you can expect to see pig testicles, beating frogs hearts and snake liqueur!
10. Go to the Beach
A country with skiing and beautiful beaches is just some of the greatness which Japan possesses. Find the clear blue East China sea and white sandy beach in the Yaeyama Islands. The Yaeyama islands are a group of three islands: Ishigaki, Iriomote and Taketomi. On the island you can snorkel amongst the coral reefs, go island hopping, experience Japanese night-life and go to some traditional local festivals.
11. Visit Hiroshima
Located on Honshu Island, Hiroshima was destroyed in 1945 during World War 2 due to an atomic bomb which was dropped killing 90% of the city. Hiroshima memorialises the day when so many lives were lost but also represents the importance of peace amongst humanity and is commonly referred to as the Peace City. Whilst visiting Hiroshima, some key things to do include the Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima Castle and the Maneki-Neko Museum (Lucky Cat Museum).
12. Go to a Japanese Festival
There are countless Japanese Festivals which take place throughout the year so chances are you’ll be able to experience at least one. Ranging from religious festival, carnival style and snow festivals, there really is something for everyone. The Sapporo Yuki Matsuri also known as the ‘Snow Festival’ is located in Sapporo and is held during February. 14 countries from all around the world compete to create the best snow sculptures, and some of them are pretty unbelievable. Here you’ll find the largest snow sculptures ib the world measuring around 25 meters high and 15 meters wide!
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