Japan is , no doubt, a breathtaking, bewildering and diverse country full of mild-blowing thrills and surprises. Home to serene shrines, mouthwatering cuisine, scenic landscapes and quirky man-made attractions, Japan has a lot to offer to everyone. From futuristic skyscrapers and over-the-top arcades to ancient temples, there’s no shortage of exciting and memorable things to do in Japan. Here are some tips and suggestions to take note when creating a list of things to do in Japan.
With its jaw-dropping picture-perfect symmetry and incredible elevation of 3,776 meters, Mount Fuji is truly a must-see icon in Japan!
With its alluring and seemingly endless path of more than 500 vibrant orange torii gates, this Japan attraction will amaze its beholders.
3. Tsukiji Fish Market , Tokyo
Although the market was officially moved to a new and more contemporary location, Tsukiji remains a must-see spot, thanks to its fresh seafood and smorgasbord tasty treats.
4. Kinkakuji , Kyoto
Whether it’s set against a vibrant autumn backdrop or capped by snow, nothing is as exquisite and symbolic of Kyoto as Kinkakuji’s golden reflection that reflects across the pond’s rippled surface.
5. Shibuya Crossing , Tokyo
There’s nowhere else that says “Welcome to Tokyo” than this scramble with its humongous billboards, dazzling lights and beautifully chaotic ambiance.
6. Tea Ceremony , Kyoto, Tokyo, Osaka
It’s a unique Zen-like experience that will give you a taste of the Japanese culture and hospitality while wearing an elaborate and comfortable kimono,.
7. Hida Takayama , Gifu
Located in a mountainous region in Gifu Prefecture, this beautiful town exudes an old world charm, thanks to its rustic touches, traditional thatch-roof houses and relaxing backdrop.
8. Dotonbori Bridge , Osaka
Filled with bars, clubs and towering neon signs, Dotonbori Bridge is where you can enjoy a good view of the Glico Man as well as the futuristic neon cityscape of the area.
9. Universal Studios Japan , Osaka
With a wide collection of world-class entertainment to offer, it has a world of thrills and activities for visitors of all ages.
10. Nara Deer Park , Nara – Kyoto
Opened in 1880, this historic park is home to most of Nara’s main attractions, and more importantly, to hundreds of friendly deer roaming freely.
11. Todaiji , Nara- Kyoto
Built in 752, this elaborate landmark is historically important and home to one of the largest bronze statues in Japan, which is 15 meters tall.
12. Mount Koya
Established by a monk named Kukai in 819, this mountain is a Buddhist community and a hub of the Shingon school of Buddhism, housing over 100 monasteries and temples.
13. Sumo Game & Sumo Practice
It’s an action-packed and one-of-a-kind contest, giving you a glimpse of the Japanese culture and old traditions.
14. Kiyomizu Dera
Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, this temple impresses visitors with its stunning architecture and gorgeous panoramic views.
15.Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
Standing amid its towering stalks of bamboo is a surreal experience and like being in another dimension.
Most travelers and locals come to Asakusa Shrine to pray for success in business, happiness of their family, speedy recovery, or good health.
17. Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef is a beloved Japanese delicacy and arguably Japan’s most famous specialty regional food.
18. Himeji Castle
With its unrivaled elegance and picture-perfect white facade, it’s easy to see why they call this UNESCO World Heritage site as the most spectacular castle in Japan.
19. Kokoen Garden
Built in 1991, this Japan attraction boasts 9 gardens, with each designed to look dazzling and attractive in all four seasons.
20. Hiroshima Peace Memorial
Not only is it a powerful and stark symbol of humankind’s most destructive force ever created, but this world heritage site also expresses the hope for world peace.
21. Meiji Jingu
Austere and wonderfully serene, Tokyo’s most famous Shinto shrine is beloved for its 200-acre park space and towering 12-meter high torii gate.
22. Kimono Experience
Add more appeal to your Japan travel photos and meander the streets in style by wearing a colorful and elaborate kimono.
23. Tokyo Disneyland
Opened in 1983, it is Japan’s most famous theme park and the first Disney theme park outside of the United States.
24. Itsukushima Shrine
Located on Itsukushima Island, this Shinto shrine is famous for its “floating” torii gate and picture-perfect scenery.
25. Nijo Castle
Established in 1603, this UNESCO World Heritage site was the residence of a warlord for more than 200 years.
Built in 1450, this UNESCO World Heritage site is beloved for its Zen rock gardens and its wondrously enigmatic arrangements.
With its picturesque beauty, it’s easy to see why this 11.4-hectare garden is officially labeled as one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan.
28. Shinsaibashi Street Food
Not only is it a paradise for shopaholics, but it’s also jam-packed with tasty street food, including kushkikatsu, okonomiyaki and takoyaki.
29. Wisteria Tunnel
Located at Kawachi Fuji Garden, this enchanting and exquisite tunnel explodes with pastel colors,thanks to its cascading wisteria flowers.
30. Kaiyukan Aquarium
Nestled in Osaka, Kaiyukan is one of the world’s largest aquariums, and can be accessed for fee with the Osaka amazing pass ticket.
31. Samurai Experience
Get a taste of the life of an ancient Japanese warrior with this fun and unique experience in Japan.
32. Osaka Castle
Built in the 1580s, the 5-story castle is one of Japan’s most iconic landmarks known for its scenic grounds and elaborate details.
Buzzing and electric, Harajuku is well-known for its youth fashion and colorful street art, with its trendy bars, upmarket boutiques, cosplay shops and quirky vintage clothing stores.
34. Kyoto Imperial Palace
Drenched in tradition, the former residence of the imperial family preserves the charm and look of the ancient imperial dynasty eras of Japan.
35. Eiga Mura
Opening its doors in 1975, Eiga Mura is a former film set and theme park modeled after Japan’s Edo Period, making it a must for those who are traveling to Japan with kids.
36. Kifune Shrine
One of the most famous shrines in Kyoto, Kifune Shrine lures visitors with its stunning photogenic approach with its stone stairs.
37. Genko-an Temple
Nestled in Northwest Kyoto, this Soto Zen temple impresses visitors with its breathtaking original windows, foliage in autumn and traditional Japanese architecture.
38. Jigoku Dani, Hell Forest
This dramatic crater has hiking paths, volcanic steam plumes and boiling sulfuric hot springs, meaning it’s a nirvana for intrepid adventurers.
39. Ghibli Museum
Showcasing the creations of the renowned anime studio, the Ghibli Museum lets you discover a ton of exhibits and experience the fun of animation inside a maze-like building.
40. Kawaii Monster Cafe
Whimsical and colorful, this Tokyo cafe features casual eats and cocktails as well as regular performances and colorful themed rooms.
41. Sanjusan Gendo
Founded in 1164, this impressive and unique Kyoto temple is well-known for its 1,001 golden Kannon statues and carved images.
42. Zauo Fishing Restaurant
Catch your own food (fish) and tell the staff how you want it to be prepared, before your eating your meal at this restaurant.
43. Hachiko Statue
It’s a popular meeting spot in Tokyo with a bronze statue of the amazingly loyal and famous Akita dog – Hachiko.
44. Cat island
Aoshima, or also referred to as Cat Island, is an Ehime Prefecture island, well-known for its large number of cat residents.
45. Naoshima Art island
Located in the Seto Inland Sea, Naoshima is famous for its contemporary sculptures, architecture and art museums.
46. Fox Island
Billed as one of the cutest places on earth, this Japan attraction in Miyagi Prefecture is home to over 100 foxes living free-range in a garden wonderfully surrounded by nature.
47. Rice field Art in Inakadate
Head to Inakadate and be mesmerized by a bunch of wonderfully bizarre and elaborate works of art using rice paddies as their canvases.
48. Naeba Ski Resort
Ranked as one of the top ski resorts in Japan, Naeba is a popular international ski venue offering a ton of icy adventures to its visitors.
49. Sapporo Snow Festival
Held every February, the Sapporo Snow Festival magically turns the city into a winter wonderland with its towering ice sculptures and fun-filled wintry activities.
50. Jigokudani Monkey Park
Located at Joshinetsu Kogen National Park’s base, this monkey park offers visitors the unique and rare experience of gazing at wild monkeys bathing in a hot spring.
51. Tokyo Skytree
With an elevation of 634 meters, the centerpiece of the Tokyo Skytree Town is Japan’s tallest structure and the world’s second tallest when it was completed in 2012.
52. Abeno Harukas
Soaring over 200 meters, Osaka’s tallest landmark features a hotel, an art museum, a department store and an observation deck offering panoramic views of the city.
Located at the heart of Kagoshima Bay, this active volcano is the region’s most prominent geographic feature, with a circumference of 50 kilometers and an elevation of 1,117 meters.
54. Huis Ten Bosch
Huis Ten Bosch is a remarkable Nagasaki theme park that recreates the beauty of the Netherlands by displaying life-sized replicas of traditional Dutch buildings.
55. Aogashima Island
Aogashima is an extraordinary travel destination, and a mystical volcanic island formed by the remains of many calderas.
56. Amano Hashidate
Located in Miyazu Bay, Amanohashidate is a beautiful, 3-kilometer sandbar that’s best viewed from mountains at the ends of the bay.
57. Kinosaki Onsen
A village set on the Japan Sea Coast, Kinosaki Onsen is one of the top places to indulge in a hot spring.
58. Beppu Onsen
Blessed with eight different hot springs, Beppu is, no doubt, one of Japan’s most beloved hot spring resorts.
59. Gunkanjima Island
Hashima Island is an eerie sightseeing spot and an abandoned offshore mining facility in Nagasaki Prefecture.
60. Okinawa Diving
Discover the wondrous underwater world of Okinawa and be enthralled by scores of crustaceans, barracuda, cuttlefish and colorful reef fish.
From mid April to late May, Shibazakura blooms wondrously in Saitama and Yamanashi Prefectures, creating eye-catching pink carpets produced by nature.
62. Matsumoto Castle
With its characteristic black wainscoting and intricate designs, the castle gives off an air of poise and grandeur, making it one of the most stunning castles in Japan.
63. Sushi making experience
Learn the art of sushi making and discover the techniques that will help you create these Japanese treats at home.
64. Meet a Geisha
Meeting a geisha in Kyoto is a memorable and magical experience that should be on your list of things to do in Japan.
65. Kamakura Giant Buddha
The enormous Great Buddha statue of Kamakura is one of the most beguiling historical landmarks in Japan and a wondrous representation of Amida Buddha.
66. Robot Restaurant
Experience the gleaming robots, flashy dancers, multi-colored lights, high-tech laser displays, and a whole lot more at Robot Restaurant.
67. Pilgrimage of 88 Temples in Shikoku Island
Shikoku Island is home to 88 temples that can be explored in one, long, multi-day pilgrimage journey.
Experience a Japanese culinary adventure like no other by picking sushi on a moving conveyor belt.
69. Samurai Test Cutting Experience
Make your dream of becoming a samurai warrior a reality in Japan by going on a samurai test cutting experience.
70. Nebuta Matsuri
Held annually in Aomori Prefecture, this Japanese summer festival is praised for its daily parades of gigantic lantern floats, flanked by dancers, musicians and large taiko drums.
71. Gion Matsuri
Taking place over the whole month of July, Gion Matsuri is highlighted by its spectacular, grand float procession (Yamaboko Junko) and other festive activities.
72. Awa Odori
Originated in Tokushima more than 400 years ago, Awa Odori has become one of Japan’s most popular dance festivals, thanks to its raucous street parties, brilliant fireworks and buzzing cicadas.
73. Food Sampling in Shinsekai Tsutenkaku
A visit to Shinsekai not only lets you gaze at the famed Tsutenkaku Tower, but it can also be a culinary adventure full of mouthwatering goodies.
74. Pachinko Experience
Pachinko is Japan’s most ubiquitous and iconic form of entertainment, popular for its neon lights and crazy loud sounds.
75. Shirakawago Old Houses
Nestled in a mountainous region, these thatch-roof houses are historic, Instagram-worthy and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
76. Gold Ice Cream
Savor the classic treat in the poshest possible way by sampling the gold-leaf covered ice cream in Hakuichi.
Completed in 2011, this Buddhist temple dazzles and wows visitors with its intricate and serene 5-tiered pagoda.
Carved brilliantly and decorated into perfection, this UNESCO World Heritage site enshrines the most popular samurai leader of all time, Tokugawa Ieyasu.
79. Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
Deemed as one of the world’s largest aquariums, the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium introduces you to the mystery of the marine creatures in Okinawa.
80. Owl Cafe Experience
Get up close and personal with the falcons and owls at this unique cafe in Tokyo’s Harajuku district.
81. Adventure world Panda Zoo
Adventure world Panda Zoo, is a popular spot in Wakayama, ideal for families and animal lovers who want to see real-life panda bears.
82. Mount Shosha
Set at the edge of Himeji City, Mount Shosha is a beautiful, atmospheric temple complex with a long history of more than a thousand years.
83. Hakutsuru Sake Brewery
Excellent exhibits with life-sized models and replicas are presented perfectly at this sake brewery museum, which maintains a lovely ambiance and offers exceptional English video clips and exhibits explaining the brewing process of sake.
84. Tottori Sand Dunes
Spanning around 16 kilometers, these sand dunes are part of the Sanin Kaigan National Park and are Japan’s largest sand dunes.
85. Owakudani Thermal Spring
Not only does it offer sensational Mount Fuji views, but this active volcanic zone also lets you experience hot springs, sulfurous fumes and hot rivers.
86. Ise Jingu
Ise Jingu is often revered as the most sacred Shrinto Shrine in Japan and a historic wonder that dates back to the 3rd century.
87. Experience Karaoke
Sing your heart out while enjoying a couple of drinks at any of the numerous karaoke bars in Japan.
88. Ramen Museum
Opened in 1994, this museum is actually more of a food court devoted to the well-known Japanese ramen noodle soup.
89. Oya History Museum
Themed on the history of Oya stone, this Japan attraction was a mining site transformed into a museum featuring the long history of mining.
90. Alice in a Labyrinth Cafe
Experience fantasy and extraordinary dining at this fascinating “Alice in Wonderland” themed cafe in Tokyo.
91. Yunessun Wine Hot Spring
You can bathe in wine, tea or coffee at this “hot springs amusement park”.
92. Adachi Museum of Art
Founded in 1980 by Adachi Zenko, this outdoor museum brims with flowers and plants that look breathtaking in any season.
Built by Ikeda Tsunamasa in 1700, this Japanese garden is one of Japan’s Three Great Gardens, and famous for its awe-inspiring landscapes.
94. Byodoin Temple
From a Fujiwara villa, this attraction was converted in 1052 into a Buddhist temple, and is today a stunning example of Jodo (Buddhist Pure Land) architecture.
95. Hokan-ji Temple, Yasaka Tower
A picture-perfect five-story Buddhist pagoda temple, this Japan attraction offers magnificent sweeping vistas from the top.
96. Samurai Museum
With a sword battle experience and exhibits featuring swords and armor, it’s definitely a fun way to experience Japan’s samurai culture.
97. Maid Cafe
Step inside the fantasy-like world of Japan’s Maid Cafe and be pampered like royalty with servers dressed as cute maids.
98. Hammock Cafe
Cafe sofas are all nice and cushy, but there’s nothing quite like enjoying a cup of coffee while chilling in a hammock.
Located inside Expocity in Osaka, Nifrel is a unique kind of zoo where some of the animals roam in the building and visitors can see them up close.
100. Iga Ninja Town
Journey into this fascinating village and experience life as a ninja in one of the premier ninja schools in Japan in its heyday.
101. Uji Tea Gardens
Uji, nicknamed as “Town of Matcha”, is a picturesque town known as one of the largest tea-growing regions in Japan.
102. Rice Harvesting Experience
Rice harvesting is truly an important seasonal event, and one of the top things to do in Japan for those who are looking for offbeat experiences.
103. Kitano Settlements
With its gorgeous Western-style residences and buildings, Kitano is by far the ultimate sightseeing destination in Kobe, Japan.
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