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Chose a Faire Japon
January 19, 2020

Top 25 Must-Do Things in Japan!

9 min read

Of Mount Fuji relaxing in an onsen, Japan is full of amazing activities. We believe that the locals know better than anyone what is going on in their homeland and how to live in Japan. This is why we asked the Japanese about 25 things to do in Japan . Don't miss the opportunity, come and discover Japan with us in this tailor-made trip!

1) Cuddly baby foxes in Zao village


We start with a unique activity that exists in Japan. Wildlife sanctuary in the north, the Zao village is home to non-domesticated foxes ( kitsune ). These adorable creatures circle around visitors, some of the more curious foxes will wander close enough to observe you. For just 1,000 yen (around € 8), visitors can walk with foxes in the park. Best of all, visitors over 12 can hold and pet baby foxes!

Tip: Plan a visit in winter to experience the softness of fox coats!

Are you intrigued by these wild foxes? Follow this link to learn more about Kitsunes !

2) Dine in the future at Restaurant Robot in Tokyo

Restaurant Robot

the Tokyo Robot Restaurant features gigantic robots, powerful music and laser shows, if this is the future, we're all in it! Women in glittering bikinis lead crawling robots while dodging lasers in a spectacular dinner party. If Restaurant Robot sounds like a sensory overload and even if the Japan is very family friendly, this fun dinner with robots is best for adults.

3) Become a real Mario Kart champion in the streets of Tokyo

Mario Kart

You might have been a pro on Koopa Beach (or even Rainbow Road), but it's in this hellish race of Mario kart in Tokyo that you will have to prove yourself and assert your domination. Unfortunately, drivers cannot throw exploding turtles, but they can still push their car at around 80 km / h while wearing the costumes of their favorite characters in the Japanese megalopolis . Technically, it's more of a lap than a race, it's still your chance to experience the glory of the game.

4) devour wild boar ramen


For any newcomer, it will be important to go to the famous bar Franco-Japanese "Noon". Ramen, that bowl of noodles and meat will always be an extremely comforting dish after a tiring day. Whether you are in an isolated village or in the heart of the Japanese capital, it's a safe bet that there will be ramen and that the wild boar ( inoshishi ) will be on the menu. For the love of your taste buds, do not miss this gourmet dish!

Tip: Order an accompaniment of gyoza to go with your ramen, it will take your dining experience to a whole new level.

5) See professional female divers snorkel pearl hunting

Plongeuse Professionnelle

On Mikimoto Pearl Island, snorkeling for pearls is a ancient tradition in Japan , where professional divers ( ama uminchu ) explore the ocean without scuba gear. Trained from an early age, most ama are women who continue to dive regularly. During a diving tour at Mikimoto , you can see the incredible athleticism and determination of the Amazon, who dives more than 25 meters under the waves.

6) Soak in an outdoor hot spring

Source Chaude

That you go to a onsen (public bath) or a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn), none japanese experience isn't complete without a long, relaxed swim in your birthday suit. Places like Amagi Yugashima Onsen are known around the world for their ocean and mountain views, but you can also enjoy the hot springs in the heart of Kyoto . Keep in mind that in some baths it is forbidden to have tattoos.

7) Raid on the hyaku yen (100 yen) store for eccentric gifts

Hyaku Yen

The equivalent of 99-cent stores, stores hyaku yen are hidden gems located in almost every cities of japan . Indeed, the stores hyaku yen are treasures for all the must-haves, nothing like buying in Japan. Eccentric, practical products kawaii (super cute). Like for example the Hello Kitty dessert forks, porcelain tea cups, bubble stickers, all for 100 yen!

Be on your guard though, no one can get into a 100 store yen and buy only one or two things.

8) see legendary sumo wrestlers


With a lot of wrestlers from sumo weighing over 200kg, to say that sumos are heavyweights is an understatement. As part of an ancient Shinto ritual to entertain the gods, sumo demands insane strength and focus. The annual sumo tournaments of Japan ( basho ) only take place six times a year, but seeing these amazing athletes in person is 100% worth it!

9) Sleep in a famous "capsule hotel"

Hotel Capsule

A "bedroom" the size of a bed that you slept in as a child, the Japanese hotels capsules look like an invention straight out of a sci-fi movie. It's a great way to save big money japanese cities , your personal capsule has a bed, lights ... and yes, that's about it. With styles ranging from rustic country bunk beds to compartments with automatic doors, this is a very unique way to sleep in Japan on a budget. Perfect for staying in the most complete change of scenery!

10) Celebrate as it should, through Japanese festivals

Festival Japonais

With nearly 200,000 Japanese festivals ( matsuri ) that take place all year round, you can have a busy party schedule anywhere and anytime when you visit Japan. For a romantic winter evening under hundreds of fireworks and lanterns, don't miss the enchanting festival Chichibu ; or, if summer nights are more your type, head to the Aomori Nebuta Matsuri , where hundreds of mythological creatures from the Japanese culture parade through the streets.

11) Become an anime expert at the Studio Ghibli Museum

Musee Studio Ghibli

Japan is a treasure trove of animation, but the Studio Ghibli holds a special place in the Japanese (and world) hall of cinema fame. Under the leadership of the legendary Hayao miyazaki , Studio Ghibli classics like "Spirited Away" and "My Neighbor Totoro" provide fantastic insight into the Japanese culture . The museum gives you a unique place at the forefront of Miyazaki's infinite imagination. The Japanese call it the "Where Ghibli Films Come to Life" museum.

12) Negotiate at Nishiki Market, aka "The Kitchen of Kyoto"

Marche de Nishiki

Known as "Kyoto Cuisine", Nishiki Market is a hidden gem where local cooks and restaurants get some of the best catches and products from japan . Like tuna and salmon, for example, with delicacies like tako tamago, a quail egg wrapped in octopus.

Although this market of Kyoto or about as long as two blocks, the jam-packed stalls offer all the ingredients you could possibly need for a washoku ( Japanese cuisine ) perfect. Locals recommend watching out for sweets, pickles, dried seafood, and (of course) Japanese sushi.

13) Spend the night in a Buddhist temple

Temple Bouddhiste

Buddhism occupies an important place in the Japanese mentality. Temple accommodation, or shukubō , are perfect for pilgrims and travelers curious who only spend one night in their life. Although visitors should always respect the sacred space of the temple, the monks strongly encourage travelers to participate in the activities of the temple like prayer and meditation. Few temples offer such accommodation, but with prices of just 40-80 € per night, make room in your japanese route for that night is easy and relatively affordable.

14) Channel your inner adventurer in the temples of Mount Koya

Mont Koya

Sacred pilgrimage site of buddhists Shingon , visitors to the Sacred Mount Koya enjoy the tranquility and solitude of the forest, before heading to the temple Torodo , where a huge mirror corridor reflects thousands of lanterns. Hundreds of shrines covered with moss and meditating monks are also the starting point of the pilgrimage route of Kumano Kodo , one of the most beautiful adventures in Japan.

15) eat sushi straight from a conveyor belt

Sushi Tapis Roulant

the sushi in Japan brings a whole new meaning to "taking your taste buds on a journey". Simply magical, sushi conveyor belts are found everywhere in Japan in restaurants Kaitenzushi , and with a paid plate order, you will leave with a full stomach. For the adventurous, the locals recommend you try the kani miso sushi , made from crab meat. Once you are full, move on to sushi conveyor belt at sunset.

16) stroll through the flower tunnels of Kitakyushu

Jardin Kawashi Fuji

Look at the world upside down in the tunnels of wisteria and other cherry blossom trees Kitakyushu , where the brilliant purple, pink and lavender flowers drift lazily from the ceiling. This garden of Country of the rising sun seriously looks like a creation straight from the pages of Alice in Wonderland. Combining the love of nature and the elegance of Japan, the Kawachi Fuji Garden is most vibrant from April to May.

17) marvel at the firefly squid in Toyama Bay

Calmar Luciole

Board a boat to the bay of Toyama and join the cephalopod team! During the day, the mysterious firefly ( Hotaru Ika ) dives deep into the ocean, only resurfaces at night to mate. Dazzling electric blue, the firefly appears during the season from March to June). Admire the blue of the other world, then go to the museum Hotaru Ika to enjoy sushi or sweets at the squid firefly .

18) Hunt for the best views of Mount Fuji

Mont Fuji

If you don't wanna fight the crowd for a pic of Fuji-san with no one inside, why not go deeper into the heart of Japan to see less touristy views of the Japanese sacred mountain ? That you prefer the crashing waves of Kumomi kaigan or the serene waters of the lake Tanukiko , there are countless possibilities to experience the rugged beauty of the Mount Fuji . Best of all, these views are easily accessible from the picturesque Shizuoka , one of the best places to visit in Japan according to its millions of people.

If you want to know more about places to see in the land of the rising sun, we have a blog post on 11 most beautiful places to visit in Japan .

19) see a bamboo forest in the heart of Kyoto

Foret Bambou Tokyo

With its hundreds of bamboo groves and dozens of temples and shrines (built in the bamboo labyrinth to ward off evil), the serene bamboo forest of Sagano is far from the urban bustle of Kyoto .

Several dozen feet high, the bamboo stems make a soothing rustle, so appreciated by the inhabitants, that it is one of the most beautiful soundscapes of japan . Even with the crowds of tourists, it's easy to let your mind wander with the chants of the monks in the area.

20) Catch Them All At Japan's Mega Pokémon Center

Centre Pokemon Japon

At the mega Japan Pokemon Center , in downtown Tokyo, it's time to relive your childhood fantasies and return to the world of Pokemon! This is the perfect place for shopping, with plush toys Pikachu cute and rare Pokemon accessories. It is not a simple detail to choose your Pokémon to transport it in your japanese travel (just in case someone challenges you to a fight!).

21) travel to Sapporo with quality sake and local beer

Sake Sapporo

Renowned for its almost mythical proportions, the sake based on rice has been brewed in Japan for nearly 3,000 years, increasingly approaching perfection in the breweries of Sapporo . With nearly 1,500 sake distilleries in Japan, you can choose from world-famous flavors.

Sapporo is also known for its japanese beer ! Locals recommend making a beer festival a part of your itinerary at Sapporo, if you are around in the summer. the Sapporo Craft Beer Museum takes place in July and comes highly recommended by our Japanese tour operators. Kanpai!

22) Zoom in on a high speed train through the mountains

Tgv Japon

In Japan, the Shinkansen , or "bullet train," can reach 285 km per hour, which is quite convenient for getting to major Japanese cities quickly. It walks past the snow-capped and wooded hills of Japan, with the line Tokaido Shinkansen which brings you directly to the sight of Mount Fuji , something you really have to see for yourself.

Tip: To get a clear view of Fuji-san, sit on the right side of the train if you are heading south and on the left side if you are going to Tokyo .

23) spend a sleepless night on a guided ghost tour in Tokyo

Lieu Hante Japon

From small street shrines to massive temples, the Japanese capital is filled to the brim with ancient reminders of his spiritual heritage. Screw your courage to the point of no return and meet local paranormal legends on a guided tour of ghosts like the Haunted Tower of Tokyo . For a truly sinister experience head to the haunted cemetery of Aoyama during the season of Obon , during which the dead can more easily pass into the realm of the living.

In the dark Japanese nights, you will probably need warm clothes. Discover our collection of japanese jacket !

24) See the "Mouth of Hell" at Mount Osore

Mont Osore

Incredibly surreal, the rocky outcrops of Mountain Osore form a labyrinth of sacred volcanic springs that bubble with yellow and red with high sulfur content. Open only May through October, this day trip is perfect for intrepid adventurers looking to get off the beaten track in Japan. It is particularly impressive during the Osorezan Taisai , a summer festival where blind mediums channel the spirits of the dead near this japanese volcano .

Here is more information about the Mount Osore , if you are ever interested!

25) Visit a Shinto shrine and make a wish

Sanctuaire Shintoiste

A well-known feature of Shinto shrines across Japan, thousands of small wooden blocks ( ema ) are hung from fences and walls. Visitors from around the world are invited to make an offering and write a prayer or wish on a ema , which are seen by spirits, or kami (god) . With so many amazing things to do in Japan, this is a unique opportunity to reflect on your japanese adventures (and wish to come back soon).

Tip: If you are at Osaka , locals note that you won't find as many shrines as Kyoto or the capital of Japan, but if you head to Tachibana-dori (Rue Orange), you will find some very beautiful ones.

Going to Japan is probably a dream for you, don't hesitate to tell us if this ranking has helped you discover Japanese culture and if you want to make your first trip there more than ever!

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