What are the top 10 experiences not to miss in Japan? This amazing country offers so much to see and do, it’s hard to know exactly what’s not to be missed.
Luckily, our local travel experts have insider knowledge of the country’s top attractions, so we’ve compiled an infographic of 10 experiences in Japan you definitely shouldn’t miss.
Whether you like picturesque mountain towns, shopping for gadgets or delving into the history of the geisha, there is an unmissable experience in Japan just for you.
10 Not-to-Miss Japan Experiences
More details about our 10 not-to-miss Japan experiences
Experience #1 – Ride bullet train
Make sure you the have original high-speed bullet train experience with a ride on the Shinkansen. These super efficient, super-fast trains are definitely not your average commute. Whiz through the picturesque Japanese countryside at 320 km/h.
Experience #2 – Drink in the views of Takayama
Get your camera ready for this one – Takayama is an unbelievably pretty mountain village of Edo-period merchants’ houses dating back to the 1600s. Located in the ‘Japanese Alps’, this little town is a must-see for its sheer scenic beauty.
Experience #3 – Stay in a ryokan and dip into an onsen
A ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn, where you can stay in a private tatami mat rooms and sleep on a futon. A key feature of the ryokan is the hot spring bath – the onsen. Relax in the style of Japanese wayfarers immemorial.
Experience #4 – See history in Kyoto’s incredible array of UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Kyoto is Japan’s former imperial capital, so it stands to reason that there’s much history to be found. In UNESCO terms, it is home to 17 World Heritage Sites, which is more than anywhere else on the planet. See Japan’s spiritual and cultural heritage in its ancient castles, temples and shrines.
Experience #5 – Visit an icon – Miyajima Island and the red torii gate
You’ve seen it in movies or online, but it’s much better in real life – Miyajima’s Itsukushima Shrine is the iconic ‘floating’ torii (‘gate’ in Japanese). Torii are all over Japan, but here are none as famous as this one.
Experience #6 – See a geisha performance
Trained in classical music, dance, games and more, the modern geisha performance is a rare, one-of-a-kind experience. No cultural Japanese trip is complete without taking in an authentic geisha performance.
Experience #7 – Go, go, gadgets in Akihabara, Tokyo
Imagine store after store jammed to the rafters with gadgets – cameras, phones, games, computers, robots, drones – that’s Akihabara. Affectionately known in Tokyo as Akiba, this neighborhood is home to a mind-boggling array of electronics. Also home to anime and manga shops and some eye-catching cosplay cafés.
Experience #8 – Discover ancient Kamakura
Kamakura was Japan’s capital from 1192 to 1333, and today this scenic seaside city provides a the best glimpse you could ask for at the country’s feudal past. Mountains, beaches, shrines, temples, forests – Kamakura is a resort town with historic clout.
Experience #9 – Taste Tokyo
Hot, steaming bowls of ramen, spicy katsu curry, Michelin-starred sushi, BBQ meat on a skewer from your local izakaya – sampling all the must-eat food on offer in Tokyo is enough to keep you busy for a whole trip.
Experience #10 – Learn the ‘Way of Tea’
If you’re interested in Japanese culture, this must-have experience highlights not only the importance of the brew in Japanese culture but teaches you the concept of wabi-sabi, the beauty of impermanence/imperfection.
3 insider recommendations
#1 – Explore the arts
Get into the eclectic array of arts Japan offers. Sumo wrestling, sake tasting, contemporary art, antiques, Japanese calligraphy, zen gardens, even Buddhist meditation – dive into hands-on cultural experiences to give yourself a uniquely memorable time in Japan.
#2 – Robot Restaurant
If you’ve always wanted to say domo arigato, Mr Roboto, here’s your chance. Shinjuku in Tokyo is home to the Robot Restaurant where you can have a truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience watching robots battling it out on stage and bikini-clad hype dancers cheering them on. Is it touristy? Yes, but it’s fantastic fun!
#3 – Draw Manga
Manga is one of Japan’s most popular modern exports and you can learn how to draw in this distinctive style by joining a workshop – no previous experience required.
From its ancient capitals to its modern metropolises, Japan offers a new discovery around every bend. Armed with insider knowledge from our Travel Specialists, you can now create a custom holiday full of Japanese experiences not to be missed. If you feel inspired to plan a Japan trip, choose your ideal tour and contact Backyard Travel today!