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15+ Spectacular Things To Do In Japan

Japan is one of the few countries where tourists encounter a number of unusual things at every spot. The country hosts an amazing mix of tranquillity and modernity. Hence, visiting it would surely bring happiness and enthusiasm to your life. You have got robots serving at a restaurant and bamboo forests providing heavenly shades. Japan is unique in many ways and that’s the reason it is on the bucket list of millions of international travellers. If you are planning to explore the land of the rising sun, then read on to discover the top things to do in Japan.

Travel 101: Top Things To Do In Japan

1. Climb the Sacred Mountain Fuji

Top Things To Do In Japan - Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji in Japan isn’t just a mountain, it is one of the major icons of the country. The snow-laden mountain represents the state and has been a symbol of Japanese culture for a very long time now. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has an elevation of more than 3700 metres and is considered a holy site among the locals. Watch it coincide with the blue sky on clear days, thereby producing a heavenly frame. Mount Fuji has been one of the most depicted icons in photography, painting, and other art forms.

Recommended For: Photographers, Adventure Lovers

Location: Honshu Island, Japan

Entry Fee: $10 per person to enter the trail

($50 – $80 per climb including food and overnight accommodation)

Best Time To Visit: July to September

Pro Tip: If you are a photographer and desire to capture the best view of Mount Fuji, then head towards the Shin-Fuji Station.

2. Catch a Sumo Wrestling Show

Sumo wrestling is one of the foremost things that would strike your mind if you delve into the country’s culture. As it is a well-known sport in Japan, several tournaments take place every year. Watch wrestlers forcing their opponent out of the ring. Cheer up for your bet and have a great time relishing one of the oldest sports in the country.

Recommended For: Explorers

Location: Tokyo, Osaka, and Fukuoka

Entry Fee: $35 – $80 per person

Pro Tip: You can also visit the rings during the mornings before the tournament sessions to watch Sumo wrestlers practise and having fun.

3. A Harry Potter World at the Universal Studios

Universal Studios is one of the best places to visit in Japan if you are a Hollywood fan. This entertainment park is filled with a number of attractions and one of the most popular themed areas here include the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Come here and live the recreated world of Hogsmeade. Enjoy a number of Harry Potter rides including the Flight of the Hippogriff. Have total fun on a weekend as you feel yourself walk through Hogwarts Castle.

Recommended For: Kids, Families, Explorers

Location: Osaka, Japan

Entry Fee: $75 – $90 per person

Timings: 09:00 am to 7:00 pm

Pro Tip: As it is going to take quite some time inside the park, do not forget to carry along power bank in case your phone or camera battery runs out.

4. Hop On For a Bullet Train Ride

Top Things To Do In Japan - Bullet Train Ride

Whether you are in Japan for a day or an entire weekend, a bullet train ride is a must here. The Japanese high-speed rails are popular across the globe and that’s the reason every tourist looks forward to enjoying these super-fast rides. Get on the Shinkansen Line and travel between cities swiftly. One can take a bullet train from Tokyo to cities like Kyoto, Osaka, etc.

Recommended For: Explorers

Average Price: $50 (Between two major cities)

5. Learn about the Greatness of the Great Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle is one of the most popular Japan tourist attractions as it draws thousands of visitors every week. As the castle has played a significant role in the unification of the country during the late Medieval Period, it is of great cultural and historical importance. Visit it and explore its marvellous architecture. The castle overlooks a huge moat and the sparkling settlements of Osaka.

Recommended For: History Lovers, Photographers

Location: Osaka, Japan

Entry Fee: $5.80 per person (Free for Junior high school students)

Timings: 09:00 am to 05:00 pm

6. Explore the Nightlife of Tokyo

Top Things To Do In Japan - Tokyo City

Tokyo is a perfect place for couples, youngsters, and night owls to explore the party scene in the country. The pubs and bars in Tokyo remain as lively as ever and hence, visiting them would surely fill your weekend with excitement and fun. The crowd in the city gets enthusiastic with the dusk and remains active till dawn. People party throughout the night at the various clubs and dance their worries away.

Recommended For: Party Lovers, Couples

Location: Shinjuku City, Minato City, Shibuya, and more

Average Price: $50 – $80 per person

Timings: 08:00 pm to 02:00 am

Pro Tip: Roppongi is the best place for tourists to explore the nightlife in Tokyo.

7. Attend the Mesmerising Cherry Blossom Festival

Top Things To Do In Japan - Cherry Blossom festival

Undoubtedly, one of the best things to see in Japan! Locally known as the Hanami Festival, the Cherry Blossom Festival is dedicated to the two weeks of the spring season when Sakura and Ume flowers bloom all over the regions of Japan. People flock to the gardens in the country to enjoy an evening of food, drinks, and music under the gorgeous cherry trees. So, visit Japan and celebrate the view of the delicate pink flowers.

Recommended For: Explorers, Photographers

Location: Across the country

Pro Tip: Visit Japan during the months of March and April to watch the festival in its full glory.

8. Take a Weekend Trip to Arashiyama

Located at about a few km from Kyoto, Arashiyama is one of the best resorts to visit in Japan. The place boasts of incredible scenery. Arashiyama is a land of nature and heritage and hence, exploring it is definitely one of the best things to do in Kyoto. Take a walk through the trails of bamboo forest or just sit by the lake and enjoy picturesque views. Other main attractions of Arashiyama are the famous Togetsukyo Bridge, boating in the Oigawa river, temples like Tenryuji, goji and Nenbutsuji.

Recommended For: Nature Lovers, Families, Couples, Photographers

Location: Kyoto, Japan

Entry Fee: $5 per person

Timings: 09:00 am to 05:00 pm

Pro Tip: Hire a bicycle for about $10 and explore the district at your own pace.

9. Explore the Grandeur of Nijo Castle

Nijo Palace was the residence of Kyoto’s first military dictator of the Edo period and was built in the early 17th Century. It is the only palace in Japan to have been built at the ground level. The castle grounds are blessed with charming lush gardens and are surrounded by sturdy stone walls and moats for defense. The castle has a huge landscape of garden consisting of Sakura, maple and ginkgo trees. One of the things to do in Japan in November is to walk around these beautiful gardens to enjoy the fall colors.

Recommended For: History Lovers, Photographers

Location: Kyoto, Japan

Entry Fee: $5.80 per person (Additional $3.90 per person Ninomaru Palace)

Timings: 08:00 am to 04:00 pm

10. Visit the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum

If you have ever been a student of history, then you must be aware of the fact that Japan was hit by a nuclear bomb during World War II. And it was the only country in the world to receive such as fate. The Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum documents the entire history of this tragic incident. It was built to honour those who lost their lives during the bombing and to let people understand what happened in the course of history. So, visit it and walk down the history lane.

Recommended For: History Lovers, Students

Location: Nagasaki, Japan

Entry Fee: $2 per person

Timings: 08:30 am to 05:30 pm

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11. Learn Ninja Techniques at the Ninja Museum

Top Things To Do In Japan - Ninja Museum

The Ninja Museum in Igyaru is a village museum that allows visitors to experience the art of stealth mastered by the Japanese in the medieval times. The guided tour takes one around the premises where the deception of the hallways and weapons to the naked eye can be witnessed. An exhibition hall in the museum displays the costumes and weapons of ninjas. One can even try a hand at learning the art for themselves making it one of the adventurous things to do in Japan.

Recommended For: Explorers

Location: Iga-shi, Japan

Entry Fee: $13 per person

Timings: 09:00 am to 05:00 pm

Pro Tip: Do shop at the gift shop attached to the museum and buy rare ninja souvenirs.

12. Enjoy the Traditional Kabuki Dance


The traditional art form of Japan, Kabuki is more of a dramatized stage play rather than a dance form. Historical events and other well-known stories are always depicted in this art form. The Kabuki performance is enhanced by the live music played using traditional musical instruments. This dance form is designed in the Kabukiza theatre and two performances take place every day. For a few extra bucks, you can get the guides with English subtitles.

Recommended For: Culture Explorers, History Lovers

Location: Osaka, Japan

Price Range: $5 – $30 per person

13. Be at The Famous Shibuya Crossing

Top Things To Do In Japan - Shibuya crossing

Making a time-lapse of people crossing the famous Shibuya Street is definitely one of the most popular things to do in Japan amongst international travellers. Visit this chaotic yet beautiful place, capture its marvel and post colourful pictures on Instagram. The place is quite fascinating to watch as thousands of people cross streets at the same time. No wonder it is the busiest crossing in the world.

Recommended For: Photographers, Culture Explorers

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Pro Tip: The best time to visit Shibuya Crossing is between 07:00 am and 09:30 am to capture photos and videos.

14. Lose Yourself to the Vibes of Ise Grand Shrine

Located in the heart of a sacred forest, Ise Grand Shrine is dedicated to the sun goddess. Also known as Ise Jingu, this Shrine complex blankets numerous Shinto shrines centered on two main shrines, Naiku and Geku. The interesting fact about this place of worship is that there are no nails used in the construction of any of the shrine buildings. Instead, solid cypress wood is used in the construction of these buildings and joined wood is used instead of nails.

Recommended For: Culture Explorers, Photographers

Location: Ise, Japan

Timings: 05:00 am to 06:00 pm

15. A Traditional Tea Ceremony Awaits

Tea is one of the most significant parts of the Japanese Culture and no wonder there is an entire ceremony dedicated to the beverage. The tourists can learn the art and tradition of tea ceremony wherein they are taken through a ritual, learn appropriate phrases, appreciate tea bowl and most importantly, learn the concept of ichi-go-ichi-e i.e., living the moment. It is definitely one of the most unique things to do in Japan.

Recommended For: Culture Explorers

Location: Golden Temple Kyoto, Japan

Average Price: $20 per person

16. Savour Authentic Japanese Cuisine

Top Things To Do In Japan - Sushi

The traditional Japanese cuisine is mainly based on rice, fish, and a few seasonal vegetables. Noodles, Sushi and rice balls are some of the delicacies that are famous around the world. Though these dishes can be savoured in every major country, their taste in the homeland is extraordinary. Walk through the food streets of Tokyo and Osaka and find the foodie soul being charmed by different aromas mixed in the air.

Recommended For: Foodies, Culture Explorers

Average Price: $8- $15 per person at an above average restaurant

Pro Tip: If you are in Tokyo, then consider visiting Ginza as it is one of the best places in Japan to relish sushi.

Also Read: 15 World’s Best Places To Visit With Family

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