What to do in Japan

Top 10 things to do in Japan. Hello all boys! Today we will see the top 10 things do Japan. So you know what to do when you want to go!

Japan with its traditional dichotomy – modernity fascinates all Westerners but often in a journey you can not learn the true essence of Japan.

It would take years of travel and study to fully understand what the culture of the Japanese people is.

In this article I would like to help you in choosing the things not to be missed on a trip to Japan, in order to live your experience in the Rising Sun as fully as possible.

Here are the ten things to do absolutely in Japan, not necessarily in that order:

1. ATTENDING A MATSURI

Top 10 things to do in Japan

The numerous Matsuri, or Japanese festivals (usually Shinto festivals) can be found in all cities of Japan and are very frequent as they mark the various changes in the climate, or pay homage to a historical, cultural anniversary or may indicate a rite of passage (such as the age of majority) or may represent a popular or Shinto belief.

These are always colorful and cheerful festivals that invade the city and involve many people. Often during matsuri days you will find in the city stalls of typical food and sweets that invade the streets in celebration with their delicious scent.

Being in Japan during a matsuri can really enrich your trip and make it unforgettable, while you will immerse yourself in Japanese culture at 360°.
Needless to say, many tourists rush to book hotels for these occasions, so my advice is to book months in advance if you plan a trip to Japan at a matsuri.

2. SLEEPING IN A RYOKAN

Top 10 things to do in Japan

The Ryokan are traditional Japanese hotels, where rooms with tatami floors have a small table in the center where to eat sitting on a pillow and where the futon, the Japanese bed that is placed on the tatami at night (by the waitress) is stored in the closet.

There are several categories of Ryokan, in the luxury ones they also serve half board, but the most affordable ones are often hotels with both western and traditional rooms and serve breakfast to the fullest. That doesn't mean you won't experience an authentic experience anyway, it just means you'll have less luxuries and the choice depends on your budget.

There are also onsen Ryokan, ryokans with their own private onsen (spa) available to customers. It is usually a structure in the middle of nature, not very close to the stations and I recommend it to those who want to spend a night in total relaxation, but it is not advisable to stay overnight every day of staying in Japan. Often in the Ryokan bathrooms are shared, so if it's a problem for you, check the conditions well before booking.

Kaiseki Ryokan, on the other hand, are suitable for those on a high budget and want to try an even more complete experience. In fact, these luxury ryokan serve typical Kaiseki cuisine, that is, a top-notch cuisine that stands out in particular for how it is presented. The dishes are arranged on the table impeccably, as if it were a work of art.

Some ideal places to stay in a Ryokan are Kyoto, the Japanese Alps and Kinosaki.

This is a list made by me with the best Ryokan in Kyoto (or read the page about where to sleep in Kyoto), while here the best Ryokan in the Japanese Alps and Kinosaki.

3. SEE MT. FUJI

Top 10 things to do in Japan

Mount Fuji is not just any mountain, it is the highest peak in Japan (3776 m) that the Japanese consider sacred.

The climb is divided into 10 stations or stops and up to the fifth station it is possible to arrive by bus, then those who want can continue on foot to the summit.

Those planning to admire the view and take beautiful photographs, can reach the fifth Kawaguchiko station, at 2305 meters high, and then go back by bus.

I recommend a tour that includes a/r from Tokyo, cruise on Lake Ashi and cable car ride over Hakone Park.You can book from this link.

Those who want to climb Fuji-san usually do so by pilgrimage or to see the sunrise from the top, which they say is a beautiful sight. The climb itself is within reach of almost everyone (with healthy physical conditions) but still from the fifth station it will take about 6 hours to the summit and is not recommended for those suffering from vertigo; the descent instead takes about 3 hours.

Usually you start the climb in the afternoon and then rest in a shelter of the eighth station and continue the climb at the first light of dawn.

The seasons for the climb are July and August, while in the other periods it is not recommended due to the possible snowfall and the fact that the refractions are closed.

Keep in mind that for the climb you will have to cover yourself very well as even in the middle of summer the temperatures in the early morning can reach zero.

A Japanese saying reads: "Whoever climbs Mount Fuji once in a lifetime is an essay, who climbs it twice is a fool."

4. GOING TO A MAID CAFE

Top 10 things to do in Japan

Entering one of these particular cafes is definitely an all-Japanese experience to try.
These premises are mainly located in Akihabara and the waitresses, wearing a Victorian style dress, are there to serve the customer in all and everything thus impersonating the role of the devout "maid" who will not fail to surprise you with a few touches of "magic", also thanks to the atmosphere of the indoor environment, which seems almost fairy.

You pay for admission by the hour and you can order food and drink. Girls don't worry, there's the male version too! Go to butler cafés where waiters are there to make you feel like princesses.Find out more.

5. ATTENDING A SUMO MEETING

Top 10 things to do in Japan

Sumo is Japan's national sport and I'm sure that witnessing in person a meeting of this particular hand-to-hand fight, dating back to the 6th century, will be an adventure to tell.

So-called hon-basho, i.e. Sumo Tournaments, are held only in odd months, six times a year and last 15 days. Tokyo is the home of a meeting in January, May and September, while in Osaka in March, Nagoya in July and Fukuoka in November.

Sumo meetings in Tokyo are held at Ryogoku Kokugikan and to get there, from Yoyogi Station take the JR Sobu Line and get off at Ryogoku Station.

In Osaka, meetings take place at the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium, near Nanba Station, and in Nagoya at the Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium near Shiyakusho Station.
In Fukuoka, tournaments are held at the Fukuoka Kokusai Center, about 13 minutes from Gofukumachi Station.

The times: Low category at 10:30 – average category at 14:20 and strong category
15:45I recommend going around 14:30 – 15:00 because the low categories are a bit boring, the strong categories are certainly more engaging.

6. GOING TO AN ONSEN

- Top 10 things to do in Japan Onsen in Japan

Onsen means "hot spring" and Japan has over 3000 of them throughout the country. The Japanese tradition of bathing has very ancient origins and has an almost sacred meaning.

After a day's work, the ideal for Japanese people is to dive into a hot tub to relax, better if it is a hot spring, which has even more beneficial effects on body and mind.

The tubs are divided into men and women, so couples have to separate for the bathroom. Mixed tanks are located in remote parts of Japan or at the private Onsens of some Ryokans.

The rules are simple: once you enter, you will have to wash very well with soap and rinse yourself just as scrupulously before soaking in the tub.

You will have a small towel to cover the intimate parts en route to the tanks. You don't have to dip the towel, but leave it out. Everything that enters the tanks is considered dirty, that is why it is also forbidden to put on your costume.

Access to onsen is usually forbidden to tattoo users, to prevent Yakuza members (distinguishable for their tattoos) from attending the Onsen. Therefore, if you have a small one you can cover it with a patch, otherwise ask at the entrance if you can enter anyway.

If you only visit Tokyo, you can go for example to the Oedo Onsen Monogatari located in Odaiba. Take the Yurikamome and get off at the Telecom Center stop, the spa is just a stone's throw away.

In Kyoto I recommend kurama onsen (where you can also stay overnight in Ryokan), about half an hour by bus from central Kyoto, while to those who want to spend the whole day relaxing, I recommend Kinosaki, a spa town in Kansai that can be reached from Kyoto and Osaka in a couple of hours with the Japan Rail pass.

7. WATCH A GEISHA/MAIKO SHOW

Top 10 things to do in Japan - 
 Geisha show in Japan

Geisha is one of many images that make us think of Japan, as it represents the embodiment of Japanese beauty and art, with precious kimonos, elegant gestures and traditional dances.

The geisha is in fact an artist with different skills (singing, musical, conversational, etc.) and its task is to entertain customers during evenings in tea rooms, called ochaya.

Although this figure has been controversial in the past, today the information on geishas is clearer and it is well known that they have nothing to do with prostitution.

Common place that spread in the West at the time of the American occupation in Japan, perhaps because of language barriers and cultural diversity.

An important stage is reached by becoming Maiko (geisha apprentice), usually between the age of 15 and 20, before properly becoming a geisha.

In Kyoto you can watch maiko shows, through organized tours or if you are lucky enough to be in the city in April you can see public appearances as geiks and maiko perform in Gion (kyoto's geiko district) for miyako odori, the cherry dance. Performances are held at the Kaburenjo Theater and the cheapest ticket costs 2500 yen, to be booked online on the official website of the event.

8. ATTENDING A TEA CEREMONY

Top 10 Things to Do in Japan - Tea Ceremony in Japan

One of the arts that must learn a maiko and a geisha is the tea ceremony, called cha-no-yu ().

A very ancient ritual that represents one of the highest Zen aesthetic expressions. This ceremony is based on four principles, defined by the Zen Buddhist monk who codified chanoyu, Sen no Rikiū, namely: harmony (wa), respect (kei), purity (six), tranquility (jaku).

The purpose of this ceremony, therefore, is to create a place where everyone feels comfortable, serene and far from worries; a hospitable and meditative place where every movement has a precise purpose and every tool used must be functional, everything is chosen with extreme attention to detail.

The tea used in this ceremony is matcha, a very valuable type of green tea.You can book here.

9. GOING TO A NEKO CAFE

Top 10 things to do in Japan- Neko café in Japan

If you are nostalgic for your animals left at home or simply if you love cats and you get a sudden desire to pamper some of them.

You can go to a Neko Café (or Japanese neko kissa), where a feline colony awaits you in one of these many cafés dotted around Japan.

The cats here are clean and vaccinated and will keep you company while you drink coffee or eat a slice of cake and there are rules to be respected.

10. GOING TO A LOVE HOTEL

Top 10 Things to Do in Japan - Going to a Love Hotel in Japan

Confidentiality is well known in Japan, but contrary to what is thought, the Japanese are not cold despite the fact that it is not polite in public to show outpourings.

Love hotels, typical Japanese hotels that can be simple or themed.

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Photographer, social media manager, close to master's degree. I wanted to open this blog out of a pure passion for travel, places and little stories.

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