Things To Do In Japan
If you’re looking for some fun and whacky things to do in Japan, this blog is for you! I’m going to show you what to do in Tokyo, Osaka and the rest of Japan to make your trip absolutely amazing!
10 Awesome Things to do in Japan:
- Visit the Robot Restaurant
- Drive in a Real Life Mario Kart Race
- Ride a Bullet Train at over 320km per hour!
- Take part in a traditional Tea Ceremony
- Go to Ninja School!
- Sleep in a pod hotel
- Book onto a Japanese Cooking Class
- Explore some Ancient Temples
- Have coffee with dogs & eat rainbow candy floss in Harujuku!
- Stay in a traditional Ryokan…and bath naked in an onsen!
The Robot Restaurant
You can’t come to Tokyo and not visit the weird and wonderful world of the Robot Restaurant in Skinjuku! I don’t really know how to describe this one apart from saying that it HAS TO make your list of things to do in Japan!
Enjoy a drink or a yummy bento box and settle down for the most colourful and confusing show of your life!
How Much is The Robot Restaurant in Tokyo:
You can get a ticket for around £38 per person from Klook with priority access
Each show is 2 hours long and time slots start from 12:30pm-9pm every day!
BOOK YOUR TICKETS HERE
Mario Kart Racing
Another whacky thing for your to do list when you visit Japan is real life Mario Kart Racing! Dressed up in character onesies and take to the streets of Tokyo in your very own go kart!
How Much is Mario Kart Racing in Japan:
£22 per person on Klook for a 1 hour session in Akihabara, Tokyo.
Don’t forget to bring your international drivers license!
BOOK YOUR TICKETS HERE
Not only are bullet trains super fun to ride, they’re also one of the quickest ways to get around Japan. By booking a JR Rail Pass you can save a lot of money travelling around Japan which means even more money left over for ramen!
The bullet trains are smooth, clean, comfortable and a complete joy to travel on. Not to mention the best way to travel from city to city and cram as much as possible into your trip. Don’t they look so cool?!
7, 14 or 21 day passes available from £221
It’s not possible to buy a JR Rail Pass in Japan – you must purchase your pass before you leave.
Buy Your JR Rail Pass Here
Book a Traditional Tea Ceremony
One of the most wonderful things we did in Japan was a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony. They dressed us up in full kimono and even did my hair before the ceremony with our guide. We’d booked in for a group ceremony with Maiko in Osaka but ended up being the only ones there which was amazing!
In the tea ceremony your guide will show you the correct etiquette, teach you about the traditions and the tea itself. Its an incredibly calming and reflective experience and gives a true insight into one of Japan’s beautiful traditions.
After the ceremony we were then able to take photos in our kimonos which is an experience not to be missed.
How Much is a Tea Ceremony in Japan:
£45 per person with Klook for a private ceremony in multiple locations
BOOK YOUR TICKETS HERE
Become a Ninja For The Day!
Ever wanted to be a ninja? Well now you can at the Ninja Dojo and Store in Kyoto! Learn Ninja meditation, Ninja breathing and Ninja walking alongside trap doors in a nija trick house! Train with Ninja sword techniques, throw Ninja star’s and Fire Blow Darts!
How Much is Ninja School
A 1 hour class starts from around £58 and it’s SO worth it!
BOOK YOUR TICKETS HERE
A Great Pod Hotel for Couples
Pod hotels are a Japanese space saving dream! Each pod is the size of a single bed and completely enclosed for you to sleep in. A pod usually contains a fan/air con a valuables locker, a night light and that’s it! Close the door or curtain and you’re in for the night.
With shared bathrooms like a hostel, luggage lockers and split gender floors, they can not only be a good purse friendly accommodation option, but they can be fun too!
We really wanted to stay in a pod hotel during our trip just to see what they were like but it was hard to find one with mixed gender floors so my boyfriend and I could be next to one another. In the end we found Hotel Zen which was absolutely lovely.
I found it so snug for the night and got a great night’s sleep with the free earplugs they provide. The shower rooms were also spotless with curling tongs, straighteners, Japanese skincare and more all free to use!
Japanese Cooking Class
We loved our Tokyo cooking class so much I wrote a whole blog post all about it! We found a Gyoza cooking class on Air Kitchen that turned out to be one of the best things we did during our time in Japan.
If you’re a foodie heading to Japan and you love to cook, this experience is for you! Read all about it here and take a look at our video too…yes, we made all that food ourselves – such professionals ey!
Ancient Temples You Must See
Temples are a huge pull for anyone visiting Japan…and they’re everywhere! You don’t need to go hiking up a mountain to find a stunning Japanese temple (although you can if you like!) they’re right there in the city.
The Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyoto is probably one of the most famous (or insta-famous) of the temples in Japan. You may know it as the red gate temple. It’s a stunning site to visit and is free to enter. Just be aware that a hike to the very top could take as long as 3 hours, so maybe save this one for a cooler day and wear comfy shoes!
Another site to see is the Sensoji Temple in Asakusa – Tokyo’s oldest temple. It really is a beautful site to see and people travel from all over to visit. First thing in the morning is a great time to go as crowds are a little smaller.
Dog Cafes & Rainbow Candy Floss
A trip to Tokyo wouldn’t be complete without a wander down the colourful an crazy Takashita street in Harujuku! Known for it’s quirkiness and pink fluffy touristy charm, Harujuku is the perfect place to experience one of Japan’s many animal cafes.
Do your research with this one and don’t go in if you get a bad vibe, but all the cat, owl, dog and even hedgehog cafes we came across were so lovely. It was clear the animals were loved and well looked after and the whole experience was incredibly cute. They had break times, weren’t forced to interact and everyone respected their boundaries…even if they didn’t respect yours – puppy cuddles galore!
After your coffee with the pups, grab yourself a giant rainbow candy floss from Totti Candy Factory! Each colour is a different flavour and it was as big as my head! Just make sure if you’re taking a picture to do it quickly before the humidity melts it all.
Traditional Ryokans in Japan
A ryokan is a traditional guest house with tatami mats, sliding rice paper doors and beds on the floor. Ryokans vary in price and also luxury depending on where you stay, but as a rule they’re very basic and a stay in one of these is more about the hospitality than any mod cons.
Ryokan owners pride themselves on service and they will often come with delicious breakfasts served in your room. Just pop on a yukata and enjoy the vibe. Read a book and switch off from the hustle and bustle of techy Tokyo for the night.
What is an Onsen?
Often a ryokans come with private onsens, which are a type of Japanese public bath. A true onsen needs to have a spring water source that the Japanese believe to have soothing and healing powers for the body. You enter the onsen completely naked and bath with others around you…which might not be for everyone! Testing the water (so to speak) at a private onsen in your Ryokan may be a great way to try out this Japanese tradition with a few less eyes around.
So if you’re wondering what to do in Tokyo or the cities that surround it, I hope this blog filled with amazing things to do in Japan helps inspire you for your trip!
Come follow me on Instagram @xameliax and take a look at my Japan story highlights for even more insider travel tips to this incredible country!
10 Things To Do In Japan