Whether it’s watching a record tuna auction sale, visiting a ‘Whisky Library’ or trying the quirkiest of dishes, we’ve handpicked 7 unique things you can do, ONLY in Japan! (Intrigued and excited about travelling to Japan? Plan your trip by clicking HERE)
Go-karting in the streets of Japan!
Just imagine yourself on a custom-made go kart, dressed up as your favourite character and driving around Japan with your friends. Visitors in Tokyo, Osaka and Okinawa drive around as go-karts dressed as Mario,Superman or minions.It’s an experience you will want to have when visiting japan just remember to put on your seat belts and then ready to go!
See 7000 bottles of Japanese whisky at the ‘Whisky Library’
If you are someone who likes knowing about Whisky, then there’s a whole Whisky Library waiting out there for you in Japan! Located in Shimamotoit, Yamazaki Distillery is Japan’s first commercial whisky distillery where seven thousand bottles of unblended malt whisky are on display in its “Whisky Library”. You can visit the museum or take a tour which is available to tourists through prior reservations. The room with all of the barrels is one of the highlights, where the barrels range in age from the first ever barrel made (1923) to the most recent ones.
“On the ground floor is a whisky library, showcasing the wide variety of whiskies in various shades of brown, yellow and gold. A cash-only tasting counter can be found on the same level, and visitors are welcome to sample a dram of any of the whiskies. Menus are available in both English and Japanese. Prices per dram vary, starting from around 500 yen.”
Relax in a hot spring bath with a view of Mt.Fuji
What’s better than soaking in a hot spring, with this gorgeous view of Mount Fuji? Hakone boasts of some of the most famous Onsens such as these. And the best part? They’re located only one hour and a half away from Tokyo by car or train! There are various spa facilities from which you can choose. It is highly recommended to choose an outdoor onsen like this one so as to enjoy a glimpse of Japan’s natural beauty.
The famous British blogging couple says, ” Once in the bath, make sure you don’t swim. Onsen facilities are for soaking, meditating and contemplating. If your towel slips into the water, remove it immediately and wring it outside the bath, NEVER in the hot springs.”
Step into the dreamland that is Sagano
Located in the gorgeous Arashiyama district of western Kyoto, the Sagano Bamboo is one of the most beautiful forests in the world. It’s the beauty of bamboo and the distinct rustling sound of the leaves that attracts the masses for one shot of this alluring forest. The groves are particularly attractive when there is a light wind and the tall bamboo trunks swing gently back and forth. The bamboo has been used to make various commodities such as baskets, cups, boxes and mats at local workshops for centuries in Japan.
For the best experience, you should head out early in the morning or late evening to avoid day tourists.
“As it’s one of the most popular spots in Kyoto it can get very busy, especially during peak season, so we recommend visiting first thing in the morning. The path through the grove is open all day and is a short walk from the Arashiyama train station so it’s very easy to get to from the Kyoto JR station! Like most cities in Japan we recommend staying close to the main JR stations as it makes transports much easier.” says Dave from the famous travel blog- The Whole World is a Playground.
Click here to read popular blogger David Murray’s blog for more information on the best places to stay and how best to explore the bamboo grove and other beautiful attractions nearby.
Witness the Cherry Blossoms turn the country pink
Picture walking out of your room to find the world in pink and beautiful. The season of Hanami literally translates to “Flower viewing”, is something which brings tourists from all over the world to this country. The cherry blossoms, or more locally known as the sakura start blooming in the last week of March and lasts for an average of 14 days, but as they start blooming in different months in different regions of Japan, you’ll be able to see them bloom from anytime between the months of February to the first week of May.
During these months families come together and meet up all around the city. Time seems to slow down as everyone sits back to enjoy the cherry blossoms or read a book under these trees and forget about their problems in life. This is also a symbol of how short and beautiful life is, and how we must make the most of every second of it.
“Perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions I get about Japan is “where are the best places to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo?” and the shortest answer to that is everywhere. Literally. You’ll see canvases of fluffy blooms on every street and at every park, big or small. The city turns into a real flower-land and you are guaranteed to get your sakura fix almost anywhere you go.” says Nano who writes on the famous blog Travel With Nano.
Watch Japanese tunas auction at $300,000!
Yes, you read that right – $300,000 for a tuna (on an average)! The Bluefin Tuna in Japan is one of the most highly-prized fish used in Japanese raw-fish dishes. If you ever go to Japan, you’ll find that this fish fetches high bids at the first auction of the year in Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market. It’s the world’s most expensive fish, weighing 222 kilograms and once even auctioned at a record price of $1.8 Million (155.4 million yen) in January 2017. To watch the famous Tuna Auction at Tsukiji market, you should get there at around 3:00 am.
The market opening hours are between 3:30 am and 6:00 am, during which time only two sets of 60 people are allowed to watch the auction. The first group is allowed to attend the auction between 5:25 am and 5:45 am, the second group is allowed a view between 5:50 am and 6:10 am however to get a good view of Tuna Auction at the time of peak season you should arrive at 1 am or hire a private tour guide who can help you take you through this process.
Indulge in an authentic sushi-making class
Want to learn to make Sushi like the experts? There are plenty of options for you to choose from. Recently, sushi lovers have increased considerably and so do the people who want to learn how to make sushi and impress their friends at home. Japan has a lot many places where you can learn how to make sushi for yourself and get the best experience of this traditional food.
Enjoy A Boat Ride With Mt. Fuji In The Background
Lake Ashi is a crater lake lying along the southwest wall of Mount Hakone. Ashinoko is claimed to be one of the most photographed lakes in Japan with the archipelago’s emblem, Mount Fuji, in the background. The fact that it has a great view of Mt. Fuji makes it a popular destination for a number of pleasure boats and ferries.
Popular travel vlogging platform Suitcase Monkey created this insightful video showing the different means of transport you can take to get a view of Mount Fuji and places near it. Click here to watch the video.
Participate In A Once-In-A-Lifetime Japanese Tea Ceremony
The Japanese tea ceremony is a unique cultural activity where you get to wear traditional kimonos and observe the art of making Japanese powdered green tea. It requires a specific skill set for creating the perfect cup of tea, and the Japanese seem to have nailed it!
Do you also know there are a variety of tea ceremonies held at different times of the years? Want to learn about the different kinds of Japanese tea ceremonies held every here. Then take a look at this informative video from Japanlogy, a popular web magazine that covers all things related to Japan.
Taste Japan’s Most Popular Snack- Octopus Balls
There’s far more to Japanese food than sushi and miso soup. Takoyaki, also known as “octopus balls” is one of the famous snacks in Japan. The balls are made up of chopped octopus, topped with flavorful sauces, pickled ginger, tempura and green onions. You can find it anywhere in the busy markets or roads. And believe us, it tastes much better then its name.
Despite Japan having some of the largest and busiest cities in the world, there are so many destinations yet to be explored in Japan and so many unique experiences to discover. We hope this ultimate Japan travel guide helps you discover the best Japanese experiences. Plan your trip to Japan by clicking HERE