Japan is a country with rich culture and beautiful nature that provides endless exciting activities. As there are so many places to go and things to do in Japan, we want to help you plan which activities to include on your next trip. From relaxing experiences to adventurous activities, we have compiled a list of our recommendations below to provide you with some great options.
Climb Mt. Fuji
Standing 3776 metres in height, Mt. Fuji is Japan’s highest mountain. Its official climbing season is from early July to Mid September, when the mountain is free of snow. There are four different trails, each with a different estimate for time duration and difficulty level, that you can take to reach the summit of Mt. Fuji: Yoshida, Subashiri, Gotemba, and Fujinomiya. The Yoshida trail is equipped with several mountain huts and is the most popular. You can stay at a hut overnight and wake up to the beautiful sight of Mt. Fuji during sunrise! (Learn more about Mt Fuji and get useful tips from a local on our Mt Fuji online experience!)
Harajuku is a unique area of Tokyo where you can experience both traditional and pop culture.
Walking down Takeshita Street (the famous shopping street in Harajuku), you will immediately find yourself surrounded by the latest fashion trends, catching a glimpse of Japan’s pop and youth culture. While there, among other things, you can treat yourself to a delicious Japanese crepe filled with whipped cream, fresh fruits, and ice cream.
Just a few minutes walk from Harajuku Station, you can also find the famous Meiji Shrine. There, you can stroll through a beautiful, serene forest on your way towards the majestic shrine in the center. A visit to the Meiji Shrine allows you to immerse yourself in a peaceful atmosphere and momentarily escape the bustle of the city.
It is hard to believe that these two vastly different worlds are in the same area!
Visit Tokyo Disney Resort
Tokyo Disney Resort consists of two popular theme parks: Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disneysea. Tokyo Disneyland consists of seven areas which surround the beautiful Cinderella Castle. Tokyo Disneysea, similarly, consists of seven ports surrounding a large volcano. Tokyo Disneysea, however, is unique to Japan and is the only Disney Park that is themed on the myths and legends of the sea. As the Park was designed to appeal to adults, it also has some luxurious lounges where you can enjoy an alcoholic beverage! You can surely enjoy a day (or two) of fun and magic at Tokyo Disney Resort.
Visit Okinawa Prefecture
Okinawa is Japan’s southernmost prefecture that comprises of more than 100 islands. The seas surrounding Okinawa are considered to be among the world’s most beautiful, with colourful coral reefs and abundant marine life. This makes Okinawa a popular location for snorkeling and scuba diving. Other activities include kayaking through a mangrove jungle, exploring caves, visiting the majestic Shujiro castle, and hiking along waterfall trails. If you’d prefer a more relaxing vacation, you can also sunbathe on the pure white-sand beach by the turquoise water.
If you visit Japan in the spring during the cherry blossom season, you may notice many Japanese people having a picnic together under the cherry blossom trees. This is a popular Japanese spring custom called hanami (flower viewing), where people have a picnic with their family, friends, or co-workers while enjoying the beauty of the cherry blossoms. To enjoy the beautiful cherry blossom season the ‘Japanese’ way, eat a bento (or food from the nearby convenience store) while admiring the pretty pink and white colours of the trees. Moreover, it’s important to note that Hanami is not only a daytime activity – at night, the cherry blossom trees are often lit up to offer a completely different scene called yozakura.
Stay in a ryokan
A ryokan is a Japanese-style inn where you can experience traditional Japanese lifestyle and hospitality. A typical ryokan incorporates elements such as tatami floors, futon beds, yukata, Japanese-style baths, and traditional Japanese cuisine to provide you with an authentically Japanese experience. Instead of staying at a regular hotel, try staying at a ryokan to fully experience the Japanese culture and the many comforts of Japanese hospitality and service.
Relax in an onsen
Onsens are natural hot springs that are located all throughout Japan. Soaking inside an onsen provides health benefits like detoxification, better blood circulation, and less fatigue. Most importantly, the smooth, warm, and gentle sensation of the onsen works wonders for relaxing your body and mind. Spending some time in an onsen will surely leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed.
Walk the Kumano Kodo
The Kumano Kodo is an ancient network of pilgrimage trails throughout the southern Kansai region. Walking the Kumano Kodo trail is a great way to experience the unique cultural landscape of the Japanese countryside. The trail will lead you through breathtaking sceneries such as historic shrines, giant cedar forests, farmsteads, and rural villages. As the hike usually takes 4 to 6 days, you can also spend the evenings at ryokans as you make your way!
To make sure that you create an unforgettable itinerary for your trip to Japan, feel free to include these great activities and experiences. We hope that you have an amazing time!
Looking for more ideas to do during your trip to Japan? Book a call with a local expert to get great recommendations!