All the eyes are in Japan since the next Olympics are going to happen there in 2020. The best way to celebrate it is to bring together the top 10 things to do in Japan.
Two years ago, on the year of 2013, Tokyo broke the barrier of 10 million visitors for the first time ever.
There are some good reasons to visit Japan since their traditional cuisine was recognized as Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. It´s called washoku ant it looks delicious! Who doesn´t want to taste appetizing food?
Also you surely don´t want to miss the opportunity to eat on the 14-Michelin star restaurants!
You could also enjoy the unique opportunity of sleeping in a temple.
Japan let´s you with a full Japanese city guide because of its traditions and habits that are really different and vibrant! So enjoy…
1. Have a wonderful journey on the restaurant express
Have the best train experience on board of The Orange restaurant express! It goes from Sendai in Kagoshima Perfecture and to Shin-Yatsushiro, Kumamoto Prefecture.
Its a way to see more of Japanese coast, sit on a train and also experience their food culture, that is vast and has a lot of delicious and unique options!
The journey lasts four hours, more or less and the costs, at lunchtime, are ¥21,000. This is not the only train, you could also choose a luxurious breakfast on train number 1 or dessert and drinks at train number 3 and also the theme of the train changes. To jump into this train visit their site here.
2. Make a meditation journey by staying in a temple
Mt Koya is considered UNESCO World Heritage and it is known by the name ‘The Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Moutain Range’. This region is the place where you will find temples where you can stay overnight.
Tourists who visit this moutains arrive at Ichinohashi (First Bridge) by bus, then walk two kilometres to visit the inner sanctuary at the Kongobu-ji head temple. After this journey will you lose the privilege of staying in one of the guest houses of these sacred temples?
3. Be amazed by stunning and colorful flowers
Feudal lord Tokugawa Nariaki decided to build Kairakuen Park, a recreation place for his people. Nowadays it is known as a garden and one of the best three in the whole country. It is one of the top spots for plum-tree viewing. It has a stunning amount of 3,000 of these trees and 100 varieties.
plum viewing at Kairakuen Park
The images speak for themselves. There are some other flowers on display like azaleas, bush clovers and remontant cherry trees.
4. Dining at a tree house
A massive bayan tree supports a restaurant house, it is located in Okinawa, just five minutes from Naha Airport. Shimayasai to Shabu Gajumaru is on the top of this fake tree, but certainly caught the travelers eyes and also you can be sure that their signature Japanese hot pot called shabu shabu its made with the best meat, from Agu (Okinawan pork). There are other options in terms of meat and the vegetables are fresh and homegrown. Also, for ¥390 you can choose the option all-you-can-eat veggie deal.
5. Ancient hot bath at Kusatsu Hot Springs
Naturally flowing hot water in the centre of town, it is an authentic show of boiling waterfalls. For a taste of tradition you can see the locals use huge paddles to stir the water while singing folk songs, its called yumomi ‘performance’. This an ancient tradition since it has the goal of lower the temperature of the water by exposing it to air, rather tan adding cold water, which would dilute the mineral content of it.
6. Ninja training
Many ninja trains, including one of the legendary leader of the Iga ninja school, Momochi Sandayu, happened at Akame 48 Waterfalls, a series of falls that stretch for four kilometres. Learn how to be a ninja with warrior training at the Iga Ninja Akame Ninjutsu Training School where you learnd to climb while bandishing deadly ninja tools, employ shuriken (hidden sword in your hand) techniques and use water-walking shoes. Prices: Adults: ¥2,000, junior high school students: ¥1,700, elementary school students and under: ¥1,550. All prices include the ninja costume rental and admission fee for the Akame 48 Waterfalls. For more information go to this website.
7. Michelin-star Japanese restaurant, a must go
It is called RyuGin, located in Roppongi, serves the best Japanese food. The chef Seiji Yamamoto says that the important is not the chef, but the ingredients. This restaurant makes the ingredients shine by understanding the importance of fresh ingredients at the table and this components have their season. Yamamoto thinks that they are the star of any dish, since he traveled all over Japan to choose the finest ingredients for his restaurant. RyuGin attracts people around the world!
8. See a traditional performance
Ondeko has been practised for more than 500 years. It is an unique art to Sado Island, each community of this island has a way to perform this tradition. It involves a demon-masked performer beating on a drum while rhythmically shaking his or her body and hair. The goal is to drive away bad spirits and ensure a good harvest. This dance happens at annual festivals in April and September; a drum is on a floar that´s driven through the village, stopping at each house for an Ondeko ritual. The ‘demons’ gather for a competitive display of dishevelled dancing, including a battle between a demon and a lion and other dances. This ‘performance’ could be considered terrifying! It is an interesting ‘parade’ that will keep your camera out, for sure!
9. Be amazed by this flower tunnel
It is located at Kitakyushu and it is covered by 22 different types of wisteria flowers from April to May.The flower tunnels on this garden are unbelievable! The admission fee to these passages varies according to the state of the flowers, fluctuating between ¥300 and ¥1,000 – the higher the price, the more spectacular the sight that awaits.This place has not to many visitors, because too many visitors would threaten the flowers. To arrive here you will have to rent a car or go by shuttle bus to the nearby Kawachi Onsen area and combine your beautiful and exclusive garden experience with a hot spring bath.
10. Walk in the clouds
Probably this is the closest you will ever come to actually walking on clouds. A terrace called Unkai Terrace that belongs to the Hoshino Resorts Risonare Tomamu (open from mid-May to mid-October when the Hidaka-Tokachi mountain range becomes covered with clouds. An exclusive visit you may agree!
What do you think of our selection of ‘Top 10 things to do in Japan’? Choose you´re favorite and let us know which is it on the comments section below!