Japan is such a unique country with an array of sights and activities to make any traveller excited. It’s entirely attainable in size and if you do it right, can be affordable.
The hardest part of going to Japan is deciding what to do while you are there! With unlimited options for you to choose from planning your trip can be daunting. We spent A LOT while we were there, but we did everything we had wanted to and with loads of experiences under our belts, we wanted to share our top 5 experiences on our first trip to Japan, so let’s go.
Okay, Japan is cutting edge and has some different and efficient ways of doing things. There are vending machines for everything from technology to cigarettes and even meals. My personal favourites are the hot coffee vending machines. They are always at perfect drinking temperature. It was really interesting seeing the simple things automated.
It’s funny though because in Japan it’s looked down upon to walk and eat or drink.
Halloween in Japan is the next level. Everyone goes all out and the costumes are incredible. We had the luxury of experiencing Halloween in Osaka and it was by far the best Halloween I’ve ever had (and I’m a Halloween FANATIC). One guy was dressed up as a life-sized camera and it was an actual working camera check out his Twitter. Other people were realistic anime characters or chilling horror movie characters. Everyone was taking photos of each other and it felt like we were super-stars! *poses for the paparazzi*
Hakone is something straight out of a movie. This beautiful town set in the mountains boasts onsens (hot springs), great food and unique experiences. Check out the open-air museum and Yunessun waterpark. Other activities include the thermal valley, Lake Ashi Pirate boat cruise, and luxury experiences such as staying at a ryokan.
Despite the man-eating spiders, Hakone was absolute PARADISE. We stayed in GuestHouse Azito and it was lovely.
This vibrant district in Tokyo is so busy and has so much to offer you can’t miss it. To be honest, you could get lost and spend a lifetime in this area experiencing all it has to offer. The scramble crossing is unreal (and where Han’s death scene in Tokyo Drift took place), the shopping is endless and the cuisine is diverse. Check out the side street restaurants throughout the area for a glimpse into everyday life in Tokyo! If you are a partier there are lots of really cool night clubs in this area as well. If you are into games there are loads of VR and gaming places about too. The possibilities exceed expectations.
Take a beautiful walk up Mt Arahiyama and come out to wild monkeys. Yes, that’s right, go hang out with wild monkeys. You can purchase treats from the vendors at the top which include banana, apples and peanuts and are very reasonably priced. You stand inside the cage and feed these incredible animals. Walk up a little further to see monkeys basking, napping and playing. The views of Kyoto are also incredible. This was by far our favourite part of our trip. We even got stalked by a monkey who tried to steal our snacks. It was nice to see monkeys just hanging out. Plus there were so many babies playing and feeding I melted.
One of the biggest aquariums in the world and a great option if you are in Japan. There are so many exhibits featuring majestic marine life from all over the world. There are some very questionable ethics concerning tank size and interactive exhibits so we will leave this one up to you to do your research and decide if you feel it fits into your beliefs. We put our ethics aside and visited, however, in my gut I knew the tank featuring a stunning whale shark was nowhere near big enough for the breathtaking creature.