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Japan Things to do - Explore Japan Like a Local


Aug 27, 2021 · 11 mins read

Japan is our beloved home of anime, sushi and all things great. And being one of the best Asian countries to visit, there’s a whole list of activities that can be best done in Japan. If you ever visit Japan, the wonderful cuisines, beautiful landscapes and amazing cultural attractions will surely make you fall in love with the country.

But in between all the researching, comparing and cross-checking, if you get confused about the tons of things you can do in Japan, we understand. This article will clear all your doubts and concerns about the things to do in Japan.


  1. Try Authentic Japanese Cuisine
  2. Enjoy Outdoor Activities
  3. Visit Historical Sites
  4. Go Shopping in the Main City
  5. Walking through Street Market
  6. Visit Temple & Shrine
  7. Enjoy Nightlife
  8. Watch Sports & Performance

1) Try Authentic Japanese Cuisine

Open air bath hot spring during Autumn in Japan @ rockzheart / Adobe Stock

Thanks to the huge coverage Japan receives in the West, we all know at least a little about Japanese cuisine. It’s considered one of the best cuisines in the world, and for a reason. Japanese cuisine which focuses on a special fifth flavor, called umami, is blessed with diverse dishes that are all absolutely mouth-watering!

Here are some famous Japanese dishes that you must try when in Japan:

2) Enjoy Outdoor Activities

Neon lights and billboard advertisements on buildings at Akihabara at rainy night, Tokyo, Japan @ Nataliya Hora / Adobe Stock

Japan is quite possibly one of the best places for outdoor activities. The country has all kinds of natural landscapes, including dense forests, deep seas, clear lakes and much more. Tourists particularly enjoy outdoor activities in Japan due to the peaceful environments of Japan’s landscapes. You can have the time of your life without any hassle in a Japanese natural site!

Here are some of the best outdoor activities you can do in Japan:

3) Visit Historical Sites

traditional Japanese village at shirakawago, Japan @ jon_chica / Adobe Stock

Another thing Japan is rich in is history. The historic country has seen countless wars, the rise and fall of entire dynasties and all kinds of economic, social and political changes. This history has been well-preserved for the generations to come in Japan’s many historical sites. Visitors love seeing these historical places due to the care and mindfulness with which they have been preserved.

Here are some famous Japanese historical sites that you must visit:

4) Go Shopping in the Main City

Japan is great for yet another thing: shopping. There’s a whole list of shopping centres in Japan delivering the latest trends at the best deals. Travellers enjoy shopping in Japan due to this very reason. You can find some of the best goods at cheap prices!

Here are some of the best shopping places in 2 of Japan’s main cities:


Shibuya crossing @ Peera / Adobe Stock


Ginza is perhaps Japan’s most modern and luxury shopping area. It’s lined with various luxury stores and brands, selling Japanese goods at premium prices. Shopping in the Ginza district is a must if, of course, you can afford it.


Shinjuku is another famous Tokyo region, known for its many restaurants and bars, as well as some of Japan’s best shops and shopping sites.


Shibuya is the most famous area in all of Tokyo. The intersection sees about 500000 people daily and is filled with world-renowned brands, famous fast food chains and even CD shops. The trendy area is a youth-favorite and is loved for its mix of the modern and the classic.


Akihabara is the Japanese electronics heaven. It's a place where the biggest media stores are located alongside the smallest electronic equipment vendors. Satisfy all your technical needs at Akihabara.


Osaka, Japan - november 5, 2019 Dotonbori the famous place in Dotonbori Osaka, Japan Travel Concept @ Nattapol_Sritongcom / Adobe Stock


Dotonbori is one of the most important places in Osaka. This is where the kuidaore food culture thrives. Dozens of cafes and restaurants decorate the district with colors and flavors. You must visit the area if you’re a foodie!

Rinku Premium Outlet

Rinku Premium Outlets are situated in Rinku Town with a resort-like environment. This is the biggest shopping centre of Western Japan and has all sorts of goods up for sale in its stores.

Umeda (Kitta)

Umeda is at the heart of Osaka, with its diverse stores and never-ending variety. You can find almost anything in Umeda, no matter if it’s old or new.

5) Walking through Street Market

Nishiki market,Kyoto,japan @ yoko_ken_chan / Adobe Stock

Okay, so you must visit Japanese street markets. Lined with food, clothes, accessories and even electronic stores, travelers absolutely adore the experience of walking through a street market alongside dozens of tourists and locals.

Here are some of Japan’s best street markets:

6) Visit Temple & Shrine

Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan @ SeanPavonePhoto / Adobe Stock

Japan may be an atheist-majority country now, but it doesn’t erase its highly spiritual past. Japan still holds the centuries old shrines and temples that were built by its ancestors once, and a trip to Japan without seeing them is incomplete. This is why travelers love visiting them too.

Some famous schools of Buddhism in Japan include Todai Ji, Tenda. Shingon, Jodo, Soto, Rinzai.

7) Enjoy Nightlife

Japan Bar street Izakaya Red light sign with people drinking. Tokyo Nightlife @ VTT Studio / Adobe Stock

Nightlife in Japan is bustling with music, drinks and other fun things. Japan has scores of bars in almost every city that serve both traditional and Western drinks.

Here are the 4 main places to enjoy nightlife in Japan:

8) Watch Sports & Performance

Japanese sports combine both tradition and modernity. These include centuries old Japanese sports, as well as more Western ones. Visitors usually enjoy watching these sports as the authentic feel of watching them in Japanese stadium cannot be replaced.

On the other hand, Japanese performance arts are another distinct aspect of Japanese culture. They show the kind of artistic and creative past Japan has held.


Sumo wrestling @ kadenkei / Adobe Stock


Sumo is the traditional martial arts of Japan which involves bulky individuals physically fighting each other. The atmosphere of a Sumo match is not to be missed if you ever go to Japan.


Samurai is an ancient Japanese sport sport involving sword fighting and much more. It’s one of the most Japanese things you could witness while in Japan, with fascinating individuals showing their unbelievable skills.


Baseball is a common sport in Japan. It’s played in most schools and is a lot like cricket. So if you enjoy cricket, it’s most likely you’ll enjoy watching a baseball match too.


Traditional Japanese performance. Group of actresses in traditional white and red kimono and fox masks dance and drum a big taiko drum on the stage. @ elen31 / Adobe Stock


Kabuki is a traditional Japanese dance form where actors dance and act at the same time. Kabuki is still done in its true form in many parts of Japan. You can buy a ticket to a Kabuki show and see for yourself the magical performance art.


Noh is an ancient theatre art still being performed in Japan. It involves face-painting, elaborate costumes and classic acting techniques.


Buraku is a traditional Japanese puppet theatre art where puppets are used to tell stories and act scenes. It’s truly beautiful and most people who see it end up loving it.

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