10 Cool Things To Do in Japan

Discover cool and quirky things to do in this one-of-a-kind country.

Japan is one of the most unique and fascinating places to visit around the world. It’s a country that seamlessly blends the ancient with the ultra-modern. 

If you haven’t already put Japan on your bucket list, Topdeck Travel reveals 10 of the most popular and awesome reasons you should!  

1. Visit a Cat-Café - Tokyo

Calling all feline-lovers: get up close and cuddly with kittens in one of Japan's many cat cafes. Enjoy some time with your feline friends as you sip on some green matcha tea and lose yourself among the cuteness.  

2. Sake Brewery Tour - Takayama

Takayamas’ sake breweries have been in operation since the 1700s. Every week they open to the public for tours through the historic buildings, and offer saké tastings. Each brewery has its own unique variety and some even make up to 13 different versions. 

3. Arashiyama: Monkey Mountain - Kyoto

Explore this mountaintop oasis where Japanese 'Macaques', or Snow Monkeys, live. Relax in the sun and try your hand at feeding them. Of course there are park rules, including “don’t look the monkeys in the eye” and “don’t touch them”, but these playful creatures spend most of their time frolicking about. Don’t forget to whip out your phone for the gorgeous panoramic view of Kyoto.

4. The Bamboo Forest - Kyoto

If you’ve been planning a trip to Kyoto then you’ve probably seen the iconic photos of Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. It’s one of the most photographed sights in Kyoto and for good reason. Rent a bike, catch a rickshaw or just wander at your own pace, no matter which way you see it, the Bamboo Forest is truly gorgeous.

5. Sing karaoke - Tokyo

Get ready to belt out some serious tunes in one of Tokyo's popular karaoke bars. If you're a film buff, you might like Karaoke Kan, the famed spot Bill Murray frequented in Lost in Translation.

6. See a geisha - Gion

Gion is Kyoto’s most famous geisha district, filled with shops, restaurants and 'ochaya', or teahouses, where you will be entertained by traditional geishas and maiko (geisha apprentices). The expert hostesses will serve drinks and performing traditional music.

7. Visit Nijo-jo Castle - Kyoto

Get your samurai fix at the Nijo-jo Castle. This impressive structure was built in 1603, and feature a surrounding moat and the most elaborate entrance you will ever see. Go beyond the wall and visit inside the impressive gardens with groves of plum and cherry trees.

8. Get geeky in Akihabara - Tokyo

Tokyo’s famed electronics sector is fast becoming a haven for lovers of manga, anime, and retro gaming. There are giant walls of televisions, back alley stores and robotic vendors for everyone’s delight. But don’t worry - if your gaming knowledge is limited, the food in this area is also world-famous. Watch the sushi masters at work at the Tsukiji Fish Market.

9. Watch wrestling practice at a sumo stable – Tokyo

You’ve seen it in movies but nothing quite prepares you for the panting, grunting and gallons of sweat that is sumo wrestling. Get up close and personal with some of these amazing athletes but be warned: these training sessions aren’t for the faint-hearted.

10. Visit Jan-Jan Yokocho street - Osaka

There is so much to do and see in Osaka but you can start your visit on the famous Jan-Jan Yokocho Street - just look for the giant inflatable blowfish and you will know you’re in the right place. Wander around the abundance of narrow shopping alleys, drink at one of the many cheap bars or even try a plate of the blowfish delicacy.

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