Known as the Land of the Rising Sun, Japan is a country of endless discoveries with civilization that dates as far back as 30,000 years. One can spend a lifetime exploring its rich history and could barely scratch its extraordinary expanse. From the sacred Shinto shrines, bygone trade footpaths, magnificent Buddhist temples, spectacular landscaped gardens, diverse art styles, preserved cultural icons and gastronomical delights, Japan has so much to offer to the wanderers of all kinds. However, among this plethora of choices with so many alternatives to consider, choosing what to explore in Japan from the sheer number of things to do, see and experience, is definitely not an easy feat! So let us clue you into some of the most amazing things to do while you enjoy your vacay time in Japan
The Entrancing Islands of Okinawa
Okinawa consists of 160 small and large islands, out of which 49 are inhabited, with each of them having their own set of exclusive spaces, unique features and breathtaking landmarks. These remote islands are home to numerous stunning beaches, world-class scuba diving, fascinating culture and rich history. If you want pristine blue skies, untouched white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, sail straight for Kume Jima! Explore gorgeous beaches, enjoy stunning views, experience the Okinawan culture and at night, gaze upon the milky way in the sky! Okinawa is also a place where you can envision your dream resort wedding. Soon realising that Okinawa can be the ideal destination for celebrating nuptials, especially for the experiential Indians, the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) is setting its sights on India’s outbound wedding market and would be gearing up promotions this year.
Immerse in Wilderness at Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
Located at Kyoto’s western-most district on the city’s outskirts is the iconic Arashiyama Bamboo Forest which is also one of the most photographed sights in the city, given a tag for an excellent reason. The whole experience of immersing your ears in the delicate rustling while standing in the midst of these sprawling bamboo groves stretching up to the sky, whispering back and forth in the winds, illuminated in the soft morning light, is nothing but incredible. The whole thing has a profound sense of uniqueness that is so different from that of any normal forest you know of.
Witness the Cherry Blossom Season
Sandwiched between the long winter months and the sweltering humidity of the summers, the spring season in Japan is arguably the most magical time of the year which can only mean one thing: the season of cherry blossom. The Japanese celebrate this time of the year with Hanami which translates as “watching blossoms” and refers to the tradition of gathering underneath the blossoming trees for drinks, barbeque and spending blissful time with family and friends and admire the spectacle in the meanwhile. Make sure you plan well in advance as things tend to fill up sooner than most travellers anticipate.
Take a Stroll Through the Tsukiji Market
The Tsukiji Fish Market has been featured in literally every guidebook of must-do experiences in Tokyo and is still high on most visitors’ bucket list. The world’s largest, busiest fish market also had a super-famous tuna auction that was held before the sun rose most mornings. It is often said that no visit to Tsukiji is complete without a delicious sushi breakfast as there are plenty of sushi counters available here and it is regarded as the best place to explore the deep Japanese food culture and try high quality authentic Japanese food.
Virtual Reality at its Best!
VR (Virtual Reality) is one of the most recent and edgy technologies in the world today. In recent times, this concept came closer to reach as related equipment can now be actually purchased at regular stores and numerous special facilities have opened in town. In Tokyo, several new spots are being opened every now and then wherein visitors can witness the latest VR experiences and it’s becoming widely popular for all the right reasons. VR Zone Shinjuku is Japan’s biggest VR facility having over 15 attractions with cutting-edge VR technology that includes Mario Kart, Dragon Ball and Ghost in the Shell. ZERO LATENCY VR in Tokyo Joypolis is a VR experience at the indoor amusement park Tokyo Joypolis. A unique kind of entertainment, VR NINJA DOJO is a mélange of traditional Japanese culture and high- tech gaming technology, offering an authentic Ninja training at real as well as virtual reality worlds.
The Buzzing Shop Stop- Takeshita Street
Takeshita Street is a super busy shopping street in Tokyo and is bursting with fashion boutiques, cafes and restaurants. It is definitely the place to be for fashionable, quirky and wonderful things, with weird and crazy accessorises, boots and kitten t-shirts galore! Here you can witness next level style and swag, so dress up however you like as there’s no judgment here. If fashion isn’t your cup of tea, just admire the inimitable styles and go with the flow. It’s one of those streets you need to take a stroll to just to experience the buzzing ambiance and witness the madness!
Say a prayer at Buddhist shrine, Sensoji Temple
A great way to experience the Japanese traditions being in the modern Metropolis is through Tokyo’s oldest and most vibrant temple Sensoji. The ancient Buddhist temple, dedicated to Kannon Bosatsu, is at the heart of the Asakusa area. When approaching the temple, visitors enter through the iconic Kaminarimon gate (Thunder Gate) which is an ideal spot to take photographs. Stroll down to Nakamise, a shopping street of over 200 meters to approach to the main hall of the temple. A wide variety of traditional local snacks from the Asakusa area are sold along the Nakamise. To top it up, traditional activities including wearing a kimono and riding rickshaw can also be enjoyed for an authentic Japanese experience. Besides, Asakusa area is close to other tourist attractions such as Tokyo Skytree, Sumida River, Kappabashi Street and Ueno area.