What are the top ten things to do in Japan?
There’s much to see and do in the Land of the Rising Sun. From warm soaks in natural springs to leisurely walks in enchanted forests, charming river cruises to sampling (and learning how to prepare!) exquisite sushi, there’s a treasure trove of activities to explore in Japan in 2019! And let’s not forget ticking off being in Japan during cherry blossom season from your bucket list!
Here is a list of the top ten things to do in Japan, curated by our Enchanting Travels specialists, which should definitely be part of your Japan travel guide!
Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? Be it popular sights or off the beaten path experiences, tell us your travel dream through our trip planner.
Our destination experts will get in touch with you to craft a completely tailor-made, obligation-free itinerary to match your interests and budget.
Once you have booked your trip, sit back and relax – we’ll take care of everything else. With our exceptional local team & 24/7 support, priceless memories await you!
1Take a River Cruise in Asakusa to Sensoji Temple
Embark on a river cruise to Asakusa from Tokyo to visit Sensoji Temple and soak in the old-world charm of this heritage town. The Senso-Ji temple in Tokyo is the oldest in the city and certainly the most famous Buddhist temple complex.
Its bright crimson buildings make for beautiful examples of Japanese architecture. It is also home to Tokyo’s biggest souvenir market!
2Sample the Unique Culture of Japan
In Kyoto, enjoy a Japanese Bento-style cooking class at a traditional machiya house, or indulge in a calligraphy lesson at a Master’s House. Learn the art of crafting a Japanese Bento box and the various elements of Kyoto cuisine. Or you could choose to learn about the beautiful art of Japanese calligraphy.
You can also opt for a private dinner with a geisha or maiko – Japanese entertainers who are well-versed in the traditional arts. Experiences that will allow you to truly immerse yourself in the culture of Japan.
3Pay Homage to The Buddha in Kamakura
Set out on an enchanting walk through the verdant bamboo forest of Kamakura to reach the Great Buddha. One of Japan’s most iconic sites, several verses from Rudyard Kipling’s Kim are dedicated to this statue. It is among the most famous historical sites in Japan. The towering statue of the Great Buddha is built out of bronze.
Enjoy a leisurely walk through the bamboo forest of Kamakura, and savor the serene sight of the tall bamboos, the fresh air and the complete sense of tranquility.
4Enjoy a Relaxing hot soak at Japanese Onsens in Hakone
Soak in panoramic views of the iconic volcano, Mt. Fujiyama in Hakone. After a long day spent on your city tour of Hakone, it’s time for your personal outdoor bathtub filled with hot water from a natural spring! Hakone has been one of the most popular onsen or hot springs resorts in Japan and a leisurely soak in one of its onsens is a truly blissful experience.
When in Japan, you cannot miss out on experiencing the traditional, hot spring water baths with their healing properties!
5Stroll Through Japanese Gardens in Kanazawa
Stroll through Kenrokuen in Kanazawa, ranked as one of Japan’s top three most beautiful gardens. Its fountains, waterfalls, bridges, stone layouts, meandering paths, forests of cherry trees and Karasaki pine and teahouses together with its centerpiece- a huge two-legged stone lantern – are just some of the reasons that make it one of the best gardens in Japan.
After discovering the secrets of the Shogun in the Samurai district, you can experience a Gold Leaf activity in Kanazawa. Kanazawa is synonymous with gold leaf work and famous for its gold leaf artifacts. Visit a gold leaf workshop, where you can try your hand at decorating a small lacquer plate, or a pair of chopsticks with wafer-thin, sparkling leaves of gold!
6Savor a Japanese Tea Ceremony in Kyoto
A private tea ceremony in a Kyoto temple spells magic like no other. Enjoy your moment of perfect peace in relative isolation, amid beautiful surroundings that are generally closed to the public. Accompanied by a local expert, you will learn the fascinating art of brewing tea in traditional Japanese style.
Discover the varied aspects of a Japanese tea ceremony, including brewing and serving wares as well as the cultural significance behind each movement and act.
7Explore the Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyoto
Visit the Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyoto – nestled at the base of a majestic mountain. This is the single-most impressive sight in the city! It is famous for its thousands of vermilion torii or traditional Japanese gates – lining the network of trails behind its main buildings, which make for a stunning sight. The Fushimi Inari Shrine is one of the most important Shinto shrines in southern Tokyo and among the more popular Japanese temples and shrines.
8Go Back in Time at Hiroshima
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and the museum set within its premises is dedicated to victims of the world’s first nuclear bomb. In August every year, the park plays host to the annual Japan Peace Memorial Ceremony.
Nearby on Miyajima Island stands the floating torii gate – one of Japan’s best-loved UNESCO World Heritage sites. A Hiroshima museum tour will provide a poignant flashback to the horrors of the Second World War.
9Marvel at the Cherry Blossoms in Osaka
Visit the legendary Osaka Castle in the season of cherry blossoms, when food carts and drummers descend on the castle grounds to lend it a festive air. There’s no better time to be in Japan than cherry blossom season!
Apart from its importance in the history of Japan, the Osaka Castle also serves as a museum tracing Osaka’s history through the centuries. Also in Osaka, the Floating Garden Observatory Bridge between the towers of Umeda Sky Building offers panoramic views of the city.
10Explore the Mountain Village of Shirakawa-gō
Travel to the historic mountain village of Shirakawa-gō – this UNESCO World Heritage site is famous for charming thatched roof houses spread over a vast, beautiful and often wintry wonderland.
The farmhouses have been constructed in the architectural style known as gasshō-zukuri – the sloping roofs allow for the snow to be easily shed. Some of these homes are nearly 250 years old. A trip to the historic village of Japan will truly take you back in time!
Discover all the best things to do in Japan by booking your vacation with our experts at Enchanting Travels. Contact us for your tailor-made and obligation-free tour itinerary.
Top 10 Temples in Japan
Deciding on the top temples, shrines and monasteries worth a visit in Japan, a country with many thousands to choose from, is no small task. Discover our top 10 picks, from the most popular Shinto shrines to the best Japanese monasteries and Buddhist temples.
Experience the Magical Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan
Plan your Japan vacation to coincide with the magical cherry blossom festival in Spring for a truly unique experience.
Hot Springs and Relaxation: All You Need to Know About Onsens in Japan
Fancy a little downtime with a relaxating soak in a natural hot spring on your Asia vacation? Onsens in Japan are the answer to your prayers, having been an integral part of traditional Japanese culture for centuries.
Best of Japan
$ 12,883 $ 10,890 / person
Grand Tour of Japan and Koh Samui Beach
$ 14,903 $ 9,590 / person
Luxury Japan: Traditions, Onsens and Mount Fuji
$ 6,205 $ 5,190 / person
Hakone defines the iconic image of Japan— with the majestic backdrop of Mount Fujiyama as it rises out of coniferous forest covered mountainsides, lakes and hot springs (onsen).
Enchanting Travels made everything about planning our honeymoon totally seamless. We’re relatively seasoned travelers and their ability to take care of the hard stuff (logistics) and take our advice on the fun stuff (activities and accommodation) was a great partnership. We had fun planning and even more fun on the trip.
I have traveled the world with Enchanting Travels for many consecutive years. Every trip is unique, exciting and unforgettable. Enchanting staff looks after me since day one we start planning the trip and follows up with me throughout my travel. If I need anything big or small, they go miles to help! I can not imagine a travel agency with better quality service than Enchanting Travels!
They took care of almost everything for us! It was wonderful! We had time with our guides that showed us the world of Indonesia, we would not have recognized otherwise, and we also had time on our own to discover and relax! You will not be disappointed if you book with Enchanting Travels!
Do you have a vacation in mind? Personalize your itinerary with our Trip Builder.