Just when you thought you knew about all the cool cities in the world. Well – you don’t. Not until you’ve been to this unique country. This is our definitive guide to Japan – read, enjoy it, act on it. We won’t excite you with too many facts (who are we kidding) – solely important tips, and ‘I bet you didn’t know’ facts, and the hippest, coolest, weirdest places for you to explore. Y’all love lists right? Here’s a list of reasons why we love Japan you probably haven’t seen on Buzzfeed.
YOU WANT A HIT OF CULTURE
You’ve come to the right place. There are golden temples, ancient castles, shrines, samurai houses, tranquil zen gardens and most significantly, Geisha’s to spot in the Gion district. Takayama is the most traditional city of all, with 18th century Hida style houses & the only surviving buildings of its kind. If you’re in Tokyo, head to Asakusa, Tokyo’s most ancient district.
TRADITION WITH A TWIST
From authentic Ryokan houses, traditional tea ceremonies and Geisha’s wandering the streets of Kyoto, you will simply be captivated by its many customs.
EXPERIENCE A WORLD LIKE NO OTHER (SERIOUSLY)
Expect the unexpected in this country. Travel to Tokyo and immerse yourself in world class dining, vibrant nightlife, rich history and a bustling megalopolis. Head to Shibuya and walk across the largest crossing in the world, the Times Square of Tokyo and just have your mind blown at the stream of people.
Want even more? Why not try the weirdly themed cafes like the cat café, maid cafes, ninja restaurants and the most astronomical of all? The Robot restaurant…
Did you know? *fun fact* gambling is illegal in Japan? A Pachinko is the only way you are allowed to take part in any…erhhh….gambling.
PARTY LIKE IT’S 1990, AND THEN MAKE A FOOL OUTTA YOURSELF AT KARAOKE.
Think karaoke bars, world-class nightclubs, and SAKE! The Karaoke bars are technologically advanced, with luminous paint, disco lights, and booming sound systems.
Opt to go to an Izakaya before a night out for the perfect mixture of cheap food and drinks. It’s the Japanese version of pubs.
Without a doubt, Japanese food is WORLD CLASS, having more Michelin restaurants than anywhere else in the world. Think SUSHI, SASHIMI, SOBA, UDON, BENTO, OKONOMIYAKI, TAKOYAKI, RAMEN, GYOZA! But that’s not all – even the 7/11’s are equipped with high quality food that will have you weirded out, and drooling at the same time!
HOT TIP: Experience their eclectic mix of food outlets from automated sushi chains, izakayas, themed restaurants, convenient stores, or, if you’ve got the cash, head to the most expensive Michelin restaurant in the world in Kyoto.
Fun Fact: Eating raw chicken is a real thing. In a world where salmonella is feared, Japan embraces it, and this dish is named ‘Torisashi’.
SHOPPING AND FASHION
Japan is arguably one of the biggest fashion capitals of the world. Who doesn’t know of HARAJUKU? Harajuku is perfect for those vintage threads and quirky pieces. Shibuya is the heart of youth subculture, and shopping. Girls did I mention an entire department store named 109, with 9 levels, dedicated JUST for YOU?
If you’re in Osaka be sure to not miss Namba
and Dotonbori. It’s a guaranteed shopping heaven for all.
Are you a history buff? Well why not step back in time and make your way to Hiroshima. There is a peace memorial park and museum for the devastation of World War 2, and it is a painful reminder of the destruction that occurred in the past.