10 Unique yet Interesting Things to See and Do in Japan

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You were looking for unique yet interesting things to see and do in Japan...?? Well here is a blog which promises you just that. We have hunted and put together a list of only the most beyondinary stuff. These are all awesome and you won't regret either if you decided to include them in your itinerary so without further ado, here they are in no particular order 😉 :-

1. Wisteria Tunnel

"It’s practically impossible to walk through the pastel-colored passageway of wisteria flowers at the Kawachi Fuji Gardens without imagining an elegant fairy princess and her one-horned white steed prancing alongside you.

Wisteria is an ornamental vine, wildly popular for its graceful hanging flowers and its ornate, winding branches. They bloom in cascades of long, lavender flowers of varying pastel shades. Make sure to visit in late April or Early May, during the “Fuji Matsuri,” or “Wisteria Festival,” when the magical tunnel is in full bloom."

Tip: Since we visited in the shoulder season we couldn't see it however if this is a must do for you then you have to go during Japanese bloom season 🙂

Picture and excerpts from the link here


 

2. Akame 47 falls

"Akame 47 waterfalls can be distinguished from others in Japan for its numerous waterfalls. The 4km-long path along the river offers a refreshing walk in the forests with more than 48 waterfalls. Five of them are especially popular for the breathtaking view. You can enjoy views of various waterfalls in size and in shape. The walk through the path with the sound of water running is great in every season"

Picture and Excerpt from the link here


 

3. Tottori Sand Dunes

"The Tottori Sand Dunes are part of Sanin Kaigan National Park in Tottori Prefecture. Stretching for 16 kilometers along of the Sea of Japan coast, the dunes are the largest in the country. Tide movement and wind causes the dunes’ shape to change constantly, but they can be up to two kilometers wide and 50 meters high. Camel rides are widely available, causing the area to have an enchanting, desert-like atmosphere."

Pic and excerpts from the link here


 

4. Nonbei Yokocho

"Hidden in between and behind shiny high-rises, massive station complexes and other architectural monsters, Tokyo's old-school alleyways or yokocho are treasure troves for anyone looking to experience the city's less sterile, more down-to-earth side. Crawl through such yokochos and you'll have learned more about the city than many people ever will.

It is also known as Drunkard's Alley in Shibuya filled with microbars. Microbars are bars that are so miniscule that they can't fit more than five people inside."

Excerpts from the link here and here plus pic also from the latter link.


 

5. Learn to be a Ninja

"As a child, didn’t you always dream of becoming a superhero, fireman, or a ninja? Not many are aware that they can actually Become a Ninja in Japan! A qualified ninja who has been succeeding the ninja tradition will teach you basic ninja movements and techniques. As a bonus, you will also get to dress up in black ninja gear and bring home photos of yourself showing off your newfound ninja moves!"

We also tried this and it was totaly worth it, learnt some moves with a bit of history. Find a Ninja Dojo and give it a go 🙂

Excerpts from the link here and pic here


 

6. Karaoke Hotel

I know Karaoke is on every must do list for Japan but this caught my fancy for the sheer scale of the madness it offers 😛 .  Not just small karaoke parlours but an entire multi storey hotel dedicated to it!

"Right across the street from Robot Restaurant, it looks like a Hyatt or Hilton. Nope, just an entire hotel is dedicated to Karaoke. Select your room, drinks and ridiculous costume from a wardrobe. We quickly morphed into a gang of power rangers, panda bears, pink bunnies, French maids, and pirates. Then sing your heart away until the wee hours of the night. There’s nothing better."

Excerpts from the link here and pic here


 

7. Cup Noodle Museum

When you land in Japan you will see how ramen is a staple food there which comes in so many varieties that it is mind boggling.  Plus let's not forget to mention here that it is oh so yummy! Therefore, no wonder this is where instant cup noodles were first invented by Nissin.

"Less traditional than the sashimi sold at Tsukiji, but no less popular, is the instant ramen the Cup Noodle Museum is dedicated to. The building features exhibits on the development and history of the quick-to-prepare noodles, its biggest draw is the area in which visitors can create"

Excerpts and pic from here


 

8. Eat Murasawa Beef

Since we are talking about food now, we have got to tell you about Murasawa beef. Almost every non  vegetarian visiting Japan knows about Kobe and Wagyu beef but not many have heard of this (including us and we discovered it when the restaurant owner recommended it to us). 

"Murasawa Beef is a type of wagyu beef produced in Nagano prefecture. By investigating three generations of the cows' bloodlines, the producers can select the highest quality heifers. They are then fed only the finest feed, and carefully raised for 24 to 27 months in a farm with tatami mat flooring to reduce the cows' stress. Since very few are exported, they are known as Japan's "Legendary Beef"

Excerpts and pic from the link here


 

9. Kit Kat flavours

"Who doesn’t love chocolate right? How about KitKats? Well in Japan you never have to worry about getting bored by the one flavour of KitKat you may have at home. Take your pick of 15 flavours you will find throughout the country! Fancy a strawberry or a lime infused KitKat? Go wild with the purple sweet potato flavour or the red bean sandwich. Bottom line: there’s not much left out in the flavour department!"

We chanced upon these at the airport when we were leaving and they made for awesome souvenirs to carry back for everyone. I mean when returning from 'abroad' chocolates are quintessential 😉 and this is so unique to Japan that they are a must. We got the wasabi one, as in the picture, and it was an interestingly tasty flavour!

Excerpts and pic from the link here


 

10. Fake Food

Since we have moved to souvenirs then we just have to tell you about the fake food keychains we brought back. When you are eating in Japan you will see how ubiquitous the fake food is. Some are so life like and yummy to look at plus they are perfect for tourists to get a glimpse of what their food would look like.

You can go directly to the source to check them out at Gujo, details here. Remember how a cabbage making video went super viral recently?? Link here (also for the pic). This is what you can witness first hand there.

Or if you are short of time then perhaps by them at a store like Tokyu Hands where you can shop for other stuff too.


 

Onsen in Hakone

Onsen in Hakone

Cemetary in Koyasan

Cemetary in Koyasan

Having given you the above selection, we wanted to make sure that you also knew about some other things like:-

  1. Experiencing and 'Onsen' in Hakone
  2. Visiting Koyasan (Mt. Koya) and staying at a temple there
  3. Tsukiji Market - Eat the freshest Sushi here along with other adventurous stuff 
  4. Vending Machines - making sure you freak out on them
  5. Their super hi-tech toilets - don't be afraid or shy of trying all the features out
  6. Capsule Hotels - see if you can squeeze in a stay
  7. Maid cafes, cat cafes, robot restaurants etc

Onsen pic from here and Koyasan pic here

 

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