5 Ways to Maximize Your Trip to Japan
Apr 13, 2018 9:00:00 AM
From its quirky restaurants to high-tech attractions to cherry blossom trees, it’s easy to see why countless travelers have fallen in love with Japan.
Mark popular tourist activities off your list but also check out off-the-beaten-path destinations that will give you a closer look of Japanese culture and cuisine.
Japanese cuisine as a whole has many components, each centered around unique ingredients like sashimi, udon noodles, and wagyu beef. World-renowned favorites like ramen and sushi are excellent to have, but also try authentic izakaya (japanese pub) dining yakitori (grilled skewers), or teppanyaki restaurants.
A great area to explore for Japanese specialties is Ginza. Add Uka-Tei, famous for its teppanyaki dishes, and Bird Land Ginza, which serves upscale versions of classic yakitori dishes, to your next Ginza food trip!
Multiple art forms are celebrated frequently in Japan, including lantern parades, dance festivals, snow festivals, and high-profile fashion shows.
Kabuki performances are a unique kind of Japanese theater, where dramatic dancing is done by performers in elaborate makeup to traditional string and percussion instruments.
You can watch Kabuki at several venues like the Edo-Tokyo Museum Kabuki Theater along the banks of the Sumida River. Take a walk along the riverside on your next free afternoon in Japan – you may even catch an authentic samurai and ninja performance!
Japan’s scenic spots are a photographer’s dream. Depending on where you visit, you can snap snow-capped mountains, rows of Sakura trees in bloom, or temples hundreds of years old!
There are plenty of “IG-worthy” spots around or nearby Tokyo. The Tokyo Tower offers a 360-degree view of the entire city, while smaller locations like the Meiji Shrine or Akasaka Guest House are picturesque landmarks featuring traditional Japanese and Western baroque styles, respectively.
While Japanese brands like Shiseido have found worldwide acclaim, there are many more products to be discovered along the country’s city streets.
Shopping districts like Ginza and Nakamise are great for discovering unique but affordable goods only found in Japan. Take home wax models of actual dishes here — an art form called Sampuru, which the Japanese are known for taking to the next level.
Pick up a bus card on arrival to get instant access to Japan’s efficient subway and bus systems, which are very convenient and affordable ways to reach most of the cities and towns you want to visit.
If you’re planning to stay longer, go on a subway tour to explore each of Tokyo’s 47 distinct neighborhoods – they’re all accessible by train!
Apart from these traditional modes of transportation, try taking a water bus or river cruise. It’s a clever way to enjoy great views and speedy travel!
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