Top 10 Things You Must Do in Japan

With so much to see and do in Japan, we’ve picked 10 of the most exciting activities to do on your trip to experience it like a local.


Mount Fuji at sunrise Photo © iStock

10. Camp on Karema Islands 

Escape the hustle and bustle of Japan’s major cities, pack a tent and some food, because it’s time to set up camp on the white sandy beaches of Zamami island in Okinawa.

9. Learn How to Make Japanese Cuisine

What’s the best way to eat like a local? Learn how to cook like a local, with locals, and then eat with them.

8. Go Scuba Diving in Okinawa 

A few hours from Tokyo by car or train, and you’re in Izu Peninsula. Slip on some scuba gear and swim through the wrecks and caves with your trusty scuba diving instructor.

7. Stay at a Traditional Ryokan 

Offering an unforgettable traditional Japanese experience, book yourself in for a night with the locals – and enjoy a delicious breakfast the next day.

6. Diving Ogasawara Islands 

Hop on a ferry for the journey 25 hours south 620mi (1,000km) of Tokyo, to the tropical fish and coral reefs of Ogasawara Islands.

5. Stroll Through the Bamboo Forest of Arashiyama 

Mingle with the macaques, stop off at temples and traditional gardens as you stroll through the bamboo forest of Arashiyama.

4. Hakone Onsen

Submerge yourself in one of the most popular hot springs, just an hour and a half away from Tokyo by car or train. Before you go, brush up on your onsen etiquette to fit in with the locals.

3. Visit Fushimi Inari Taisha 

Make your way through vermilion torii gates under the watchful gaze of the shrine’s spiritual foxes.

2. Hike Mount Fuji 

If you didn’t hike to the top of Mount Fuji, did you really go to Japan? Strap on your hiking boots and set aside a day to reach the summit. 

For spectacular views, get up early and reach the top in time for sunrise.

1. Karaoke

Because, well… You’re in Japan.

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