Japan is considered to be one of the most charming countries in the world with its leading economy and rich tradition. It consists of numerous volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean many of which are still active like the iconic Mount Fuji. People come here from all over the world to witness the astounding architecture, art, and nature, as well as to try the magnificent food and sake.
If you are planning your next travel adventure, then here are 12 reasons why Japan is 2019 top travel destination and should definitely be included in your plans.
1. Watch traditional sumo wrestling in Ryogoku
Table of Contents
- 1. Watch traditional sumo wrestling in Ryogoku
- 2. Experience the art of stealth in Igyaru Ninja Museum
- 3. Try delicious Okonomiyaki in Tokyo
- 4. Explore the charming gardens of Nijo Castle
- 5. Visit the colorful Cherry Blossom Festival
- 6. Climb the active volcano of Mount Fuji
- 7. Buy a ticket for the Shinkansen bullet train
- 8. Play with adorable foxes at Zao Fox Village
- 9. Take a relaxing walk in Arishiyama Bamboo Forest
- 10. Discover the beauties of Japanese mountains
- 11. Go see Kabuki performance in Chuo
- 12. Learn about Japanese history at the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum
- In the end
Sumo wrestling is the national sport in Japan and you will find tournaments all over Japan where you can be a spectator. Ryogoku area is an important center for sumo wrestling and you can even watch morning practice for free in the stables of the kokugikan stadium. Make sure to visit the museum and many galleries which will show you more about this sport and its importance to Japanese tradition.
2. Experience the art of stealth in Igyaru Ninja Museum
One of the things that people most commonly associate Japan with is the stealth assassins from its history called the ninjas. Igyaru Ninja Museum is an ideal place to find out more about this medieval mastery and see firsthand the weapons these warriors used. This is all accompanied by a mini theater performing a ninja show, and visitors can even try to learn some of the moves and techniques. Don’t miss to buy souvenirs at the gift shop and bring some of the atmosphere to family and friends at home.
3. Try delicious Okonomiyaki in Tokyo
When it comes to Japanese food, you may think you know about it thanks to the popularity of sushi, matcha, and ramen. However, there is so much more to Japanese cuisine and Okonomiyaki dish is among the things you shouldn’t miss to try when in Tokyo. More specifically, Sometaro restaurant is specialized to only serve these savory pancakes and you will even watch them cook right in front of you.
4. Explore the charming gardens of Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle is the 17th-century residence of the first military dictator in Kyoto during the Japanese Edo period. The grounds consist of several buildings connected with nightingale tunnels and surrounded by stone walls and gorgeous gardens. The best time to visit Nijo Castle is during November when the gardens are full of fall colors thanks to maple and ginkgo trees and the art in the main building is, therefore, more pronounced.
5. Visit the colorful Cherry Blossom Festival
When Sakura and Ume flowers bloom during the first two weeks of spring, Japan celebrates this with the Cherry Blossom Festival in all its regions. People gather around the magnificent cherry trees and enjoy food, drinks, and music while admiring the pink flowers. This is one of the perfect ways to participate in Japanese tradition and feel some of its rich cultural values.
6. Climb the active volcano of Mount Fuji
Being the highest active volcanic mountain in Japan has turned climbing Mount Fuji into one of the most popular adventures in Japan. In July and August, people go on climbing expeditions here and enjoy the unbelievable views from Chureito pagoda and the Shin-Fuji station. The area also has five lakes with fairytale-like surroundings and you can also visit Fujisan Sengen Shrine and art museum at the base of the mountain.
7. Buy a ticket for the Shinkansen bullet train
The Shinkansen bullet train is a globally famous rail network running for almost 200 miles from Hokkaido to Kyushu. The train is the most notable for its high speeds so it’s more than just a transportation means and it became an attraction for tourists. The ticket is not expensive and besides being mesmerized by its speed, this is also the most efficient and safest way to travel around Japan.
8. Play with adorable foxes at Zao Fox Village
The Zao Fox Village is the most adorable place in Japan which will definitely put a smile on your face and elevate your mood. This wildlife sanctuary is the home to undomesticated foxes which roam around freely around the visitors and you can even play with them. These cute animals are friendly and like to be held and petted so you will definitely have once in the lifetime experience for only $10 ticket.
9. Take a relaxing walk in Arishiyama Bamboo Forest
Arishiyama Bamboo Forest is located in the center of Kyoto one of Japan’s busiest cities and it’s a perfect place to take a walk and relax from the sightseeing. You can also rent a bike or ride Sagano train through the area and you will still feel the serenity created by the shade of these green and lean trees. The best time to visit Arishiyama is in November and you should especially pay attention to the monkey park, Togetsukyo bridge, many temples like Tenryuji and go boating in the Oigawa river.
10. Discover the beauties of Japanese mountains
If you visit Japan between December and March, then you should definitely go on one of the Mountain watch holidays and discover the magic of Japanese snow. Japanese mountains are popular around the world for their high-quality snow so they attract thousands of skiers and snowboarders every year. However, once here, you should also experience the tradition of bathing in hot springs in the openly called onsens which are relaxing and the perfect way to enjoy the beautiful landscapes. The Snow Monkey Park where Japanese Macaques have wonderful time dipping in onsens should definitely be one of your stops when discovering the beauty of these mountains.
11. Go see Kabuki performance in Chuo
Kabuki is a traditional art form which often depicts historical events and Japanese stories as a dramatized stage play. The musical background is live and played on traditional instruments while English subtitle guides are included with a symbolic additional cost to the ticket. There are two performances every day so when in Tokyo make sure to stop by Chuo and enjoy this wonderful experience.
12. Learn about Japanese history at the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum
Near the end of the Second World War, two cities of Japan Hiroshima and Nagasaki were hit with nuclear bombs. These are the only time in human history that populated settlements were devastated by such destruction making Japan the only country in the world to go through this type of devastation. In order to show the extent of damage the nuclear weapon can do, the Japanese Government created the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum. The museum has a bookshop, video room and exhibition room dedicated to this dark period where you will learn more about the consequences to Japan, as well as the whole world.
In the end
No matter where you decide to travel in Japan you will be charmed by its culture and tradition which had deep roots in everyday life. This is only one of the reasons why Japan is 2019 top travel destination and others include its healthy cuisine, serene landscapes, and amazing wildlife. Even though Japan is a small country, you will need several days to experience all it has to offer and even you wouldn’t be able to see it all. But nonetheless, you will bring home a unique experience only Japan can provide and certainly plan to come back for another round.