Five must do experiences in Japan
Japan is full of history and beautiful sights. Get out of Tokyo and see more of the country with these top experiences.
The high-speed train will whisk you from Tokyo to Osaka in a couple of hours reaching speeds of up to 320 km/h. Much more fun than flying.
Osaka is famous for food and you can try plenty of it on Doutonbori Street. The most famous dish Takoyaki, a ball-shaped bite-sized snack made from a batter filled octopus, pickled ginger, and green onion. Try Okonomiyaki, which translates to ‘as you like it’. A savoury pancake made with eggs, cabbage and whatever you chose to top it with. The food is colourful and the vendors are friendly. Make sure you’re friendly and adventurous and you will leave well fed.
It was once the capital of Japan and has many museums, shrines and beautiful parks to explore. The Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion is one of the most famous and a great place for photos. The top two floors are covered in gold leaf and the building is surrounded by a reflective pool. In Kyoto city itself, there is the perfect balance of old and new with modern shopping malls next to museums and zen gardens. You may even see a geisha or maiko (geiko apprentice) in the Gion district.
Famous for over 10,000 red gates (and tourists) creeping up a hillside, it’s a great place to take a hike through the forest. Each shrine is purchased by a person or business who believe it brings good luck. If you can manage it, keep going up to the very top for an incredible view and fewer tourists. There is more to see in the area with trails to smaller shrines starting at the bottom of the Inari mountain.
The thick, cool, peaceful bamboo forest seems to go on for miles and is a great contrast from those coming from busy Tokyo. The best time to visit is in the afternoon if you are visiting in summer. The weather is still pleasant, the locals may be out strolling in their yukata and you’ll avoid the crowds.