Top 10 Things to do in Japan From Tradition to Modernity

Top 10 Things to do in Japan

Japan, a captivating country that seamlessly blends ancient traditions with modern marvels. Whether you’re an adventurer, a history enthusiast, a food lover, or simply seeking a cultural experience like no other, Japan has something to offer everyone. From bustling metropolises to serene natural landscapes, this island nation beckons you to explore its diverse wonders.


Things to Do

Best Time to Visit


Explore Tokyo

Spring & Autumn


Discover Kyoto

Spring & Autumn


Visit Mount Fuji



Experience Japanese Onsen



Explore Hiroshima and Miyajima

Spring & autumn


Witness the Geisha Culture in Gion

July festival


Experience Traditional Japanese Cuisine



Visit Nara

Cherry blossoms & autumn foliage.


Explore the Historic City of Kanazawa

Spring & Autumn


Enjoy Cherry Blossoms in Spring

Late March-April

Immerse yourself in the dynamic energy of Tokyo, a vibrant city where skyscrapers reach for the heavens, neon lights illuminate the streets, and traditional shrines stand in harmony with futuristic architecture. Marvel at the iconic Mount Fuji, a majestic peak that has captured the hearts of artists and adventurers for centuries.

Discover Kyoto, a cultural gem adorned with beautifully preserved temples, exquisite gardens, and traditional geisha districts. Indulge your taste buds with the delights of Japanese cuisine, from delectable sushi and sashimi to steaming bowls of ramen and tantalising street food.

Experience the serenity of ancient temples in Nara and witness the awe-inspiring Torii gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine. Explore the historical city of Hiroshima, a symbol of resilience and peace, and pay your respects at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

Best Places to Visit in Japan

Unwind in the hot springs of Hakone, where you can soak in therapeutic waters while enjoying breathtaking views of Mount Fuji. Traverse the picturesque streets of Kanazawa and immerse yourself in its rich samurai heritage.

This is just a glimpse of what awaits you in Japan. Prepare to be enchanted by its unique blend of tradition and innovation, natural beauty, and warm hospitality. Embark on an unforgettable journey as we unveil the top ten things to do in this enchanting land of the rising sun.


1. Explore Tokyo – Spring & Autumn

Tokyo, the bustling capital of Japan, offers a multitude of activities for travelers seeking an immersive cultural experience. Start your adventure by visiting the iconic landmarks such as the Tokyo Skytree, a towering structure providing breathtaking panoramic views of the city. Take a stroll through the historic Asakusa district to explore the Senso-ji Temple, one of Tokyo’s oldest and most revered Buddhist temples.

For a taste of modernity, visit the vibrant Shibuya Crossing, where a sea of pedestrians crisscrosses at one of the busiest intersections in the world. Explore the trendy neighbourhoods of Harajuku and Shinjuku, known for their fashionable shops, vibrant nightlife, and delectable cuisine.

Immerse yourself in traditional Japanese arts by attending a Kabuki or Bunraku performance or participate in a tea ceremony to experience the elegance of the tea-drinking tradition. Don’t miss the chance to indulge in authentic sushi at Tsukiji Fish Market or savor traditional street food at the bustling food stalls in Yurakucho.

Top 10 Things to do in Japan From Tradition to Modernity

2. Discover Kyoto – Spring & Autumn

Step back in time and discover the enchanting city of Kyoto, known for its rich cultural heritage and stunning temples. Begin your journey by visiting Kinkaku-ji, the famed Golden Pavilion, surrounded by meticulously maintained gardens. Explore the serene Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, where towering bamboo stalks create an ethereal atmosphere.

Immerse yourself in the world of traditional Japanese gardens at the sprawling Ryoan-ji, known for its minimalist rock garden, or visit Fushimi Inari Taisha, famous for its thousands of vibrant red torii gates that wind through the forested mountain.

Don’t miss the opportunity to witness a geisha performance in the historic Gion district, known for its preserved traditional wooden machiya houses. Visit the Kiyomizu-dera Temple, offering panoramic views of the city from its wooden terrace. Indulge in traditional Kyoto cuisine, including kaiseki (multi-course meal) and matcha (green tea) in one of the many tea houses scattered throughout the city.

Top 10 Things to do in Japan From Tradition to Modernity

3. Visit Mount Fuji – July-September

Embark on a memorable journey to Japan’s most iconic natural landmark, Mount Fuji. Begin your adventure by visiting the Fuji Five Lakes region, where you can capture stunning views of the mountain reflected on the tranquil lake waters. Take a leisurely stroll around Lake Kawaguchi or rent a boat to admire the majestic peak from the water.

For an exhilarating experience, consider climbing Mount Fuji during the official climbing season from July to August. Witness the breathtaking sunrise from the summit and be rewarded with panoramic vistas of the surrounding landscapes. Alternatively, take the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station for a scenic drive up the mountain, stopping at various viewpoints along the way.

After exploring Mount Fuji, visit the nearby hot springs in Hakone to relax and rejuvenate. Take a scenic cable car ride up Mount Hakone for spectacular views of the volcanic landscapes, including Owakudani, known for its bubbling hot springs and sulfur vents.

Whether you choose to admire Mount Fuji from a distance or conquer its peak, the experience will leave you in awe of Japan’s natural beauty and cultural significance.

Top 10 Things to do in Japan From Tradition to Modernity

4. Experience Japanese Onsen – Year-round

One of the must-do activities in Japan is experiencing a traditional Japanese onsen, a hot spring bath. These natural hot springs are scattered throughout the country and offer a unique and relaxing experience. The mineral-rich waters are believed to have various health benefits, and the tranquil atmosphere allows visitors to unwind and rejuvenate.

To fully enjoy the onsen experience, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the etiquette. Before entering the hot spring, you should thoroughly wash your body in the provided shower area. Once you enter the bath, remember to keep your towel out of the water and be respectful of others’ privacy. Onsens can be found in both urban and rural areas, ranging from luxurious resort-like facilities to rustic and secluded outdoor baths in picturesque settings.

Popular onsen destinations include Hakone, known for its stunning views of Mount Fuji, and Beppu, famous for its numerous hot spring resorts. Each onsen has its own unique characteristics, such as different mineral compositions and bathing styles. Some onsen also offer mixed-gender or private bathing options to accommodate various preferences.

Indulging in a Japanese onsen is not only a way to relax and soak in healing waters but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in Japanese culture and traditions. It’s an experience that should not be missed during your visit to Japan.

Top 10 Things to do in Japan From Tradition to Modernity

5. Explore Hiroshima and Miyajima – Spring & Autumn

Hiroshima and Miyajima are two captivating destinations in Japan that offer a mix of historical significance and natural beauty. Hiroshima, a city renowned for its resilience and peace-seeking spirit, is most famous for being the target of the world’s first atomic bomb during World War II. Today, it stands as a symbol of hope and peace, with the Peace Memorial Park and Museum being must-visit attractions. These sites provide a profound insight into the impact of nuclear weapons and the importance of promoting peace.

A short ferry ride from Hiroshima will take you to Miyajima, an enchanting island known for its iconic floating torii gate and breathtaking scenery. The Itsukushima Shrine, with its torii gate appearing to float on the water during high tide, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a visual marvel. Exploring the island further reveals scenic hiking trails, friendly deer roaming freely, and a serene atmosphere that invites tranquility.

Miyajima also offers delicious local cuisine, including Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, a savory pancake filled with various ingredients. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor this culinary delight while taking in the picturesque surroundings.

Visiting Hiroshima and Miyajima provides a balance of historical reflection and natural beauty, leaving visitors with a profound appreciation for Japan’s cultural heritage and its commitment to peace.

Top 10 Things to do in Japan From Tradition to Modernity

6. Witness the Geisha Culture in Gion – July Festival

Gion, located in the heart of Kyoto, is a district renowned for its traditional architecture, tea houses, and most notably, its geisha culture. Geisha, often referred to as geiko in Kyoto dialect, are highly skilled entertainers who have mastered traditional Japanese arts such as music, dance, and games. Gion offers a unique opportunity to witness and appreciate the world of geisha firsthand.

Strolling through the narrow streets of Gion, visitors may catch glimpses of beautifully dressed geisha or maiko (apprentice geisha) gracefully walking between tea houses. The best chance to encounter geisha is in the early evening when they are on their way to or from appointments. Remember to be respectful and observe from a distance, as geisha are professionals engaged in their work.

For a more immersive experience, consider attending a traditional tea ceremony or enjoying a meal at a ryotei (traditional restaurant) in Gion. Some establishments offer cultural performances where geisha showcase their talents, including dancing and playing traditional instruments like the shamisen.

Exploring Gion also provides the opportunity to admire the district’s preserved traditional machiya houses, which house teahouses, boutiques, and charming shops. Gion Corner, a cultural center, offers performances and demonstrations showcasing various aspects of traditional Japanese arts.

Gion is a captivating destination that allows visitors to delve into the rich heritage of geisha culture, offering an unforgettable glimpse into a bygone era of Japan’s traditional entertainment.

Top 10 Things to do in Japan From Tradition to Modernity

7. Experience Traditional Japanese Cuisine – Year-round

When visiting Japan, one of the absolute must-do activities is to indulge in traditional Japanese cuisine. Renowned worldwide for its meticulous preparation and exquisite flavors, Japanese food offers a diverse range of culinary delights. Savor the freshest sushi and sashimi at a local sushi bar, where expert chefs skillfully craft each piece.

Don’t miss the chance to try tempura, a dish of lightly battered and deep-fried seafood or vegetables, or sample the delicate flavors of kaiseki, a traditional multi-course meal that showcases seasonal ingredients. For a unique experience, visit a traditional izakaya, a Japanese pub, where you can enjoy small plates of delicious food paired with sake or beer.

Don’t forget to try regional specialties such as ramen in Tokyo, okonomiyaki in Osaka, or takoyaki in Kyoto. Exploring the diverse flavours of Japanese cuisine is a delightful adventure that will leave you with a deep appreciation for the country’s culinary heritage.

Top 10 Things to do in Japan From Tradition to Modernity

8. Visit Nara – Cherry Blossoms & Autumn Foliage

A trip to Japan wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the enchanting city of Nara. Located just a short distance from Kyoto and Osaka, Nara is renowned for its rich history and stunning cultural treasures. One of its most famous attractions is the Nara Park, home to hundreds of freely roaming deer, considered sacred messengers of the gods.

Take a leisurely stroll through the park and feed the friendly deer while enjoying the tranquil atmosphere. Another must-see is the Todai-ji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Japan’s most impressive wooden structures. Inside the temple, you’ll find the Great Buddha, a colossal bronze statue that stands over 15 meters tall.

For a peaceful escape, head to the serene Isuien Garden or explore the traditional streets of Naramachi, filled with charming shops and historic buildings. Nara offers a unique blend of natural beauty, ancient history, and cultural experiences that will captivate any visitor.

Top 10 Things to do in Japan From Tradition to Modernity

9. Explore the Historic City of Kanazawa – Spring & Autumn

Nestled on the western coast of Japan, Kanazawa is a city renowned for its beautifully preserved historic districts and impressive cultural heritage. Known as “Little Kyoto,” Kanazawa offers a more intimate and less crowded experience while still showcasing the elegance of traditional Japanese architecture and gardens.

One of the top attractions is Kenrokuen, one of Japan’s most famous gardens, featuring meticulously manicured landscapes, stunning seasonal flowers, and serene ponds. Explore the historic Higashi Chaya District, where you can step back in time and experience the atmosphere of a geisha district with its traditional tea houses and narrow streets.

Visit the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art to enjoy modern art exhibitions and installations. Don’t miss the Nagamachi Samurai District, where you can wander through the narrow lanes lined with well-preserved samurai residences. Kanazawa is a city that effortlessly blends old-world charm with contemporary attractions, offering a delightful destination for history and culture enthusiasts.

Top 10 Things to do in Japan From Tradition to Modernity

10. Enjoy Cherry Blossoms in Spring – Late March-April

Springtime in Japan is a magical season when cherry blossoms, known as sakura, paint the landscape with delicate shades of pink. Witnessing the ephemeral beauty of cherry blossoms is an iconic experience and a cherished tradition for both locals and visitors. From late March to early April, parks, gardens, and streets throughout Japan burst into vibrant colors as the cherry trees bloom.

One of the best places to enjoy this natural spectacle is in Tokyo, at Ueno Park or the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, where thousands of cherry trees create breathtaking vistas. Kyoto is another popular destination, with iconic spots like Maruyama Park and the Philosopher’s Path offering picturesque settings for hanami, the traditional custom of cherry blossom viewing.

Don’t forget to indulge in a hanami picnic under the blooming trees, surrounded by friends, family, or fellow travellers. The beauty and fleeting nature of cherry blossoms make springtime in Japan an unforgettable experience filled with joy, celebration, and appreciation for nature’s wonders.

Top 10 Things to do in Japan From Tradition to Modernity

Top Things to do in Japan

Japan offers an array of captivating experiences that cater to a wide range of interests. Whether it’s exploring the dynamic energy of Tokyo, discovering the cultural heritage of Kyoto, or witnessing the majestic beauty of Mount Fuji, Japan has something for everyone.

The country’s rich history and traditions are intertwined with modern marvels, creating a unique blend of old and new. From indulging in traditional Japanese cuisine to immersing oneself in the serene hot springs or experiencing the geisha culture in Gion, every moment in Japan is filled with wonder and enchantment.

The cherry blossoms in spring add a touch of magic, creating a visual spectacle that is both awe-inspiring and ephemeral. With its diverse wonders and warm hospitality, Japan invites you to embark on an unforgettable journey that will leave you with lasting memories and a deep appreciation for this land of the rising sun

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