The Ultimate Japan Bucket List: 100 Things to do in Japan

 In Entertainment, Food, Travel

Every country has its own list of things that make it unique and Japan is no exception. In my opinion, it is one of the most distinctive and fascinating countries in the world, though I may be a little biased! Whether you agree or not, there’s no denying that Japan is as alluring as it is special. A quick skim of this list alone displays such a rich variety of activities and experiences that it is sure to excite and inspire you to book your next trip to Japan!

Whether you are a first-time visitor or a frequent visitor, I hope this post inspires you to discover all the wonderful treasures Japan has to offer. I’ve left a little map of Japan next to all the experiences I have done myself, so if you’d like more info about it, make sure to let me know in the comments below!

So let’s get into this jumbo Japan bucket list and find out what 100 activities I think you should do while in Japan!



  1. Visit the happiest place on earth at Tokyo Disneyland πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  2. Visit the iconic Tokyo Tower πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  3. Be delighted with kawaii goods and delicious sweets at Harajuku πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  4. Stock up on anime figurines, vintage video games and licensed merchandise at Akihabara πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  5. Be treated like a master/mistress at a Maid CafΓ© such as Maidreamin πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  6. Dine at the spectacular Robot Restaurant at Kabukicho
  7. See pedestrians cross one of the busiest intersections in the world at Shibuya crossing πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  8. Escape the city and step into stunning green forests at Meiji Shrine and Yoyogi Park πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  9. Beat the crowds and grab a ticket to the famous Studio Ghibli Museum πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  10. Explore the streets of Kabukicho, Tokyo’s Red Light District πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅

Check out my blog post for more things to do in Tokyo.



  1. Visit the most iconic shrine in Japan, Fushimi Inari Taisha πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  2. Walk down the famous bamboo-lined path at Arashiyama Bamboo Grove πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  3. Stand in the presence of a completely golden temple at Kinkaku-ji (the Golden Pavilion) πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  4. Step into the past, meet a geisha and engage with traditional Japan in Gion πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅

Check out my blog post for more things to do in Kyoto.

Japan Bucket List: Dotonbori


  1. Eat the best street food in Japan at Dotonbori πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  2. Visit the most iconic castle in Japan, Osaka Castle πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  3. Step into the world of Harry Potter, Despicable Me and more at Universal Studios Japan πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅

Check out my blog post for more things to do in Osaka.



  1. Learn of the destruction of the world’s first atomic bomb at Hiroshima Peace Memorial museum
  2. Witness the destruction of WWII at the Atomic Bomb Dome and pray for peace at the Peace Memorial Park
  3. View the famous torii gate in the ocean at Itsukushima Shrine



  1. Island hop and beach hop in Japan’s sub-tropical prefecture, Okinawa πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  2. See stunning coral, sea turtles, beautiful fish and more while snorkelling and scuba diving in Okinawa πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  3. Take a ride from a water buffalo on Ishigaki Island



  1. See Darth Vader, Pikachu, Totoro and more carved in snow and ice at the Sapporo Snow Festival πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  2. Eat fresh crab from the icy stalls at Nijo Market πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅

Check out my blog post for more things to do in Hokkaido.

Japan Bucket List: Himeji Castle

Other Destinations

  1. See Himeji Castle, one of the most beautiful castles in Japan πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  2. Climb Mount Fuji, the tallest mountain in Japan
  3. Run around with the Japanese macaques at Jigokudani Monkey Park πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  4. Stay the night at a temple alongside Buddhist Monks in Koyasan πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  5. Visit the oldest, largest and most sacred cemetery in Japan, Okunoin Cemetary πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  6. Witness the stunning illuminated floats of the Aomori Nebuta Festival
  7. Ride a pirate ship around Lake Ashi in Hakone πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  8. Feed the many deer at Nara Park πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  9. Visit the big buddha at Todai-ji Temple πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  10. Contemplate modern art at Naoshima art island πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  11. Trek the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route and visit the Three Grand Shrines of Kumano; Kumano HongΕ« Taisha, Kumano Nachi Taisha and Kumano Hayatama Taisha
  12. Take a trip to Aoshima island, where cats outnumber humans six to one
  13. Take a stroll through the vibrant flower fields in Furano
  14. Explore one of the most authentic castles left in Japan, Matsumoto Castle πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  15. Soak in the healing waters of Kusatsu Onsen, one of the best onsens in Japan
  16. Walk along the scenic streets of Ginzan onsen, marveling at the many gorgeous ryokan that line the river
  17. Visit the upcoming Studio Ghibli theme park (2022) at the Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  18. Spend the day enjoying thrilling rollercoasters, peaceful baths and an outdoor shopping centre at Nagashima Spaland πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  19. Ride your bike along the Shimanami kaido, a route along the six islands connecting Chugoku to Shikoku πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  20. Visit the seven Hells of Beppu, hot springs so hot they are for viewing only



  1. Attend a hanami festival to see Japan’s iconic cherry blossoms in full bloom πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  2. View the stunning red, orange and yellow autumn leaves called koyo
  3. Walk amongst the incredible winter illuminations displayed all over Japan in December πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  4. Snowboard in some of the best powder snow in the world πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅

Japan Bucket List: Ramen in Fukuoka

Food and Drink

  1. Dine in one of Japan’s teeny izakaya’s
  2. Compare Osaka style and Hiroshima style okonomiyaki πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  3. Try fugu, or blowfish, one of the most dangerous foods in the world
  4. Attend a sake tasting event to savour Japan’s signature alcoholic beverage
  5. Grab a quick, cheap dinner from the closest conbini (convenience store) πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  6. Dine at an Italian restaurant and experience one of the best Italian meals you will ever try πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  7. Try every different kind of ramen, including shio (salt), shoyu (soy sauce), miso and tonkotsu (pork) πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  8. Eat authentic sushi and try as many kinds of Japanese fish as you can πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  9. Attend a traditional Japanese cooking class to learn how to cook one of their signature dishes
  10. Try matcha, Japan’s traditional green tea πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  11. Feast on a traditional kaiseki meal
  12. Make your own cup noodles at the Cup Noodles Museum
  13. Try as many Michelin starred restaurants as you can (there are many!)
  14. Treat yourself with Japan’s famous fluffy cheesecake πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  15. Pick a crepe from the many options available at Japan’s crepe stores πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  16. Warm up with Japan’s delicious winter cuisine, oden πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  17. Try as many kinds of donburi as you can πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  18. Snack on yummy rice balls called onigiri πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  19. Eat a new soft serve flavour at every destination πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  20. Go fruit picking in Japan’s many fruit farms across the country πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  21. Visit Fukuoka’s ramen stadium, a ramen theme park located on the top floor of a department store πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  22. Try Hokkaido’s winter specialty, soup curry πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅



  1. Attend a traditional tea ceremony πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  2. Witness a stunning geisha dance πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  3. Laugh until your sides hurt at a kabuki performance
  4. View a dramatic performance of Noh theatre
  5. See a traditional Japanese puppet performance at a bunraku theatre
  6. Watch a thrilling sumo match
  7. Fight like a ninja with an authentic ninja experience
  8. Learn of the power of the samurai with an authentic samurai experience
  9. Dress like a geisha and walk the streets of Japan πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅


Modern Experiences

  1. Let loose and sing your heart out at Karaoke πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  2. Pet all the kitties at a cat cafΓ© πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  3. Snuggle up to a super cute shiba puppy at a Shiba cafe πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  4. Take a ride on Japan’s famous shinkansen (bullet trains) πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  5. Try pachinko, the only way to β€œlegally” gamble in Japan
  6. Take a kawaii selfie at a purikura booth πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  7. Experience the thrilling atmosphere at a Japanese baseball game
  8. Grab a drink from one of Japan’s many vending machines πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅

Japan Bucket List: Shopping Mall


  1. Shop till you drop at a shotengai (Japanese shopping street) πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  2. Purchase all the omiyage (food souvenirs) your loved ones could eve wish for πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  3. Explore one of Japan’s ginormous shopping malls such as Aeon Mall, Shibuya 109, HepFive, Ario, Canal City Hakata and Youme Town πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  4. Buy cheap souvenirs and a whole lot of other stuff at Don Quijote πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  5. Grab souvenirs at a great bargain at a Β₯100 store such as Daiso πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅



  1. Relax at a traditional ryokan πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  2. Experience a Japanese capsule hotel πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  3. Stay a few hours at a love hotel
  4. Squeeze into teeny rooms at a business hotel πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅



  1. Visit one of Japan’s many PokΓ©mon Centres πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  2. Dine at a themed cafΓ© πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
  3. Win prizes, dance like crazy and enjoy an insane amount of video games at an arcade πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅

What is on your Japan bucket list? Have you done any of the things I’ve mentioned? Make sure you let me know in the comments below!


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