Japan

Japan Travel Guide

It’s nearly impossible to run out of things to do in Japan. The country is bursting with activities, from the shopping, dining, cultural and nightlife activities in Tokyo, to the traditional shows and ceremonies in Kyoto, to the breathtakingly beautiful hikes along the coast and through the Alps.

Visitors wondering what to do in Japan should start with the country’s world-renowned dining scene. Japanese cuisine is fresh, local, and typically made from seasonal ingredients. Don’t leave the country without ordering ‘omakase’ at a sushi bar. The Japanese phrase means ‘I’ll leave it to you,’ and allows the chef to present diners with whatever dishes he or she sees fit, enabling the use of the freshest ingredients.

While Tokyo and Kyoto offer an astounding number of things to do in Japan, the activities don’t end with urban life. Nature-lovers wondering what to do in Japan need only travel a few minutes by car outside Kyoto’s borders to find themselves immersed in forested mountains, perfect for a day-long hike.

Sugino's creations are baked daily in minuscule quantities, which qualifies them as gentei (limited-edition) and thus extra-desireable.

Departing passengers who have gone through passport control can take advantage of the airport’s official relaxation areas, which include a bright waiting room (think polished wood floors, blue benches, and white walls), an adjacent “comfort corner” outfitted with mirrored vanities, and 13 tiny si

Most tourists come to Kappabashi (Tokyo’s “Kitchen Town”) to pick up plastic sushi key chains and refrigerator magnets, but the real find is the wooden black-and-red lacquerware at Tanaka.

To spot the Harajuku girls, stroll along this pereptually crowded, store-lined street.

Simplicity rules at the 750-square-foot outpost of Muji, the popular Japanese accessories giant.

The neighborhood of Tsukishima, on a man-made island of the same name, is an off-the-beaten-tourist-path destination for local food.

 From July through October, get up close to the just-hatched baby sea turtles in the breeding tank.

The museum was designed by Richard Gluckman and houses contemporary Japanese art. The shop is worth the 52-story elevator ride for the colorful textiles.

Hidden away in the basement of an office bulding on the fringes of Harajuku, Dog is a literally an underground fashion spot, a hodge-podge of low-cost and designer vintage pieces (some imported from the US) and original designs by store owner Kai Satake, who takes cast-off clothing and reworks it

With its distinctive clock tower and curved granite façade, Wako is one of the most iconic department stores in Tokyo.

With everything from hardware to hobby, craft, and office supplies, even sushi-making supplies and lunch boxes, Tokyu Hands is a uniquely Japanese shopping experience and a glimpse into the country's culture.

This tea shop resembles an old-fashioned apothecary, with white-jacketed attendants measuring green tea onto scales.