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.

Operating here since 1935, the world’s largest fish market is a sight to be seen and experienced. The jonai (inner market) area for wholesale fish merchants is closed to the general public, but the jogai (outer market) is open to everyone.

A traditional onsen (hot springs) resort that dates back to the 1870's, Arai Ryokan has a serene, old-world feel, evoked by the traditional Japenese wooden-beam architecture, covered walkways and bridges, and wooded surroundings.

This centrally located store offers easy one-stop shopping for those looking for travel-related electronics: translation machines with voice output to headphones, memory chips for your camera, and more.

Housed in a modern Japanese building designed by architect Kengo Kuma, the Suntory Musuem of Art is a striking white structure with vertical louvers that run the length of the exterior.

The largest outlet mall in Japan, just 60 miles west of Tokyo in Shizuoka, is pilgrimage-worthy for two reasons. First, its 200-strong shop selection includes rarities like Maison Martin Margiela, Balenciaga, and Bottega Veneta at 25–65 percent off retail.

Home to more than 200 shops, restaurants, and services, Roppongi Hills is one of Tokyo's premiere shopping destinations, located in the heart of an area that includes residences, a museum, hotels, theaters, and galleries.

A distilled spirit made from potatoes, rice, wheat, or barley, shochu originated in Kyushu (in southwestern Japan), but is now produced all over the country. The Sho-Chu Authority carries over 3000 varieties of the liquor, which differs from sake in that sake is fermented rather than distilled.

Taste rare brews at this low-key bar run by an Israeli expat.

F.I.L (shorthand for Free International Laboratory) is the boutique of Berlin-based, Japanese fashion designer Hiroki Nakamura and his visvim clothing, a high-concept line focused on creating the opposite of disposable fashion.

Once the largest toy store in Tokyo, this century-old shop is still home to one of the most impressive toy collections in the city. Opened in 1899, Hakuhinkan is housed in a nine-story building in the Ginza district.

On the day of your purchase, please take the receipt for the goods purchased at Daimaru Tokyo store on the same day and your passport to the Tax Exemption Counter on the 9th floor.