Japan

Things to do in Japan

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.

The Tokyo City View observation deck has floor-to-ceiling windows that provide panoramic views of Tokyo Tower, Haneda Airport, Mount Fuji, the island of Odaiba, and the Shibuya and Shinjuku districts.

Ukiyo-e woodblock prints, a uniquely Japanese art form, are the focus of this niche museum collection, bequethed by the estate of Seizo Ota, the late chairman of a major Japanese insurance company.

Billed as a bespoke travel designer, Lisa Lindblad specializes in adventure and luxury travel to destinations ranging from Morocco and Uruguay to Norway and Sri Lanka. With a background in cultural anthropology, Lindblad is known for blending the expected with the undiscovered.

Two high-tech skating rinks, plus a museum with artifacts from the 1998 Winter Olympic Games, which were held in the city.

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.

A variety store in the truest sense, this member of the Tokyu Hands department-store chain sells everything from kitchen knives to camping packs.

The dark, designy, one-person deep standing bar sells single servings of sake in little jars to keep the sake fresh.

Nail Quick lets you enjoy Japanese nail services. They have gel nails and polish colorings with beautiful nail arts. You can select the sample in iPad Nail Catalogues and the real samples in the salons.

One of Japan's largest department stores (also one of the world's largest), Tobu is located atop the Ikebukuro subway station, with 15 stories above ground and 4 beneath.

Dog's Care Joker brings Roppongi Hills pampering to pooches.

The riverside 685-year-old Zen monastery has 24 temples on the property.