Must Try “To-Do” Things in Japan

When travelling to someplace new, the way to get to know the people and the country is to experience the history, culture, and traditions of a nation.  Japan has many interesting, unique things to try and do. All you have to do is open your mind and your heart!

Ramen  – synonymous with Japan and now a favorite of people from all across the globe, even those with the most discriminating palates. Ramen is a delicious steaming hot bowl of Japanese soup made with Chinese-style wheat noodles. Check out the best ramen places to try according to Japan Restaurant Award 2016.


Purikura – a popular form of the modern photo booth that has hit the United States too.  It originated in Japan. Instead of the usual individual images printed on photo paper, purikura images are printed in collage form on sticker paper with an array of designs to choose from.

Pachinko – a widespread Japanese gaming machine, a sort of combination slot–pinball machine. The main goal is to fire metal balls into several pins in strategic areas of the machine. With 120 million Japanese citizens and very little land, pachinko was an ideal form of amusement that didn’t need a lot of space. The usual prizes then were chocolate, tobacco, perfume, and soap.

Vending machines – the popularity of vending machines in Japan grew in the 1950s and ballooned into the strange animals they are today. There is now about one vending machine for every 23 people, a staggering density. There are vending machines for practically anything you need, from hot meals to underwear.

Pachinko. | Todd Lappin

Seasonal illuminations – spectacular lighting displays, a glorious sight in the larger cities all across Japan. The dazzling displays begin sometime in November and run until New Year or even until Valentine’s Day in February. It makes the holidays feel extra special and  more festive.

Visit old Japanese neighbourhoods – Tokyo went through 50 years of a building boom. But there are still a few quaint neighborhoods that still have the traditional vibe of old Japan such as Sugamo, Shimokitazawa, and Koenji. Walking along the picturesque streets of these places can transport you back in time.

Koenji neighbourhood. | tim t.

Depachika eats – Depachika is a term for department store basements. You can find a variety of food in depachikas. Numerous food selections from all around the globe satisfy your every food craving. The vast array of food choices  includes the usual Japanese fare such as pre-prepared bento boxes, sushi, tempura, and ramen.

Whatever it is you decide to try, there never is a dull moment when visiting Japan!