Japan may be leading the way into a modern and futuristic new world, but it still maintains and firmly holds the traditions and cultural importance that has built it into the country we know and love. Dazzling towers that light up the skyline and shopping streets lined with luxurious goods sit side-by-side with timeless ancient temples, traditional inns, and significant historical practices that date back thousands of years.
You may need to visit more than once to finish your travel bucket list. However, consider to buy Yen in Australia before heading off on this ultimate adventure to make your vacation as practical and simplified as possible.
Old Japan, Kyoto
Kyoto is where traditional Japan thrives. It has over 2000 breathtaking temples, picturesque gardens, and ceremonial teahouses, all adding their unique touch to the immense historical significance of this magnificent country.
Considered one of the most impressive sights in the entire country, visitors can view the gold-leaf tiers of Kinkaku-ji beaming under the golden rays of the afternoon sun, with a mirror image reflecting in the pond below.
The traditions found here are primarily tied to monks, emperors, and philosophers, reflected in the minimalistic garden designs that allow room for breathing, meditation, and reflection.
The Hiroshima Peace Museum
For a moment of history and reflection, a visit to the Hiroshima Peace Museum is a must. You can pay your respects to the victims of the atomic bombing that forever changed the history of this city and the entire country.
The park is a wonderful slice of natural beauty, and the museum provides plenty of heartbreaking, interesting and vitally important information to learn. Afterwards, take some time to stroll the streets of the modern city that was entirely rebuilt post-World War II.
Experience the Geisha Tradition
Geishas are one of the most beautiful and fascinating aspects of Japanese culture, featuring women who entertain the public using traditional arts. It may feel like a tradition that has long been left in the past, but they still exist today, mainly in older towns and villages littered across the country, including the ancient city of Kyoto.
Visitors can enjoy artistic performances at one of the annual dances that take palace every spring and autumn, the most famous being the Miyako Odori in Apil. Here you can get a closer look at the elegant and timeless kimono designs, elaborate hairstyles, and iconic white makeup encompassing these beautiful women.
Sake in Saij?
Sake is a big part of Japanese culture. A visit to a sake town is an essential experience for any visit to the country. Follow the tradition of lifting the small cup with both hands, one supporting the bottom. Admire the delicate gold leaf floating on top of the clear liquid. Take a sip of the smooth drink with a delicious hint of plum.
Turning rice into alcohol is a practice that goes back 2000 years, and some breweries in Saij? date back 150 years. The town is home to eight white-washed breweries, each set with a brick chimney stack adorned with the name of the building in Japanese. Begin your journey with Kamotsuru Brewing Company, where you can watch and learn the brewing process before making your way through this exciting and delicious sake journey.
Go-Karting in Tokyo
For an unforgettable and enjoyable experience, head to Tokyo for a go-karting adventure. With your friends or family, your group can dress up as your favourite characters and drive go-karts along the streets of this iconic city.
While driving alongside buses and cars may feel daunting, the entire experience is well-controlled and coordinated. To prevent an issue, ensure you have an international driving permit, as they are strict about this requirement.
Sleeping in a Ryokan
For a truly authentic experience, staying in a Ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn, is strongly recommended. Tatami mat rooms are elegant, sophisticated, minimalist spaces, usually furnished with just a table and low chairs where you can enjoy a mug of green tea.
Breakfast and dinner are typically included in the price and served in the comfort of your room. These delicious and impressive multi-course meals are a big highlight of your stay and allow you to taste the food delights that Japan does best.
Once dinner is over, staff will set up futons on the floor for a surprisingly comfortable night’s sleep. While Ryokans are more expensive than a regular hotel, the experience is well worth the price for anyone wanting to get the most out of their travels.
Soak in an Onsen
Another top contender for a Japan experience bucket list is soaking in the hot waters of an Onsen. These hot spring baths come in many forms, from large and spectacular to simple and small. They can be found both indoors and outdoors, and while most are shared, many ryokans feature private baths available for reservation.
Before indulging in the ultimate relaxation activity, a few things need to be considered and followed. Most springs are divided by gender, as users have to be completely naked. You must shower thoroughly before entering the bath to maintain a sanitary environment. It is worth facing any fears you may have to fully indulge in this relaxing experience.