Our girlboss Kairi just returned from a 3-week trip to Japan. By no means is the rest of the team jealous. Nope. Not at all. Although, we couldn't go with her, she was kind enough to share the top must-do-can't-miss things in Japan. And these were too good to only keep to ourselves. So enjoy.
Depending on the time you are visiting, get an experience of nature’s magic - whether it’s cherry blossoms, fireflies, autumn foliage, glowing squids or something else. The Japanese celebrate these phenomena for very good reason.
Eat well and try different things - Japanese cuisine is so much more than sushi and ramen (which you should of course explore as well).
In Tokyo, teamLab Borderless digital art museum (which is a very misleading name for this audio-visual experience) is a must do. It was breathtakingly beautiful, unreal and therapeutic, it astonishes with the sheer scale and quality of the works. Take time to explore, to find some hidden rooms, to see how the works change in rooms and go experience their digitally enhanced take on the tea ceremony.
Even if you think temples and shrines aren’t for you (and of course if you’re crazy about historical architecture, like I am). You might be surprised at what you find there. If I had to choose one, I’d say it is Fushimi Inari-taisha. We’ve probably all seen it a million times on photos (it’s the one with countless red gates called the torii) but believe me when I say the place is magical and there’s no way to catch it on photos. When they say 1000 torii, then actually in reality it means about 10 000, located in the forest all around Mt. Inariyama. The higher you hike, the fewer people you see, so it can be both a very crowded and touristy as well as a very secluded experience.
Travel around Japan, if possible, to see how the regions differ from each other in culture, way of life, cuisine etc. Try to get an experience of the countryside as well. I’m really glad we visited Okinawa, which I know is an unusual destination for the first time visit.
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