Welcome to Time Out
The best of Japan
High on many a traveller’s wish list, the best things to do in Japan speak to the imagination of many, with sky-high districts full of neon alongside centuries-old buildings and lots of ‘only-in-Japan’ weirdness. Of course, you can stick to those stereotypes, and although they do exist (and are carefully cultivated for tourists’ pleasure), it’s worth your while to dig a little bit deeper. Then, you’ll find rowdy bars, stunning modern art, incredible hotels, surprising natural vistas, and of course, some of the best food in the world, often in the most unexpected places. Zip your way through it all on an uber-punctual bullet train – finding the best things to do in Japan just got a whole lot easier. Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList and tag @TimeOutEverywhere. Find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world.
Japan’s diversity is breathtaking, whether geographically – everything from subtropical beaches in Okinawa to ski resorts in Hokkaido – or architecturally, from the neon-illuminated skyscrapers of Tokyo to old Kyoto houses and ancient temples – and everything else in between. Whether you’re there for the stunning cherry blossom season, a spot of sumo wrestling or sampling sushi in a local food market, each day will invariably be excitingly different, with a plethora of unforgettable things to do. Japan’s hotels offer great diversity too, from the most opulent palaces to dirt-cheap ‘capsule’ hotels costing less than a round of drinks per night. The rich and varied range of accommodation options awaiting at this stunning destination takes in hotels with onsen to destress in, cute wooden capsules that do away with unnecessary stuff, grand hotels with lobby waterfalls and even one located in a museum. Here’s our selection of the very best.