Ultimate Japan Bucket List: 100+ Ideas For The Best Trip Ever

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Ahh, Japan. I love it. I decided for my next bucket list I would do another place I love and can’t wait to go back to: Japan! So today I’ve been scouring the depths of the Internet to make the best Japan bucket list ever.

Here you’ll find the best temples in Japan, best hikes in Japan, must-try foods in Japan, hidden gems in Japan, weird themed restaurants in Japan, festivals, monuments, and more so you can have the best trip ever.

I broke it down into a Tokyo bucket list and a general Japan bucket list and am always open to suggestions on additions, especially outdoor related.

I’ve got to say, like usual, making this list has made me want to go back to Japan so bad, especially to see the national parks, which they have a surprising number of (31 as of 2014, plus 56 quasi-national parks)!

The weird themed restaurants are another reason I really want to go back so expect a lot of those on this list. One thing to keep in mind if you do visit them, don’t expect the best food ever. It’s going to be average but going to these is mostly for the experience.

Ugh, I really actually just want to do all of this. Japan has so much more to offer than I realized when I started this, and I love it! Can you tell I love it? Well, anyway, here’s my Japan bucket list!

Tokyo government building observation floor

Tokyo Bucket List

  • Visit the Tokyo Skytree and go to the top
  • Explore Ueno Park
  • Do a Mario Kart go kart tour
  • Go to a Sumo Wrestling tournament
  • See a Sumo practice
  • Visit a bunny cafe
  • Visit an owl cafe
  • Eat at a Maid Cafe
  • Get something out of a vending machine
  • Try some weird dishes in Piss Alley
  • Wander through the bright Akihabara
  • Play some Pachinko (if you can figure it out)
  • Spend a night out in Golden Gai
  • Eat at the Kawaii Monster Cafe
  • Stay at a love hotel
  • Wander around Takeshita Street in Harajuku
  • Eat at The Lockup in Shinjuku (a prison themed restaurant!)
  • Go to the Robot Restaurant
  • Eat at 8-Bit Cafe in Shinjuku
  • Cross at the Shibuya Crossing (the best view of it is from the Starbucks)
  • Check out the view from the top of the Government building
  • Admire the view from the tourism building in Asakusa
  • Enjoy the Hamarikyu Gardens
  • Eat at the Vampire Cafe
  • See Senso-ji
  • Eat at Uobei sushi
  • Visit the Imperial Palace
  • Go to a cat cafe
  • Visit the Meguro Parasitological Museum
  • Wander the shops in Tokyo Station
  • See Kongobu-ji Temple in Koyasan
  • Experience the Mori Digital Art Museum

Japan Bucket List

  • Stay in a capsule hotel
  • Visit a sake brewery
  • Eat delicious ramen
  • Eat Wagyu Beef
  • Visit Magome-juku
  • Visit Cat Island (Tashirojima)
  • Climb Mount Hiei
  • Participate in a traditional tea ceremony
  • Visit the Hanayashiki Amusement Park
  • Walk the Philosophers Path
  • See Moss Temple in Kyoto
  • Stay at a Ryokan
  • Ride Japan’s oldest mountain railway, the Hakone Tozan Railway
  • Be dazzled by Lake Chuzenji
  • Explore Minami Alps National Park
  • See Kodai-ji Temple in Kyoto
  • Visit Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park
  • Explore Daisetsuzan National Park
  • See the waterfalls in Akame, all 48 of them!
  • See Todai-ji Temple in Nara
  • Visit Shirakawa-go
  • See Snow Monkeys in Nagano
  • See the Takane Ruby Bloom in Akasoba-no-Sato
  • Visit the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
  • Climb Mt. Fuji
  • See Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto
  • Do the The Shikoku Henro Pilgrimage
  • Visit Aokigahara (the Suicide Forest)
  • Visit a Don Quijote store
  • Visit Monkey Mountain in Arashiyama
  • Explore Hakone National Park and Shrine
  • Go skiing or snowboarding in Hokkaido
  • Drink Matcha tea
  • Visit Ogasawara National Park
  • Relax on the beach in Sanriku Fukko National Park
  • See traditional Kabuki theater
  • Do some trekking in the Kamikochi Valley
  • Visit Matsuzaki
  • See the hot springs in Kyushu in the town of Beppu
  • Relax in an onsen in Hakone
  • See Nagoya Castle
  • Hike the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail
  • Visit Naoshima and see the art installations
  • Take pictures in Purikura
  • Eat everything in Osaka
  • See the wild horses in Cape Toi
  • Walk the Mogime to Tsumago Trail
  • Visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
  • Hike to the top of Mount Chogatake
  • Go diving in the Yaeyama Islands
  • Visit Tenryu-ji temple in Kyoto
  • See the cherry blossoms
  • Hike Mount Takao
  • Hike Mount Kita
  • Visit Osaka Castle
  • Attend the Sapporo Snow Festival
  • Visit Matsushim Bay
  • Explore Gion in Kytoto
  • Go on a night tour at Okunoin Cemetery in Koya-san
  • Climb Mount Kaimondake
  • See Seiganto-ji Temple in Nachisan
  • See To-ji Temple in Kyoto
  • Relax on a beach in Okinawa

Have you been to Japan? What’s still on your Japan bucket list? What have you crossed off of it?

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