May the USA like Japan

A trip to Japan? 10 reasons why we want to travel to Japan

A Trip to japan we haven't been on the screen for a long time. This country was far too far from us, geographically and also in our heads. We have only had Japan on our radar for about a year and can very well imagine traveling this country on our own. Because the more we read about the country, the more attractive the idea of ​​a trip to Japan became.

This year we were even invited by the Japanese Tourist Board to a “Japan Night” in the Japanese embassy in Berlin. We didn’t miss that, of course, as we wanted to learn a lot more about the land of the rising sun. After that evening it was clear to us: We want to go to Japan, preferably tomorrow.

We are on fire for this country and can hardly wait to finally step on Japanese soil. It will probably not work until next year at the earliest, but we are already full of anticipation. The Japanese Tourist Office asked us what we find so exciting about Japan, why we want to visit this country and what we would like to see and experience locally. The following is our bucket list for Japan, which was partly created with your help. Thanks for all the great tips and information.

Table of Contents

1. People & Culture & Traditions

Japan is special, different and sometimes quite bizarre and crazy. What fascinates us already now are the people, the culture and the traditions, which still have a high priority in society. Huge temples, beautiful gardens, traditionally dressed geishas, ​​lots of customs, Japanese martial arts, tea ceremonies and a consistently colorful and multifaceted way of life for the Japanese await us in Japan.

We love to dive into completely different worlds. Japan is just such a world, a country between tradition and modernity. We are endlessly excited about an exciting program of contrasts and can hardly wait to see everything that we have only known from films, magazines, books, blogs and news so far.

What we would like to experience / see on site:

  • experience traditional tea ceremony
  • Visit temples and shrines
  • meet a geisha
  • Sing karaoke with locals
  • Couch surfing with locals
  • take a samurai course
  • marvel at a traditional dance
  • wearing japanese kimono

2. The mountains & the highlands

Japan has incredible nature. What we have seen in videos and photos so far amazed us quite a bit. The country is roughly the size of Germany, but almost three quarters of the country are hilly mountainous areas. The famous Mount Fuji is an unbelievable 3,776 meters high and next to it there are many more 3000, 2000 and 1000 meters.

In our dreams we are already hiking through the Japanese Alps and enjoying the beautiful scenery in the heart of Honshus. And of course we would also like to climb Mount Fuji and go on excursions to various national parks. Not to forget the 40 active volcanoes of the around 240 volcanoes in this country.

What we would like to experience / see on site:

  • Climb Mount Fuji
  • Canoe trip on Lake Kawaguchi
  • Hiking in the Japanese Alps
  • explore the Senjojiki high valley
  • Snowboarding in the Hakuba region
  • Explore the mountain landscape of Kamikochi

3. 6852 islands and many beaches

But Japan has a lot more to offer, namely lots of beaches and islands. A total ofJapan consists of 6852 islands, with only 425 islands being inhabited. Around 98% of the population lives on the four main islands (Hokkaidō, Honshū, Kyūshū and Shikoku). However, we are particularly impressed by theJapanese prefecture of Okinawa, which consists of over 150 islands.

Here, between Taiwan and mainland Japan, a breathtaking underwater world, white sandy beaches and colorful coral reefs await you and us. You can also go hiking, kayaking, diving, snorkeling and even whale watching tours in the national parks. A paradise for nature lovers! And as if that wasn't cool enough, you can also surf very well in Japan. A popular spot for this is e.g. Chiba, which is only around 45 minutes from Tokyo. Sounds kind of tempting ...

What we would like to experience / see on site:

  • Explore Kerama Islands
  • Explore Miyako Islands
  • Diving and snorkeling
  • Surfing in Japan
  • Whale watching tour
  • Yonahamaehama sandy beach
  • Explore Kujukushima Islands
  • Discover Yakushima
  • Nagahamacho Aoshima Cat Island
  • Hike on the island of Rebun

4. Superlative metropolises

Japan is definitely oneLand of superlatives, modernity and the future. We are so incredibly excited about Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Kobe and the many other cities and places. At this point we are of course absolutely aware that we definitely cannot see everything on just one trip to Japan. There is so much to see in Tokyo alone, we would probably have to stay in the city for a whole year to see almost everything.

We would like to admire the city from above from the famous Tokyo Skytree (the world's second tallest building), stroll through the various parks, visit strange cafes and restaurants (e.g. a cat café, prison restaurant), the famous shopping and nightlife district Shibuya explore and just let us drift. Do you have any ultimate Japan tips for us? Then off to the comments.

What we would like to experience / see on site:

  • experience famous Shibuya crossing
  • Marvel at Tokyo from above
  • visit the Osaka Castle
  • Walk in Shinjuku Gyoen Park
  • Experience curiosities
  • go to a "pachinko"
  • Take a photo in a photo booth
  • explore busy Takeshita Street

5. National parks & hiking

Japan owns30 national parkswhich are spread all over the country. Whether in the north of Hokkaido or on the southernmost islands of Okinawa, adventures are just lurking everywhere! Where should we start? Well, we don't know for sure yet. After doing some research, we definitely want theFuji Hakone Izu National Park to explore around Mount Fuji. Also theYakushima National Park on the island of the same name, Yakushima, piqued our interest because it appears so mysterious and magical.

in theAkan National Park there is a cluster of volcanoes and three large lakes. The beautiful Lake Mashu is famous here. Every year many thousands of visitors flock to theTowada Hachimantai National Park, as there are not only lakes and mountains here, but also the famous hot springs (onsen). We are absolute nature lovers and prefer to be outdoors, so we are all the more looking forward to our hopefully soon upcoming trip to Japan.

What we would like to experience / see on site:

  • Fuji Hakone Izu National Park
  • Yakushima National Park
  • Visit Akan National Park
  • Towada Hachimantai National Park
  • Hiking in Nikko National Park
  • Discover the islands of the Saikai National Park
  • Marvel at the sand dunes of the Sanin Kaigan National Park

6. The hot springs - onsen

Everywhere in the country you can find hot springs (so-called"Onsen"), in which people like to bathe. At around 40 ° C, you can really enjoy yourself and relax. On some pictures you can see the open-air baths in the midst of beautiful rocky landscapes, it just has to be wonderful!

When we start our first trip to Japan, a bath in one of the countless hot springs is definitely at the top of our program list. But be careful: Unfortunately, it is usually forbidden to visit an onsen bath with a tattoo. According to the information from JNTO, there are also a few who allow smaller tattoos to be masked. We will definitely report.

What we would like to experience / see on site:

  • learn more about bathing culture
  • Kusatsu Onsen
  • Fuji Kawaguchiko Onsen
  • Beppu Onsen
  • Yufuin Onsen
  • Noboribetsu Onsen
  • Take a sand bath - Ibusuki Onsen
  • Hottarakashi onsen

7. Action and adrenaline

But Japan can do so much more! How about, for example, a detour to theFuji-Q Highland Amusement Park? Japan's wildest roller coaster awaits you here, as well as an accompanying theme park, which takes you into the world of the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. We love action and roller coasters, it would certainly be worth a trip for us. How about you?

We can also imagine river rafting, diving, canyoning, kayaking or surfing during our trip to Japan. By the way, Japan is also a Mecca for skiers and snowboarders! In the winter sports centers of Niseko and Hakuba in particular, there are plenty of wild pistes waiting for you.

What we would like to experience / see on site:

  • Fuji-Q Highland Amusement Park
  • surf a wave
  • Kayaking in Yambaru
  • Canyoning in Hakuba
  • Paragliding
  • Drift ice hike
  • Helicopter flight
  • Skiing on Mount Zao
  • Whitewater raft trip
  • Bungee jumping (for Marco)

8. Marvel at temples and shrines

We have already seen many temples (e.g. in Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia ...), but on themTemple in Japan We are particularly pleased because we find Japanese temple architecture just incredibly fascinating to you. The roofs, which are also an essential element of temples, are often striking. So do the columns and capitals, the pagodas and gates.

Here in the land of a thousand gods it is also common thatdifferent faiths coexist peacefully. A Japanese proverb says that you are “born Shinto and die Buddhist”. We also find it very interesting that one evenovernight in traditional Koyasan temples can. You can learn more about life in the monastery and the life of the monks. Sounds like an adventure, doesn't it?

What we would like to experience / see on site:

  • The Golden Temple (Kyoto)
  • Shrine in Miyajima
  • Kiyomizu-dera (Kyoto)
  • Fushimi Inari Taisha (Kyoto)
  • Sensō-ji Temple (Tokyo)
  • Tōdai-ji (Nara)
  • Meiji Shrine (Tokyo)
  • Kasuga Taisha (Nara)
  • Kinkaku-ji (Kyoto)
  • Night in a Koyasan temple

9. Discover the Japanese cuisine

During our world tour a few years ago we got to know and love the many different cuisines of the individual countries. Many rave about the Japanese cuisine, because it is supposed to be the healthiest and lightest kitchen ever. In general, Japanese cooks are quite low in fat, and the Japanese use less spices and prefer to use their own taste.

"You have to try ramen, you will love it!" A sentence that we have heard quite a few times. It is a Japanese noodle soup, which is said to be available in countless variations. We look forward to rice balls, dumplings, sushi, curry, tempura and all the different rice dishes with meat, chicken, vegetables and other ingredients. Our motto will be:“Everything that comes on the table is tried”.

What we would like to try on site:

  • Try ramen (soups)
  • Eat sushi
  • Tempura dishes
  • Kaiseki in the afternoon
  • Fish specialty Unagi
  • Nabemono (stew)
  • Soba noodles
  • Okonmiyaki (like pancakes)
  • Tonkatsu (pork tenderloin)
  • Yakitori (chicken skewers)
  • Gyoza (like Maultaschen)
  • Onigiri (rice dumplings)

10. Modernity, infrastructure and curiosities

No matter who told us something about Japan, everyone raved about the toilets. Yes, you heard right! TheHigh tech toilets You can expect countless buttons and functions, such as a heated seat, music, a built-in air dryer or special self-cleaning technology. There are also special toilet shoes that you have to put on beforehand. At the Japanese embassy, ​​we got to enjoy a Japanese toilet for the first time. Another curiosity are vending machines. Did you know that there are around 5.5 million vending machines in Japan for food, drink and all kinds of curios? We will definitely not miss this on our first trip to Japan.

We're really looking forward to thehigh speed train"Shinkansen". The rail network is very extensive and we can get to our destination in a very short time. The special thing is the speed: You can travel from one place to the next at speeds of up to 320 km / h. The trains are fast but also very punctual. Here in Japan they apologize if the train arrived a few seconds early. Isn't that crazy? We are looking forward to modern Japan, to futuristic robots, high-tech and lots of bizarre things.

What we would like to experience / see on site:

  • take the Shinkansen
  • use a japanese toilet
  • go to an arcade
  • discover a robot
  • Virtual Reality (e.g. First Airlines)
  • Digital Art Museum Tokyo
  • VR Zone Shinjuku
  • ….

Now you can certainly understand why we are looking forward to the trip to Japan so much. We do not yet know exactly when we will travel to Japan. But we are aiming for the trip in the coming year (2021). Until then, we will continue to research diligently, watch videos and read travel reports to further prepare for this trip. Have we already been able to inspire you or have you been to Japan? Do you have any tips and recommendations for us? Feel free to write it in the comments.

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Tags: AsiaJapan