We only had 5 days in Japan and honestly, we couldn’t fit all the activities that I had planned in my head. Last week I posted my video “Fun in Japan” and briefly explained a couple of things that we did for fun. Today in this post, I will be covering those same places plus a few ones with additional information. Some of them I have experienced first hand, some others I haven’t. Some of them I find awesome, some others not so much but, of course, that’s just personal opinion.
Before you continue reading, don’t forget to watch my YouTube video 😉
I have always found Japanese entertainment quite atypical yet fascinating. The whole manga culture, the little trinkets and every unique quirky practice are what I think makes Japan stand out from any other country in the world.
Japanese people love arcades, so you can find games for any age group and any type of preference. A few things that caught my attention about this popular entertainment activity are the following:
- Pachinko is the most popular gambling arcade game. It seems to be highly addictive since Pachinko parlours are in every corner and always full of people.
- Some arcades can be 4 floors high, each of them specialising in a particular type of game.
- I didn’t know most of the games in the arcade buildings!
- Music or rhythm games are a thing!
- Inside arcades, there were signs notifying people that it was prohibited to take videos and they accuse people who do so of voyeurs. (Hence I have no footage of the inside of an arcade, not even of the sign.)
- One of the most popular online arcade games at the moment is Fate/Grand Order Arcade. In my opinion, those games are too complicated, if you ask me I prefer the old school Pang and Space Invaders.
- Big arcades are company-owned so you will only be able to find their own developed games.
Real life Mario Kart
Going to an arcade not enough for you? Put on the Yoshi costume and race around the streets of Tokyo! You will need an international driving license to participate. I didn’t have one so obviously I am going to have to come back to Japan.
For more random quirkiness, Tokyo has specialized in creating themed cafes or restaurants where you can find a variety of random servers. Some examples are the Kawaii Monster café, the Robot café, maid cafés, variations of maid cafés that result in women dressed as ninjas, pirates… and of course, the well-known animal cafés. I have not visited any of these places, and the reason is simple: they are low-quality food and beverage joints. Actually, I have been to a pet cafe. They need to stop calling them cafés though, might as well call it a mini zoo. Food and drinks are the least important things in these places. If you want to look at strange things or have a fun time with your friends, go ahead, but be sure to eat before you get there.
Cuteness in your face!! Kawaii literally means cute. Everything in Japan, I swear to you, is cute. There is no specific location to go to experience cuteness, it’s just part of Japanese culture so it is embedded into most mundane activities. From street signs to facial masks to food presentation… It’s like you are living inside a kids’ cartoon.
You can rent a traditional kimono for a day and wander around the most traditional neighbourhoods of Kyoto. Or dress like your favourite Anime character and participate in a cosplay event in Akihabara. Your choice!
More traditional ways to have fun
Above, I focused on fun activities that are very unique to Japan, but you can always find more traditional ways to enjoy your time in the country.
Fuji Q Highland
An amusement park with top-rated roller coasters, a 0% rate of completion success escape room and a not-so-scary haunted house (even though sings said otherwise). Travelling by any chance with your dog? Well, now you can enter the park with them, provided they are medium or small-sized. Poor Drogo would not be allowed in.
If you want one of those skip-the-line tickets, it can be a bit tedious. You have to purchase each ticket individually for each attraction and stick to a time slot. If you buy a few, you will find yourself running around the park trying to get to the next rollercoaster on time.
The highlight for me was to briefly see Mt. Fuji from the top of Fujiyama, the King of Coasters. I can’t say I enjoyed the ride, but it was a non-traditional way to see the renowned mountain.
I get that amusement parks are not unique to this country. Still, I think this is an enjoyable activity and if you are travelling with kids they would appreciate having such a fun day in Japan.
Most of us know that all Asian countries are big on karaoke. What you might not know is that, unlike in western countries, people rent private rooms for small groups. If you are embarrassed to sing in a bar full of strangers, this is your chance to shine in private!
Spot a Geisha!
A more casual way to have fun while walking around the streets is to spot a Geisha. It’s not as simple as it might seem. Some tourists dress up in traditional garments and can be easily mistaken in the distance. Geishas, Geikos (terminology used in Kyoto) or Maikos (an apprentice Geisha) will usually have a very detailed hairstyle and spotless makeup. And most obvious, they will not be carrying a camera to take selfies with their other geisha friends.
Well, that’s all I think would be fun to do in Japan. What are your thoughts? Have I missed anything? Are you dying to try any of these activities or would you pay to stay away from them? Let me know in the comments!