travel

11 unique experiences for tourists to Japan

34 Comments
By Oona McGee

If you’ve been scouring the Internet looking for ways to experience the most unique things Japan has to offer, then dock your wireless device and hang up those bunny ears because we’ve found the list for you. These 11 experiences are so unique you’ll be amazed they even exist. From crazy, subculture adventures to mystical, secret classes, now you can fill up on a unique blend of pop and tradition thanks to the activities on offer from new travel website Voyagin. We’ve picked the best courses for you to enjoy.

1. Have tea with a Lolita (2,500 yen, 2 hours)

In Japan, Lolitas are quaint girls who like to dress in Victorian-era clothing. And what better way to get acquainted than over a cup of tea? Complete with teaspoons and china cups, you’ll feel like you’re down the rabbit-hole at a mad hatter’s tea party.

2. Go shopping with a Japanese Lolita (3,500 yen, 2 hours)

Hanging out with a Japanese chick in Lolita wear isn’t something many foreigners can say they’ve done. Why not take it up a notch and tell your friends about the day you and your Lolita friend went shopping? Visit some balls-to-the-wall costume shops and get an inside look at this crazy culture of dress-up that is unique to Japan.

3. Check out a maid cafe (2,500 yen, 1 hour)

Maid cafes have carved a name for themselves as the epitome of crazy Japan. Managing to get into a good cafe, though, can be near impossible, especially when trying to navigate Japanese websites and long lines at the front door. Now you can secure a seat at a table and play games with a cute maid thanks to this handy service.

4. Get your ears cleaned by a girl in cosplay (3,200 yen, 30 minutes)

Usually done by Japanese mothers for their children, many people are comforted by ear cleaning way into their adult years. But what do you do when you’re away from home and you need the comforting human-to-human contact of a gentle ear clean? You pay to get it done! Receiving the service from a girl in a cosplay outfit makes the experience all the more memorable.

5. Release your inner geek and watch an idol performance (1,000 yen, 1 hour)

If you want to understand the nerd, be like the nerd and make your way to an idol performance. Although the performance on stage is what most people come for, watching the audience is just as entertaining as the singing and dancing on stage. Here you’ll see mostly grown men in the crowd, unashamedly sporting glow-sticks while chanting the lines and joining in on the moves. It’s one big OMG you’ll never forget.

6. Observe an early morning sumo training session (3,500 yen, 2.5 hours)

Sumo wrestlers and their daily rituals have long fascinated both Japanese and foreigners alike. Now you can breathe in centuries of tradition and catch a glimpse of life outside the ring, all while shrouded in the early morning half-light.

7. Polish up your samurai skills (4,500 yen, 1 hour)

Learn all about bushido, the way of the warrior, with some important tips from a specialist. Transport your mind and body back to feudal times as you cover the basics, like sword sheathing and traditional warrior etiquette.

8. Learn sushi making techniques from a pro (5,000 yen, 2 hours)

The beautiful simplicity of a perfect piece of sushi defies the immense skill and technique that goes into its creation. It can take an apprentice chef more than two years just to learn how to properly cook and season the rice. Learn the precise movements involved in sushi molding and sense the deep respect that’s involved in its humble serving.

9. Try pilates in a temple (3,000 yen, 2 hours)

Stretch your muscles and work your core in a 400-year-old temple. The smell of the rice-straw mats and the serene beauty of a zen garden make this the perfect setting for a spot of holiday exercise.

10. Learn the ninja fundamentals (12,000 yen, 1.5 hours)

Find yourself through ninja meditation, practice using three different weapons, and try on a ninja costume. You’ll also learn "kujikiri, "a series of hand gestures said to channel energy and increase your sense of danger.

11. Become a cute gal for a day (10,000 yen, 2 hours)

“Gal” makeup and hairstyles are immensely popular in Japan. Using makeup techniques to create bigger eyes, longer lashes and curly, coloured locks, even the most ordinary girl can be magically transformed into a gal.

Whether you’re after some unique companionship, a lesson in technique, or a spiritual and physical makeover, be sure to check out the Voyagin website.

Sources: Voyagin, Matome Naver

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- First Year Lolita Studies: Sewing, patterning, and cute! -- The Top 25 Things In Japan Most Likely To Blow Foreigner’s Minds -- Make Tracks to Tokyo’s Train Bars

© RocketNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.


34 Comments
Login to comment

The top five are just cringe worthy. I've been to Japan many times and not once have been to a maid cafe... or wanted to gave tea with some fashion victim in frills. then again maybe I'm just boring lol

19 ( +21 / -2 )

Sounds like fun.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Half = Yuck!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Thanks JT. Mum is over next month, I'll send this list to her!

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Most of these things just make people think that Japan is weird. Of course most people are very normal but these things get the attention. I guess there is no harm in it though

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I have to say, I can't imagine much worse than a lot of these, but that's down to personal taste.

There may well be some women visitors to Japan who'd be into some of these, so it would be wrong of me to suggest this list is almost entirely aimed at men, wouldn't it?

I mean, No.11. Obviously this is what the ladies want on a day out. To be described as "an ordinary gal" and then applied with nylon wigs and 4 layers of cheap makeup.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

If you dont mind, I think Ill stick to the onsens, hiking and sushi bars.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

maria: There may well be some women visitors to Japan who'd be into some of these, so it would be wrong of me to suggest this list is almost entirely aimed at men, wouldn't it?

I was thinking the same thing. In typical JT fashion, they've managed to aim an article at their more prurient, male audience with nary a nod to their female readers other than to have us transformed into something "cute". Gee, thanks.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

This is a very sexist article and assumes that all visitors to Japan are sleazy types who visit Japan and view the women as objects. This may interest the 40 year old virgins and the average male who comes to teach English (loser at home, think they are a star in Japan).

-6 ( +9 / -15 )

Half of these you can do in other countries. The other half are rather silly and no way would I spend my time nor my money on what they've suggested.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Japan is so much more than these silly things.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I want to check out an idol performance or a maid cafe just for a few geeky laughs, but the other ones on the top are just... Creepy. Very creepy.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

these are for tourists? unless you speak japanese, most of these arent gonna work out. i doubt the lolita, maid, cosplay girl, mimi kaki girl, ect. speak a foreign language. thats probably the biggest hurdle for the japanese tourism industry. it is such a pain in the ass for people who dont speak japanese to do off the beaten track activities.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Sumo wrestlers and their daily rituals have long fascinated both Japanese and foreigners alike.

That would be "people", then.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

'Tell your friends about the day you and your Lolita friend went shopping' Erm, perhaps not.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

It's only an opinion, but this house's opinion is that some of these are creeeeepy. I realize it may be culturally biased, but if someone returned from a Japanese vacation and told stories of having engaged in some these activities, their coworkers might not ask them to sit at their table at lunch anymore. IfyaknowwhatImean.

these are for tourists? unless you speak japanese, most of these arent gonna work out. i doubt the lolita, maid, cosplay girl, mimi kaki girl, ect. speak a foreign language.

And there's that.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

They charge for No. 6 now? I did this at several different sumo "heya" in several different cities for over twenty years, and was never charged a yen !

4 ( +4 / -0 )

fake agenda by fake media in Japan. broadcasting policy ,let's say, of Fuji TV is different than others. What do you expect from Japanese media that gains popularity by morning musume, akb48 etc! Japan is a nice country with nice people. Promote other things such as solidarity of villagers in snowy times, or monkies in onsen. "Sources: Voyagin, Matome Naver" has nothing to do such experiences. PS: i wonder what the worst choices would be if these are the best!!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Here you’ll see mostly grown men in the crowd, unashamedly sporting glow-sticks while chanting the lines and joining in on the moves.

That's seriously messed up! Lock up your daughters!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Seems to me that this article was written more to draw JT reader comments and less to guide tourist itineraries in Japan.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

As I understand it, Japanese tend to have the "dry" type of earwax. Westerners tend to have a moist earwax that doesn't need to be scooped-out with a tool. Instead, a couple of cotton swabs do the trick for us. That said, I don't think I'd let somebody go swirling around in my ear canals even WITH a cotton swab. The lining of the canal is extremely thin and someone else doing it won't get a pain feedback if it's done too roughly. (Well, I suppose I could punch her in the thigh, but there would be too much delay between my pain, the punch, and her realizing why I was punching her)

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Hmmm.. Maybe 6) 8) and 10) for me...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I go shopping with a Lolita Girl xD and have tea eheheh

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@Fadamor

Oh, yes, the Japanese have such unique ear wax. ;)

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Wow, people kick off about such trivial things. You've never done anything embarrassing on a holiday? I'd rather admit to going shopping with a Lolita than to peeing on a Jellyfish sting. It's just a bit of fun, and it's something different. Given a choice between the Ninja training and hiking, I'll take the Ninja. Walking gets boring very quickly, regardless of the views. I see so many people come back from their holidays with about a thousand pictures of a sandy beach, or a mountain, or the pyramids, and I have to stifle yawns. If someone said they drank tea with a Lolita and went to an Idol Performance, I'd take interest. It's memorable, that's why. This article is entitled "11 unique experiences for tourists to Japan." Do I really have to highlight the UNIQUE part? Walking can be done anywhere, but there aren't any 400 year old temples near me I can do Pilates in, whatever Pilates are. I liked this article, even if the suggestions were unusual, and I might give some of them a go when I head out to Japan.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

These are very unique things that you suggest, perhaps for a small % of the visitors coming to Japan this would apply but I do think that most people would want to experience something more authentic, like the Sumo thing in there is good, but that is about it. For most people they want to see Japan, Mt. Fuji, Kyoto and temples/shrines etc and experience Onsen or Hot springs etc. Go to Nara and visit the deer that go apes over your things and see the monkeys in the natural environment. Visit Hokkaido and see the Ainu, one of the oldest living ancient tribes of Asia and perhaps go diving and see the underwater unique animals and vegetation. And then there is the many different amazing and exotic foods that are available to the tourists and that exploration is likely the most memorable thing from Japan for any tourist, figuring out what to eat and then how to eat it or even if it is eatable at all. Perhaps all this sounds boring to you but I think most tourists would rather do some of this then what you have suggested!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I was just about to write what @Chibachick wrote.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And what better way to get acquanited than over a cup of tea?

Didn't we read a similar "title" just a few days ago ? Poor old guy got arrested for fixing up "tea parties" for seniors - but these are "Lolitas" ? and they're being "promoted" for foreign tourists ?

BTW, there's a typo : "acquainted" would look more correct to me.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Paying 3200 yet to get my ears cleaned? Ha ha, I would never pay 320 for that. In fact, unless you are a doctor or nurse, stay away from my ear altogether.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

May I have "Inflammatory Topics" for $100 Alex?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

A trip to Yasukuni muesum, or a demo parade in shin okubou?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Oh, yes, the Japanese have such unique ear wax. ;)

@Yardley It's Asians as a whole, not just Japanese, but yes they do. Asian ear wax is very different from (most) Westerners' ear wax. Look it up!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

how about a trip to homeless tent city on the sumida river?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

how about a trip to homeless tent city on the sumida river?

Yes, because homeless people are unique to Japan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites