The basics
Japan: Once you arrive - Must read

Five things to do in Japan

Japan is a little island with a lot of character and even more things to do. Here are some activities to kick start your study abroad experience...

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1. Explore the Buddhist temples of Kyoto

The city of Kyoto is full of beautiful, Japanese Buddhist temples. The best way to explore the sights of this city is to rent a bike and manoeuvre through the city and its many religious buildings. Popular destinations in Kyoto include the Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, the Kiyomizu-dera Temple and the Nijo Castle, but there is plenty to explore on your own in this wonderful city!

 

2. Tsukjiki fish market in Tokyo

If you are an early riser, there is no better place to be at 5:30 am in Tokyo than the Tsukjiki fish market. This fish market is one of the biggest in the world, and is said to serve the best sushi you will ever eat. While Tsukjiki has a lot of raw fish, the market is also dotted with ready-to-eat food products and vendors selling specialty food products and Japanese dishware. Plus, if the indoor market smells a bit fishy, you can take a break and walk along the stalls in the outdoor market.

For more information on the Tsukjiki fish market, start here!

 

3. Ride the Shinkansen, the Japanese high speed train network

The islands of Japan are connected through a network of high speed trains, called Shinkansen, which are some of the fastest trains in the whole world. These trains run at speeds of up to 320 km/h and provide a unique train riding experience for visitors. These trains are not just for show, they are an efficient and relatively inexpensive way of travelling throughout Japan. You can take a train from Kyoto to Tokyo, too!

Here’s more on how to use the Shinkansen.

 

4. Karaoke

A Japanese tradition, karaoke is a popular past time for locals and travellers alike! Karaoke bars exist in Japan, but it is very popular for a group of friends to rent a karaoke box, which is a private room that is equipped for all karaoke needs. Usually, people can order drinks and food in their karaoke boxes and enjoy singing their hearts out... but not in front of a full room of other people.

Some popular karaoke bars and boxes are Karaoke No Tetsujin and Utahiroba!

 

5. Explore Mount Fuji

The largest mountain in Japan and an active volcano (although it last erupted in 1707), Mt. Fuji is a symbol of Japanese culture and religion. Whether you just want to take a look at this breathtaking mountain or climb to the summit, Mt. Fuji offers excitement for everyone.

This mountain is actually made up of three volcanoes and has five surrounding lakes, and the first recorded summit was made in 663 by a Shinto monk. Mt. Fuji has a long and rich history, and a trip to Japan would not be complete without learning more about this pristine mountain. 

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About Author

Ella Frazer is a student at the University of Puget Sound studying English Literature and Religion. She is currently studying abroad in London and is busy enjoying the collection of museums, constantly losing her way, and being of legal drinking age. When she is not writing for Hotcourses Abroad, you can usually find her searching for manuscripts at the British Library.