2019 Best 9 Things To Do in Japan for International Tourists

What are tourists overseas who travel to Japan most interested in? If you want to experience a lot of things in Japan, you should go around with efficient plans.

I searched for “best things to do in Japan” and summarized the popular activities in Japan by category from the top of the websites written in English.

In this article, I will introduce representative tours and facilities that you can experience various “Japan” popular with foreign visitors. If you are unsure what you want to do in your trip to Japan, you will certainly find interesting activities by looking at this.

Experience Traditional Culture

There are various unique cultures that have been introduced since ancient times in Japan. As representative traditional cultures of Japan popular with foreigners that cannot be seen in other countries, I will introduce these six at first.

Wear Kimono

Kimono is one of the national costumes of Japan. A gorgeous pattern belt (Obi) and kimono seem to be a longing costume for people from overseas. It is quite expensive to buy, and even Japanese who can wear themselves are getting less because there are not many opportunities to wear it these days. There are rental costume shops dressed in kimonos all over the country and it can be used by tourists as well. Why don’t you try to explore temples and shrines on a beautiful kimono?

Watch Sumo Wrestling

Sumo is a Japanese national sport. Now it is known to all over the world, but as for Grand Sumo Tournament, even we Japanese have hardly watched the actual games. Grand Sumo Tournament is held six times a year in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and Fukuoka, and the schedule and the venues are decided by each tournament. If the schedule and the place match with your travel plan, please try to watch spectacular, professional sumo wrestling in front of you.

Experience Hot Springs

There are a lot of hot spring spots from the north to the south in Japan, and it is the Japanese custom to get into hot springs through the year. As for natural hot springs, there are various efficacies depending on the hot water of each place, it will be a healing time to relieve the tiredness of the day, and it will make you really relax. For people from overseas, I think it is not familiar to take a bath with strangers, but why don’t you try experiencing Japanese culture by learning the rules to go into hot springs? It is worthwhile.

Become Ninja / Samurai

Speaking of Ninja and Samurai, it may be more popular among young people abroad than Japanese thanks to the influence of movies and animation. In modern Japan, there are no real Ninja and Samurai, but you can experience the simulated world. If you learn the skills of ninja (Shinobi) in the ninja costumes, or observe the powerful sword action that inherited the samurai war fighting, you will feel the time slipping to Japan hundreds of years ago.

Eat Japanese Food

As a representative Japanese food culture, we have Washoku, the Japanese traditional tastes and foods. In recent years, the healthiness of the Japanese food is beginning to be noticed as it has become popular as “Washoku” even in foreign countries. Japanese foods are also committed to color. It is said to be good for health if you incorporate five colors in a balanced meal. Therefore, it is also vivid in appearance. On the other hand, there are so many other types of delicious foods that can be eaten folksy, like noodles, okonomiyaki, oden, curry rice and so on. There are lots of restaurants that also tourists from abroad can eat them easily, so please do challenge them.

Watch/Attend Festivals

There are various festivals all over the world, but we have festivals matching the four seasons which are held every year in Japan. Spring cherry blossom festivals, summer fireworks festivals, and Bon dancing festivals are held all over the country. We can feel that each season has come by each festival.
There are also many traditional festivals which have roots in each region. As for the three biggest festivals in Japan, Kanda festivals in Tokyo (middle of May), Osaka Tenjin Festival (late June to late July), and Kyoto Gion Festival (July) are famous. Those are crowded with so many people from home and abroad.
Other popular festivals include Hakata Gion Yamakasa (mid July), Aomori Nebuta Festival (early August), Tokushima Awa Odori (mid August), Kishiwada Danjiri Festival (mid September), Sapporo Snow Festival (early February), etc. Each one is distinctive and charming.
I recommend you try participating in some festival by all means not only watching it if your travel plan allows. You will think Japanese is usually shy, but once you get excited loudly attending a festival, you may be able to become friends with the local people and see a surprising aspect. 😉

Experience Pop Culture

Japanese culture that spread to the world is not just a good old tradition. Speaking of so-called pop culture, Japanese animation became popular first, and from there, the word kawaii (cute) or otaku (maniacs) came to pass in the world. I will introduce places where foreign people who became fans of Japanese pop culture in their own country and interested in Japan to visit will be able to enjoy.


There is manga and animation as one of the cultures that Japan is proud of worldwide. In Tokyo, there is the Ghibli Museum (by appointment only) that can enter the world of the ghibli movies, and a tower where you can adventure with The Straw Hats from One Piece. Also, at the theme park which has the attractions, you can experience the anime world by doing the cosplay of Naruto and Dragon Ball, not only animation-loving kids but adults will surely enjoy as well.


Core animation fans are further enjoying the cosplay that they can wear their character costumes. Cosplay events are taking place all over the world, but in Japan, which is the birthplace of anime cosplay, I would really like you to challenge. Various events are held nationwide, but there are some studios where you can be taken pictures in rental costumes, so that you will be able to go and have fun anytime.

Robot Restaurant

To tell the truth, when the Japanese hear about Robot Restaurant, we hardly realize what it is. But this restaurant is almost always introduced on the websites when I search for Japanese attractions that are popular among foreigners. It is located in Kabukicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo, and there are a variety of shows in the restaurant where you can see the huge robot dance and the Japanese old and new culture. I would like to go there once to see what attracts tourists from abroad that much.


Here, I have introduced nine representative activities that you can experience Japanese culture popular among foreigners visiting Japan. Besides these, there are other fun things to do like visiting cafes where you can touch owls, enjoying marine sports and winter sports, and so many more tours are offered by various travel agencies. Of course, Japanese people also can participate in those tours, so how about having fun together if you have friends here?