June 21, 2024

Are you exploring Japan for the first time? Here are some activities you should add to your Japan travel itinerary. After all, they’re rated and recommended by Jinali Sutariya, one-half of the travel vlogger duo Travel Stories by Us.

Jinali and Malav’s ‘Travel Stories by Us’ is a community built around travel. What began with a food vlog of Mumbai by two childhood friends grew into a globe-trotting digital space built by the two travel creators. In their latest travel story, Jinali takes us to a bustling hub of culture and a much-loved tourist spot – Japan. Japanese culture is romanticised by many, often as a dream travel location. Be it the bustling city life of Tokyo, the silent country life of Hiroshima, or even the beaches of Osaka; exploring Japan can be a difficult task considering the plethora of experiences one can indulge in.  Here, Jinali makes your life easier as the traveller curates a concise guide to the country with all the perfect viral activities to try in Japan as a part of #TravelwithLSA.

Must-try viral activities in Japan recommended by Jinali Sutariya:

In the streets of Tokyo

“Japan has always been at the top of my travel bucket list, and it’s easy to see why. This country offers a unique blend of ancient traditions and futuristic innovations, creating a fascinating cultural tapestry, unlike any other place on Earth. From the neon-lit streets of Tokyo to the serene temples of Kyoto, Japan feels like living in the future while simultaneously stepping back in time. Here’s an honest review of some of my most memorable experiences and must-try viral activities I did as a first-time traveller in Japan.

1. Mario Kart in Shibuya – 9/10

Racing through the streets of Shibuya in a go-kart dressed as my favourite video game character was an exhilarating experience I will never forget. Imagine the thrill of navigating through the bustling Shibuya Scramble and cruising past the iconic Tokyo Tower. The entire adventure felt like stepping into a real-life video game. Whether you choose an evening slot to see the city lights or a morning slot to experience the bustling streets in daylight, it’s an amazing way to see the city from a different perspective. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a fun and unique way to explore Tokyo.

2. Kyoto Tea Ceremony – 8/10

The legendary tea ceremony, a ritual

Experiencing a traditional tea ceremony in Kyoto was both serene and enlightening. This experience offered a deep dive into Japanese culture, with a focus on the art of matcha making and the meticulous customs that accompany it. The tea ceremony was more than just drinking tea; it was about appreciating the beauty in simplicity and the mindfulness that goes into each step of the process. Participating in this ceremony provided a peaceful contrast to the hustle and bustle of the cities, making it a worthwhile experience for anyone interested in Japanese traditions and culture.

3. Mt. Fuji Day Trips – 8/10

Mt.Fuji and the scenic flora around it

A day trip to Mt. Fuji is an absolute must when visiting Japan, but it’s crucial to plan it right. I made sure to check the weather forecast and booked my trip on a clear day, which made all the difference. The sight of Mt. Fuji in its full glory is breathtaking, and the surrounding area offers beautiful landscapes and tranquil spots perfect for photos and relaxation.

4. Universal Studios, Disney Land, DisneySea – 7/10

Visiting Universal Studios and the Disney parks in Japan was fun, but I would recommend these only if you are travelling with children or are a die-hard theme park fan. The parks are extremely crowded, which can make for long wait times and a less enjoyable experience overall. The attractions themselves are well-executed and there are unique experiences not found in other parks around the world, like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan. However, the crowds can be overwhelming, and the overall experience felt a bit too commercialised. For adult travellers without kids, other places in Japan offer more cultural and unique experiences.

5. TeamLab Planets – 5/10

Wonderlab experience in Japan

TeamLab Planets, with its immersive digital art installations, was a unique experience, but one which I found somewhat underwhelming compared to other viral attractions and activities in Japan. The installations are impressive, and designed to engage multiple senses through light, sound, and space. Walking through water and mirrored rooms creates a surreal atmosphere, and the interactive elements are intriguing. However, after the initial wow factor, the experience felt repetitive and didn’t leave a lasting impression on me. If your time in Japan is limited, this is one attraction that can be skipped in favor of more enriching cultural experiences.

6. Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Tower – 2/10

While Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Tower are iconic landmarks, I found them to be overrated compared to other experiences available in the city. The views from the top are impressive, but considering the cost and the time spent in long lines, I felt that my time and money could have been better spent elsewhere. Instead of spending hours here, I recommend exploring Tokyo’s vibrant culinary scene. From sushi bars to ramen shops and izakayas, the city offers an incredible variety of local food and drinks that provide a much richer and more enjoyable experience.

Japan is an overwhelming destination if you haven’t planned it well. There are so many things to know about the JR Rail Pass, Vegetarian Food Guides, and Districts to cover every mood.


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