Japan is one of the most developed countries in Asia. Locals and tourists alike have a lot to learn when it comes to the country’s culture and history, which has led to its progress.
From its years in isolation to its participation in the second world war and eventually to the current trends, there are different venues to answer your curiosity of the nation. Japan will be an exciting trip for all generations. Here are the must-sees when you do visit the land of the rising sun.
- Capsule Hotels
The first thing that you should look for when you travel to Japan or any other country is your accommodations. While Japan offers several hotel stays, or apartments, and traditional housing for rent, its unusual lodging for tourists is capsule hotels.
It would be hard for those who are traveling with children or elderly companions to be on board, most notably those who are claustrophobic. So it’s not for everybody, but if you are looking to save some money or a place for a quick rest, capsule hotels might be the answer.
While sleeping arrangements are often divided by gender, there are shared rooms with different amenities for everyone to enjoy together. Some capsule hotels offer personal entertainment with TVs mounted on the wall opposite the bed while you plug your earphones in a nearby jack to watch quietly and comfortably.
- Animal places
Japan is notorious for its lands filled with one type of animal. They have a bunny island, cat island, fox island, and even hot springs filled with bathing Japanese Macaques or Snow Monkeys.
They also have amazing stories like Hachiko, the loyal dog, whose shrine you can visit in Shibuya Station. They also have different pet cafes where you can relax while you play with domesticated pups or cats as you eat some snacks.
- Vending Machines
Vending machines fill the streets of Japan with various products, from edible snacks and delicacies to wearable underwear. Real estate can get pricey. So, locals opt to use vending machines in their businesses to avoid having to pay an expensive lease.
You can buy puppies, adult films, and fashion statements, including contact lenses. Some of the curious food choices for vending machines include bread in a can, fresh crepes, and Dashi stock for soup.
Japan is also known for its quirky bathhouses. Whether a ramen bath classifies a place or food, the entire family can now enjoy the collagen found in pork broths. You can also have a wine or green tea bath at the Yunessun bathhouse. Asides from the themed pools, the main feature of bathhouses are the warm water and the relaxing environment.
Some bathhouses, however, require the guest to be naked. Usually, people with tattoos are discriminated in bathhouses because having one in Japan used to symbolize being in a gang.
While companies are forgiving about the tats themselves, the other guests might not be so comfortable sitting next to a bulky man with tattoos all over his body. More private bath houses may be for these people.
- Themed Cafes and Restaurants
Japan has always had a curious cuisine. They love food with the umami factor. They are one of the first Asian food to break out in current Western standards, which some can consider being luxurious. Even more interesting for Japan is the themes in its restaurants. Here are a couple of concepts that we will discuss individually further.
- Pet Cafes
- Maid Cafes
- Cuddle Cafes
- Robot restaurants or cafes
- Cosplay restaurants
- Cartoons-inspired Cafes
Earlier, we mentioned the existence of pet cafes. They often have resident cats or dogs that customers can play or watch animals play as they eat their snacks.
Maid cafes are one of the few themes that are exclusive to Japan. Various women dressed like maids will serve customers by waiting on them and performing on the side as well. They also take customer requests in some service, but foreigners should respect these women’s boundaries as well.
Cuddle cafes are a growing service in Tokyo. Some people need some extra attention for them to have a proper sleep. Depending on the hours and the additional services like playing with hair, renting cuddles may be pricey. Another exciting theme is robots. Has a robotized waitress served you?
In some robot-themed restaurants, women wear robot armor while they wait on tables. They also handle the robot battles that happen as additional entertainment while people eat their dinner.
How about women dressed in your favorite anime? Those who are avid fans of anime can now live their dream. Those who grew up watching Hello Kitty and Pokemon can also enjoy food inspired by these shows.
Kawaii culture has once taken the world by storm. Gwen Stefani and Avril Lavigne once wrote songs trying to explore this culture in Japan. Harajuku fashion implies freedom and individuality. In some Japanese towns, you will find people in unique outfits that it almost seems like they are from the Capitol of the Hunger Games.
There are different types of Harajuku to explore, but to give some insight to future travellers, here are some tips to note down. Layers, it is all about layers. You need to add pieces of clothing continuously until you are at your threshold of comfortable.
Tule is an additional fashion piece that is versatile since you can wear it over different parts of the body. Sometimes you will find people wearing their neon shirts with a tutu over their pants. You also do not need to adhere to color. Some Harajuku may be more chic than eccentric, but always a bit overdramatic. You see the flair of each individual’s fashion sense.
Harajuku does not end with the clothes you wear. Every accessory should also be within your theme as your shoes and jewelry should coordinate with your outfit. If you want to go for the full experience, you’ll need headdresses and colorful contacts. Release your inhibitions. The color of your contact lens can show the aura of your soul as they say the eyes are the window of the soul. You can purchase some before your trip here.
Even without any conventions, foreigners enjoy cosplaying their favorite anime characters while in Japan. They love to take pictures with landmarks that were special to the movies and shows. It also feels fantastic to have memories of walking the streets of Akihabara with your favorite anime characters, even more so as the characters themselves.
Complete the look down to your character’s eyes. Wear colored contact lenses to immerse yourself in the role entirely. You can buy some on this website. You may not have an anime or manga eyes, but at least the color is similar. You will also need some make-up skills to transform yourself into the character you want to be.