Japan was never in my travel plans but SO many fellow travellers had spoken about this incredible country. Of course, I became curious! So, when I couldn’t decide where to go after China, I spontaneously bought an airline ticket to Japan. And you know what…I fell in love with this country. Why? Read more about my top 8 x reasons to visit Japan.
+ Reasons to visit Japan – Foodie heaven
Where do I begin? First of all, food is everywhere good! Japanese don’t participate in the tourist scam with overpriced and awful food. So no need to spend an hour on TripAdvisor reading reviews. No, you see a nice restaurant, you enter and it will be amazing! Of course, sushi in Japan is like nowhere else in the world, not to mention the sashimi. I could go on forever about the Japanese food which is why I wrote a whole blogpost about it. Read here for more about the best food in Japan!
+ Reasons to visit Japan – Culture
Japan is the most modern country in the world, leading the way for the rest of us. Which is why it’s so incredible that ancient traditions are so well preserved here. The lifestyle of Geisha’s and Sumo wrestlers still exist. As a matter of fact, these people are highly respected in the modern society. A Geisha is not a prostitute as many might think. They are well trained, high class entertainers who perform various arts such as music, dance and conversation. The chances of you meeting a Geisha are very slim. I glimpsed three of them sitting in a taxi, wauw!
If you get a chance, go and see a sumo wrestling match. There were no matches in June but I got a quick peek at a sumo practice which is held every morning in the sumo wrestler’s home. They are like monks, completely dedicated to the Sumo and living, eating and practicing together. Very impressive! Ask your hotel to call upfront as it’s not always possible to go in.
+ Reasons to visit Japan – Karaoke
Japanese people just LOVE karaoke, especially in the cities where there are karaoke places on every corner. You won’t be singing in a bar. No, there are special karaoke rooms which you can rent for an hour or more. For a terrible singer like me it’s the perfect place. You can sing and perform as never before! Gladly not too many people have to suffer your singing, ideal! Another great thing is, you can choose to dress up. I loved my bunny suit!
+ Reasons to visit Japan – Nature
Whether you love mountains, rivers, beaches, cliffs, waterfalls, lakes, beautiful forests or parks, Japan has it all! Did you know two thirds of Japan is covered by hills and mountains? Every season adds something special to the beautiful countryside this country has to offer. Spring is famous for the cherry blossom trees. In fall you will see beautiful autumn colours. The Japanese alps are the place to be in winter as the weather is crisp and clear and the mountains will be covered in snow. I visited Japan in June (summertime) when the landscape is as lush green as it can get, magical!
+ Reasons to visit Japan – Safe (solo) travelling
Japan is safe! I went there alone and this was the first time that I could let my guard down. You can leave your phone on the table while using the restroom and nobody will take it. It’s not just that. Personal safety is as great! Japanese people are very polite and respectful. No dirty looks from men, no comments and nobody wanting anything from you, amazing! Read more here why travelling alone in Japan is the best.
The only time I didn’t felt really safe was when I was hiking alone in the Japanese Alps and saw signs of bear warnings around. I had no clue though at the moment of this picture!
+ Reasons to visit Japan – Japanese people
That Japan is so safe has everything to do with the Japanese people. As I mentioned they are very polite and respectful. I loved their interest in foreigners and the fact that they like to give you a helping hand anytime. Someone walked with me for 15 minutes to get me where I needed to be, that is rare! My best night was singing karaoke with a random couple who I met during my solo diner out. You have to love the Japanese!
+ Reasons to visit Japan – Onsen towns
Have you ever dreamed of walking around a small town, but-naked, wearing nothing but a yukata (kimono bathrobe) while walking from onsen to onsen? Ok, maybe I’m just a special character but my awesome dream came true at Jonnobi in Nozawa Onsen in the Japanese alps. What is an onsen? Japanese style baths with hot water from geothermally heated springs. They say the mineral content has healing powers. You will find onsen towns in the more remote areas. Visiting an onsen town while in Japan is a must, trust me you will love it!
+ Reasons to visit Japan – Cycling
Here my Dutch heritage kicks in … cycling in Japan is so cool! And I’m not the only one who thinks that way. Japanese people are very healthy and sporty and most of them own a bicycle to get around. I cycled all over Kyoto, Tokyo and the sandbar of Amanohashidate; it’s the best way to experience any place! Taking a bus or tram will not take you down small little streets and doesn’t allow detours or cool stops at undiscovered places. No, a bike is the way to go! Just download maps.me and you can navigate your way around.
I can give you many more tips but this is my selection of the reasons to visit Japan. It is an amazing country. Go and see for yourself, enjoy!