25 Things to Do In Japan Before You Die

Apr 29th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Travel

In a recent edition of Views From The Street in the The Japan Times five people were asked “What’s one thing to do in Japan before you die?“  Some of the answers were great and others left me uninspired so I’d thought I’d take my own poll via Twitter as see if we could come up with some more interesting ideas.

But first here are the responses received by The Japan Times:

  • Visit the viewing floor of the Bunkyo Ward Office
  • Get on the Yamanote Line at Shinjuku at 7:27 AM.
  • Visit the Earth Festival on Sado Island and see the taiko troupe.
  • A day out at the races with your family.
  • Visit Yakushima. It’s a beautiful small island.
  • Visit a Don Quijote store on Friday at 10 PM. The ultimate experience, though, would be an outside onsen at sundown in spring, in front of Mount Fuji, with a glass of sake.

Now some suggestions from my very unscientific poll on Twitter asking about:

Things to Do In Japan Before You Die

image @reesan says he would indulge in a delicious bowl of Ippudo Ramen.  If you are like Reesan then you might want to check out Cheap Eats in Japan – Ippudo Ramen is on the list!
image @misspentlife wants to 1) Make love to a geisha 2) Participate in a Fire-Walking Ceremony 3) Play Pachinko & 4) Carry a Mikoshi (portable shrine) at a Matsuri (festival)
image @DaveSachioMori wants to visit Koyasan (Wikipedia), pray with the monks, go hiking and enjoy the beautiful nature.
image@simplyjesslee wants to experience immersion in the sumo or geisha community.
image @PlanetTokyo wants to buy baseball tickets from a scalper outside the Tokyo Dome. Most polite scalper transaction ever.
image @JeromeSadou would like to learn Shamisen!
image @chamada wants to stay stay at on onsen at the base of Sakurajima-san in Kagoshima.
image @kitkatflavors wants to go to each main island of Japan (and okinawa of course)
image @fatblueman is up for a challenge! He wants to Climb Fuji in winter! and says that “Perhaps a person could combine the two!!”
image @jasohill suggests making miso from scratch and he’s already done that with @kanmurimori. Read all about their adventures in Miso Making in Iwate.
image @dosankodebbie wants to work in a rice paddy, harvest tea leaves and join a squid-fishing expedition and says that the Sapporo Snow Festival (in February) and the Yosakoi Soran Festival (Sapporo in June) are must see events!
image @JapanMike suggests seeing a Soran Bushi (traditional Japanese folk dance song and dance) performance live. He says “It’s one of the most awesome spectacles I’ve seen, especially when it’s on stage.”  View Soran Bushi on YouTube
image @HaoDesu wants to go to Kaiten zushi (conveyor belt sushi restaurant) and eat $100 worth of sushi =)
image @tokyotopia wants to go to the Nagano tree rolling festival – and hopes she won’t die doing it!
image @ajep would like to find a quiet suburban temple on New Year’s Eve & listen to the temple bells at midnight before hatsumode.  He also wants to watch sumo basho (tournament) from the front row.
image @Nictos wants to take a fall tour of mountain temples & shrines in Tohoku.
image @jasoncollin suggests “Stand on the pedestrian bridge in Shinjuku and look at Kabukicho from afar on a Friday around 8pm, but go no further, just look”
image @tokyotyler wants to backpack all the way across Honshu.
image @mickstout says he would relax in a natural rotenburo with a view of the sea at sunset.
image @kurisuteen wants to learn shogi properly, have a garden and play in a womens basketball team in Yokohama to represent the prefecture.
image @shibuyarob wants to eat yakitori at fuku in Yoyogi Uehara
image @InvisibleGaijin wants to see Japanese political leaders who have vision, the will to effect change, and the character not to accept bribes!
image @tamegoeswild suggests to “Arrange your funeral abroad – Japanese funerals are the most expensive in the whole world”
image @mitchoyoshitaka says “what to do in Japan before you die… literally? Get a nice gravestone carved with red ink. :)
image I’m Shane Sakata on Twitter and I would like to do all of the above and master the art of Ikebana before I die.  Well except plan my funeral…

If you live in Japan or are planning a visit be sure to browse through our Closer Look at Japan series where you can find lots of things to do and see in Japan sorted by region and prefecture.  You might just find that one thing that you want to do in Japan before you die!

Be sure to take a moment to follow some of these great folks on Twitter or you can follow a lot of great Japan Blogs on twitter via the link in the sidebar.

Image Credit: Twitter Profile Images

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  1. Great idea. Plenty of variety in those answers. I like the thought of working in a rice paddy by @dosankodebbie :)

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