Maybe you have been to Japan before. Maybe not. Whichever it is, 2018 in Japan appeals a different travel experience for foreign travellers. According to The Japan Times, the number of foreign tourist to Japan in 2017 tops 20 million for the first time. So, if you are thinking of going (back) to Japan, you’re not alone!
What can you look forward to in Japan this year? Check it out.
1. Tsukiji Market
You probably have heard about the relocation of the well-known fish market in Tokyo. To make way for the Summer Olympics 2020, the postponed relocation of the market two years ago from Chuo Ward to Koto Ward will take place this year. According to the latest news, it is expected to take place between September and October this year.
If you have not been to Tsukiji Market, do take this opportunity to visit the place before the relocation takes place. Tsukiji is the largest wholesale fish market in the world. The main attractions here include their early morning tuna auction (which has limited capacity), fresh fish, and the variety of street food that will spoil you!
2. Book and Bed Accommodation
Fancy sleeping behind or in between bookshelves? This book and bed accommodation concept is mushrooming across Japan’s big cities. What’s attracting people here is none other than the tranquil atmosphere that is difficult to find in city life and their unique concept of accommodation.
Besides offering you a place to sleep and books to read, they usually have an in-house café. So, if you are craving for a coffee or tea, you know where to go!
3. Be Served by Non-humans
Imagine walking into a normal-looking hotel, except that you will be served by robots instead of humans. Not only that, they come in the form of humans and dinosaurs! You probably have heard of this place since they officially opened last year. It is called Henn na Hotel, which direct translates to Weird Hotel in Japanese.
Looking to experience technology evolution? Just look for this hotel in Chiba and Nagasaki! Bookings can be made via agoda.com. Although the hotel is mostly robot-staffed, be assured that there are human staffs to man the security here. Well, someone has to make sure the robots don’t get stolen!
4. Get Volunteer Guides to Show You Around
You are at an advantage in Japan if you are backpacking or not part of a tour group. Did you know you can get volunteer guides to show you around Japan for free? How cool Is that? It’s like having a personal tour guide who can explain you about the history and culture!
Currently, there are a few clubs or organization that offers this service, but do bear in mind that it is subjected to various factors such as location, expenses for volunteer guides and others.
5. Try the Final Fantasy XR Ride at Universal Studios
The VR (virtual reality) game in Japan has gone up to another level. Instead of exploring an imaginative world in regular VR stores, Universal Studios Japan decided to come up with a limited-time Final Fantasy XR Ride that also requires you to enter into their virtual reality. In other words, it is basically going on a roller coaster and wear a VR headset that will be playing Final Fantasy content.
The new major highlights include a new parade, a new night show in Summer and the reopening of “it’s a small world” in Fantasyland that comes with 40 new Disney characters.
For more information on their attractions, visit their official website.
To purchase the Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea pass, visit here.
7. Permanent Pokemon Café
Pokemon lovers, watch out for March 14! The Pokemon Café is going to open on this day! The café will be located in Nihonbashi, Tokyo. On top of that, the Pokemon Centre Tokyo DX, a megastore selling pokemon merchandises, will be opened not far away from the café. With these two places are open, you can enjoy Pokemon-themed food and drinks and spend time in this Pokemon wonderland!
Located in Honshu, Niigata is a prefecture facing the Sea of Japan. In recent years, foreign travellers to Japan are craving to explore other areas besides Tokyo and Osaka. Niigata Prefecture is an up and coming location for this type of travel.
Taraii Bune on Sado Island.
Have you heard of Sado Island? It’s in this prefecture, so you can go for a ride on Taraii Bune, the traditional fishing boat. Besides this, you can also pay a visit to the Marinepia Nihonkai (an aquarium), manga and animation museum, and the annual springtime Shirone Giant Kite Battle.
9. Intriguing Ishikawa
This is another off the beaten path travel location. If you want to experience Japan and its rich culture in a less touristy area, I would recommend Kanazawa City in Ishikawa Prefecture. Here, you can look forward to the famous Japanese garden, deep samurai history, and contemporary art.
The well-known garden is called Kenrokuen Garden, which is one of the Three Great Garden of Japan. It was once the private garden of a Feudal Lord. If you are looking to a contemporary side of Kanazawa, just head to the 21st Century Museum located in Hirosaka and fill your appetite with art!
10. And of course, the Beautiful Seasons
As a country with four seasons, Japan is blessed with beautiful seasonal views. There is always something to look forward to every spring, summer, autumn and winter. So, every time you go to Japan, be ready to get Instagram-worthy photos!