My Japan top 5

Few years back, I visited Japan with my friends. My intention was to “tick off” the country, because I’m not a great fan of whole Anime culture and it didn’t seem like my cup of tea.
But instead, I was blown away by the incredible mix of old and the new and recently I find myself wanting to go back there. This is my subjective top 5:


Japanese food is not really about sushi. The variety of food is much greater than you would expect and everything is delicious (except for nanto – fermented soy beans…)

Things to try

  • Bento box – my definite fav. This is a neat lunch box, sold near offices and this is what Japanese people really eat. This boxes have a cute assortment of dishes
  • Proper Miso soup
  • Conveyor belt sushi – the cheapest variety there is and Japanese people consider it subpar quality. More modern ones let you order from an iPad and automatic conveyor belt brings you your sushi
  • Takoyaki – battered octopus pieces deep-fried in waffle iron. Literally, very hot!
  • Omu – Rice ommelette with, well, almost everything inside
  • Tuna – tuna is a big thing in Japan and it tastes like heaven in any form
  • Any streetfood


I fell on love with old Japanese tradition. Enchanting red temples inside a lush green forest are just spectacular. Respect for tradition is an important thing in Japan.


Things worth checking out:

  • Splendid temples in Kyoto
  • Holy Deer in Nara
  • Little temples anywhere
  • Tsukiji Fish Market


Just sheer out-of-context weirdness


Things worth checking out

  • Alcatraz ER – a prison/hospital themed cafe. Weird fun!
  • Dog / cat cafe
  • Japanese toilet seat. Really!
  • Any “supposedly european” dish. It will be the weirdest european dish you’llever have

Japanese day-to-day


Japanese are very modern, but the tradition still lives on in day-to-day struggle.

Lost in translation

  • Kaizen – Philisophy of never-ending improvement
  • Mottainai – Regret concerning waste. Or resources, but also unnecessary action or a word.
  • Ikigai – A reason for being, something that drives you
  • Komorebi – Sunlight filtering through trees
  • Shinrin-Yoku – Visit to forest for relaxation / “forest bathing”
  • Yugen – A profound understanding of the universe that triggers a string emotional response
  • Majime – Reliable person who gets things done without drama

Dont miss!

  • Sumo match
  • Onsen – Hot spring/spa. I highly recommend convincing a friend to jump into a “electric stimulation” bathtub. So much fun!
  • Pachinko – Hydhly addictive pinball machine. In Japan there are whole floors of these machines. I cannot express weirdness of it. You have to see it.
  • Traditional tea ceremony

Interesting links


Stuff to come back for

For me, there is still so much to see. Of course I want to there again!

  • Love hotels – tiny cheap hotels with a variety of decorum. Their main purpose is not hard to figure out, but weirdness may be interesting
  • Ryokan – Traditional Japanese “Inn”
  • Sagano bamboo forest – A bamboo forest near Kyoto
  • Hand-Made Damascus steel Chefs knife – I want one
  • Shinkansen – Japanese bullet train


This fullfills my Bucketlist #78



  1. Thanks for sharing, much appreciated. It’s going to be super useful this summer 🙂

  2. i really wanted to visit this place!!!

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