10 interesting things to find when exploring Japan

If you’re a first timer in Japan then you’re in for a treat! This East Asian metropolis is known worldwide for the bizarre and interesting things you’ll find here… but if this is your first time here, it can be a bit intimidating. The bigger cities are always bustling and the smaller cities are filled with history that it’s easy to get confused when coming up with a Japan bucket list. For your first time here, you might want to keep it simple and start with some easy exploring. Here are 10 interesting things to find when exploring Japan for the first time.



You simply can’t visit Japan without going in search of a Pokémon center! They can be found all around Japan and sell some of the cutest Pokémon goodies. From Pikachu socks to nail art to mugs, some of these centers even host Pokémon themed events!  Finding all things Pokémon is the perfect way to start off your Japanese exploring adventure.


Bizarre snacks

Japanese stores and markets are filled with some of the most delicious, yet bizarre snacks. From strange Kit Kat flavors to unique Oreos to famous Japanese teas to Tokyo banana (a sponge cake filled with banana cream)!

Bamboo Forest

Hidden forests

While most people head to the Bamboo Groves, little do they know that just off the main street of Arashiyama lies a magical Kimono Forest. Wander off the beaten path and see what you find.

Untitled design

Find a pond to grant your wishes

Wander through the Kimono Forest and find the Pond of Dragons. Immerse your hands in its waters. It is said that the pond is thought to guard the nearby train station and all trips made to and from there. It is also believed that if your hands in the water of the Pond of Dragons then your heart will be filled with peace and happiness.


Secret alleyways

No adventure is until you wander down quaint little alleyways and explore the quiet streets of Japan.

Life of Shal_Hiroshima_Atomic Bomb Dome_1

Endless history

Every city in Japan has a beautiful history that will leave you wanting to learn more and more. From World Heritage sites to temples to remnants from the first atomic bomb blast in Hiroshima, Japan is filled with an endless history.

Untitled design (1)

Delicious local foods

Japan is a culinary haven with every city having their own specialities. From basic ramen to takoyaki to okonomiyaki to gyoza (dumplings),  you could basically eat your way through Japan.


Street art in Tokyo

Wander through the popular districts of Hajuku and Shibuya and take in some of the interesting street art and graffiti.


Arcade games on the street

Explore Akihabara in Tokyo and take in everything anime, manga and gaming! Walk down the little alleyways and try the street side arcade games.


Shibuya Crossing

Known as the busiest intersections and scramble crossings in the world, Shibuya Crossing is located right in front of the Hachiko exit. A scramble crossing is where the entire intersection opens up for pedestrians to cross and traffic comes to a complete halt. Thousands of people cross here every day and while it may be a little intimidating to cross here at first, it really is an experience to be had.

Posted by

I'm Shalinee - a Geminian scientist who loves to travel, write, draw and eat chocolate. I've visited over twenty countries, published a Environmental Science encyclopaedia and somewhere along the way started a science communication company to help students and corporates translate that hard-to-read data generated in a lab. Other than that, I'm just searching for the magic still hidden in the world.

What are your thoughts?