CULTURE: 6 ‘Must-Do’ Unique Japanese Experiences

Sleep on tatami mats, visit a maid cafe, take in a sumo tournament and so much more. Unique cultural experiences await you in Japan! Check out these helpful tips on how to partake in some “only in Japan” unique travel experiences:

1. Stay At Traditional Accommodations

Traditional Japanese Accommodations

Japan is known for world-class service and there is no better place to experience it than at a hitou, or hidden hot spring resort. Experience the heart and soul of Japanese hospitality in a secluded resort where few tourists have traveled.

2. Sport Of Giants


Sumo has flourished in Japan as a spectator sport for over 400 years. Today you can watch Sumo at the 3 major tournaments held each year in Tokyo or the annual tournaments in Osaka, Nagoya or Fukuoka. And if it is not tournament season, you can catch an early-morning training session at a beya, or sumo stable.

3. Nurture Your Spiritual Side

Japan, Himeji, Zen monk meditating

Take in Japanese spirituality by staying at a Buddhist temple. Experience hundreds of years of Japanese history as you meditate alongside monks and walk the ancient temple grounds.

4. Experience Rural Life


Live the life of a Japanese farmer with a farm homestay. Learn to tend the fields and enjoy the benefits of a true farm-to-table dining experience.

5. Check Out Artisanal Crafts

Japanese Artisanal Crafts

What better way to experience Japanese artisanal culture than with a craft tour? Learn ancient Japanese art forms such a cloth dyeing, woodblock printing, and pottery from the masters themselves.

6. Sample Pop Culture


Take a walk on the modern side of Japan with a pop culture tour. From maid and themed cafes to videogame arcades, street fashion and more; experience the perfect blend of kitschy and cute.


photo credit: Sumo Prep via photopin (license)


We so wish one day to be able to go to Japan and experience all those things above! 

Andrew Floyd
Andrew Floyd

If sleeping on tatami mats means sleeping on the floor, I'll have to insist on a raised platform. My back always suffers when it's not supported right and I have a hard time getting up. But the maid cafe thing - I'm all for that.


My daughter and I want to try them all! It would be so awesome to be in Japan. Japan is where we long to be one day!