Come have a read of Savannah’s top things to do in Japan – that aren’t in Tokyo.

When I initially booked my flights to Japan, my first thought was ‘Heck yeah, I can’t wait to eat my body weight in sushi and zoom around the streets of Shinjuku in a Mario Kart.’

But once I’d left the bustling streets of Tokyo and headed out to the Japanese countryside, I realised that there’s just so much more to Japan than futuristic craziness and bright lights.

Check out some of my favourite things to do in Japan that aren’t in Tokyo.

1. Chill out in an onsen (Japanese bathhouse)

onsen japan

You can find yourself an onsen in most hotels and ryokans around Japan.

The tradition around these bathhouses are strong – cover up any tattoos, no clothing whatsoever and males and females are split.

After an hour of relaxing in some warm baths, you’ll feel refreshed, clean and like a whole new person.

2. Sip some sake at a traditional brewery in Takayama

sake brewery japan

After a long hard day of eating too much ramen and walking the streets of Takayama, hop into one of the many sake breweries in the old town for a tasting glass (or ten if you’re feeling it).

There are loads of variations to try: hot and cold, polished and unpolished, pasteurised and, well, you get the picture.

The list could go on. They all have such different profiles – you may as well just try the lot!

3. Stay in a Buddhist monastery and attend a ceremony in Koyasan

koyasan temple buddhist fall autumn

Travel up into the mountains to the small town of Koyasan and you’ll find a beautiful old monastery, some stunning temples and a lot of peace and quiet.

Wake up bright and early to a traditional Buddhist ceremony that’ll make you feel refreshed for the rest of the day.

You can then get your wholefoods on with a vegan breakfast. Sign us up!

4. Become the next Adele at karaoke in Hiroshima 

night out drinks friends

If you’re anything like me, you’ll sing far too loud and everyone will tell you to keep it to the shower – but hey, YOLO!

Most karaoke places will offer ‘all you can drink’ for around 1500¥ ($20 AUD) too.

So, find a few mates, some locals or head in on your own – rumour has it, you’ll find someone like you.

5. Dress as a Geisha or Samurai in Kyoto

Topdeck Travel Asia Japan Photo

Experience old Japan culture and dress up in traditional kimonos, be pampered and get your hair and makeup done to complete the look. Strike a pose!

This is an optional on Topdeck’s Japan Highlights tour and will cost you around 9,800¥ ($125AUD).

Be sure to grab those souvenir photos for the memories.

Check out Topdeck’s trips to Japan and try out some of these awesome things to do (that aren’t in Tokyo):

Japan Highlights
Japan Express
Japan Winter

Savannah Mattushek
Savannah works in our Customer Service team in sunny Brisbane. In her spare time, you’ll find her planning the next adventure, stuffing her face with popcorn and boogying down to Britney Spears.