What is on your Bucket List for things to do in Tokyo, Japan? If crazy activities are on the top of your to-do list in this country, then there really isn’t a better place to go. Travel in Tokyo is quite easy because it’s a very modern city, but yet you’ll sure to find some local customs, activities and products that you might need to get used to. And that is where the fun starts.
Things to do in Tokyo, Japan: Bucket List Ideas
01. Cross THE Road
When visiting Tokyo, everyone heads over to Shibuya, where you can find one of the craziest crossroads of the world. Empty one second, swarmed with people the next. Try crossing it or have a coffee at one of the surrounding buildings and watch the hysteria for a while.
02. Cosplay on Harajuku Bridge
I didn’t try this one myself, but loved watching everyone (both Japanese as westerner) show off their costumes at the Harajuku bridge on the weekend. From holding up signs with ‘free hugs’, to huge outfits and heavy make-up. You can really express yourself here and I can see how that can be liberating.
03. Carry an Umbrella in the Sun
Most Japanese girls don’t like being out in the sun. It goes back to former times, when the distinction between upper class and lower class could easily be spotted by the colour of skin. (People that worked on the land had a tan). And even today it’s considered a sign of beauty when having a pale skin. To be honest, this isn’t such a bad habit, as we all know the rays of the sun are pretty bad for you and there is nothing healthy about a tan. So go Japanese girls!
04. Press The Toilet Buttons
This is a scary one, but you just have to close your eyes and do it… it most certainly will be refreshing!
05. Wear Socks With Toes
Ah, one of my favourite discoveries. Toe Socks! Makes it really easy to put on your flip flops when you need them quickly and keeps your toes nice and warm.
At first, I wasn’t too excited about trying Karaoke, but when a group from my hostel asked me to come along, I couldn’t say no. Not in Japan! We got our own room (for the more brave there was one stage in the building where you can have an audience watching you), could order drinks and food and it was a fun night after all.
07. Drink Something With A Funny Name
Now that’s an easy one, as most products have Japanese Kanji written on them. But even when buying drinks with western letters on it, you’re never quite sure what you’ll get. It’s always sour when you expect sweet, coffee flavoured when expecting a soft drink and even jelly when you expect it to be liquid (Jelly Fanta, anyone?). Shopping for drinks is always a feast. (In the picture I’m trying “Poccari Sweat”. No idea what a Poccari is and why the poor bugger sweats so much, but it tasted alright.)
08. Get An Engrish Print Shirt
‘Engrish’ is a slang term for the misuse of the English language by some of the east Asian languages, Japanese in particular. You can find it on menus, signs, advertisements… and my favourite: t-shirts. Either way, the texts usually don’t make any sense and are therefore hilarious.
09. Play Pachinko
This has to be one of the craziest things to do in Tokyo, Japan: playing Pachinko. When walking into a Pachinko hall, you probably run out screaming in a second. The noise! The rattling! The flashing lights! The obsessed people staring straight ahead! When you find your courage again and go back into the hellishly noisy, crazy arcade hall, you might enjoy it. In short, pachinko is a vertical pinball machine, without flippers and using ten (to hundreds) small silver balls. The balls you shoot up will come down through a dense forest of pins, giving out extra balls if you hit certain targets. But the thing is: it’s illegal to win money, so you exchange your balls for prizes. These prizes can however, often be sold for cash in a nearby pachinko-prize-shop. Clever bunch, the Japanese.
10. Make A V-Sign Like You Mean It!
For this one you have to put aside all your prejudices and really go for it. You’ll see it will be come fun after a while and you’ll lighten up every photo.
That’s it! What did you think? What will be one of your favourite things to do in Tokyo, Japan?
Planning a Trip to Japan? Here are some great resources:
- Skyscanner – Find the best flights to Japan
- Booking.com – Find the best hotels in Japan
- World Nomads – Find the best travel insurance
- Get Your Guide – The most popular tours & activities around Japan
- ViaHero – Get help planning a trip to Japan from a local
- Magical Trip – Discover Tokyo, Osaka & Kyoto at night with a local tour guide
- G Adventures – Group travel to Japan
- Intrepid Travel – Group travel to Japan