Japanese food is becoming all over the world, but you have to try a conveyor belt sushi restaurant. It`s such a unique Japanese experience. There are many smaller restaurants, but the two main chain stores are called Kura Sushi and Sushiro. Personally I prefer Kura Sushi, but to each his own. Ordering food directly from a tablet and being served without a waiter is definately a Japanese experience. Make sure you check it out and tell us what you think.
From the outside, Japanese convenience stores look like any other convenience stores in any other country, but the quality of food they have is amazing, and it tastes great! Try some coffee at Seven Eleven, rice balls (onigiri) at Family Mart, or Fried Chicken (Karaage-kun) at Lawson. I`m not saying it`s the most healthy thing you can eat. Obviously, eating at home is healthier. But compared to convenience stores in other countries, it`s way better. Ask for a ketchup/mustard package. You will be amazed!
Kind of like a hostel, capsule hotels are a new style of hotel in Japan. You get a tiny little space to sleep in for a cheap price. So if you`re looking to save money, or can`t find a hotel room. This might be an interesting place to check out.
If you like comic books, this is the place to go (although all the comics are in Japanese). At a manga kissa, you rent out a small cubicle, and read comics, sleep, chill out, kill time, or whatever suits your needs. It`s very cheap compared to a hotel, so many local people use manga kissas as a cheap place to crash. Often times, places will have free drinks. The one rule you have to obey is to be quiet. I guess it`s just like a library.
So we all love dollar stores! Some things are great, but some things are not. You literally get what you pay for. In Japan, that is not quite the case. Many things in the 100 yen store are very handy and the quality is pretty good. The selection and variety is unbelievable. Check out some big 100 yen stores such as Daiso or Seria (sorry this site is in Japanese).
It can be a strange feeling being completely naked and taking a dip in the hot springs with many strangers. But once you get past the being naked part, it`s a great place to be. For one, the hot springs in Japan are so aesthetically pleasing. Just being in such a beautiful place helps you relax. So I know some of you are still skeptical about going but as they say... when in Japan, do as the Japanese do. You won`t regret it.
Ok, so this one is not for everyone but if you like gambling, check it out. Although gambling is illegal in Japan, the pachinko/slots are not considered gambling. I know it`s strange but someone figured out a loophole. Anyways, playing the slots is pretty straight forward, but if you want to try pachinko, make sure you go with someone who knows how to play, or it`ll be the quickest money you`ve lost in your life.
This one is also not for everyone but a very interesting area of Japanese culture. In Japan we have snack bars or kyabakuras (host/hostess clubs) where people go to, to enjoy talking with some beautiful men/women. Of course some people do more than just talking after hours as a side deal. But inside the establishment, sexual harrasment of any kind is not tolerated. Many different people go to these establishments. Whether you`re a lonely person that wants to talk, you dont want to sing alone at a karaoke box, or it`s a business meeting, these host/hostess bars are used for many different purposes.
The one thing you need to be careful of is the fee. There`s a fee just to walk into the establishment, and the drinks are really expensive. Often times you`ll have to buy the woman/man who`s talking to you drinks too. But if you`re rich, no problem! One cool system they have for regulars is that you can keep your unfinished bottles at the store. They`ll put a nametag around the bottle, and the next time you come, you can continue drinking from it.
Not the big fireworks! The little ones you can hold in your hand. Lighting up fireworks with your friends and family in a nearby park is a traditional Japanese activity. As such, there are many different varieties of fireworks you can buy. So if you have the time, buy some fireworks, light them up, and have a good time. Just remember to bring a bucket with a little water in it, and throw your garbage out.
One place you can buy fireworks is Don Quijote pronounced (Don-key-ho-tay) which is a chain store that has hundreds of stores across Japan. Also an interesting store to check out even if you`re not going to buy fireworks. It`s like a Walmart without all of the crappy Walmart products. They sell brand goods for cheap!
If you`re like me and you like energy drinks like Red Bull, Monster, and Rockstar, you have to try the Japanese energy drinks. It`s easy to find in the convenience store. There`s a special section for it usually, and all of the brands look pretty similar. Bottoms up!
It doesn`t happen all year round, so you`ll have to come at a certain time or just be lucky, but Japanese festivals are so fun to go to. Women are wearing yukatas (kind of like a kimono) which makes you feel like you time warped to Japan in the olden days, kids are running around playing games, and the food at the food stands is amazing! If you have a chance check it out. Usually festivals are held in the summer, but there are some major festivals that are held at different times of the year.