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Japan

Insider Tips

Insider Tips for Japan

by Hannah Lockett | January 8, 2020

Here we have gathered together tips and suggestions from our Japan team on ways to help you make the most of your time in this fascinating country, experience the new, the old and the quirky. And for those that aren’t visiting Japan, we have a selection of our favourite books, films and artists that we think will give you a real flavour of the nations life, culture and traditions.

FOOD

Bento Box

A Bento box is a single-portion takeaway or homemade packed lunch common in Japanese cuisine. A traditional bento box contains rice or noodles, fish or meat, with pickled and cooked vegetables, in a compartment box. Containers can range from mass-produced disposables options to ornately decorated, hand-crafted lacquer ware. Ready-made boxes are easy to find and buy in kiosks or on long-distance bullet trains.

KitKats

This may sound strange that we recommend you go to Japan and eat KitKats, but they are famous there for different flavours. A real treat.

Depachika / Department Store Food Hall

Located ‘underground’ in the lower basement floor, these bustling food halls sell all sorts of beautifully wrapped traditional and modern confectionery, bento boxes from reasonable to luxurious (could be £100!), as well as traditional everyday foods for the home. If nothing else, they are well worth exploring simply for the delicious aroma’s, a real ‘feast for the eyes’.

BOOKS

Hokkaido Highway Blues by Will Ferguson

Hitchhiking may be an ancient mode of travel but in Japan it is considered folly. Which is precisely its attraction to henna gaijin (“weird foreigner”) Will Ferguson, who is determined to thumb the entire length of the country following the sakura as the cherry blossom moves its way across the land.

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

A historical fiction novel told in the first-person perspective, tells the story of a fictional geisha working in Kyoto, Japan, before, during and after World War II and ends with her being relocated to New York City.

'Cherry' Ingram: The Englishman Who Saved Japan’s Blossoms by Naoko Abe

Naoko Abe has charted how the botanist Collingwood Ingram collected cuttings from across Japan in the 1920s and grew them in Britain, even returning one extinct variety back to Japan.

Manga

Manga illustrated books are extremely popular in Japan and also have a massive following worldwide. Our favourites are Dragon Ball and Arale Norimaki.

FILMS
POPULAR CULTURE

Nintendo

Nintendo have opened an official shop in Tokyo. The new store is located in the recently opened Parco department store, located just north of Shibuya Station where the popular Scramble Crossing and famous Hachiko Statue can be found.

Pokemon Centre, Pokemon Café

In Japan and especially in Tokyo, Pokémon Centers (stores selling Pokémon goods) are everywhere, as well as various pop-up cafes dedicated to the Nintendo franchise.

TRAVEL TIPS

Some of Our Favourite Places in Japan

  • Asakusa Tokyo

    Tokyo, Japan

    Discover the sights and traditions for Tokyo with this handy destination guide.

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  • Lake Ashi hakone japan

    Hakone, Japan

    Discover the sights and traditions for Hakone with this handy destination guide.

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  • Kinkakuji Temple The Golden Pavilion Kyoto japan

    Kyoto, Japan

    Discover the sights and traditions for Kyoto with this handy destination guide.

    Learn more
  • Itsukushima Shrine Miyajima Hiroshima Japan

    Hiroshima and Miyajima, Japan

    Hiroshima, rebuilt after World War II, and stunning Miyajima island, are among t...

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  • Osaka Castle Autumn Osaka Japan

    Osaka, Japan

    Discover the sights and traditions for Osaka with this handy destination guide.

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  • Shirakawago village houses japan

    Shirakawago & Gokayama, Japan

    Discover the sights and traditions for Shirakawago & Gokayama with this handy de...

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  • two snow monkeys yudanaka japan

    Yudanaka, Japan

    Discover the sights and traditions for Yudanaka with this handy destination guid...

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  • street Takayama- Jpan

    Takayama, Japan

    Discover the sights and traditions for Takayama with this handy destination guid...

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  • sunflowers trees Hokkaido japan

    Hokkaido, Japan

    Discover the sights and traditions for Hokkaido with this handy destination guid...

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  • Beach Lagoon Okinawa island japan

    Okinawa, Japan

    Discover the sights and traditions for Okinawa with this handy destination guide...

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We’re here to listen to your needs so if you need to chat, then why not email us or pick up the phone, we will be happy to help.