Exploring Japan

Featured Image by The Hedonist Life



Tokyo – Kyoto – Sapporo – Hiroshima


Here is a list of some of my favourites organised by location!


  • Kyoto International Manga Museum (800 yen) – 3 floors, massive collection of manga, get a picture drawn by one of the anime artists on-site.
  • Yasaka Shrine
  • Nara – feed freely roaming deer. It’s best to keep maps and brochures out of sight… they’re attracted to paper and one of them battled us for it!
  • Arashiyama Bamboo Grove – once you’re there, rent a bike to get around (a lot more fun than exploring on foot!). Visit for yummy traditional vegetarian food, samples of Japanese seasoning from stalls on the main strip.

Yasaka Shrine

Kyoto International Manga Museum

Cafe in Kyoto

My fave seasoning at a store in Arashiyama (on the main strip)

A curious deer in Nara

This deer in Nara was clearly not interested… – Photo by The Hedonist Life


  • Miyajima Island (about an hour from Hiroshima city by train and ferry) – An island with scenic views. Walk with wild and freely roaming deer. You can buy food to feed them.
  • Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum – a must-visit.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

A wild roaming deer on Miyajima Island

Miyajima Island

Ferry pulling up to Miyajima Island

A tired looking deer on Miyajima Island

A selfie with the famous Torii gate, taken from Miyajima Island

Walking with deer on Miyajima Island – Photo by The Hedonist Life

Miyajima Island – Photo by The Hedonist Life


  • Sumo Tournament (4800 yen – Arena seats C) – Six tournaments are held every year in Japan, but only one of them in Osaka (March).


  • Asahiyama Zoo, Asahikawa (820 yen) – Penguin walk at 11.00am and 2.30pm between late December and mid-March. Note that for March, they only hold the 11.00am walk. It’s their morning exercise… I feel for them!
  • Otaru – a port city in Hokkaido.

Penguins taking their morning walk, Asahiyama Zoo

Baby penguins at the back, Asahiyama Zoo

Flight from Tokyo to Sapporo

Otaru, Hokkaido.


I love Tokyo shopping (mainly window shopping).

  • Muji – for clothes and travel goods
  • Loft – for notebooks and stationery
  • Uniqlo – for clothes (cheaper and a better fit than the clothes in Uniqlo’s Aussie stores.
  • Tokyu Hands – for random stuff, they stock a lot of things
  • Bic Camera – for electronics
  • Tsutaya Books – for a wide range of books and magazines. The store in Daikanyama is beautifully designed and has an in-store cafe. It opens til late (around 2am)

Just outside Shibuya station

Hire a bike at Niko and … (I didn’t, I’m not sure why)


  • Genki Sushi (around Japan)
  • Convenience store food (around Japan)
  • Mochi balls (Kyoto) – Sooo good! We went back almost every night. I don’t know the name of the place and the owner forbids photos… The only info I can provide is that it’s sold on the street after 8pm, there is generally a line or a small crowd so you can’t miss it, and it’s located somewhere around here.
  • Soup Curry Suage (Sapporo) – Soup curry is a Hokkaido specialty. Try the veg option – it was delicious, craving so hard right now…
  • Shake Shack (Meiji Jingu, Tokyo) – better than London’s! Not sure how it compares to the US though. Try their ‘Shroom burger (vegetarian) and yummy concretes with a Japanese twist.
  • Freshness Burger (around Japan)- for their veggie burger.
  • Mister Donut (around Japan) – Try the egg noodle soup for breakfast and go early for discounted donuts!
  • Food at the station (around Japan) – Try the ones at Kyoto station where people eat standing up!
  • Soup Stock Tokyo (around Japan) – great in winter!

I’m no foodie but I eat really good food as my partner is and has excellent taste! Head over to The Hedonist Life if you’re interested to read about some of the food we enjoyed in Japan.

I had my very first Shake Shack experience on this trip. Went back for more!


 A short video of my time in Japan!

If you’re interested to know how much I spent on this trip or would like some money-saving tips, check out my post HOW MUCH: 32 Days in Japan.

Want to save this post for future planning? Pin it to your Pinterest board!

Happy Travels!

– Julie


*This post contains affiliate links. By using these links I may receive a small commission but it will be at no cost to you! I only recommend products and services that I believe are of good value. All my posts are independent. Thanks for your support!

Leave a Reply