Things I Wanna’ Tick Off My Japan Bucket List

Lately I’ve been missing Japan. A lot. It’s been over two years now since we travelled there and one of my biggest regrets was that I was really ill for almost half of our holiday there (due to not accounting for ‘rest’ days), and didn’t document it as much, including the time leading up to it. So today’s post is going to be a little different to my usual outfits as I’ve compiled my ultimate Japan bucket list – feel free to scroll to the bottom to see the simple checklist, or read on for more details…

Japan Bucket List

Walk up the Thousand Torii Gates (Fushimi Inari-Taisha)

At the very top of my Japan bucket list is the Fushimi Inari-Taisha. Yes, I know that I’ve already ticked this off BUT I wasn’t able to walk all of the way to the top of the mountain due to a) the rain and b) my kimono, so I would love to venture up there in some (comfortable) gear and overlook the beautiful city of Kyoto!

Thousand Torii Gates (Fushimi Inari-Taisha)

Stay at a ryokan + bathe in an onsen

I haven’t decided where exactly to go for this, but I’d love to stay in a Ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) and go to an onsen although I am a bit unsure about baring all of my bits to random strangers! Maybe somewhere up in rural Japan…

Pretend I’m a princess in Osaka Castle

To be honest I would quite enjoy at least a day or two in Osaka. We went for a couple of hours to visit in the evening, here and there, and it was a vibrant city from what I saw. We just didn’t have enough time for it!

Hike up Mount Fuji

Gotta’ get that exercise in somehow (which my mother would be delighted to hear)! I can only imagine how beautiful it would be to go there during Springtime when all of the cherry blossoms are out.

Hang out with Hello Kitty + co. in Sanrio Puroland

Yeeeeep, another that I’ve already ticked off my list but due to illness I didn’t have the energy to go on the rides or fully enjoy myself there.

Sanrio Puroland

Go on all of the rides at Tokyo Disneysea

I haven’t been to Disneyland before, but I’d love to go to Disneysea as it’s unique to Japan, and there’s no point going to Disneyland seeing as we have one in Paris.

Greet the snow monkeys of Jigokudani Park

I’d love to see the famous snow monkeys of Japan and try to get a selfie with one! This could probably tie in to bathing in a hot spring as I’d love to be able to rent out a night or two at a ryokan where they have an onsen and then during the day go out to see the monkeys.

Credit: fezbot2000 via unsplash

Watch my hubby gobble up fresh sushi at Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market

We went to the Tsukiji Market in Tokyo but we were too late – it was already closed by the time we got there! It was quite a big disappointment as it was a trek to get there, so I really hope we get the chance to do this next time.

Visit all of the themed cafes in Tokyo

There are so many cafes that I’d love to tick off in Tokyo (and Japan overall), including the Robot Cafe, Kawaii Monster Cafe, Alice in Wonderland cafe… And much more! These cafes don’t stick around for long, though, which is why I’ve left this point pretty vague as I’ll just visit whatever cafes are around when we next go.

Kawaii dessert from maid cafe in Tokyo, Japan Bucket List

Witness sumo wrestling

Sumo isn’t really my thing and I don’t know any of the rules, but it’s certainly an experience I want love to tick off! I heard that they do this in Osaka which means I could tick off doing this and vising Osaka castle at the same time.

Catch the sunrise at Itsukushima Shrine

Best known for the floating torii gate, it is said that there is beautiful views at Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima, and I would love to travel there super early to catch the sunrise over the ocean.

Sleep in a capsule hotel

I am not good with small spaces, but sleeping in a capsule hotel is definitely something I want to experience (plus I think it’s pretty cheap, too!) so I’ve included it on this list.

Get those views at Tokyo Tower

And try and beat those villians like a Sailor Scout! Haha but honestly, I’d love to see the whole of Tokyo whilst on the 45th floor of Tokyo Tower.

Take a trip to Hogwarts at Universal Studios

I can’t believe I didn’t find out about Universal Studios until after I returned from Japan, and I am so gutted because I am a huge Potterhead!

Walk around Sensoji-Temple

I can’t get enough of these beautiful temples, and Asakusa is THE place for them. Sensoji-temple is Tokyo’s oldest (and most famous) one.

Take a walking tour of Kyoto

Kyoto is one of the loveliest cities I’ve stayed in, and I’d love to do a walking tour around it (or at least spend more time walking around).

Walk across Shibuya Crossing to Shibuya109

I mean, how could I not shop at Shibuya109?! It is the most important destination for gyaru, and I’m intrigued to see how it has changed since I last went there. So yep this is definitely going on my Japan bucket list, again!

Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo

Try to win something at the arcades games of Akihabara

I didn’t win a single plushie in Akihabara. Not. A. Single. One. I am determined to win a big plushie there (preferably My Melody or Cinnamoroll) or spend all of my money on the gashapon machines (they’re machines where you put money in it, turn, and then you get a surprise gift in a ball).

Marvel at the Kinkaku-ji Temple

Also known as the Golden Pavillion. It’s such a beautiful place, and even though you can’t go in (I mean, it IS made out of gold) it’s a sight to behold!

Kinkakuji-temple in Kyoto, Japan Bucket List

Feed the deer in Nara

Feeding the deer in Nara was definitely an experience, and I want to do it again when I’m not feeling under the weather! I know now from experience that the deer can be quite, well, rough, so I’ve got to give them their food quick before they bite me in the butt (you can read all about that here).

Celebrate Hanami in Yoyogi Park

Yoyogi Park is beautiful, and even more so during cherry blossom season! I want to be more prepared next time and bring out a picnic blanket so that I can nibble on sandwiches under the cherry blossom trees.

Take billions of Purikura

We sadly don’t have any photo sticker booths in London anymore, so I want to take as many purikura as I can when I’m out in Tokyo! Especially because it’s so much cheaper (and cuter) over there. I was really happy to take some with my friends during the last few days of our stay.

Walk the streets of Osaka

Gosh, there are so many things I want to do in Osaka and one of them is to take my time walking through the streets and take in all of the lights. I had such an amazing time doing this in the hour-or-so that we spent there, and I want to be able to relive that moment.

Osaka, Japan Bucket List

And that’s all for this post! Phew, I’ve got a lot to tick off of my list… But I guess that means I’ll just either a) have to go multiple times or b) go on a reaaaaaally long holiday! Here’s a really quick rundown of what’s on my list (for those who wanna’ skip the ramblings and get straight to it):

  1. Walk up the thousand Torii gates (Fushimi-Inari Taisha)
  2. Pretend I’m a princess in Osaka Castle
  3. Stay at a ryokan + bathe in an onsen
  4. Hang out with Hello Kitty in Sanrio Puroland
  5. Hike up to Mount Fuji
  6. Go on all of the rides at Tokyo Disneysea
  7. Greet the snow monkeys of Jigokudani Park
  8. Watch my hubby gobble up fresh sushi at Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market
  9. Witness sumo wrestling
  10. Visit all of the themed cafes in Tokyo
  11. Sleep in a capsule hotel
  12. Take a trip to Hogwarts at Universal Studios
  13. Get those views at Tokyo Tower
  14. Walk around Sensoji-Temple
  15. Marvel at the Kinkaku-ji Temple
  16. Try to win something at the arcades games of Akihabara
  17. Walk across Shibuya Crossing to Shibuya109
  18. Celebrate Hanami in Yoyogi Park
  19. Take a walking tour of Kyoto
  20. Take billions of Purikura
  21. Feed the deer in Nara
  22. Walk the streets of Osaka
  23. Catch the sunrise at Itsukushima Shrine

I’ve also done it as a lil’ graphic (oooh, fancy) for you to download or pin on Pinterest!

Are you planning on going to Japan soon? What’s on your bucket list?

Lizzie xx

What do you think?

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  • Kayleigh Zara
    September 29, 2019

    Oh my gosh this is an amazing little lost, all the themed cafés look amazing, I’d love to visit some. The castle looks stunning too, so picturesque x

    Kayleigh Zara ❄️✨

    • hellolizziebee
      September 29, 2019

      Yessss! I went to a maid cafe and the hello kitty cafe, but I’d love to go to more when we next go! And their castles are nothing like the ones we have in the UK. They’re so beautiful!

  • Nele
    September 29, 2019

    This post makes me miss Japan so so so much! We’re hoping to go back late 2020, but waiting to find some affordable flights :”)
    Fushimi Inari was definitely one of my favourite spots on our trip – if you go there again make sure you go early in the morning! We also really want to see itsukushima shrine next time (we only visited Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Nara last time, so really want to see more of the country if we manage to go again!). And the onsen!! YES!! Definitely regret not doing that last time!

    • hellolizziebee
      September 29, 2019

      Awh I’m sorry! But late 2020 sounds perfect because all of the excitement/rush of the Olympics would’ve died down by that time (and I heard that it’s cheaper to travel in October, too!)

      Oooh thanks very much for the tip about Fushimi Inari-Taisha, I’ll keep that in mind when we next go!

      Onsens just look so lush and peaceful, although I am a bit nervous at the idea of stripping in front of strangers tehe.

  • Amie Cadwallader
    September 29, 2019

    Japan is on my bucket list! So many of these are on my own list too!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

    • hellolizziebee
      September 29, 2019

      Aaah that’s so amazing!

    • Victoria (Vickitty)
      October 1, 2019

      I thought I never did a lot of touristy stuff but surprisingly I could tick off quite a lot of the points of your bucket list! I hope you can soon, too!

      • Victoria (Vickitty)
        October 1, 2019

        (Sorry for commenting underneath someone else’s comment, I didn’t mean to!)

  • Lewis
    September 29, 2019

    I’m currently trying not to go back to Japan (the company I work for are based in Fukushima – not the best place to spend time), but one day I would like to go back with my family and see more than just Tokyo! So thanks for the inspiration.

    From your list I have only been up Tokyo Tower and across Shibuya crossing. Did you get to Odaiba, over the rainbow bridge?

    • hellolizziebee
      September 29, 2019

      Ooh yes we managed to catch a glimpse of the rainbow bridge at nighttime but couldn’t get any decent photos which was a shame! Hopefully next time we’d be able to.

  • Johnny
    September 29, 2019

    All the best in ticking off as much of these as much as you can. You seem pretty determined to go out of your way to experience as much as the Japanese culture as possible (a la watching sumo wrestling), which is what I really like about this buckey list and a main reason why people should go travelling.

    Johnny | Johnny’s Traventures

    • hellolizziebee
      September 29, 2019

      Awh thank you so much Johnny! Yes I love learning about the different cultures when I go to travel, especially if they have a rich history and beautiful architecture so I totally agree with you there!

  • Nancy
    September 29, 2019

    I love that you have a big bucketlist of things you want to do in Japan! I really need to book a trip out there one of these days. There is so much to see, do, and eat out there. Oooh I know I would love to check out Hello Kitty and Disneysea! I am a sucker for both! Haha, I would eat up all of the fresh sushi as well. Thanks for sharing all of these items from your list! Don’t mind if I steal some ideas, hehe ;).

    Nancy ♥

    • hellolizziebee
      September 29, 2019

      Thank you so much Nancy! And of course I don’t mind – these ideas are there to be shared! <3

  • Nat
    October 1, 2019

    Aww Lizzie I love your Japan bucket list so much! ? I’m so excited for Japan next year and although some of your ideas for your bucket list are on mine, I’ve seen some I’d really love to do! ?

    I really want to visit Kyoto for various reasons, but I worry it’ll be too much to travel there whilst on holiday, as well as being too expensive. ?

    I’m excited to be my ultimate Japan nerdy self and go to Akihabara! ?

  • ×t s u k i.-
    October 5, 2019

    Staying at a ryokan sounds – and is – amazing!! And yes I definitely recommend you do it while snowing, nearby Jigokudani Park where the snow monkeys are. I had my best time at “Korakukan Onsen” really close by the monkey park, it has a rotenburo (open air bath) and the combination of the super hot water and the cool snow on the bare skin was awesome!! A one in a lifetime experience imon 😀

    • ×t s u k i.-
      October 5, 2019

      imo* not imon xD haha

    • hellolizziebee
      October 6, 2019

      Aaaah this makes me so excited to go! I think it’s going to be at the top of my list when I go back, as it sounds like an amazing experience! <3

  • Michelle
    October 6, 2019

    It’s on my bucket list to go to Japan and visit Puroland, Disneyland, and DisneySea! Hopefully, I will visit all these parks one day! ♥

  • Kevin Leitch
    January 15, 2020

    Lovely!!! We’re heading to Thailand and Cambodia later in the year. I’m HOPING to link to Japan before coming back to Switzerland! Excellent article!