10 experiences not to miss on a trip to Japan
13th July 2015
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It’s almost as far away as you can travel, with a culture unlike anywhere else on Earth – which is probably what makes it such an intriguing prospect for the travel-curious. Often referred to as a ‘Cultural Galapagos’, Japan’s remote location allowed it’s culture to thrive relatively unhindered for thousands of years, resulting in a rich, deep and complex cultural heritage. Japan is far-flung, but is creeping into the western traveller’s sights with its unique blend of old vs. new, modern vs. traditional, and high tech vs. stunningly natural. It’s why we’ve picked it as the runner-up prize in our Student Travel Writer 2015 competition (you can read the five shortlisted entries here.) To celebrate this emergence, our friends at purveyors of exceptional holidays for 18-35 year olds, Contiki, took a bunch of creatives (including Masterchef Australia’s Hayden Quinn and UK Fashion Blogger Lily Melrose) out to the diverse country - where they used hand-held cameras to film themselves exploring the streets of Harajuku and making sushi, amongst other adventures. There’s more to the country than sushi rolls and girls dressed like Hello Kitty, though. With eclectic experiences, rich heritage and culture to match, it offers travellers some of the most unique experiences available. Here are ten of those experiences – we dare you to fully embrace number five... Food, glorious food With famously fresh seafood, vending machines serving hot meals, a vibrant street food culture and thousands of restaurants, one thing’s for sure in Tokyo – nobody’s going hungry. Tokyo highlights Tokyo is a city of stark contrasts and ancient traditions. Try crossing at the world's busiest street crossing intersection - Shibuya Street - find your inner zen among the cherry blossoms, and make sure you visit the Emperor’s palace and Buddhist temples. Robot restaurant Is there anything more Japanese than this? An unmissable experience when in Tokyo, the Robot Restaurant is a futuristic, out of this world LED light show. Harajuku style Made famous by Gwen Stefani, the Harajuku district of Japan’s capital buzzes with cool vibes and crazy fashion that has to be seen to be believed. Spend an afternoon hanging out with the Harajuku girls and pick up some fashion tips.
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