My Japan Bucketlist


I find that having a list of things I want to do when travelling helps me make these things possible, sometimes it's easy to forget until it's too late!
My taste buds are rather on the pathetic side and I'm not much of a foodie (I usually like foods based on their texture and smell) so there aren't many items about trying different foods. The list doesn't include specific places either since there are simply too many places I want to go to, this is solely about experiences!

The list

  • Ride a shinkansen (one day I'll have the money for it...)
  • Ride a night bus
  • Try an onsen
  • Try a kotatsu
  • Carry a paper lantern (this one is highly specific but it's something I've wanted to do for a long time)
  • Hear the sound of geta shoes
  • Hear someone chant the heart sutra at a temple
  • See fireflies
  • See sumo
  • See a maiko / geisha (if I'm lucky I might be able to cross this one off soon!)
  • See Kabuki
  • See Noh
  • See Bunraku
  • See a taiko performance
  • See a shamisen performance
  • See a calligraphy performance / exposition
  • See a big matsuri
  • See a bonsai
  • See a tanuki (I guess this one just depends on how lucky I am. Knowing myself, I'm more likely to come across a bear before a tanuki...)
  • See a Yayoi Period house
  • See a flying traditional kite
  • Complete a pilgrimage
  • Visit during Sakura Season
  • Visit during Autumn
  • Visit during Winter
  • Buy a kokeshi
  • Eat shojin ryori
  • Eat natto
  • Eat a dragon fruit and star fruit in Okinawa
  • Eat umibudo (it just looks so nice!)
  • Sleep in a ryokan
  • Sleep in an internet café
  • Sleep in a business hotel
  • Sleep in a temple
  • Camping (in Hokkaido) (My problem with camping is that every time I wake up I find a spider in the tent with me. I've seen the scary spiders in Japan and I have no desire to wake up next to one of those little monsters! I'm guessing there are less spiders in Hokkaido)
  • Experience Ainu culture
  • Experience Ryukyu culture

Already complete

  • See Kagura
  • See a robot in action
  • See a traditional residence
  • See a completed senbazuru
  • See a Japanese garden
  • See someone wearing a kimono
  • See urushi
  • See a mukade
  • See an osuzumebachi
  • See a tokonoma
  • Hear hyoshigi
  • Walk on tatami
  • Visit a shrine
  • Visit a temple
  • Buy a daruma
  • Buy my omikuji
  • Buy an omamori
  • Buy an ema
  • Buy a transparent umbrella
  • Buy something from a vending machine
  • Eat a mochi from a leaf
  • Eat konnyaku
  • Drink green tea
  • Sleep on a futon
  • Sleep in a hostel
  • Sleep in a capsule hotel
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What are some things you'd like to do in Japan? Is there anything from my list you've had the chance to do?


Sam Lesmana