13 Best Things to Do in Japan for Young Adults: Cool Activities for Millennials and Gen Z

by Flora
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Are you looking for fun things to do in Japan for young adults? Here’s our ultimate bucket list of cool and unique attractions for millennials and Gen Z-ers. So let’s dive into these amazing places to hang out in Japan.

Japan, a land of dazzling contrasts and endless discovery, welcomes young adventurers with a blend of tradition and wonder. As you step into its vibrant streets, you’re greeted by a scene that melds the beauty of cherry blossoms with the electrifying energy of Tokyo’s neon-lit skyline. Kyoto’s dining scene promises experiences that linger long after the last bite.

When considering the best quality of life in Asia, Japan frequently comes to mind. This country is all about diving deep into its rich culture, getting a taste of its techy side, or simply savoring the best sushi you’ll ever have. There’s a story tucked into every shrine, an adventure in every narrow alley, and let’s not forget those moments under the sakura that seem straight out of a movie. Is this one of the most beautiful places in Asia? Absolutely!

Let’s dive into the coolest activities for young people visiting Japan in 2024!

The best things to do in Japan for young adults right now

Top Things to Do in Japan for Young Adults

Ready to dive into the coolest spots and activities for young adults here? From learning to roll sushi like a pro to hanging out in an Izakaya with the locals, we’re about to explore all the fun stuff Japan has to offer. Let’s get this adventure started!

1. Experience the magic of Tokyo’s neon lights

Tokyo at night is an entirely different world, one that every young adult should experience. The city transforms into a vibrant canvas of neon lights, creating a backdrop that feels like stepping into a sci-fi movie. The Shinjuku and Shibuya districts, in particular, are where the magic happens. These are just some of the most scenic places to visit in Tokyo. Wander through streets bathed in colorful lights, with towering digital billboards and animated signs adding to the sensory feast.

Tokyo's neon wonderland showcases the city's fusion of tradition with cutting-edge modernity, a testament to its dynamic allure.
Tokyo’s neon wonderland showcases the city’s fusion of tradition with cutting-edge modernity, a testament to its dynamic allure.

From themed cafes and bars to the latest in gaming technology at arcades, there’s an infectious buzz that makes Tokyo’s nightlife unforgettable. Whether you’re hopping from one izakaya to another, singing your heart out in a karaoke booth, or simply soaking in the spectacle of the city lights, Tokyo’s neon wonderland is a testament to the city’s ability to blend tradition with cutting-edge modernity. As the best places in Japan to live, Tokyo presents an ever-changing kaleidoscope of experiences.

And for the young adults seeking the coolest stuff in Japan, nothing beats the exhilarating feeling of being part of Tokyo’s night scene. Each moment here tells a story of innovation, fun, and a city that never sleeps. Let’s embrace the night and dive into the endless possibilities that Tokyo offers.

2. Embrace the cherry blossom season

Cherry blossom season in Japan, typically stretching from late March to early April, is a spectacle not to be missed. Picture delicate pink blossoms as far as the eye can see, transforming parks into a dreamy pink wonderland.

Cherry blossom season is a time for celebration, with people gathering for picnics under the sakura trees, a tradition known as “hanami.” This experience connects you to the beauty of nature and Japanese culture in a profound way.

Japan's cherry blossom season, from late March to early April, is a must-see spectacle, marking nature's breathtaking beauty.
Japan’s cherry blossom season, from late March to early April, is a must-see spectacle, marking nature’s breathtaking beauty.

Venturing to places like Ueno Park in Tokyo or the Philosophers’ Path in Kyoto offers the perfect and scenic setting for those looking to immerse themselves in fun things to do with friends in Japan. The atmosphere is electric, with laughter, food stalls, and the shared joy of spring’s arrival.

Beyond just seeing the blossoms, it’s about feeling part of a larger community, coming together to appreciate the fleeting beauty of life. It’s a chance to embrace the outdoors, snap Instagram-worthy photos, and create memories that last a lifetime. So, pack a picnic, grab your friends, and join in on one of Japan’s most cherished traditions.

3. Explore the world of anime and manga in Akihabara

Akihabara, Tokyo’s electric town, is a paradise for fans of anime and manga. This vibrant district is packed with stores selling everything from the latest manga to rare collectible figurines. Akihabara offers a truly immersive experience into the heart of Japan’s otaku culture.

The area is also famous for its themed cafes, where you can enjoy a meal or a coffee surrounded by your favorite anime characters. Maid cafes, in particular, provide a unique and fun dining experience that you won’t find anywhere else. It’s a place where fantasy meets reality, and you can spend hours exploring the different shops and entertainment options.

Akihabara's lively ambiance and cultural importance render it an essential destination to explore.
Akihabara’s lively ambiance and cultural importance render it an essential destination to explore.

For those interested in the creative process behind anime and manga, there are also opportunities to visit studios or participate in workshops. It’s a chance to see firsthand how these art forms come to life.

Akihabara’s vibrant atmosphere and cultural significance make it a must-visit for anyone looking to dive into fun things to do with friends in Japan. Whether you’re a long-time fan or just curious about this aspect of Japanese culture, Akihabara has something to offer everyone.

4. Conquer Mount Fuji for sunrise snaps

Climbing Mount Fuji, Japan’s tallest and most iconic peak, is a bucket-list adventure for many young adults. This challenge is both physically demanding and deeply rewarding, typically undertaken during the climbing season from early July to early September. The ascent can take anywhere from 5 to 8 hours, with climbers starting their journey at night to catch the breathtaking sunrise at the summit.

Ascending Mount Fuji, Japan's tallest and most iconic peak, is an adventure on the bucket list of numerous young adults.
Ascending Mount Fuji, Japan’s tallest and most iconic peak, is an adventure on the bucket list of numerous young adults.

The climb, while demanding, is manageable for those with a moderate level of fitness, but it’s essential to prepare adequately and respect the mountain’s conditions. Reaching the top in time to watch the sun rise over the country is an unparalleled experience, offering not just stunning views but also a profound sense of personal achievement and connection to nature.

This journey is an opportunity to bond with friends, meet fellow travelers, and immerse yourself in one of Japan’s most revered natural experiences. Whether you’re seeking adventure, spiritual renewal, or the sheer joy of conquering a peak, Mount Fuji’s summit at sunrise is a moment you’ll never forget.

5. Discover a traditional Tea Ceremony

The Japanese tea ceremony, known as “chanoyu” or “sado,” is a centuries-old tradition that reflects the principles of Zen Buddhism. It emerged in the 16th century, influenced by Zen monks who used tea as a means of meditation. This ritual is a spiritual and philosophical experience, emphasizing harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility. Participating in a tea ceremony offers a unique glimpse into Japanese culture and history.

Participating in a tea ceremony provides a unique glimpse into Japanese culture and history, enriching your cultural experience.
Participating in a tea ceremony provides a unique glimpse into Japanese culture and history, enriching your cultural experience.

You can experience a tea ceremony across Japan, from Kyoto’s historic tea houses to Tokyo’s modern cultural centers. These ceremonies provide a serene break from the hustle of sightseeing, allowing young adults to connect with the tranquil aspects of Japanese culture.

It’s a unique experience that blends education, cultural immersion, and the simple pleasure of a perfectly prepared matcha. This activity invites you to slow down and savor the moment, a welcome contrast to the fast-paced adventures that typically fill a young traveler’s itinerary.

6. Try and make your own sushi with AirKitchen from AirKitchen

For an unforgettable culinary adventure, enroll in a sushi making class at AirKitchen in Meguro, Tokyo. Step into a professional kitchen in one of Tokyo’s most historic districts. Meet an expert sushi chef who will guide you through the delicate art of sushi making.

This class offers a deep dive into the essence of sushi, from selecting the freshest ingredients to mastering the precise balance of flavors that defines authentic Japanese sushi.

Embark on an unforgettable culinary adventure by joining a sushi making class at AirKitchen in Meguro, Tokyo.
Embark on an unforgettable culinary adventure by joining a sushi making class at AirKitchen in Meguro, Tokyo.

During the class, you’ll learn how to prepare sushi rice to perfection, craft a variety of sushi styles and discover the cultural significance behind every dish. The experience is rounded off with the opportunity to taste your creations, turning your learning into a delicious meal.

This engaging class is perfect for young adults, offering an enriching insight into Japanese culinary traditions. It’s a testament to the depth and diversity of Japan’s culinary landscape. Prepare for an afternoon filled with learning, laughter, and, most importantly, sushi!

7. Soak in an Onsen in Hakone

The scene is Hakone, and it’s all kinds of peaceful around you. Onsens are Japan’s way of saying, “Let’s take a breather,” with natural hot springs thrown in. And Hakone? It’s got some of the best views for this. Imagine soaking in a hot bath that’s filled with healing minerals.

Onsens are Japan's way of inviting you to take a breather, complete with rejuvenating natural hot springs.
Onsens are Japan’s way of inviting you to take a breather, complete with rejuvenating natural hot springs.

After you’ve been out there, maybe catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji or wander through those lush landscapes. However you spend your day, you’ll wake up the day after thinking it was all a dream. It’s like the world pauses, and all you feel is the warmth and the quiet. Choose between keeping it cozy in a private onsen or diving into the local vibe with a public one.

It’s like you’re stepping right into a tradition that’s been around for ages. Hakone is inviting you to experience a piece of Japan’s heart. So, bring your swimsuit and a dash of boldness. Ready for an adventure that’s also your chill time? Hakone’s onsen experience is where it’s at. It’s one of Japan’s hidden gems that’s worth visiting.

8. Navigate the historic streets of Kyoto in a kimono

Ever thought about wandering through Kyoto’s historic streets, all decked out in a kimono? It’s one of those cool things to do in Japan that you just can’t miss. Kyoto is like stepping back in time, with its ancient temples, traditional tea houses, and narrow lanes. What better way to dive into this journey than by wearing a traditional kimono?

Renting a kimono is super easy and adds an authentic touch to your exploration. You’ll feel like you’ve become part of the city’s history. Plus, it’s a fantastic photo op – imagine yourself in elegant attire with Kyoto’s stunning backdrop.

If you're seeking fun places to visit in Japan, don't miss Kyoto while dressed in a kimono.
If you’re seeking fun places to visit in Japan, don’t miss Kyoto while dressed in a kimono.

This experience is a deep dive into Japan’s culture, offering a unique perspective on the beauty and tradition of Kyoto. From selecting your kimono to strolling down the Philosopher’s Path, every moment becomes a cherished memory.

So, if you’re looking for fun places to go in Japan, make sure Kyoto, in a kimono, is on your list. It’s an immersive journey into the heart of Japanese culture, creating stories you’ll tell for a lifetime. Best part? Kyoto’s nightlife is a journey through time, where every corner reveals a story, a hidden alley leads to a timeless tea house, and the city’s rich heritage comes alive in the moonlight.

9. Attend a sumo wrestling match

Attending a sumo wrestling match is definitely on the list of cool stuff in Japan you’ve got to experience. Sumo is both a sport and a living tradition, steeped in ritual and history. The energy in the sumo arena is electric, with fans cheering on their favorite wrestlers, known as sumo.

Imagine the excitement of watching these athletes, who’ve trained for years, clashing in the ring. It’s a display of strength, technique, and tradition that’s absolutely captivating. Plus, attending a match gives you a glimpse into a unique part of Japanese culture that’s both ancient and alive.

Gather your friends and experience the excitement of a sumo match, a perfect activity in Japan.
Gather your friends and experience the excitement of a sumo match, a perfect activity in Japan.

For those looking for fun things to do with friends in Japan, a sumo match is perfect. You’ll share the thrill of the bouts, the anticipation as the wrestlers prepare, and the rush when the match begins.

So, when you’re planning your Japan adventure, make sure to check the sumo tournament schedule. Attending a match combines excitement, culture, and the chance to see something truly unique. It’s an experience that you won’t forget and will surely be a highlight of your trip.

10. Indulge in Tokyo’s vibrant nightlife and Izakayas

Exploring Tokyo’s vibrant nightlife is a must-do for anyone looking for the best bars in Japan for young adults. As the sun sets, Tokyo transforms into a world of neon lights and endless entertainment options. From sleek rooftop bars with panoramic city views to cozy izakayas tucked away in narrow alleys, there’s something for every taste and mood.

Izakayas are the heart and soul of Tokyo’s night scene. These casual pubs serve up delicious Japanese snacks and drinks, where you can mingle with locals and travelers alike. Share stories and laughs over a plate of yakitori or a refreshing pint of local beer.

Exploring Tokyo's vibrant nightlife is a must for those seeking the best bars in Japan catered to young adults.
Exploring Tokyo’s vibrant nightlife is a must for those seeking the best bars in Japan catered to young adults.

But beyond its iconic landmarks and bustling streets, Tokyo hides a culinary secret that’s waiting to be discovered. There are themed cafes, karaoke rooms, and dance clubs that keep the city alive till the early hours. Each spot has its own unique vibe, making Tokyo a great spot for young adults seeking adventure and fun.

Tokyo awaits to show you its dazzling nights, promising experiences that you’ll talk about long after your trip is over.

11. Participate in a samurai or ninja experience

Stepping into the world of samurai and ninjas is an unforgettable adventure, perfect for young adults exploring Japan. Among the top-rated experiences, the Samurai Ninja Village in Kyoto and the Samurai Kenbu in Tokyo stand out, offering a deep dive into the life of these legendary figures.

At the Samurai Ninja Village, you’ll learn to wield a sword and embrace the samurai code. The academy’s masters teach with passion, focusing on the art and soul behind the samurai’s blade. Donning authentic samurai armor, you’ll feel the weight of history and the thrill of battle.

The Samurai Ninja Village in Kyoto and Samurai Kenbu in Tokyo are standout experiences among top-rated attractions.
The Samurai Ninja Village in Kyoto and Samurai Kenbu in Tokyo are standout experiences among top-rated attractions.

Meanwhile, the Samurai Kenbu offers a sneak peek into the stealthy world of ninjas. Here, you’ll master the art of invisibility, learn shuriken (ninja star) techniques, and discover the secrets behind the ninja’s agility. Wearing a ninja outfit, you’ll navigate obstacle courses and practice espionage tactics, all under the guidance of real ninja descendants.

Whether you’re channeling your inner samurai in Kyoto or Tokyo, you’re in for an exhilarating journey. So, ready to step back in time and walk the path of Japan’s most iconic warriors? Your adventure awaits.

12. Visit the iconic Fushimi Inari Shrine

Visiting the Fushimi Inari Shrine is a must-do for anyone looking for attractions for young adults in Japan. This iconic site offers a path that seems to lead to another world. It’s an incredible shrine, but also serves as a journey through the sacred and the beautiful, deep within Kyoto. This iconic shrine is a must-see in the Kansai Region, and it’s not just about the Instagram-worthy shots. 

The torii gates create a mesmerizing tunnel of red that contrasts with the lush greenery. Walking through this seemingly endless path, you’ll find yourself in awe of the tranquility that radiates from every corner.

Exploring the Fushimi Inari Shrine is essential for anyone seeking attractions catered to young adults in Japan.
Exploring the Fushimi Inari Shrine is essential for anyone seeking attractions catered to young adults in Japan.

The shrine complex sprawls across the mountainside, offering various trails that lead to smaller shrines, each with its own story. The hike to the summit and back can take a couple of hours, but it’s worth every step for the views and the serene atmosphere.

For young people exploring Japan, Fushimi Inari Shrine is a place of inspiration. It’s a reminder of the harmony between nature and spirituality that defines Japanese culture. Whether you’re there for the gram or the grandeur, it’s an experience that captures the essence of Japan. So, lace up your walkin

13. Journey through the art islands of Naoshima and Teshima

For those with a passion for art and nature, a journey through the art islands of Naoshima and Teshima is unmissable. These islands have transformed into unique destinations where art, architecture, and the natural landscape blend seamlessly.

Naoshima is famous for its contemporary art museums and sculptures that dot the island, including the iconic yellow pumpkin by Yayoi Kusama. Exploring the island feels like a treasure hunt!

Naoshima and Teshima combine cultural exploration with natural beauty, providing a unique and enriching experience for visitors.
Naoshima and Teshima combine cultural exploration with natural beauty, providing a unique and enriching experience for visitors.

The Chichu Art Museum, designed by Tadao Ando, is built mostly underground to preserve the island’s natural beauty while showcasing works by artists like Claude Monet and James Turrell.

Teshima takes the art-nature integration even further. The Teshima Art Museum resembles a water droplet at the moment of landing. The island’s art installations encourage visitors to engage with the environment, offering a profoundly immersive experience.

Naoshima and Teshima offer a unique blend of cultural exploration and natural beauty. It’s a chance to see how contemporary art can inhabit and enhance landscapes, creating spaces for contemplation. So, if you’re drawn to the intersection of art and nature, set your sights on these art islands.

The best things to do for young adults in Japan for all types of travelers
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