What To Do With Your Free Time in Japan

 

Destination Our Suggestion Important Info

Tokyo

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Escape the chaos of the world’s largest city and enjoy a leisurely stroll through the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden; made up of English, French and traditional Japanese landscaped gardens, creating breath-taking scenery. There are also over 1,500 cherry trees in the park making for truly stunning views of the cherry blossoms in early spring!
$
Hours: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm; closed Mondays
Location:11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku City, Tokyo

TeamLab Borderless Digital Art Museum
This is a digital art museum like no other – it’s an immersive world where the artwork has no boundaries. There is no “right way” to make your way through the museum as the discovery is part of the fun! If you’re a big fan of Instagram, be sure not to miss the ‘most-instagrammed’ room of hanging lamps!
$ – $$
Hours: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: 1-3-8, Aomi Odaiba Palette Town, MORI Building

Kyoto

Arashiyama Bamboo Groves
Located near the outskirts of Kyoto at the base of the Arashiyama Mountains you’ll find one of the most photographed sites in Kyoto – the Arashiyama Babmoo Groves. Get lost in the magnificent forest of bamboo, and consider visiting the Tenryu-ji Temple while you are in the area. The bamboo groves draw large crowds, so consider visiting first thing in the morning to avoid overcrowding.
FREE
Hours: Accessible 24/7
Location: Ukyo-ku, Kyoto 616-0007 Kyoto Prefecture

Kyoto International Manga Museum
Calling all comic lovers – this museum is filled with manga, or traditional Japanese cartoons. Founded in conjunction with Kyoto City and Kyota Seika University as a means to collect preserve and exhibit manga materials and conduct research into manga culture, the museum is contains over 300,000 manga items and performs both library and museum functions.
$
Hours: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, closed on Thursdays.
Location:452 Kinbukicho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto

Iwatayama Monkey Park
If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience while in Kyoto, look no further. Explore the park home to more than 120 Japanese Macaque, or ‘snow monkeys’ who have free reign – feel free to feed them, but be sure to follow the ‘no touching’ warnings as they are wild animals!
$
Hours: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Location:Nishikyo Ward, Arashiyama Nakaoshitacho

Osaka

Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine
Osaka’s Sumiyoshi Taisha is one of Japan’s oldest shrines and displays the unique style of shrine architecture called Sumiyoshi-zukuri, which is free from influence of the Asian mainland. Characterized by straight roofs, Sumiyoshi-zukuri style shrines enshrine the kami (Shinto gods) who protects travelers, fisherman and sailors at see, therefore they are most commonly found close to harbors.
FREE
Hours: 6:30 am – 5:00 pm
Location:2 Chome-9-89 Sumiyoshi, Sumiyoshi Ward, Osaka

Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum
Tucked away in the heart of the Dotonbori district is the quaint, yet impressive Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum. Ukiyoe are an Edo-period genre of woodblock prints depicting scenes of things like theatres, teahouses, beautiful women and more, that are meant to take you away from the ‘everyday’. Only displaying works made in Kamigata (west Japan region), the works in this museum are centered primarily around kabuki, the traditional theatrical form where all roles are played by men.
$
Hours:11:00 am – 5:00 pm; closed on Mondays. 
Location:1 Chome-6-4 Nanba, Chuo Ward, Osaka (2 minute walk from Dōtonbori)