1. Get naked in an onsen
- Dipping in an onsen or hot spring is an integral part of the Japanese culture. The practice dates as far back as 552 AD and is believed to free oneself from carnal sins. It’s Japan’s answer to Korea’s jjimjilbang. Onsens or sentos are found in most hotels but the best ones are in the mountainous slopes with water supplied straight from its natural source. The experience can be a bit intimidating but once you get the hang of it (pun intended), it’s actually pretty liberating.
2. A jump shot with Mt. Fuji as background
Annoy a random stranger by asking him to take a photo of you in mid-air. Chances are, he will ask you to do the same. Do not return the favor! Outsmart him! HAHAHAHA! :p
- Go geisha hunting in Kyoto
- Only a few practicing geishas are left in Japan. So the likelihood of seeing one in full formal attire, even in a geisha-concentrated area like the Gion district, is slim to none. But for those who’d like to look like one, head over to any kimono rental shops in Kyoto. They arrange hair and make-up, too for an authentic geisha look!
- Add 7 years to your life
- It is believed that eating one kuro-tamago (black egg) in Owakudani (the Valley of Hell) adds 7 years to your life. But you can only eat a maximum of 2 ½ eggs (+ 17.5 years). Wala talagang forever! Hmph!
- Perfect the Japanese bow
- There’s actually more to this practice than a simple neck flexion. And when you’re in Japan, you’ll find yourself bowing on every possible occasion – to say thank you, as a greeting, when you accidentally bump someone, or during an awkward scene in an onsen. The depth and length of time you hold a bow speak of the stature of the person you’re delivering it to. As in most things, mas malalim at mas matagal, mas masarap! Hahaha!
- Ride a gondola
- Seriously! I’ve been to Venice twice and I passed up on the chance to ride the ridiculously expensive gondolas on both occasions. Of course I’m exaggerating. It really wasn’t that pricey. But I found it impractical – and a tad upsetting. Lalo na kung wala kang jowa. Good thing DisneySea in Tokyo offers free gondola trips on its man-made lagoon. They let you ride in groups, too! Buti pa sila single-friendly. Up yours, Venice! Hahaha! #medyobitter
- Slurp your ramen (and eat it too)
- There’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to eating a bowl of ramen. But you know you’re doing a good job when the person sitting next to you hears you slurp. Kung may #hugot, dapat meron ding #higop.
- Travel in a bullet train
- It’s fast, convenient, and bullet-proof. Nothing to lose… chos!
- Hoard stuff from the hyaku-en shoppu (100 yen shops)
- From cheap Japan-made pasalubongs to modern home conveniences, you’ll surely find things to buy in this bargain hunters’ paradise.
There’s something about the air in Japan, especially in Kyoto. I couldn’t quite wrap my head around it. It sort of lulls you into a profound sense of introspection. It energizes. It’s comforting. Ang arte? Forget Sagada. You got more luck in Japan, hugot-wise! #whogoat