Twelve reasons to visit Japan

August 7th 2012

Kofukuji Temple, Nara

I have major wanderlust at the moment, specifically Japan-lust. Here are twelve reasons why…

Shinjuku crossing

1. The way that Tokyo is so hectic, yet so organised, friendly and polite that you feel peaceful in the middle of the chaos.

Japan 2009 - Tokyo
Lunch at Kairas

2. A country with a love of all things kawaii, from panda coffee to smiley face cookies.

Temple in the forest
Kiyomizudera temple

3. The stunning Kyoto mountains, studded with hidden temples

Cats chilling
Nekobukuro cat cafe entrance

4. Cat cafes. Need I say more?

Mt Fuji from the train
[vimeo clip_id=”28635424″ width=”640″ height=”400″]

5. Taking the bullet train cross country from Tokyo to Kyoto, catching a glimpse of Fujiyama on the way

Shojin ryori

6. THE FOOD. From high-end world cuisine to handmade tofu and shojin ryori feasts, Japan does mouthwatering eats like nowhere else. I was worried about being a vegetarian in the land of sushi, but the sheer range and quality available in Japan would satisfy anyone’s tastes.


7. The beautiful deer of Nara. Japan’s old capital city is now home to around 1,200 deer and some of the most beautiful temples and scenery in the country.

Maiko on the Philosopher's Path

8. Catching a glimpse of some maiko running errands, and remembering how Japan is the perfect combination of ancient and new.

Rainbow in the mountains
A rainy walk in the hills

9. The changing seasons, from sakura blossom time in May to the colours of autumn in Kyoto’s forests. Even the rain is pretty!

Nishiki market
Drinking umeshu

10. Discovering fun and cosy nightlife spots in the markets and backstreets

Retro games

11. A love of retro videogames from the culture that gave us Nintendo and Sega

Pavement eating

12. Blue Hour, the magical twilight that bathes Tokyo every evening as the lanterns come on, people leave work and the street food stalls open up.

This post is a competition entry to win a blogger trip to Japan – keep your fingers crossed for me!

Comments (9)

  • Jodie

    August 7th 2012 at 3:51 pm

    I’ve always wanted to go to Japan, there’s just something magical about it. Reading your 12 things makes me want to go even more! What sucks is that my boyfriend is going next month while I’m stuck at work =(

  • Morag

    August 7th 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Japan is totally up there on my travel list – and for many of the same reasons as you. I found out about the cat cafes recently from the Katy Perry film and ended up Googling them when I got home!

  • Charlotte {theteapotexplodes}

    August 7th 2012 at 8:36 pm

    I so want to go to Japan! We were all booked and due to visit on our way back to London after visiting my homeland of New Zealand. Unfortunately 5 days before we were due to fly in there was the Tsunami. We had an earthquake in NZ and narrowly missed the Tsunami. Sad times. I hope to get there sometime soon. P.S. Hope you win!

  • rooth

    August 9th 2012 at 1:54 am

    So so incredibly kawaii. I’m so glad you went to a cat cafe. Was it soothing and comforting or just kind of creepy?

    1. Katie

      August 15th 2012 at 6:27 pm

      A bit of both…!

  • trisha t

    August 10th 2012 at 4:44 am

    You just relieved my memory from my previous visit to Japan! Never got the chance to visit the cat cafe though. These photos are amazing!!! Hope this entry gets picked! x

  • Oh! my cake

    August 10th 2012 at 9:33 am

    I wanna go there right now!!

  • Christine

    August 11th 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Best of luck! Hope you win the trip!
    Hoping I can visit Japan soon…

  • Paula J

    August 13th 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Japan is often overlooked as a tourist destination – go figure! Kyoto is first in my to-see list.

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