11 Latest Things To Do In Japan In 2022 So You Can Plan Future Trips

Latest things to do in Japan 2022

Yoshi! Now that Japan has permitted non-guided tours, we don’t need to live vicariously through Don Don Donki or watch in vain as recent attractions emerge throughout the country anymore. Come October this 12 months, the land of sushi can also be expected to resume visa-free tourist travels and take away day by day limits on arrivals.

Within the 2 years for the reason that onset of the pandemic, Japan has been aware of many recent locales – from teamLab exhibitions to anime-inspired theme parks. So if you happen to’re travelling to Japan in 2022, here’s a let in on 11 recent things to do so you may get cracking in your itinerary.

For more travel ideas:

– Tokyo –

1. teamLab Planets – Walk through water at this immersive exhibition

Image credit: teamLab Planets

No shoes, no problem. At teamLab Planets, you may ditch your footwear and amble through 4 exhibitions and a pair of gardens that challenge the boundary between man and nature.

Capture a fantastical moment on the Floating Flower Garden, a floor-to-ceiling installation stuffed with dangling orchids that exude an exotic floral bouquet. The ground can also be a large mirror, so be sure you’re not going commando whenever you visit.

teamLab Planets
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There’s also a bunch of water-based attractions to wade through, including a knee-deep pool where you may interact with rainbow-hued visual projections. Don’t worry if you happen to forget to wear clothing that could be rolled above the knee, the museum will lend you a pair of free shorts.

When the soles of your feet are weary from all of the walking, refill on some plant-based ramen on the in-house restaurant, Vegan Uzu.

This intimate and immersive art experience is just available till the tip of 2023, a generous 12 months’s extension from their previously announced closing date – so make haste! 

Book tickets for teamLab Planets.

Admission: ¥3,200/adult (~S$31.22), ¥1,000/child (~S$9.76) | Free for youngsters under 3 years old
Address: 6-chōme-1-16 Toyosu, Koto City, Tokyo 135-0061, Japan
Opening hours: Mon-Wed & Fri 9am-9pm | Thu 9am-6pm | Sat-Sun 9am-10pm
Contact: teamLabs Planets TOKYO website

2. Shibuya Sky – The best point of Shibuya

 japan - Shibuya Sky

When in Shibuya, a visit to the enduring scramble crossing is a must. But if you happen to’re not too keen on joining the helter-skelter, you may still catch a glimpse of the motion some 230m above ground. Come on as much as Shibuya Scramble Square’s newest observatory deck, Shibuya Sky, to take in the sickest views of town from its highest point. 

Take the lift or “Transition Pod” from the Sky Gate as much as forty sixth floor, where you’ll find the Sky Stage. It’s an out of doors viewing platform with helipads, hammocks, and a vista of major landmarks resembling the Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Stadium, and Mt Fuji. 

shibuya sky
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Shibuya Sky

When the sun goes down, sit back and sip on a Paradise Lounge cocktail on the indoor Sky Gallery, as you admire a dance of 18 light beams within the night sky. 

Shibuya Sky has a limited capability for visitors every day and an additional fee for same-day over-the-counter tickets, so remember to book your tickets upfront to avoid disappointment. 

Admission: ¥1,800/adult (~S$17.56), ¥900/child (~S$8.78)
Address: 2 Chome-24-12 Shibuya, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0002, Japan
Opening hours: 10am-10.30pm, Day by day
Contact: +81 3 4221 0229 | Shibuya Sky website

3. Toy Story Hotel – Themed rooms with Pizza Planet gift shop

japan - toy story hotel
Image credit: Disney

Considering how the Toy Story franchise has entertained us across a very good 2 many years, it’s no surprise that fans are sometimes parent and child. And a Pixar-perfect family vacation appears like a stay on the newly-minted Toy Story Hotel in Tokyo Disney Resort, near Disneyland and DisneySea.

The hotel is incredibly loyal to its theme, with a game-board inspired ceiling on the foyer and guest rooms decorated to resemble Andy’s bedroom. There’s even a souvenir shop modelled after Pizza Planet, Andy’s favourite fast food joint from the movies.

toy story hotel
Image credit: Disney

Breakfast and dinner buffets are also served on the Lotso Garden Cafe, which is a direct reference to the Sunnyside Daycare centre and characters in Toy Story 3.

Rates: From S$376/night
Address: 〒279-8511 Chiba, Urayasu, Maihama,1 番地 47, Japan
Contact: +81 47 305 5555 | Tokyo Disney Resort Toy Story Hotel website

– Osaka –

4. Universal Studios Super Nintendo Park – Mario Kart IRL

Super nintendo park
Image credit: Universal Studios Japan

In case you’ve ever desired to experience a game walkthrough IRL, Super Nintendo World is the splitting image of the Super Mario games we used to play on our consoles. Enter via a Warp Pipe right into a kingdom of piranha plants and reward blocks. Don’t forget to look out for Princess Peach, Mario, Luigi, and Toad.

Over here, you may rating a ride on Yoshi’s back in Yoshi’s Adventure or have a duel with Bowser Jr. in Bowser Jr. Challenge through a series of mini-games. For something a bit of more hardcore, turn to Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge where you may launch turtle shells while steering a go-kart, because of some nifty AR technology.

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To reinforce your experience, consider purchasing Power-Up Bands (¥3,200, ~S$31.34) to interact with special game-inspired elements around Super Nintendo World. These include collecting coins from coin blocks, receiving stamps from completing missions and rating you on a leaderboard.

Admission: ¥7,637/adult (~S$74.91), ¥4,910/child (~S$48.16)
Address: 2 Chome-1-33 Sakurajima, Konohana Ward, Osaka, 554-0031, Japan
Contact: +81 570 200 606 | Universal Studios Japan

5. Peanuts Cafe Osaka – Snoopy’s favourite food & school bus

japan - snoopy cafe
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Just this May, Snoopy and his gang from the Peanut comics arrived at Osaka’s Lalaport Expocity. They’re not only serving up glad childhood memories, but a complete menu of inspired dishes from their newest Snoopy Cafe.

Stay up for pancakes and whole-grain pizzas, the latter being the comic beagle’s favourite food. For dessert, try Charlie Brown’s Chocolate Banana Milkshake (¥900, ~S$8.83) or the Peanut Butter Cheesecake (¥870, ~S$8.83) which have garnered good reviews.

snoopy cafe
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Peanuts Cafe Osaka

After woof-ing down your plate, try the large yellow bus parked right next to the cafe. It, and its reference to the college bus within the comics, is pretty hard to miss. You could also take home some exclusive tableware, pillow covers, tote bags, and sweets at their gift shop to recollect your trip by.

Address: 〒565-0826 Osaka, Suita, Senribanpakukoen, 2−1, Mitsui Shopping Park LaLaport EXPOCITY, 1F, Japan
Opening hours:  Mon-Fri 11am-9pm | Sat-Sun 11am-10pm
Contact: +81 6 6155 6634 | Peanuts Cafe Osaka website

6. teamLab Botanical Garden Osaka – Glow-in-the-dark forest

japan - teamLab Botanical Gardens
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teamLabs Botanical Garden Osaka

Botanical Garden Osaka is one more recent rendition of teamLab attractions in Japan, flaunting an otherworldly nighttime installation on the expansive Nagai Park

This glow-in-the-dark exhibit incorporates a garden of egg-shaped lamps that light up whenever you touch them, and a lake stuffed with floating lamps that resonate in tones. Since a lot of their displays are seasonal, rest assured that there’s at all times something recent and exciting along the horizon.

teamLab Botanical Garden
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teamLabs Botanical Garden Osaka

Plus, unlike its counterparts in Tokyo, the Botanical Gardens will likely be a everlasting exhibit in Osaka. You might be also encouraged to wear sneakers and long pants to beat the forested terrain and its mosquito inhabitants.

Book tickets for teamLab Botanical Garden Osaka.

Address: Nagai Park, 1-23 Nagaikoen, Higashisumiyoshi Ward, Osaka, 546-0034, Japan
Opening hours: 7pm-9.45pm, Day by day
Contact: +81 6 6699 5120 | teamLab Botanical Garden Osaka website

– Kyoto –

7. Marufukuro Hotel – Former Nintendo office

japan - Marufukuro
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History buffs and video game aficionados, here’s a rare opportunity to remain in the identical constructing where the Nintendo legacy began. Nintendo’s old headquarters, which was deserted in 1959, has been recently updated into a contemporary, museum-like hotel now open for guests.

The Marufukuro Hotel consists of 4 buildings, 3 of which were once Nintendo’s foremost office, warehouse, and the Yamauchi family’s residence. The brand new annex also features natural lighting and classical Japanese furniture, leaving much of its original layout and structures untouched. 

japan - marufukuro hotel
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Marufukuro Hotel

When booking your stay, there are several options of suites and rooms to pick from, and an in-house restaurant, spa, lounge, and gym to sweeten the deal. There’s even a library stocked with Nintendo paraphernalia and interactive artworks that expand on the history and identity of the brand. 

Check availability at Marufukuro Hotel.

Rates: From S$375/night
Address: 〒600-8126 Kyoto, Shimogyo Ward, Kagiyacho, 342番地, Japan
Contact: +81 75 353 3355 | Marufukuro Hotel website

8. Shijo Kawaramachi Onsen Hotel – Infinity onsen pool overlooking city

japan - Shijo Kawaramachi Onsen Hotel
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Soraniwa Onsen Terrace Kyoto

At Shijo Kawaramachi Onsen Hotel, you may dip into an infinity onsen pool as you absorb a panoramic view of Higashiyama district. The hotel is split into 2 guest buildings: the elegant Japanese-style Soraniwa Onsen Terrace Kyoto, and the luxurious Bettei Kamogawa which comes with private open-air baths. 

Shijo Kawaramachi Onsen Hotel
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Soraniwa Onsen Terrace Kyoto

Guests from either side are welcome to patronise the infinity hot spring bath, in addition to the Soraniwa Terrace, which boasts a wide ranging view of Kamogawa and its surrounding mountains. 

Up here, be at liberty to relax with a foot bath and lounge across the sofas. Cozy bonfires will likely be lit during colder months like December. 

Check availability at Shijo Kawaramachi Onsen Soraniwa Terrace Kyoto.

Rates: From S$112/night
Address: 324 Inaricho, Kyoto, 6008022, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Contact: Bettei Kamogawa website | Soraniwa Onsen Terrace Kyoto website

– Other parts of Japan –

9. Ghibli Park – Ghibli’s grand warehouse & Totoro forest

japan - Ghibli park
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Ghibli Park

The long awaited Studio Ghibli Theme Park will likely be opening on 1st November 2022 at Aichi Earth Expo Memorial Park in Nagoya. Ghibli Park is slated to feature a ton of real-life references to popular studio movies like My Neighbour Totoro, Whisper of the Heart, and The Cat Returns.

For one of the best experience, visit all 3 themed-spaces, namely Hill of Youth, Dondonki Forest, and Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse – the latter of which has on-site merch, restaurants, playgrounds and a 170-seater theatre.

Ghibli park
Artist’s render of the Mononoke Village.
Image credit: Ghibli Park

Still to return, the ride-less theme park will spot the likes of Castle within the Sky, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and The Secret World of Arrietty with 2 brand recent zones. You may stay up for wandering around Mononoke Village, or exploring the Valley of Witches in 2023.

Address: Aichi Expo Memorial Park (Morikoro Park), 1533-1 Ibaragabasama, Nagakute City, Aichi Prefecture 480-1342, Japan
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10am-5pm | Sat-Sun 9am-5pm (Closed on Tuesdays)
Contact: Ghibli Park website

10. Gundam Park & Statue – Theme park with 24.8m Gundam statue

japan - gundam park
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To the untrained eye, this newly-opened park looks as if a mechanical mecca for robot giants. But these robots are actually characters from Gundam, a famous local anime that has captured the hearts of fans from all around the world.

You’ll find Gundam Park Fukuoka within the shopping center complex of LalaPort Fukuoka, with multiple activity and exhibit areas inside. Visit Gundam Side-F to take pics with the Gundam universe and construct model figurines, or Variety Sports (VS) Park for some Gundam-based video game motion. 

gundam park
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There may even be a slew of fun arcade games on the Namco hall, where you may try your hand at piloting a mecha. 

And eventually, standing tall and proud outside the shopping centre is a 24.8m-tall life size monument of the Nu Gundam mecha. 

Address: 6 Chome-23-1 Naka, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka, 812-0893, Japan
Opening hours: 10am-9pm, Day by day
Contact: Gundam Park website

11. Atoa Aquarium – Digital art and fish

japan - atoa aquarium
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The name “átoa” is a mix of the words “aquarium” and “art” in Japanese, and a fitting approach to describe the brand new aquatic museum in Kobe. The Atoa Aquarium showcases the great thing about sea creatures and allure of the ocean through digital art and light-weight shows.

Stare upon a fluttering stingray at The Fluctuation of Life section, or admire teams of Nishikigoi carp as they literally swim under your feet on the Light and Shadow exhibit.

atoa aquarium
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Don’t forget to think about a photograph op on the Encounter of the Miraculous Planet, which incorporates a planet-like orb of cherry bass and coral reefs, 3m in diameter.

Address: 7-2 Shinkocho, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0041, Japan
Opening hours: 10am-9pm, Day by day
Contact: +81 78-771-9393 | átoa Aquarium website

Visit these recent places in Japan

And there you might have it. 11 fun and fresh things to do within the land of the rising sun. From a barefoot museum to Mario Kart IRL, we’re almost glad we waited this long to travel to Japan. Just be aware of things to recollect when travelling to Japan in 2022, and stay protected. Sayonara!

For more must-see Japan spots:

Cover image adapted from: Universal Studios Japan, teamLab Planets, @atoa_kobe

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