What would you like to experience in Japan during your next visit? Simply share with us what, where, how you hope to enjoy your time in Japan, and stand to win great prizes! Start logging in or signing up as a JbyJ member to submit your entry now!
Announcement of Winners
Thank you to all the participants for sharing your exciting Japan travel plans. From the sharing of authentic Japanese flavours to unique experiences and stunning sceneries you're looking forward to, your enthusiasm towards visiting Japan again and passion towards Japan have been strongly felt! Your shares also demonstrate that Japan still has so much more to be explored and discovered.
Let's check out the winning entries below. There is plenty to take inspiration from for everyone's next Japan travel itinerary!
After attending the various editions of the Japan Fair online, poring through the various online articles, and thanks to the livestreams and interesting activities that were organised, I've been slowly collating the travel information shared and built my personal list of "to go" places once the Japan borders open (list has grown to more than 100 spots!). Spoilt for choices and really not knowing where best to start! Having largely covered largely the upper half of Japan, I figured that I should start from Nagoya and work my way southwards and cover featured places like Kochi, Miura, Okinawa, Mie etc.
Must-dos are the unique experiences like yuzu farm experience, making kokeshi dolls or handicrafts, Ninja school, sake tasting, skiing, attending the festivals etc. To be honest, just the idea of being surrounded by Japan's beautiful naturescape, soaking in the many onsens and rotenburo, and eating my way around the various prefectures is enough to tickle my travel senses already!
When I go to Japan, I look for serenity. There is no other place like Kusatsu in Gunma where some of the most beautiful natural hot springs are found. I plan to visit them in the colder seasons where it will be an amazing experience to get wrapped up in a blanket of hot mist surrounded by traditional wooden houses and serene waters. This will be packed with anticipation as in Singapore, it is simply impossible to ever experience a natural hot spring with our tropical climate. This would mean everything to me if I could bring my younger sister who has recently battled cancer to finally get out and see the world amidst the past two years of the pandemic. I would bring her to the onsen and enjoy a hot cup of matcha and oden after!
Let's just put it here- I will love to teleport myself to ANY part of Japan in a heartbeat if I had the technology and power to do so! That said, if I had to think of one place, it definitely would be Aomori which stole my heart away..
I would love to bring my mother back to Aomori with me as well. Although we had gone to Aomori prefecture twice thus far, the place, people and food keeps calling me back to it.. I am always touched by the generosity and kindness of the people in Japan.. With Aomori, I have especially good memories of enjoying the local dance through checking out the Nebuta museum and dancing to the beat as we shout "WASSHOU". I would love to participate in the Nebuta festival once Japan opens up! From connecting to the local people on the local densha and exchanging local souvenirs with each other, I am always touched by the stories and how much they each love Japan and what it has to offer. I also dearly miss the local food shop that sells wonderfully grilled scallops by the endearing obaasans who have so much pride with their local produce, you can't get any fresher than this!
Apple state Aomori, I MISS YOU WITH ALL MY HEART and I will definitely come back to visit you and all the states that I have not gone to. :D Thank you Nihon~
I previously visited Tokyo with my ex-girlfriend in 2017 but due to the costs and low earning power, we did not stay long enough to fully explore everything in our itinerary. The earning power is still the same as before, so I would propose a low-cost travel itinerary. First, I will visit during spring when Sakura will be in full bloom. It will be very romantic to spend this time with the other half so I will first stroll around the imperial east gardens before renting a rowboat at Chidorigafuchi to enjoy and take photos of the picturesque scenes. If Ryogoku Kokugikan is open for Sumo Basho, we will queue early at 7am+ to get the Sumo tickets before going to Ueno Sakura Matsuri at Ueno Park. After lunch, we will proceed to view the matches where the higher ranked rikishi will duel with each other.
In between, I would also like to try out the food and atmosphere at Tsukiji Market since I have not been there since they moved to Toyosu Market. Visiting both will also be a good opportunity to contrast the cultural juxtaposition between the traditional Tsukiji and the new modern Toyosu market. It will be good to visit Toyosu, Tsukiji and then Ginza for late night shopping. We quarrelled a lot because there is so much to walk so it is advisable to do advanced planning to minimised problems.
As for my ex-girlfriend? She's my wife now after I proposed at Tokyo Disneyland.
We love to re-live our December 2019 Japan trip where we visited a few places in the Iwate prefecture (Tohoku region). Our biggest regret is not being able to spend more time to immerse ourselves at each place we visited as we got to learn more of each place while we were there. Given the opportunity, we intend to go on a longer trip (3 weeks perhaps) this time round.
We will want to re-live our experiences from enjoying the delicious and different bento sets on the Shinkansen, to skiing on the slopes peppered with powdery snow at Appi Kogen, admiring beautiful sceneries of the Iwate countryside while riding local train lines and experiencing traditional Japanese hospitality including Kaiseki, at a Ryokan with an onsen in Rikuzentaka.
For this next trip, we like to spend more time at Rikuzentaka e.g. hike at Mt Hikami, experience the local life by spending a day or a night with a local family. Beyond these, we like to explore a couple of more places within the Iwate prefecture e.g. Tono where one can experience traditional folklores and perhaps get acquainted with a Kappa.
Being our first yet free & easy trip as a family to Japan, we were touched by the hospitality and help of the Japanese whenever we need so. Until today, our family still reminisces our trip, looking at past photographs, while continuing to look forward to visit Japan and re-live this experience again.
I would like to travel to Hokkaido in winter to experience the magical winter landscapes, and also to see Hokkaido's spectacular natural sights and wildlife.
Hokkaido is full of really amazing animals, and unlike nearby regions in neighbouring countries, Hokkaido is highly accessible, comfortable and safe, which makes it perfect for wildlife watching. In particular, I would like to see Japanese Cranes in Kushiro, Stella's Sea Eagles at Lake Furen, and bears in Shiretoko National Park. I also hope to go on a cruise to photograph whales, orcas, and dolphins swimming amongst sea ice.
Hokkaido is blessed with many beautiful mountains and lakes. I would like to go hiking in Mt Rausudake or Mt Rishiri someday (although perhaps not in winter!). I also hope to visit Lake Akan, see its beautiful blue waters, and learn more about its adorable marimo algae balls that are famous all over the world. I am also very interested in Lake Kussharo, with its unique geography in the caldera of a volcano.
Hokkaido also has a long history and tremendous amounts of interesting culture. I would like to visit the Upopoy National Ainu Museum to learn more about the native people of this region, and also marvel at the amazing snow sculptures at the Sapporo Snow Festival.
I can't wait to travel to Hokkaido once borders reopen and hope to meet all of our friends at JNTO someday!
I got an invitation to a Odate farm stay in 2020, but not long afterwards, the covid outbreak disrupted my plan. I am determined to visit Akita again, apart from experiencing a farm stay, I want to mingle around with Akita Inu too, as well as Slamdunk-ing basketball at Noshiro, before heading to Oga for one-of-a-kind Namahage encounter. I have seen a Namahage in Tokyo before, at some event which I chance upon, and that really intrigued me to see one from their hometown in Oga. Last but not least, a visit to Yokote for the Kamakura matsuri shall wrap up a trip full with many wonderful memories, where I can interact with locals in temporary-built snow hut over a cup of sake or two!
In-between, I would also love to savour exquisite Akita delicacies, such as Kiritanpo, Hinai-dori, and notably Inaniwa Udon, which I regard as the best udon in Japan!
I know winter is almost gone by now, but I do have a different itinerary if I'm visiting Akita in Spring or beyond.
I plan to visit Akita Prefecture for my next trip to Japan. I have never visited the Tohoku region so I hope to visit Akita Prefecture to meet the cute Akita dogs. I am a huge dog lover so I will start my tour in Akita by visiting Odate City, the hometown of the majestic Akita dogs. It is my dream to get close to a real life Akita dog so I hope I will get the chance to! Woof!
I plan to visit in winter as I love to experience snow, participate in winter sports, and attend snow festivals. Since Singapore is a tropical country, it will be so wonderful to spend enjoy winter in Akita. I will start my snow expedition in Ani Ski resort at Mount Moriyoshi to ski and admire the popular "snow monsters" – a spectacular sight of frost-covered trees.
Next, I will spend a few days doing "hot spring-hopping" in the well-known Nyuto onsen and soak in all the 8 hot spring baths. I hope to stay in the historical Tsurunoyu ryokan and indulge in traditional cuisine of Akita. As Akita is famous for hotpots that are filled with local fish and ingredients, I will like to try their hearty nabe dishes.
Finally, I am very excited to attend the Yokote Kamakura Festival that features many special igloo-like snow houses and winter illumination. I can't stay to start planning for my trip! See you soon Akita and Japan!
Wish to have a second "neighbours trip" to Japan. This time, Akita. We will start the trip from Tsurunoyu Onsen. Enjoy the natural onsen on the arrival day, have some seasonal wild plant (sansai) and try the Hatahata zushi, Akita's winter food. We will try our luck to see Shidarezakura (weeping cherry) of Bukeyashiki-dori near Kakunodate and Hinokinaigawa River, one of the 100 best spots for Cherry Blossoms. Overnight here to enjoy night view of cherry blossoms . Next day, partially trek Mt Iwate using Uwabo course and then take a good rest at Takizawa city. Next day, go to Basho lake to witness the beauty of skunk cabbage, take a stroll around the lake and feel the spring. Not forgetting to check out the Uwabo-bokuya Solitary Cherry Tree and Couple tree nearby too. Overnight at Takizawa again and next day go to Aspite Line and Jukai Line to view the snow wall. Stay a night at Odate and admire the beauty Wisteria flowers near the rice fields at Tonose Fuji no Sato. Visit to Akita Dog Museum at Odate is a must. Grab the chance to pat the akita dogs. Try to make it to one of the local farmer markets and check out the unique food on sale. Then spend the rest of the day at Nyuto onsenkyo. End the trip by soaking again in the natural onsen, enjoy Kiritanpo nabe, Inaniwa Udon and of course, Babahera rose shape ice cream.