Nowadays, more and more people are experimenting with a different rhythm of life thanks to the advancements of technology and the better opportunities that exist today compared to a few decades ago. A digital nomad lifestyle is by no means an easy one – you have to be someone who’s quick on their feet, prepared to solve unexpected situations and able to adapt to a myriad of circumstances. However, the benefit is that you get to see places you perhaps never thought you would, and one of these places can easily be Japan.
This extraordinary country is a leader in technology and there’s no denying it’s also really one of a kind. Those interested in its culture will have so much to do and see while staying in Japan that it can easily get overwhelming. However, Japan is a perfect destination for ambitious digital nomads as it boasts very fast internet, plenty of co-working spaces and, of course, a lot of potential fun. If you think you’re ready for this adventure, read on to get inspired about some of the most recommended things you can do and try in Japan.
Explore the streets of Tokyo
The capital of Japan, Tokyo is such an overwhelmingly huge metropolis that you’re going to need quite a bit of time to research it both before your trip and once you’re there. Turning to a handy Tokyo Guide is a no-brainer, as it will give you the skinny on the best places to eat and stay. But don’t sweat it too much. After a few days in the busy crowd of people, you will start getting the hang of it and exploring the streets of Tokyo is certainly the best way to experience it. You can visit an actual robot restaurant, get a breathtaking view of the city from the 45th floor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building or simply walk the bustling streets, not missing the famous Shibuya Scramble Crossing.
Marvel at fashion in Harajuku
If you’re interested in unique fashion, you must head to Harajuku on one of your free days and simply explore the area. Not only are there numerous boutiques and shops all over the place, but chances are you’re going to spot some interesting fashion creations if you just walk around and keep your eyes open. This is, without a doubt, one of the most colorful parts of Tokyo, so it will definitely be a great experience and something out of the ordinary.
Spend some time in the snowy mountains
Japan is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to snowy landscapes and winter activities. The climate of a large part of the country allows Japan to be a top skiing destination, and why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of that during your digital nomad stay in this wonderful place? Explore some of your options such as the widely popular Hakuba and Niseko skiing resort, or go for a picturesque stay in Furano, just a few minutes from the town where you can enjoy bars and restaurants to your heart’s content. Spicing up your days with a bit of physical activity in the form of skiing or snowboarding is a great way to stray from your routine and feel refreshed and energetic.
Visit an extraordinary cafe
Japan is famous for always bringing the unexpected, so don’t be surprised to find hundreds of unique, special cafes all over the place. While cat cafes are still immensely popular (and for a good reason!), now there are other animal cafes as well, such as owls and hedgehog cafes, but the list does not end there. There are other themed cafes that will probably surprise you, be it maid cafes if you are into that, or monster cafes that are truly peculiar. These are just a few of the examples because chances are whatever you think of, there is a cafe for it in Japan. Visiting any of these is going to be a great break if you feel like you’ve been working too much in a boring co-working space.
Relax in an onsen
Japan has numerous hot springs scattered all around the country, and they took advantage of this fact by creating an extensive onsen culture. While for foreigners, this practice could seem unfamiliar or strange at first, onsens are widely popular and are extremely relaxing – which is exactly what you need between tiring deadlines. Take a day off, choose one of the many onsens and immerse your body in hot water. Just remember to read about the important onsen etiquette beforehand to avoid unpleasant situations and misunderstandings. You might feel weird the first time around, but trust us, you’ll enjoy it in the end and you won’t even feel inhibited the next time you go.
Check out a few museums
No matter what country you’re visiting, one of the best ways to get acquainted with its art and culture in a refined manner is by visiting some of its notable museums. Even if you’re not so big on museums, everyone can find something that will interest them. For instance, if you’re a fan of Japanese animation by Studio Ghibli in particular, you must not miss out on visiting the popular Studio Ghibli Museum. If it is modern pop art that is up your alley, you can take the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see some of Yayoi Kusama’s pieces live and get inspired. Or if you’ve been seeing those stunning, colorful photos all over Instagram and you can’t wrap your head around them, head to Mori Building Digital Art Museum and experience a truly innovative, unique exhibition.
Visit the cultural capital of Kyoto
If you have a weekend off, don’t miss out on venturing out and visiting the outstanding city of Kyoto. Over the years, it has become the cultural capital of Japan, with tradition and beauty present wherever you look. During the springtime, you will get some of the best views of the cherry blossoms exactly in this city, so make sure you take a stroll on the Philosopher’s Path if you’re in a romantic mood. On the other hand, even venturing out of Kyoto is an amazing idea, as just a few kilometers from the city, you will find Arashiyama, a marvelous natural heritage area boasting a huge bamboo forest and beautiful slopes colored by lush vegetation. It’s a really picturesque place that will surely relax you.
Test your tastebuds
Of course, no travels can go without trying some local, traditional cuisine, and if you’re planning to have an extended stay in Japan, you will have all the opportunities and time in the world to truly experiment and try interesting delicacies. Tokyo itself has a good number of Michelin starred places, but you can find cheap eats on the streets that will not disappoint. Okonomiyaki, some delicious wagyu beef dishes, sushi that is delivered to you on a conveyor belt, a hot bowl of ramen and udon are just some of the must-try dishes when you’re in Japan. In addition, make sure you go and have a beer and a bite in an izakaya after a long day of work, as that is what many Japanese people do.
Japan is a real treasure trove for any digital nomad. It has plenty of things to do, so you won’t get bored during any of the free days you have, but it also accommodates work needs such as a fast internet connection, and you will surely be intrigued by the unique foods, places and traditions that make this country so colorful. If you haven’t been sure about whether Japan would be a good choice for your digital nomad adventures, now you should be confident enough in your decision. Good luck!