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With so much to see, do, and eat, it can be difficult to begin planning that amazing Japan trip you’ve always been dreaming of. If you’re not sure where to start, why not check out this ranking of top Japan experiences?

In late January, Recruit Lifestyle and Jalan released a survey about foreign tourists’ experiences in Japan. In addition to a group of Japanese participants, 500 visitors from China, Germany, India, South Korea and the United States (100 for each country) gave their top picks for categories like general Japan experiences, foods and places to eat. Let’s take a look at the top 5 for each!

While shopping for clothes and electronics is definitely a popular activity for Chinese visitors, it’s clear to see that they also value getting in touch with nature, especially the world-famous Mount Fuji. As for food picks, while most are related to seafood there’s a good variety of places to eat.

Top 5 Experiences:
1. Natural scenery
2. Mount Fuji
3. Rural lifestyle
4. Clothes shopping
5. Relaxing trips

Top 5 Foods:
1. Sashimi
2. Conveyor-belt sushi
3. Bento
4. Seared bonito
4. Raw vegetables

Top 5 Places to Eat:
1. Buffets
2. Izakayas
3. Set meal restaurants
4. Food courts
5. Mountain tea shops

Next up is Germany with a range reflecting a good mix of traditional (shrines and temples, Edomae-style sushi, Japanese gardens) and modern Japan (city parks, curry with rice).

Top 5 Experiences:
1. Shrines and temples
2. Relaxing trips
3. Japanese gardens
4. Historical sites
5. City parks

Top 5 Foods:
1. Edomae-style sushi
2. Deep-fried prawns
3. Tempura
4. Strawberries
5. Curry with rice

Top 5 Places to Eat:
1. Buffets
2. Family restaurants
3. Bar alleys
4. Food stands
4. Mountain tea houses

The top choices of Indian tourists reflect staying on the move and enjoying lots of unique sights, from natural views to shrines and delicious food stands, or even heading down to the beach for a bite.

Top 5 Experiences:
1. Natural scenery
2. Shrines and temples
3. Historical sites
3. Clothes shopping
5. Relaxing trips

Top 5 Foods:
1. Grapes
2. Chinese-style fried rice
3. Rice balls
4. Curry with rice/stew
4. Strawberries

Top 5 Places to Eat:
1. Beach huts
2. Family restaurants
3. Food stands
4. Set meal restaurants
4. Food courts

Like China, from hot springs and visiting shrines and temples to enjoying soba, udon, and conveyor belt sushi, South Korea’s ranking seems to be themed around nature and enjoying a typical Japanese lifestyle!

Top 5 Experiences:
1. Relaxing trips
2. City parks
3. Hot springs
3. Shopping for consumables (food, alcohol, makeup, etc.)
5. Historical sites

Top 5 Foods:
1. Conveyor belt sushi
2. Soba
2. Deep-fried prawns
4. Tempura
4. Udon

Top 5 Places to Eat:
1. Izakayas
2. Set meal restaurants
3. Buffets
4. Food courts
5. High-class Japanese restaurants

Visitors from the United States also have a keen interest in Japanese culture and history, with Japanese shrines, temples, and other sites coming up high in the rankings.

Top 5 Experiences:
1. Natural scenery
2. Shrines and temples
3. Japanese gardens
4. Historical sites
5. Relaxing trips

Top 5 Foods:
1. Tempura
2. Traditional multi-course Japanese dinner
3. Strawberries
4. Curry with rice/stew
4. Miso ramen

Top 5 Places to Eat:
1. Buffets
2. Set menu restaurants
3. Food stands
3. Family restaurants
5. Barbecue restaurants

It’s not often that a survey between this many countries is released for everyone to see, so it’s interesting to observe all of the similarities and differences! What would your top picks for Japan be?



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