If you’ve been scouring the net looking for ways to experience the most unique things Japan has to offer, then dock your wireless device and hang up those bunny ears because we’ve found the list for you. These 11 experiences are so unique you’ll be amazed they even exist. From crazy, subculture adventures to mystical, secret classes, now you can fill up on a unique blend of pop and tradition thanks to the activities on offer from new travel website Voyagin. We’ve picked the best courses for you to enjoy.
1. Have tea with a Lolita (2,500 yen [US$25], 2 hours)
In Japan, Lolitas are quaint girls who like to dress in Victorian-era clothing. And what better way to get acquanited than over a cup of tea? Complete with teaspoons and china cups, you’ll feel like you’re down the rabbit-hole at a mad-hatter’s tea party.
2. Go shopping with a Japanese Lolita (3,500 yen [$36], 2 hours)
Hanging out with a Japanese chick in Lolita wear isn’t something many foreigners can say they’ve done. Why not take it up a notch and tell your friends about the day you and your Lolita friend went shopping? Visit some balls-to-the-wall costume shops and get an inside look at this crazy culture of dress-up that is unique to Japan.
3. Check out a maid cafe (2,500 yen [$25], 1 hour)
Maid cafes have carved a name for themselves as the epitome of crazy Japan. Managing to get into a good cafe, though, can be near impossible, especially when trying to navigate Japanese websites and long lines at the front door. Now you can secure a seat at a table and play games with a cute maid thanks to this handy service.
4. Get your ears cleaned by a girl in Cosplay (3,200yen [$32], 30 minutes)
Usually done by Japanese mothers for their children, many people are comforted by ear cleaning way into their adult years. But what do you do when you’re away from home and you need the comforting human-to-human contact of a gentle ear clean? You pay to get it done! Receiving the service from a girl in a cosplay outfit makes the experience all the more memorable.
5. Release your inner geek and watch an idol performance (1,000 yen [$10], 1 hour)
If you want to understand the nerd, be like the nerd and make your way to an idol performance. Although the performance on stage is what most people come for, watching the audience is just as entertaining as the singing and dancing on stage. Here you’ll see mostly grown men in the crowd, unashamedly sporting glow-sticks while chanting the lines and joining in on the moves. It’s one big OMG you’ll never forget.
6. Observe an early morning sumo training session (3,500 yen [$36], 2.5 hours)
Sumo wrestlers and their daily rituals have long fascinated both Japanese and foreigners alike. Now you can breathe in centuries of tradition and catch a glimpse of life outside the ring, all while shrouded in the early morning half-light.
7. Polish up your samurai skills (4,500 yen [$46], 1 hour)
Learn all about bushido, the way of the warrior, with some important tips from a specialist. Transport your mind and body back to feudal times as you cover the basics, like sword sheathing and traditional warrior etiquette.
8. Learn sushi making techniques from a pro (5,000 yen [$51], 2 hours)
The beautiful simplicity of a perfect piece of sushi defies the immense skill and technique that goes into its creation. It can take an apprentice chef more than two years just to learn how to properly cook and season the rice. Learn the precise movements involved in sushi moulding and sense the deep respect that’s involved in its humble serving.
9. Try pilates in a temple (3,000 yen [$30], 2 hours)
Stretch your muscles and work your core in a 400-year-old temple. The smell of the rice-straw mats and the serene beauty of a zen garden make this the perfect setting for a spot of holiday exercise.
10. Learn the fundamentals of being a ninja (12,000 yen [$122], 1.5 hours)
Find yourself through ninja meditation, practice using three different weapons, and try on a ninja costume. You’ll also learn kujikiri, a series of hand gestures said to channel energy and increase your sense of danger.
11. Become a cute gyaru for a day (10,000 yen [$102], 2 hours)
“Gyaru” (gal) makeup and hairstyles are immensely popular in Japan. Using makeup techniques to create bigger eyes, longer lashes and curly, coloured locks, even the most ordinary girl can be magically transformed into a gal.
Whether you’re after some unique companionship, a lesson in technique, or a spiritual and physical makeover, be sure to check out the Voyagin website. Get in now before all your friends do!