The best things to do in Japan for young adults

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Japan is a fascinating country with a rich cultural heritage and a unique blend of tradition and modernity. This makes it an ideal destination for young adults seeking an unforgettable travel experience.

Whether you’re a solo traveller or joining a group tour in Japan, there are countless exciting activities and destinations to explore.

Days in Japan will be spent exploring and making memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you spend days or weeks in Japan, it is an excellent country for Young Adults to explore. 

 Best tours for young adults in Japan

When planning a trip to Japan, it’s essential to consider the best tour options for young adults.

Young adults exploring Tokyo, with bustling streets, bright neon lights, and a lively atmosphere showcasing the dynamic energy of the city
A young adult on vacation in Japan

Whether you’re drawn to the bustling city of Tokyo, the historical charm of Kyoto, or the vibrant atmosphere of Osaka, there are a variety of tours designed to cater to the interests of young travellers.

You can do a full tour of Japan with a group, where every day is planned, or you can travel to Japan and do your own thing, including some day tours. 

The positive thing about group tours to Japan is that everything is taken care of, from transport to accommodation. Your whole stay in Japan will be taken care of, which can limit your exploration of any places not on the itinerary.

Independent travel allows you to see the spots in Japan that you want. You can stay as long as you want in a traditional Japanese house or at places you visit. Your travel style will determine how you approach your Japanese travel.

Top Japan tour destinations

A Japan trip offers diverse destinations that appeal to young adults. From days spent exploring the neon-lit streets of Tokyo to experiencing the serene beauty of Kyoto’s temples and shrines, there is something for every kind of traveller in Japan.

Take time to explore, and a tour guide will be able to show you the best of Japan.

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Choosing the right Japan tour itinerary

When selecting a tour itinerary, it’s essential to consider your preferences and interests. Whether you want to immerse yourself in traditional Japanese culture or explore the modern side of Japan, there are tailor-made itineraries to suit every traveller’s needs. Review reviews and itineraries before committing to tour operators for your next trip.

Booking a Group Tour vs. Solo Travel

You can do a full tour of Japan with a group, where every day is planned, or you can travel to Japan and do your own thing, including some day tours. 

Tour buses in Japan
Tour Buses lined up in Japan.

The positive thing about Japanese tours for Young Adults is that everything is handled, from transport to accommodation. Your whole stay in Japan will be taken care of, which can limit your exploration of any places not on the itinerary.

Independent travel allows you to see the spots in Japan that you want. You can stay in a traditional Japanese house or at places you visit as long as you want. Your travel style will determine how you approach your Japanese travel for young adults.

For young adults, deciding between booking a group tour or travelling solo can significantly impact the travel experience. 

Discovering Tokyo: Must-see attractions

As the bustling capital of Japan, Tokyo is a melting pot of modernity and tradition. There are plenty of things to do in Tokyo, from uncovering the best shrines and temples to exploring theme parks and wandering some of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world.

There is no shortage of exciting activities for young adults staying in Tokyo. The city’s dynamic energy and vibrant culture make it a top destination for young adults.

Exploring theme parks in Tokyo with young adults

For young adults seeking a thrill, Tokyo’s theme parks, including Tokyo Disneyland, DisneySea, Tokyo Dome City, Seibuen Amusement, Yomiuriland, and Warner Bros. Studio Tour Tokyo, provide an exciting escape into the world of fantasy and adventure.

a theme park in japan with ferris wheel and rollercoaster
Japan has so many theme parks that young adults will love

These parks offer a perfect blend of entertainment and excitement, making them ideal destinations for young travellers.

Neighbourhoods in Tokyo

Tokyo offers diverse neighbourhoods for young adults to explore. Harajuku is known for fashion and cosplay, while Shibuya bustles with shops and entertainment.

Akihabara is a tech paradise, Shimokitazawa is excellent for indie culture, and Odaiba offers futuristic attractions. These areas let young adults dive into Tokyo’s culture, fashion, tech, and entertainment.

Nightlife around Tokyo

In Tokyo, young adults can enjoy lots of fun activities at night. They can go to incredible bars and clubs in Shibuya, like Baia and Womb, while in Aoyama, the Tunnel and Vent are the places to go.

Nightime in Tokyo is busy
Tokyo is known for its exciting nightlife.

There are also cosy izakayas and karaoke bars for a relaxed but fun time. Tokyo is famous for yummy late-night food like ramen, yakitori, and sushi, so there’s always something to do for young adults who want to have a good time at night.

Planning a family vacation to Tokyo? Read our ultimate guide to Tokyo with teenagers.

Unforgettable Kyoto: Essential stops for young travelers

Kyoto is a city that should not be missed for young adults seeking a deeper understanding of Japan’s traditions and culture.

Kyoto is one of the best places to visit. With its well-preserved historical sites and timeless beauty, it offers an enriching travel experience for young adventurers. Best of all, it is only a short train trip from Tokyo.

Exploring the traditions and culture of Kyoto

Exploring Kyoto’s traditional neighbourhoods, participating in tea ceremonies, Sanurari experiences, and witnessing the art of the Geisha offer young travellers an immersive experience of Japan’s cultural practices and customs.

2 people in traditional dress in back street of Kyoto
Traditional Japan is a big draw card for tourists.

It’s travel days like this with plenty of activities and visits to places like the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest that won’t soon be forgotten.

Guided tours vs. independent travel in Kyoto

Young adults can choose between guided tours and independent exploration in Kyoto. Guided tours provide local knowledge and insight into the city’s cultural heritage, while independent travel allows for a more personalised and flexible itinerary.

Identifying the best Temples and Shrines in Kyoto

From the iconic Fushimi Inari Shrine to the serene Kinkaku-ji Temple, Kyoto is home to some of Japan’s most remarkable temples and shrines.

a young adult visiting the Fushimi shrine
Japan’s temples are some of the most popular tourist attractions

Each site carries its own unique history and significance, offering young travellers a glimpse into Japan’s spiritual traditions.

Nightlife in Kyoto

In Kyoto, young adults can have fun and have special times at night. They can go to cosy izakayas like Japanese pubs to try local sake and yummy food. Or they can visit cool bars and clubs to dance the night away.

Kyoto also has cultural events like tea ceremonies and Geisha shows, which show the traditional side of the city’s nightlife. Plus, there are night markets and food stalls with tasty snacks, making Kyoto’s nightlife a mix of old traditions and new adventures.

Any family trip with teenagers should include a visit to Kyoto. Let us help you build an itinerary with our Kyoto with Teens article.

Exciting Osaka: Making the most of your visit

Osaka is known for its vibrant street food scene and lively entertainment districts, popular with young adults.

The nightlife district in Osaka with the entry to Dotonbori district
Dotonbori district in Osaka, Japan

A trip to Osaka is ideal for young adults looking to savour urban Japan’s local culture, vibrant atmosphere, and preserved historical landmarks. Much like Tokyo and Kyoto, Osaka is a must-see in Japan. 

Indulging in the best of Osaka’s local culture

Young travellers can immerse themselves in Osaka’s unique culture and amazing food by exploring the bustling Dotonbori district or trying local delicacies at Kuromon Ichiba Market.

Osaka Castle with a cherry blossom tree in front
Stunning cherry blossoms at Osaka Castle

Modern Japan meets head-on with tradition in Osaka, where ancient buildings like Osaka Castle coexist harmoniously with cutting-edge technology.

Planning a visit to the famous Osaka Hot Springs

For a truly relaxing experience, young adults can visit the popular hot springs in and around Osaka.

These natural thermal baths provide the perfect opportunity to unwind and rejuvenate after exploring the city’s lively streets. Japanese hot springs are famous and known worldwide. 

Enjoying a group tour in Osaka vs. travelling Aaone

Exploring Osaka as part of a group tour offers young adults the chance to discover the city’s hidden gems and local haunts with like-minded travellers.

On the other hand, solo travel allows you to sleep in if you want, see the things that interest you most, or just wander the streets and see Osaka’s attractions.

Discover Osaka at your own pace with a self-guided audio tour. Uncover Osaka’s hidden gems and explore culinary delights on these walking tours.

Nightlife in Osaka

At night, Osaka is super fun for young adults! You can go to lively places like Dotonbori and Namba, which have many bright lights and cool places to hang out.

There are many bars, clubs, and izakayas where you can chat with friends, try yummy street food, and feel the lively vibe of Osaka. Plus, there are places for live music, karaoke, and themed fun, so everyone can have a great time in this exciting city at night!

Practical tips and trip notes for young adults visiting Japan

Before taking off on a trip to Japan, young adults must be well-prepared and equipped with practical tips to ensure a smooth and safe travel experience in this captivating country.

a young adult in japan on holidays in a busy street
Vibrant streets of Osaka, soaking in the city’s lively atmosphere and modern charm.

How to make the most of your 10-day trip to Japan

How long should I spend in Japan? We think 10 days is the minimum you should spend in Japan.

With so much to see and do, young travellers should carefully plan their 10-day trip to Japan to make the most of their time in this captivating country. Many places await exploring, from the big cities to the rural countryside and seaside towns.

Not sure what your teen will need on holiday to Japan? Click here to get all the top sellers for your travelling teens

Essential Japan travel tips for solo travellers to Japan

For young adults travelling solo in Japan, it’s essential to be mindful of local customs and etiquette. Stay connected to the internet while exploring the country to access apps such as Google Apps, Google Translate, Viator, and more.

If you travel around on planes and trains, your suitcase can take a beating. Ensure you have a durable suitcase or travel bag and an anti-theft backpack.

Japan is known to be ultra expensive: 30+ realistic tips to save on a trip with teens

Unique adventures in the Land of the Rising Sun

Japan offers many unique adventures for young adults, from skiing in the picturesque mountains to discovering the quirky theme parks that define Japan’s offbeat charm.

With guided tours to Takayama and beyond, young travellers can embark on experiences beyond traditional tourist attractions.

Exploring the traditional Onsen experience in Japan

One of the most cherished experiences for young travellers in Japan is indulging in a traditional onsen or hot spring bath. This time-honoured practice offers a unique opportunity to relax and immerse oneself in Japan’s natural beauty.

Experiencing Skiing in Japan

For young adults seeking an adrenaline rush, skiing in Japan’s snow-covered mountains is an exhilarating experience.

a young adult standing in the snow in Japan
The slopes at a picturesque ski resort in Japan

Destinations such as Hakkaido, Kokusai, and Hakuba offer world-class ski resorts, allowing young travellers to enjoy fun on the slopes of Japan’s mountains. The ski resorts are perfect for first-timers or experienced skiers.

The world-famous Japan Snow Monkeys at Jigokudani Monkey Park are nearby. Seeing them bathe in the hot springs during winter is well worth a visit. It is undoubtedly one of the cool things to do when you travel around Japan.

Experiencing Bullet Train adventures

The iconic Shinkansen, or bullet train, offers young adults a thrilling way to travel between cities. The high-speed train is convenient and efficient, allowing travellers to experience the beauty of Japan’s landscapes while saving time on their journeys.

a japanese bullet train at the station
Riding the iconic Shinkansen bullet train in Japan

Grab a Japan Rail pass and see the country. Travel by train can take you everywhere in Japan, so you can plan your whole trip to visit Japan by train.

Japan Rail Passes

  • JR Whole Japan Rail Pass: Unlimited Travel on JR lines, airport railways (Narita, Kansai, New Chitose, etc.), JR buses, and more. Book your pass today.
  • Tokyo Subway Ticket: Tokyo Subway Pass to 13 different routes with over 250 metro stops over 1, 2, or 3 days. Buy your ticket to ride today.
  • JR Haruka Kansai Airport Ticket: Kansai Airport transfers to stations in the major cities in Kansai, such as Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe. Book today

Protect all your belongings: All the best anti-theft bags for travel reviewed and approved.

Theme parks of Japan

Some of the best theme parks in Japan for young adults include Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea for a magical experience, Universal Studios Japan in Osaka for thrilling rides and movie-themed attractions, and Fuji-Q Highland near Mount Fuji for adrenaline-pumping roller coasters and scenic views.

Guided tours to Takayama

For young travellers exploring rural Japan, guided tours to destinations like Takayama offer a glimpse into the country’s historical and traditional landscapes.

traditional village of Takayama in Japan
The charming streets of Takayama, Japan

Be stunned by the rural surroundings, experiencing local traditions, and exploring the quaint streets of Takayama provide young adults with a unique travel experience.

Visiting Hiroshima

Hiroshima is known worldwide for being the first city to experience the devastating impact of an atomic bomb during World War II. When young adults visit Hiroshima, they can learn about history at the Peace Memorial Park and Museum.

With a city pass, they can also enjoy the lively city atmosphere of Hiroshima. You can stay for a few nights in Hiroshima or go on day tours from Osaka and Kyoto.

Exploring Majestic Mt. Fuji

No trip to Japan is complete without experiencing the awe-inspiring beauty of Mt. Fuji. This iconic volcano, a UNESCO World Heritage site, offers young adults a chance to immerse themselves in Japan’s natural grandeur.

Young adults enjoying a breathtaking view of Mount Fuji
Young adults enjoying a breathtaking view of Mount Fuji

The Fuji Five Lakes region, including lakes such as Lake Kawaguchi and Lake Yamanaka, offers a serene retreat at the foot of Mt. Fuji.

Young adults can enjoy activities like boating, cycling along scenic trails, and relaxing in lakeside hot springs, all while the backdrop of Mount Fuji is looming large.

In conclusion, Japan offers many opportunities for young adults to explore and immerse themselves in the country’s rich heritage and contemporary culture. Whether embarking on a guided tour of Japan’s iconic cities or venturing out for independent adventures, young travellers will surely create memorable experiences that will last a lifetime.

We hope this article from Wyld Family Travel has you inspired to visit Japan with teenagers or independently as young adults. There are so many things to do in Japan with young adults that will have you entertained for your whole stay.

Travelling with young adults, teens, and tweens has just as many issues as travelling with young children.

Choosing the best teenage vacation destinations, working out a budget, deciding what bags and suitcases to take, travelling essentials, and more can be time-consuming.

Planning family travel with teenagers and tweens can be stressful, and finding the best travel tips is essential. 

Our Travel with Teenagers Destination Guides have you covered! With insights from around the globe, these guides will spark inspiration for your next family vacation, making it an epic adventure with your teens.

For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in Japan, click our Japan Destination Guide page for more brilliant inspiration.

More travel inspiration for young adults

Author bio:

Father, husband, traveller, and chief destination manager here at Wyld Family Travel. When Mark is not discussing travel or planning travel, you will find him working in disability support. Mark is a family travel advocate, having travelled to over 45 countries with his kids from 10 months to their teenage years. You will find his work here and on other popular websites.

Having a beer in Pilsen Czech
Mark Wyld

Content Creator