Bucket list: things you need to do in Tokyo&Osaka

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Welcome to part three of my mini ‘Bucket list series’! If you did not read part one and two, go read them now. Especially the first one, it’s one that means a lot to me. Here is the link to the first one.

In this second part of the series I’ll be telling you all about my sister and I’s Japan bucketlist! That traveling to Japan was on our bucket lists, is obvious. However, there were certain things that we really wanted to do when in Japan, so that became our Japan Bucket List. I’ll be sharing it with you today. I’ll also be explaining more about certain items on the list and I’ll let you know which ones we could unfortunately not tick off by making the text red! We were not able to do all of the things we wanted, but that’s only because we just wanted to do too much for the time we had, which was 11 days.

If you like this post, you will also like my travel diaries about our time in Shinjuku, Asakusa and Osaka. Here you’ll read what we did on which days and how we liked it!

So we knew we were going to be staying at three different locations before making this bucket list: Shinjuku Tokyo, Taito/Asakusa Tokyo and Osaka. In that order. Therefore we devided our bucket list up in things to do at each location. Just to make things easier. I was also making an itinerary for this trip after making this bucket list and so I just wanted all of the items on this list to be neatly grouped together so that it would be easy for me to spot what to do in which location and figure out from there what things we could combine in a day.

I’ll be sharing the itinerary with you guys as well, so stay up to date! Sign up for my e-mail list so that you’ll automatically be notified when I write a new blogpost.

Alright, here we go.


  • Shimokitazawa
  • Pokemon center mega Tokyo

Shimokitazawa is a bohemian neighbourhood just a few stops from Shibuya or Shinjuku on the Keio Inokashira and Odakyu lines respectively. We didn’t go here because we could not fit it in the itinerary. We did go to the Pokemon center! This is something my sister really wanted to do, but I liked it as well because to be honest, I love Pokemon. I grew up playing the games and watching it on the TV. I absolutely loved it and still do, even though I don’t play it anymore.

– There you go, now you know this weird fact about me. I should buy a new nintendo and start playing again.... I actually did buy one of the newest Pokemon games for Nindendo Ds, but I don’t have the Ds hahaha. This is the game I’ve got, let me know if you’ve played it and if it’s any good! I expect it to be haha. – 

Pokemon mega center Tokyo


  • Hachiko dogstatue
  • Green train next to the statue
  • Shibuja crossing
  • Yoyogi park
  • Seibu conveyor belt sushi
  • Tokyu hands souvenirs
  • Daiso
  • Shibuja 109
  • Golden Gai
  • Uniqlo
  • View from hikarie
  • Vision clubbing
  • Womb clubbing
  • Game Center VR Park Tokyo
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

This part of the list is a little longer than the first part, but there are a lot of easy things on there. For example, the first three on the Shibuja list are located right next to eachother. It only takes 10 minutes to take a look at all of them. – A little longer if you decide to stand in line to have your picture taken with Hachiko and a lot longer if you absolutely want to check out the crossing from a higher point of view

Hachico Statue Tokyo

Also, the shops we didn’t really plan on visiting at specific times or in a specific order. We just went shopping and figured we’d bump into all of them eventually. We did have to use a special map app Google Maps doesn’t work in Japan – to figure out where the Daiso was though. 

We didn’t go to the Golden Gai because we usually just wanted to go home after dinner and didn’t feel like going out again. Of course I also had to write and edit pictures and stuff and furthermore, we’re not really the kind of people to go to bars and clubs anyways. Which is also why we didn’t go to the two clubs.

Harajuku, Shibuja:
  • Takeshita street
  • Kawaii Monster Cafe
  • Village Vanguard
  • Angel crepes
  • Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
  • Restaurant Two Rooms

We went to Harajuku waaaaay too late. We had already had our dinner near Shibuja station before we realised we also had to go to Harajuku that day, whoops! We did find Takeshita street before the shops closed though luckily. The Kawaii Monster Cafe however: not going to happen. We also could not find the Angel Crepes place, but we did find another shop that was similar. We didn’t buy a crepe though because we had just finished our dinner, but we did buy a crepe later on in Japan.

By the way, the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (wich is not exactly in Harajuku, but really close) is gorgeous! It’s a beautiful, quiet, calming enviroment right in the midst of the busy city life. I love how Japanese people design their national gardens.

French garden in the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden


  • Ueno zoo
  • Skytree (just seeing it, not climbing it)
  • Koishikawa Botanical Garden
  • Character Street Tokyo Station
  • Imperial Palace
  • Shinto altaar
  • Shrine Tokyo Station torii gates

The zoo you guys, even if you love going to the zoo, I definitely don’t recomment. My sister actually wanted to go here, I’m not a fan of zoo’s in any way. Yet I’m not going to take the opportunity to go to a Japanese zoo away from her, so we went there. It was a boiling hot day, most of the anymals did not have water and a lot of them also did not have any shade. They all looked like they were dieing. Many of the bigger animals were locked in tiny outside areas with nothing to do. A lot of them completely alone. It was not a pretty sight at all. Don’t approve!

The reason we did want to see the Tokyo Skytree, but did not want to go up is because 1: it costs a lot of money to go up and 2: you have to stand in line for quite some time before you can go up. Why would we want to do that when we can go to the 45th floor of the Tokyo metropolitan building and have a free view over the city, including the Tokyo Skytree?!

Koishikawa Botanical Garden Tokyo

We did go to see the Imperial Palace, but it was closed that day unfortunately. So a tip for you: make sure you check when the Imperial Palace is open BEFORE you plan and go there, lol.

Akihabara, Taito:
  • Rabbit cafe
  • Gachapon

Again, we did go to the Rabbit Cafe, but it was closed. It was closed on a Monday! Did not make any sense to me, but alright. Don’t go to the rabbit cafe on Mondays 🙂

Asakusa, Taito:
  • Naka Mise streetfood
  • Sensoji temple
  • Kimono rental
  • Side streets
  • Orange street
  • Monja lunch

We skipped the kimono rental in this area because it was super expensive. We decided to rent a kimono in Osaka instead, saved me lots of money! Especially since I didn’t want to be walking around in the city in it.

Naka Mise streetfood fish cake

Oh and by the way, Orange Street really isn’t that interesting in my opinion. The temples however, GORGEOUS.


  • Bird garden
  • Gudetama cafe
  • Bamboo park in Arashiyama
  • Nara deer park
  • Universal Studios
  • Cup noodles museum
  • Daytrip to Kyoto
  • Shinsaibashi shopping
  • Dotonbori
  • Abeno Harukas 16th floor observatory
  • Osaka Castle
  • Osaka Aquarium
  • HEP 5 ferris wheel

We did actually kind of see the bird garden, from the outside, lol. It turned out to be part of a zoo and since we didn’t want to visit a zoo again we didn’t really see the bird garden. We were able to see a little bit of it from the road that was next to the zoo though.

Because of the incredible amounts of rain (and on one day also because of our lack of money) we were not able to leave Osaka to go to Nara or the bamboo park or Kyoto. This was very unfortunatelof course, I’d love to go back to Japan and visit these places! Make sure you do when you’re there, and send me pictures!

We had to choose between the Aquarium and Universal Studios. They both require an entire day to see, so you can’t do both if you’ve only got acouple days. – And if both of them are super expensive to enter – We decided to go to Universal Studios and had a lot of fun!

Abeno Harukas view from the observatory

View from the observatory on the 16th floor of Abeno Harukas in Osaka


There you go guys, that’s your Tokyo and Osaka bucket list finished! Make sure you’re able to do all of these things! Or just pick the ones you like best and make your own Japan bucket list out of them 🙂 I’d love to know if you ever visited some of these places, or if you plan to! Leave a comment down below!

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