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10 Totally Authentic Experiences You Didn't Know You Could Try in Japan


Atiqah •  Sep 08, 2016


Japan has always been (and probably always will be) an immensely popular tourist destination. With such rich cultural heritage clearly reflected in picturesque shots of gorgeous architecture, it’s a stark contrast to how technologically advanced the nation is. What’s not to love, right?
Credit: giphy Now, some of you may claim to be experts in the art of creating authentic Japanese memories during your trips but have you really experienced it all? No worries though, we’ve got your back! Here are 10 things you need to do for the complete Japanese experience ? P.S. Find all of these Muslim-friendly activities and MORE on OMAKASE Tours ?
1. Make new feathery friends at an Owl Cafe
Forget cat cafes, owl cafés are the new in thing! At Akiba Owls, there are 32 wide-eyed, potential feathery friends for you to choose from.
Ranked as one of the top 10 popular tourist experiences for foreign travellers on Tripadvisor, these adorable creatures are yours for one full hour! Maybe one will even perch on your shoulder ?
To solidify your newfound friendship, the café provides professional photo taking services where the photos taken will be made into laminated postcards. Definitely a memory worth capturing ?
P.S. If it's your birthday, let the staff know and you might just receive a special gift! The café doesn’t accept walk-ins so you have to book via their homepage no more than 3 days in advance. But through OMAKASE, you’ll be able to reserve a slot whenever you want!Address: 67, Kandaneribeicho , Chiyoda-ku , Tokyo How to get there: It’s a 2 minutes walk from JR "Akihabara" station (Central Gate) Opening hours: Mon – Fri, 12:00-18:00, Sat & Sun, 11:00-20:00 Fee: ¥1,080 (tax included)
2. Show off your (non-existent) karate skills
Boys, step aside. It’s time for us girls to shine! A world renowned martial arts form, karate is traditionally for men only. But at a dojo in Tokyo's Nihonbashi area, women and children are more than welcomed to begin their karate journey.
Taught by Kajiayuko, a female karate master with a 4th degree black belt (!!) and 26 years of experience, you’ll learn the art of discipline and self defence. Given that it’s only a 2 hour session, you won’t come out of it a seasoned fighter but you’ll definitely gain a greater appreciation for the complex art form. But if you already know karate, you can practice it in all its’ authenticity ?
Eager to attain enlightenment through the ancient art of Karate? If you book on OMAKASE, they can arrange to pick you up directly from your hotel or at a specified meeting point! #HHWT Tip: Do remember to bring a towel to clean off with as there aren’t any shower facilities in the dojo. Address: Manabiya Hyotan, 1-9-9, Nihonbashi-muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo Opening hours: 10:00 - 19:00 Fee: ¥7,776 (tax included), Children (Age 6-12): ¥ 3,888
3. Grab a sword and let out your inner samurai
Well, not a real sword because that’ll be dangerous! Another ancient practice, kendo is a traditional martial arts skill of Japanese swordsmen or samurai. Perhaps this could be your chance to live out your (secret) dream of being a samurai ?
Throughout the 3 hours session, you’ll learn the basic etiquette skills of kendo, using armour and how to strike correctly. You’ll work alongside a black belt instructor who will guide you along the way.
Now, because you’ll be given a bamboo sword, play fighting might be tempting but please don’t swing the sword or go around hitting others with it! As they say, with great power, comes great responsibility ? P.S. If you book a session through OMAKASE, you can choose for it to be conducted in English or Japanese! Meeting point: JR "Uguisudani" station (North Gate) Operating hours: 8:00-20:00 Fee: ¥14,904 (tax included), Children (7-12): ¥7,452
4. Enjoy authentic, seasonal Japanese tea (with a view!)
If you’re a tea enthusiast like us, you’re going to love this place! At Sakyo Garden, you’ll get to taste 300 years’ worth of Japan’s tea production in a 3 hour session.
From sipping (way too many) cups of aromatic Japanese tea to embarking on a tea plantation tour, you’ll get to bask in the sights and sounds of a tranquil and ancient practice.
By booking a tour with OMAKASE, you’ll even get to experience the actual picking of tea leaves from where they are growing!#HHWT Tip: Do note that the tea picking experience are only held in May, June and September. Meeting point: JR "Kanaya" station ticket gate Operating hours: 10:00 - 17:00 Fee: ¥9,180 (tax included)
5. Try your luck at scooping up some evasive goldfish
Hone your scooping skills at Asakusa Kingyo, where you can try your luck at catching little goldfishes. Often done during summer festivals, children will usually pay a small fee to take their prized catches home.
Credit: Asakusa Kingyo Using nothing but the poi, a paper scoop, you’ll need to level the poi underwater and scoop the goldfish from the head. This game requires utmost care and lightning speed as the poi tears easily and the fishes will frantically swim away from you! Definitely a good way to learn patience ? P.S. If you book the one day Muslim-Friendly tour of Tokyo offered by OMAKASE, you can burn some calories scooping up goldfish after lunch! Address: 2-7-13 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0032 Operating hours: Daily, 9:00-17:00
6. Brush up on your Japanese calligraphy
Under the tutelage of master calligrapher Eikaku Matsumura, you’ll be able to experience calligraphy first hand! Known for his elaborate and ingenious style, Mr Matsumura is extremely well regarded in the local community so be rest assured that you’ll be in capable hands ?
Also known as shodo, Japanese calligraphy is written in a style that is both artistic and emotionally driven! So instead of taking out your frustrations on other people, you can ‘brush it out’ to your heart’s content ?
So if you’re interested, feel free to book a 2 hour session with OMAKASE today! Meeting point: Keikyu Umeyashiki Station ticket gates (about 15 minutes from Shinagawa Station) Operating hours: 10:00am - 10:00pm Fee: ¥5,940 (tax included)
7. Cook and stuff your belly with scrumptious, home styled Japanese food
Halal, home styled Japanese food is rather hard to come by but good things come to those who wait ?  At Higashi Nihonbashi “SHOKUTAKU”, you not only get to treat your rumbling belly to authentic Halal Japanese food, you also get to try your hand at cooking the dishes! You’ll also be taught the basics of Japanese dining etiquette and tradition.
Seasonal ingredients are used in the recipes cooked and do not contain any pork or alcohol. No compromising of flavours needed for your authentic, home styled meal ?
P.S. A simple prayer space and hand-washing facilities are also available! #HHWT Tip: Book a session with OMAKASE to get special rates! This special offer is valid until the end of September so be sure to book it ASAP! Address: 2 Chome-16-9 Higashinihonbashi Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 103-0004 How to get there: It’s a 5 minute walk from JR Sobu Line (Asakusabashi Station) or 4 minute walk from Toei Asakusa Line (Higashi Nihonbashi Station). Operating hours: 10: 30 - 13: 30 Fee: ¥5,400 (tax included), children (Age 6-12): ¥ 2,700 (special offer until the end of September)
8. Begin your mangaka training in the cultural holy land of manga
For all those aspiring manga creators, this is definitely an opportunity not to be missed! Held at the Manga Designers Lab, you’ll have an insider look to how professional manga designers execute the planning and production of manga.
And of course, you’ll have the opportunity to learn how to draw manga (using professional tools?)! During the 2 hour session, you’ll be treated to a how to draw manga lecture, where you’ll learn to draw unique manga-style lines, curves and manga faces!
Keen on kick-starting your creative manga journey? Head on over to OMAKASE to book a session now!Address: Jingumae 6-10-8 Harajuku NA building 6F, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo How to get there: 1 minute walk from Tokyo Metro Chiyoda or Fukutoshin Line’s "Meiji Jingu-mae" station, exit 7 Operating hours: Sat-Sun (sessions are conducted during 3 timings):
  1. 10:00-12:00
  2. 13:00-15:00
  3. 15:30-17:30
Fee: ¥8,640 (tax included)
9. Give a turtle some pellet nibbles in Kamakura
If you’re an animal lover, you wouldn’t want to miss this! Here’s your chance to meet and feed new reptilian friends. In Japan, the turtle is a symbol of longevity and persistence, which of course aptly describes the little critters.
Just make sure that the carps and pigeons don’t snatch the food away! ? Book the half day Kamakura Muslim-Friendly tour offered by OMAKASE now to enjoy this unique experience in Tsurugaoka Hachimangu!
10. Treat your scalp to much needed carbonated head massage
In dire need of a refreshing scalp massage? The SLPISCA salon in Ebisu provides just that! Starting with deep cleansing carbonated (and chemical free!) shampoo, you’ll be given a scalp massage and a blow dry, which is said to help promote your metabolism ?
P.S. The salon uses carbonated shampoo with high quality, Halal conscious hair care products ? Everyone deserves a little TLC every now and then so why not treat yourself to 1 hour of pampering with OMAKASE?Address: 2-8-6, Ebisunishi, Shibuya-ku,Tokyo Operating hours: Wed – Mon, 10:00-19:00 Fee: ¥7,020 (tax included) So there you have it, 10 things you have to tick off your Japan travel bucket list for a complete Japanese experience! For more Muslim-Friendly activities, do remember to check out OMAKASE Tours ? This article was brought to you by Trip Designer - Omakase Tour.