8 Awesome Things To Do In Singapore To Pretend Like You're In Japan


Faruq Senin •  Dec 06, 2020

[Updated: 30 June 2021]

We don't know about you but one destination that we miss deeply during this pandemic period is Japan. From yummy halal Japanese food to breathtaking nature spots and culture, we can't wait for our future trip to Japan. If you're going on a staycation this year-end, we've rounded up these 8 awesome things for your pretend Japan itinerary in Singapore!

1. Slurp up yummy Hokkaido ramen at Ichikokudo

Credit: Ichikokudo Hokkaido Ramen on Facebook

There's nothing like slurping a piping hot bowl of ramen while travelling in Japan and we're glad to be able to do just that at Ichikokudo - Singapore's first halal Hokkaido ramen eatery! Their umami-laden broths are savoury, rich, and full of generous toppings too. All of their outlets have Japanese-inspired decor and you can choose to have your meal either near the chefs at the ramen "bar" or sit at the traditional dining areas. It'll definitely take you back to your last Japan trip.

Halal status: Halal-certified

Opening hours & Address:Check out their website

Website | Facebook | Instagram

P.S. Love Japanese food? You have to check out these 12 authentic halal Japanese restaurants in Singapore!

2. Take IG-worthy "Kyoto" pictures at Jewel Changi Airport

Credit: Reshel Chan on Facebook

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest? Well, not quite ? But you can sure get some IG-worthy shots at the mini bamboo grove at Jewel Changi Airport. With the pebbled ground and stone pavement, you'd be transported to Kyoto, even if it's just for a bit. Look out for the bamboo grove at the lift area near Rich and Good Cake Shop and Changi Lounge on Level 1!

3. Have authentic Hakata udon at Fu-Men

Halal udon by a Japanese Chef? It doesn't get any better than this! Headed by chef Teppei Yamashita, who was born in Fukuoka, Fu-Men will give you a taste of Hakata Udon which is rarely found outside of Japan ? Everything at Fu-Men will remind you of Japan, from its decor to utensils and of course, its hearty Udon. What sets Hakata Udon apart is its soft noodles and rich, clear broth - one sip of the warm soup flavoured with kelp, anchovies, and fish stock is enough to leave you feeling energised!

Halal Status: Halal-certified

Opening Hours: Mon-Sat; 11AM-8PM

Address: 16 Raffles Quay, #B1-17/18 Hong Leong Building, Singapore 048581

Contact: +65 6224 1134

Website | Facebook

4. Pamper yourself with a private onsen at Ikeda Spa

2020 has been a tough year and since you can't unwind at an onsen in Japan, why not do it right here in Singapore? Head over to Ikeda Spa, Singapore's first Japanese spa! They are the first spa in Singapore to have an authentic Hinoki onsen bath with onsen salts imported directly from Japan. Hinoki wood itself also releases natural oils so you can relax completely.

Opening hours: Daily; 1.30PM-10.30PM

Address: 787 Bukit Timah Rd, Singapore 269762

Website | Facebook | Instagram

5. Sign up for a Japanese tea or kimono class

Some of the activities that you might try in Japan to get acquainted with Japanese culture would include a Japanese tea ceremony or kimono class. Did you know that you can try both of them in Singapore too? At En Japanese Tea Culture, you can sign up for a Japanese tea ceremony experience for $60 (90-minutes session) where you'll learn the basics and more. Alternatively, you can also sign up for a kimono wearing class which will teach you how to wear a kimono and yukata. It starts from $240 for 4 classes!

Address: 11 Mohamed Sultan Road,  Unit 03-01, Singapore, 239010

Contact No: +65 97331362

Website | Facebook | Instagram

6. Immerse yourself in Japanese culture at the Japanese Cemetery Park

Established in 1891, the Japanese Cemetery Park is a fascinating spot located in the Kovan neighbourhood. As the biggest Japanese cemetery in Southeast Asia, this was the burial ground of the early Japanese community and there are about 1000 graves here.

While you're here, it's also the perfect opportunity to learn more about Japanese culture. The spot is now a memorial park with graves of Japanese civilians, soldiers and more. As you walk around, do be very mindful as this is still a resting place for the dead.

Address: 22 Chuan Hoe Ave, Singapore 549854

P.S. Check out these 14 places in Singapore which look like they are overseas!

7. Soak your tired feet at the Sembawang Hot Spring Park

A trip to Japan wouldn't be complete without visiting a hot spring! While the Sembawang Hot Spring Park might not be anywhere close to the real thing in Japan, it's still worth visiting as it's mainland Singapore's only hot spring. Have a relaxing foot bath in the cascading pools or boil some eggs at the Egg Cooking station. Besides the hot spring, the park also has natural streams and a floral walk where you can learn about fruit trees and edible plants usually found in kampungs.

Opening hours: 7AM-7PM

Address: Along Gambas Ave


8. Shop for all things Japanese at Don Don Donki

Oh, how we've missed shopping in Japan - from its mega departmental stores to 100-yen shops and even Don Quijote! Luckily, you can still feel like you're shopping in Japan at Don Don Donki! Get your fix of all-things Japanese here, from drinks to snacks and even fresh fish. Not to mention that the signboards are reminiscent of Japanese stores too.

Outlets and opening hours:Check out their website

Facebook | Instagram

Whether you're looking to indulge in a mouthwatering authentic halal Japanese meal, soaking in a private onsen or even immerse yourself in Japanese culture, you can do so in Singapore! While we wait for our future trips to Japan, we can still fuel our wanderlust right now ?