When you visit Japan, you might feel stressed since you have a tight schedule. But you should allow some "free days", which are days that have no major planned activity to do. Use these days to relax at your hotel, bathe in hot springs, and even sit around thinking about your time in Japan. Here are 5 places to go to during your leisure time, to squeeze in if you have some extra time after an activity, or if you just want to relax.
Cover image credits: "Land of the setting sun" from https://www.flickr.com/photos/mark-gunn/48466436727 by Mark Gunn. License: CC BY 2.0
While you will probably head to museums during your trip, it might be helpful to visit mini-museums and learn a little bit more about Japanese culture. They're small, so they're not much of a time investment. You could visit an art museum, a cultural museum, or even a Bonsai museum. There are tons of small museums waiting at the corner, so check them out!
2. Hot springs
Hot springs are one of the most enjoyable places to relax after a long stressful day in Japan. You can easily find plenty of hot spring locations. They are found in buildings, or more commonly, the outdoors. As you sit in the hot spring, you can feel and warm water seeping away your doubts and worries. What's more, hot springs are surprisingly healthy and help to relieve stress. If you are traveling with younger kids, be careful as the hot springs might be too hot for them. Watch for warning signs that express an age limit for this hot spring. Other than that, enjoy!
3. Sumo tournament
If you've ever thought Sumo is just Japanese boxing, then you were wrong. Sumo is widely different than boxing or any other martial arts. The goal of sumo is to shove and push each other off the ring, rather than kicking or punching the opponent. These duels can become very heated with the audience cheering heavily. You could buy a ticket to such tournaments, but make sure to sit in the back as there are some occasions where the wrestler falls off the stage and hits an audience. If you are really worried, you can just watch in the safety of your TV. Regardless of what you choose, once you watch just one sumo match, you won't be able to stop.
4. Nature Parks
If you feel like the city and towns are too overwhelming and you want a break from all that noise, why not calm yourself down and take a stroll through a nature park? There are plenty of trails you can find near where you're staying, and going on nature walks can help relieve stress. So get out there and enjoy the views of nature.