10 Best Nintendo Things to do in Japan

Writer's Profile
Writer’s Profile

Bryce was born in California, but raised from the age of 3 near Seattle, Washington. He’s been living in Tokyo for about 7 years, and graduated from Temple University, Japan with degrees in economics and international business. He loves traveling of course, but also cooking, snowboarding, some video games as well. His biggest interest is songwriting/music production, more specifically electronic music… (think Skrillex, Marshmello, Daft Punk, etc.) He also has terrible humor as you’ll notice, but he hopes you’ll enjoy it!

This post may contain some affiliate links. When you click through and make a purchase we may receive some commission, at no extra cost to you.

Nintendo, the name synonymous with innovation, nostalgia, and endless fun, has left an indelible mark on the world of gaming and entertainment. And where better to immerse yourself in the whimsical world of Nintendo than in its country of origin, Japan? From bustling cities to serene countryside, Japan offers a plethora of experiences tailored to delight every Nintendo enthusiast. Aside from the things that are designed to be a “nintendo experience,” you may also notice just how much the way the country is has an effect on how the games come to have their charm and memorable style. Join us as we embark on a virtual journey through the top Nintendo-themed activities Japan has to offer, guaranteed to ignite your inner child and create unforgettable memories.

1. Nintendo Check-In

Dive headfirst into the Nintendo universe from the moment you arrive in Japan. When you get to Japan (specifically, Narita Airport), you’ll be welcomed by a nintendo check in area where you will be able to take pictures with Mario and Toad statues, play some video games, and put a stick on a large map to show where you (and many others) are visiting from. If you’re a nintendo enthusiast, then you’ll have to start your trip off right by checking in here!

2. Super Nintendo World – Universal Studios Japan

Prepare to step into a realm where imagination knows no bounds at Super Nintendo World, located within Universal Studios Japan in Osaka. This sprawling theme park brings to life the iconic landscapes and characters from Nintendo’s extensive roster of games. From racing through the streets of Mushroom Kingdom on Mario Kart to embarking on a thrilling journey through Bowser’s Castle, every corner of Super Nintendo World is teeming with excitement.

3. Go-Karting in Tokyo

Henk BinnendijkCC BY-SA 4.0, via Flickr

Channel your inner Mario or Luigi as you hit the streets of Tokyo in a real-life Mario Kart experience. Don your favorite character costume, hop into a customized go-kart, and zoom past iconic landmarks such as Shibuya Crossing and Tokyo Tower. With themed tours offering unique routes and photo opportunities, Super Mario Go-Karting promises an adrenaline-fueled adventure like no other.

4. Play Mario Kart in an Arcade

Redmist89CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

For those who prefer to keep their racing antics indoors, Japan’s vibrant arcades offer an abundance of Mario Kart arcade machines. Gather your friends, get in your seats, grab the wheels, and engage in “friendly” competition as you drift around hairpin turns and unleash your shells and bananas. With arcade-exclusive tracks, characters and multiplayer options, Mario Kart arcade cabinets provide hours of gaming excitement.

5. Nintendo Store Shopping

Dick Thomas Johnson from Tokyo, JapanCC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Indulge your inner collector at one of Japan’s many Nintendo stores, where shelves are lined with a treasure trove of merchandise spanning decades of gaming history. From limited-edition consoles and accessories to plush toys and apparel featuring your favorite characters, these stores are a paradise for Nintendo fans of all ages. Whether you’re hunting for rare memorabilia or simply browsing for souvenirs, a visit to a Nintendo store is a must-do activity. If you really want some rare stuff, check out akihabara where you may find some secondhand, vintage, retro, or simply epic collectors items for sale. 

6. Pokemon Center

広瀬川, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Step into a world inhabited by pocket monsters at the renowned Pokemon Center locations scattered throughout Japan. These vibrant stores offer an extensive selection of Pokemon merchandise, including plush toys, trading cards, apparel, and exclusive collectibles featuring iconic characters like Pikachu, Charizard, and Eevee. Immerse yourself in the colorful atmosphere as you browse limited-edition items and participate in special events and activities held regularly at Pokemon Centers nationwide. Be sure to check out Ikebukuro to see the biggest installment, and with some of the largest pokemon statues to take pictures with- like mewtwo and snorlax!

7. Nintendo Hotel

Experience the ultimate Nintendo-themed accommodation at the upcoming Nintendo Hotel in Kyoto. Set to open its doors in the near future, this one-of-a-kind hotel promises a stay like no other, with every aspect of the guest experience infused with Nintendo magic. One of the biggest reasons this will be an unmissable experience is that the building is Nintendo’s former HQ! Not only that, it’s actually in the area that the company was founded back in the late 1800s. From themed rooms inspired by classic games to interactive amenities and dining experiences, the Nintendo Hotel will offer guests the opportunity to live out their gaming fantasies in style. 

8. Nintendo Museum

Delve into the rich history of Nintendo and its groundbreaking contributions to the world of gaming at the Nintendo Museum in Kyoto. Like the hotel, this attraction is not open yet, but it has been anticipated since its announcement in 2021. When it does open it will certainly be a meaningful tribute to one of the world’s most admired gaming companies.

9. Visit Game Locations

Embark on a pilgrimage to real-life locations featured in popular video games, where the boundary between fantasy and reality blurs. From the bustling streets of Tokyo’s Sangenjaya district, immortalized in Persona 5, to the picturesque landscapes of Kyoto, which served as inspiration for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Japan is dotted with landmarks that will resonate with gaming enthusiasts. Explore hidden gems like the abandoned tower in Fukuoka, reminiscent of locations found in Professor Layton and the Curious Village, and uncover the secrets that await at every turn.

10. Tokyo Game Show

Conclude your Nintendo-themed adventure with a visit to the Tokyo Game Show, Japan’s premier gaming expo showcasing the latest innovations and upcoming releases from industry giants like Nintendo. Immerse yourself in the electrifying atmosphere as you mingle with fellow gaming enthusiasts, participate in hands-on demos, and witness exclusive announcements and reveals. From indie gems to AAA blockbusters, the Tokyo Game Show offers a comprehensive overview of the ever-evolving world of gaming.

With its vibrant culture, rich history, and unparalleled dedication to gaming excellence, Japan stands as a mecca for Nintendo fans from around the globe. Whether you’re traversing the fantastical landscapes of Super Mario World or embarking on a quest to catch ’em all at a Pokemon Center, each experience is a testament to the enduring legacy of Nintendo and its ability to capture the hearts and imaginations of players young and old. So pack your bags, power up your consoles, and prepare for an adventure unlike any other in this vibrant country. Japan awaits, ready to unlock the next level of your Nintendo journey.

Japan Wonder Travel Tours 

Japan Wonder Travel is a travel agency that offers guided tours throughout Japan. 
From private walking tours to delicious Food and Drink tours, we can help you organize the best tours just for you! If you want to explore Japan and learn more about the history and backstories of each area you are visiting, our knowledgeable and friendly English speaking guides will happily take you to the best spots! 
In addition, we can provide you with any assistance you may need for your upcoming trip to Japan, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need some help! 

Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market Food and Drink Tour
Explore the most lively and popular fish market in Tokyo and try some of the local’s favorite street foods and sake with one of our friendly and knowledgeable English speaking guides! 

tsukiji tour

Tokyo 1–Day Highlights Private Walking Tour (8 Hours)
There’s no better way to explore an area than taking a tour with a knowledgeable local guide. You will have the chance to learn about the history and interesting background stories of Tokyo, as well as discover some hidden gems which can be hard to do without a guide.

Asakusa Tokyo private tour

Mt. Fuji Day Trip Bus Tour from Tokyo
Experience the breathtaking views of Mt. Fuji by visiting the highlights of the area on our guided sightseeing bus tour! Departing from Shinjuku in central Tokyo, you can travel comfortably to all of the best spots in the area by bus.

mount fuji chureito pagoda

Kyoto Private Full Day Walking Tour
On this full-day private tour of Kyoto, you will be able to see the highlights of Kyoto in just one day and at the same time develop a deeper understanding of both the culture of the area and Japan as a whole.

Follow us on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and TikTok for more travel inspiration. Or tag us to get featured!

Happy traveling!

Stay informed of the best travel tips to Japan, the most exciting things to do and see, and the top experiences to have with the Japan Wonder Travel Newsletter. Once every two weeks we will introduce you to our latest content.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Other Articles you Might be Interested in:


Sponsored links
Share this article on your social media
Copied title and URL