Places in Singapore that look like Japan
Ah, Japan. With its soothing onsens, lush bamboo forests and stunning sakura gardens, it’s no wonder that Singaporeans are a little stir-crazy about visits to the Land of the Rising Sun.
Luckily, if there’s anything we’ve learnt from our SG vacations and fitspo feats, it’s that everything is possible with a camera, two days of free time and some senpai-level bluffing skills. So strap on your imaginary seatbelts, because we’ll be taking you on an all-expenses-paid tour of Japan’s most iconic attractions.
On Instagram, that is.
1. Noboribetsu Onsen, Hokkaido
What it looks like: Taking a dip in one of Japan’s famous Onsen pools, and soaking up plenty of good vibes.
Reality: Vivo City Rooftop
What it really is: Taking a dip in one of Vivocity’s public pools, and soaking up plenty of judgement from confused bystanders.
Getting there: Tap out at Harbourfront MRT and head to the roof. Bringing a change of underwear is strongly recommended.
2. Lake Biwa, Shiga
What it looks like: Lake Biwa is the biggest freshwater lake in all of Japan – perfect for scoring that sunset reflection shot.
Reality: The Promontory at Raffles Place
What it really is: This was the biggest freshwater puddle we could find in all of Raffles Place.
Getting there: Google “Raffles Place Rain”, and when the time is right, head towards The Promontory till the water is deep enough to turn your socks soggy.
3. Kōraku-en, Okayama
What it looks like: Reenacting a gripping love story between a samurai and a fair princess at one of the most scenic gardens in Japan.
Reality: McDonald’s at Queenstown
What it really is: “Eh, wanna get Macs after this?” “Ok steady.”
Getting there: Take bus 105 from Commonwealth MRT. Alight opposite Block 95 and walk to Ridout Tea Garden.
4. Shikisai no Oka, Hokkaido
What it looks like: Made a pit stop at one of Hokkaido’s gorgeous flower fields. Bonus ‘gram points for holding your hat and nailing that oh-so-blissful face!
Reality: Buona Vista MRT
What it really is: Trying to keep a straight face outside Buona Vista MRT.
Getting there: Buona Vista MRT Exit C.
5. Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Kyoto
What it looks like: Taking a stroll through this zen bamboo forest, far away from all your haters.
Reality:Bendemeer Food Market
What it really is: Bamboozling all your followers at the Bendemeer Food Market.
Getting there: A 3 minute walk from Boon Keng MRT.
6. Odori Park, Sapporo
What it looks like: Experiencing winter for the first time at the Sapporo Snow Festival. The snow here is unbelievably beautiful!
Reality: East Coast Park (with a side of ice kachang)
What it really is: A lot of sweating and discomfort whilst holding a handful of rapidly melting ice kachang/fake snow.
1. Tell your Grab driver to head to East Coast Park
2. Walk until you find a relatively clean patch of sand
Pro tip: Put on the winter wear after reaching your destination, unless you feel like steaming in your very own onsen.
7. Shinjuku Gyoen, Tokyo
What it looks like: Now, nothing says Japan like good ol’ fashioned sakura. Throw in one of those traditional yukata robes, and there’ll be no doubting your geotag in Tokyo, Japan.
Reality: Sheltered walkway at Dhoby Ghaut
What it really is: Posing outside Dhoby Ghaut MRT and getting bitten by a surprising amount of mosquitoes.
Getting there: This place is across the road from the Istana, because nothing says shame like the President silently judging you from her office.
8. Shuri Castle, Okinawa
What it looks like: Shuri Castle – with its iconic red walls – is a must-see when visiting Okinawa!
Reality: Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Chinatown
What it really is: Fake tourist spotted in Chinatown.
Getting there: Walk through Chinatown Complex to reach the Buddha Tooth and Relic Temple.
9. Namba District, Osaka
What it looks like: Enjoying a steaming cup of hot tea in your Airbnb, after a long day of exploring Osaka.
Reality: IKEA’s bedding section
What it really is: TSL’s new hit single – Wearing A Kimono In IKEA Tampines (feat. Empty Cup)
Getting there: Take bus 27 or 168, and alight before TPE.
10. Sankaku Market, Otaru, Hokkaido
What it looks like: Browsing one of the fish markets in Otaru, the port town of Hokkaido. Seafood doesn’t get any fresher than this.
Reality: Beo Crescent Market
What it really is: Buying groceries for ah ma to cook fish head soup.
Getting there: Market #01-19, Beo Cres, 38A, 169982
Take your taste buds on a trip to the Land of the Rising Sun
[Update: McDonald’s Salmon Burger is no longer in stores, but keep an eye out on their new offerings!]
Holidays aren’t cheap, especially if you’re thinking of a getaway to Japan. But while you’re saving up, feel free to make your friends jealous with all of your super authentic #Japan IG posts, right here in sunny Singapore.
In the meantime, here’s another way to experience Japan: McDonald’s new Hokkaido Salmon Burger.
With roasted sesame mayo, shredded white cabbage, and a Hokkaido patty with salmon from Japan, this burger could be way more legit than any Instagram post.
The real love story – McDonald’s
Even sitting in a random McDonald’s, a bite of the salmon brings to mind Hokkaido faster than we could say “I’m lovin it”. And in case one patty’s simply not enough, there’s the Hokkaido Double Salmon Burger with double the patty and twice the goodness. And this also marks the return of seaweed shaker fries!
An Extra Value Meal starts at just $7.70, so savour the taste of Hokkaido – no matter where in SG you may be.
This post was brought to you by McDonald’s