All Black legend Dan Carter recommends some hidden gems for Kiwis visiting Japan.

1

When in Japan, you must get down to Kobe for some Kobe beef. Aragawa Restaurant, which is a third-generation family restaurant, does the best beef I have ever tasted.

2 Though I don't really have a favourite sake bar, I do enjoy getting lost down the little streets of Golden Gai in Tokyo to sample all the different little bars there and get my sake fix.

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3

If you've got little ones in tow you can't go wrong with Universal Studios in Osaka. We went over the October period and the Japanese love to dress up in Halloween costumes. The boys loved it.

4 Kyoto is a must-visit if you're into sightseeing. But if you're more into the nightlife, Tokyo is the spot. After sunset the whole place comes alive, whether it's dining, partying or just incredible views.

Dan Carter is the NZ ambassador for TripADeal. Photo / Supplied
Dan Carter is the NZ ambassador for TripADeal. Photo / Supplied

5

If you're on a foodie tour, Osaka is the place to sample the best of Japanese cuisine. There are so many different styles of food here, but my two favourites are Shabushabu and Yakiniku.

6 What has surprised me most about Japan is that, for a population of more than 125 million, it's the cleanest country I've ever been to and the locals are just the friendliest, most respectful people.

• Dan Carter is the New Zealand ambassador for online travel booking company TripADeal.