The Ultimate Guide to Your Japan Trip

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Japan is a popular tourist destination for a reason: it's full of amazing sights and experiences to be had. Whether you're looking for an adventure in the wilderness or want to explore the country's history and culture, Japan has something for everyone.

In this guide, we'll provide all the information you need to plan your perfect trip to Japan, from where to go and what to see to how to get around and where to stay. We'll also share our top tips for making the most of your time in this incredible country.

There's no doubt about it: Japan is a fantastic place, and a trip here is something you won't forget in a hurry! Let's get started on planning your adventure...

Best Time to Visit Japan

Tokyo skytree tower with sakura cherry blossom

The best time to visit Japan depends on what you want to see and do. If you're interested in seeing the country's iconic cherry blossoms, for example, then you'll need to plan your trip for springtime.

Autumn colours at Daigo-ji Temple in Kyoto, Japan

However, if you're hoping to avoid the crowds, autumn is a great time to travel. The weather is still pleasant at this time of year, and you'll have the bonus of seeing the leaves change color in many of Japan's parks and gardens.

Sunrise at the lake Kawaguchi-ko,Fuji Mountain Background in the winter

Winter is another good option if you're looking to escape the tourist crowds, as well as enjoy some winter sports or hot springs. However, keep in mind that some parts of the country can be icy at this time of year, so be sure to pack accordingly.

No matter when you decide to visit Japan, you're sure to have an incredible experience.

Travel Insurance for Japan

Personal point of view of a white water river rafting excursion

No matter how you plan to get around Japan, it's always a good idea to have travel insurance. This will help protect you in case of any accidents or illnesses that occur while you're on your trip. However, travel insurance isn't mandatory for travel in Japan. When choosing a travel insurance policy, be sure to read the fine print carefully and choose a policy that covers all the activities you'll be doing in Japan. Also, make sure to have a copy of your policy on hand if you need to make a claim.


Visa Information for Japan

Online check-in counter at the airport

If you're a citizen of the United States, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand, then you won't need a visa to enter Japan. For citizens of other countries, however, a visa may be required. You can visit the official website here to get the latest information.

Be sure to check the visa requirements for your country well in advance of your trip to avoid any problems at customs. Also, be sure to bring all the required documents with you when you travel, as well as any other items that may be needed, such as photos or a passport.

Staying Safe In Japan

Bicycle and car traffic accident

Japan is generally a very safe country to travel to, but there are a few things to keep in mind to help ensure your safety while you're here. First, be aware of your surroundings and avoid walking or travelling alone late at night in less populated areas. Second, always carry some form of identification with you, preferably your passport, as well as enough money to cover emergencies. And finally, be sure to respect local customs and traditions, especially when it comes to dressing and behaviour. In general, just use common sense and be aware of your surroundings, and you'll have a safe and enjoyable trip to Japan.

Where To Stay In Japan

Male and Female Guests at Tokyo Ryokan

There are many accommodation options in Japan, from budget hostels to luxury hotels. The best choice for you depends on your budget and what you're looking for. If you're on a tight budget, there are plenty of affordable hostels and guesthouses throughout the country. Mid-range options include business hotels and ryokans (traditional Japanese inns), while luxury travellers can choose from several high-end hotels. No matter where you stay, you're sure to have a comfortable and enjoyable experience in Japan.

Money Matters In Japan

Close up image of Japanese Yen on a white background

The official currency of Japan is the yen, and bills come in denominations of 1000, 2000, 5000, and 10000 yen. Coins come in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, and 500 yen. ATMs are widely available throughout Japan, and most accept international cards. Credit cards are also widely accepted, although there may be some restrictions or fees associated with their use. It's still a good idea to carry some cash with you when travelling in Japan, even if you're planning to use a credit card, just in case. So be sure to exchange some money at the airport or your hotel before you start exploring.

Tipping in Japan

Group of friends ordering food in Japanese Izakaya

Tipping is not customary in Japan and is not even accepted in most cases. However, if you've had an exceptional experience with a particular service provider, you may choose to leave a small tip. Just be sure to ask first if it's okay to do so.

Navigating Japan

Tokyo Bay at Rainbow Bridge

Japan is a large and diverse country, and getting around can be daunting at first. But with a bit of planning and some basic knowledge of the language and culture, you'll be able to navigate your way around with ease.

Kyoto Station with busy people entering using pass tickets with modern architecture

First, it's essential to know that Japan has an extensive public transportation system, including trains, buses, and subways. The best way to get around depends on your particular itinerary and budget. If you're planning to do a lot of travelling, it may be worth getting a Japan Rail Pass, which gives you unlimited access to the country's extensive rail network.

Two women looking at something on a smartphone together

Another option is to download a travel app like Google Maps or Japan Travel, which will help you find your way around using your smartphone. And finally, don't forget to ask locals for help when you need it – they're always happy to point you in the right direction.

Getting Around Japan

Shinkansen Bullet Train Speeding in Tokyo

There are a few different options for getting around Japan, depending on your budget and how much time you have. The most popular choice is the bullet train, fast, efficient, and relatively inexpensive. If you're planning to visit several different cities during your trip, then the bullet train is the best option for getting around.

Shibuya Station Tokyo Japan

However, if you're only visiting one or two places, you may want to consider other options such as buses or flights. Another option for getting around is renting a car. This can be a great way to explore some of the more rural areas of Japan, but keep in mind that driving in Japan can be pretty challenging, especially in the cities.

Shibuya crossing, pedestrians and cyclist crossing the road, street level

Finally, you can also walk or bike around many of Japan's cities, which is a great way to see the sights and save money on transportation costs.

Food And Drink In Japan

Sushi set, Shrimp tempura served with wasabi and ginger, soy sauce, white wine

Japan is a food lover's paradise, and there are endless options for dining out, from budget-friendly noodle shops to Michelin-starred restaurants. There's something for everyone in Japan when it comes to food, so be sure to try as many different things as you can.

Cold sake with rice and ear of rice on the table

In addition to the fantastic food, Japan is also famous for its delicious drinks. Sake is the national beverage of Japan, and it's worth trying if you're a fan of rice wine. Other popular drinks include green tea, beer, and whiskey.
There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to dining out. First, it's polite to wait for your host to signal that it's okay to start eating. And second, be sure to use chopsticks when eating – it's considered bad manners to use your hands.

Culture and Customs in Japan

Japan is a fascinating country with a rich culture and history. There are a few things to keep in mind when travelling in Japan, as the culture can be quite different from what you're used to.

Commuters at Shinjuku Station

If you're using public transportation, be mindful of some basic etiquette that you should know. Don't rush onto trains or buses, wait your turn and avoid shoving people around you. In rush-hour situations, it may be impossible to not bump into people, but try to use as little space as possible and avoid eating, drinking, and making loud noises (turn your phone to vibrate).

Business Executives Greeting with Respect

One thing to keep in mind is that many Japanese people are very reserved in public, and tend to avoid confrontation and direct communication. So, it's important to be patient and to avoid directly negotiating or arguing with your counterparts.

Japanese woman welcoming four backpackers with luggage, opening door, ushering them inside the building

Also, it's also good to be aware of the country's strict social etiquette rules. For example, it's considered rude to blow your nose in public, and you should always take your shoes off when entering a home or temple.

Nightlife in Japan

A rock music band is having a live concert in a bar in Tokyo

Japan is home to a vibrant nightlife scene, with something for everyone. Whether you're looking for a quiet bar to relax in or a nightclub to dance the night away, Japan has it all.

Kabukicho, Shinjuku at night

Tokyo is the best place to party in Japan, and there are endless options for nightlife in the city. If you're looking for something a bit more low-key, then head to Shinjuku or Akihabara, where you'll find plenty of bars and izakayas (Japanese pubs).

People walking in Shibuya crossing at dusk

If you're looking for something a bit more lively, then Shibuya and Roppongi are the places to go. These areas are home to some of Tokyo's best nightclubs, where you can dance the night away to electronic music or hip-hop.

No matter what your taste in nightlife, Japan has something for you. So be sure to hit the town and experience the country's vibrant nightlife scene.

Places To Visit In Japan

Shibuya Shopping District, Tokyo, Japan

There are endless places to visit in Japan, from the bustling metropolis of Tokyo...

Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto, Japan the beautiful temples of Kyoto. And with so much to see and do, it can be tough to know where to start.

Here are a few of the best places to visit in Japan:

1. Tokyo

Mt. Fuji and Tokyo Skyline

Tokyo is the most populous city in the world, and it's easy to see why. This vibrant metropolis is home to endless restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, as well as some of the best shopping in the world.

Things to Do in Tokyo

Pedestrians crossing the street at Shibuya crossing with motion blur

There are endless things to do in Tokyo, and you could easily spend a week or two exploring the city. Here are a few of the best activities:

The perimeter of the Imperial East Gardens in Central Tokyo with the Imperial Palace in the background

Visit the Imperial Palace: The Imperial Palace is one of Tokyo's most famous tourist attractions, and it's definitely worth a visit. The palace is home to the Emperor of Japan and his family, and you can tour the grounds and buildings.

Tokyo aerial view from Roppongi Hills with a view of Tokyo Tower

Visit the Tokyo Tower: The Tokyo Tower is a 333-meter-tall tower that offers stunning views of the city. The tower also has a number of attractions, including an aquarium, a museum, and a shopping mall.

Ginza Shopping District, Tokyo, Japan

Shop in Ginza: Ginza is Tokyo's most famous shopping district, and it's home to some of the best boutiques and department stores in the city. If you're looking for a day of shopping, Ginza is the place to go.

Sushi plate in a Tokyo restaurant

Eat at a sushi restaurant: Tokyo is famous for its sushi restaurants, and there are endless options to choose from. Whether you're looking for a cheap meal or a luxurious dining experience, you'll be able to find it in Tokyo.

Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan

Visit Sensoji Temple: Sensoji Temple is one of Tokyo's most popular tourist attractions. The temple is located in Asakusa, and it's known for its beautiful architecture and gardens.

2. Kyoto

Yasaka Pagoda in Gion at sunset, Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto is the former capital of Japan, and it's home to some of the most beautiful temples and gardens in the country. The city is also home to a number of traditional Japanese restaurants and bars, making it a great place to experience Japanese culture.

Things to Do in Kyoto

Ginkaku-ji Temple in Kyoto, Japan

Visit the temples: Kyoto is home to a number of beautiful temples, and they're worth a visit. Some of the most famous temples include Kinkaku-Ji, Ginkaku-Ji, and Fushimi Inari Taisha.

 Philosopher's walk in Kyoto - Cherry blossoms season

Stroll through the gardens: Kyoto is home to some of the most beautiful gardens in Japan, and they're a great place to relax and take in the scenery. The Philosopher's Walk and the Path of Philosophy are two of Kyoto's most famous garden walks.

Fushimi sake brewery in Kyoto, Japan

Visit the sake breweries: Kyoto is home to several traditional sake breweries offering free tours. If you're interested in learning about sake brewing, then a visit to one of these breweries is a must.

Kaiseki sushi platter combo set on the serving board in the fine dining Japanese restaurant

Eat at a kaiseki restaurant: Kaiseki is a type of Japanese cuisine known for its intricate dishes and beautiful presentation. If you're looking for a truly unique dining experience, then you should eat at a kaiseki restaurant.

3. Mount Fuji

Beautiful cherry blossoms with Mount Fuji, Japan

Mount Fuji is Japan's tallest mountain, and it's one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. The mountain is home to several hiking trails, and it's also possible to climb to the summit.

Things to Do Around Mount Fuji

Camping at the foot of Mt.Fuji

The area around Mount Fuji is full of things to do. There are several small villages in the area, and each one has its charm. There are also several hot springs in the area, and they're perfect for relaxing after a long day of hiking.

Beautiful landscape view of Fuji mountain and Kawaguchiko lake in morning, Japan

Visit Lake Kawaguchi: Lake Kawaguchi is one of the Five Lakes of Mount Fuji, and it's a popular spot for swimming, boating, and hiking. The lake is also home to several restaurants and cafes, making it a great place to relax.

Sunset view of Lake Yamanaka

Explore the Mount Fuji Five Lakes region: The Mount Fuji Five Lakes region is home to several beautiful lakes, and it's an excellent place for hiking and camping. The area is also home to many small villages worth a visit.

People hiking at Mt.Fuji

Visit the Mount Fuji summit: If you're feeling adventurous, you can try to climb to the summit of Mount Fuji. The climb takes between seven and eight hours, not for beginners.

Mt. Fuji and Pagoda in the winter at Fujikawaguchiko

Go to Fujikawaguchiko: This village is located at the base of Mount Fuji, and it's a great place to stay if you're planning to hike the mountain. There are many hotels and restaurants in the town, and there's also a nearby lake that's perfect for swimming in during the summer months.

Motohakone-ko in Hakone, Japan

Visit Hakone: Hakone is another village located at the base of Mount Fuji. It's a popular destination for hot springs, and there are also many museums and art galleries in the town.

4. Hiroshima

Hiroshima Motoyasu River Cityscape Atomic Bomb Dome Japan

Hiroshima is best known as the site of the world's first atomic bomb attack, and it's now a popular tourist destination. The city is home to some memorials and museums, and it's also a great place to eat and drink.

Things to Do in Hiroshima

Hiroshima Decades After the Bomb, man sitting across from Genbaku Dome

Visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial: The Hiroshima Peace Memorial is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. The memorial is located in the center of Hiroshima, and it's a great place to learn about the history of World War II and the atomic bomb. The Genbaku Dome was the only structure standing in the area where the bomb landed and has been preserved in the same state immediately after the bombing as a symbol of the destructive capacity of nuclear weapons and hope for world peace.

Pegasus Statue in front of the Hiroshima Museum of Art

Visit the Hiroshima Museum of Art: The Hiroshima Museum of Art is home to many permanent and temporary exhibitions, and it's a great place to learn about Japanese art.

chef is cooking Okonomiyaki with fried eggs on the iron plate typical from Osaka and Hiroshima

Eat at an okonomiyaki restaurant: Okonomiyaki is a type of Japanese cuisine made from cabbage, flour, eggs, and pork. If you're looking for a unique Japanese dining experience, you should try okonomiyaki.

Sunset at itsukushima shrine miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan

Take a walk in beautiful Miyajima Island: Miyajima Island is a small island located just south of Hiroshima. The island is home to several shrines and temples, and it's also home to the famous "floating" Itsukushima Shrine.

Mount Misen, Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan with tourists hiking around at the top near Kuguri-iwa rock

See the monkeys at Mt. Misen: If you're looking for a hike with a bit of a payoff, then you should definitely check out Mt. Misen. The mountain is home to a large population of wild monkeys, and it's a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

5. Osaka

Osaka Tower and view of the neon advertisements Shinsekai district

Osaka is the second-largest city in Japan, and it's well known for its nightlife and food culture. The city is home to a number of restaurants, bars, and clubs, and it's a great place to visit if you're looking for a good time.

Things to Do in Osaka

Dotonbori Canal on a rainy night, Osaka

Visit Dotonbori: Dotonbori is a popular tourist destination, and it's known for its bright lights and lively atmosphere. There are a number of restaurants and shops in the area, and it's a great place for people watching.

Osaka Castle illuminated by warm light of sunset Japan

Visit Osaka Castle: Osaka Castle is a must-see for any history buff. The castle was built in the 16th century, and it's a great example of Japanese architecture. It's a great place to learn about the history of Osaka. The castle is also home to a number of gardens and museums, making it a great place to spend a day.

Universal Studios in Osaka, Japan

Visit Universal Studios Japan: Universal Studios Japan is a theme park that's perfect for anyone who loves rides and movies. The park is home to a number of popular attractions, including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Takoyaki, octopus balls, Japanese food popular in Osaka

The food in Osaka also must be mentioned. The city is known for its street food, and there are a number of restaurants and bars that serve up some of the best food in Japan. Some of the most popular dishes in Osaka include takoyaki (octopus balls), okonomiyaki (a savory pancake), and kushikatsu (breaded and deep-fried meats and vegetables).

Final Thoughts

Chureito Pagoda and Mt.Fuji at sunset

These are just a few of the best places to visit in Japan. The country has so much to offer, and you could easily spend weeks or even months exploring all of the different regions. If you're planning a trip to Japan, then consider including some of these places to your itinerary. We'd like to wish you all the best on your trip and if you need anything, feel free to send us a message down below. Enjoy your travels!

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