Vacation is well spent when you have planned it in advance. Anyone who is traveling abroad for a vacation would want an organized one to avoid a mess. Are you planning to spend your next vacation in Japan? The following Japan travel tips will surely help you to have a smooth journey around the country.
11 Important Japan Travel Tips (Before and During)
Before your Travel:
1. Check Japan Calendar Holidays
Japan has 16 holidays throughout the year. Checking the calendar will help you either to know the dates of the holiday you wish to witness and participate in or avoid the crowd to enjoy the trip leisurely. During the holidays, tourist spots and bullet trains will be very crowded and some shopping streets will be closed.
2. Consider the Climate
The climate in your home country would be different from Japan. Considering this will help you plan what type of clothes to prepare and bring. And because Japan has 4 different seasons, you can plan ahead what attractions you should see and activities you should do.
3. Download Useful Apps
There are useful mobile applications you would not miss having while in Japan. Before leaving, download Google maps to help you go around the cities with ease. There are transportation apps that will help you find the nearest train stations or how to easily get to your destination.
Google Translate is preferred by most foreigners in Japan to translate Japanese characters into English. It is even easier by using the Instant Camera Translation feature. One thing to remember in translating from English to Japanese is to use simple English. It would not be always accurate but at least it will help you get the nearest translation of what you want to say or understand.
4. Book for a Pocket WiFi Online
Although there is available free WiFi at train stations and convenience stores, bringing pocket WiFi with you during your trip is important especially during the time when you need it the most. Also, free WiFi is not always reliable and accessible. The mobile apps you have downloaded may be useless without the internet, especially when you decide to visit the countryside, where you can’t find public WiFi.
Having pocket WiFi during your travel is really necessary. But don’t worry, you can rent a pocket WiFi at a very affordable price and trust that the internet is fast.
5. Buy Japan Rail Pass
If you plan to visit different cities in Japan, it is wise to have a JR pass. It will allow you to ride any JR line including the shinkansen or bullet trains. Buy your JR pass online for a maximum of 90 days before your travel date.
You can claim your card at JR offices located in the airport and major train stations in Japan and is valid for 30 days. Together with your pass is a detailed map of the railway network.
During Your Travel
6. Carry Less
It would be easier to travel and ride on trains with fewer things and smaller bags. So bring less. Shopping will be guiltless, too, as you will find a lot of souvenirs and clothing during your stay.
Don’t mind wearing the same clothes throughout the day or reuse your pants the next day, you will meet different people each day anyway. Just make sure you have something to keep yourself warm always.
7. Bring Cash
Don’t ignore this one of the most important Japan travel tips, which is bringing cash. Make sure that you have cash with you always and you have already exchanged your money in Japanese Yen.
Why? Because not all stores take a credit card to receive payment and you cannot find many money exchange counters on the street. You will see a sign outside the store when they accept credit card payments, but it is not usual.
Don’t forget to bring a coin purse to keep all the 1 yen to 500 yen.
8. Always have a Hand Sanitizer and Plastic
Japan is known to have cool toilets but you won’t usually find hand soaps in them. If washing your hands every after using the bathroom is your practice, then bring a handy hand sanitizer with you always.
What is plastic for? That is to keep all your trash in your bag. Japan is very clean yet you can’t find public trash bins. Trash cans can be found only in private places such as convenience stores where you can dump what you have at the end of the day.
9. Walk Farther
You can find a lot of things to buy near the train stations and tourist attractions. Try to walk farther away and you will find cheaper things with the same quality. Aside from it is great for your budget, walking is known to be good for your health.
10. Be Early
We heard that an early bird catches the early worm. But in Japan, the early adventurer can take the best photos. If you want to have beautiful photos without a crowd of people, get up before the sun is high and visit the place on your list early.
Don’t miss to visit outside the cities. Aside from seeing more beautiful places, you will get to know more about Japanese culture, too. So be mindful of this one of the most important Japan travel tips.
11. Try Everything!
Try everything while you are in Japan such as kimono wearing, samurai training, and eating Japanese food. But remember to take one step at a time to avoid exhausting yourself.
Before you travel, it would help to know how to speak basic Japanese. You can try practicing some useful phrases from our 50 Most Important Japanese Phrases for Travelers.
Click Best 5-Star Hotel in Tokyo Japan for more information.
FAIR Japan provides useful information about Japan.
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