WELCOME TO THE LAND OF THE RISING SUN
Get ready for a whirlwind of excitement when you visit Japan, a land where ancient traditions blend seamlessly with futuristic innovation!
Imagine starting your day by watching the sun rise over a serene temple, followed by a playful afternoon exploring the quirky streets of Akihabara or Harajuku, brimming with colorful fashion and the latest tech gadgets.
In Japan, you can attend a lively sumo match, experience the tranquility of a traditional tea ceremony, and then dive into the bustling nightlife of Tokyo, all in one day.
Don’t forget the food – from savoring sushi in Tsukiji market to indulging in street food at a local matsuri (festival), your taste buds are in for a treat.
And let’s not overlook the natural wonders – whether it’s the iconic sight of Mount Fuji, the relaxing hot springs of an onsen, or the pink wonderland of cherry blossoms in spring.
Expect the unexpected, from robot waiters to ancient temples, and get ready to be charmed by the politeness and hospitality of the Japanese people. Pack your bags (and maybe a manga for the ride) and brace yourself for an unforgettable journey in the Land of the Rising Sun!
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT JAPAN
Visiting Japan is an adventure for all seasons, each bringing its unique charm and array of experiences!
Spring (March to May) – It’s sakura season! The country is awash in delicate pink and white cherry blossoms, creating a dreamlike atmosphere. This is the time for hanami (cherry blossom viewing) picnics under the blooming trees, especially in Kyoto and Tokyo. The weather is pleasantly mild, perfect for outdoor explorations.
Summer (June to August) – Get ready for the energetic buzz of summer! This season is packed with lively festivals (matsuri), breathtaking fireworks (hanabi), and the chance to see sumo tournaments. Don’t forget to escape the city heat by visiting the beautiful beaches or attending the cool, vibrant Bon Odori dances.
Autumn (September to November) – Fall in love with autumn’s mesmerizing koyo (fall foliage). The landscapes turn into vivid shades of red, orange, and yellow, offering spectacular views, particularly in the mountainous regions. The weather is cool and comfortable, ideal for hiking and temple visits.
Winter (December to February) – Winter wonderland arrives with snow-covered landscapes, especially in Hokkaido, perfect for skiing and snowboarding. It’s also the best time to experience onsen (hot springs) amidst snowy views. Don’t miss the dazzling winter illuminations in cities like Tokyo and Osaka, and if you’re lucky, witness the magical snow monkeys bathing in hot springs in Nagano.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN VISITING JAPAN
Language – In Japan, the primary and official language spoken is Japanese. It’s the language used in all aspects of daily life, education, media, and government. As for English, it is one of the most common foreign languages taught in Japanese schools. However, the level of English proficiency varies widely. In major cities like Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto, and in tourist areas, you’re more likely to encounter people who can speak English, especially in hotels, major train stations, and tourist attractions. Additionally, signs in these areas, including public transport, often have English translations.
💡 TIP – Having some understanding of Japanese can be very beneficial when traveling throughout the country.
Currency – The local currency in Japan is the Japanese Yen, abbreviated as JPY (¥). It’s the only currency widely accepted throughout the country for everyday transactions. It’s highly advisable for travelers to exchange their currency for yen or withdraw yen from ATMs upon arrival in Japan.
Credit Cards & ATM’s – Credit cards are increasingly accepted, especially in larger cities and at major hotels, restaurants, and stores, but Japan is still largely a cash-based society, and many smaller establishments, local markets, and rural areas may only accept cash. Therefore, carrying an adequate amount of yen is recommended for convenience and to cover smaller or unexpected expenses. It’s also worth noting that international ATMs, which accept foreign cards, are widely available at convenience stores like 7-Eleven and post offices across Japan, making it easy to access yen during your stay.
Safety – Japan is widely regarded as one of the safest countries in the world for travelers. The crime rate is remarkably low, and the streets are generally safe to walk at any time of the day or night. Moreover, the Japanese culture places a high emphasis on respect and courtesy, contributing to a secure and welcoming environment for tourists.
TIPS FOR YOUR FIRST VISIT TO JAPAN
Respect Local Customs and Etiquette – Be aware of Japanese customs such as removing shoes before entering homes and some restaurants, bowing as a greeting, and being quiet on public transport.
Use Public Transportation – Japan’s public transportation system is efficient and punctual, especially the trains and subways. Familiarize yourself with the system, and consider getting a Japan Rail Pass if you plan to travel between cities.
Learn Basic Japanese Phrases – While many people in tourist areas speak English, learning simple phrases in Japanese can greatly enhance your experience and is appreciated by locals.
Carry Cash – Japan is predominantly a cash-based society. Many smaller establishments, especially in rural areas, may not accept credit cards, so it’s essential to have enough cash on hand.
Stay Connected – Rent a pocket Wi-Fi or buy a local SIM card for your phone. It’s invaluable for navigation, translation, and finding information on the go.
Be Mindful of Dining Etiquette Learn basic dining etiquette, like saying “itadakimasu” before eating and “gochisosama” after finishing your meal, not sticking chopsticks upright in rice, and avoiding tipping, as it’s not a custom in Japan.
ALL JAPAN TRAVEL GUIDES
“Welcome to the Enchanting World of Nara Park: Where History Romps with Deer!” Are you…
Get ready to wake up to a breathtaking spectacle that nature has painted just for…
“Welcome to the Opulent World of Kyoto’s Luxury Hotels: Where Tradition Cozies Up to Modern…
“Welcome to the Enchanting World of Kyoto’s Ryokans: Where Tradition Meets Tranquility!” Imagine stepping into…
Welcome to the enchanting city of Kyoto, where ancient traditions meet the serene beauty of…
Welcome to the enchanting world of cherry blossoms in Kyoto, a city that transforms into…
Maybe it’s not possible for us to travel at this very moment but what we…
Last year I visited Japan during it’s world famous cherry blossom season, also known as…
Wondering how to take stunning photos at teamLab Borderless in Japan? I’ve got you!…
Are you looking for the most Instagrammable places in Japan? No need to look…