Summary of contents of this post
If you are immersed in the preparation of your trip to Japan, I am sure that these tips for traveling to Japan will be super useful to you 😉 So as always, that’s what we’re here for, because in addition to sharing our SUPER JAPAN GUIDE, we want to talk to you about the best tips for traveling to Japan: all that you need to know before embarking on your adventure in Japan.
COMPLETE GUIDE TO JAPAN
If you feel like reading more information about our trip to Japan you can find it here: complete guide to Japan, what to see in Tokyo in 5 days, what to see in Kyoto in 3 days, map of Japan, how to find cheap flights to Japan, how to pack, tips to travel to Japan from Spain, visa for Japan, plugs in Japan, the best travel insurance for Japan …
IATI DISCOUNT: Hire the best travel insurance for Japan
Here are our 15 tips for traveling to Japan
1. Mentalízate to walk MUCH and to climb MUCH stairs
That’s the way it is. To see beautiful places you are going to have to kick a lot and some temples climb many stairs. But believe me, it’s completely worth it. The places where we walked the most were Tokyo, Kyoto and Kamakura, where we also climbed many stairs…
Tips for Traveling to Japan: Get Ready to Walk!
2. Buy yourself a JR Pass and squeeze it to the max.
If you’re going to move around Japan like we did, calculate very well how much all the journeys you want to do cost and decide if you want to buy the Japan Rail Pass. And I’m telling you now that the most likely answer is yes 😉
Very much in line with the previous advice, it is important that if you are going to buy a JR Pass, make the most of it. If you’re going to be in Tokyo and you’ve already activated your pass, take advantage of the opportunity to move on any of JR’s train lines instead of the subway. Also think that if you are going to be in Kyoto for a few days, the JR Pass won’t do you much good because the best way to get around is by bus.
Tips for Traveling to Japan: Get a Japan Rail Pass!
We have explained this in much more detail in the following posts:
3. If you are going to take a WIFI pocket, you need an external battery.
The battery of the WIFI pocket, or at least the one that touched us didn’t last all day despite charging it all night, so carrying an external battery (we always carry it anyway because it’s part of the equipment) became essential for us.
Tips for traveling to Japan: the Pocket WIFI
To avoid this, the most convenient option is to buy a SIM card for Japan (you can do it here at a discount) and so you forget about messes and load with ‘junk’. As soon as you arrive in Japan you will have Internet 😉
4. Hyperdia is your new Bible
We already told you about Hyperdia in its day, but basically you need it, and without a doubt this is one of the best tips to travel to Japan that we can give you. Hyperdia is a website where you can check the timetables for all the train journeys you have to make during your trip to Japan. Seriously, it’s super useful! Because it also includes trams, funiculars and other transport.
Travel Tips for Japan: Hyperdia App
5. Lose the shame and enjoy the relaxation of an onsen
We already know that bathing in balls in front of strangers can be a little embarrassing, but you have to leave the complexes and shame at home, because the ritual of bathing in Japan is one of the most wonderful things you will experience during your trip to this wonderful country.
Tips for traveling to Japan: lose the embarrassment and enjoy the onsen
If you want to know more about how traditional Japanese hotels and onsen work, we’ve told you in this post.
For us, the best onsen we have been in Japan are the IWASO, Hiratakan and Yunoshimakan.
6. She’s got a backpack instead of a suitcase.
If your intention is to travel the whole country, as we did, the best thing is to get a backpack with which you will be infinitely more comfortable to move. We made the mistake of carrying suitcases and the truth is that we regret it a lot.
Not only because we have to carry them from one place to another (we spend almost every night in a different place), but also because in some trains/transports there is not enough space for very big suitcases.
7. Think well about the time you are going to go because in summer it is very hot and humidity is a pot ida
This is another of the great travel tips we can give you to Japan. We already know that there are times when there is no choice but to travel in summer, but our advice is to avoid this time of year, because we live in a moment of up to 50º of thermal sensation with an unbearable humidity.
If you ask us, the best time to travel to Japan is spring or fall, although I actually think that any season has a different charm. We visited Japan in October/November and enjoyed being dwarves, because we could go short-sleeved during the day (with a jacket just in case) and we didn’t get any heat.
Tips for Traveling to Japan: What is the best time to visit Japan?
8. You won’t have any trouble paying by credit card, but carry cash just in case.
When we were preparing for our trip to Japan, we read some pretty awesome advice on the use of cards in Japan and it’s really NOT that big a deal. It is true that in some hotels you can only pay with cash, but they warn you from the beginning. In all other cases, in most places we were able to pay by card.
Obviously you’ll have to carry cash, but you don’t have to lose your life in it either because there are ATMs in practically all 7Elevens.
You already know that we usually change a small part of the money of the trip before flying and then once in destination we take out money with our cards to travel.
Don’t forget that the best way to get money or pay abroad are travel cards, your best allies to save the most on your travels. In this post we review the most important, we tell you their advantages and disadvantages and put at your disposal all the discounts and offers we have achieved for you 😉 For example, if you order your Bnext card through our link and recharge 25 euros, you get another 10. We use it a lot to get money when we arrive at the destination. For its part, the N26 card is the best option to pay when you travel.
9. Travel ALWAYS with travel insurance
This is one of the best travel tips we can give you to Japan. Well, actually, to travel to Japan and anywhere. We already know that we are always mega weighed down with this, but we have to be.
Tips for traveling to Japan: take out good travel insurance
One of the most important things to keep in mind when preparing a trip is insurance. Never travel without insurance! Because you haven’t been saving all year for your holidays to be twisted by an unforeseen event. And so that in addition to travel insurance, save, we have for you this 5% discount on your insurance with IATI, the insurance company that we rely on for all our trips.
10. Don’t get overwhelmed if you can’t see it all, because YOU CAN’T, one of the best tips for traveling to Japan.
I know we tell you this on every trip, but in Japan almost more. Tokyo is an infinite city, and so is Kyoto, so… relax and enjoy everything you DO see! 😉 Think the best thing is that you have the perfect excuse to come back.
Tips for traveling to Japan: calm down, you won’t be able to see everything
11. Don’t be afraid to taste the food anywhere.
Japanese gastronomy is LOVE, seriously, all of it, so we can not help but recommend that you try everything. Don’t just focus on sushi or ramen, listen to me, you’re going to surprise yourself VERY much for good 🙂
Travel Tips for Japan: Try EVERYTHING!
As you know, we’ve made several videos in which we tasted Japanese food. You can find them here:
Perhaps by taking a look at all of them you will become aware of how super rich Japanese gastronomy is 😉
12. Learn a few words in Japanese
Let’s go! It doesn’t cost you anything to learn to say Arigato, to ask for the bill or to ask what time it is. It is clear that at the end with signs, everyone understands each other, but a basic seems essential to us. In Japan there are many people who do not speak a word of English and what less than to know how to greet 😉
Hola -> KonnichiwaAdiós -> SayonaraGracias -> ArigatoSí -> HaiNo -> IeDisculpa -> SumimasenLo siento -> Gomennasai
If you don’t dare, you’ll always have Google Translate 😉
13. Don’t be afraid to move on your own around the country, it’s SUPER easy
We told you about this in our post about transportation in Japan, but basically what you have to be clear about is that Japan is one of the countries we know where it is easiest to move from one place to another. So don’t be afraid and throw yourself into the adventure 🙂
Tips for Traveling to Japan: Don’t Be Afraid to Move Everywhere
14. If you want to buy souvenirs, it is best to do so in the tourist areas of Kyoto and Tokyo.
And maybe this may seem obvious to you, but it’s not, because we were delaying the shopping because we assumed we would find the same in all the cities we visited and it’s not like that. In Tokyo, the best place to buy souvenirs is Akihabara or Harajuku, and in Kyoto, around the larger temples, there are also small shops with interesting things. In Miyajima we also found some other shop, but they were a little more expensive.
If you’re not looking for the typical souvenir such as a magnet, keychain or cup, don’t miss Daiso, a kind of all to 100 Japanese perfect for buying chopsticks, typical Japanese crockery and other super cheap souvenirs. The Don Quixote store is also well known for this and you could lose hours inside, but we liked it less.
15. Be very careful if you are a smoker
I’m telling you because there are many streets and outdoor areas in Japan where smoking is forbidden. There are small delimited areas, which are usually at the exit of the stations, for smokers.
And although it may surprise you, there are still restaurants in Japan where you can smoke, so they are not free of contradictions either 😉
16. Book your accommodations in advance, one of the best travel tips to Japan we can give you.
We already know that we tell you this in all trips, but in Japan it seems even more important to us if it fits. In our post about where to sleep in Japan we already told you about it, but we didn’t want to stop mentioning it here too.
Tips for Traveling to Japan: Attention with Accommodation!
When it comes to accommodation, there are two important things to keep in mind:
If you want to find a good hotel at a reasonable price, you should book it in advance, because if it’s not going to be really expensive, especially in some areas like Tokyo or Kyoto. Pay close attention to the location, especially in the larger cities.
17. Remember that you need an adapter for the plugs
When you travel to Japan, you’ll need an adapter to charge your phone, iPad, and all the electronic devices you take with you, because the plug is different. We tell you all the details in this post about plugs in Japan.
Tips for traveling to Japan: you’ll need an adapter
18. BE CAREFUL! Japan snagging
And this is how it is. All the people we know who have gone to Japan are looking forward to going back, and among them we wish we could go a few days each year.