Visiting Japan is a truly unforgettable experience! This exotic, small but surprisingly vast island country located off the east coast of Asia, is an exciting mix of the ancient and the modern. It boasts unique Japanese culture, architecture, traditions and cuisine. Put simply, it is a place to escape the ordinary!
When planning a trip to Japan, there are a few important questions that travellers need to ask. Here are the most frequently asked questions about Japan travel:
Japan visa requirements vary from country to country. So which countries need visas for Japan?
Many nations, such as the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Canada and more, enjoy visa exemptions when visiting Japan. See the full list of visa-exempt countries. Tourists from other countries will need to apply in advance for a short-term visa for their Japan trip. Costs of visas for Japan are usually 3000 yen for a single entry visit and Japan visa applications must be made at the closest embassy or consulate general of Japan in your country of residence. Read more about the visa requirements on the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs official website.
Japan can be an expensive destination to visit. In the wider scheme of things, the cost of visiting big cities like Tokyo and Kyoto are pretty much on par with many western European countries. Flights to Japan can also be quite costly due to its location – so keeping an eye out for flight deals is a great idea! Keep in mind that certain countries also need to factor in visa fees. However, Japan can be affordable and fit into your budget if you are smart about how you choose to travel.
Japan group tours that include transport, accommodation and certain meals and activities make a trip to this extraordinary country far more affordable! You can see the amazing sights, cities and natural splendour for a whole lot less if you choose to go this route.
Travel Tip: Credit cards are widely accepted in Japan, however, it is a good idea to always have some cash on you – especially in smaller regional areas – while enjoying Japan tours. ATMs are readily available in all major cities.
Be ready to have the experience of a lifetime! There are countless exciting things to do in Japan. Visitors can look forward to seeing ancient temples and shrines, vibrant modern cities, traditional merchant towns, incredibly peaceful natural surroundings, historical sights, a variety of UNESCO World Heritage sites, and more. Japanese culture is captivating – from geishas to ninjitsu and sumo wrestling. Japanese food is also famous worldwide. You will definitely have to try out sushi, ramen, tempura, yakitori, green tea, sake and so much more.
Japan is widely considered to be a safe country for tourists to visit. It has one of the highest levels of public safety and the lowest crime rates in the world. However, like any other country, Japan has certain spots that are less safe than others so it is best to practice common sense when visiting crowded areas, entertainment districts and when using ATMs – just as you would in your own country.
But what about natural disasters? Japan is prone to earthquakes and typhoons from time to time. The country takes preparation for such events very seriously and the best thing that travellers can do to stay safe is to stay aware and prepared. Research the best time of year to visit to avoid typhoon season and learn what to do in case of an emergency (safety tips, evacuation routes etc). Your tour leaders and accommodation providers will usually have this information readily available.
March to May and September to November are generally the best times to visit – these times mostly fall outside of the hot, humid weather conditions that occur during summer, as well as the cool winter season. Christmas, New Years and Golden Week (end of April to early May) are the busiest times to visit Japan. Cherry blossom season is also a hugely popular time to visit. This season usually falls between late March and May depending on what area of Japan you visit.
Staying connected in Japan is pretty easy! Wi-Fi is widely available. For travellers who prefer a more constant connection, SIM cards, mobile phones and Wi-Fi routers can be rented for the duration of a Japan trip. The airport is probably the best place to rent these items.
Japan has a great railway network and is home to the Shinkansen (Japan’s bullet train). Major hubs are very well connected. An easy way to get around, see major cities as well as quieter spots, is by coach. Group coach tours allow for more freedom when travelling around Japan as you are not restricted to the railway network.
English is generally understood and spoken around Japan – especially in major cities and towns, and at major attractions. Major public transport providers, such as the shinkansen, will also display announcements and info in English.
It is always great to learn a few phrases while you travel! Here are a few useful Japanese phrases to know:
Travel Tip: Download something handy like the Japan Official Travel App and enjoy a wealth of info, tips and advice, right at your fingertips.
Japan is an excitingly unique destination that offers so many things to see, do and experience! Now that your Japan travel questions are answered, it’s time to start planning your trip to the land of the rising sun.