Japan is one of the most desirable travel destinations in the world and graces so many people’s bucket lists. For anyone that has never been to Japan, just thinking about it can transport them back to its unique beautiful landscapes, authentic culture, and the enchanting historical heritage.
To make the most out of any trip, the most important thing is preparation. There are various things that you need to consider when planning a trip to Japan.
With the help of experienced travel enthusiasts, this article will give you 3 DOs and 3 DON’Ts for the best Japan trip ever. Check them out!
Do: Purchase a Japan Rail Pass
A Japan Rail Pass (JR pass) is a distinctive cost-effective travel option for any traveler to Japan. It gives you unlimited access to multi-transport options including the bullet train, the bus, and the ferry services. Although the price of a Japan Rail Pass initially seems a bit expensive (around $340 for a 2-week pass), it is actually a good investment even when you do not aim to explore the whole country extensively. In fact, the cost of going just by train is already around $25 to $40 per day so you can save a lot of money and take every type of transport available.
Note: Although you can buy this magic ticket once you get to Japan, you are highly recommended to buy it in advance so you have it available as soon as you arrive.
Do: Learn a Little Japanese in Advance
Although people in Tokyo can speak English to some extent and the number of English-speaking locals has been steadily increasing across Japan, there are many parts of the country where people speak no English at all. Therefore, if you have no intention to spend your 5-day trip to Tokyo only, you’d better plan to learn some basic Japanese and you’re totally fine to explore the whole country. Fortunately, the experts of https://livefluent.com/best-app-to-learn-japanese-the-top-5/ explain that there are many apps these days that can help you to learn some of the languages before you go to Japan. Learning a language by the app is the most convenient and effective language learning technique to have emerged in recent years.
Do: Get ready to Try Japanese-Style Lodging
Good accommodation is an important part of any trip, so be mindful when choosing yours. If you want to indulge yourself in authentic Japanese culture, make the most of it by booking accommodation that you are distinctly Japanese.
There are three fantastic Japanese styles of accommodations that you can opt for:
These are tiny hotel rooms including a good-sized bed and a smart TV. There are different forms of capsule hotels but the price is mostly unbeatable. Only around $30 for a night.
Ryokans are traditional Japanese inns where guests wear robes, slippers, enjoy Japanese cuisines with other guests, and sleep on futons. They can cost anywhere from $150 to $250+ for a night, but the experience is definitely worth the price if you can afford it.
Minshukus are similar to Ryokans but much less expensive at around $50 to $80 per night. They are usually family-owned inns where you share meals and bathrooms. Minshukus are great for those who travel on a budget but still want to indulge in local life.
These options are highly preferable for non-Japanese travelers as they provide an authentic experience. If however you prefer regular accommodation options just to be safe, don’t worry as hotels, hostels, and Airbnbs are also available.
Don’t: Forget to Check Opening Hours
Unlike the rest of the world, the discipline of Japanese is no joke. Most restaurants are not open 24 hours while some restaurants and attractions only allow last order or entry 30 to 60 minutes before closing. So plan your itinerary mindfully according to the opening hours of attractions.
Don’t: Overlook What you Wear in Japan
There are certain instances in which the Japanese are strict about clothing, especially when you visit special places like temples or shrines. So leave your ripped jeans, crop tops, and short skirts at home if most of your itinerary is all about these sacred places. Remember that if you are entering someone’s home, then it is a Japanese custom to take off your shoes, so make sure you are wearing decent socks with no holes.
Don’t: Go into an Onsen without Washing First
When visiting an onsen, make sure to wash first before stepping into the hot spring water as otherwise, it is incredibly rude. Never move around the bathing area wearing your towel as this is not permitted. Try not to think about it too much. After all, everybody else is naked so who cares?
Heading to Japan for the very first time? Bear in mind these dos and don’ts and you will have the trip of a lifetime! Yoi tabi o!