Japan Travel blogs and websites for travelers

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The kanji that make up Japan’s name mean «sun origin», and it is often called the «Land of the Rising Sun». Japan is a stratovolcanicarchipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands. The four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan’s land area and often are referred to as home islands.

1. THE ULTIMATE JAPAN TRAVEL GUIDE

Japan is indeed one of the most beautiful countries in the world, filled with a mix of everything. From the hustle and bustle of Tokyo down to the laid-back Okinawa, it’s a timeless country respecting the past while leading the way with advanced technology.

While you may find Japan exceedingly modern, you will find vast opportunities to connect with their fascinating traditional culture. From exploring Japan’s rich culinary scene to wandering through the majestic temples, you will never run out of things to do when visiting the beautiful country.

Discover some tips and the 15 must-do’s with our ultimate Japan travel guide, where you can find out what to do, where to eat, and the best hotels to stay in on any budget!

Tips When Traveling to Japan

Besides planning where to go and which activities to do, what else do you need to know before taking your vacation in Japan? Here are a few tips and practical information to make your trip hassle-free:

1. Bring cash 

Japan is a mostly cash-based society so bring all the cash you can and also ways to get more. Bring a coin purse as well, since everything below 500 yen is coins.

2. Learn Japanese

Learn Japanese, especially the phrase “Do you speak English?” for better communication. People in major tourist attractions or public transportation areas are where you can find help in answering your queries.

3. Get a stable Internet connection

Getting Japan wifi for tourists is essential to avoid getting lost. Through a stable Internet connection, you can make calls, translate Japanese, check maps, and research about the areas you plan to visit.

4. Save money when touring around

To save money venturing out of Tokyo, we recommend that you get a Japan Rail Pass. If you want to save up on meals, have your biggest meal during lunch, which are more affordable and come in big servings.  Make sure that you track your expenses as well, which also keeps you aware of how much you spend.

1. See the beautiful and blooming cherry blossoms of Tokyo 

One of the most popular sights are the cherry blossoms that bloom during the spring. These soft pink petals are an icon of Japan, with their blooming being one of the most-awaited times for tourists and locals alike. Once these perfect pink blooms appear, you will find many indulging in “hanami,” which translates to “looking at flowers.”

When in Tokyo, it’s best to visit the cherry blossoms between late March and early April. The Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is one of the perfect areas to try hanami, with over a thousand cherry trees blossoming!

Recommended Hotels and Restaurants in Tokyo

After a quaint afternoon with the cherry blossoms, enjoy a filling meal at quality Sushi joint Sushi No Midori. Take note that it’s very popular, so make reservations in advance and avoid peak times (around 12NN and 7 PM).

Wondering where to stay? Shangri-La Hotel in Tokyo is a must for its luxurious amenities and pleasant staff. This 5-star hotel has the comfortable rooms and suites that aim to impress.

If you are on a budget, then the Remm Hibiya is an excellent choice. Located conveniently near train stations and with nearby restaurants, they have one of the best hotel deals in Tokyo.

Read More………… theasiacollective.com

2. A JAPAN TRAVEL GUIDE

Japan is a country of contrasts.  From the snowy northern reaches of Hokkaido to the sub-tropical islands of Okinawa.  From the historic shrines and castles of the feudal towns to the futuristic electronic superstores in Tokyo.  And as a foodie who could ignore the contradictions of a simple bowl of rice that must remain completely unadorned to the complex and perfectly balanced traditional kaiseki-ryōri menu.  You are never quite sure what to expect next in Japan but it’s almost certainly going to be an experience you won’t forget in a hurry.

If you’re here in the early stages of planning your trip you may want to browse the full content – click the link or the banner above and you’ll head directly to our archive of Japan Travel articles.  There are now hundreds of posts on this incredible country on the site so if you scroll down below we’ll  group it into regions and categories that should help you find what you are looking for much faster.

If you’re looking for something specific you can also try the search function.  There’s a search box in the sidebar to the right, just type a word or phrase and it will return the nearest matches.  If you’re really stuck or have specific questions you can get in touch through our contact page.

Which cities and regions are you most interested in?

If you’re planning to travel in a specific city click the button below to read articles related to that region.  We’ve made 2 more visits to Japan this year and are adding new content regularly so check back regularly or follow along with 2 Aussie Travellers on FacebookInstagramPinterest or Twitter to see the latest articles as they’re published.

Tips on getting around in Japan

We have a range of posts to help you get around in Japan and understand the value and convenience of different transport options.  You might have heard of the JR Pass for getting around the country, we love it but it’s not a cost effective option for every visit.  There are also a whole range of alternatives that you’ll want to understand, especially if you’ll be mostly exploring one city.

Japan Travel tips for visitors

Seasons Matter

We live in a sub-tropical climate in Queensland, Australia.  Our seasons aren’t clearly defined so it’s such a novelty to experience them in Japan.  Not only are they each distinct in weather but you’ll find the natural landscape, the festivals and styles of food are all quite different.

Read More.. ……… www.2aussietravellers.com

3. Japan Travel Tips: 10 Essentials for Travellers to Japan!

For those who are planning a trip to Japan, this article might be a bit of help 😉 I have listed essential Japan travel tips and advice which are especially useful for first timers to Japan. Check out things to know before and during your trip in Japan.


Before travelling

1. Check general info

Time:

JST (Japanese Standard Time) is 9 hours ahead of GMT and has No Daylight Saving Time. From north to south, all Japan is in one time zone. Here are some time differences between Japan and some major international cities:

New York: -14 hours
Los Angeles: -17 hours
Sao Paulo: -12 hours
Sydney: +1 hour
Seoul :0 hour
Hong Kong: -1 hour
New Delhi: -3.5 hours
Dubai: -5 hours
Berlin: -8 hours 
London: -9 hours

Climate:

Japan has four distinct seasons: Spring (March to May), Summer (June to August), Autumn (September to November) and Winter (December to February). The climate and temperature vary depending on season and area, and also each season offers different attractions and sightseeing spots. For more info about climate in Japan, please check the article below:
When is the best time to visit JAPAN??

Holidays:

It’s a simple advice but it’s better to check the Japanese calendar than not doing. Japan has 16 public holidays through the year and tourist attractions get very very crowded on these days. Especially, the long weekend in May “Golden Week” and middle of August “Obon” are the busiest time of the year. It’s a wiser idea to avoid travelling on these periods in Japan.

2. Book Pocket Wi-Fi

Japan is one of countries where having pocket Wi-Fi could make a massive difference. The area with free public Wi-Fi is expanding slowly but still it’s not like you can connect everywhere you go. Also as I will explain it later, travelling Japan sometimes could be harsh with language barrier, especially in countyside. So the internet could be the biggest savior for your trip to Japan.

Japan-Wireless is highly recommended and reliable company providing rental pocket wifi with fast speed internet at very affordable rate. Make sure to book it before you leaving to Japan! Use the discount code “JWWMWINTER” exclusively available for my readers 😉 Place your order HERE with a special price!!

3. Get Japan Rail Pass

If you are planning to travel multiple cities in Japan, Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass) is a must-have item, and it can only be purchased outside of Japan which means you should place your order before coming to Japan. This “exclusive to foreigners” rail pass allow you to travel with any JR lines across the country including bullet trains (usually very pricey!). However, if you are only visiting Tokyo, this is not necessary item. Check this article more about JR Pass: JAPAN RAIL PASS will Save Your Money during your stay in Japan

4. Exchange Money

According to many travellers to Japan, the exchange rate in Japan seems like higher than other countries. Also there are not many exchange counters on the street either. So it’s wiser to have some yen ready in your country before travelling and manage with your credit card while travelling.

While travelling

5. Learning the culture

Japan has an unique own culture which is hard to understand for many and very interesting/valuable. While you are in Japan, it’s highly recommended to try one of cultural activities, such as kimono, tea ceremony and samurai training. These experiences could be done only in Japan and don’t miss a chance for the “once in your life time” kind of moment.

Read More………. jw-webmagazine.com

4. 33 Truly Astounding Places To Visit In Japan

Japan is a country that has it all and more… sacred Shinto shrines, magnificent Buddhist temples, bygone trade footpaths, spectacular landscaped gardens, eclectic themed pet cafes, diverse art styles, preserved cultural icons, and gastronomical delights. (We dare you to read that out loud without taking a breath!)

Japan is truly a country of endless discovery. You could spend a lifetime exploring this country and barely scratch its extraordinary expanse, trust me, we’ve tried!

However, this plethora of choices comes with a hidden cost. With so many alternatives to consider, choosing where to go in Japan from the sheer number of options of things to see, do, and experience is no easy feat! Information in foreign languages is rather scarce meaning that only a true expert knows the best places to visit in Japan. In order to live like a local, you have to be clued in the best things to do in Japan and we’re here to serve as your guide!

We encourage you to explore and research more on your own, even if it means getting lost along the way. To help you get back on the right track we’ve rounded up the best cities in Japan to serve as a frame work and to give you a head start – ready, set, GO! Here are our recommendations for the best places to visit in Japan:

1. Shibuya


Wait for it… GO! ?@lavalleenyc

The famous “Scramble Crossing” by Shibuya Station is without a doubt one of the most iconic sights of Tokyo. On an average weekday, this bustling intersection bears foot traffic levels as high as 2.8 million people. Yes, that’s 2.8 million people a day! If you’re trying to snap the perfect selfie in the madness of the crossing just be sure to get yourself to the other side by the time the traffic signals turn red!

In addition to Shibuya’s mind-blowing crossing, many of Tokyo’s hippest clothing brands can be found in this area. Several cutting-edge fashion shops are located on or around the Center Gai Street. The famous Shibuya 109 shopping mall is a well-known legendary haunt for many shoppers and is anchored just a few minutes from the train station.

2. Naoshima


Benesse House Art Site ?@larebve

Officially part of Kagawa Prefecture, Naoshima is a small island in the Seto Inland Sea. Though it is a nice rustic getaway from Tokyo, the island is most famous for its numerous modern art museums, architecture, and sculptures. Many of these were designed by the well-known architect Ando Tadao. Some spots to keep an eye out for are the Chichu Art Museum, the Lee Ufan Museum, and the Benesse House.

As you might imagine getting to Naoshima is a royal pain in the, err, backside! You’re going to need to first make your way to either Uno port in Okayama Prefecture or Takamatsu port in Kagawa prefecture before you can catch a ferry out to the island. The ports themselves are hard enough to find let alone the island so plan for a long journey and expect to stay overnight in the area.

3. Asakusa


Asahi Beer Hall ?@julyuljul

This area of Tokyo is widely considered to be the city’s main cultural draw. While the district is home to a number of smaller temples, the main attractions feature the majestic Senso-ji Temple and the surrounding Nakamise shopping block. In addition to these historical treasures, Asakusa is also located within a short distance of the Tokyo Sky Tree and the Asahi Beer Hall. If you’re going to be in the neighbourhood, you’d do well to check these two venues out as well! The Asahi Beer Hall is one of the best places to visit in Japan for booze lovers!

Read More………. www.hostelworld.com

5. 15 Best Places to Visit in Japan

Japan is revered as being a destination that makes every type of traveler feel right at home. From big cities to quaint temples to adventure trails and snow slopes, Japan is a diverse landscape that does an incredible job at blending a modern lifestyle with ancient traditions. A trip here is sure to be one that’s exciting, informative, and even inspiring.

1. Kyoto


Source: flickr
Kyoto, Japan

A sacred city with iconic temples, shrines, palaces, gardens, and bamboo forests, Kyoto often tops the list of people’s favorite Japanese cities for good reason. In Kyoto, traditional culture is rich and vibrant, seen weaved in the citizen’s daily life.

Though it would take months to visit every site that Kyoto has to see, you’ll feel at ease in at the temples of Kinkaku-ji, Kyyomiza-dera, Ginkaku-ji and the bamboo forest of Arashiyama.

2. Tokyo

Busy, vibrant, and often the first point of contact for travelers, Tokyo is Japan’s lively capital city. A visitor can easily spend a few days dining on fresh seafood, wandering through the many museums, gazing up at the skyscrapers, and enjoying a lifestyle of opulence and culture. To give a sense of how busy this city of 13 million people can be, the intersection at Shibuya Crossing is known as ‘The Scramble.’

Customs that are simply Japanese are found all throughout the city. In Harajuku, you can watch Japanese fashionistas use the main street as a runway, shop for the clothes yourself, view anime collections, and enjoy the overdose of color. For fresh seafood, head to the Tsukiji Market, thousands of tons of seafood are traded daily. The city also hosts tens of shrines, temples, and palaces perfect for finding peace if the crowds become overwhelming.

3. Osaka


Source: flickr
Osaka

Not your average port city, Osaka has a range of fun things to do for visitors. Osaka hosts Universal Studios Japan, the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, and Osaka Castle Park. The heart of the city, Dotonbori, is a place filled with flashy billboards, scrumptious dining options ranging from fine restaurants to foot carts, and shops. Families should check out Kids Plaza, where children can let their imaginations run wild with dress-up areas, hands-on science experiments and plenty of room to run around.

4. Hakone

Hakone is a peaceful mountainous village with hot springs with Mt. Fuji as a backdrop. Take a traditional onsen bath in a public bath house or inn for a relaxing experience unique to this part of the country. Travelers will also find peace at the Hakone Shrine at the end of Lake Ashinoko, a stunning crater lake.

The hot springs will come in handy after a long hike through the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, with several well-maintained hiking trails where Hakone is an ideal base. A local favorite is the hike from Owakudani to Lake Ashinoko because of its views of Mt. Fuji

Read More……… www.thecrazytourist.com

6. 50 things you must do while in Japan

We’ve chosen 50 spots and activities that you must experience when you come to Japan. Please consult this article and make your Japan trip even more enjoyable!

1. Climb Mount Fuji [Shizuoka, Yamanashi]


PIXTA

Mount Fuji that everyone knows, exists as one of the well-known symbols of Japan. It is also a registered UNESCO World Heritage site. Just looking at it is amazing but only those who climb it know the feeling of being moved emotionally. The time period for climbing is from July to the middle of September.

2. Playing with the monkeys at Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama [Kyoto]

There’s a place in Kyoto where you can play with wild monkeys. That place is Arashiyama Monkey Park. With 120 monkeys living there, you can feed them and play with them. Apart from that, there are also wild birds and deer so it’s perfect for animal lovers.

3. Sing songs at Karaoke


PIXTA

These days there is “karaoke” all over the world but the quality of Japan’s karaoke is above the rest. The efficiency of the machinery is a given and the soundproofing of the karaoke box is more developed that what you would see anywhere else in the world. There’s also a complete lineup of English songs.

4. Ride a Shinkansen


PIXTA

A Shinkansen or bullet train is Japan’s high-speed transit. Despite travelling at speeds of over 200 kilometers an hour, in its 50 years of history, there has never been an accident or death making it famous worldwide for its safety. How about enjoying the Japanese scenery from a Shinkansen?

5. Experience the Otaku culture in Akihabara [Tokyo]


PIXTA

Akihabara, Tokyo; the place that has become the sacred place for “otaku” all over the world. Because it was originally developed as an electric town, it’s the place to get the best quality Japanese electronics. The whole town overflows with an anime vibe and is popular among tourists.

Read More……………. www.tsunagujapan.com

7. The 20 best things to do in Japan

A list of 20 amazing tourist attractions, cities, and places to visit in Japan. Plan your perfect Japan itinerary.

I said it before and I’ll say it again: Japan is my favorite country in the world. It’s one of the few places I would willingly spend the rest of my life. I love the multi-layered culture, the ancient traditions, the beyond friendly people, the incredible food, and the awe-inspiring landscape. For me, there is literally nothing I don’t like about nihon (Japanese for ‘Japan’), especially because there are just so many things to do in Japan!

Back in the 90ies and early 2000s’, Japan used to be an incredibly expensive country. But due to the recent weakening of the Yen, it became increasingly affordable. It’s still not cheap (check out my detailed guide to Peru, for an equally amazing and diverse country if you are looking for a cheap alternative), but it has just so much to offer for the moderate price you will pay to see all the amazing places in Japan.

There is just one problem you will be facing on your first (actually any) visit to Japan. There are so many fun things to do in Japan that it is impossible to squeeze them into any itinerary that doesn’t last a year. So I tried to compile a list of the 20 best things to do in Japan. Fully knowing that there are probably a thousand other tourist attractions worth your time. But let’s begin, shall we?

1) Kyoto

If there is one place in Japan, you really can’t skip, then we are talking about Kyoto. The ancient city has been Japan’s capital for over a thousand years and history seems to seep out of its every pore. There are 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites within Kyoto, can you believe it?

If there is one place in Japan, you really can’t skip, then we are talking about Kyoto. The ancient city has been Japan’s capital for over a thousand years and history seems to seep out of its every pore. There are 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites within Kyoto, can you believe it?

2) Tokyo


Downtown Tokyo with Tokyo Tower (red)

Most international flights arrive in Tokyo and for obvious reasons, Japan’s capital should be on your list of things to do in Japan. The city is huge beyond belief and will be able to cater your every wish and whim. From robot cafés to traditional sumo wrestling and eating Michelin-starred Sushi – there is literally nothing you won’t be able to find in Tokyo.

It’s the most alien city I ever visited and at times it feels you haven’t seen the world if you haven’t spent a week in Tokyo at least once in your lifetime. Here, even taking the subway becomes an adventure, as will navigating the famous pedestrian scrambles. Absolutely read my guide on 20 amazing things to do in Tokyo.

3) Mount Fuji / Hakone

The Fujiyama might just be the world’s most perfect volcano. It is probably also the most famous one. The Japanese revere it and countless generations of artists have dedicated a big portion of their work to render their impression of Fujisan. The best place to see Japan’s holy mountain is Hakone.

Pro tip: The mountain can only be climbed between July and Mid-September.

4) Nara


The Todaiji temple in Nara, Japan

Japan had a very moving history. Unified Japan, as we know it today, is a product of modernity. Different clans had been feuding over their territory for two millennia and longer. One of the few quiet(er) times in Japan’s history has been the so-called Nara-period. A Period where Buddhism took hold in Japan. Between 710 and 794 AD, Nara had been the capital of Japan and many great buildings from that time survived the ages.

Absolutely do check out my article on Nara! Read it here >>

Another 8 UNESCO World Heritage sites can be found it this amazing city. Nara is also famous for the many tame deer that stroll around the streetsand parks of the city. It is truly a magical place you should not skip on your tour through Japan. You can also visit Nara on a day trip from Kyoto. Here’s my guide.

Read More……….. www.annees-de-pelerinage.com

TRAVELING TO JAPAN for THE FIRST TIME: PLANNING A 1-2 WEEK TRIP

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