12 tips for traveling to Japan for the first time

Traveling to Japan for the first time can be quite an adventure. Nerves, the illusion of getting to know a new place and cultural differences will always touch us until we get there. Preparing to travel to Japan may seem difficult, but nothing is further from the truth.

Don't worry if you feel overwhelmed or overwhelmed. We want to give you the best advice or recommendations, although it is not something that you have to strictly follow if you do not see it necessary. If we believe that we can contribute a lot to your trip.

We hope the following tips and recommendations are helpful to you. Before entering, we remind you that you can visit the Alternative Japan blog, where you can learn many other tips.

Any season is good to enjoy Japan

Ready to embark on this great journey? We start with our beginner tips for traveling to Japan!

When to travel to Japan? Weather

First of all, you should be clear about when is the best time to travel to Japan. For this we will take into account the weather. Japan has the four seasons well marked, that is, they fulfill quite well what is expected of them. Japan is in the northern hemisphere, so the months of December, January and February correspond to winter and July, August and September to summer.

Having such marked stations can be good and bad. Well, for example if you go in winter, you will find beautiful snowy landscapes. In contrast, you can get cold and rain appear. In this case, we recommend wearing a good coat. Something similar happens if you travel in May, with the cherry blossom recently.

The spectacle of seeing the cherry blossoms is wonderful, but you'll get a little warmer. Be that as it may, any season is good to enjoy Japan.

How to get to Japan?

Make yourself visible: after many hours on the plane, you land in the Japanese country. It is likely that you will arrive at one of the airports in Tokyo (Narita and Haneda) or Osaka (Kansai), since they are cheap and have more international flights.

It is not difficult to get your bearings and you can always go to ask an information booth. Also, if they ask for your arrival ticket, you can show it both on paper and on your mobile.

Depending on where you have your accommodation, you can use different means of transportation. Using the map or Google Maps will save you from any mistake you may have. Also be proactive or proactive and download the earthquake app, Yurekuru Call. Nothing has to happen, but it never hurts to count on it.

What is the transportation from Japan?

Japan has the Japan Rail Pass. Transportation is expensive, but if you remove this transport pass it will be profitable. If you go on tourism, it is quite profitable, but if your stay is longer, do calculations on whether this will be the case. You can buy it in Japan although it is somewhat more expensive, so we recommend buying it in advance from home.

Transportation is expensive, but Japan has the Japan Rail Pass

There are also top quality bus, metro and train lines. You can get passes a day. Shinkansen bullet trains are also included in the JR Pass with the only exceptions to the NOZOMI and MIZUHO. Inside Tokyo you will find that you can also use it on the Yamanote Line which is the 29-station circular train line that runs in the city.

When buying the pass, it is necessary to say the approximate time in which you are going to travel, but the exact date is not necessary. Upon arrival in Japan, you must go to a Japan Rail Pass office and validate the pass. The pass is counted per day, not 24 hours. For long journeys or with high demand it is best to reserve a seat by approaching any of the JRP offices in advance.


How to find accommodation in Japan? In Japan there is a lot of accommodation for tourists, from hotels, hostels, private apartments, capsule hotels (the controversial and well-known bed attached to the wall in a small space with a bathroom shared by all) or ryokanes (traditional inns).

Choose the option that best suits your taste and budget, but in any case we recommend you book early and from home.

Get a SIM card and have Internet to spare

Currently, it is very difficult to find someone who does not have a mobile and share their trips there. Whether it is to upload photos to social networks or to communicate with family and friends, it is important to have plenty of internet for our trip to Japan.

But how do you have internet in Japan? It is better to use a SIM card, which you can buy at the same airport with unlimited data and at high speed.

The plug adapter must be one of the most important objects in our suitcase

If not, you can also request it before traveling. There are recommended companies like HolaFly that send you the SIM before your trip. And at a discount!

Research events and parties in advance

Like any other trip, it never hurts to know what events or parties will happen during your trip.

You will plan your itinerary and if there is any event that you want to see, we always recommend visiting it, since it will surely only happen in that period.

Avoid visits on Sunday

Like anywhere else, Sunday is a day for family and friends, so there are many people. The monuments are not less, having many people.

This in any other country would not be so bad, but Japan has many citizens and tourists, so the streets collapse a lot. Avoid the most important visits on Sunday and visit quieter places.

It has an extension with plug adapter

The plug adapter must be one of the most important objects in our suitcase.

Although they can be bought there, it is anticipative to have one before starting the trip, since we never know if we have to use it at an airport or when making a trip.

Taxes in Japan don't appear in the prices of the things you buy. They are added when you buy it

You can also complement with an extension. So you can connect more devices and not worry.

Check what and where to eat

It is also important to plan where and what to eat in Japan. You have to make the most of the visit and you need to know what the typical food is there and try to find a good and cheap place to enjoy the gastronomy.

No smoking

Although it seems silly, we remember that smoking is prohibited on the streets of Japan. Japan takes the care of passive smokers very seriously, so they have tightened their measures considerably. Some restaurants and bars do allow smoking, but you will find that it is not possible on the street. Just the opposite of in Spain, as you may have seen.

Smoking is not allowed under the age of 20, but it is curious that tobacco is sold in supermarkets and in vending machines. Its sale is very large, although you have to verify that you are over 20 to buy.

Book the excursions in time

You will avoid wasting time in Japan, since you will have everything prepared. This will also make you enjoy more and better, since you will be guided and will have your place on the excursion that you have booked in time.

Be careful with the added taxes

Taxes in Japan don't appear in the prices of the things you buy. They are added when you buy it, so you need to make sure how much they will overcharge you before paying.

The good thing is that most of the stores have the "tax free" service. How to take advantage of the "tax free"? Easy, showing your passport. Nor will they charge you if you pay more than 40 euros on your purchase.

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