Japan offers a unique and exotic travel experience full of rich cultural attractions and spectacular natural sights. Situated in East Asia between the Sea of Japan and Pacific Ocean, this island nation offers majestic mountains and forests, along with the wonders of Tokyo – the biggest city in the entire world. Whether you're visiting for a couple of days or a few weeks, the "Land of the Rising Sun" truly is a travel destination like no other.
If you're leaving from North America or Europe, Japan is a distant and exotic land that presents distinct challenges along with unique opportunities. It's essential to research Japan holiday tips before you leave home, including local attractions, accommodation, transportation, and communication. Along with the obvious things you'll read in any Japan holiday guide, it's important to stay travel connected by purchasing a Japan SIM card. If you're looking for the ultimate Japan travel guide, the following issues are of vital importance:
Welcome to Japan
Japan is an archipelago of almost 7,000 islands, including five main islands that account for 97 per cent of the landmass. From north to south, these islands are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, and Okinawa. Surprisingly to many visitors, the vast majority of Japan is either forested or mountainous, with 73 per cent of the land unsuitable for agricultural, residential, or industrial use. This diverse landscape offers a lot for travellers to enjoy, from beaches and volcanoes to temples, shrines, and gardens.
These geographical restrictions are partly responsible for the nation's dense-living population, including the modern megalopolis that is Tokyo. As the largest city in the world, Tokyo is a must-see destination for any traveller. Japan strikes a very interesting balance between ancient culture and futuristic society, with Tokyo acting as the centrepiece. Along with Tokyo, travellers to Japan also enjoy visiting Kyoto, Osaka, and Okinawa to experience the culture, history, food, and hospitality of the Japanese people.
Plan your Timeline and Budget
Before you embark on a trip across the world to the far east, it's important to plan ahead. There's no use making reservations or booking tours until you have a good idea of your holiday timeline and budget. Due to the distances involved, not to mention the number of things to do, Japan is rarely seen as a weekend destination. Instead, try to devote a couple of weeks minimum to your upcoming Japanese adventure. Along with time management, it's also crucial to create a working budget and organise your holiday around these financial limits. While anyone can book things up on their credit card, you probably don't want to return home to a massive bill.
Organise Your Luggage
If you're planning to visit Japan, it's important to be organised in order to get the most from your experience. Luggage management is critical, so buy some good travel gear and create a list of things you want to take with you. It's important to pack for the weather, so look into average temperatures during certain times of the year. The climate of Japan is predominantly temperate, ranging from an average of 41.2 °F during the winter to 77.4 °F during the summer.
Along with the basics like clothing, it's also important to think about technology and communications. You will want a Japan SIM card to stay connected with friends and family, with technology available for cell phones and tablet devices. Simple prepaid SIM cards can truly revolutionise the travelling experience. With nothing more than a SIM card and your favourite mobile device, you can navigate seamlessly, connect conveniently, and share your trip with loved ones back home.
Despite its relatively small size, Japan is a rich and diverse land with a variety of things to see and do. You should buy a Japan travel guide and read it thoroughly, or research destinations online to see everything that's on offer. From ultra-modern Tokyo to ancient temples and majestic mountains, Japan offers something for everyone and memories that will last a lifetime. Let's take a look at seven defining tourist experiences in Japan:
- Culture in Kyoto - As the capital of Japanese culture, Kyoto offers Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, spectacular palaces, and picturesque gardens. Many of these attractions are listed collectively by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
- Cherry Blossoms - The cherry blossom trees of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka are renowned for their beauty and splendour. Japan's unofficial national flower features on dozens of tree varieties, all of which bloom over just a few days in spring.
- Iconic Mount Fuji - Mount Fuji is a sight like no other, with this iconic holy mountain viewable from the crashing waves of Kumomi Kaigan, the calm waters of Lake Tanukiko, and the picturesque site of Shizuoka.
- Temples and Shrines - Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines are located across Japan's many islands. Every Japanese town has at least one temple, and large cultural centres like Kyoto have several hundred.
- Bullet Trains - Reaching speeds up to 177 miles per hours, Japan's bullet trains offer an exciting glimpse into the future of travel. For the best experience, the Tokaido Shinkansen line brings you directly within view of Mount Fuji.
- Sumo Wrestling - Japan's legendary Sumo wrestlers weigh in at over 300 pounds, with six tournaments held each year to entertain gods and tourists alike.
- Kitakyushu Flower Tunnels - These beautiful flower tunnels are made with woody wisteria vines, reaching maturity within a few years to bloom in a cascade of flowing lavender flowers.