Your First Trip to Japan
Planning Your First Trip to Japan
Japan is a treasure trove of sights, sounds, and delights. A
combination of the old and the new, it’s a country that delights its
visitors at every turn, from the dizzying lights and heights of Tokyo
to spectacular natural scenery such as mountains and volcanoes.
But before you venture east, there’s plenty of planning you’ll need to
take care of to ensure your trip goes off without a hitch. Below, we
outline some of the key considerations you’ll need to organize.
When To Go
The best time to visit Japan will depend on individual
generally speaking, Spring is the best time to visit. It may be a
little rainy from time to time, but weather is generally pleasant and
you also have to see the cherry blossoms for which Japan is famous.
post-summer months are also a good option as the weather is agreeable,
there are fewer crowds, and it’s less expensive. It’s usually a good
idea to avoid visiting during the summer as the weather can be very hot
Before You Go
Japan is a different breed than what you’re used to if you’re
coming from the states or Europe. To begin, you need to make sure you
pack the appropriate clothing for your trip. If
you’re visiting during
monsoon season, make sure you bring your waterproof clothing!
Spring, weather can be different from day to day - you might be wearing
a t-shirt and shorts one day, and your winter clothing the next. Also be
sure to pack your outdoor gear if you love the outdoors - Japan is full
of fascinating recreational opportunities that are a must-do, so make
sure you bring your hiking boots with you.
Your outdoor pursuits also
means you’ll need travel insurance that
will cover any accidents or
injuries - like most countries, tourists have to pay for their
healthcare and, while it’s not the
most expensive in the world, costs
will add up very quickly if there’s anything serious.
will also insure you against other accidents, such as lost or damaged
Japan is well-served by many international flights, so you’ll have no
trouble getting there. Most visitors fly into Tokyo, followed by Osaka,
but you won’t be limited to these two cities because, as mentioned
above, the whole country is well-connected via the air.
there, you’ll need to present a valid passport for entry. So long as
you are from the European Union, USA, Canada, etc, then there are no
complicated visa rules to take care of before you fly - when you fly
you will be admitted for 90 days.
What to Do
You’ve landed in Japan, wonderful! But what now? With so many excellent
destinations and sights available, where do you even start? Below are
three of the must-visit stops during your stay.
See the Cherry
Japan’s cherry blossoms capture the imagination because of their
majestic beauty. Between March and May, these trees turn whole waves of
land into a mesmerizing cherry color. In April, Ueno Park in Tokyo is a
good place to see the colors of more than a thousand cherry trees. It
gets busy, but it’s oh so worth it.
Mount Fuji is one of Japan’s most famous
attractions. Standing 3776
meters high, it’s the highest mountain in the country and is noted for
its uncanny symmetry and snow-covered peak.
You can get to the top and
back in a day, and most people with a decent level of fitness can do it
- though only during the summer. It’ll take at least 6 hours up and 3.5
hours down, so it’s a long day, but you won’t regret it.
Japanese buddhist temples are among the most
recognizable buildings in
the world. These beautiful buildings are typically set among exquisite
gardens which create a tranquil environment.
When the city gets too
much, it is here that you want to be. Two of the most popular
Japanese temples are Enryaku-ji and Kiyomizu-dera, which were both
built in the 8th century and are located in Kyoto.
Of course, these are just the smallest selection in a country bursting
with fascinating sights; the only way to explore your own Japan is to
get on a plane and get over there!