How to Plan a Trip to Japan

So maybe you have been thinking of a trip of East Asia, but maybe are a little bit intimidated due to language or cultural barrier. Japan has a rich cultural history, great foodie scene, and majestic nature that can appeal to any traveler. Whether if you want to find that perfect bowl of ramen, climb Mt. Fuji, or visit the historical temples of Kyoto, there is something for everybody here! I want to share how to plan a trip to Japan as I am now finishing a plan to Japan.

PLANE TICKET

To start and to plan a trip to Japan, you got to get there first! Searching for deals has never been easier with things like Google Flights and Momondo. If you look a few months in advanced and search for deals, you can find a good deal from wherever you are. I found a flight from San Francisco to Tokyo for $399 RT for this holiday season. Have a little patience and you can find a great deal!

WHEN TO VISIT

Year round activities makes planning your trip to Japan easy. To properly plan a trip to Japan, consider the activities that you want to do. If skiing in Hokkaido is your jam, consider winter months, but if you want to do see the cherry blossoms in Kyoto, then come in April when the flowers bloom.

GETTING AROUND

You may have heard of the bullet train (shinkansen) that can transport you near and far in Japan.  Consider buying a JR Pass if you are going to do extensive traveling within Japan, but don’t want to buy domestic plane tickets. Train travel is Japan is simple and this pass will allow you to have access to JR for 7, 14, or 21 days of first class (green) or economy (ordinary). Important thing to note is that the day after you purchase, the ticket must be redeemed in Japan within 90 days. In addition, you cannot buy the JR Pass in Japan. There are several sites that you can buy the ticket and I utilized JTB (Japan Tourism Bureau)  to buy my ticket and had it sent to my house.

Another relevant question is, “should I get the JR Pass?”. To note, a trip from Tokyo to Kyoto and back would be equivalent to the price of an ordinary seven day pass. If you do intend on doing extensive traveling within Japan in a short period of time, it is highly recommended to get the JR Pass.

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Contents of JR Pass Letter from JTB

STAYING CONNECTED 

A nifty thing that you can get in Japan is a mobile pocket WiFi. I have yet to try this, so I will write a review on how to use it in a future post, but I booked one in advanced here in the States. I used PuPuRu, but there are many other companies that provide a similar service. There are different tiers of usage and rental duration, but I got my rental for about $7 US/day. For the convenience of having access to Google Maps, Google Translate, WhatsApp, I believe it is worth the investment!

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Email details of time and duration of Mobile Wi-Fi and pick up at Haneda International Airport

I am visiting Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima on my trip to Japan this time. If anybody has any suggestions or recommendations, I would love to see it in the comments below!

Hopefully this simple guide provided some tips on how to plan your trip to Japan. What else would you like to know about how to plan trips for any country? Subscribe on the link and get emails when I post in the future!


I want to apologize that I have not posted on here for a while. From traveling in Australia, business trips, and work, things have been a little chaotic. I plan on making posts a bit more regular now that I have some more time. I am still active on Instagram, so follow me at @offthebeatenpassport to see more updates!

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