Are you considering planning a trip to Japan? With a unique blend of ancient sites and culture with modern technology and efficiency, plus incredible food, Japan is well worth a visit. While it may look like a relatively small country on a map, you’ll quickly discover that there is far more to see and do than you can accomplish in a single trip. To help you in the planning process, here are some tips to help you have a great experience!
Stay in a Ryokan
Ryokans are traditional Japanese inns. Some can be pricey, but the unique experience and wonderful meals are well worth the cost. Staying in a Ryokan is a popular option, and most of them are small, so if this is something you want to do, make sure you book in advance.
Visit an Onsen
Onsen are traditional Japanese hot springs. They are considered incredibly luxurious and relaxing and are located all across the country–from indoor options to outdoor locations with great views. Be aware that no clothing is permitted in an onsen! There are private options available if you prefer to enjoy the experience on your own.
Attend a Baseball or Sumo Event
Baseball may not sound like it’s worth your time while traveling to a new country, but if you’re in Japan, think again! From individual fight songs for each player to colorful props and celebrations, baseball in Japan is an entirely different experience. Sumo wrestling is another unique Japanese sport that is fascinating to attend, so consider fitting one of these activities into your schedule to experience this part of the culture.
Consider Buying a Rail Pass
Japan offers tourists some unique discounted rail passes, which provide access to the Shinkansen and other travel options. Do some research beforehand, as it’s only worth it if you make several long-distance trips, but you have to purchase them before you enter the country.
You’ll be taking a lot of public transport and likely navigating in small, tight spaces. If you can fit everything you need in a carry-on size suitcase, you’ll be grateful! Lugging multiple large bags on and off the subway system and up and down narrow staircases will only lead to frustration.
Practice Some Basic Phrases
Finally, while you will find some people who speak English, it is not as widely known as in other countries you might be used to visiting. It will be helpful for you to learn some basic phrases to help you get around a little bit easier.