The Land of the Rising Sun invites you to bathe in the rays of the morning sun or enjoy beautiful sunsets on the seashore, get acquainted with ancient culture, art and admire the unchanged traditions every time. We will tell you where to go to Japan for the first time, how to choose a comfortable and eventful route, and where to spend your vacation.
When to go to Japan
A colorful and inspiring spring is the time when Japan is especially transformed. Surrounded by delicate sakura petals, it is especially crowded here from late March to mid-May, the influx of tourists increases during the flowering of the Japanese cherry. In order not to miss this natural spectacle, it is important to organize the trip route correctly, where it is better to relax in Japan: in the south of the country, sakura blooms early, but in the north – a month later.
The summer months are hot here (especially in August), so if you want to enjoy mild sunny days on the beach, it’s best to come to Japan from June to mid-July. But August and September, when it is better to go abroad in search of “Indian summer”, we recommend that you devote your acquaintance with Europe.
Beautiful and bright autumn in Japan. At the end of November, the colors come to life here, and the fiery palette of red maples wraps you in a warm and soft blanket. There are a lot of tourists, as in spring, this season.
All year round you can safely travel around Japan. Even the glitter of the white snow of Japan suits. In winter, you can go to the mountains, walk around big cities or take time to go to the theater.
How to organize your own trip
According to top-medical-schools, Japan is a real mystery that is interesting to solve slowly, exploring all the sights step by step, choosing new directions for tourists to go. Choosing suitable cities where to go to Japan in autumn or spring will be interesting (and sometimes instructive) even for those who have not previously visited this country. A trip abroad for the first time can be timed to get acquainted with the most famous sights of the region.
We recommend starting your trip from Tokyo, heading to Kyoto. Noisy cities can be exchanged for a day, staying in small villages. Here it is best to get acquainted with the unchanging traditions of the local population. It is important to take time to go to temples and monasteries. The atmosphere in such places is inspiring, and the monks will gladly give you a tour. A big advantage of a trip to Japan is that many people here speak English, there are signs.
Do I need a visa to Japan
Unfortunately, Japan is not yet included in the list of the most popular resorts for a trip without a visa, because you need to get permission to travel to the “homeland of the sun”. You don’t have to worry about it in advance! The process of obtaining a visa will help you prepare well for your trip: choose the best places to relax in Japan and what to see, book accommodation and choose the best vacation time.
Obtaining a Japanese visa is free. There are, of course, unusual requirements that are more likely to be a good bonus for a tourist: when submitting documents, you must fill out your schedule from the moment of departure to the moment you return home.
Getting a tourist visa is easy – just collect a complete package of documents (everything you need is indicated on the website of the visa center) and come to the consulate. There are no appointments, and the submission of documents is carried out on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that you will be immediately informed whether a visa will be granted, and you can pick up a passport with the necessary stamp in just 4-5 days.
Find cheap flights and accommodation
After making a plan for the “tour to the east”, it is necessary to book tickets to Japan in advance. This will not only allow you to save on your flight, but also an important requirement for obtaining a visa.
Please note that there are many tourists in the country during the off-season, so prices are high and flights are limited. The average cost of a flight from Moscow to Tokyo is $500, and for the Kyiv-Tokyo route you will have to pay $600-800. To buy cheap air tickets, you can use promotions and sales, and flights with transfers will cost a little lower.
Renting a house in Japan is expensive. The most famous options:
- ryokans, where you can fully immerse yourself in the unforgettable atmosphere of Japan;
- rented apartments, which are profitable to order for a group of 4-5 people;
- business hotel, cheap option, where you get everything you need in a small area;
- capsule hotel – suitable for those who want to save a lot, looking for new experiences.
How to get around Japan
The Japanese love to travel by train. This way of travel will also be convenient for tourists, especially if you have decided on interesting places to visit in Japan (for example, from Tokyo to Kyoto, Osaka). Bus rides are cheaper. It is recommended to use this type of transport for transfer from the airport to the boundaries of the desired city. You can travel around the city by metro and trains.
High-speed trains (shinkansen) are comfortable, but expensive. We recommend ordering a special JR-Pass before flying abroad. It is customary to pre-book all tickets here, but if you want to use the services of a carrier at the last minute, there are special carriages without seat reservations.
Food and restaurants: how much do they cost?
Traditional food on the island is very different from the usual dishes, for example, which can be found in Italian or Belgian cuisine. There is rich and varied food for every taste – from the familiar sushi to onigiri and takoyaki (rice or octopus balls). We advise you to try fried eel, marbled beef, omurice (special omelet), and for dessert – mochi.
Food prices in Japan are loyal, if you wish, you can choose a place for lunch for any pocket: restaurants and cafes, street eateries and buy ready-made food (bento) in supermarkets. If you are accustomed to high service and beautiful presentation of dishes – go to large restaurants, if you want to get to know local delicacies better – do not hesitate to visit small cozy establishments.
What to see in Japan
If you know English and like to travel to foreign cities on your own, you can choose original destinations in Japan where to go, what to see besides the capital. Osaka is another best option for starting a trip around the country, where you should definitely visit the samurai castle. Next – Kyoto – the center of cultural life in Japan. Here we propose to set aside an evening for a trip to an amazing Japanese performance. Choose entertainment and excursions to your taste: from a visit to ancient temples and palaces to tours to islands with hot springs.
Sapporo and Hokkaido
Sapporo is a quiet and peaceful place where to go to Japan with children. This is the main city of Hokkaido, which is always ready to give tourists interesting ideas for recreation: in February they hold the Snow Festival, create sculptures from ice, with the advent of warm weather they hold a lilac festival, and in the fall another holiday is “white illumination”.
Tokyo and Honshu
A large metropolis can turn the head of even an experienced tourist, so outline for yourself the areas that are really worth seeing first of all in Tokyo:
- Ueno (there is a zoo, museums).
- Shinjuku (business district with skyscrapers).
- Asakusa (you will find an abundance of souvenirs).
- Ahibara (video game fans will love it)
- Shibuya (shopaholic paradise).
We recommend a trip to the island of Honshu and climb to the top of Mount Fuji – the undeniable symbol of Japan. And if you are not confident in your abilities, enjoy the beautiful views of the volcanic giant from the 5 lakes region.
Kyushu and Shikoku
Relax your soul and body come to the islands of Kyushu and Shikoku. The first one suggests going to the “underworld”, where geysers are seething at every step, and clouds of steam rise from boiling springs. Unusual spa treatments await you here: swimming in pools with a temperature of +80 °C, burying yourself in healing sand.
On Shikoku, we recommend visiting a park, a museum-village, where you can see all the features of the country’s traditions, go for a walk in the caves, and swim on the beach.
Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands
The Ryukyu archipelago and the island of Okinawa are the most favorite among the Japanese and tourists who want to spend their holidays on the beach by the warm sea. There is everything for a real escape from civilization: quiet beaches, palm groves, colorful fish scurrying in the clear waters near the shore. You will also be surprised by buffalo rides, jungle trekking and whale sharks at arm’s length.
What to bring from Japan
Souvenirs from Japan are often brought “delicious”: treats, sweets and drinks. It is also profitable to buy Japanese cosmetics here. For lovers of gadgets, purchases in Japan are obvious (phones, tablets, cameras), because the equipment here is inexpensive. Attention: in many shopping centers the cost is indicated without tax.