Japan, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, is home to cutting-edge infrastructure mixed with centuries-old customs. Japan is a genuinely extraordinary country that is a feast for the senses, bursting at the seams with crowded cities full of soaring skyscrapers, imperial palaces, thousands of shrines and temples, and mountains national parks that occupy the remaining landmass.
Japan is definitely among the places we must visit—in fact, it ranks among our top 5—because the country’s culture is so distinctive and unlike any other, not to mention all the other things it has to offer. Japan is a country that many people fall in love with right away and has the ability to captivate even the most weary traveler. We’ve put together this guide to make sure you see and do as much as you can to truly experience Japan in its totality in hopes that you will fall in love with it, too.
Japan Quick Information
Electricity Socket: a 100V AC power source. The standard for power outlets is two non-polarized pins. We advise purchasing a universal travel adaptor before you depart so you won’t have to deal with the trouble of needing fresh adaptors for each location you visit.
Visa: Visa-free travel to Japan is permitted for up to 90 days for citizens of 68 designated countries, including those from the European Union, the United States, Australia, Canada, and others. Your passport must be valid for the full period you will be visiting Japan as the only condition. If you are not a citizen of a nation exempt from visa requirements, you must apply for a visa at a Japanese diplomatic mission.
Get more about Tour Japan [ทัวร์ ญี่ปุ่น]
I had to take a flight back to Manila after moving from the Philippines in order to use a third-party service to apply for a Japanese visa. The entire process was very simple because my application was released in just three days.
Safety: Even though Japan is one of the safest countries in the world, there are always risks to be aware of. We felt extremely safe the entire time we were there, even wandering around a lot at night, which is something we often don’t do in a foreign place.
Although Japan has a low crime rate, there have been allegations of foreigners being singled out for petty theft, drink spiking, and credit card fraud in the city’s entertainment districts (Roppongi and Kabuki-cho). Keep your drinks close at hand, keep an eye on your valuables, and make sure you have your I.D. on you at all times.
The NHK World TV app, which is the public broadcaster in Japan and will send emergency notifications in English to this app in the event of an earthquake or tsunami as well as breaking news alerts, is a highly useful safety tool to have while traveling. We always advise purchasing travel insurance, regardless of how secure a nation may be. Due to the wide range of sports and activities that World Nomads offers, we advise using them.
Get more about Tour Japan [ทัวร์ ญี่ปุ่น]
With monthly payments available, Safety Wing is another excellent option for digital nomads.
Language: Japanese is widely spoken in Japan. In tourist regions, especially in light of the forthcoming Olympic games, you will be fine. Public transportation was very well organized and had English translations everywhere when we were there.
In restaurants, menu machines are a typical sight. Since the buttons are mostly all in Japanese, this is when searching for blogs and Google Photos comes in handy. We came into a few of these, however the personnel were always eager to assist us after we provided an image of what we were looking for.
If you’re courageous enough, pick up a book and attempt to learn Japanese since it’s a really challenging language to learn. However, it is important to keep in mind that many Japanese people enjoy hearing and speaking English, so if you speak clearly and slowly when necessary, no one will be offended.
Transportation: In Japan, transportation is incredibly effective. It’s a simple place to move about because everything happens and proceeds as planned. Given the expense of bullet trains (Shinkansen) to and from major cities, transportation can be highly expensive if your journey is not well planned.
We unequivocally advise obtaining a Japan Rail Pass if you intend to travel throughout Japan, stopping at two or more cities. You are allowed unrestricted access to Japan Rail National trains, JR buses, ferries, airport transfers, and bullet trains between major cities with these passes.
Although many individuals are turned off by the train passes’ initial price, they really end up being less expensive than purchasing individual tickets! Due to the several day trips we took, our permits allowed us to save a few hundred dollars.
We purchased a 7-day unlimited rail pass, which we used to go from Tokyo to Kyoto and Osaka in the middle of our journey. Rail passes are ordered in advance, and an exchange order is sent right to your door. To utilize any JR train as soon as you arrive in Japan, all you need to do is activate your plan.
It was a tremendous comfort to be able to board any train without worrying about the price in advance, and we ultimately ended up saving a ton of money!