Last Updated on August 31, 2023 by Ezra Matiasi

Starting a journey to Japan means you’ll have an adventure full of amazing culture and exciting experiences.

This captivating country is famous for its rich history and stunning places to visit. It invites travellers to learn about its past, see famous places, and enjoy its delicious food.

From Tokyo’s busy city life to the peaceful temples and beautiful cherry blossoms in spring, Japan has something special for everyone.

To have the best time in this magical place, it’s important to know some important things.

This guide will help you understand five important parts of your trip, making sure your visit to Japan is memorable, smooth, and wonderful.

Key points

  1. Research the Destination: Explore cultural attractions, like temples and cherry blossoms, and enjoy Tokyo’s urban life.
  2. Check Visa Requirements: Most travelers need a visa; prepare documents for the appropriate type.
  3. Book Flights and Accommodation: Compare flights, consider different accommodations, and factor in location and budget.
  4. Learn Basic Phrases: Learn basic Japanese phrases for better communication and cultural respect.
  5. Learn About Climate: Japan has four seasons with diverse weather; pack accordingly and be prepared for changes.

Research the destination

Japan is a beautiful country with a rich culture and many interesting attractions.

Don’t miss the temples and shrines where you can learn about Japanese history and religion. 

Cherry blossoms in spring are another popular attraction, and you can sample Japanese cuisine, which is known for its variety and delicacy. 

Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is a bustling city with plenty of shopping and entertainment options.

Here are a few helpful Facts about Japan:

  • Location: Japan is an island country located in East Asia. It is made up of four main islands (Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku) and over 6,800 smaller islands.
  • Population: As of 2022, the population of Japan is around 125 million people.
  • Language: The official language of Japan is Japanese. English is also widely spoken in major tourist areas.
  • Culture: Japan has a rich culture with a long history. Some of the country’s cultural highlights include its temples and shrines, traditional arts and crafts, and unique festivals and events.

    Japanese culture is also known for its emphasis on politeness, respect, and honour.
  • Economy: Japan is a leading global economic power and is known for its advanced technology, manufacturing, and services industries.
  • Climate: Japan has a humid subtropical climate with four distinct seasons.

    The weather can vary greatly depending on the region, but generally, the country experiences hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters.

Check the Visa requirements

Most foreign travellers need a visa to enter Japan. The type of visa you need depends on the purpose of your trip and the length of your stay. 

Common types of visas in Japan include:

  • Tourist Visa 
  • Business Visa 
  • Student Visa 
  • Work Visa

To apply for a visa, you must submit the necessary documents and information to the Japanese embassy or consulate in your home country. 

Necessary documents for Visa application usually include: 

  • Passports: You will need to submit your valid passport, which must be valid for at least six months after your intended date of departure from Japan.

    Make sure your passport has at least two blank pages for the visa.
  • Visa application forms: You must complete a visa application form available at the Japanese embassy or consulate in your home country. 

    Please fill out the form correctly and completely. You may also need to include a statement explaining the purpose of your visit, your travel plans and your proposed accommodation.
  • Photograph: You must submit a recent passport photo that meets the required specifications.

    The image must be taken against a plain white background with the head facing the camera with the head centered.
  • Other Documents: Depending on the type of visa you are applying for, you may be required to submit additional documents. 

    For example, when applying for a tourist visa, you may need to submit an itinerary and an invitation letter from your Japanese host. 

    When applying for a work visa, you may be asked to submit a letter of invitation from a Japanese company and a certificate of employment.

    Check with your embassy or consulate for the specific documents required for your visa type.

    Visas can take several weeks to be issued, so it is important to allow sufficient time for visa processing. 

    Make sure you have all the required documents and information to avoid delays and refusals.

Book your flights and accommodation

Flights to Japan can be booked through travel agents or online through websites such as Expedia and Kayak. 

We recommend comparing prices and options from different airlines and booking flights as early as possible to get the best deals.

When it comes to accommodation, there are many options including: 

  • Hotels 
  • Ryokan (traditional Japanese inns) 
  • Hostels 
  • Vacation Rentals

Hotels range from luxurious to affordable, with international chains and local Japanese hotels to choose from. 

Ryokans are traditional Japanese inns that offer a unique cultural experience, with tatami rooms, shared bathrooms, and traditional cuisine. 

Hostels are a budget option and you can choose from private or shared rooms.

Private lodgings like Airbnb are also popular options in Japan.

Consider your budget and preferences when booking transportation and accommodation.

You can also consider the location of your accommodation for activities and attractions.

Learn some basic phrases in the local language

While English is widely spoken in major tourist areas in Japan, it’s always helpful to know some basic phrases in Japanese. 

Greetings, such as “hello” (konnichiwa) and “thank you” (arigatou gozaimasu) are always appreciated, and you can also learn phrases related to transportation, food, and shopping to make your trip easier. 

Here is a list of 10 Japanese useful phrases to know:

  1. “Do you speak English?” (Eigo o hanasemasu ka?)
  2. “I’m sorry, I don’t speak Japanese.” (Sumimasen, Nihongo wa hanasemasen.)
  3. “Where is the nearest train station?” (Mottomo chikai eki wa doko desu ka?)
  4. “How much does it cost?” (Ikura desu ka?)
  5. “Where is the restroom?” (Toire wa doko desu ka?)
  6. “I would like to order (dish) please.” (Watashi wa (dish) o chuumon shite moraemasu.)
  7. May I borrow this pen? ( Kono pen, ii desu ka? )
  8. Could you tell me (Chotto oshiete kudasai)
  9. I cannot eat raw food (Nama mono wa chotto)
  10.  Excuse me (Chotto ii desu ka?)

Learning some basic phrases in Japanese will not only help you communicate with locals, but it will also show your respect and appreciation for Japanese culture.

Learn about the destination`s weather and climate

Japan has four seasons, each with its own charm. Here you can find detailed information about the individual seasons.


Spring is the best time to see cherry blossoms, which bloom from late March to early April.

The cherry blossom season, or sakura season, is a popular time to visit Japan, with many tourists coming to see the beautiful pink and white flowers.

Spring weather is generally mild and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from the mid-50s Fahrenheit. Mid 60’s (about 10-20 degrees Celsius).


Summer is the busiest and most expensive season in Japan, but it also has the most festivals and outdoor events. 

The climate is hot and humid, with temperatures in the mid-70s to low-90s Fahrenheit (approximately 25-35 degrees Celsius).

It is important to stay hydrated and wear light, breathable clothing.


From late October to early November, the leaves change colour, and autumn is the best time to see them. 

The weather is generally mild and pleasant, with temperatures in the mid-60s to mid-70s Fahrenheit (about 20-25 degrees Celsius).


Winters in Japan are cold, with temperatures in the mid-30s to mid-40s Fahrenheit (about 0-10 degrees Celsius). 

It’s the perfect time to admire snow-capped peaks and enjoy winter sports like skiing and snowboarding.

Please prepare warm clothes and equipment such as coats, gloves, and hats.

It’s important to pack weather-appropriate clothing and gear and be prepared for unexpected weather. 

Japan is known for its sudden changes in weather, so it’s a good idea to bring layers that you can add or remove as needed.

Make a list of must-see attractions in Japan

Japan has many interesting attractions to visit, and it can be overwhelming to decide what to see and do. 

Here are a few top attractions to consider when planning your trip:

Temples and shrines of Kyoto: 

Kyoto is known for its beautiful temples and shrines, such as the Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji), the Silver Pavilion (Ginkakuji), and the Fushimi Inari Shrine.

These historical sites offer a glimpse into Japan’s rich culture and history.

The bustling city of Tokyo: 

Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is a bustling city with many attractions, such as the Tokyo Tower, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, and the Tokyo Skytree.

The city is also known for its shopping and dining options, including the famous fish market, Tsukiji.

Natural beauty of Hokkaido: 

Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan, is known for its natural beauty, including Mount Asahi, the Hokkaido Shrine, and the Shikotsu-Toya National Park.

The island is also home to many hot springs and ski resorts.

Beaches of Okinawa: 

Okinawa, a tropical island located in the southern part of Japan, is known for its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters.

Some popular beaches to visit include the Emerald Beach and the Moon Beach.

These are just a few of the many attractions Japan has to offer.

Make a list of the attractions you want to see and plan your itinerary accordingly. 

You can also consider purchasing a Japan Rail Pass, which allows you to travel on most trains in Japan and can save you money on transportation costs.

Pack wisely

Japan has strict baggage allowances on trains and buses, so it’s important to pack smart. 

Bring essentials such as a valid passport, travel documents and medicines, and dress appropriately for the climate and culture of your destination.

Japan is a country with a strict dress code, so avoid clothes with offensive or revealing designs.

Consider your budget

It is important to set a budget for your trip to Japan and allocate your funds accordingly. As you budget for your trip, keep the following in mind:


Flight prices to Japan vary depending on departure city, time of year, and advance reservation period.

We recommend comparing prices and options from different airlines and booking flights as early as possible to get the best deals.


The cost of accommodation in Japan depends on the type and location of accommodation you choose.

Hotels, ryokan (traditional Japanese inns), hostels and vacation rentals are all available options. Consider your budget and preferences when booking accommodation.


Transportation costs in Japan can add up, especially when travelling to multiple cities. Consider purchasing a Japan Rail Pass.

This allows you to use most trains in Japan and save on transportation costs.


The cost of dining in Japan depends on where you eat and what you order.

Eating out at a restaurant or fast food chain is cheaper than eating out at a fancy restaurant. Stalls and vending machines are also cheap and convenient.


The cost of things to do in Japan depends on what you want to do.

Some activities, such as visits to temples and shrines, are free, while others, such as guided tours and visits to theme parks, are paid.


Prices for Souvenirs in Japan vary depending on what you buy and where you buy it.

Souvenir shops in tourist areas tend to be more expensive than local markets and shops. 

Japan can be an expensive travel destination, so it’s important to budget carefully and allocate your funds accordingly.

Respect local customs

Japan has a rich culture with its own customs and traditions, and it is important to show respect and understanding when visiting Japan. Here are some habits to remember:

Take off your shoes:

In Japan, it is customary to remove your shoes before entering a house or temple. At the entrance, you will see a set of slippers or shoes.

Please take off your shoes and change into the provided slippers. Be sure to take off your shoes before entering a house or room with tatami mats.

Wear appropriate clothing:

When visiting shrines and temples, it is important to wear clothing that covers your shoulders and legs. Avoid wearing clothing with offensive or graphic designs.

No Tipping:

Tipping is not customary in Japan and is generally not expected in restaurants and hotels.

By learning and respecting these customs, you can experience a more authentic and enjoyable trip to Japan.

Stay healthy and safe

To ensure the safety and health of your trip to Japan, it is important to take the necessary precautions. 

Research your destination’s security issues and follow basic security principles, such as leaving your belongings unattended and keeping an eye on your surroundings. 

You should also buy emergency travel insurance and register with the embassy if you are staying in Japan for a long time. 

Also, make sure you bring emergency contact details, such as the police phone number and the phone number of your embassy or consulate. 

In the event of a natural disaster, such as an earthquake or hurricane, follow local government instructions and stay informed through local news sources. 

In terms of health, look for necessary vaccines and follow basic health guidelines, such as drinking bottled water, avoiding undercooked foods, and washing your hands often.

 If you are sick, you can go to a pharmacy or see a doctor at a hospital or clinic. Japan has a good healthcare system and most hospitals and clinics have English-speaking staff.

If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, be sure to bring all necessary medications and let your healthcare provider know.

You should also bring basic first aid supplies, such as bandages and over-the-counter pain relievers.

Stay connected

If you plan to use your phone while travelling in Japan, make sure it’s compatible with Japan’s mobile network. 

Japan uses 3G, 4G and 5G networks, and your phone must be able to connect to one of these networks to work.

If your phone is not compatible, you will need to purchase a SIM card or a portable Wi-Fi device to connect to the Internet.

SIM card and Wi-Fi

If you’re buying a SIM card or portable Wi-Fi device, there are several options for you to choose from. 

SIM cards can be purchased at the airport or at your local electronics store, and they can be used with compatible phones you already own. 

Portable Wi-Fi devices are also available to rent or purchase, and they can connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi. 

This can be a useful option if you don’t have a phone compatible with Japanese mobile networks. or if you want to connect multiple devices to the Internet.

Setting Up

When setting up your cell phone or portable Wi-Fi device, make sure to choose the plan that suits your needs. 

There are different options available, such as a prepaid or prepaid plan, or a monthly plan with a data allowance.

Consider how much data you’ll need, how long you’ll be in Japan, and your budget when choosing a plan.

Stay In Touch with loved ones

In addition to staying connected via phone or internet, you should also let friends and family back home know where you’re going and how to contact you in the event of an emergency. 

It can bring peace of mind to you and your loved ones, and it can also be helpful in case you need to change your plans.


Embarking on a journey to Japan opens the door to a world of cultural immersion and captivating moments.

With its rich history, iconic landmarks, and culinary delights, Japan offers a diverse tapestry of experiences that cater to all types of travellers.

From the dynamic energy of Tokyo to the tranquil beauty of ancient temples and the ephemeral charm of cherry blossoms, the country presents an array of wonders waiting to be explored.

By arming yourself with essential knowledge – from visa essentials to language basics and weather considerations – you pave the way for a seamless and enriching adventure.

As you set out to create lasting memories in this enchanting land, may these insights guide you towards a Japanese journey that is truly unforgettable.

About the Author

Ezra Matiasi

Head Content Writer

Hello! My name is Ezra Matiasi, and I'm the enthusiastic mind behind Travello, a captivating travel blog that takes you on remarkable journeys around the world. With a passion for exploration and a love for sharing captivating stories, I curate the best travel experiences, hidden gems, and breathtaking landscapes. Through vivid descriptions and captivating photographs, Travello aims to inspire wanderlust and help fellow travelers make the most of their adventures. Join me as we embark on exciting virtual voyages and discover the wonders our beautiful planet has to offer. Let's explore the world together, one adventure at a time!

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