Think you’re ready for your awaited Japan trip? Take the extra time now to prepare and plan, so you can maximize your time abroad. Wandering through side streets and munching on local delicacies sounds like a lot more fun than worrying about where you are and how to get to your next destination. Here are some travel tips to help you plan your Japan trip. You just need some preparation beforehand to make the getaway a wonderful and memorable one.
Firstly, download the Japan Tourist Map
No ideas on where to go when you are there? Here’s a list of suggestions which you can refer.
In Shibuya/Harajuku, Shinjuku
- Shop around Shibuya Station and see the Tokyo’s most famous pooch “Hachiko” dog statue.
- Visit the Starbucks above the Shibuya Crossing intersection and watch the masses cross the street each time the light changes.
- Meiji Shrine
- Yoyogi Park (Editor’s Recommendation: Check out the maple leaves in the autumn)
- Omoide Yokocho
- Edo-Tokyo Museum(Closed on Mondays)
- Tokyo Sky Tree- It is a new Tokyo Tower that located near Narihira Bridge and Oshiage area alongside the Sumida River. Also, it has Japan`s fastest elevator. It is able to transport all passengers to Tokyo Skytree Tembo Deck 350 meters in 50 seconds!!! (Editor’s Recommendation: Go at Night)
- Sensoji Temple. Sensoji is the oldest temple in Tokyo built in 645, dedicated to the god Kannon. Try getting your fortune told when you are in Japan. Find your fortune with an Omikuji can be great fun as well! (Note: If your fortune is a bad one, you can tie it up the fortune lot into a knot on a rank nearby to let the Gods do the safekeeping.
SECONDLY, get your Japan Rail Pass.
This is very useful if you are going to travel all over Japan, getting the Japan Rail Pass is a no-brainer. You can freely ride all the JR trains and even the bullet trains (only with a few exceptions) and you’ll save tons of money on transport. You can get it online before you head to Japan.
Thirdly, exchange your currency. As Japan is not as VERY credit-card friendly, you could only use your credit card at departmental stores and restaurants. Exchange the currencies at the Narita Airport or even before you depart.
Editor’s Pick for Best Recommendation for better money exchange rates in Singapore
- Sino Money Changer, Yakadir Enterprises, Everpeace Money Changer, and Parkway Money Changer (Located at Parkway Parade)
Address: Parkway Parade 80 Marine Parade Road, Singapore 449269
- Arcade Plaza Traders Pte Ltd, Sheen International Exchange, People’s Corner Money Changer, and Arcade Money Changers
Address: The Arcade, 11 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049317
LAST, CHECK ALL INFORMATION AND DOCUMENTS REQUIRED
To ensure that you have everything ready, these are the little (YET VERY IMPORTANT) things you MUST take note of.
- Visa- Australian, U.K and U.S citizens do not need visas to travel to Japan as part of a tourist trip and can stay up to 90 days in Japan Visa. Ensure that your passport has at least six months validity.
- Insurance. Health costs in Japan are relatively expensive. Therefore, it is best to protect themselves by purchasing suitable health/travel insurance before departure. Also, bring the medicines you need in case of an emergency. But before you bring them, do check if the medicine you are bringing requires the doctor’s note.
- Internet. Ensure that you have internet/ Wi-fi when you are in Japan so that you will be contactable. There are many options Pocket WiFi or Data Sim Card, allowing you access the Internet when you are overseas and at a lower cost.
Apart from all the above mentioned, here’s the editor’s recommendation on what else you can do before the trip-Budgeting. Many say that Japan is an expensive destination for a holiday but I beg to differ. You can book your tickets in advance (6-7 months before the departure date) or go during the off-peak seasons. Another note, the cost of food is very reasonable in Japan.
Not only budgeting, it is advisable to learn some Basic Japanese phrases before going to Japan. The barrier between a language such as English and Japanese is huge. So learn some useful phrases such as basic, polite greetings (Please, Thank you) and basic phrases to ask for directions.
As a clean and civilised, you also have to practice bowing in Japan. A standard bow is appropriate in many situations for travelers, including when you greet or part from someone. The only exception is when you are greeted by a clerk or attendant upon entering a store, as most people pass with a nod of acknowledgment. This is extremely important when offering thanks or apologising for disturbing someone, also when you are asking for directions, be sure to offer this bow of courtesy.