If we were to meet a traveller who did not enjoy their time in Japan, we would be left gobsmacked and stupefied.
For us, The Land of the Rising Sun ticks all our traveller itches. Adrenaline rush thrills shredding the slopes in Hakuba or Nisekko, satisfying savoury feeds in bowls of hot ramen or soba and ancient traditions steeped in its long history.
With one of the lowest crime rates in the world, Japan is the place where you’ll feel safe wandering the city streets for late night specialties, basking in the glow of neon lights before a Shinkansen whisks you away the next day to the peaceful bamboo grove of Arashiyama. And where else do you have the chance to bathe in mountain onsens with snow monkeys, experience the beauty of cherry blossoms during sakura or watch an over-the-top robot light show?
Efficiency, cleanliness and politeness are core pillars of Japanese culture and hospitality. You’ll encounter these elements everywhere you go in Japan so ensure you return the goodwill and be on your best behaviour.
We’d recommend polishing those chopstick skills because you will literally eat your weight in Japanese cuisine. Make sure to bring your appetite because other than sushi and katsu curry, there are plenty must-try Japanese foods that will more than satisfy your umami cravings.
Immerse yourself in the country’s traditional ways by booking a night at a ryokan, bathing in an onsen or purchasing a ticket to watch a sumo wrestling tournament. And then throw yourself into the modern world where you can let your hair down with a Mario Kart race, throw back sake in a speakeasy bar or book a karaoke session with your mates.
Japan is a country that has stolen our hearts and when you visit, we have no doubt that it will steal yours too.
Top Experiences In Japan
1. Visit temples & shrines in Kyoto
Kyoto is home to many formal traditions, historic temples and shrines. The cultural capital of Japan is famous for the thousands of torii gates leading to the Fushimi Inari Shrine.
2. Watch a sumo wrestling match
The origins of Japan’s national sport can be traced back to the 8th century. Catch the revered sumo wrestlers in action in Ryōgoku, Tokyo in January, May and September.
3. Gorge on fresh sushi
Don’t try to order a chicken and avocado sushi roll in Japan; they don’t exist. But once you eat sushi in Japan, we believe you won’t want to eat it anywhere else in the world!
4. Take a walk on Shibuya Crossing
The world’s busiest pedestrian, scramble crossing is an iconic neon-lit symbol of Tokyo. Go at dusk as the neon lights brighten the sky and to watch Tokyoites head home from work or out to dinner in Shibuya.
5. Get naked in an onsen
There are more than 2,000 onsen in Japan providing plenty of opportunity for you to soak your muscles in the hot, thermal water. Nudity is non-negotiable.
Before You Go To Japan...
Between the two of us, we’ve visited Japan five times and we would happily return in a heartbeat. History, culture, food, design – these are all elements which make us giddy with excitement. If you’re planning on visiting Japan, it’s likely you’ll spend some time in the capital, Tokyo. Take a read of our Japan blog posts to help you map out your itinerary.
Planning Your Trip To Japan
What is the official language of Japan? What is the currency in Japan? What is the best way to travel around Japan? Here’s a quick snapshot to help plan your trip to Japan.
Japanese Yen (¥)
Free wi-fi in major cities
Bullet trains, regional trains, metro, buses, taxis, bicycle
Japan operates on a 100V supply voltage and 50/60 Hz. Plug types A and B.
Best Time To Go To Japan
Japan’s diverse landscapes make it an attractive destination all year round. Winter attracts snow lovers to the north to carve up the slopes whilst spring time draws crowds for the postcard-pretty cherry blossom (“sakura”) season.
March – May (Spring) and September – November (Autumn). Spring is cherry blossom season which brings visitors in droves. The climate is moderate in autumn but this is also typhoon season.
June – August. Summer in Japan can be rather overcast and rainy; some days will be hot and humid. Many areas will become crowded in August with families taking summer holidays.
December – February. Japan’s winter means many tourist spots are not as crowded with the exception of the ski towns which fill up with locals and international visitors.
Sound Like A Local
Some basic Japanese phrases that will be useful to you when you travel in Japan.
YES / NO
hai / bangō
ONE, TWO, THREE
ichi, ni, san