Everything You Need to Know Before Traveling to Japan

Planning a trip to Japan? You’re reading the right article.

Before you embark on your trip, it’s important to be well-prepared to make the most of your time in this enchanting country. In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know before traveling to Japan, from visa requirements to transportation, cultural etiquette, and more. Let’s dive in!

Visa Requirements

Before your trip, check the visa requirements for your nationality. Many countries have visa exemption agreements with Japan for short-term visits (typically up to 90 days). Ensure that your passport is valid for the entire duration of your stay.

Best Time to Visit

Japan’s diverse climate offers unique experiences throughout the year. Spring (March to May) is famous for cherry blossoms, while autumn (September to November) showcases vibrant fall foliage. However, each season has its own charm, so consider your preferences and plan accordingly.

Language and Communication

While English signage and translations are common in tourist areas, it’s beneficial to learn a few basic Japanese phrases. Carry a pocket phrasebook or use translation apps to ease communication. Politeness is highly valued in Japanese culture, so mastering simple greetings and expressions will go a long way.


Japan’s efficient transportation system makes traveling within the country a breeze. The Shinkansen (bullet train) network connects major cities swiftly. Purchase a Japan Rail Pass for unlimited train travel, but note that it must be arranged before your arrival. Local transportation options, such as subways and buses, are readily available in cities.


Choose accommodation based on your preferences and budget. Japan offers a wide range of options, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels and traditional ryokans. Consider staying in a ryokan for an authentic experience of Japanese hospitality.

Currency and Money Matters

The official currency of Japan is the Japanese Yen (JPY). It’s advisable to carry cash, as many small establishments may not accept credit cards. ATMs are widely available, but not all accept international cards. Plan accordingly and exchange currency at airports or designated currency exchange offices.

Cultural Etiquette

Respect for Japanese customs and etiquette is crucial. Learn basic customs, such as removing shoes before entering homes or certain establishments, and bowing as a form of greeting. Familiarize yourself with dining etiquette, such as saying “Itadakimasu” before a meal and not sticking chopsticks vertically in rice.

Local Cuisine

Japanese cuisine is a highlight of any trip. Be open to trying new dishes, from sushi and sashimi to ramen, tempura, and matcha tea. Don’t forget to sample local street food and visit local markets. Keep in mind that slurping noodles is considered a compliment to the chef!

Health and safety

Japan is generally a safe country, but it’s important to take necessary precautions. Carry travel insurance, follow local laws and regulations, and be aware of your surroundings. Japan has excellent healthcare facilities, but it’s advisable to have travel insurance that covers any medical emergencies.

Must-See Attractions

Research and plan your itinerary to make the most of your time in Japan. Visit iconic sites such as Tokyo’s bustling Shibuya Crossing, Kyoto’s serene temples, and the historical city of Hiroshima. Explore traditional neighborhoods like Asakusa and experience the beauty of Mount Fuji or the vibrant nightlife of Osaka.

By familiarising yourself with these essential tips before your trip, you’ll be well-prepared to immerse yourself in Japan’s rich culture, navigate its efficient transportation system, and savor its culinary delights.

Get ready to create lifelong memories in the Land of the Rising Sun!

About Simon Petersen 506 Articles
Travel blogger, journalist, sports and movie fiend. Chronicling the life and times of a Kiwi at home and abroad.