Japan is considered to be one of the most beautiful places to travel in the world. It offers a lot of beautiful natural wonders such as the Yaku Shima Island and the famous Mount Fuji. It also has few of the world’s high-class cities, namely, Tokyo and Osaka. Then, there’s the culture of Japan that surely captivates your heart and soul.
Due to its highly developed overall look, Japan is recognized to be a travel destination that will empty your pockets. What travelers do not know is that there are ways in which you can still enjoy Japan while at the same time not burn a hole in your pockets.
Here are some tips that were formed by a foreigner, who worked in different places, within Japan, for more than a decade.
Practical Tips On Enjoying Traveling In Japan
This is the major necessity for you to travel to Japan. Obviously, without this you can never set foot in the land of the rising sun. There are certain factors that you should consider when buying your plane tickets.
- Don’t travel during peak season. Holiday seasons or any peak season in Japan, or anywhere for that matter, have very expensive rates. The hotel and flight price increases drastically during these times. Especially in Japan, take note of their major holidays. There are actually three: New Year Holidays (from last week of December to First week of January), Golden Week (last week of April to first week of May), and Obon Festival, a three day celebration during mid-August.
- Choose regional or national airlines. Smaller airlines usually offer lower fares compared to high-end airline companies. They even offer promos or discounts depending on the season or circumstances. All airlines are mandated to abide by the standards and regulations when flying, hence, nothing to worry about whether you fly on regional or national airlines (try connecting flights).
MODE OF TRANSPORTATION
Now, that you have finally arrived in Japan. The next thing to consider is the transportation that you will be using for traveling to one destination to another. It is best recommended to use the local public transportation instead of taxis or renting private vehicles. It will be a lot cheaper and can also add to the excitement of trying something new in a new environment.
Trains in Japan are built to provide fast and efficient means of transportation. Japan Railways (JR) travels nationwide passing through to all the major cities. Available also are trains operating in each region of the country. If you plan to stay long in Japan, it would be more practical if you get the Japan Rail Pass. This pass serves as your ticket to an unlimited use of the Japan Railways. The Japan Rail Pass roughly costs around $300.
When touring the country, it is important to have a travel pass that can provide you with convenience and unlimited access to railways and subways. Aside from the commonly used Japan Rail Pass, you also have the Suica and PASMO cards. These cards serve as your electronic money whenever boarding trains, as well as, purchasing goods from convenient stores and fast-food chains. You can buy and reload them at ticket kiosks at all train station.
This comes second as a mean of transportation in highly developed cities like Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Yokohama. Using the bus is not only practical but is also useful when reaching your travel destinations that are located in the rural areas or places, that are away from the cities.
Choosing a place to sleep can be an adventure when in Japan. There is different kinds of sleeping accommodation in Japan, commonly, dormitories, inns and hotels. The price range for accommodation can go anywhere from $20 per person in dormitories to $480 per person at some of the five-star hotels.
- Capsule Hotels – A not-so spacious room with TV and a decent amount of amenities. Usually, has shared bathroom and coin vaults or lockers. Price range is between $30 and $40. It is practical if you are traveling by yourself or with a partner. But, this type of hotel forbids women to stay. Maybe it’s a safety precaution.
- Dormitories – This is a good option for someone who is thrifty when it comes to money. There are more than 300 dormitories in Japan. Price range is between $15 and $40 per person.
- Ryokan – The room imbibes a traditional Japanese style and feel. Occasionally, it includes breakfast and dinner, which gives the traveler an experience of the Japanese lifestyle. Price range is between $60 to $300 per person.
- Minshuku – This is best suitable for family travelers. It also includes one or two meals. The prices vary from location to location and they are dependent on the quality of the room. Usually, it costs from $40 to $100 per person.
- Western style Hotels – This is wherein you get to experience the international and luxurious Japanese hotels. Room rates, during off-peak, can be as low as $40 but you really have to search around. Peak time prices? Well they go can go really high all dependent of the hotel itself.
RESTAURANTS AND FOOD STORES
There are a lot of places you can go to whenever you feel hungry. The best way to savor the experience is to indulge in some Japanese cuisines. Listed below are the most common Japanese Restaurants that were favored by most tourists.
- Specialized Japanese Restaurants – these restaurants offer specialty food. Examples are the Kaitzen-zushi, Ramen-ya and Gyudon-ya. They specialize in sushi, ramen (a Chinese style of noodles) and beef, respectively. Price range is between $50 to $200.
- General Restaurants – these consists of a wider variety of food selection. Examples of which are Izakaya, similar to pubs but also serves grilled food, salads and finger food; Yatai, a moving food stand, usually found in festivals; and family restaurants that provide casual dining experience with Chinese, Western and Japanese cuisines.
- Foreign Restaurants – these are food restaurants specializing in Korean, Chinese, Italian and American food. Burger King, Denny’s and McDonald’s are also found in Japan.
- Convenience Stores – can be found on every corner of Japan. Famous convenience stores such as 7 Eleven and Family Mart are open 24 hours a day, everyday.
Japan is well known for having wonderful and astounding natural wonders, as well as, man-made tourist attractions. Some of which you can even experience for free. Below is a list of places you must visit:
Free Tourist Spots
- Hiroshima Peace Park
- Daishoin Temple, Hiroshima
- Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto
- Kyoto Imperial Palace
- Nishiki Market, Kyoto
- Yoshikien, Nara
- Heijo Palace, Nara
- Nara Park
- Tsukiji Market, Tokyo
- Meiji Shrine, Tokyo
- Sensoji Temple, Tokyo
- Kirin Beer Village, Yokohama
- Yamashita Park
You are now all set to experience the best of Japan while ensuring that your bank or wallet isn’t emptied during your tour.