Tips for Your First Trip to Japan



Photo by Elisha Terada on Unsplash

Japan is a magnificent country that is filled with stunning landscapes, historic sites, shopping centres and delicious eateries. It is made up of 6,852 different islands that vary in shape and size, and is home to 108 active volcanoes. There are four main islands in the archipelago, each of which is home to vibrant cities, cultural scenes, beautiful gardens and ancient temples, as well as many other attractions.

There are thousands of cities in the archipelago, with the main ones being Tokyo, Osaka, Hiroshima, Sapporo and Kyoto. This makes it very difficult for first time visitors to decide where exactly to go. There are a few other factors to consider before boarding a plane and starting your Japan vacation. Here are a few tips for your first trip to Japan.

Where to Go

Photo credit: Pedro Szekely on Flickr

With so many magnificent places to see, it is very hard to decide where to go and what to see on your Japan vacation. The first thing to consider is what you are interested in. If you love to visit historic sites, then travel to the ancient city of Kyoto, which is home to 17 different UNESCO World Heritage sites that are known as the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto. If you love the mountains and outdoors, climb to the summit of Mount Fuji, hike Mount Aso or explore the Shikotsu-Tōya National Park. City slickers will want to head to the massive metropolis of Tokyo, while those seeking beaches will find the Yaeyama Islands to be spectacular.

When to Visit

Photo credit: Yoshikazu TAKADA on Flickr

Japan has four seasons, each of which has something completely different to offer. What time of the year you visit will play a big role in where you go and what you do.  The spring is the most popular time of the year, as this is when the stunning cherry blossoms are in bloom. There are a plethora of places throughout the archipelago to see these beautiful trees, although according to the Kyuhoshi Travel & Culture Guide, Mount Yoshino is by far the best. If you are a skier, your winter holiday should include skiing at the Niseko Mt. Resort Grand Hirafu or staring at ice sculptures at the Sapporo Snow Festival.

Getting Around

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Japan happens to have one of the best transport systems in the world, making it easy to get from one destination to the next. This means that you can really get a feeling for what the country is all about by travelling to different regions. A great way to do this is by purchasing a Japan Rail Pass and enjoying the magnificent scenery while traversing by train. Flying is another way to get from destination to destination, though it is not the cheapest. Still, if time is a concern, it is fast and efficient. It is also possible to get around by bus, which is the cheapest, albeit slowest form of transportation.

For more tips to help you plan your first trip to Japan, visit the Japan National Tourism site or check out Kyushosi’s list of Japan Travel Resources.


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