Official Name: Japan
Location: East Asia – an Island nation east of the Asian continent.
Population of Japan: ~ 125 million
Capital of Japan: Tokyo
Japanese Money: Japanese Yen (¥)
Japenese Timezone: UTC +9
Visa Requirements for Japane: Many nationalities do not need a visa to enter Japan for tourist purposes. However, you do have to fill out a health declaration at the moment. You can check your eligibility for visa-free travel and the latest requirements for entry HERE. And if you do need a visa, there are links to the nearest embassies.
Things to Do and See in Japan
Our Experiences in Japan
We spent 5 weeks in Japan in November-December 2010. Like our experience in South Korea, we had many of our host students who had stayed with us in Australia while studying English to act as our local guides. We even got to stay with a few and their families. This gave us a much deeper insight into the culture than we would have normally had.
We started in Tokyo for 10 days, then went to Nagoya, Inuyama, Shizuoka, the Izu Peninsula, Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Fukuoka, and then took a flight to Ishigaki, one of the southernmost islands in Okinawa.
We traveled by sleeper bus, bullet train, and slow train and took a couple of flights. We stayed in hostels, traditional Ryokans, a few hotels, some family homes, and a five-star onsen (courtesy of one of our student’s parents.
While Japan is famous for being expensive, we didn’t think it was too bad. We saved heaps by eating traditional street food and buying ready-made meals from the supermarkets (which are quite excellent!)
Beer is pretty cheap, and we did most of our sightseeing on foot or by public transport.
Even though we had 5 weeks, we didn’t see anywhere near all of the highlights. So the country is on our list of “must visit again” destinations.
Once again, I didn’t write up the journal back them, but you can find our favorite pictures with an explanation below.
- Izu Peninsula
Guided Tours of Japan
Japan is very easy and safe to get around independently. BUT, it is quite big and diverse, so you need to either have the time or limit the number of destinations you want to visit. If you’d rather leave the planning and logistics to someone else, then there are plenty of tour options to consider. You can either arrange your own transport between destinations and take short excursions, or incorporate all the highlights into one or more longer tours.
Short Tours (1-2 days)
Get Your Guide has over hundreds of offers for popular activities throughout japan. From snorkelling tours in okinow to distillery tours in Sapporo. Take a look HERE.
Viator has almost 4500 offerings. So if you can’t find something you like there, I don’t think you are really trying. You can check them all out HERE
Urban Adventures has city tours in Tokyo and Kyoto and Osaka.
Intrepid Travel has a dozen pretty cool tours with everything from short highlights, and cycling tours, to a 24-day grand adventure. The thing I like about Intrepid’s range is they cater to all comfort levels. From the basix tours for those with a smaller budget, right through to Premium comfort levels. You can check them all out HERE
GAdventures has a pretty good selection too. You can check their tours out HERE
Tour Radar – Has literally hundreds of reasonably priced ways to explore the different areas of Japan including cycling, hiking, premium onsen tours, and National Geographic Tours!
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