Of all the trips I have made, a trip that requires more precise planning is undoubtedly a recent 18-day trip to Japan. First, because the choice of schedule is almost unlimited and difficult choices must be made; therefore it is recommended to book accommodation in advance (therefore, it is necessary to determine the itinerary). It is precisely at these points – and others – that I want to discuss in this post, to help you plan your trip to Japan and waste less time searching for information.
Planning a trip to Japan: Where to start
1. Decide when to go to Japan
First of all, know that Japan has four clear seasons throughout the year, each with its characteristics, advantages and disadvantages. If you have this flexibility, you must adjust the time of year according to the destination to visit and / or the activity you want to witness. I chose to travel in the winter and I did not regret it, even though there were things I wanted to do or see if I traveled at other times of the year. That is, when I return to Japan, I might do it in the spring or fall, still trying to escape from the peak of tourism because of events such as sakura or koyo.
Of course, some activities have a special time to consider when deciding when to visit Japan:
– If you intend to climb Mount Fuji, you must do this between July 1 and August 31;
– To watch sakura in Japan (cherry blossom shows), April is theoretically the best month;
– For the same famous koyo (see the colors of autumn leaves), plan a trip at the end of September or October;
2. How to set a schedule
One of the main difficulties I felt when planning a trip to Japan was the itinerary. There are so many choices that, because of limited time, are inevitable to leave things that are very interesting.
In my case, I finally cut the snow monkey and on the way to Mount Koya – the decision that, to this day, I don’t know whether it was the best. Use this example to emphasize that you will always leave everything behind. Think of yourself. Of course, you have to prepare Japanese currency once you got your schedule.
3. Japan Rail Pass: Calculate whether it’s feasible
Transportation in Japan is expensive. Traveling from Shinkansen, the Japanese bullet train, is a good experience, but trips between Tokyo and Kyoto in the Shinkansen can be worth 13,080 yen (more than $ 100), so it is necessary to carefully consider travel and costs. And here is the Japan Rail Pass, one of the main reasons why it’s very important to set a road map and do calculations.
Tickets are only sold overseas (you cannot buy a Japan Rail Pass in Japan) and allow you to use many trains (not all) in Japan for 7, 14 or 21 days. It’s expensive, but you can still save a lot of money. But you might end up spending more than buying an individual trip!
4. Accommodation (order in advance)
Japan is undoubtedly one of the countries where it is necessary to look for hotels to be exhausted in an effort to reduce travel budgets. On my way to Japan, as soon as I got the script, I finally booked all the accommodations in advance.
5. What is the cost of travel in Japan?
This is a “multimillion-dollar question” and, of course, it doesn’t have a simple answer. We have all heard that Japan is a very expensive tourist destination, as we have heard from someone who visited it that Japan can be a relatively accessible country. It all depends on choice, of course, but it won’t be as cheap as India. But based on rough estimates, you should prepare 50 thousand dollars.