ad | Traveling or going on holiday anywhere in the world requires planning and organization. But when it’s a big trip – perhaps even a once in a lifetime trip – you want to make sure everything is planned so that you don’t encounter any nasty surprises that ruins it.
If you’re in the UK, like me and enjoy a UK staycation, it doesn’t really matter where you go, it’s unlikely that you’ll be faced with a complete disaster. Everyone you encounter will speak English and you’ll be able to navigate any metaphorical (or literal) bumps in the road.
If you’re traveling to Europe – Spain, Paris or Austria for example – most people will speak English (although it never hurts to learn a new language!) and with fairly similar customs to the UK, you should be able to get yourself out of any sticky situations.
But when you’re planning a trip somewhere like Japan, an ultra-busy metropolis of streets, cars and people, a place with entirely different customs to your own, I think it’s even more important to be even more organized.
For most people, visiting Japan will be the trip of a lifetime and possibly only something you’ll do once – maybe twice if you’re lucky – so you definitely want to try and limit the amount of opportunities for something to go wrong.
Here are some basic but important travel tips to help you prepare for your trip to Japan:
Get a Japan sim card for your phone
Navigating your way around the city will be an important part of your trip, as well as keeping important numbers on hand like your hotel or perhaps a tour guide. But we all know how fickle phones can be sometimes.
Investing in Japan SIM Cards can be a useful thing to do before you embark on your adventure, as they offer a variety of options to suit each traveller’s needs. With no contracts to abide by and English customer service support on hand, it’s a no brainer really!
You can also get Japan eSims which provide you with a data only sim of varying GB’s and length, with ultra-fast data speeds, so you can keep updating your Instagram followers with ease throughout your journey.
Mobal SIM also donates the majority of it’s profits to charity so, as they say, you don’t just get to travel the world but you can make it a better place too.
Consider the time of year to visit
Of course this depends on personal preference and your own situation but like most places, it’s important to consider when you want to go and what you actually want to get out of your trip.
December is a good time to visit the cities as it’s also ski season, so lots of people will be at the slopes. If you’re not planning on going skiing, then make use of this time to explore the cities. But avoid New Year if you don’t like crowds.
Spring is obviously a super popular time in Japan due to the cherry blossoms but places like Kyoto where the cherry blossoms are most famous can be overwhelmingly busy. Summer in Tokyo can expect around 25-29 degrees, whereas Winter will be around the 10 mark.
Create a packing list
Your trip to Japan will unlikely have you packing light but of course the more planning you do beforehand, the easier it will be to pack what you need – and leave what you don’t.
First, consider the weather. If it’s monsoon season, appropriate clothing for downpours is vital. If you’re planning to climb Mt Fuji, then forgetting your hiking gear is a bit of a disaster!
Important things like the correct charging cables and power adaptors are something else to ensure you have on your list too.
Learn some basic language and cultural do’s and don’ts
As an English-speaker, I think it’s respectful to learn some basic language of whichever country you visit. Hello, goodbye, please and thank you at a minimum, with perhaps some basic phrases thrown in there too. Japan is no different.
Japanese are some of the most friendly and respectful people in the world, so behaving like a rowdy tourist on a stag party isn’t going to go down well. If that’s what you’re expecting on your trip to Japan, I’d suggest choosing somewhere else.
Learn correct use of chopsticks, how to act around Geisha, what not to do on public transport and some other basic bits of etiquette and you should be good to go.
Be prepared to step outside of your comfort zone
Japan is unlike anywhere else, with so much to see and do and experience. But it’s definitely important to remember that it’s going to be a different holiday to anything you’ve done before.
Be prepared to step outside of your comfort zone and definitely consider traveling off the beaten path and ensuring you take the time to do some traditional Japanese activities on your trip, rather than sticking to everything modern.
There is so much more to consider when planning your trip to Japan and these are only 5 super basic tips to get you started.
Japan does require a lot of planning before and during but it will definitely be worth it. The more you plan and research, the better. And the more you’ll get out of your trip.