It’s either you’ll run out of money and other resources, or you’re heading for other chaos and trouble when you fail to plan your trip. Worse, you might violate some legal requirements for foreigners traveling to Japan. Scary, right? But you can do something to avoid these hassles.
So, before you get too excited to choose among the offers of the best Japanese tours and book one for yourself, calm down first. Plan. Calculate the expenses.
Here are also some useful tips to remember so you can make the most of your Japan adventure:
- Secure Legal Documents Earlier
For US citizens, visa is not required to enter Japan for short-term stay of up to 90 days. However, visa exemption does not include trips that involve activities such as attending depositions, and media related activities.
So, for US citizens traveling to Japan as tourists, you are only required to have a valid passport as well as a roundtrip ticket to show as a proof that you won’t be illegally exceeding your 90-day period of staying in the country.
On the other hand, if you are a citizen of another country, you may be required to get a visa before you can travel to Japan. Applying for visa involves submitting several documents and other requirements. You know that applying and getting approved for visa might take some time in some cases so process it as early as possible. You wouldn’t wish for additional stress doing last-minute errands, especially for this one!
- Plan your Destination Bucket List
First-time travelers might fall on that usual mistake of last-minute itinerary planning once they’ve already arrived in their destination. As a result, they’re left standing there wondering where they’d want to go next and randomly picking attractions and activities to do. That’s a waste of time! Just taking that long pauses to decide where to go, how to get there, how much it would cost you, or what to do can take some minutes or some hours you could’ve used to go to the places you really want to visit or do the activities you’ve planned beforehand. At times, they go home regretting they’ve not visited that museum they’ve once wished to visit because they forgot. Why? They planned late!
So, plan early before booking your trip. Make a schedule. Write a list of things you really want to do, the places you’d love to visit, and the local cuisines you wish to try. Research how much each of these items would cost you. Then, write your allotted budget for each activity and destination. You can also read this list of top things to do in Japan.
Tell you what, the ultra-organized travelers even jot down the kind of photos they want to make and the poses they’ll do for each! And oh, they plan their outfit, too. You know, things like our Instagram feed would thank us later for doing that.
Hint: Our travel photos will be more curated and the color palette of our outfits would best match the place we’ve visited if we plan beforehand.
- Arrange Your Accommodation Beforehand
If you have several cities and islands to visit in Japan, make sure to book all your accommodations before your travel. Find suitable accommodations by analyzing your budget, the ideal amenities and facilities for you, and the duration of your stay. Check the accommodation’s proximity to the attractions you want to visit.
You might consider spending a night or so in a ryokan, too. A ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn that will surely give you that authentic Japanese feel. You’ll feel like a native at least once.
- Think Carefully About Your Transportation Means
While it is fine to obtain an international driving permit (IDP) through the American Automobile Association (AAA) or the American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA) if you wish to drive around the streets of Japan, short-term tourists prefer not to do so. Of course, you’ve guessed it right. Traffic signs are written in the local language of Japan. It can be complicated figuring out whether you’re able to follow the traffic rules or not. You may be heading for hefty fines and charges if it’s the latter.
Tip: Make the most of one-day passes. They can give you unlimited access to subway rides. Also, try Japan’s ever-popular bullet train just for once!
In summary, you need to organize everything about your trip before you actually book for one. Plan ahead and you’ll surely make the most of your Japan tour.
Bonus Tip: Learn basic Japanese words and phrases so you can communicate with the locals.