Before Arriving in Japan
Like any country, Japan is also crowded with people during public holidays. A great plus to visiting Japan during this time is allowing you to enjoy the holidays with locals, but mainly you need to prepare for a serious price jack in flights and accommodation. There are three major breaks/holidays Major Japanese holidays are three times in the year-end and New Year holidays, late April-early May, and August.
There are many festivals (matsuri) and events in Japan like the famous Cherry Blossom Festival (花見; hanami) and Sapporo's Snow Festival (雪まつり; yuki matsuri). A lot of the festivals revolve around seasons but come summer you will find more traditional and historical festivals to celebrate a god or event that include mikoshi (portable shrines) and traditional dancing. There are too many to list them all, but here are a few of Japan's most famous festivals and celebrations.
We are sure you have looked over things you want to do and places you want to go,
but here is a small list of some major sightseeing spots in Japan
For as "futuristic" as Japan is, it's Wi-Fi within the city tells another story. Free Wi-Fi can be found at a few popular sightseeing spots (see here for a list), but most of the time you will find security-protected Wi-Fi that requires your personal information or just nothing at all. And a lot of the times even if you are connected to the Wi-Fi it is very slow so there is almost no point in connecting to it in the first place. But with that being said, having a phone to use while traveling in Japan is SO helpful! One reason is that their address system isn't numerically like in the West but rather when the building was built.
In most places in Japan, trains are a major means of public transportation. Buses and sometimes trams are also available but the use of those really depends on the areas. For example, in Tokyo you are better off with trains however in Kyoto or Nagasaki buses (also streetcars in Nagasaki) are what you are most likely to take to get around.
Transportation methods such as trains and buses are inexpensive, but if you have to travel far from the station, or if you have a lot of luggage, sometimes a taxi is just better. The basic fare for a taxi is about 730yen for the first 2km (1.2 miles) (from January 2017, the fare for the first kilometer has been adjusted to 410yen). Other than the prices, there are a few things to keep in mind when flagging down a taxi in Japan: How to use a taxi is not different from Korea. If you see an empty car, lift your hand and call a taxi. But, like a habit, you should not open a taxi door right away. The following are precautions when using the taxi.
Izakayas are basically taverns that serve sake, liquor, and simple Japanese dishes. Some places are open until early in the morning, but most close around 11pm~midnight.
Before traveling many people wonder how much money they should exchange, where can they get more if they run out, and if they can use credit cards. Well in terms of how much to bring, it really depends on if you plan on buying a lot or just the essentials. One thing we can give advice on is using and getting money while you're in Japan.
Using a Credit Card in Japan
There is a particular system when it comes to bringing medication into Japan, and the regulations on over-the-counter and prescription drugs are different. Some people will tell you they had no issue bringing medicine into Japan, but the fact is they just got lucky. We have had occasions where all of our medication has been dumped so be careful!
Depending on which airport you are coming from, your access into the city will be different.
Since most people fly into Tokyo, we will use Haneda Airport and Narita Airport as examples.