A trip to Japan can require quite a bit of preparation. A few more details will make your trip even more enjoyable and sustainable.
Before you go:
- Of course, you should read our article about the JR train pass, a huge money saver for traveling through Japan.
- Should you drive, our road trip articles may be a good source of info for Kyushu, Shikoku and Hokkaido.
- If you are planning on bringing back some electronics or watches, make sure you check features and prices at home, as the language barrier may make it rough to get relevant info in Japan, even in the biggest stores of Akihabara, the electronics town in Tokyo.
- Japan is quite unique and you may want to read about the do’s and dont’s to make sure you don’t make a fool of yourself or unawarely insult people. Here is a non-exhaustive list with a very few essentials:
A few items in your luggage will improve your experience:
- A paper notebook for stamps: in every site of Japan, you will find funny stamps and ink pads to commemorate your visit. Stamp your way through Japan with your very own passport-like notebook!
- Non-disposable chopsticks: disposable chopsticks are constantly provided every time one buys food. It is estimated that about 24 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks are used in Japan, yearly, creating a serious environmental issue. Reduce your impact by buying your own instead – plus this will be a fun souvenir!
- When you meet Japanese people or stay at their place, you are likely to receive gifts from them. It is polite to give a gift back. You may want to pack a few small souvenirs from home which you can give in return.
Any essentials you would add to that list?