In this post we are going to tell you our best tips for traveling to Japan after visiting the country, as well as what to see in Japan in 14 days. Here we go!
Things to do in Japan in 14 days: itinerary
It is clear that a 14-day itinerary through Japan may vary depending on your tastes. However, we believe that the tour we did gives you a little bit of everything: modernity, tradition, nature, culture and, above all, unique experiences. This was the itinerary that we did:
- Kyoto: 3 nights. Recommended hotel in Kyoto: Koiyama
- Koyasan: 1 night. Recommended shukubo/ryokan in Koyasan: Jokiin
- Hiroshima and Miyajima: 1 night. Recommended hotel in Hiroshima: Court hotel Hiroshima.
- Osaka: 2 nights. Recommended hotel in Osaka: Best Western Osaka-tsukamoto
- Takayama and Shirakawa-go: 1 night. Recommended hotel in Takayama: Wat Hotel & Spa Hida Takayama
- Tokyo: 5 nights. Recommended hotel in Tokyo: Shibuya Granbell hotel
Tips for traveling to Japan
1. Get your Japan Rail Pass or JR Pass
El JR Pass es un “pase” de trenes exclusivo para turistas que visiten Japón. Este te permitirá beneficiarte de un precio cerrado por días para hacer uso de las líneas Japan Railways. Si vas a hacer un itinerario de 14 días similar al nuestro, lo podrás utilizar en todos los trenes, excepto en el trayecto de Kioto a Koyasan (+23€) y de Takayama a Shirakawa-go (+76€). El resto de desplazamientos, incluido dentro de ciudades como Osaka y Tokio, los hicimos TODOS con el JR Pass. Compensa 100%.
On the other hand, it is important that you reserve the seats at your nearest JR Pass office for non-subway routes in the cities. Likewise, in the train that goes to and from the airport, Narita Express, it is essential to reserve seats in the JR offices. It can not be done online. Finally, the JR Pass can only be purchased in your country of origin and with some advance. That is, do not wait to arrive to Japan to buy it, as it is not possible.
2. Apply for your card without international commissions (one of the “top” tips for traveling to Japan)
The Japanese currency is the yen. We changed money in our bank before traveling to have some cash and thank God. There are many restaurants where they only allow payment in cash. We also payed with our Revolut card and took money from the ATM of the Seven Eleven supermarket with no commission. You really save a lot of money in each transaction and do not force yourself to carry so much cash which always carry its risks.
The Revolut cards are free and without maintenance fees. Well, the Revolut charges you the € 5.99 shipping. You can request them in the links that we mark you. Always choose to pay with yen.
3. Rent your pocket WIFI. Another of the “top” tips for traveling to Japan
Like the JR Pass, the pocket WIFI was one of our amulets during the trip. It is essential to be able to move around Japan with maps, TripAdvisor, places to visit, check train schedules, etc. We took it at the same time as the JR Pass online. You have to book it before traveling and it is collected at the airport, where they indicate you. You will have unlimited internet and connection of up to 10 devices during the days you rent it. Remember to charge it every night so that the battery lasts the whole day.
4. Arrange a travel insurance. Basic tip for every international trip
We always arrange a travel insurance with IATI whenever we make an international trip. It is hired easily and quickly online. In addition, you have a 5% discount if you book through this link or by clicking on the following image. Luckily we did not have to use it. We hope you do not either. In any case, it is super economic and not only have medical coverage, also in terms of flight delays, loss of luggage, etc.
5. Get an universal plug adapter for travel
From the moment you land in Japan this advice will serve you, since even on the Narita Express train that takes you from the Tokyo airport you can charge your devices. In this country they use other types of plugs, exactly like the one in the United States. We take the one you see in the next photo of Herschel and allowed you to charge two USB and an electronic device at the same time. Search here for the universal plug adapter for your trip.
5. Take a raincoat
In 14 days in Japan, be assured that at least one day it will rain, we had a few and taking a good raincoat was the best thing we did. Especially if you travel in the months that go from June to September. If you even had a cover for your suitcase, you’ll appreciate it. Since many times the rain catches you on the way to the station or your hotel.
6. Tips for traveling to Japan. Ride a bike.
In all the places we visited in Japan, they are more than used to moving by bike. We loved the experience of renting a bike in Kyoto and touring the city. We recommend it 100%. You will notice how even many mothers and fathers take their two children by bike, it’s amazing!
7. Where to have breakfast in Japan? Breakfast at Family Mart, Seven Eleven and Lawson
Breakfasts in Japan are based on fish, soup and / or rice. If you’re not used to it, a recommendation is to go to any supermarket / 24-hour Lawson or Seven Eleven or Family Mart to get your breakfast. Here you can buy coffee to go, sandwiches, cookies and banana. We liked the Japanese “rice sandwiches”. That is, rice, seaweed and tuna or salmon or chicken. These supermarkets open all day, so you can also come here to get any fast food or dinner. In the same way, in the big cities you have the Eggs n’ Things franchises where you can eat good Eggs Benedict. If not, you will always have Starbucks… We show you two examples of our breakfasts in Japan: poor option (€ 5) and rich option (€ 15).
8. Places to visit in Japan… and what about where to eat? Try all the Japanese dishes
Besides what to see in Japan you have to know what to eat. In general, eating in Japan is cheap compared to Spain, you can often eat for € 10 per person or even less. Of course, if you’re going to eat sushi or good meat, things change. In this country you can not leave without trying the sashimi, sushi, tempura, gyozas, takoyaki, udon, miso soup, tonkatsu, wagyu, hida, kobe, ramen, okonomiyaki, the edamame, the mochis, the yakitori, the matcha green tea and all the desserts and ice creams that are made with it …
Surely we miss some of them, but certainly you can not miss the Japanese pizza and of which you have hardly heard. It’s the Okonomiyaki. Below we show you the one we tried in Okonomimura, Hiroshima. It is a building where only this dish is sold in different restaurants and on each floor. It is a typical dish of Hiroshima. The base is made of noodles, it also has dough, egg, sauce, dried squid, cabbage and chives or spring garlic…
9. Stay in a Ryokan or Shukubo
If you are going to visit Japan you should experience staying in a Ryokan. That is, traditional Japanese accommodation. We experience it in Koyasan (Shukubo Jokiin), although here they are especially called Shukubos because they are Buddhist temples. Normally you sleep on a tatami, you can not wear shoes inside, the walls are made of paper, they have thermal baths called onsen. An experience that you can only live in Japan.
10. Look for the cheapest flights to Japan
The best flight search engine that we know is Skyscanner. Here you can choose the different stop-offs, prices and connections, even combine one arrival airport and a different departure airport.
We hope this post about tips for traveling to Japan and our itinerary has been helpful. If you have any questions, leave us a comment below or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading us!