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Planning a Trip to Japan

You could go the easy route and pay a travel agent to plan your trip but that'll cost you a lot of money, money that you may not even ha...

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Considering Where to go in Japan

Planning out a trip to Japan can be very stressful and require a lot of time. I'm here to make the process a little easier for you. I've already written a post about how to plan the trip that you can check out by clicking here. Right now I'm only talking about where you should go in Japan. I can easily tell you my suggestions but that's not going to help you. I'm going to help you figure out where you should go according to several factors that will play a big part in your trip. I got this topic idea from a reader who asked me a question similar to this, so thank you reader!!

How Much Time Do You Have?

This is a big factor in a trip to Japan. I personally think anything less than two weeks is not worth it, but that is up to you. Tours in Japan usually run for a week. Think of it like this, the shorter your time in Japan, the more closed-in your trip will be. In other words, if you are only staying in Japan for a short amount of time that gives you very little time to explore Japan. You'll have to stay in cities close to one another. And please don't try to argue that if you've seen one part of Japan you've seen it all because that is just crazy talk. You have obviously not traveled to Japan enough times to know that all parts of Japan are very different. The map of Japan below can be a great reference for this topic. If you're only staying for one week, then you most likely only have time to travel to travel in between Osaka and Tokyo (both cities have international airports). If you stay for two weeks, you could extend your range some more by going all the way to Hiroshima or Fukuoka. The longest you can stay in Japan without a visa is 90 days, three months. With this amount of time you could explore all of Japan and what it has to offer you. So knowing how much time you have is very important.
Screenshot of Google Maps Japan.

What Do You Want to See?

I kind of already did a post on this topic alone that you can check out here, but I'm going to mention it here too because it's important. Like I said in the beginning, I could tell you all the places I think you should go but that won't help you because you and I are different people. Our priorities are probably different. That's why I never tell people where I think they should go. I try to get them to tell me what they would like to do in Japan and then I pinpoint where to go. Example: Say someone wants to only to go to big cities in Japan. I would recommend Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Nagoya, Sapporo and/or Sendai. If someone was looking for a more traditional Japan experience I would recommend Kyoto, Matsue, Kanazawa, Nara, Takayama and/or Hakone. If you look up these cities you'll understand how different they are from one another. If someone told me they only love anime, I would not recommend anything other than Tokyo or Osaka. You need to know what you want to see.
Japanese garden.

How Much Money Do You Have?

Sadly, most Japan trips aren't free. I go to Japan every other year out of pocket and take the year in between off to give my bank account a rest. Depending on how much money you have may determine how much you travel in Japan. The price of train tickets add up, and if you don't want to waste time then Shinkansen tickets are the est choice but come at a hefty price. There's a JR Pass with unlimited rides, but will it be worth the price if you're only staying for a week or couple of days? There's a lot to consider. Another thing is where will you be staying? Will you have enough money to stay in Japan for a week or more? Figure out your budget and plan accordingly. I usually tell people $3,000.00 (USD) for two weeks for everything: food, hotels, attraction admissions, trains, souvenirs, etc. You can go cheaper but you'll have more limitations to your trip such as where you'll be going and what you'll be doing.
Paying for a subway ticket at the ticket machine.
And that's about it on things to consider when you're trying to figure out where to go in Japan. Yes, what you want to do is important but you also need to consider the reality of funds and time. If you have any questions or concerns on this topic please feel free to communicate with me and others on my social media: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I'll be happy to answers any questions you might have on traveling to Japan.

Thank you for reading my blog! Until next time!