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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, August 24, 2017

Why You Should Plan Your Japan Trip

There are quite a few articles out there on the internet about being spontaneous and just "going where the wind takes you" kind of attitude with traveling abroad. And while that's a great, exciting idea it may not be the best option for a trip to Japan. If you are not familiar with Japan's holidays whether they are well known or not, it may put a bump in your travels. And what about unexpected happenings? Planning is beneficial, no matter how detailed it is.

I don't plan every single detail of my trip, but I do make sure I know where I'm going and on what days. If I don't know certain plans I'll give my trip a "free day" where I can just go and look for something new. As I've been to Japan several times now, I find myself more lenient about mapping out every detail where as my first time it was strictly by the book (what I had planned). I think the notion of planning a trip is great though because it means you're excited.
The Japanese countryside from the airplane, on its way to land at Narita Airport.
I had a friend who recently went on a trip to Japan with another friend who claimed to know a lot about Japan. Her travel partner told her not to worry about anything. The friend knew where to go and what to do. This sounds really nice, right? You wouldn't have to lift a finger for this trip. But in reality this should have never happened. The only time you should let anyone take total control of planning your trip to Japan is if they really, really know you and what you like about Japan. Even if they know you well enough, they should still ask you if there's anything you want to do.

The time finally came for her trip to Japan for the first time and it wasn't as smooth of sailing as was expected. There were a lot of things her friend neglected to research (yes, planning a trip requires research sometimes). The first is what I mentioned in the opening of this blog: holidays. Japanese people like to take advantage of their holidays with traveling. They'll either travel to their hometowns or travel as a vacation. If you are not big on crowds then you may want to consider this for planning your Japan trip. Not only will the city be crowded but the public transportation will be abnormally crowded. Crowds can put a damper on your plans because it will have the possibility of altering your timing of things. In Japan it's important to plan your activities out because some things close super early. For example, in Kyoto, Nijo Castle closes around 4pm. If you arrive there later than 4pm it means two things, that you can't go in right now and that you either have to reschedule it in for another day or you skip it because there's no room in your plans.
View of the Nijo Castle grounds from a lookout point in the autumn season.
Another incident that slowed them down on their travels through Japan was all the closures and restorations. Right now until the summer of 2020, all of Japan (especially Tokyo) are doing all their upkeep of the shrines, temples and other major tourist destinations. The all-knowing friend did not realize this. Many things on there to-do list was not accomplished, or was but it wasn't as magical as it could have been with all the tarps and construction rails in the scenery.

Point being, you really need to research and plan before you go off and travel. I talked about Japan since my blog is called "Japan Therapy," but this can be applied to any travel destination. I'll be taking a friend to Japan for his first time in the Spring of 2019. I'll definitely be planning that trip as I wish that he has a fun and smooth Japan trip. If you need help planning your Japan trip I blogged about planning a trip (the big tasks) that you can read by clicking here.

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Thank you for reading my blog! Until next time!