Planning to organise a bachelor/bachelorette trip in Japan? Wondering where or how to begin arranging this special celebration among all the rush and hustle of pre-wedding preparations? This blog is for all you newly engaged or soon-to-be engaged couples 🏻
First and foremost, congratulations on this new chapter of your lives!
One of the many things to look forward to before your saying vows to ✨happily ever after✨ is your bachelor and bachelorette party 🥳
Whether you are a soon-to-be bride or groom, masterminding your getaway trip is not a simple task. Choosing the destination is key to helping you set the tone for your holiday. Believe it or not, Japan might be your ideal destination. Consistently ranked one of the safest countries in the world, Japan’s rich culture and centuries-old traditions, stunning beautiful shrines and temples, and breathtaking wilderness are just a fraction of what the country has to offer.
Japan offers you the best of both worlds; you can take a relaxing trip to the countryside, explore one of the country’s major cities like Tokyo, or even do a combination of both! The options here are endless, with something for all tastes and preferences. There are incredible festivals, exciting nightlife scenes, trendy shopping hubs, tranquil shrines, temples with spiritual pilgrimages, not to mention therapeutic retreats where you will find beautiful beaches and mountains overlooking turquoise lakes surrounded by wildlife. To put it simply, there are a variety of marvellous activities and events for you to experience. Whether in Japan’s far north city of Hokkaido, heaven for snow sports enthusiasts and ski resorts, or at the island’s southernmost town of Okinawa with soft sand beaches and crystal clear water, you will definitely find something that appeals to you.
You can start planning your trip 2-3 months in advance so that it is less stressful if there are any last-minute alterations or cancellations. For Japan, we recommend you learn a little bit of the local language, just essential phrases and read up on social etiquette for the ultimate trip.
This blog will tell you all you need to know and think about when planning your bachelor or bachelorette holiday in Japan.
Japan 101 👩🏻🏫 📚
Before we dive into today’s topic, there are a few things to know about Japan.
If you are worried about the language barrier, rest assured that even though Japanese is the most widely used language, popular tourist attractions and landmarks will have English guides and instructions. Not only that, but you can definitely get around places using the Google translate app with live translation and assistance. If you have no idea what is written on a menu at a typical Japanese restaurant, point your phone camera at the page, and it will automatically translate it for you; the same goes for street signs or directions. You can also find information online through well-known websites such as Japan Guide or simply contact us at Flip. Our team has lived in Japan for several years, gaining superior local experience and knowledge. If you have any questions or require assistance planning an itinerary, feel free to send a message on any of our social platforms.
Despite the language and cultural barriers, many Japanese people will make genuine efforts and go out of their way to help you and make you feel welcome in their home country.
Another vital aspect to remember is that Japan is still primarily a cash-based society, with few places accepting credit cards. However, this is slowly changing, especially after the Tokyo Olympics, which brought many reforms. You can find money exchange services in popular areas such as Shinjuku or withdraw cash from convenience stores, especially 7-Elevens, which have ATMs that accept international credit cards. Just be sure to contact your bank and activate overseas usage!
📝 Noted everything down? Let’s get to planning!
Step 1: What is your purpose? 🎯
You first need to decide on the purpose behind your bachelor or bachelorette party. That includes all your preferences and things you most want to experience and prioritise during your trip. You may want to come to Japan for its diverse range of food and drinks, spirited nightlife, pop culture, trendy and unique shops and stores, learning more about its history and culture, and sightseeing, among others.
Eating and drinking in Japan is a major reason for you to visit the country. In fact, did you know that Japan’s capital, Tokyo, is home to the most Michelin-star restaurants in the world? That already gives you an idea of how glorious the food and beverages are here. Not only can you find authentic, fresh Japanese gastronomy but also international cuisine, from French courses, Middle -Eastern specialties to Brazilian BBQ buffets in the middle of the city. There are also many affordable and delicious options, including all-you-can-eat/drink menus.
Pro tip: if you wish to save on food and drinks, dine at or order takeout from local restaurants serving Japanese specialties via phone applications such as “ubereats” or “wolt.”
Overall, dining options suit every taste and diet, with more restaurants specialising in different nutrition including vegan and gluten-free dishes.
Another possible reason to visit Japan is its vibrant nightlife and pop culture. Big cities such as Tokyo and Osaka have tons of bars and izakayas with different themes, atmospheres, and yummy snacks to complement your drinks. You can even find hidden bars and restaurants with secret doors 🤫 Here at Flip, we offer exclusive bar-hopping and nightlife tours, promising you a fun and memorable time in Tokyo! In addition, Japan is well-known for its pop culture, including virtual-reality games, manga, and anime. However, did you know that the country also boasts a one-of-a-kind Disney Sea park and Universal Studios in Tokyo and Osaka? If you are a thrill seeker, try out Fuji Q theme park in Tokyo, offering wild roller coaster rides and games; it’s one of those places where you surely will make unforgettable memories with your friends.
Apart from being one of the most secure countries in the world, with Tokyo being both a food paradise and fashion capital, Japanese culture and traditions span thousands of years and are truly one-of-a-kind. Besides temples, shrines, and museums, you can also participate in other traditional cultural activities such as seasonal festivals, attending a tea ceremony, learning to make sushi, watching a sumo match or baseball game, and more. Through all these activities, you’ll learn more about Japan’s rich history and ancient philosophies!
Determining your purpose will allow you to know your trip’s direction and what you need to focus on without feeling overwhelmed. It will be a good idea to set up a group chat if you are travelling in a group to discuss your travels, guest list, dates, and people’s attendance.
Step 2: Budget 💰
This is a significant step that will shape your entire trip. Microsoft Excel, Google sheets, or a simple notepad with a pen will be your new best friend. It would be best to break down all your expenses, including flight tickets, accommodation, food and drinks, tours, shopping, events you want to attend, and transportation costs. If you are travelling in a group, brainstorm and communicate all the projected expenses with your friends, ensuring everyone is comfortable and on the same page about everything. Here at Flip, we can alleviate the stress of organising your trip through our travel planning service. We also provide a customizable Japan starter pack covering all the essentials, such as a SIM card, tour guide booklets, and transportation card.
Step 3: How long can you stay in Japan? 🤔
The next step is to decide the duration of your trip to Japan, referring back to your budget and purpose. You need to check your schedule and the availability of the people you will be travelling with, as some may only be able to during long weekends or public holidays. The amount of time you will stay in Japan will depend on what you want to do, how many cities you want to visit, and of course, your budget and availability.
Suppose you can only stay for a weekend. In that case, we recommend you explore one of Japan’s major cities, such as Tokyo, and enjoy some sightseeing, traditional activities, delicious food, and vibrant nightlife. However, if you have the chance to visit Japan for a week, then you can check out our itinerary here. Travelling for the first time in Japan can be overwhelming and stressful to organise as everything will be new and unfamiliar. That is why we advise you to explore one city, including all its wonders and hidden gems, and the next time you visit the country, you can expand your horizons and travel to other nearby destinations. For example, you can see Tokyo on your first-time trip, and the next time, or when you have more time, you can go to Osaka and Kyoto, which have famous landmarks, culinary delights, and untapped treasures to discover.
Step 4: Figure out the best city/cities for you 🏙️ 🗼
Another factor to consider is which prefecture and cities/city best fit your preferences and bucket-list activities. More prominent cities like Tokyo and Osaka will be the best fit if you want a place with many entertainment options and nightlife. On the other hand, if you wish to have a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of big cities with lots of cultural activities, you might want to explore cities in Japan’s countryside or places like Kyoto.
However, as you might have already guessed, the options don’t stop there. If you travel to the north of Japan in Hokkaido, you will be in a winter wonderland, perfect for winter sports and ski resorts, not to mention a grand snow festival held every year in wintertime.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you want to get some Vitamin D and catch a tan, head to one of Japan’s southern islands, such as Okinawa. Imagine soaking in warm, clear blue waters on coastal beaches, sipping on a pina colada; what more could you ask for? There are also plenty of marine adventures to experiment with, such as scuba diving or white water rafting.
Likewise, Yokohama is a train ride away from Tokyo if you enjoy port cities. It offers scenic views with its lush green park, world-famous Chinatown with mouth-watering street food, and restaurants, not to mention cute shopping districts. As the sun goes down, the city is illuminated by fairy lights, and its giant Ferris wheel is surrounded by a colourful theme park, promising you a cheerful and vibrant nightlife.
If you want a combination of big cities and countryside escapades, getting a JR pass might be worthwhile, allowing you to save on your travels from city to city. If you need further information and are interested in purchasing this pass, Flip can have it all organised for you, ensuring you a stress-free journey.
Step 5: Activities and places to be visited 🗺️
One of the most critical aspects of planning a trip is establishing what you will do and where you will visit. Remember that your plans may change once you reach Japan, depending on weather conditions and jet lag, among other factors. For example, you might want to postpone your adventures in Universal Studios if the day you planned to go forecasts heavy rain all day.
Besides going to the city’s most “touristy” spots, you might wish to do fun local activities such as karaoke or explore hidden gems. When people think of Japan, things such as temples and shrines usually come to mind, but in reality, Japan has so much more to offer. For instance, Japan’s nature is a wonder in itself. Several cultural traditions are linked to celebrating the different seasons, such as “hanami,” where people gather around cherry blossom trees for a picnic. If you enjoy trekking and the great outdoors, Japan will not disappoint you with its vast mountains, nature trails, and escapades into the wilderness.
Likewise, staying at traditional Japanese hotels, or “ryokans,” is a perfect way to experience the local culture. Some properties have on-site hot spring baths and usually serve authentic Japanese meals with rich and flavourful ingredients. As for nightlife, we can introduce you to local favourite bars and clubs which may not have come across solo through our night and bar-hopping tours. We will do all the research and organising, including making reservations and a free drink or shot of your choice at the first pit stop!
The fun does not end there. Introducing the world’s first personalised chatbot tour guide, Flip offers an innovative and entertaining way for you to explore Tokyo city in a game-like format. Within 2 minutes, you can get your ticket directly inside Facebook Messenger. After acquiring your ticket, chat with your virtual tour guide; choose your path and let your chatbot know what you want throughout the tour, and enjoy your adventure! You can find all you need to know about the following themes and available tours here.
Step 6: Logistics ⚙️
As the last step, it is time to conclude everything and focus on ✨logistics✨
There are numerous activities you can do in Japan, as previously discussed; it will all depend on the purpose of your trip and your preferences.
As for accommodation, Japan has several types of stays for you to choose from. For a traditional and authentic experience, you can stay at a “ryokan.” Every city will have a unique Japanese hotel waiting for you, and we can help you make reservations as most will only speak the local language. If you want to save on accommodation, check out the hostel or capsule hotel options in your chosen destination. Reserving an Airbnb is also an excellent option for all budgets and tastes. You can find some intriguing BnBs with an original atmosphere or architecture. Lastly, if you want to treat yourself, big cities like Tokyo have fabulous luxury hotels offering world-class service and incredible dining options.
Okay, so now that accommodation is out of the way, you might be wondering, what on earth am I supposed to pack for Japan? The short answer is: that it depends on what season you plan to come to and what region you will visit. Suppose you plan to go during summertime, don’t. Just kidding, despite the scorching heat, monsoon rains, and constant humidity, summer in Japan has its perks and seasonal treasures, including its annual traditional festivals and celebrations with fun games and street food, entertaining events, as well as gorgeous nature and scenic views throughout the country. The key is to dress light and wear flowy, airy, and comfortable clothes.
In autumn, the weather is stunning; with a cool breeze and sunlight, you will be mesmerised by the changing leaves, cascading in red, orange, and yellow tones to the ground. For this season, pack both short and long sleeve shirts and blouses, sneakers, pants, and light jackets. As winter approaches, you will need much warmer clothes and layers, including heavy coats and scarves, especially if you plan to visit northern Japan or stay at a ski resort. Lastly, springtime in Japan has fantastic weather, which is not too cold or warm. You will get by with long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, or T-shirts with a jacket or cardigan over them. For a more detailed clothes itinerary, feel free to reach out to us at Flip; we consider all of these details in our travel services.
One of the must-have items, when you arrive in Japan, is a transportation card. That will allow you to easily travel from place to place just like a local. Visitors tend to have either a Pasmo card or a Suica card, which you can buy at any big station in Tokyo or upon arrival at the airport. For certain countries, topped-up transportation cards can be delivered to your home before travelling for an extra fee.
Just like transportation cards, you can order your SIM card from companies such as Mobil before arriving in Japan and pick it up at the airport upon arrival. Alternatively, you can have it delivered to your place before your trip. The rates and expenses differ from company to company, so do a little investigation before picking your commuter pass.
Lastly, there is always a lot of confusion about the JR Pass. Is it worth it to get one? The answer is that it depends; if you plan to explore different cities in a couple of weeks, the JR pass might be worthwhile. However, if you stay in a town for the entire trip, it would not be a fitting choice.
Having covered all the essentials, if you have any other questions or wish to book one of our services or tours, try out our games, or get a Japan starter pack, feel free to reach out to us on any of our social media platforms, and we will be happy to assist you!
See you soon in Japan! 🇯🇵