Before travelling to Japan, organising your trip and booking everything on time may seem like a nightmare, and you may not know where to begin. But that’s not to worry, we will be spilling the tea on exactly how to prepare for your trip to Japan and tips and tricks to help you on your future Japan travels.
Research and learn basic Japanese phrases
The first piece of advice we can offer is to research, research, research. And check websites. Just like you are now, searching for “must-know” travel information online is a great start. You can find information on people’s past experiences and recommendations for visiting places. The website you are currently on has all you need to know (flip japan guide); here, you will find a bunch of blogs on Japan’s prefectures, area guides in Tokyo, and food recommendations alongside interesting information on Japanese history, culture, and traditions. Youtube is another resourceful website where you can find content on anything Japan-related. Watching vlogs and even interviews documenting life in Japan and travel destinations will definitely come in handy.
Likewise, to enhance your trip to Japan, try learning a few basic Japanese phrases that you can use daily: ‘Thank you’ is ‘Arigatogozaimasu.’ When you go to a convenience store, they may ask you for a ‘fukuro’ (a plastic bag), to which, depending on your need, you can reply “Hai, onegaishimasu” (yes, please) or “Daijoubu desu” (that’s okay, thanks!). Alongside the language, teach yourself some basic Japanese social etiquette and manners, such as bowing, to fully immerse yourself in Japan.
Check social media platforms
For more recommendations on places to visit, Instagram is your best friend. It is likely that if you are already looking to come to Japan, you will probably follow a few Instagram pages about Japan. But Instagram is a great tool to find recommendations on places to eat as well as hidden spots that you may find from locals’ pictures. Instagram is far from the only place you can look, however. TikTok can provide quick recommendations and bitesize facts and knowledge on Japan and moving here. Pro tip: if you want to find the best Japanese content on TikTok, remember to change your language preferences to English and Japanese to attract related videos on your ‘For You page. You may also choose to create a new profile and follow creators that focus on life and travelling in Japan; accordingly, your ‘For You’ page should deliver you a constant stream of Japanese content.
Ask in Facebook groups
On the theme of social media, Facebook, more importantly, the group’s feature, can prove very helpful. Here you can find groups of people in the same position as yourself who are all willing to bounce ideas off each other and arrange group plans together. These groups can be a great way to meet new people and make some new friends ready for your travels in Japan. You can also find groups in which people who have previously travelled are willing to help you with advice on where to go, what to see, what to avoid etc. These first-hand experiences can be vital as these people have experienced life and travel in Japan for themselves and can give you precious advice.
Ask friends and family
Although your friends and family may not have travelled to Japan, you will undoubtedly have a friend or acquaintance who has lived or visited the country. Even if you don’t, you can reach out to content creators or micro-influencers for help. Contacting these relations before flying to Japan for the first time is a great way to prepare yourself beforehand – they will be able to help you plan and make amendments for everything that comes before travelling, such as what things you need to pack, flight experience alongside all of the various tips and security procedures.
Ask a consultant to help
Asking a professional for help may not be as cheap as the previous options on the list, but with a consultant, you will know that you are getting correct and to the point. A consultant can help you budget for your trip and allow you to acquire a visa, depending on your personal needs and situation. For example, if you plan to stay for more than 90 days, you might need to order a different tourist visa.
Join tour groups
If you feel planning isn’t for you, you can always join a group tour. For the most part, all of your trip planning, from your accommodation to your eat-outs, is carefully arranged for you by tour group organisers. On top of this, a handful of destinations will be selected for you, and you will be shown around them by an expert tour guide who can give you clear information about the location in English. Group tours are a fantastic way to meet like-minded people and have a lot of the hassle of your trip cut out before you touch down in Japan.
Taking a trip to japan can be more demanding than some imagine, especially if it’s your first time travelling. Still, we wholeheartedly believe that Japan is one of the best places to travel to and has a lot to offer. As you can see, several different resources are available to ease the stress of planning such a trip. Whatever your situation, you can always reach out to us here at @flipguidejapan or on any of our social media accounts, and we would be happy to help you!