The one country I suggest you to definitely visit is Japan. Maybe I am biased, but after living in Tokyo for more than three years it shouldn’t be a surprise that I am in love with the country.
There is so much to see and do in Japan, that you can literally spend years there and not run out of things to do. Trust me, I tried. As a result I have a lot to share about Japan. Find the best travel itineraries for different parts of Japan, great experiences, especially food I want you to try and other local travel tips for Japan you might find useful.
For Japan I wrote a couple of itineraries from my extensive travel experience. You can’t really find such perfect itineraries anywhere else, because I wrote them after visiting a place multiple times and experiencing a wide variety of activities. Let’s dive into how to best spend your time in Japan:
The Perfect Itinerary for 2 Weeks in Japan: If you visit Japan for the first time, and you have 2 weeks to get to know the country, I suggest you follow this itinerary. It will give you the best Japan has to offer and you will get to know all the famous amazing places Japan is so popular for.
Here are two posts on what you can do in Tokyo. While I believe 5 days aren’t enough to get to know Tokyo, for a good overview you can follow my 5 Days in Tokyo itinerary. If you are looking for an off the beaten path destination in Tokyo, I suggest a visit to Ningyocho where I used to live.
Here are some other itineraries for other cities in Japan:
You can experience Japan in so many different ways. In my opinion the greatest way to experience Japan is through its food, but there are some other unique experiences you shouldn’t miss while you are there. And if you happen to be in Japan during one of the holidays or special events like Valentine’s Day, Halloween or Christmas how about celebrating them Japan style.
If you are looking for amazing food experiences, Japan is the place to go. When I go traveling, I really crave some good Japanese food, and even though there are Japanese restaurants everywhere in the world, nothing comes close to the original in Japan.
My recommendations for food in Tokyo are Udon at Taniya in Ningyocho and Tonkatsu Teishoku at Suzuki at Tokyo Station. If you have the time, you should really try them both. This is real Japanese food at its best.
If you make it to Nagoya try the local eel dish called Hitsumabushi. While it is a little bit expensive, don’t miss out on an amazing once in a lifetime experience. For me its a once every time I am in Nagoya experience.
Lastly, let’s talk about things you get everywhere, no matter where you go in Japan. Just visit the next supermarket or convenience store (called konbini in Japanese) and try some of the weird popular Japanese snacks. And wash them down with one of the unique non-alcoholic drinks you can find. Also did you know that many soda and other drinks now look just like water but taste like anything from peach water over coke to coffee? Have a try, trust me you don’t want to miss this.
When I go traveling within Japan I always have a soft serve ice cream, because usually there are regional flavors that I don’t want to miss.
Aside from food there are other experiences and activities not to miss. Visit an Onsen in Tokyo, do a day trip to view Mount Fuji, maybe do a homestay and stay with a Japanese host family.
If you like flowers and visit Japan in May (after the cherry blossom season is over) you might want to head to the Fuji Shibazakura Festival.
Here are some things you can only experience if you are in Japan at the right time. Holidays like Halloween and Christmas are increasingly popular and Valentine’s Day is a commercial hit year after year. Find out what’s special about these events in Japan, and why you shouldn’t miss them.
If you are ever invited to a Japanese wedding, I encourage you to go. Here is all you need to know about Japanese wedding traditions.
The one thing almost all people visiting Japan ask about is the Japan Rail Pass. It is the train ticket that lets you explore Japan for a fixed price. You can find all the information about the Japan Rail Pass by reading the post Where to Buy the Japan Rail Pass and Everything Else You Need to Know.
If you are planning on flying within Japan, there are now a couple of LLC available. I have flown with Peach and Vanilla Air, and can recommend both. Have a look at my review post about Vanilla Air to convince yourself of the service.
One of the experiences I think you shouldn’t miss while in Japan is a visit to an Onsen, the Japanese hot springs. It’s not as easy as it sounds though. So, you should have a look at my post about the Japanese Onsen Etiquette to learn how to take a bath in Japan.
None of the experiences in this post are in any way sponsored and have all been paid for by myself. The opinions stated are all my own and have not been influenced in any way.
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From April to May each year in Fujikawaguchiko in Japan, the Fuji Shibazakura Festival (富士芝桜祭り, Fuji Shibazakura Matsuri) is held. In the middle of May, I made my way from Tokyo to Kawaguchiko for the fourth time, this time to enjoy this beautiful flower event. In this post, I put together all the information you […]
Mount Fuji is the icon of Japan and on many traveler’s bucket lists. In case you are planning on mainly staying in Tokyo (for example to explore Tokyo for 5 days) during your trip to Japan, don’t fret. Fujisan (富士山), as the mountain is called in Japanese, is only a short distance from Tokyo and planning […]
Furano, the Navel of Hokkaido (so called because of its location in the center of Hokkaido) is very popular with tourists from Japan and also other Asian countries in Summer. It is a perfect day trip from Hokkaido’s biggest city Sapporo. Especially in July when the lavender fields are in full blossom it is the […]
If you have spent some time in Tokyo (find more information on how to spend 5 days in Tokyo) and searched out all the off the beaten path destinations within the city, and like me, you crave some fresh air, some nature and a little bit of relaxation, then it’s time to on a one […]
My first and only day trip to Nikko was 3 years ago. It was my first day trip with Taka and the first time I got out of Tokyo after arriving there 2 months earlier to work at a Japanese IT consulting company. The trip has been a fond memory ever since, and I feel […]
The first clear drink I came across in Japan was Yogurina a clear yogurt drink. I thought it was strange to have a bottle that looks like water but tastes like yogurt, but it got me curious (which is probably the whole point of making a yogurt drink look like water). So I bought a […]
In May of 2018, I made my fourth trip to the Fuji Five Lakes. This area located in Yamanashi Prefecture lies 2 hours east of Tokyo and is a perfect day trip destination. If you want to read more about Japan travel head over to the Japan Travel Blog. If you were looking for day […]
Visiting an Onsen (a Japanese Hot Spring) should be on every visitor’s Japan bucket list. The Japanese hot springs are famous for its healing powers and long tradition similar to the Roman baths. There are areas in Japan that are famous for its Onsen waters which are pumped up from sometimes hundreds of meters below […]
At some point during your stay in Tokyo you are going to visit Tokyo Station, at least I hope you will because it is a great place to visit and on my five days in Tokyo to do list. So, even if you aren’t arriving or departing from Tokyo Station, plan a visit to see […]
When I was studying in Osaka for ten months, my parents came to visit, and we traveled Japan for three weeks. But even before that, I had already explored Tokyo and also the Kanto area (Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe) excessively. Since I came to live in Tokyo three years ago, I took even more […]