Planning Your Trip to Japan

????? (Hirosaki Castle and cherry blossoms)Japan is one of the most popular destinations for explorers, exchange students, adventurers, hitchhikers, tourists, and just about any other kind of traveler out there. The Land of the Rising Sun holds many treasures and opportunities. Vacationing in Japan can be a lovely, rewarding experience for you. The trick is to plan ahead, to ensure you are a good guest of the Japanese people and to eliminate as many complications as possible.

First, decide on what time of the year you want to go. Of course, if you’re on a business trip or traveling to study or teach in Japan your schedule will be picked out for you. But that is an entirely different matter. For a vacation, your best bets are spring and autumn. The temperature and weather are most pleasant during those times. See if you can make it to the springtime blooming of the cherry blossoms. In the fall you might want to climb Mt. Fuji or visit the Beppu hot springs.

Second, be aware of the legal limitations. For example, several kinds of medication are prohibited, even for visitors. Certain cold medicines and painkillers are banned in the country, unless you have prior written permission. Without this written permission, you can be jailed, even deported from the country. Additionally, make sure you carry your passport with you at all times, even when you go out to nightclubs or visit a convenience store. When you arrive in Japan, be aware that you will most likely be photographed and fingerprinted.

Next, decide on what kinds of transportation you will use while there. There are lots of amazing options, since Japan has one of the world’s best transport systems. Hitchhikers will need to get up early to find anyone who is willing to pick them up. The trains and subways throughout Japan are efficient, relatively inexpensive, and very punctual. Taxis are available just about everywhere, even in the countryside. Rental cars tend to be rare around the major cities because of the ubiquity and quality of public transportation. Bikes on the other hand are everywhere to be rented and bought. Just be sure to get any bicycle registered if you are planning an extended stay in Japan, or else it might be confiscated.

There is a language barrier, but less so than in most other countries. Just plan ahead and learn some greetings and phrases in Japanese, and remember that Japanese tend to be very polite and compassionate. Most will eagerly try to help you if you try talking to them and always treat them courteously and respectfully.

I hope this article has given you good advice and ideas for Japan trip. May your vacation be a wonderful one.

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