Japan Travel Guide
Get the best tips from our destination experts in our Japan travel guide.
Discover an fascinating nation with our top Japan travel tips. Incredible journeys of a lifetime await you in the Land of the Rising Sun. From visa and vaccinations to language and communications, get all the essential details about Japan from our experts in our Japan travel guide below.
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Visa and entry
Nationals of many countries, including nearly all Western countries, are eligible to enter Japan for short-term stays (usually 60 days) with a visa on entry for vacations and business trips. Travelers who do not have the “Reciprocal Visa Exemption Arrangements” with Japan must obtain a visa beforehand. To apply for a visa, the applicant must apply in person to a Japanese embassy or consulate. Please check the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website for more information here.
No vaccinations are required except for yellow fever if you are traveling from an area where the disease is prevalent.
We highly encourage you to purchase travel insurance for your trip. We recommend that you do this as soon as possible since many insurance providers provide insurance cover if more than 21 days have lapsed since your booking. While Enchanting Travels does not provide travel insurance itself or endorse any particular insurance provider, several of our past guests have used Travel Guard. Visit travelguard.com for more info. We also advise you to purchase international travel health insurance should you fall ill during your trip, require medical assistance or hospitalization. While medical facilities in most major Japanese cities are of a high standard, having medical insurance is advisable in order to obtain the best services and healthcare during your trip, should you need any.
Cash and currency
The currency in Japan is the yen, symbolized by the ¥ figure. Coins come in denominations of ¥1, ¥5, ¥10, ¥50, ¥100, and ¥500. Bills come in denominations of ¥1,000, ¥2,000, ¥5,000, and ¥10,000. Japan is very much a cash society and credit cards are not as widely used as in Western countries. However, they are widely accepted in restaurants, shops and hotels. It is advisable to carry cash when paying bills in more inexpensive restaurants, small shops, and some Japanese inns in rural area.
Direct payment of cash is most popular in Japan. Small shops, restaurants and markets usually do not accept any other form of payment. Major credit cards (such as Visa, Mastercard and to some extent American Express) are increasingly being used, especially in big cities and tourist hubs, but only in restaurants, hotels or big shopping malls with a transactional fee (3% – 5%).
Tip: Carry a suitable amount of cash for markets, dining, drinks and shopping. Kindly make sure any American money you bring is in good condition – not dirty, damaged or tattered.
Most banks are open from 9am to 3pm, but closed on weekends and national holidays. Bear in mind that exchanging money and traveler’s cheques at banks and post offices can be a very lengthy procedure. Foreign credit, debit and cash cards are convenient for obtaining cash – however, bank ATM machines are restricted to cards issued in Japan. The best option is to use the International ATMs on arrival at the airport and also those at 7-Eleven convenience stores.
Language and communication
Although an increasingly greater number of young people speak English since this is taught in schools more and more frequently, it is advisable to carry names and directions of destinations such as hotels, restaurants and attractions written in Japanese so that you can show this to taxi drivers and people on the street. It is also good practice to carry a phrase book as English signage might not be so prevalent in rural areas.
The Japanese mobile telephone system is not compatible with those of other countries which means that unless you have a 3G phone, your mobile phone will not work in Japan. Local Mobile phones can be rented on arrival at the airport. Calling from a hotel is almost always the most expensive option as hotels add surcharges to all calls, particularly international ones. Calling cards sold in vending machines and convenience stores usually keep costs to a minimum. Public telephones are a dying breed in cellphone-happy Japan, but public telephones can be found in stations and hotel lobbies.
Plan your private Japan tours with help from our experts. Contact us today for your obligation-free itinerary!
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I have traveled the world with Enchanting Travels for many consecutive years. Every trip is unique, exciting and unforgettable. Enchanting staff looks after me since day one we start planning the trip and follows up with me throughout my travel. If I need anything big or small, they go miles to help! I can not imagine a travel agency with better quality service than Enchanting Travels!
They took care of almost everything for us! It was wonderful! We had time with our guides that showed us the world of Indonesia, we would not have recognized otherwise, and we also had time on our own to discover and relax! You will not be disappointed if you book with Enchanting Travels!
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