Guide to Japan
Japan Facts & Info
I love Japan! I cannot say enough about this wonderful country and it’s people. I’m slightly biased having lived there for 4 years. The Japanese people are so friendly and courteous that it might actually blow your mind that people like this exist on this planet. When we lived there we would watch people at festivals lay their blanket out, place their cameras, purse, and other belongings on the blanket, and walk away. True story. That’s how safe Japan is and crime is really low. Explore more in this Guide to Japan.
Guide to Japan: Location
Japan is located on the continent of Asia, well off the mainland of Asia. Japan is made up of a series of Islands with China to the left and the Pacific Ocean to the right. It’s located within The Ring of Fire, which refers to the region in the Pacific where volcanos erupt and earthquakes are a daily part of life. The largest city in the world is located in Japan, it’s capital of Tokyo.
Looking for information about another country in Asia? Head over to our Guide to Asia page for information on other countries.
Guide to Japan: Customs
Things to remember when visiting Japan: when you enter a home, take off your shoes. If you visit an Onsen, or natural hot spring, expect people to be nude. Bowing is an important part of the Japanese culture, it’s a sign of respect. The deeper the bow, the more respect you are showing.
Guide to Japan: What you need to know
Currency: The Yen
Population: A little over 123 million
Voltage: Japan’s voltage is 100V
Food: Traditional Japanese food is ramen, tempura, and sushi
Religion: The majority of people are Shinto and Buddhists
Weather: Japan’s weather runs from hot and humid to cold and snowy. It all depends on the time of year and where you’re visiting
If you want to see Japan’s Cherry Blossoms then spring is the best time. They usually start blooming in late March to at least mid April, sometimes until the end of the month. In the northern part of the country, blooming starts a few weeks later than the southern part. In the fall, the leaves start to change to bright red and it’s just as pretty. Spring and fall have excellent weather but it can be cool so plan for that.
Traveling in Japan is expensive. One of the most expensive cities in the world, though not completely out of reach, even for a budget traveler. Besides your flight, accomodation will be the most expensive part. Expect to pay between $100-200 a night although you can find cheaper options. Food is very affordable. No more than you would pay anywhere else. As long as you aren’t hitting expensive fancy restaurants every day. Plan to spend between $5-10 a meal. Many sites are either free or very reasonably priced.
Tokyo is massive and using their subway system is a must. It’s very easy to use and super clean. You could also get a taxi but expect to pay considerably for those and you might be stuck in traffic. If you’re interested in traveling outside of Tokyo, consider taking the train. Purchase a Japan Rail pass if you plan on visiting several places to save money.
Expect to pay more than $100 a night for hotels in Japan. Japan does have hostels but the only real affordable ones are shared dorm rooms. If you want a private room, they start just under $100 and go up. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you might want to try out a capsule hotel. These hotels are very small rooms that have just enough space for a bed. You can store luggage while you sleep. But even these are super cheap. They run between $50-80 a night.
How long you stay depends on your budget and what you want to see. If you’re visiting just Tokyo, spend 3-5 days here, more if your budget allows. If you plan on visiting other cities in Japan then spend 3 days in Tokyo and a few days in the other places. You’ve come all this way so you need to make it worth your while! Read more about Japan below in our Japan Travel Guides.
Guide to Japan: Bucket List Ideas