Image: Daigoji Temple in Kyoto, Japan during the fall. (photo via Regent Seven Seas Cruises) (Photo Credit: (photo via Regent Seven Seas Cruises))
Image: Daigoji Temple in Kyoto, Japan during the fall. (photo via Regent Seven Seas Cruises) (Photo Credit: (photo via Regent Seven Seas Cruises))
Japan Today: October 4, 10:11 AM 56°F Overcast Clouds

Japan Travel Guide 

Japan is an island country located in East Asia. It’s known for its unique culture, beautiful landscapes, and advanced technology. From the bustling streets of Tokyo to the peaceful temples of Kyoto, Japan offers something for every traveler.

In our opinion, Japan has excellent nightlife, and the hot spots for food and drink after hours are abundant. Our experience traveling to Japan was spectacular, with the deep sunsets and majestic views watching the cliff divers. We recommend visiting during spring or fall, as it’s quieter and the weather is more comfortable.

Japan has an extensive public transportation system, including trains, buses, and subways. We found that while taxis and rental cars are also available, driving can be difficult due to the crowded streets and unfamiliar road rules. We opted for a Japan Rail Pass, which allows for unlimited travel on most JR trains for a set period.

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Important Things To Know


The currency in Japan is the Japanese Yen (¥). One Yen is divided into 100 sen. Coins come in 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, and 500 Yen denominations. Banknotes come in 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, and 10,000 Yen denominations.

We recommend you carry a mix of cash and credit/debit cards. Many small businesses and restaurants only accept cash, so it's a good idea to have some Yen on hand. 

Tokyo, cherry trees, cherry blossoms, Yoyogi Park, G Adventures, japan

Cherry trees blossom above Tokyo's Yoyogi Park. (photo via G Adventures) (Photo Credit: (photo via G Adventures))

National Languages

The official language of Japan is Japanese. While English is taught in schools, proficiency varies widely. Some Japanese people may be able to understand basic English but may have difficulty speaking or reading it.

English is more widely spoken in major tourist areas such as Tokyo and Kyoto, and many signs and menus will have English translations. However, English speakers may be harder to find in smaller towns or rural areas.

We recommend that travelers in Japan learn a few basic Japanese phrases to help them navigate their trip. This can include simple greetings like "hello" and "thank you" and basic phrases for ordering food or asking for directions.

It's also worth mentioning that Japan has a very polite culture. It's always a good idea to show respect by bowing and using polite language when interacting with locals.

Climate And Weather

Japan has distinct seasons. Summers are generally hot and humid, ranging from 68 - 86°F (20 - 30°C). Winters are mild, with temperatures ranging from 32 - 50°F (0 - 10°C).

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When To Visit Japan

Himeji Castle, Japan, Himeji Japan, G Adventures, tour group, tour in japan
Travelers standing before the Himeji Castle in Himeji, Japan. (photo via G Adventures) (Photo Credit: (photo via G Adventures))

The best time to visit Japan depends on your interests. Spring (March to May) is the best time to see the cherry blossoms. Summer (June to August) is the best time for festivals and outdoor activities. 

Fall (September to November) is the best time for colorful foliage and comfortable temperatures. Winter (December to February) is the best time for skiing and hot springs.

    Where To Stay

    Kyoto, Japan, Bamboo forest, Arashiyama bamboo forest, G Adventures
    Two women walk within the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest in Kyoto, Japan. (photo via G Adventures) (Photo Credit: (photo via G Adventures))

    • Tokyo: We suggest Tokyo for a modern city experience with shopping, nightlife, and world-class dining.
    • Kyoto: If, like us, you are looking for a traditional Japanese experience with temples, shrines, and gardens, head over to Kyoto.
    • Hokkaido: This island is popular for its natural beauty and outdoor activities such as skiing and hiking.
    • Okinawa: Another stunning island, Okinawa has some of the best beaches, snorkeling, and warm weather in Japan.
    • Hiroshima: If you crave history and peace, visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum in Hiroshima.


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