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Traveller with hands up in front of Mount Fuji, Japan

Japan Travel Guide

Japan, a captivating blend of ancient traditions and modern marvels, beckons travellers with its unique charm and cultural richness. Embark on a journey through time in Kyoto, where ancient temples, tranquil gardens, and traditional tea houses transport you to a bygone era. Witness the iconic cherry blossoms in full bloom, painting the landscapes in shades of pink and white, creating a surreal atmosphere of beauty and serenity. Indulge in the exquisite culinary delights of Japan, from the delicate flavours of sushi and sashimi to the sizzling street food of Osaka.

Beyond the bustling cities, immerse yourself in the scenic wonders of Japan. Traverse the picturesque landscapes of Hokkaido, with its stunning national parks, hot springs, and world-class skiing slopes. Explore the rugged beauty of the Japanese Alps, where you can hike through breathtaking mountain trails and soak in natural hot springs to rejuvenate your body and soul. Experience the unique blend of tradition and innovation in Tokyo, a city that seamlessly combines ancient shrines and temples with futuristic skyscrapers and vibrant street fashion. With its rich history, mesmerizing landscapes, and unique cultural tapestry, Japan offers an unforgettable travel experience that will captivate your senses and leave you with lifelong memories.

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Key Facts

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  • Get the best of ancient Asia mixed with the super-modern in Japan
  • Explore vibrant cities, stunning landscapes and incredible islands in this varied country
  • Be awed by the sights and sounds of ultra-modern Tokyo
  • See ancient shrines, temples and Buddhist sites in Kyoto and beyond
  • Hop easily across to other Asian destinations for a full-on Asian gap year

Tokyo, Japan’s lively capital city, is a feast for the senses, with everything from super-modern skyscrapers to ancient temples nestling in its endlessly fascinating city streets.

  • Overload your senses in the city streets of Tokyo, with its modern technology, shopping, restaurants and bars galore, then wind your way to ancient temples and gorgeous gardens, all in this vibrant capital city.
  • Visit the ancient imperial city of Kyoto and marvel at the hundreds of temples, pagodas, shrines and gardens that make up this amazing ancient city.  See the Geishas of Gion or see traditional teahouses in this capital of culture.
  • See spectacular scenery in the Japan Alps and visit Takayama, home to beautiful landscapes, traditional wooden houses and rice fields.
  • Take a trip to the 17th Century cultural castle town of Kanazawa and visit the stunning Keroku-en garden, rated one of Japan’s top three traditional gardens.
  • See the over-the-top grandeur of the Tosho-gu shrine in Nikko and visit the mountains and National Parks in the area
  • Head to Sapporo for the annual international snow festival
  • Go skiing on the sensational slopes in the mountains of Japan
  • Be awed by the breathtaking beauty of Mount Fuji and even hike up this iconic mountain
  • Delve into Japan’s tragic past as you visit the once-devastated cities of Hiroshima or Nagasaki and see Hiroshima’s Peace Park or the A-Bomb museums
  • Enjoy the lively nightlife in Osaka
  • Visit Japan’s holiest mountain, Koyu-San and see over 100 monasteries in this spiritual place
  • Dip into one of the ‘onsens’ or famous Japanese hot springs in locations such as Beppu and sit in bubbling pools surrounded by snow for an unforgettable experience!

Japan is famous for its unique cuisine. Some of the best-known dishes and ingredients include Sushi, which refers to any dish made with ‘sushi’ rice; sashimi, which is raw fish; skewers of chicken known as ‘yakitori’; Yakiniku (grilled meat, often beef or pork); Teppanyaki, which consists of meat, vegetables or seafood prepared freshly in front of you on a flat griddle; Tofu (a soybean product);  Miso soup; Tempura (battered & deep fried meat, seafood or vegetables) and Gyoza (stuffed dumplings).  Dishes are often accompanied by the Asian staple, rice, or by a variety of noodles, including Soba (made of buckwheat), Udon (thick noodles made of wheat) and Ramen (a noodle soup). Wash it all down with a shot of sake!

From December to February, much of Japan will see significant snowfall, on the side of the country that faces the Sea of Japan. Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Kyoto often have reasonably mild winters. 

From June to August, during the Japanese summer, high temperatures and humidity are the norm, and from May-June, Japan sees a short rainy season. August, September and October are known as typhoon season. During spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November), the weather is mild and pleasant, making these ideal times to visit.


Visas may be required in order to enter or transit through certain countries depending on your passport nationality, your reason for travel and how long you intend to stay.

Visa, passport and entry rules are subject to change and you should check the most up-to-date information from the relevant embassy or visa specialist.

To make things easier we have teamed up with The Travel Visa Company who are one of the UK’s leading travel visa specialists. You can use their website, alongside embassy websites,  to find out the specific entry requirements for the countries you intend to travel to.

For a fee, their dedicated team of experts can also apply for visas on your behalf, taking away the hassle and streamlining the process for you if you wish. For more details on the services they provide please click here – The Travel Visa Company


Passports must be kept in good condition. Travellers with damaged passports may be refused entry at immigration. It is the responsibility of the traveller to ensure that all travel documents are in good condition before they travel. Most countries will also require at least 6 months of validity on your passport from the time you finish your trip. 

Further Entry Requirements

Some countries will require proof of certain vaccines, such as yellow fever or covid, in order to gain entry. Please check with the relevant embassy or a visa specialist before travelling.

The language spoken in Japan is Japanese.

Japanese plug sockets take two-pin plugs similar to those used in the USA, so UK appliances will need a universal adaptor.

Japanese people tend to be quite reserved and do not look kindly on loud or inappropriate behaviour.

A common custom in Japan is bowing as a greeting or to give thanks, and to show respect.  Men usually bow from the waist, with a straight back and arms at the side, while women will put their hands clasped in their lap.

When entering a Japanese home, it is the custom to remove your shoes, and slippers or sandals are often provided to wear indoors.

Penalties for involvement in crime are severe in Japan and there is a zero-tolerance policy for drugs.

Crime rates in Japan are fairly low. You should take the usual safety precautions when travelling, to avoid petty crime and theft, especially in the Roppongi area of Tokyo.

Travellers must avoid the nuclear exclusion zone around Fukushima.

You should visit your doctor around 8 weeks prior to travelling to discuss any possible vaccinations you may need.

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