Thanks to years of planning Japan trips for our clients (and ourselves), we’ve amassed a wealth of invaluable experience and essential travel tips.

Whether you’re visiting Japan for the first time, or planning a return visit, these Japan travel tips will help you prepare for your trip and get the most out of your time in the country.

This is a long article, featuring 39 of our best pieces of Japan travel advice. If you have the time and interest, we hope you’ll read all the way through. Or, refer to the table of contents below and skip ahead to the section most relevant to you!

Japan Travel Tips: Table of Contents

We hope our tips help you in planning your Japan adventure!

Planning Your Trip to Japan

First things first: if you’re in the early planning stages, this section will help you decide when to visit, where to go, and what to do during your Japan adventure!

1. Decide When to Visit to Japan

Japan is truly a year-round destination. Each season brings its own highlights, from cherry blossoms in spring and festivals in summer, to the stunning foliage of autumn and epic skiing in winter. Any time you visit, you’ll find plenty to enjoy.

The best time of year to visit Japan depends on your preferences for weather and crowds, and which experiences you most desire.

The dramatic differences between seasons require that you plan and pack appropriately for the weather – whether you’re hitting the beaches or the ski slopes! Bear in mind that the temperature can vary significantly depending on which part of the country you visit, so be sure to check the forecast for your specific destinations.

Kokoraya Naka-Meguro Tokyo Japan

2. Where to Go: Japan’s Best Destinations

Japan has a remarkable number of destinations to choose from and an equally impressive number of things to do in each one.

To get the most out of your trip, we recommend sorting out your itinerary well in advance. Things like accommodation and event tickets often sell out quickly – especially during peak travel seasons – so planning ahead means avoiding disappointment.

If you’re after some inspiration, check out our sample itinerary for two weeks in Japan, and the rest of our unique and immersive sample Japan itineraries.

3. Unique Japanese Experiences

Visiting Japan is an opportunity to enjoy some truly unique and memorable experiences. There are, of course, far too many to fit into a single trip.

You’ll find inspiration in some of our top recommended experiences below. For even more ideas, see our article on 25 Japan experiences to add to your bucket list.

Takefue Ryokan Kurokawa Onsen Kyushu Japan

4. Venture Outside the Big Cities

When you think of Japan, the first places you think of are probably the big-name cities of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. These are amazing places to visit, but by no means everything the country has to offer.

To gain a deeper understanding of Japan, try exploring some of the more off-the-beaten-path destinations – especially if this is not your first trip. Head north to the wilds of Hokkaido, visit the peaceful villages of Shikoku, or explore some of Okinawa’s achingly beautiful islands. Not only will you escape the crowds, but you’ll also get a glimpse of some of the most authentic and memorable parts of Japanese culture.

5. Spend a Night in a Ryokan

A ryokan is a traditional, Japanese-style inn, and we highly recommend staying a night or two in one during your trip. Ryokan are very different from regular hotels, and a quintessential part of the Japanese experience.

The majority are located in the countryside, providing the perfect opportunity to unwind, rejuvenate, and enjoy the very best of Japanese hospitality. Complete with minimalist tatami mat rooms, yukata robes, kaiseki meals, onsen baths, and futon bedding, you’re guaranteed to find it an experience like no other!

To get a more detailed picture, take a virtual tour of a ryokan.

6. Discover True Relaxation at an Onsen

Japanese onsen (hot springs) resorts provide the ultimate in luxury and relaxation. Whether you choose a historic indoor bath or a remote outdoor location surrounded by breathtaking natural scenery, they are a sublime, authentic cultural experience that you won’t encounter anywhere else.

We have even more info about the onsen experience in the virtual ryokan tour mentioned above, but here are a few etiquette tips to keep in mind:

  • Wash yourself thoroughly before entering the onsen itself, to keep the water sparkly clean.
  • Keep towels, toiletries, and clothing (everything but yourself!) out of the water.
  • Don’t stay in hot water too long if you’re not used to it – and be careful getting out. The high temperatures can make you feel lightheaded.
  • If you’re nervous about being naked in front of other people, consider renting a private onsen instead. Many high-end ryokan provide private baths attached to the rooms, and others offer hourly rentals.
Zen Garden Kongbuji Temple Mount Koya Japan

7. Stay in a Buddhist Temple

For even more of an escape from everyday life, a spiritual retreat at a Buddhist temple is just the ticket.

Visitors can get a taste of Buddhist life by staying at a shukubo (temple lodging), where you can take part in early morning prayers, meditation classes, and traditional Buddhist vegetarian cuisine. Some stays will also give you the option to help out with work around the temple as a form of active meditation.

One of the best places to experience temple life is on the mystical Mount Koya. Home to over 100 Buddhist temples and the otherworldly Okunoin Cemetery, it’s one of the most sacred destinations in Japan and the ideal location to immerse yourself in Zen.

8. Attend a Matsuri (Festival)

Japan’s matsuri (festivals) are nothing short of spectacular. Rich in tradition and bursting with color and energy, they showcase the country at its most dynamic and lively.

Attending a festival during your trip will be an unforgettable experience: a chance to try authentic and seasonal street food, witness unique traditions, and immerse yourself in an important part of Japanese life.

Festivals take place throughout the year all across the country, so regardless of your travel dates and itinerary, you should be able to find at least one to attend. Our list of Japan’s best festivals is a great place to start.

Sumo rikishi (wrestlers) during the Tokyo basho (tournament), Japan
Photo credit: Bob Bloom

9. Cheer at a Ball Game or Sumo Tournament

To get an insight into a very different side of Japanese culture, consider attending a sporting event such as baseball or sumo – even if you’re not a sports fan.

Sumo tournaments are all-day events steeped in ancient tradition — and they take place just six times a year. If you can’t make it to a tournament, there’s also the option to go to a sumo exhibition or morning practice. All the details you need are in our guide to sumo in Japan.

Baseball is an altogether more modern affair. A Japanese take on an American classic, the games are lively but very friendly, with enthusiastic fans singing and cheering in unison virtually non-stop from beginning to end. Players often have personal fight songs, and each team has unique celebrations involving props such as balloons and mini umbrellas.

Games happen several days a week during the season, and tickets can be purchased online, at the stadium, or from convenience stores.

10. Take a Walk in the Woods

It may come as a bit of a surprise, but Japan is roughly 68% forested and 73% mountainous – making it very easy to escape the noise and lights of the city to spend quality time in nature. So grab your hiking shoes and a bento box lunch, and get out there!

Japanese culture emphasizes harmony with and appreciation for the natural world, and hiking is a popular pastime for people of all ages. In pretty much any city, you’ll find easily accessible and scenic trails to explore. From challenging mountain peaks – including the iconic Fuji-san – to stunning riverside walks, there’s something to suit all abilities and preferences. Plus it’s a great way to burn off the calories from all the delicious food you’ll be eating!

Pre-Departure: Preparing for Your Visit to Japan

Next up, it’s time to prepare for your trip! Here are a few key things to think about before you leave home, from necessities like passports and currency, to packing advice and more.

11. Check Passports and Visas

A crucial part of any overseas travel!

Your passport should have at least six months’ validity from the end date of your visit, and two to four blank visa pages are recommended.

When it comes to visas, you might not need one – citizens of these countries can enter Japan without a tourist visa, usually for 90 days. Always check with the Japanese Embassy for the most up-to-date information before you travel.

We also recommend getting comprehensive travel insurance for your trip, to plan for the unexpected.

12. Learn Some Key Japanese Phrases 

First of all – don’t panic! It’s entirely possible to travel around Japan without knowing the language. Most Japanese people speak a little bit of English, and you’ll find plenty of English-language signage in big cities and popular tourist locations.

Having said that, learning a few Japanese phrases can significantly enhance your overall travel experience in Japan. It’s a rich and fascinating language, and Japanese people really appreciate tourists making an effort to learn it – even if only the most basic of phrases!

Download the Boutique Japan Tiny Phrasebook to get started with some carefully-selected words and phrases.

13. Decide Whether to Buy a Japan Rail Pass

The Japan Rail Pass is a discounted train pass offered exclusively to tourists. It gives you unlimited travel on most JR trains – including the shinkansen (bullet train) – for periods of 7, 14, or 21 consecutive days.

It sounds like a great deal, and if you’re making multiple long-distance journeys it may save you money on travel. However, depending on your itinerary and preferences, it might not be the best option. Our short guide to the Japan Rail Pass can help you decide.

14. Travel with Plenty of Yen

Despite its hi-tech reputation, Japan is a very cash-oriented society – so bring plenty with you!

Many bars, markets, small shops, and local restaurants only accept payment in cash, particularly in rural areas. You will probably need to carry more hard currency than you’re used to. Luckily, Japan is very safe, so you can feel comfortable doing so.

Ideally, you should purchase yen in your home country, but you can also exchange money in Japan at the airport, and at currency exchanges in any big city. Alternatively, more and more ATMs are starting to accept international cards – especially those in convenience stores. Before you go, get the complete lowdown on cash, cards, and ATMs in Japan.

Don’t forget to let your bank and credit/debit card provider know that you’ll be abroad to help ensure you can use your cards while you’re away. If you’re not sure exactly how much yen to bring, check out our article: Is Japan expensive?

15. Pack Light

Navigating Japan is much easier when you only have a small, easily portable bag or suitcase to contend with, particularly if you’re visiting a number of different destinations.

Can’t pack light? Skip ahead to the Luggage Forwarding section below.

Most trains have only a small amount of space for luggage, and even on the shinkansen there is no guarantee that you’ll find a space for a massive suitcase. Besides, stations are often crowded, making it awkward to navigate with large bags. You may even find yourself dragging bags up and down stairs if you can’t find an elevator or escalator.

If possible, limit yourself to a backpack and a small rolling suitcase – and remember to save room for souvenirs, because Japan is truly a shopper’s paradise!

Traveler with bag

16. Remember the Essentials!

We’ve already mentioned passports, yen, and weather-appropriate clothing, but there are a few more essentials you don’t want to forget:

  • A small towel and some hand sanitizer: Some public bathrooms in Japan don’t have soap, hand towels, or dryers.
  • Travel adaptors: Most of Japan’s electrical outlets are 2-pronged “Type A” (100 Volt, 50-60 Hz), so if your devices have a different style of plug, make sure you bring an appropriate adaptor.
  • Small gifts from home: These are wonderful for giving to guides and other people you meet during your travels in Japan. Local specialties are ideal!

Check out our complete guide to packing for Japan for more advice on what to bring and what to leave at home.

17. Rent Pocket Wi-Fi

Free Wi-Fi is not as readily available in Japan as you might expect, so we strongly recommend getting a pocket Wi-Fi device for the duration of your stay. Pocket Wi-Fi is a small, mobile hotspot that allows you to connect to the internet from your laptop, tablet, or smartphone pretty much anywhere in the country.

It’s best to order one well in advance, and either collect it at the airport or have it sent to your first hotel. Most companies will also give you the option to rent a Japanese mobile phone or SIM card for your existing phone (if it’s unlocked), which can save you from paying exorbitant prices if you need to make local calls.

For more information and recommended providers, take a look at our Wi-Fi and Mobile in Japan page.

18. Download Some Useful Apps

If you’re opting for Pocket Wi-Fi, you may as well use it to make your trip go smoothly!

Numerous apps can be helpful during your time in Japan, but here are a few to get you started:

  • Google Translate: It won’t always give you perfect translations, but it’s useful when trying to negotiate the language barrier.
  • Japanese-English dictionary apps: There are plenty to choose from, including Imiwa? and Japanese. A dictionary app can be useful for looking up individual words quickly.
  • Hyperdia: This app (and the associated website) enable you to search Japanese train routes and timetables across the country in English. Combined with specific transportation apps for the cities you’re visiting (like a Tokyo subway app), you’ll have no trouble getting around.
  • Google Maps: This is invaluable for navigating your way through Japan’s sometimes labyrinthine streets. The general lack of road names can make finding restaurants and bars by address difficult, whereas Google Maps will lead you straight to the door.

You’ve Arrived: Tips for Your Time in Japan

Now that you’re all prepared, here are some things to keep in mind once you arrive in Japan. A mix of travel hacks and insider advice, they’ll help ensure your trip goes as smoothly as possible:

19. Get an IC Card

If there’s one thing that will add convenience to your time in Japan, this is it.

IC cards are rechargeable credit-card-sized passes that can be used to pay fares on various public transport networks with a single tap (like London’s Oyster card and New York City’s MetroCard). With one of these, you won’t have to worry about which ticket to buy or how much the fare will be — just tap and go.

Be aware that you will need to purchase paper tickets for the shinkansen and limited express/special express trains. For more information, here’s a dedicated article on train travel in Japan.

What’s great about Japan’s IC cards is that they can be used in other cities, besides the one where you purchased it. For example, Tokyo’s PASMO card can also be used in Kyoto. Plus you can use them to pay for drinks and snacks at most convenience stores and vending machines – it doesn’t get much more convenient!

20. Forward or Store Your Luggage

If you haven’t managed to pack light – or if you’ve purchased many souvenirs – you might find traveling around Japan with a large suitcase a bit awkward.

Luckily, Japan has an answer to your problem: ship your bags separately with the wonderful takuhaibin luggage forwarding service. This overnight service (longer if you’re shipping to airports or far-flung destinations like Okinawa and Hokkaido where ferry travel is involved) will have your bags ready and waiting for you when you arrive. Your hotel or ryokan will be happy to make arrangements for you.

Alternatively, if you only need somewhere to store your bags for a few hours, you can make use of Japan’s numerous coin lockers. Commonly found at train stations and shopping malls, coin lockers are safe, affordable, and convenient places to leave your bags during a day of sightseeing.

jidoki vending machine japan drinks

21. Take Advantage of Conbini (Convenience Stores)

Japan’s legendary convenience stores – known locally as conbini – make life for travelers and locals really, well, convenient!

In conbini, you can find ATMs to withdraw cash using your overseas credit or debit card, and arrange luggage forwarding if you’re staying somewhere like an AirBnB rather than a hotel. They offer a surprising array of food, drinks, and snacks, including reasonably priced coffee. On top of this, they sell a fantastic range of travel goods and toiletries in case you forget something.

You can also buy tickets for events like baseball games, and attractions such as Universal Studios Japan in conbini. You can even pay for domestic flights and bus tickets, although not always in English.

The best bit – there’s one on pretty much every corner.

22. Take Your Litter Home

For such a clean country, Japan has surprisingly few rubbish bins.

You’ll find them in places like convenience stores and train stations, but there are hardly any on the street. Apart from sometimes next to vending machines or in public areas like parks, you won’t see many places to dispose of trash. You may find yourself holding on to your litter for much longer than you expect – perhaps even until you get back to your hotel.

You can prepare for this by bringing a plastic bag or reusable tote with you to store rubbish while you’re out and about. It’s a small tip, but can make all the difference when you’ve got a handful of litter and nowhere to put it!

Incidentally, more and more Japanese supermarkets are starting to charge a couple of yen for grocery bags, so bringing your own can save you some cash – and the environment.

Uruma Okinawa Japan

23. Avoid Crowds by Timing Your Sightseeing Right

It’s no secret that many of Japan’s top sightseeing spots can get pretty crowded. Kyoto, in particular, is known for attracting huge numbers of tourists to its most famous locations, including the stunning Fushimi Inari, Kiyomizu-dera, and Kinkaku-ji.

To avoid the worst of the crowds, consider timing your visit to coincide with quieter times of day, namely early morning or late evening. The sights are just as stunning, but you’ll have to share them with far fewer people. Perfect!

Japanese Etiquette Tips

Japanese people don’t expect travelers to know all of their customs inside out — don’t sweat it too much. As long as you’re respectful, you’ll be forgiven for making an etiquette mistake or two! However, a little effort goes a long way, so here are some Japanese etiquette pointers.

24. Think Before You Tip

Tipping is pretty much unheard of in Japan, despite the phenomenal level of customer service. In fact, if you try to leave a tip, it will almost definitely be turned down – making for a potentially awkward moment.

If you want to show your appreciation to someone like a private guide or interpreter, one alternative is to bring a small gift from your home country. If you feel strongly about offering a monetary tip, be sure to do so in a manner that matches Japan’s tipping etiquette to avoid causing embarrassment or appearing crass.

25. Take Off Your Shoes

Before entering homes, ryokan, certain temples, traditional restaurants, and any area with tatami matting, you will need to take off your shoes. It’s advisable to wear shoes that slip on and off easily because you’ll be doing this a lot!

Some places provide indoor slippers for you to wear, but this won’t always be the case. For instance, on tatami it’s generally best to wear socks in order to protect the matting. As such, it’s a good idea to wear decent, hole-free socks – or bring a pair with you if you’re not wearing any.

Generally speaking, it will be obvious when you need to remove your shoes: look for indicators like a lower entrance hall, tatami flooring, slippers laid out on the floor, and shoe storage shelves. If in doubt, just ask.

26. Watch Out For Bathroom Slippers

During your travels in Japan, you may notice that certain places, like homes and ryokan, have slippers exclusively for use in the bathroom.

When you enter the bathroom, leave your regular slippers outside the door and switch to the bathroom slippers. These should only be worn in the bathroom, so don’t forget to change back when you leave. This common faux pas might result in you being greeted by (friendly) laughter from the locals!

27. Familiarize Yourself with the Toilet Buttons!

Speaking of bathrooms, Japan is well known for its fancy toilets, which have an array of buttons to control various features. These functions can include small and large flushes, a bidet, a dryer, and an automatic lid opener.

Sometimes the controls are labeled in English as well as Japanese, but more often than not, you’ll be left to decipher the pictures and kanji characters yourself. The icons should be reasonably self-explanatory, but if you’re feeling nervous about it, you can search for a sample image online.

28. Taxi Doors

Japan is famous for technology and efficiency, so it should come as no surprise that taxi doors open automatically.

When you hail a taxi, the driver will pull up, and the rear door will automatically open for you to get in. Once inside, it will close again automatically behind you.

It’s just a tiny thing to be aware of, but one that might save you a bit of a surprise!

29. To Bow or Not to Bow

Bowing is one of the most commonly seen Japanese customs, and it’s used in a wide variety of situations, including greeting people, thanking someone, and apologizing. As a general rule of thumb, the deeper the bow, the more respectful it is.

Don’t worry if you feel uncomfortable at first. Most Japanese people know that bowing is uncommon in the west, and they won’t be scrutinizing your efforts! If you’d prefer to shake hands instead, that will most likely be fine too.

izakaya shinjuku tokyo japan

30. Smoking in Japan

If you’re a smoker, you’ll probably find that Japan is more lenient than your home country when it comes to cigarettes. Many traditional restaurants and bars still permit smoking inside. Train stations and other public areas often have an indoor smoking room where you can go to light up. Be careful on the street though, as smoking is usually not permitted on busy sidewalks – instead, you’ll need to look for a designated smoking area.

If you’re a non-smoker, you may well find the situation in Japan a little frustrating. However, an increasing number of bars and restaurants are thankfully choosing to make their premises smoke-free. A quick check of their website or signs in the window should help you find non-smoking establishments.

31. Cover Your Tattoos

In Japan, there is still an association between tattoos and organized crime. As a foreigner, you’re unlikely to be mistaken for a member of the yakuza. However, you might need to cover up your tattoos if you want to use public facilities such as gyms, swimming pools, and onsen (hot spring baths).

If your tattoos are too big or awkward to cover, don’t worry. You can always use a private onsen or search online for a tattoo-friendly one. These are becoming more common nowadays, particularly among establishments looking to cater to overseas visitors.

32. Be Respectful on Public Transport

Japanese society is known for its emphasis on politeness, and one of the places this is most apparent is the train network. Conductors bow to you, carriages are spotlessly clean, and departures are so punctual you can set your watch by them.

Keep these simple pointers in mind, and you’ll fit right in:

  • Don’t talk on your phone on public transport. If you need to make or answer a call on the train, you can do so in the small compartments between carriages.
  • Queue in the designated areas. On the train platform, you will usually see painted lines, numbers, and symbols on the ground indicating where to wait. And of course, let people off the train before trying to board.
  • Enjoy it! Take photos out the window, recline your seat on the shinkansen, grab a delicious bento box lunch from the station or beverage cart. Trains are a great place to relax as you glide seamlessly to your next destination.

33. Use the Money Tray

In Japan, money is rarely passed directly from hand to hand.

When you’re purchasing something in a shop, restaurant, or bar, you’ll often notice a small tray next to the cash register. It might be on the counter or attached to the cash register itself. You should place your money or credit/debit card in the tray, instead of handing it to the cashier.

The cashier will usually place your change in the money tray after completing the transaction. The same system operates when paying for services in places like hotels, cinemas, and onsen.

Another common practice for exchanging money is to place cash in an envelope, rather than passing it openly, and using both hands to pass it.

Japan Travel Tips: Eating and drinking

Japan really is a foodie’s paradise. From Michelin-standard delights to authentic local cuisine, it more than deserves its reputation as a top culinary mecca. Here are some tips to ensure you make the most of Japan’s edible delights during your trip:

ramen japan

34. Try All the Food!

This may seem like a bit of an obvious point, but it’s still one travel tip worth making.

For a truly high-end experience, you’ll want to splurge on a multi-course, seasonal kaiseki meal – or the vegan/vegetarian version known as shojin ryori. To sample an eclectic variety of Japanese food in one place, head to an izakaya. These casual Japanese-style gastropubs are a must-visit, and one of the best ways to fully immerse yourself in local culture.

From well-known classics such as sushi and ramen to lesser-known but no less delicious dishes like soba and karaage there is a wealth of mouthwatering Japanese foods to try.

On top of this, there are countless local specialties to enjoy as you visit different cities. So if your itinerary includes several destinations, be sure to investigate! To get you started, check out our recommendations for must-eat foods in Kyoto, foods in Osaka, and foods in Fukuoka.

35. Brush Up on Your Chopstick Etiquette

Even if you consider yourself an expert with chopsticks, you might not be aware of some etiquette to keep in mind while using them:

A must for all the food you’re going to be trying!

  • Never point your chopsticks at another person, wave them in the air, or spear food with them.
  • Don’t stick your chopsticks into a bowl of rice, or pass food from chopsticks to chopsticks, as this is reminiscent of funeral rites.
  • When serving yourself from a communal dish, use the opposite end of your chopsticks (not the end you put in your mouth) to serve yourself.

If you can’t use chopsticks don’t worry – you can always ask for a knife and fork.

36. Plan Ahead if You Have Dietary Requirements

Contrary to popular belief, traveling through Japan with special dietary requirements is definitely possible – if you plan ahead.

It is, unfortunately, true that dietary restrictions are not as well understood in Japan as in some other countries, and they cannot always be accommodated. However, following this advice will make your life much easier:

  • To prevent misunderstandings, convey what you can and can’t eat specifically (rather than just stating that you are vegan or gluten-free, for example).
  • Give plenty of advance notice when asking a restaurant or ryokan to alter their menu, as it will take time and preparation.
  • Learn some key Japanese vocabulary, or carry a phrase card with you. Learn phrases relating to your dietary needs such as:
    • ‘I’m allergic to ___.’
    • ‘I can’t eat ___.’
    • ‘Does this contain ___?’
  • Research, research, research! The internet is a goldmine of information and advice for travelers with dietary requirements in Japan. There is an ever-increasing number of websites about being vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free/etc. in Japan, which can be absolute life-savers.
sake display Kamimeguro, Tokyo, Japan

37. Go Sake Tasting

No list of Japan travel tips would be complete without a little sake!

If you’re not an expert, the best way to gain an appreciation for sake is quite simply to drink it. If you’re unsure of where to start, try a sake tasting experience or go on a brewery tour for a crash course. Another option is to ask the bar or restaurant staff for their recommendations.

One thing to bear in mind is that in Japanese, the word ‘sake’ refers to all alcoholic drinks in general. Use the word ‘nihonshu’ when you order, and you’re sure to impress! If you’re drinking with a group, always fill up other people’s glasses, not your own – and they’ll do the same for you.

For a longer primer on Japan’s national tipple, take a look at our Sake 101 guide. For something a little different, consider branching out into shochu.

Incidentally, while Japan might be best known for sake, it also has an internationally-acclaimed whisky industry. There are several Japanese whisky distilleries across the country that you can visit for a glimpse behind the scenes and a tasting, as well as a plethora of specialty whisky bars.

38. Attend a Tea Ceremony

Japan is home to one of the world’s most venerable tea cultures, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the traditional tea ceremony.

Participating in tea ceremonies is a wonderfully Japanese experience. Conducted using matcha – a high-quality, finely ground powder made from shade-grown green tea plants – it is not simply a way to learn more about preparing and serving tea. The ceremony is also a chance to take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and enjoy authentic Japanese hospitality.

You won’t be expected to know the etiquette of the tea ceremony – after all, that’s part of what you’re there to learn! Just remember to wear nice socks and comfortable clothes, as you’ll likely be in a tatami room and therefore have to remove your shoes and sit on the floor.

bear pond espresso shimokitazawa tokyo japan

39. Don’t Restrict Yourself to Just Matcha!

Matcha might be the most famous, but it’s certainly not the only tea in Japan that you can explore.

If you’re a tea lover, be sure to take the opportunity to try all the varieties of tea on offer. From grassy sencha and top quality gyokuro, to roasted hojicha and brown rice-laden genmaicha, Japan has a tea for every taste and occasion. Besides tea ceremonies, you can visit tea houses for tastings, and even tea plantations for tours.

Tea leaves also make an ideal souvenir, enabling you to bring a taste of Japan back home with you.

Not a fan of tea? Japan also has a booming specialty coffee scene, so be sure to check it out if a cup of joe is more your style.

Looking for More Authentic Japanese Experiences?

Hopefully, these Japan travel tips have helped you in planning and preparing for your trip.

Whether you usually plan your own trips, or normally work with a destination expert, planning a trip to Japan can seem overwhelming at times.

At Boutique Japan, our specialty is crafting completely customized trips for travelers seeking unique, authentic experiences.

If you are interested in learning more about working with us, please feel free to explore our trip planning process.

Free Japan Trip-Planning Resources

About Ashley Owen

Ashley is a freelance writer who contributes regularly to online and print publications, including Kansai Scene, GaijinPot and Metropolis. Originally from the UK, she has spent the last two years traveling around Japan and loves sharing her passion for this beautiful country with the world. Follow her on Instagram or check out her website.