A round trip to Japan is a dream, of which you should will never want an awakening. Experience a country full of wonderful extremes: flashing high-tech metropolises alternate with picture-perfect natural scenery and traditions thousands of years old.
Mysticism and secrets
Discover with Tokyo one of the biggest and craziest cities of the world, climb the unique Mount Fuji or let yourself be completely enchanted by the old traditions of the Geishas. It doesn’t matter if you want to go on a Japan package tour or if you want to design your Japan round trip individually: This country will never let you go again: You will receive fascinating answers to questions, that you would never have asked yourself.
The helper for your Japan travels
Here you will learn everything you need to know before Tour of Japan you need to know: Which Japan Sights you must not miss? What tips you absolutely must keep in mind when planning and how to get from A to B in Japan? You can find the answers here!
Facts and Figures
Is it possible to visit such a diverse country in a few hard facts explain?
Of course not. Let us try it anyway.
Japan travel planning
Visa and entry
Germans, Austrians and Swiss get without problems a 90-day residence permit in Japan. This is called a "Visa on Arrival" issued on site at the airport. Make sure you get a return ticket in advance, otherwise you might have to fly back home before you even get to Japan. Check the website of the German Foreign Office before your trip to Japan. Here you get all relevant information.
Japan is a very developed country and the Japanese yen is currently one of the strongest currencies in the world. So plan for generous budget one; a normal dinner costs a good 15 € (ca. 1.900 ¥) and a hotel stay at least 100 € (ca. 12.500 ¥). It is also advisable for your round trip in Japan to compare offers on the Internet. Withdrawing money on site is very easy with a credit card, only with EC cards you should expect some complications. In general, especially in rural areas always Have cash on you, to get snacks, drinks or souvenirs.
Transportation in Japan: The train
The Japanese are passionate train drivers. Not only because there are bullet trains here – Called Shinkansen – there are cars that race through the countryside at up to 320km/h. The trains are also the most punctual in the world – A delay of 20 seconds in Japan is already reason enough for serious apologies to passengers. For comparison: In Germany 28% of trains are delayed 5 minutes or more – rather more. Because of the good local transportation options, a round trip in Japan is quite possible without domestic flight.
Road trip through Japan
You want to see Japan on your own explore by rental car? Of course, this is not a problem either! Rental car agencies are many – But prepare well: In addition to an international driver’s license, you need to get a translation for your license from the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF for short) – already before you start your trip or when you arrive in Tokyo. Due to the high tolls and parking fees and the unphotogenic highways, we advise you to start your Japan vacation by train.
The best time to travel
Japan has six different climate zones and has – just like Germany – four seasons. Spring and autumn are especially popular during a Japan vacation.
This is due to the unique colorfulness that these seasons bring with them. Blossom in spring Japan’s cherry trees in the most beautiful shades of pink and rose. A sight you will not be able to get enough of.
In autumn, on the other hand, the leaves turn orange-red and the whole country seems to have fallen into a pot of bright finger paints. The "Momiji" – the autumn leaves – during the Japanese autumn months the colors are much more intense than in Europe.
Arriving in Japan
- Airport luggage service – When you arrive in Japan, you will want to explore the city. No one feels like lugging around a heavy suitcase on vacation. Make use of the Japanese luggage service, which brings everything directly to the hotel.
- Mobile data – Wifi routers and sim cards for cell phones can be purchased quickly and easily at the airport. So you always have a cheap internet connection during your Japan roundtrips.
- The IC card – For public transportation in Japan’s metropolises you need this green card, which can be recharged at every stop. You can use it not only to pay for the train, but also in restaurants and certain shopping stores.
- Train snack – Buy a lunch box, called Ekibento, at the kiosk and take it with you on long train trips. It is filled with fresh sushi and seasonal and regional specialties.
- Looking for delicious restaurants nearby? – Then use the page Tabelog.com. This is the Japanese version of Yelp and can be very helpful in cities you know little or nothing about.
Japan background knowledge
Japanese is considered one of the heaviest languages in the world – Nevertheless, it is worth memorizing the most important words and phrases before starting a tour of Japan. The Japanese speak surprisingly little English.
To get along on the street, you have to communicate with your hands, feet and a big smile.
A real lifesaver: Google Translate.
Here you simply enter a German text and it will not only be translated into Japanese characters in real time, but also read out aloud. So deep conversations with the local people are quite possible.
You don’t even need an internet connection for this if you download the app Google Translator and the languages you want directly to your phone.
Japan is a very religious country. Especially the Shintōism is practiced here. This one deals especially with the native gods of Japan, many of which have their origins in China. In Japan there are many Shinto festivals.
For example, the festivals of the shrine deities (matsuri). Always look out for shrines carried through the streets. This is an expression of Shintōism. Buddhism is also strong, and most Japanese both Shintoists as well as Buddhists.
Japan, the island nation
Japan has 6.852 islands. 425 are inhabited, the rest jungle and wilderness. The following is an overview of the 4 main islands where 98% of the population lives.
1. The Island Honshu is the most famous. Here are the biggest Japan sights and the most important metropolises like Tokyo.
2. Hokkaido is called the "wild island. Here you can still find real jungle and wild bears in Japan’s Akan National Park.
3. Shikoku is the smallest of Japan’s main islands and a popular place of pilgrimage for.
4. At Kyoshu active volcanoes, subtropical beaches and wild hot springs await tourists who come here only sporadically.
Emergence of Japan
God Izanagi and Goddess Izanami looked down one day from the sky to the infinite ocean of the earth. They would have liked to have some land to settle, but there was only water.
So you stabbed it with a coral spear and when you pulled it out a few drops fell down. The drops turned into land when they hit the sea – The (alleged) birth of Japan.
Japan’s history is full of conquests and regencies. Japan as we know it today can be traced back to the time of the First World War. From 1912 to 1926 there were great changes in the country.
So he was given some Regions and colonies in China and in the South Seas awarded what made Japan grow. In addition, industrialization finally took hold in the country – the population grew as did its cities and factories. Today Tokyo is one of the most populous cities in the world.
Japan Fun Facts
Many Germans know and use these Japanese words in everyday life. But what they mean exactly, few people know. Here you can find out what is really behind it.
The Samurai emerged around the year 700 A.D. as a Warriors, to which they were subordinated, were faithful. The samurai were known for their unbeatable skills in direct hand-to-hand combat – but they were required to generously spare the weak and defenseless.
Japanese work too much.
» True. On average, they work 6 hours more a week than Germans and retire 9 years later. You are entitled to 18 days of vacation per year, but it is common to take only 8 of them in order not to look bad in front of the boss.
Japanese take photos everywhere and of everything.
» True. When Japanese are traveling, they have their camera on every second.
All Japanese have talking toilets.
» True in part. In many restrooms in Japanese metropolises, you will be greeted in a friendly manner and soothing sounds will accompany you during your transaction. However, there are also normal squat toilets in Japan, without any high-tech frills.
The Japanese are polite.
» True absolutely. In Japanese culture it is deeply anchored to always smile and to always give the other person a good feeling. This is why a Japanese person will probably never answer "no" to a question. He will try to fulfill your every wish. As a vacationer in this country you should also act according to these rules and norms.
Westerners can not read the Japanese signs.
» Not true. Since a few years the street signs in big cities are translated also for western eyes.
Japanese want to look like Westerners.
» True! The trends of the Japanese pop culture speak a clear language. Mangas and anime characters, which are incredibly popular in Japan, have a strikingly "Western" look with big eyes and blond hair. In addition, the number of cosmetic surgery for eyelid correction is growing in Japan – Many Japanese freewomen try to look more European with it.
Dishes and delicacies
The Japanese cuisine
The Japanese, more than almost any other country, know how to put a high value on food. Typically, people in Japan eat five meals a day, and with all of them – even drinks the rice is in the foreground. Japanese cuisine is a colorful potpourri of tastes, spices, and fresh ingredients from all over the world. Japanese dishes are heavily influenced by Chinese cuisine, but other countries have also contributed to their diversity. The method of fermenting fish and seafood for Japanese sushi, for example, comes from the Mekong River in Southeast Asia.
Maki, nigiri, sashimi… Whether filled with fish, meat or simply vegetables; sushi is THE hit of Japanese cuisine. The most important thing when eating sushi is that the fish is processed freshly caught, since it ends up raw in the sushi.
On every corner you can find this Japanese interpreted noodle soup with Chinese origin. It is not only one of the cheapest dishes, but also a delicious satiator – depending on your preference, the soup is served with meat, egg and/or vegetables.
These Japanese dumplings with various fillings are often served as a snack or side dish. What wan tan is in China, momos in Nepal, pelmeni in Russia and Maultaschen in Germany, gyoza are in Japan – simply delicious!
The Japanese answer to the Wiener schnitzel. In fact, this Japanese delicacy is very similar to the European classic not only in appearance but also in taste. Traditionally served on white cabbage salad.
Eat sushi without embarrassment
- Maki will called sushi rolled in seaweed. Nigiri consist of a morsel of rice on which fish or seafood is placed.
- Take Your maki sushi in your hand. The nigiri are eaten with chopsticks.
- Dunk only the fish side of your nigiri into the soy sauce. The rice stays dry.
- A sushi, a hap. Under no circumstances should you attempt to take a small bite.
- Wasabi and soy sauce are traditionally not mixed – if you do so anyway, you will be exposed as an amateur.
- The pickled ginger, which is served with sushi, does not belong on the rolls at all. Rather, it is eaten in between as a neutralizer.
Round trips through Asia
Do you feel like Get round trip in Asia? Then these round trip recommendations for Vietnam and Thailand will certainly interest you:
What to expect on a round trip through Thailand? Mystical beaches, wonderful culture and delicious food aside…
The trendy travel destination Vietnam awaits with an unmistakable diversity of nature and pampers the soul all along the line. See for yourself!