• At A Glance
  • Best Time to Visit
  • Things to Do & See
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Japan General Information

Population: 126.7 million
Capital City: Tokyo
People: Japanese
Language: Japanese
Currency: Japanese Yen (JPY)
Time Zone: UTC +9 Hrs
International Dialing Code: +81
Religions: Shintoism, Buddhism, and Christianity

Japan mapPassport and visa

There are over 50 countries in the world having a passport as a visa exempt to visit Japan including all European Union, United States, Canada, Australia, Thailand, South Korea, and so on. Citizens from these countries only need a valid passport and they will be considered as temporary visitors. Check out the list on Wikipedia. If you are not from these countries, you have to obtain a visa to visit Japan and stay up to 90 days as temporary visitors. Tourists including passengers from Japan shore excursions are ordered to bring along passports every time.

Currency

The official currency of Japan is the Yen (¥). Banknotes include the denominations of 1,000 yen, 2,000 yen, 5,000 yen, and 10,000 yen. While coins have smaller values as the denominations of 1 yen, 5 yen, 10 yen, 50 yen, 100 yen, and 500 yen. Japan Currency - BanknotesEven Japan is a modern country, cash is still the priority on many payment methods, especially in daily activities in small amounts. In big cities and urban areas, credit and debit cards are more acceptable that visitors can book rooms in hotels, use services on most shopping malls, restaurants, outlet stores, and large retail shops without bringing cash.

ATM in JapanPhones & Internet service

Being one of the most developed in technology and economy, Japan provides internet in many places across the country. You can stay connecting to Wi-Fi while traveling, even when you are moving on the road. Almost all hotels in this country offer free internet in guest rooms. Internet in Japan railway stationHowever, there are many wireless hotspots to access along the country at a reasonable price. You can connect to internet by laptops and smartphones in public places such as train stations, subway stations, airports, and other services including hotels, restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and clubs. If you don’t want to get out of the internet anytime, rent or buy a SIM card with unlimited internet access through your smartphones.
Japan climate can be divided into four seasons including spring, summer, autumn, and winter. However, the different is not too much between the two adjacent ones. Winter and early spring are too cold that the entire country is covered with pure white snow. While in summer and early autumn, Japan is dominated by rainfall. For overall, the best time to take a holiday, trip, or shore excursion to Japan is during the time of late spring and late autumn when rain is not too much, the sky is clear, and the temperature is pleasant.

Spring in Japan

Springtime is normally from mid-March to May. With the temperatures oscillate from 4 – 18°C, the weather changes frequently between day after day. The cold air in winter has not gone completely yet that you may feel cold with a little remaining snow. But some days, you can just wear a flimsy shirt when walking outside. Spring in JapanSpring is the peak time of tourism due to the symbolized cherry blossoms fully blooming in most streets and corners of Japan. Local people even make a sakura bloom schedule to inform the time to visit Japan with the most spectacular view. However, this time raise the cost for traveling dramatically, and the number of visitors is also extremely high.

Summer in Japan

Summer in the time from June to mid-September is for summer with heat and humidity. The temperature changes from 21 to 32°C and reaches its peak from July to August. These months are also the time of heaviest rainfall in the entire country. Summer in JapanRain can cause difficulties and annoying feeling when you enjoy your Japan trip. However, summer is the most exotic time in the year. Blessed by rain, fauna becomes lively and full of vitality. People are also powered up with various summer festivals held around the country. The great ones that have to mention are Gion Matsuri in Kyoto, Nebuta Matsuri in Aomori, Tenjin Matsuri in Osaka, and so on.

Autumn in Japan

The most pleasant time in Japan is in autumn running during mid-September and late-November. The temperature is nicely around 10 - 21°C with lack of rain and rarely snowy. October and early November is the peak time when attracts various visitors coming to enjoy the spectacular view over the country with red and yellow leaves covering every street. Autumn in JapanSoaking in an outdoor onsen hot spring while marveling at the spellbinding autumn foliage is the best idea to escape from the bustling daily life and freely enjoy your own time.

Winter in Japan

Winter usually runs from December to mid-March, but it is different in other places. Of course, winter is the coldest time in Japan with the thermometer usually measures from -1 – 7°C. That leads to a lack of visitors providing a huge space to experience this country all for yourself, especially the ideal time for those who hate crowd. Winter in JapanThe best activity to enjoy in Japan winter is soaking in the Japanese onsen hot springs which exist in many areas such as Beppu and Hakodate. The cost of traveling is also much cheaper at this time.

Things to do and see in Japan

Japan is one of the most popular destinations in Asia shore excursions. The land of Sakura provides a plenty of things and places to discover including cultural villages, heritages, religious sites, landmarks, and attractions that we would like to some typical activities below.

Climb Mount Fuji

Shimizu shore excursions
The symbol of Japan – Mount Fuji – is the must-include in any Shizuoka shore trip. Be listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the mountain has the shape of a pyramid with the top covered by beautiful white snow. If you want to get closer, climb the mountain to feel the emotionally moving. The best time to visit the Mount Fuji is from July to September when the weather is not too cold and lack of rainy.

Climb Mount FujiHot-Tubbing Monkeys

Tropical Botanical Garden - Hakodate shore excursions
The Garden located at a corner of Yunokawa Hot Spring has hundreds of monkeys with red faces and yellow hair. Even in winter, the pool is filled with hot spring water which provides a warm place for monkeys playing happily. Admire funky monkeys jumping from the pillar into the water is a lovely image that you can be unavoidably from laughing at the mischievousness of them.

Hot-Tubbing Monkeys in HakodateEating ramen

Any restaurant serves ramen
Of course, ramen becomes popular nowadays that you can find in many places around the world. But eating ramen in its country will bring to you the completely strange experience. There are three main reasons leading ramen ranked first place in the list of the most favorite Japanese food for foreigners, over sushi and tempura. Japanese ramenThe first reason is a delicious soup made from chicken, pork, and beef bones, shellfish, or even vegetables which combine into one, create a sweet soup without sugar. The next secret is noodles. The perfect noodles for a savory bowl of ramen have to have the exactly correct thickness, shape and are cooked in the right way with nice timing. Last but not less, the lusciousness of ramen depends on not only the way they cook but also the way you eat. Japanese usually slurp the ramen. It can be considered as an impolite action in Western and American culture, but it will slay your taste. The flavor can be much better and nail every diner.

Take a trip to a castle

Every place in Japan
It is not hyperbole that Japan is the land of ancient castles. Although many repairs have been done, Japan still maintains several ancient structures from over 400 years ago. During this period, Japan consisted of dozens of small independent states leading to each Emperor have to build an inviolable structure to pretend their family and civils from enemy’s attacks. Japan castleAmong several castles in the whole country, the Himeji Castle is the most popular one which is also the most pristine structure that reveals the traditional Japanese architecture. Moreover, Japan has a plenty of beautiful castles including Matsumoto Castle, Nagoya Castle, Osaka Castle, Matsue Castle, Hirosaki Castle, Hikone Castle, and much more. Every castle has its own features and beauties. Some are spectacular by cherry blossom trees surrounding, while others have priceless historical meanings. However, all of them are designed following the featured Japanese style.

Pray for peace

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum - Hiroshima shore excursions
This country is the only one in the world destroyed by atomic bombs. The two bombs were dropped on the land of Nagasaki and Hiroshima where a Peace Memorial was built soon after to remind about the victims of the bloody war. Besides the memory meaning, the Museum is covered with trees, lawns, and peaceful walking paths. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima shore excursionsThe A-Bomb Dome served as a place to promote Hiroshima’s old industries. It was one of a few buildings that can stand through the bomb explosion and then is listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Nearby, the Cenotaph for the A-Bomb Victims with an arched design is the tomb holding a register for the names of the victims died by the bomb.

Stroll along Otaru Canal

Otaru shore excursions
Was formerly a center of the old city’s port in the first half of the 20th century, Otaru canal served as a huge complex of warehouses containing the goods transferred by small boats. When they applied modern technology to the transportation, the canal was not used for trading purpose anymore. Thanks to the actions of local people, the canal was restored beautifully and touristy. Stroll along Otaru CanalStroll along the canal to admire the showcase creating by amateur artists performing traditional dances, folk music, paint portraits, and so on. In the evening, when the vintage gas lamps are lighted up, the area is breathtaking with the romantic atmosphere and poetry picture of numerous fireflies jumping mischievously above the surface of the idyllic canal.

Lost in the manga world

Mizuki Shigeru Museum - Sakaiminato Shore Excursions
Back to the childhood by strolling along the Mizuki Shigeru Road leading to the Mizuki Shigeru Museum which has the name of a famous Japanese Author who is famous for creating the manga images of ‘Yokai’ which means demon in English. Japanese people thought that Yokai not only helps people throwing away their laziness and selfishness but also realize them to protect the nature and the environment. Mizuki Shigeru MuseumIn the museum, admire the unique and diverse artworks which represent by Mizuki with amazing philosophy and spirit, through the exhibitions and motion pictures. Then enter the darken areas with the monsters of his imagination placed on the walls and also hidden some places to make you experience every scary creature.