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Tips for Planning a Trip to Japan

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If you’d like to travel to a place somewhere beyond North America or Europe, Japan is a great choice. It’s a modern, safe country with a good tourist infrastructure, but it is also an opportunity to experience an entirely different culture from the United States. Don’t let yourself be intimidated by that or by the different language or alphabet. You can enjoy creating valuable memories on of the best trips of your life with the tips below.


Japan will never be a rock-bottom budget destination, but you can still travel there with an eye on not spending too much. Whether you plan to splash out or want to keep costs down, you do need to know your budget to start with so that you have an idea of what you can afford. Ideally, you’ve been able to save up for your vacation for a while, but sometimes you still may not have enough, and you might just need to get away.

A personal loan can be a great way to cover the cost of a vacation. Although many often automatically think of their credit cards for this kind of expense, a personal loan may have a lower interest rate. You can look online for lenders that may be suitable for your situation.

Your Interests

What kind of trip do you want to take? There’s an enormous variety in Japan. If you want a big city experience with plenty of nightclubs, there is nothing quite like the nightlife in Tokyo. If you are interested in history and temples, Kyoto is an excellent destination. If you’re also interested in walking, you may want to consider walking a portion of the Shikoku Pilgrimage, which takes you past 88 temples. You can also do the full circuit by bus or other forms of transportation.

If you’re a fan of the famous Studio Ghibli animated films, you can visit the studio in Tokyo or the theme park in Nagakute City. Many enjoy traveling to Japan in the spring in time for cherry blossom season. From shopping and food to beaches, mountains and much more, you can find something to suit almost any interest in this country.


For many people contemplating a trip to Japan, the language barrier can feel very intimidating. There’s an entirely different alphabet, several alphabets in fact, and it’s true that English is not as widely spoken as in many European countries. However, there are a few things you can do to make travel less stressful and manage this.

First, translation apps have come a long way and can help you get by when you can’t find any English speakers. Second, you would be surprised at how much you can convey with a smile and polite gestures. Third, you can learn two of the alphabets, hiragana and katakana, over just a few hours. Katakana is used to spell out foreign words.

Neither of these will make you anywhere close to fluent, but you’ll feel less lost if you are able to sound out certain words even if you don’t always understand what they mean. The bottom line is that you shouldn’t let worries about language keep you from planning a vacation in Japan.

Getting Around

If you’ve heard horror stories about rammed Tokyo subways, you may feel apprehensive about using public transportation in the country. While avoiding the subways at rush hour is a good idea, the public transportation throughout the country, particularly the trains, is pleasant, safe, and clean and runs like clockwork. Even if you aren’t planning to leave Tokyo, it’s worth taking a day trip to another city just so that you can experience traveling on their high-speed Shinkansen trains.


Melissa Jane Lee

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