A Japan Travel Guide
Japan is a country of contrasts. From the snowy northern reaches of Hokkaido to the sub-tropical islands of Okinawa. From the historic shrines and castles of the feudal towns to the futuristic electronic superstores in Tokyo. And as a foodie who could ignore the contradictions of a simple bowl of rice that must remain completely unadorned to the complex and perfectly balanced traditional kaiseki-ryōri menu. You are never quite sure what to expect next in Japan but it’s almost certainly going to be an experience you won’t forget in a hurry. We love to travel in Japan, to share what we’ve seen and plan our own future trips – we hope of Japan Travel Guide will be helpful to you too.
If you’re here in the early stages of planning your trip you may want to browse the full content – you can click the link to head directly to our archive of travel in Japan articles to browse for inspiration. However, there are now hundreds of posts on this incredible country so if you scroll down below we’ll group it into regions and categories that should help you find what you are looking for much faster.
If you’re looking for something specific you can also try the search function. There’s a search box in the sidebar to the right, just type a word of phrase and it will return the nearest matches. If you’re really stuck or have specific questions about Japan travel you can get in touch through our contact us page or leave a comment on this page or any of our posts. We try to respond to all comments within 48 hours.
Which Cities and regions are you most interested in?
From the big cities to the small towns, regional cities, onsen towns and more. From the ski villages to the island beach resorts there is so much to discover in Japan. There are some of our favourite destinations to travel in Japan, with linked articles on things to do, what to see, self-guided walking tours and more. Just click the button to view content from the region.
Tips on getting around in Japan
We have a range of posts to help you get around in Japan and understand the value and convenience of different transport options.
- Our top tips, an overview of transport in Japan
- Is the Japan Rail Pass right for your trip
- Getting around like a local on the Tokyo subway
- The Hakone Freepass
- The Osaka Amazing Pass
And some general Japan cultural tips for visitors
- Understanding what happens in Shinto Shrine and the etiquette for visiting one
- The elaborate wedding kimono of Japanese brides
- Celebrating the New Year in Japan
We live in a sub-tropical climate in Queensland, Australia. Our seasons aren’t clearly defined so it’s such a novelty to experience them in Japan. Not only are they each distinct in weather but you’ll find the natural landscape, the festivals and styles of food are all quite different.
There are so many fabulous festivals in Japan and they are a great way to interact with the local community. They also provide an opportunity to learn a little about the history and culture of the country. This link will take you to a full list of our festival and event posts or you can follow the links below to some of the more popular ones.
- Setsubun Eve celebrations on the 2nd February in Kyoto and Setsubun Eve celebrations on the 2nd February in Kyoto
- Held at Kiyomiudera Temple Seiryu-e acknowledges the dragon of the eastern hills that protects Kyoto
- The Nagahama Matsuri is a true local festival with an interesting history
- The Sapporo Snow Festival and Otaru Snow Gleaming are winter festivals in the northern Island of Hokkaido
An Adventure in Japanese Food
Finally one of the essentials of travel is to enjoy, or at least try, the local cuisine. In Japan there are so many dishes that I love, a handful I was happy to try once or twice and very very occasionally something that I refuse to eat such as the whale meat restaurant in an arcade in Sapporo. It might have been a once in a lifetime experience but I just couldn’t do it. Here are a few of the top choices though.