Japan is a great place to visit.
Arrive by plane to Japan
Book your flight in advance. Yes, a topic, but it is the pure truth. The closer we get to the date of our trip, the more the price of the flight becomes more expensive, especially if we want to fly in high season as we did.
Find a combination that fits your route. An ideal option to avoid wasting much time on transport is to enter Japan through Tokyo and exit through Osaka (or vice versa). This is not always easy, since the price of the flight usually goes up a lot, but if you find a good offer, it is a great way to travel the country without having to return to the city where you arrived.
Accommodation in Japan
Book your accommodation in Miyajima well in advance. It is advisable to book all accommodations in Japan in advance, but especially that of Miyajima Island if your intention is to spend the night there. There is little supply and economic options are running out very soon. We had to book that hotel and then ride the route depending on the day they had available.
Live the experience of sleeping in a ryokan. The ryokan is the traditional Japanese accommodation, where you will sleep on a futon and have breakfast sitting on your knees and dressed in a traditional yukata. Many of these hotels also have an onsen, the traditional Japanese bath, which must be tested on a first trip to the Japanese country. There are ryokanes at a good price in several cities, although we decided to stay in this one in the city of Takayama and also enjoy a private onsen.
Transportation in Japan
Rate if the Japan Rail Pass comes to mind. This pass serves to move by train through Japan for 7, 14 or 21 days. If you are going to make many trips around the country, it is usually profitable. You can check this post to know more about the Japan Rail Pass and see an example with the route we did.
If you have a Japan Rail Pass, book the trains beforehand. Without prior reservation it is also possible to travel on any train included in the Japan Rail Pass, but I recommend you book a seat on the trains to secure a seat. You can do this at any JR office. Generally, you can book it the day before, but be careful if you travel in high season (especially during the O-bon and the Golden Week, when the Japanese have vacations and the national tourism increases a lot).
Stations in Japan
Decide well on which station you want to go to Japan. In winter it usually snows in some areas and they can cut some mountain roads.
The best times when it comes to the weather are spring and autumn. In spring you can find cherry blossom week. It is a time when Japan gets beautiful, but prices increase a lot and crowds too.
The Japanese summer is extremely hot. Therefore, after having such a bad time, I would tell you to avoid this station to travel, but from experience I know that it is not always possible. So I will recommend that you follow some tricks to avoid suffering too much:
Hydrate a lot. Take a stainless steel bottle that keeps the water cold and drinks constantly. In Japan there are beverage machines everywhere, so you shouldn’t have problems.
Wear comfortable and breathable clothes. Very important for sweat to bother us as little as possible. Buy wipes and sun cream with a cold sensation. You will find them in many stores in Japan and they are great to take away the feeling of suffocation a bit.
Avoid the hours of extreme heat (12: 00-16: 00 approx). We got up a little more early and took refuge at the hottest hours in the hotel or eating in a restaurant.
Pay in Japan
Take cash; In most restaurants and shops, card payment is not widespread. If your intention is to exchange money in Japan and you enter the country through Tokyo, I recommend you change in Ninja Exchange in Akihabara. It is a little difficult place to find, but they have the best change in all of Japan. Here you can find more information.
Take your BNEXT card to get money without commission at ATMs in Japan. You can read more information about this card, here.
If you pay with a credit card in Japan, do it with the N26. It makes a perfect change. Here you can find more information about this card, essential in your trip.