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Traveling To Japan? Do These Things First

 If you're headed to Japan soon, do yourself a favor and take time to prepare for the journey. For Westerners who have never been to the Land of the Rising Sun, the excursion can be a life changing experience. The nation's historical development is unique in many ways, and the modern culture is as intriguing and interesting as you'll find anywhere on earth. However, it's easy to miss out on the full impact of such a vacation by not doing the right kind of preparation.

Those who make detailed itineraries get a lot more out of their time in Japan than those who don't, and because Japan's cost of living is higher than most other Asian nations, it's imperative to employ a financial strategy to cover all trip-related expenses. Additionally, leverage the savings power and convenience of an in-country rail pass, which you must purchase before departing. Here are details about how to minimize costs and maximize the educational and fun aspects of a vacation in Asia's top travel destination.


Use a Smart Financing Strategy

Financing an excursion to a top destination can be a costly venture. That's why so many strive to get discounts by booking as early as possible and borrowing enough money to cover all the trip-related expenses upfront. Fortunately, there are convenient platforms and websites where you can compare personal loan rates and prices from the most reputable providers. That way, you're never left wondering about what the best loan rates are. Likewise, it's helpful to see side-by-side pricing comparisons from multiple lenders all in one place. No one wants to jump around among dozens of websites in a frantic attempt to evaluate deals.


Don't Focus on Tokyo

While there is plenty to see and do in Tokyo, don't fall into the tourist mentality of assuming there's nothing else worth investigating. Be sure to include Kyoto and Hokkaido in your Japan tour to acquire a fuller taste of what Japan's national culture is like and get a sense of how varied the climate and landscape are. Most outsiders are surprised to discover that Kyoto has been well preserved through two world wars and countless local rebellions. Today, the city is a United Nations designated cultural heritage city and offers unique attractions to visitors year-round. To the north, Hokkaido serves as the country's snowy region, annually hosting an ice festival in Sapporo.


Book Lodging and Air Tickets Far in Advance

Whether your destination is one of the nation's larger cities or smaller towns, it pays to book rooms and air tickets several months in advance. Not only can you snag major discounts by doing so, but early booking is the surest way to guarantee the availability of hotel rooms in or near your favorite locations. Be careful about booking online because unless you go through a reputable, licensed travel agent, it's possible to fall victim to advance payment scams. Whenever possible, deal directly with the hotels and airlines you intend to use.


Take a Free Online Language Class

If you plan on staying for more than a week, take a basic tourist language course online. There's no need to struggle to learn useful phrases and words. Japanese is easier than most Westerners think, and there are many no cost video tutorials that are fun and educational. Plan on spending about 15 minutes per day for a month or two before leaving. Japanese people welcome all visitors with open arms but are especially excited to meet outsiders who have taken the time and tried to acquire some basic speaking skills.  Besides the free resources, there are also paid online teaching options that can accelerate your learning of Japanese. These platforms offer structured courses with native speakers, making the learning process more efficient and thorough. By opting for online Japanese tutoring, you gain access to personalized instruction tailored to your learning pace and style. This approach not only helps in mastering basic phrases quickly but also delves deeper into the language's nuances.


Learn about Culture and History

What's true for most overseas journeys is doubly applicable to Japan in that time spent studying the nation's culture and history pays huge dividends. The Japanese have a unique social structure, historical record, and cultural background. Read at least one good book that explains the country to curious visitors and outsiders. There are many, so browse your favorite website and start learning about subjects like tea ceremony, the development of the Shinto religion, the era of the Shoguns, and more. Check out a few documentaries that address what it's like to reside and visit the nation and consider joining one of the many online discussion forums for folks who are interested in all things Japanese.

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