FAQ: Japan Tour
List of Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: What is the best season to travel to Japan?
- Q: What is the best neighborhood to choose a hotel in Tokyo and other Japanese cities?
- Q: Do you need cash to travel in Japan? What is the best way to get cash in Japan?
- Q: How does the public transportation system work in Japan?
- Q: Where can I use WIFI in Japan?
- Q: What kind of plug converter should I bring with me to Japan?
- Q: What kind of clothing should I pack for my trip? Are there any dress codes in Japan?
- Q: Should I wear a face mask in public in Japan?
- Q: Is it possible to do a tour where we are immersed in local life and avoid the touristy beaten track?
- Q: I have a food allergy/I am vegetarian. How do I make sure that I can eat safely in Japan?
- Q: Is it possible to rent a car and self-drive on our trip to Japan?
- Q: Can you make restaurant reservations for us?
- Q: We want to combine a cultural experience holiday with a beach holiday/winter sports holiday in Japan. Is this possible?
- Q: What is the average price of lunch and dinner in Japan?
- Q: Is it safe to walk on the streets at night in Japan?
- Q: What are the customs surrounding tipping in Japan?
- Q: What is the legal age from which you can drink and smoke?
- Q: Can you drink water from the tap in Japan?
- Q: Are prices shown in shops and restaurants including or excluding consumption tax? And can I get an exemption for paying consumption tax as a foreigner?
Q: What is the best season to travel to Japan?
A: The most popular seasons to travel to Japan are spring for the cherry blossom season (late March-mid April) and summer because of the school holidays (mid July-mid August).
What would be the best season to travel to Japan for you personally depends entirely on what you want to see and experience, and how important it is to you to avoid larger crowds. All seasons have their pros and cons, and you can read our articles about each season if you would like to know more about traveling in spring, summer, autumn and winter.
Q: What is the best neighborhood to choose a hotel in Tokyo and other Japanese cities?
A: If you are looking for a central location with good public transportation connections in Tokyo you can opt for Ginza, Daimon, Otemachi or Nhihonbashi. If you are looking for a central location with many nightlife options in Tokyo you can opt for Shibuya, Shinjuku or Roppongi. If you are looking for a more local neighborhood that is not too far away from the central areas you can opt for Monzennakcho, Toyocho, Koenji or Asakusa.
If you are looking for a hotel in another city in Japan we recommend the area near the central station in general. In Kyoto, Shijomae and Gion are also attractive areas.
Our package tours always contain the best hotels available for the budget, and if you book one of our private tours we will make sure to book you into a hotel in an area that suits your wishes and a hotel that is the best we can find for your budget.
Q: Do you need cash to travel in Japan? What is the best way to get cash in Japan?
A: In Japan, it is still important to always have cash on you in case the shop or restaurant doesn’t accept other means of payment. You can withdraw cash from certain ATMs and you can exchange money in most tourist areas and large hotels. Please read this article to learn more about getting cash in Japan.
Q: How does the public transportation system work in Japan?
A: Using the public transportation system in Japan is one of the best ways to travel around cities and travel around the country. While it may seem daunting at first, there are a few ways to make using this elaborate system easier. There are several apps that will help you find your way in the metro and train network in Japan like Google Maps and Hyperdia, and using an IC card will make your life a lot easier. Please read this article on how to use the trains and this article on how to use IC cards to learn more.
Q: Where can I use WIFI in Japan?
A: Almost all hotels have free WIFI for their guests, so you will be covered in your hotel. There is publicly available free WIFI in some public locations in Japan, but if you always want to be able to go online it is a better idea to not only rely on free WIFI but to also get a travel SIM card or a pocket WIFI. Please read this article to learn more about your options.
Q: What kind of clothing should I pack for my trip? Are there any dress codes in Japan?
A: While there are no formal dress codes for males or females in Japan even if you visit a religious site, people tend to be dressed more conservatively in public than in most Western countries. If you want to blend in, it is best to avoid wearing very short pants or revealing tops without sleeves and to cover up tattoos if you have any.
Summers tend to get very hot, and in order to avoid sunburn and mosquito bites it is a good idea to wear long, loose cotton clothes to be comfortable. It is also a good idea to bring a pair of socks with you if you are not wearing any for entering places where you have to take off your shoes. A good pair of walking shoes are also indispensable on any trip to Japan.
If you are coming in winter, it is a good idea to bring warm clothes and a good winter coat as it does get cold in Japan. In summer, coats are generally not necessary unless you are planning to go climbing as it doesn’t really cool down even at night.
Q: Should I wear a face mask in public in Japan?
A: Wearing a face mask while out and about has always been a pretty normal thing in Japan, even before the COVID-19 crisis broke out. Wearing a mask when you have a cold or when you are coughing has been considered common courtesy for a long time. As long as COVID-19 is a problem, it is strongly recommended to wear a mask when you go outside even when you are not coughing. Please read this article for more tips to stop the spread of disease and avoid getting infected with anything while on your trip.
Q: Is it possible to do a tour where we are immersed in local life and avoid the touristy beaten track?
A: Yes, this is definitely possible. If you book a private tour with us, we will work with you to create a travel experience that is completely customized to your interests that goes beyond a standard itinerary filled with crowded highlights, tourist traps, and quick stops without time to truly enjoy your surroundings. We believe that our added value is to provide you with an experience that you could not have easily built by yourself, using our extensive local network and knowledge of Japan.
Q: I have a food allergy/I am vegetarian. How do I make sure that I can eat safely in Japan?
A: While food allergies and vegetarian diets are still not very common in Japan, awareness has been growing over the last few years. Nowadays it is becoming easier and easier to have your dietary needs met while eating out in Japan. If you are traveling by yourself we recommend you to prepare a written card with your dietary restrictions outlined in Japanese, and if you are traveling with us you can just tell your guide about your dietary restrictions and they will make sure you can eat safely during your tour.
Q: We want to combine a cultural experience holiday with a beach holiday/winter sports holiday in Japan. Is this possible?
A: Yes, there are many options to finish your holiday to Japan with a few days on a gorgeous tropical beach or on pristine white slopes. Please ask us about options and great combinations.
Q: What is the average price of lunch and dinner in Japan?
A: The average price for lunch in smaller cities is around 500-700 yen per person, and in large cities it is around 700-1000 yen per person. The average price for dinner is around 2500-3500 yen per person in smaller cities, and 3500-5000 yen per person in larger cities
Q: Is it safe to walk on the streets at night in Japan?
A: Japan is known to be one of the safest countries in the world when it comes to crime. In general, it is safe to walk around by yourself in Japan, even at night. Of course, you should still always be careful, and you should not enter any unsafe-looking establishments. In some nightlife districts in Tokyo and Osaka you can get ripped off by people who ask you to come and drink cheaply in their establishments, so it is not recommended to follow anyone into their bar. You can always ask your guide for recommendations for good bars if you want to enjoy the nightlife of Tokyo or Osaka.
Q: What are the customs surrounding tipping in Japan?
A: You don’t need to tip anyone in Japan, it can even be considered rude to do so as people working in customer service are always expected to serve their customers at the highest standards. People in the service industry in Japan get paid a living wage, so it is not necessary to tip.
Q: Are prices shown in shops and restaurants including or excluding consumption tax? And can I get an exemption for paying consumption tax as a foreigner?
A: Whether the price is shown with or without consumption tax (10&) depends on the individual shop or restaurant, so it is important to make sure whether the price tag shows the full price or not. You can look out for these characters: 税込 which mean tax included. These characters mean tax excluded: 税抜
As a foreign tourist you can in some cases buy your wares tax-free. The total amount of your purchases should be higher than 5000 yen, and not all products qualify for this exemption.