Japan Travel Guide
Japan is one of my favorite destinations in Asia! It boasts an endless list of attractions, things to do, and places to explore.
Full of contradictions, you’ll find ancient history paired with the newest technology and development. From robot restaurants to ancient temples and cat cafes, there’s something for everyone. And let’s not forget about all of the incredible food and shopping! I’m still dreaming about all the delicious sushi, Soba, and Ramen noodles.
Ready to have your world rocked? Here’s my ultimate Japan travel guide!
The best time to visit Japan depends on what you want to do during your trip. There are endless festivals and activities, so your itinerary will never have a dull moment.
But as a rule of thumb, late spring (March to May) and late fall (September to November) are the best times to visit. The temperatures are mild, and there’s little chance of rain ruining any plans. Plus, if you book your flights for the spring, you’ll be around for Japan’s famous cherry blossoms!
For budget travelers, you’ll want to pack your warmest jacket and head out to Japan between mid-January and March. Temperatures are freezing, but you’ll save on airfare, hotels, and activities!
Find more details in my post on The Best Time to Travel to Japan!
What To Expect
Language: The national language of Japan is Japanese.
Currency: The official currency is the Japanese Yen (JPY). 1 USD is equivalent to 108.51 JPY.
Credit Cards & ATMs: In big cities like Tokyo and Osaka, you can pay for pretty much everything with your card. However, you’ll need cash for entrance fees and if you’re planning to explore Japan’s more remote destinations. If you need to withdraw money, you’ll usually find a machine that accepts foreign bank cards at the nearest 7-Eleven or post office.
Plugs: The plugs in Japan are type A and B. The standard voltage is 100 V, and the standard frequency is 50 / 60 Hz. I recommend buying a universal adapter (make sure it has surge protection) and using a converter for hair dryers and hot tools.
Safety: Japan is one of the safest countries in the world and is perfect for solo female travelers. Some hotels even offer female-only accommodation, and most trains have female-only cars. That being said, you’ll still want to practice common sense.
Our Experience as a Lesbian Couple
Tokyo is an amazing destination for LGBTQ+ women and same-sex couples! LGBTQ+ laws in Japan are more progressive than most other countries in Asia, and acceptance of the community is growing in Japanese culture. We felt very safe on our trip and locals were extremely welcoming. The Ni-chome district in Shinjuku is Tokyo’s gayborhood, and we highly recommend the district’s lesbian bar, Goldfinger!
My Experience as an Asian Traveler
While traveling in Japan, locals could tell I’m not Japanese and they would assume that I’m Chinese and speak Mandarin to me, because of the many Chinese travelers coming from nearby China. I realized many store clerks are used to having Chinese visitors and many are fluent in Mandarin. So even if you don’t know Japanese but know Mandarin, it could serve you well in Japan!
My Experience as Curvy Traveler
On my first solo trip out of the US, I wanted to go somewhere I could enjoy without worrying about the stigma of being a plus-sized American woman. I wanted to feel safe and welcomed. I had dreamed of going to Europe but was worried about how I’d be treated. I’m so glad I went to Japan. I was treated with respect and kindness by everyone I encountered and that experience pushed me to explore more countries.