Japan is a land of striking scenic beauty complete with majestic scenery, historic buildings and ancient gardens. Myriad flavours from all around the world have contributed to Japan’s foodie culture, attracting more and more culinary figures worldwide to try the new eastern hot spot.
• Mt Fuji
During January to March, Winter is cool in most of Honshū and may be snowing in the mountains. In the end of December – early Jan many businesses will be closed. June and July is rainy season in most of Japan (except Hokkaidō) – it doesn’t rain every day but it can be pretty humid. Autumn (September to mid-December) is usually cool and clear. In April, May and August it can be busy around the Golden Week (early May), O-Bon (mid-August) and New Year. Honshū cities are busy in the cherry blossom (late March to early April) and autumn foliage (November) seasons.
One of the major attractions of traveling throughout Japan is trying different local cuisines in every town you visit. While sushi is in fact a large part of Japanese heritage, myriad flavors from all around the world have contributed to Japan’s robust foodie culture, attracting more and more culinary figures worldwide to try the new eastern hot spot.
Anyone who loves shopping knows that Tokyo is one of the most renowned shopping cities in the world. It should come as no surprise that Japanese people love style and fashion as designers from around the globe know that Tokyo is a hot spot for their label to be featured. It is here that well-established Japanese shops and famous brand names like Gucci, Chanel, Armani, Louis Vuitton, and others stand side by side on the various blocks that make up the center of the Ginza shopping area.
Japan values its cultivated traditions and practices as much as it values keeping in touch with the future. Whether grounded in history or in religion, Japanese customs are still widely practiced to this day. Additionally, Japan holds festivals year round that symbolize various aspects of culture and tradition, which are held in very high esteem by Japanese people. For anyone looking to delve further into Asian history and heritage, look no further than Japan. -Brett
Currency Japanese yen
Language There is no official language, but the main language is Japanese
Why we love it What’s not to love about the Land of the Rising Sun? its a fascinating destination full of contrasts. Springtime in Japan is absolutely magical as the cherry blossoms are sure to capture your attention. You will love Japan even more if you’re a foodie.
Weather During January to March, Winter is cool in most of Honshū and may be snowing in the mountains. In the end of December – early Jan many businesses will be closed. June and July is rainy season in most of Japan (except Hokkaidō) – it doesn’t rain every day but it can be pretty humid. Autumn (September to mid-December) is usually cool and clear. In April, May and August it can be busy around the Golden Week (early May), O-Bon (mid-August) and New Year. Honshū cities are busy in the cherry blossom (late March to early April) and autumn foliage (November) seasons.
Social customs and quirks Japanese rely heavily on body language in communication as words can have many underlying meanings. For visitors, a passive facial expression is recommended and try not to make eye contact as it invades the Japanese sense of privacy. The hierarchy of status and age is important, with every person having his or her own place within the group. Formal greetings are standard and bowing the head is a sign of respect. When it comes to dining with Japanese people, remove your shoes before entering their home, arrive on time, dress appropriately and conservatively, and wait to be told where to sit. Don’t point or pierce your food with your chopsticks, and try whatever is offered. If you don’t want second or third helpings, leave a little food in your bowl or drink in your glass as it’s good manners to never leave the guest with an empty plate. Finally, conversation while eating isn’t polite, as your hosts prefer to savour the food.
Festivals and events Most festivals and events in Japan center on either Buddhist or Shinto religious holidays. The nature-focused events like cherry and plum blossom viewing and commemorations of historic events are much-loved by the Japanese people.
Health* There are currently no health requirements for entering Japan.
Notes *Please be aware that Health information is subject to change at any time and you should always double check these requirements at the time of booking and before travel.
The trip to Japan was a fantastic experience. We all enjoyed it. The Hotel Andaz is a luxury Hyatt and is one of the best Hotels we have ever stayed at. While it might be expensive, it delivered excellence. We were very happy there. The company organising our travel within Japan were also excellent. The guide for the trip to Mt Fuji was very good and spoke excellent English. She was also 100% flexible - the day we went was very wet, so we abbreviated the trip to Mt Fuji and had a look at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo. She also took us to the things we were interested in at Mt Fuji (flower garden and a specialty restaurant). She did not make us go an on a long boat trip in the rain. The transfers from the airport and to the train station also went flawlessly. The train tickets and instruction were very clear. We went to Miyajima Island and the A Bomb peace park - both highlights of the trip. Generally Japan is a hard place to travel for a westerner. Taxis, instructions to taxi drivers, and train stations are all difficult. We are pleased we had transfers organised. Takes all the stress out of travelling.