Japan – perfect in every way

The post pandemic re-opening of Japan was one of the most anticipated across the world.

Why? Well, have you ever met anyone who’s been to Japan and hasn’t loved it?

The land of the rising sun is an enigma. Ancient history sits beside revolutionary technology; rugged natural beauty surrounds a kaleidoscope of patchworked gardens; the fast pace of life is balanced with soaking in an Onsen. And then there is the cuisine, music, theatre, art, fashion, tea ceremonies, and sumo wrestling.

So, whether you’re a first timer or a Japanophile – a few tips on the how and where, will help plan your dream trip.

A guide by your side

Although Japan is one of the safest and cleanest countries in the world, it can also be confusing to get around. Taking an organised tour means you can leave the logistics to experts and focus on being in the moment.

Have a few Japanese words up your sleeve

Japanese people are polite and respectful. They will appreciate any effort to help communication.

Take some cash

Yes, credit cards are accepted across Japan, but cash is still ‘king’, especially in the smaller towns and villages.

The unmissable in a nutshell

From immersing into the sea of neon lights of the capital, home of iconic landmarks like Tokyo Skytree, Imperial Palace and Shibuya Crossing, (not to mention around 14 million people), to gazing at Mount Fuji; riding the Shinkansen bullet train; wandering through the magnificent temples and gardens of Kyoto; dining in a robot restaurant; paying respect at Hiroshima; taking part in a traditional tea ceremony; or giggling over the antics of the snow monkeys at Jigokudani Monkey Park, Japan is a feast for the senses.

Be ready to bow

Bowing is an important part of Japanese social culture. Although tourists aren’t necessarily expected to follow this etiquette, it’s good to be prepared. If someone bows at you, mirror their bow, or at the very least give a friendly nod of the head.

Slip-on shoes are handy

No shoes inside, is an important custom of life in Japan. Having shoes that are easy to take off and put back on at entrances to temples, restaurants etc, saves time.

It’s ok to be a messy eater

Innovative, health-conscious and presented as mini works of art, there’s nothing quite like the food of Japan. Or how it’s eaten. In a country where everything runs like clockwork, loud slurping is encouraged at the dinner table, especially when eating the local delicacy – ramen noodles.

No tips required

Music to the ears of travellers. It’s actually considered an insult to tip (even in places where in many countries it’s considered rude not to tip).

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