For the majority, visiting Japan comes down to getting to know the capital and great metropolis Tokyo, visiting the ancient capital Kyoto and some more curious people dare to spend a night or two in the capital of Japan's Kitchen, Osaka. But unique tourist attractions in Japan abound!
Japan has a diversity of places and history, ideal for those who want to ESCAPE to a different place.
No matter how much time we spend in Tokyo, it will never be enough to fully experience the great metropolis. However, there are tourist attractions that cannot be missed when visiting Tokyo. I will list just three of the many possible ones:
But what attracts us to Tokyo is the intense day and night life of its inhabitants. The diversity of unique locations, shops and restaurants in the world.
What to visit in Kyoto is not an easy answer. With more than 1000 temples, several palaces and many gardens and natural parks, Kyoto is a city that, no matter how long we stay there, we cannot get to know it completely.
But to give you a small sample, I will list three places not to be missed:
Being the cultural capital of Japan, we also complement the places with the immense cultural heritage that the places transmit to us on a daily basis, whether in their works of art, products, services or small gestures. The strong point of the former capital of Japan is that due to its immense cultural richness, we are inspired to return there more than once.
Compared to Tokyo and Kyoto, there is not much to see in Osaka. There is indeed a lot to experience in Osaka.
Osaka is a city that knows how to welcome and entertain anyone. Known as the Kitchen of Japan, in Osaka it's eat until you drop or as they say “Kuidaore”. It is also the city of comedians and blues. But this is not to say that there are no tourist attractions in Osaka. In addition to Osaka-jô castle and Shitennō-ji, the Mozu-Furuichi tombs were recently added to UNESCO's Cultural Heritage of Humanity, which includes the mausoleum of Emperor Nintoku in the shape of a keyhole, called Daisen Kofun.
And there is much more to see in Osaka, but the most interesting thing is the people and their unique way of life.
The yen is the Japanese currency and the western symbol is ¥ and in Japan it is 円 and reads “en”. For example, 15 yen is written 十五円 and reads jû gô en.
The exchange rate for the yen is €0.0070, or 1000 yen is roughly €7
How much does it cost to go to Japan is a question that I get asked regularly because they have an idea that it is a very expensive trip. I usually say that it is cheaper than going to Brazil, for example. Japan has offers for all tastes. Hotel prices in Japan range from 3,000 yen (€21) per night (capsule hotels) to several thousand yen. Prices in general in Japan do not differ much from those in Lisbon these days, and as we have more luxury brands on offer, we can easily spend a lot more. It all depends on our budget and how much we want to spend versus quality.
The price of an airline ticket to Japan also depends on the class, advance purchase and chosen airline, as well as the time of year.
Since Japan is almost on the other side of the world, it takes some time to get there. It also depends on how we want to go. The fastest way is by plane, but you can go by boat or even by train to Vladivostok, and cross the Sea of Japan by boat to Honshu.
A trip to Japan by plane can take a whole day, depending on the flights and the departure point of the flight to Japan. Portugal does not yet have a direct flight, so it is necessary to take a connecting flight and then another direct to Japan. The latter takes an average of 14 hours to Narita airport.
Traveling to Japan
Going to Japan has strengths and weaknesses in each season. The Japanese live a lot according to the seasons and for that reason we always have a tourist attraction, a seasonal cuisine, or a different festival at each time of the year.
There is no better time to go to Japan. All times are great to go to Japan. It depends a lot on the type of holiday we want, if we want more beach it will be in the summer, if we like winter sports or snow it will be the winter.
That said, there are, however, worse times to go to Japan, because of the tourist influx. The golden week (golden week in early May) is one of them. O-bon in mid-August is another. Consult us at firstname.lastname@example.org to indicate the best time depending on your profile.
The climate in Japan is a little different from ours. Despite having the same 4 seasons as us, they have them more pronounced. There is also one more season which is the rainy season (Tsuyo).
Japan's climate differs from place to place, but we can say that the further north we have more rigorous winters and milder summers. To the south, we have a predominance of warm weather throughout the year. That is, the temperature varies between very high in the southern areas, mainly in summer, and very low in the higher altitude areas and in the north of Japan.
The temperature in Tokyo is average, as we can say that Tokyo is in the middle of Japan. Summers in Tokyo are very humid (80%) and hot (up to 45ºC). Winters are cold with subzero temperatures but not very low like Hokkaido.
Seasons in Japan
Visiting Japan in Spring is perhaps the best experience you can have if you like romantic things and nature. It is at this time that all of Japan is mobilised to see the cherry blossoms (hanami), and consequently prices and tourist influx increase a lot. Spring in Japan is very mild and full of life.
Visiting Japan in the summer is more for those who like festivals (matsuri) and the beach. In other words, for those who like to see a whole nation celebrating. But the weak point is that the temperatures are very high and the weather very humid (except in Hokkaido). Summer in Japan is for the hardy.
Visiting Japan in autumn is, for me, the best time of the year. It is the time to see the trees in shades of red and orange (momiji) and, although there are also many tourists, it is much easier to visit the places and enjoy the great show of nature's farewell before going to sleep during the winter. Autumn in Japan is for introspection.
Visiting Japan in winter is unique. It is the time when most of Japan is covered in a white blanket that transports us back to our childhood days. Winter in Japan is for families and for those who enjoy human warmth.