Over the past two months, I have been asked numerous times about my recommendations for Japan, my itinerary and if I had any tips to share. It turns out that a lot of my friends are planning to visit Japan this year! I thought it would be a great idea to share a couple of tips and advice based on my experience planning for the trip.
1. Get a JR Pass (Japan Rail Pass) to travel around Japan.
If you plan on visiting multiple cities in Japan, I highly recommend getting a JR Pass. You might be hesitant to get one because of how pricey it is, but it’s worth it. A 7 day JR Pass cost roughly the same as a round trip ticket from Tokyo to Osaka/or Kyoto. You pretty much break even and you get to use the pass on all JR lines (subway/rail) and the JR Narita Express (from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station). Since I was in Japan for 2 weeks, I opted for the 14 day JR Pass and used it visit Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Nara. I definitely took full advantage of the pass and you should too if you’re planning to visiting other cities: https://www.japan-rail-pass.com/jr-pass (Note: if you’re planning to get it, make sure you order it before you get to Japan because they will mail you the documents you need to pick up the pass when you get to Japan.)
2. Rent Pocket Wifi and stay connected 24/7 so you can share your adventures on Instagram and Snapchat in real time (jk but not really).
It was honestly one of the best investments for the trip. I was able to use Google maps, look up/research spots on the go and start this blog on my train ride to Osaka. It comes with a portable charger as well and it’ll only cost you ~$6/day, which is a bargain.
3. Save some room in your luggage for souvenirs if you’re staying in hotels.
If you’re staying in hotels, you will get basic toiletries – toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, lotion, slippers and some places will even provide razors and body sponges (loofahs). I packed travel size toiletries that I didn’t even touch – aside from my contact lens solution.
Bonus tip: If you’re planning to visit the Ghibli Museum, make sure you buy tickets in advance (more than a month in advance).
You can’t buy the tickets at the museum, you can only get them online or at a Lawson convenience store in Japan. The tickets only go on sale during a certain time each month and you learn more about it here. I wish I knew about this when I was planning my trip – I wasn’t able to get tickets a month before my trip and when I was in Japan.
Guest Post by Explore with Kenneth