Japan is one of the most popular countries on people’s bucket lists.Most of us would love to see its vast landscapes, culture, buildings, and state-of-the-art facilities. This article will give you the first-hand experience of the author and photographer Lola Akinmade Åkerström, who shared her tips about the country.
Exploring the cultural sights and culinary scenes in Tokyo is not cheap, especially when you travel with family. Most travelers opt to have a side trip to Kyoto, too. While people believe that Kyoto has wonderful scenery, it is also a bustling city. The expert then recommends passing through Nikko, a mountain town that has easy access from Tokyo via train. In Niko, you could explore historic temples and quiet gardens.
Money Management and Itinerary Tips in Japan:
Upon arrival, tourists tend to take a taxi from the airport immediately. In this case, taking a cab from both Tokyo’s international airport, which is Narita and Haneda, may eat up your vacation budget. However, taking a train that is often fully packed may add hassle with your luggage. The expert recommends booking a shared shuttle service.
To kick off your tour, head on to the Skytree complex, especially if you have kids. This could be a good investment for your family time. You could have lunch at the Solamachi Kunimi restaurant with an excellent view of the tower and then explore the Pokémon center for souvenirs. From there, you could visit Sumida Aquarium and the Skytree Observation Deck to watch the sunset.
If you are going with your family, an overnight stay or even several nights trip to Nikko is also advisable. It is less than a two-hour train ride through the electricity-powered Tobu Railway from Tokyo’s center. The Tobu Railway also offers a discounted pass to Nikko. It includes train tickets, unlimited public transport as well as visits to the key attractions in the location.
When you are in Nikko, you can visit the city’s national park and the World Heritage. There, you can see the Kegon Falls, which is the country’s highest waterfall. You could take the traditional canoes down the Kinugawa River and wander around the Toshogu Shrine. You could also experience a flashback in time at Edo Wonderland. You and your family can learn about the history as well as enjoy some arts and crafts. You can also see live ninja storytelling shows, as well as wear traditional folk attires such as Kimonos, or dress up as geishas.
Credit Cards and Food Tips in Japan:
You should be aware, though, that you can easily find affordable accommodation if you book in advance through your credit cards. An expert recommends staying at the Tobu Levant Hotel in Tokyo. The place will give you a great view of the Skytree Tower. If you or your kids are Hello Kitty fans, you also could check out the Keio Plaza Tama and its Hello Kitty-themed rooms. It is just a walking distance from the Sanrio Puroland, famously known as the Hello Kitty World. Also, while you are in Nikko, be sure to take a dip in the natural hot springs and thermal pools at the historic Chuzenji Kanaya Hotel.
When it comes to food, Japan has vast choices. From the all-time favorite tempura and sushi to teppanyaki and vegan choices, your taste buds will rejoice in Japan. If you are a fan of savory and salty food, the country is a playground of your palate. One of the famous restaurants is the Sushi place called Heiroku. They serve sushi on conveyor belts, which makes the restaurant affordable and fun. If you have a budget or a higher credit score, you could go to Harajuku Kawaii Monster Café, which offers you a vibrant peek into Japanese subcultures. However, this place is not considered cheap. But it’s also worth dining in, especially if you are a fan of crazy-crafted technicolored foods.
Key points to consider when traveling to Japan:
You might want to download some mobile maps prior to your flight. In this case, you could navigate and get around the country easily. Pick-up a SIM card with a data pan at the airport. Make sure that it would cover the duration of your trip. Take note that not all hotels and restaurants accept foreign credit cards, so have enough cash on hand. Also, not all ATMs would work on foreign bank withdrawals as well.
You could withdraw cash if you come across a 7-Eleven with an ATM.
Furthermore, the expert advises that if you are staying in more than one hotel, or if you want to try different accommodations during your trip, then there are services that offer same-day luggage transfer. They will deliver your bags to your next accommodation at an affordable rate. In this case, you will not have to worry about your luggage while you are out exploring the country. Just make sure you book in advance through your credit card as much as possible.
Based on Materials from Forbes
Photo Sources: Seejapan.com, Wandering Souls, Insider.com