Raw fish, cars on the assembly line, sumo wrestling and karaoke – Japan has many faces. The Japanese are at once incredibly polite and charmingly curious. At the same time, Japan is a truly pleasant country to travel in, both in the large vibrant metropolises and in the countryside, where the Japanese beauty is manifested in magnificent nature.
On this page you will find practical information and facts about Japan.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION ABOUT TRAVEL TO JAPAN
Climate and best travel time
Our recommendations for the best travel time in Japan are based on how the climate has been in previous years. The weather in Japan can be very changeable and unpredictable and therefore our travel time recommendations should only be seen as indicative.
You can travel to Japan all year round. It can be good to know that summer can mean both heavy rainfall and high temperatures of persistent heat. The winter, on the other hand, can be just as snowy, but if you had intended to ski, it fits perfectly. The typhoon season is between July and October with the greatest risk of typhoons in August and September.
Accommodation and accommodation
During a visit to Japan, one must not miss the unconventional and sometimes slightly claustrophobic experience of living in a “kapuseru hoteru”; “capsule hotel”. Here is a “room” of only 1x2x1 meters, almost a hole in the wall, but there is still room for both light, radio, fan and TV. The facility is often used by local business people who cannot come home and sleep before they have to meet at the office again. Therefore, you also have the opportunity to buy new fresh underwear, a new shirt or a new tie. Bath and shower facilities are shared, which can be an experience in itself as there are often large, hot swimming pools.
Another accommodation that should be experienced is the ryokan inn – a very traditional tradition. There are no beds, but a “futon” located on the special Japanese tatami floor. Ryokan is the original way of staying in Japan, it is a bit more expensive than budget hotels and hostels, but it is a special experience. In many places, the food is included in the price and you get it served in the room, where you eat it wearing your accompanying kimono – here is a guarantee for a couple of good pictures.
In Japan, most hotel rooms are very small. It is often possible to smoke in hotels so be sure to book a room that is non-smoking and that is what you want. If you are traveling on a budget you can stay in a hostel.
Trains are the most efficient way to travel. A national interrail card, Japan Rail Pass, is available for 7, 14 or 21 days and can only be purchased from home.
Japan is an excellent country for road trips, with the roads in top condition and generally very good drivers. If you are a couple or a small group, it does not have to be more expensive than a rail pass. However, one should be aware that Japanese highways have a fee of about two kroner per kilometer.
In Japan there is an extensive network of ferry lines which is a nice alternative to trains, also cheaper than trains albeit slower. In return, you can save money for an extra night on the longer routes. There are usually no restaurants on the ferries so it may be a good idea to bring your own food.
Domestic flights are expensive but efficient on longer distances. A tip might be to take the earliest (around 06:00) departure between major cities. On these departures, the ticket is almost as cheap as the night bus, at the same time it can be difficult to get to the airport by public transport this early in the morning. Flights are a fast but slightly more expensive alternative to the otherwise cheap and very efficient train transport. It is advisable to use long-haul flights, such as to and from Okinawa.
NOTE! Visa rules are subject to change at short notice, so We recommend that you check the current conditions at the embassy of the country in question. The information below is subject to change. Swedish citizens do not require a tourist visa for Japan for stays of up to 90 days. You will automatically receive a 90-day residence permit stamped in your passport upon arrival.
In Japan, it is not customary to tip.
CLIMATE: TEMPERATURES IN CENTRAL JAPAN AND IN THE NORTH, TROPICAL IN THE SOUTH
RELIGION: SHINTO / BUDDHISM
A journey in Japan is like a journey through time
In fifty years, Japan has developed from being a closed feudal society to a high-tech democracy. The country has a large range of very different and slightly endless impressions.
In one moment it’s like coming back to the old and legendary “Kingdom of the Sun” with geishas, temples and lamps and doors of paper, in the next you are literally thrown into the boundless, high-tech metropolitan landscape of the future with the latest gadgets and neon-clad skyscrapers that overwhelm one with its futuristic forms.
A country in balance
Japan is in many ways a fascinating country that offers a very wide range of attractions with everything from historical and cultural treasures to modern and futuristic sights, beautiful forests, high mountains and paradise islands. When you live in Japan, you experience a well-functioning, colorful and state-of-the-art country with a lot of perfectionism, structure and humility. A high-tech society where old noble traditions have not been forgotten during the journey. Sushi restaurants, sake; the Japanese rice wine, sumo wrestling, bonsai trees, samurai and kimono have all been updated and live up to current or future conditions. Precision and accuracy are a virtue. Everything is discreet, everything is detailed, everything is clean.