Vacations are fun, but packing for your trip can sometimes be annoying. If you’re travelling to Japan, one of the most wonderful tourist destinations in the whole planet, you need to plan carefully so your whole trip is as hassle-free as possible. Here is a list of the must-haves for a hassle-free Japan escapade:
- Time… Extra Time.
As the old saying goes, timing is everything. Make sure to have a time frame for your whole trip. Plan ahead of time and set a deadline for each thing that you need to accomplish such as securing all the travel and entry requirements, getting travel insurance, and packing your luggage.
Make allowances for everything. When processing for travel and entry requirements, spare a day or more for possible delays to avoid the inconvenience of having to rush when you forget something. Make a list of the things you’ll need to bring days or even weeks in advance before so you won’t forget anything.
On your flight date, anticipate heavy traffic. You definitely do not want to miss your flight, or your entire trip before it even begins.
- Complete Travel and Entry Requirements
Travel requirements are important when travelling. All overseas travelers need valid passports and plane tickets, but the entry requirements may vary from country to country, depending on the citizenship of the traveler. People who are citizens of some European countries, the United States, Britain, Australia, and Canada are not required to have a visa to enter Japan for a specific period of time.
The list of requirements also varies from the purpose of visit – to visit a relative or a friend, for vacation, or for business affairs. There is an available list of requirements from different sites online, or you can directly inquire at the Japanese Consulate and Japanese Embassy in your country or accredited local travel agencies.
- The Right Travel Insurance
Getting the right travel insurance can actually save you from a huge hassle such as additional expenses and unfortunate situations. Travel insurance companies cover the costs of new plane tickets or they give refunds for cancelled or missed flights due to emergency situations.
Some insurance packages will also cover a part or all of your medical expenses when you require medical attention while you are in Japan. Some also offer reimbursements for the cost of lost or stolen baggage, including damages incurred during your trip.
- Slip-On Shoes
In Japan, some establishments require visitors to remove their footwear. These establishments include temples, restaurants, izakayas (Japanese gastropubs), and ryokans (inns).
It is part of Japanese culture to take your shoes off, especially for any establishment you see with Tatami mats. To avoid the inconvenience of tying and untying your shoelaces every now and then, it’s best to wear slip-ons which are easy to remove.
- Small and Light Luggage
Bulky and heavy luggage is hard to haul around, and it’s definitely a hassle to carry heavy luggage with you every time you check in and check out of hotels in Japan. Railway networks are the most commonly used mode of transportation for most locals and tourists in Japan, and you’ll frequently ride it when navigating around the country.
Keep in mind that trains do not cater to passengers with a lot of luggage. And by “a lot of luggage,” we mean anything beyond a small suitcase and a duffel or a backpack. Bullet trains in Japan only provide a small storage area for suitcases.
- Appropriate Clothing
What’s more comfortable than traveling while wearing weather appropriate outfits? In Japan, visitors can experience the four seasons. Generally, these seasons start and end on the following months of the year:
- Spring – March to May
- Summer – June to August
- Autumn – September to November
- Winter – December to January
But these may vary and the weather may change earlier or later than usual. Although the whole of Japan experiences these four seasons at almost the same exact time, its extremes still differ from each of the country’s four main areas – Northern Japan, Eastern Japan, Western Japan, and Naha and Amani.
Depending on the time of the year and where of the four areas you’ll visit, always pack appropriate clothing. It is also wise to check the weather on your arrival day so if there are sudden changes, you’re geared up.
Here are the other things that you might want to consider having before and when you’re in Japan:
- Pocket Wi-Fi Device and/ or a Traveler SIM Card – These will be useful for businessmen, especially if you rely or need an internet connection most of the day. There are Pocket Wi-Fi device rental stores in Japan. Japan also has SIM cards for travelers although by law, visitors are not allowed to get a voice SIM card, these can be used for data.
- Japan Rail Pass vouchers – If you see a need to use this, make sure to order it in advance from official vendors.
- Travel Adapter – If your devices’ plugs are 3-pronged, make sure to get a 2-pronged socket adapter to bring on your trip.
Planning for your next Japan escapade is definitely exciting. But preparing for it can be very daunting so to get the most of your trip, make sure not to overlook these must haves to make it hassle-free.