Prepare your trip to Japan with Sébastien Duval’s top 5 tips about timing, food restrictions, destinations, languages, travel agents & tour guides. This 3-minute video with English subtitles was also realized in French and Japanese:
- Hi there! I’m Sébastien Duval, I’m in Tokyo, and I’m going to tell you how to prepare your trip to Japan!
- Tip number 1: Prepare your trip well in advance. Japanese people and more & more foreign tourists compete for comfortable rooms at hotels and “ryokan” traditional inns in Tokyo metropolis, Kyoto city, Osaka city, Hakone area… and at other famous destinations! So many people want to enjoy cherry blossoms, autumn leaves, annual “matsuri” festivals, and other special events! Many rooms may be available for the end of June, beginning of July, September, and beginning of October but think carefully: flights & trains may be cancelled during these typhoon seasons! Planning everything 6 months to 1 year before travelling to Japan seems wise.
- Tip number 2: Think about your special needs in Asia, especially if you move around with kids, if you are a vegetarian, a vegan, or if you are a Muslim and you need halal food… Japanese food is excellent but few restaurants are ready for international travellers with allergies, green lifestyles or diverse religious practices. Unexpected ingredients find their way in many dishes; for example, fish extracts in vegetable soups, meat extracts in seafood dishes, and pork fat in bread!
- Tip number 3: Visit the Japanese countryside if you have time. Japan has many faces and trains can take you to so many cool places beyond the big cities! For 2 days or more, enjoy a slower pace, meet the locals and see different beautiful landscapes! Discover rice fields, volcanic lakes, hot springs in snowy mountains, jungles… This is Japan too!
- Tip number 4: Move around with somebody who speaks your language and Japanese. Japanese people study English at school but few can communicate with foreigners; even staff at train stations and tourist spots. Besides, most signs, maps, brochures and menus are written in Japanese characters only (you can’t read them). The country is safe and Japanese people are kind so you don’t have to worry too much about all this stuff :) But, this being said, help from a bilingual can make your stay in Japan much more comfortable, efficient and fun. Ideally, find somebody understanding your needs and sharing your interests!
- Tip number 5: Hire us! The team of my travel agency in Tokyo knows how to prepare a great trip in Japan (with private bus and special hotels if desired) and I have experience assisting & guiding parents with small children, vegan couples from Europe, Muslim families and businessmen from the Middle East, Jews from Israel, Hindu groups from India… Each tour was adapted to match the customers’ specificities, and I am happy to tell you that we never had a claim :) But of course we keep on learning and doing better every time! I speak English, French & Japanese, I’ve lived in Japan for more than 10 years, I know great Japanese people, and I have visited many places here! Shall I help you prepare your whole trip to Japan and maybe accompany you or your group all along?
- Thanks for watching; see you in Japan!
- For more information, please contact: DUVAL Sébastien.
About this video…
Produced by: Stem Consulting – Get Japan team
Directed and edited by: Taylor B.
Presenter: Sébastien Duval. He is certified as tour conductor & guide in Japan, enjoys ecotourism, storytelling and the Japanese culture, and often eats vegan/halal food at restaurants in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hakone…
Special thanks to the staff of the vegan restaurant Loving Hut (Tokyo near Jimbocho station) for preparing a wonderful “vegan sushi” set although the restaurant was closed that day :)
Temporarily closed, the shop Asakusa Tatsumiya specialized in kimono tumblers is moving closer to Asakusa subway station and will re-open just 10 seconds away from the famous Kaminari-mon red Thunder Gate on 23 December 2016! We will gladly accompany you afterwards during a shopping tour in Tokyo city, to buy a kimono tumbler at the new shop if you love unique, beautiful things useful in everyday life :)
For readers visiting Asia who have not heard about kimono tumblers:
You really want to purchase a kimono tumbler made in Japan from the world leader before 23 December 2016? Order in English on the online store of Asakusa Tatsumiya:
Enjoy Japanese products!
Japanese men & women will fight or practice “kata” forms at the Nippon-budokan from 09:00 to 18:00 on 11 December 2016 during the 44th Japan Cup Karate-do Championships. This event is sponsored by Japan Karatedo Federation and a ticket costs only 2.000 yens (18 dollars)!
You can probably attend this event without us because the Nippon-budokan is easy to find (near Kudanshita subway station) and the tickets are sold on site but if you want us to accompany you there as part of a private 1-day tour in Tokyo city… let us know before Friday afternoon :)
If you wonder how exciting this karate event might be, watch the video of last year’s final for female kata:
Enjoy Japanese martial arts and Japanese culture, especially if you are a karateka in Asia!
In 2020 Year of the Rat, Japan will host a “World Robot Summit” international convention to improve the speed, precision and reliability of robots used for manufacturing, agriculture, nursing care, medical treatment… Japan is “the” world leader in robotics! Contact our travel agency if you would like us to prepare an exceptional high-tech trip for you or your company including this international event, with or without tour guide speaking your native language :)
To decide when to come to Japan, you can also check the latest news on Get Japan channel:
Tomorrow (30 November 2016), Kashihara Shinto Shrine will replace its impressive wooden plaque for the 2016 Year of the Monkey by one for the 2017 Year of the Rooster. Giant “ema” plaques are extremely rare in Japan; see how the current one looks like in Get Japan news video with Sébastien Duval:
Kashihara Shrine is in Kashihara city (Nara prefecture), near Nara city, Kyoto city, Osaka city, and Kansai International Airport. Ask us if you want our travel agents to organize an exciting trip including this Japanese destination, with or without English-speaking tour guide during December 2016 or in 2017 :)
You have holidays or a business trip planned in Asia? Ask us to prepare a wonderful itinerary in Japan, optimize your transportation, find convenient & pleasant hotels in the cities or traditional inns with lots of character in the countryside, recommend diverse restaurants & seasonal regional dishes, guide you in English during personalized excursions including time with Japanese locals…
We are used to helping tourists and professionals travelling alone or in good company from Canada, the United States of America, Mexico, France, the Netherlands, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Egypt, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, Fiji…
To help us propose then organize a pertinent & charming stay for you an your group, tell us where you have already been in Asia, the goals of your trip in Japan, the number and age of the travellers, your budget, your needs (physical condition, halal, vegan/vegetarian), your passions (Japanese or not), the potential dates for your trip, your ideas for destinations & activities in Japan…
Important: Japan lacks hotel rooms for travellers and English-speaking certified guides; reserve 6-12 months before your flight or cruise to ensure you get what you want and to benefit from the best choices at attractive prices!
Charmed by Japan and convinced by the Yes in Japan quality at the end of your stay? Come live in Japan and recommend our travel agency in Tokyo to your friends :)
You prepare your travel in Asia? Our guides are already booked during your stay in Japan? You wonder what to do today on holidays in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Kamakura, Hiroshima…?
Use our free resources Get Japan for independent travellers!
You will find our videos with subtitles (languages: English, French, Japanese…), our original city maps in English for walkers & cyclists (examples in Tokyo: Asakusa, Ginza, Jimbocho), our favourite restaurants (Japanese, vegetarian, halal) and shops (traditional, handmade, made in Japan, high tech), our selection of hotels & ryokans in metropolises and in the countryside, our photos of tourism & nature, our calendars of activities & events…
You like Get Japan? Tell your friends :) Something is missing or should be improved? Tell the team! Enjoy your trip in Japan :)
You know, work at, or own an exceptional restaurant, shop, cultural centre… that European/American tourists on foot or bicycle would appreciate in Tokyo near the stations Ginza, Nihombashi, Shimbashi, or Tsukiji? Let us know before 31 January 2016 so we may introduce it in English on our next Get Japan map “East of the Imperial Palace (Tokyo, Japan)“! The Yes in Japan team plans to distribute the maps to local hotels and information centres for free in February 2016…
Note: Our inbound travel manager particularly wishes to add shops selling high-tech products made in Japan, delicious vegetarian or halal restaurants, exciting Japanese activities, and convenient/fun spots for families with children.
For reference, our current map:
Big rain or snow today during your stay in Tokyo or Yokohama? And you still have to explore the north-east of Tokyo? Go shopping and discover the Japanese culture and everyday life in covered areas: the modern Sky Tree tower, the culinary Kappabashi Dougu Street, traditional alleys near the holy Thunder Gate…
Precise travel tips from the Yes in Japan team for the end of autumn 2015, winter 2015-2016 and spring 2016:
- Enjoy and photograph cute cats at Neko Zan Mai,
- Examine traditional instruments and play music at the Drum Museum,
- Experience the art of ukiyo-e woodblock printing at Mokuhankan,
- Join a washoku cooking lesson at Chagohan Tokyo,
- Play a fun game at Escape Hunt Japan (3 rooms in Asakusa),
- Relax at the public bath & hot spring Jakotsuyu,
- Savour ramen noodles in hot soup at Asakusa Naritaya,
- Slowly shop at Don Quijote Asakusa,
- Try Japanese activities at Jidaiya,
- Watch an original fashion & dance show with Japanese dancers at Tokyo Rhapsody,
- In family, let your small child discover the “baby” floor of Panda Café.
Learn more about the area and how to access it on our “Get Japan map of Asakusa” page and… do not forget your umbrella in the subway or at a shop :)
You plan to walk or ride a bicycle in Kappabashi Kitchen Town, Asakusa district (Rokku, Senso-ji…) or Oshinari area during your stay in Japan? Ask first the staff of your hotel to give you our detailed and informative free map “North-east of Tokyo, Japan: Asakusa district” 2015-2016 now available at:
Yes in Japan members will bring this Get Japan map to additional hotels in Tokyo in the coming days…