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 :)
Relax, savour an animal-shaped dessert, and let your children have fun! In Tokyo, Panda Café is an international restaurant with terrace (heated in winter) and a cute special floor with toys for small children, expecting mothers… You will find a good choice of tasty home-made meals and desserts, friendly staff and, if needed, space for your baby carriage!
A few prices for food on the menu:
- Dessert shaped like a panda, lion or rabbit: 580 yens
- Vegetable cheese cake: 580 yens
- Breakfast/brunch set: 500 yens
- Lunch set (vegetarian or not): 980 yens
Note: You have access to free Wifi and electric plugs, and can pay by credit card in this non-smoking restaurant!
Staying in Japan at Tokyo Dome Hotel during summer 2015? You can enjoy an aquarium with many cute small fishes: red, orange, blue, grey… Kids love it! Just look on the right of the guest relations desks in the lobby.
Following its map of Tokyo “North of the Imperial Palace” for spring/summer 2015, the Yes in Japan team is preparing a great map of Tokyo “East of the Imperial Palace” for summer/autumn 2015. Help us make our map even more interesting and useful by suggesting types of services, restaurants, stores, or Japanese products you would like to see on it before the end of May! Our inbound travel manager recently detailed his preferences but any other idea for foreign adults or children in Japan is welcome :)
This free walking and shopping map in English language including the subway/train stations of Ginza, Hibiya, Mitsukoshi-mae, Nihombashi, Otemachi, Shimbashi, Tokyo, Toranomon, Tsukiji, and Yurakucho will be available online and will be distributed at local hotels in Chiyoda, Chuo and Minato wards…
Discover exciting Japanese legends and modern stories, monsters, heroes, everyday life in Japan… and great language study books!
- Picture book in Japanese language: 1000 yens
- Baby socks: 380 yens
- Small toy: 580 yens
Phone: (+81) 03-3261-5691
Credit cards: Accepted.
Bookhouse Jinbocho is the bookshop 15 in the section C2 of our Get Japan map of Tokyo in spring/summer 2015:
At Bookhouse Jinbocho, you can admire a great decoration, relax and find a Japanese treasure for you, your family, your friends… You will love this bookshop designed for all children! The books, toys and other selected products are wonderful and affordable: 1.000 yens for an illustrated book of Japanese legends, 580 yens for a small toy, 380 yens for cute baby socks… The Yes in Japan team recommends you to go shopping at this popular shop when you tour Japan!
Bookhouse Jinbocho is open from 11:00 to 18:30 every day except Wednesday. Some Japanese staff speaks English or Italian; call 03-3261-5691 if you need information or ask the Japanese staff of your hotel to contact this bookshop for you. Near Jimbocho subway station and Sakura Hotel & Café Jimbocho, Bookhouse Jinbocho is the store marked “21″ on our map of Tokyo’s Chiyoda ward for autumn/winter 2014.
Share the fierce side of Buddhism with your friends and colleagues far from Asia thanks to Japanese cards painted by the sumi-e master HONDA Toyokuni! This black & white postcard features the immovable king of wisdom Fudo-myo-o in flames, holding his sword and rope, served by two boys:
This sumi-e postcard is sold in Japan at the art shop Toyokuni Atelier Studio near Jimbocho and Kudanshita stations in Tokyo’s Chiyoda ward.
Post a Japanese card painted by sumi-e Master HONDA Toyokuni to your loved ones! You can find this black & white postcard representing a whale and kids in Tokyo’s Chiyoda ward at Toyokuni Atelier Studio:
Art lovers in Asia, head for Japan and this exciting gallery/store in Tokyo (Jimbocho and Kudanshita areas)!
Send sumi-e postcards painted by Master HONDA Toyokuni to your family or friends! For example, this colourful card with a Japanese dragon and children found at Toyokuni Atelier Studio (Chiyoda ward, Tokyo):
The art shop near Jimbocho and Kudanshita stations has joyful sumi-e cards; will you buy a set for New Year or to decorate your room or office?
Today’s exchange rate is:
- 1000 Yens ≃ 9.5 US Dollars ≃ 7.3 Euros
- 1 US Dollar ≃ 105 Yens
- 1 Euro ≃ 138 Yens
Nowadays, you can enjoy a high-quality activity or tour in Tokyo at a good price, from 24 and 38 US Dollars respectively (18 and 29 Euros). Children can get a discount, joining Yes in Japan tours for as little as 19 US Dollars (15 Euros)…
Activities in Tokyo from 2500 yens ≃ 24 US Dollars ≃ 18 Euros per adult.
e.g. Japanese tea time at Marebito teahouse
Walking tours in Tokyo from 4000 yens ≃ 38 US Dollars ≃ 29 Euros per adult.
e.g. Jimbocho shopkeepers x Japanese culture
We can even organize a personalized group tour in Tokyo for your family or friends for only 143 dollars. 3 friends would just pay 48 dollars each…
½ day personalized tours from 15000 yens ≃ 143 US Dollars ≃ 109 Euros per group.
e.g. Tour with Japanese garden, martial arts demonstration, shopping for ukiyo-e…
1-day personalized tours from 30000 yens ≃ 286 US Dollars ≃ 218 Euros per group.
e.g. Tour with origami exhibition, holy horse at a Shinto shrine, high-tech game centre…
Reserve before flying to Japan so we can plan a great personalized tour in Tokyo for you!