Tag Archives: Kyoto city

Trip to Japan: Sébastien Duval’s top 5 tips to prepare your travel!

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:

Subtitles:

  • 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.

Mount Fuji


About this video…

Original: https://youtu.be/Jbxdev7CAoc
Produced by: Stem ConsultingGet 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 :)

08-17 April 2017: Tours all booked! Sakura cherry blossoms…

Yes In Japan tours are fully booked for all Japan from 08 to 17 April 2017 as our experienced English/Japanese bilingual staff will accompany again Indian businessmen (+ family) on business trip from Narita international airport to several cities in the Kanto & Kansai regions. May the weather allow great photos with beautiful “sakura” cherry blossoms and Mount Fuji!

Besides visiting Japanese factories, we shall visit Tokyo city, Hakone town, Kyoto city, and Osaka city to see famous tourist spots, smell spring flowers, taste international & Japanese food (at rare restaurants ready for vegans), meet “geisha” entertainers (with traditional music?), try sumi-e ink wash painting, enjoy shopping at selected/requested shops… and ride a high-tech “shinkansen” bullet train to avoid long bus rides :)

You plan to organize a company/incentive trip to Japan for your colleagues, partners or customers? Contact our travel agency as soon as possible to get skilled bilingual assistants, great prices, comfortable hotel rooms, an exciting itinerary, and options for fun activities or live performances! It’s already the time to start planning a trip to Japan during the estimated peak of cherry blossoms in 2018…

Spring 2017 Tours: Cherry blossoms in Tokyo, Kamakura…

Spring 2017 is almost here… and gorgeous cherry blossoms with it! The cherry trees and “sakura” flowers looked like this near our travel agency in Tokyo city during April 2016:

You want to escape the big crowds visiting Japan during the peak? Enjoy difficult-to-find cherry blossoms at the beginning or end of this season? Reserve a tour conductor/guide speaking English (or French, Japanese…) early to avoid disappointments! From March to May 2017, friendly Yes In Japan tourism specialists can accompany you from your hotel in Tokyo city or nearby: Yokohama port, Kamakura “samurai” capital… or even west in Osaka metropolis, Kyoto traditional capital, Nara ancient capital…

Rather than shopping, walk in selected streets, parks, forests… and maybe savour a Japanese sweet wrapped in a cherry leaf or a drink containing a cute cherry flower :)

Yes in Japan on Twitter: Today’s weather, exchange rates…

The Yes in Japan team now tweets information useful for travellers in Japan today: weather forecasts in Tokyo and Kyoto, daily exchange rates (Japanese Yen, US Dollar, Euro)… in addition to maps, links to new blog posts and answers to your questions in English, French or Japanese :)

Follow our Yes in Japan Twitter feed in English… and tell us what else you need for your travel and stay!
@ts_tokyo_en       https://twitter.com/ts_tokyo_en
 
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Things to do in Japan: Enjoy hands-on traditional activities!

Have you ever enjoyed a hands-on Japanese activity in your country or in Japan? Beside cooking sushi, joining a tea ceremony or wearing a kimono, there are many things to do in Japan for foreigners curious about the Japanese culture and life. Teachers may guide hands-on sessions at diverse locations: a craft village, cultural centre, museum, school, temple, workshop… but support in English often requires arrangements. Think about it; hands-on activities can make your holidays in Japan much more memorable, interesting and fun!

Things to do in Japan: prepare sushi!

To better understand life in Japan, you may harvest rice or pick up tea leaves, pickle Japanese horseradish “wasabi”, prepare sushi, make tofu or soba/udon noodles, make Japanese confectioneries “wagashi” or even create (modern) food replicas normally shown at the entrance of restaurants! Beyond Japanese food, you may learn to make a tatami, ceramic object, daruma or kokeshi doll, paper lantern or simple Washi Japanese paper… and families with small children may try origami or traditional games.

Things to do in Japan: pick up tea leaves!

To better understand the Japanese culture, you can notably join a tea ceremony, try flower arrangement, take care of a bonsai, print ukiyo-e with woodblocks, write Japanese or Chinese characters (calligraphy) with a standard or giant brush, copy or chant a sutra at a Buddhist temple, practice Zen meditation, play Japanese drums… If your timing is good, you may even carry an omikoshi, pull a float, or dance with locals at a festival!

Things to do in Japan: copy a sutra!

The fans of Japanese martial arts can also practice more or less ancient arts in Japan: hand-to-hand martial arts such as judo and karate, Japanese archery “kyudo”, the art of using a Japanese halberd “naginata-jutsu”, Japanese swordsmanship “kendo”…

Things to do in Japan: practice Japanese swordsmanship KENDO!

Try 1-2 Japanese traditional activities during your stay; it really reveals much about Japan and its culture. Tea ceremonies are popular in Kyoto and karate trainings in Okinawa but Tokyo provides most activities. Also note that many events occur all over Japan on Culture Day (national holiday: 03 November)! So, which traditional activity have you enjoyed? Which traditional activity would you try?

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