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 :)
Our travel agency in Tokyo city will be closed on Monday 20 March 2017 for Vernal Equinox Day i.e. the beginning of spring, which is a national holiday in Japan.
Enjoy the cherry blossoms and pink/white “sakura” petals flying with the wind in Japanese parks or in the streets :)
Our travel agency in Tokyo will be closed on Friday 23 December 2016 for the Emperor’s birthday, which is a Japanese public holiday.
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 :)
Representatives of foreign travel agencies, establish a partnership with our travel agency! Our tourism specialists in Tokyo city prepare high-quality organized travels in Japan: proposal of itineraries including typical tourist destinations and exceptional landscapes, reservation of appropriate hotels and restaurants, recommendation of activities and shows, provision of a certified guide for tours in English or French…
The Japanese market being what it is, consider with even more attention our Yes in Japan services if your customers are vegan, vegetarian or Muslim travellers :)
Our diligent travel agents will welcome you as usual at Travel Stand Japan near Suidobashi station in Tokyo until 18:30 today but will be on holidays afterwards (travel agency closed on 30-31 December 2015) to recover from a year of hard work, like many employees in Japan :)
In case of emergency, you may reach our inbound manager DUVAL Sébastien by e-mail or on social networks in English, French or Japanese.
We wish you a great end of year wherever you are with your family, friends, friendly strangers, good food, and special drinks :) See you in 2016!
The Yes in Japan team and its carefully selected partners help foreigners who wish to spend several months or years of their life in Japan!
We provide information about kind estate agents and homestay specialists, great designers of personal seals/stamps and business cards, exceptional schools to study the Japanese language & culture, trustworthy organizations helping find internships, skilled babysitters, bilingual cooking teachers… In addition, we also give free maps of Tokyo recommending attractions, restaurants (vegetarian, vegan and halal included), traditional and modern shops, supermarkets, hospitals with English-speaking staff, etc. Note that our services do not cover visa, banking, job-hunting, or dating services for Japan.
Besides, we organize useful discovery tours in Tokyo in English, French or Japanese for foreign newcomers and tourists thinking about living in Japan, to help them understand Japan, its culture and everyday life while introducing areas where they may live, study or work! For “Japanese + foreigner” couples, families or friends, we may operate these tours in several languages at the same time :)
You own or work at a local business? Do not hesitate to e-mail us to share useful information or join our expanding network in 2016 :)
Planning a “cherry blossoms” trip to Japan in spring 2016? Buy your flight tickets, book hotels & ryokans, and reserve tours & activities now because Japanese hotels quickly get full for that period and because few tour guides in Japan speak English fluently! Do not wait to get what you want at a good price…
In spring 2014 & 2015, we guided and assisted joyful foreign tourists (mostly couples and families) in English or French during fun walking tours in Tokyo and in the nearby city of Kamakura. We will happily take care of you too in March, April or May 2016 to help you enjoy the soft white/pink cherry blossoms (and other Japanese flowers), seasonal “sakura” food & drinks, the Japanese culture, etc. :)
Reserve a Yes in Japan half-day or full-day private tour in/near Tokyo for you, your family or friends before we get fully booked for the season! Just e-mail our travel agency the date(s) and destination(s) of your choice along with any pertinent complementary information or request.
Note: We also gladly accompany travellers to Kyoto, Osaka, Hakone (near Mount Fuji), etc. but the cost rises significantly…
What local maps of Japan should we create next to make you happy? We plan to provide a new Get Japan free map in English by winter 2015 then spring 2016 to complement our maps of Akihabara/Jimbocho and Ginza/Nihombashi. Feel free to suggest any district/spot of Tokyo, another Japanese city or even a wilder place in Japan during the coming weeks! You can leave a comment below, e-mail us or contact us on social networks in English, French or Japanese.
Planning holidays or a business trip in Japan next year? Your desired map(s) may be available at your hotel or online when you arrive if many readers agree or if we particularly like your suggestion :)
If you already travelled in Japan and missed a map there, that’s also something the Yes in Japan team would be glad to know; tell us!
Reserve tours in Japan at our travel agency early to make sure Yes in Japan staff can accompany you on your chosen day, to enable us to make special arrangements and to give us time to negotiate special discounts for your activities, especially if you wish to join our popular personalized private tours (half day, full day, several days) with staff speaking French, Spanish… rather than English! This travel tip is critical if you plan to visit Japan on a business trip with little free time or during the busy season of “sakura” cherry blossoms (mainly March and April).
To contact us before going to Asia, see the page about our Japanese travel agency Travel Stand Japan located in Tokyo :)