8 Things You Need To Know Before Traveling to Japan

1. Currency: is yen (円, en). Denominations are 1,000yen, 5,000yen, and 10,000yen. Coins come in 1 yen, 5 yen, 10 yen, 50 yen, 100 yen and 500 yen denominations. Coins more used for subway.Paying Cash in Japan is preferred way. Especially paying small amounts at smaller shops/restaurants, entrance fee of tourist sights, and taxi. For Credit/Debit Cards, it more acceptable nowadays in most department stores, chain restaurants, outlet malls and hotels.2. WeatherIn main land of Japan. The four season will be more obviously. Spring (March-May): temperature become warmer. Generally speaking, late march to Early April is the period of cherry blossom. Summer (June- August): It’s hot, humid and raining season. Autumn (September- November). Days are sunny and dry. Winter (December-February): cool and cold. In Hokkaido, even in may still a little cool. Below show the average of temperature of Tokyo and Sapporo:3. TransportationIn Japan, major transportation are Train (Shinkansen, JR trains, Private lines), Subway (all major Japanese cities have their own urban subway lines), Bus.For the train tickets, A basic fare ticket is necessary for all train travel. For traveling on a Shinkansen (bullet train) or a Limited Express train, you need to purchase a super (limited) express train ticket in addition to a basic fare ticket.4. LanguageIn Japan, the most widely spoken language is Japanese. The word writing consists of Kanji (several thousands of Chinese characters) and Hiragana and Katakana (two syllabaries of 46 characters each; together called Kana). In Airport, most of train stations, hotels have English sign. The local bus may only show Japanese words.5. Electricity The Voltage in Japan is 100 Volt and the frequency is 50/60 Hz. If the standard voltage in your country is in the range of 220 - 240 V, you need a voltage converter in Japan. In Japan the power plugs and sockets are of type A and B. Type A: mainly used in North and Central America, China and Japan. This socket only works with plug A.Type B: like type A but with an extra prong for grounding. This socket also works with plug A.6. Pocket-WIFIRental a pocket wifi is important. You will easy to access to internet, using browser and use google map to search the direction or other things you need. It will be useful for you to transfer to places or cities via google map.7. Custom to Enjoy OnsenOnsen in Japan is very famous. Japanese hot springs are enjoyed naked (indoor or outdoor onsen). Separately men and woman using. Swimming suits are not allowed in most places. However, it is the custom to bring a small towel into the bathing area, with which you can enhance your privacy while outside of the water. Once you enter the bath, keep the towel out of the water. Participants with tattoos may not be allowed to enter the baths. Taking photos in the hot spring is prohibited.8. Remove your shoes at some restaurant/RyokanSome traditional restaurants, Ryokan when they have tatami area need to remove your shoes before enter in. As well as go to the insides of the shrines and temples.

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5 Best beaches in Japan for Summer 2019

Japan is surrounded by the sea, and it is actually a series of islands. The four main islands of Japan are: 1, Hokkaido2, Honshu, the largest island, on which the capital, Tokyo, is located.3, Shikoku, the smallest and least populous of the four main islands.4, Kyushu.So Japan is dotted with beautiful beaches, the best beaches for sunbathing and swimming are in Okinawa, a Japanese island in the East China Sea, where is north of Kyushu. But nice beaches exist in other regions too. Today, we would like to share 5 wonderful beach destinations in Japan for summer vacation.No. 1 Furuzamami Beach, OkinawaFrequently listed as one of the best beaches in the country, Furuzamami Beach offers soft, white sands and warm, clear blue waters. It's the most beautiful place on Earth, with stunning coral and fish so beautiful you didn't think they could possibly exist. It is just 1 hour by high speed boat from Okinawa to Furuzamami Beach and so because it is easy to visit it is very popular. For beginners, it is a great place for easy snorkeling, if you don't have snorkeling equipment, you can hire some from the onsite rental agencies. You can also use beach house, banana boat, flippers, wet suits, or floats for various aquatic sports.No.2 Yonaha Maehama Beach, OkinawaA popular beach in Miyakojima with many nice beaches. Although it is Miyakojima with a relatively large number of small beaches, this beach has a very large sandy beach, stretching 7 km. The beach hosts the swimming section of an annual "Strongman" triathlon at the end of April. Even in the season where tourists are the most popular in the summer, it is rare that they overflow with people like the popular beaches of Honshu and Okinawa Main Island, and it is a very attractive beach. There is a cafe and facilities nearby for marine activities and foods, so you can enjoy it enough. You can also see Miyakojima's famous Ohama Bridge.No.3 Nishihama Beach, OkinawaNisjhihama is a 1 km long beach along the northeast shore of Aka-jima Island. The clear and transparent sea extends to the far end, and the scenery of beautiful inland sea of the Kerama Islands seen from the beach is outstandingly splendid, which makes it a superb view not only on Keruma Island but also among all of beaches of Japan. Snorkeling here is a must as the coral reef is fairly close to shore and has an abundance of colorful, diverse marine life. The area is peaceful and not too crowded. Japan on the world’s largest travel review site, Trip Advisor. Based off the reviews of travellers from around the world, it received the Travellers’ Choice Awards 2017 award for the World’s Best Beach.No.4 Hirizo beach, Shizuoka prefectureHirizo beach is bordered by steep cliffs and can only be reached by ferry (only operating from mid-July to mid-September). That's incredible that you can find such a tropical place so relatively close to Tokyo. You can get there by car in 4 hours from Tokyo, however, beware the crowd of midsummer weekends. Hirizo Beach trumps its counterparts primarily thanks to its clear, calm waters which offer maximum visibility of the diverse sea life living among the abundance of coral. While the rocky beach most certainly isn’t a good sunbathing spot, it’s the best place to set up a tent to protect your belongings before taking to the waters to discover why the area is celebrated as a snorkeler’s paradise.No.5 Shirahama Beach, Wakayama prefectureShirahama(White Beach in Japanese) is located in the south coast of in Wakayama prefecture and one of the largest, most popular beach resorts in Japan. A two-hour drive from Osaka, you can reach the stunning sand beach which attracts a huge number of visitors. Shirahama is also famous for the hot spring resource and there are numbers of Onsen spots. This popular beach sees lots of visitors during the summer, and shops renting beach paraphernalia open during the swimming season. Public facilities include showers, changing rooms and toilets.

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5 Best Apps for Traveling in Japan

TrafficNo. 1 Hyperdiahttp://www.hyperdia.com/en/product/android/https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hyperdia-by-voice/id379001449?mt=8The best app if your itinerary is transfer from one city to another city in Japan by train. Choose the date/station/departure or arrival station, after some research, you will start to know the operation way of traffic in Japan. All Japan Rail Pass holders should be aware that fastest Nozomi and Mizuho trains are not covered by the Japan Rail Pass. Instead, JR Pass holder can Hikari/Sakura/Kodama train, etc.Once you have specified from one to another place (town or station), click Search. You will be redirected to the results page which will show you. Do you know that taking Hikari train from Kyoto to Hiroshima, is 20mins more than taking Mozomi train? :Hyperdia web search results: by Nozomi train or Hikari train, time difference is from 20mins.Highly recommend you change your Shinkansen train tickets by using JR pass just arrival at Japan, especially it is in the hot season or peak time of a day. Novaland Tours can reserve JR train tickets (also can purchase JR pass) for you and make tickets delivery to your Japan hotel. Please feel free to contact us if you need this service.No.2 Google Mapshttps://itunes.apple.com/us/app/google-maps-transit-food/id585027354?mt=8Google Maps app is one of best-known also simplicity used transportation apps. Japan traffic system program has been almost completely input in Google map that you can easily find your way from one places to another places.By clicking Details you will find more description of the traffic itinerary. The displayed cost is only as reference. One of situation, the JR pass holder taking Hikari/Sakura/Kodama train, etc, would cost less than taking Nozomi/Mizuho train, but spend more time. So you also need the above related app "Hyperdia" when calculate the exact traffic cost (by knowing the exact train depart time, train number and operation company name) from one to another places.Looking for RestaurantNo.3 GuruNavihttps://gurunavi.com/https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gurunavi-japan-restaurant-guide/id430795962?mt=8Gurunavi is a great and easy to used restaurant-finder app for both iOS and Android. Which is a partner of Michelin and TripAdvisor. GURUNAVI carefully choose these recommended restaurants based on the popularity of their area and cuisine. Find a restaurant that suits your taste by simply selecting area and cuisine.The restaurant menus are available in four languages: English, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, and Korean. After you find the best restaurant, you can make a reservation directly on GURUNAVI. To do so, select your desired set menu and make the payment in advance (be careful before you make payment with any agency before arrival the restaurant, just when you think it is trusted. Novaland Tours also provide restaurant booking service if you already book any tours with us. We recommend you pay on site at the restaurant but not paying by us, which is more clear). No.4 Tabeloghttps://tabelog.com/en/https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kakaku.tabelog&hl=en_USTabelog helps you to find restaurants nearby and sort them by price and rating. What makes Tabelog reviews so trustworthy is that in Japanese online communities, users typically treat the platform as a way to display their expertise without worrying about judgement from their peers, and they often work hard to build their alter-ego and gain a large following.LanguageNo.5 Imiwa?http://www.imiwaapp.com/The dictionary contains 170000+ japanese entries and corresponding english translations, almost 15000 are translated in french, 94000+ in german and 7000+ in russian.This app is great for those of us who aren’t quite sure how to search kanji by radicals. Users can search for kanji characters simply by drawing the character directly on the screen (or if you want to look up a word by its radicals, stroke order, kana or romaji, you can do that too). Imiwa? also lets its users practice writing Japanese characters.

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8 Best Onsen Towns in Japan

Onsen (natural hot spring) is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan. Each year, there is an enormous amount of Japanese and foreign visitors of all ages come here to relax mentally and physically and experience the uniqueness of Japanese cultures. Besides, every onsen area has different kinds of minerals that offer different types of benefits such as healing muscle pain, smoothing skins, lessening fatigue, improving immunity, and so on.In case you get confused in choosing an Onsen town to go, I have picked 8 best onsen towns for you. Getting excited?No.1 Kusatsu Onsen TownKusatsu is considered the best onsen in Japan. Among the top 100 onsen selected by travel pros, Kusatsu Onsen has ranked No. 1 in Japan for 15 years in a row!Up in the mountains of Gunma Prefecture, Kusatsu is home to large volumes of high quality hot spring water. Open air or inside, mixed gender or separate are all available for you. If you are a sporty person, the area also offers skiing in the winter and hiking during warmer months. It is about three-and-a-half-hour drive from Tokyo. Although it is chilly and snowy in winter, soaking in the hot springs outside right in the middle of the town will definitely be a warm and wonderful experience you’ve ever had. Also, there is a famous saying for Kusatsu which says that it can cure every illness but lovesickness. The saying is only true for you when you experience once!No.2 Hakone Onsen TownSituated less than an hour train away from Tokyo, close to Japan’s highest mountain, Mt. Fuji, andsurrounded by natural sceneries, Hakone Onsen town has attracted a lot of visitors to come. There are many private onsens provided by nearby hotels, if you are in a honeymoon, drinking a glass of wine with the one you love in a private onsen will be an unforgettable experience for you two. Besides onsen, Hakone Open-Air Museum will also give you an opportunity to explore Japanese culture with a relaxed atmosphere. Does it become a must-visit destination for you? Without hesitation, I will go there when I find the love of my life!No.3 Beppu Onsen Town  The first time I saw the town full of smoke, I thought the town was on fire. I found myself hilarious when I realized they were hot spring from drains, eight major hot springs. The lighting makes the town significantly beautiful at night.Some of people found the town less modern and attractive, but if you are a nostalgic person, you will appreciate the originality of the town. It reminds me of the life in late 90th century of China, slow and fulfilling. I will definitely go there someday in future to soak my mind not just body in warm water to recall the life in childhood.Also, there are lots of department stores for you after you totally let off steam in onsen. What is more? Beppu offers sand baths, steam baths, mud baths which await you to unveil the mystery. All I can say is that they are super nutritious and healthy for your skin and body.  No.4 Dogo Onsen TownWell, as I mentioned, Beppu Onsen Town is old, like a 90th-century town, but what is really old is the Dogo Onsen which is located in the east of central Matsuyama. It is known as "the Oldest Onsen in Japan" which apparently was discovered in ancient times! If you are a fan of Miyazaki’s film, one thing you can’t miss is Dogo Onsen Honkan which inspired the award-winning animated film "Spirited Away". Also, numerous ryokans are waiting for you after you enjoy onsen. In an artistic perspective, the architecture of the town are various but fitting well with each other. The best combination of body enjoyment and visual satisfaction may be another reason for you to visit.No.5 Fuji Kawaguchiko Onsen TownIt was always my dream to relax in a hot spring while taking in a view of the tallest mountain in Japan with soft music. Luckily, my dream came true 2 months ago. I went to one of the Fuji Kawaguchiko onsens to witness the magnificence of the Mt. Fuji. It seemed that I let go of all my pressure of 20 years in 20 minutes. Now it is time for you to go, I will list 5 onsens in town with a view of Mt.Fuji. They are Mifuji-en, Yurari, Onyado Fuji Ginkei, Kozantei Ubuya, and Kukuna. After the bath, it is time for ladies to dress up and put on a delicate make up to go on a date in a random ryokan. I bet you will never feel this elegant and romantic ever!!I highly recommend couples come here to spice up your relationships. It will feel like a movie.No.6 Ibusuki Onsen TownSituated in the southern coast of Kyushu, Ibusuki is famous for its hot sand baths, called Sunamushi. The most popular location for being buried in naturally steam-heated sand is the outdoor Saraku Sand Bath Hall, but the experience is also available at a number of ryokans. Compared to the sand baths in Beppu Onsen town (No.3), it is more clean and comfortable. I am a little bit mysophobic but I felt ok to have myself buried in the hot sand for 10-15 minutes. I felt that I was part of the ocean, sand, and nature. What surprised me the most was that I have suffered from female disorders for several years, but I was back to normal after the journey. Maybe the high sodium sand helped. So I would highly recommend all the ladies to give it a shot.No.7 Kinosaki Onsen TownKinosaki Onsen is located in northern Hyogo Prefecture on the coast of the Sea of Japan. Hot springs were discovered in Kinosaki around the 8th century and since then the town has developed into a tourism onsen town.I remembered I screamed ‘I am in heaven’ three times when I first arrived at Kinosaki Onsen. How can I not say that? The stunning natural sceneries accompany with hot spring and charmingly artistic arcades. It was voted ‘best hot spring town’ by Lonely Planet. All the onsens in town are close to each other within 10-minute walk, feel free to try out more if time is allowed. Plus, if you are a seafood lover, the winter of Kinosaki Onsen Town will be a paradise for you. I am sure the whole journey will definitely fulfill your appetite and body.No.8 Yufuin Onsen TownYufuin is a popular hot spring resort, located in Oita prefecture in the Kyushu Region. Viewing Mount Yufu while soaking in an open-air bath is an extraordinary experience.What fascinates me the most is the quietness of the town. If Fuji Kawaguchiko Onsen Town is considered the best place for couples, well, Yufuin Onsen Town is a lovely place for families. The quite atmosphere will finally allow you to have a deep conversation with your family. Still struggling for finding a place for a family trip? Yufuin Onsen Town welcomes you.

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