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Mirai project. Japan – what do you need to know before planning a trip to the Land of the Rising Sun?

Many of us had to postpone our 2020 travel plans or resign from them. However, nothing stands in the way of planning trips, which will be possible to take when the world situation calms down. One of the most amazing places to plan a trip is in Japan.

Japan is a country that should definitely be included in your dream destination list. The richness of culture, the beauty of nature, original cuisine, local diversity, the multitude of UNESCO attractions, the hospitality of the inhabitants and a perfectly organized communication system.
If someone would like to visit all of Japan, he would have to cover a distance of 2,990 km from north to south, 6,800 islands and a long, very diverse coastline. One trip to Japan is not enough. But what about Covid, what are the chances of visiting this interesting country, how to prepare when everything is “normal”?

Do I need a visa for Japan?

Pursuant to the bilateral agreement of 1999, no visa is required for tourist trips of up to 90 days. Currently, due to the spread of the Covid 19 epidemic, Japan has suspended visa-free travel for Polish citizens. Until March 7, 2021, a state of emergency applies in the country, catering outlets are closed at 20, and most of the tourist attractions do not function, but a slow removal of restrictions is planned from April. Japan maintains its willingness to host the Olympic Games in the period 23.07 – 8.08 2021.

If someone wants to go to the Land of the Rising Sun this year, it may be possible in autumn, during the Japanese time to celebrate the charms of momiji (Japanese maples). In recent years, tourist traffic to Japan has been very high, there is a chance that the fall 2021 and spring 2022 seasons will become a unique opportunity to experience Japan without the crowds.

When do cherry blossoms in Japan?

The Japanese pride themselves on having four distinct seasons in their country. However, the country has a very diverse climate, which should be included in your travel plans. Summer is steamy, and in June (in Okinawa and in the south of Kyushu even in May) there is a rainy season, however, each season or even a month has its own natural attractions that should be included in the itinerary.

Japan in March or April. The most popular season to travel to Japan is the time when the cherry blossoms are in late March and April. The country is overwhelmed by a euphoria of joy, people celebrate the return of spring by arranging picnics during which they admire the flowers of blooming cherry trees (Japanese: hanami ). It is a natural spectacle worth experiencing. Each city has popular places where people meet to celebrate together. It is worth remembering that another flower that is as popular as cherry is the plum blossom (Japanese: ume ).

Japan in May. A very pleasant month to travel to Japan is also May – it is warm, but not hot, azaleas are blooming.

Japan in the fall? If someone would prefer to go to Japan in the fall, the recommendable time is from mid-October to mid-December . This is the time of momijigari (lit. “red leaves hunt”), or the time when the leaves, especially of Japanese maples, change color. Also in this case, it is worth adjusting the route to the places that undergo the most beautiful discoloration at the moment. The temples and gardens of Kyoto certainly offer an unforgettable experience at this time.

How long should I go to Japan for?

When planning a trip to Japan, make sure you reserve the right amount of time. The minimum recommended time to stay in Japan is 10 days, but preferably it should be 2 or even 3 weeks. The number of tourist attractions in Japan is staggering, it is worth spending min. Three days. If you are visiting this country for the first time, you will definitely spend time in central Japan, where the largest cities are located:

  • Tokyo,
  • Osaka,
  • Kyoto,
  • Kobe,
  • Hiroshima,
  • and also Mount Fuji.

One of the popular tourist destinations worth visiting is also the island of Miyajima, a holy shinto place. We recommend spending the night on the island, you can feel its atmosphere after the last ferry with tourists left or in the morning before the crowds start to arrive. It is impossible to experience the charms of Japan in one trip. In addition to popular tourist places, it is a country that delights with nature, mountains, small villages, pilgrimage routes such as the Kumano Kodō trail, which is on the UNESCO list.

Overnight in Japan

One of Japan’s tourist attractions is the accommodation that is very varied and offers different experiences. Be sure to include a ryokan in your itinerary, which is an intimate hotel in traditional Japanese style with dinner and preferably hot springs (Japanese onsen ). You will experience Japanese hospitality (Japanese omotenashi ), and dinner on tatami mats with an amazing variety of dishes will be a real feast for your eyes and palate. It is an experience unique to Japan.

Onsen , or Japanese hot springs

Japan is a volcanic country famous for its onsen hot springs . Visiting the onsen is a kind of attraction, there is a special bath etiquette, such as the need to enter naked, wash the body before entering (however, interestingly, many onsens are not admitted to people with tattoos). In onsen you can really relax and make contact with the local community. People are friendly and willing to help foreigners understand the rules of bathing in the Japanese hot spring.

Shinkansen , take the journey by the fastest Japanese train

One of the amazing attractions of Japan is the ability to move quickly, modern, and comfortably without having to wait long for the next connection. The distance of 513 km between Tokyo and Kyoto is covered with the Nozomi shinkansen (super-fast train) in 2 hours, so it is a speed of over 250 km / ha.

Moving with luggage and obstructing traffic in the means of communication is not welcome. You can send your suitcases comfortably and safely by courier from one hotel to another. They will be waiting for you the same or the next day at the next destination, and you will save yourself the trouble of carrying.

A dream trip to Japan takes a long time to plan carefully. Use the pandemic time for this, there is a lot of information on the Internet. Go on a journey that will enrich your life with an encounter with beautiful nature, interesting history and culture.