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Things to know before you go to Japan

There are several points to consider at the very outset of planning a trip to Japan. Anyone who signs up for one of our tours receives additional helpful tips, etc, in the weeks prior to departure.


  • Make sure your Passport has more than six months left before expiration. If you need a new Passport allow plenty of time for processing.

  • Check to see if you need a visa. Holders of US Passports (and several other countries, including Canada) do not need visas to enter Japan as tourists. Note: there is a limit on how long tourists may stay (for US Passport holders it is 90 days).

  • Scheduled Tours offered by Adventures in Japan are Land-Only, unless otherwise stated. This means you are responsible for travel arrangements to and from Japan.

  • Scheduled Tours include minimal assistance with luggage, i.e., participants should come prepared to handle their own luggage. Obviously this provides a strong incentive for “traveling light!” On Private Tours luggage handling is addressed on a case-by-case basis (pun intended!), and must be resolved during initial conversations.

  • We always encourage you to consider purchasing Travel Insurance if you have any concerns about possibly needing to cancel, or other issues, e.g. health-related.

  • Japanese customs, food, and culture are very different from Western culture in many respects. Anyone with special dietary requirements, or other health-related concerns should do research before traveling to Japan. It can be difficult to maintain a vegan diet, for example. And decaffeinated coffee can be difficult to find. Overall, we aim to expose our participants to a wide variety of traditional Japanese cuisine.

Since Japan is still recovering from the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami, it is important to mention that most of Japan was not directly affected by either event, and life is back to normal for the vast majority of Japanese. Also, none of our Scheduled Tours venture close to the areas affected by the earthquake/tsunami and subsequent nuclear situation.

Japan may be the safest, cleanest country on earth. Nevertheless, there may be challenges for the visitor, no matter how well they have prepared ahead of time. Overall, our experience confirms what most people have found. When asked how they liked Japan, they invariably say, “We loved it!”