Start Here to Plan Your Trip to Japan

My children exploring Shibu Onsen in Japan, on our way to the onsen baths
Our children exploring Shibu Onsen in Japan, on our way to the onsen baths

We are Anne and Tony Sutherland-Smith, travel bloggers.  Pretraveller is a travel blog to help people travel with confidence and give them ideas and inspirations for travel.

We recently travelled to Japan for a family holiday and really loved the experience!  When we subsequently started writing articles about Japan for the Pretraveller blog we discovered that other travellers were looking for more information about travelling to Japan, and some of our articles became really popular.  We decided to continue to write more articles on the topic of Japan and have now decided to specialise in this topic – particularly to assist first time travellers to Japan, and also anyone who just wants to find out more about Japan generally.

How to Start Planning Your Trip to Japan

In the articles below the first section is where you should start – check out our articles on getting started to plan your trip to Japan with our articles about the best time to visit, itineraries and also package tour options.  The second section is all about how to book the tickets and tours you need for your trip.  The final section is all about your pre-departure phase, and making sure you are ready to go.

We are regularly producing new articles about Japan, so new articles will be added to this page as they are created.  Please note that we also regularly update these articles to ensure you are getting the latest information.

Note that some articles are located on our Pretraveller travel blog and some articles are located on our new Japan Travel Planning website.

We have also set up the Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group – it is a great resource to enable you to ask questions about your upcoming trip to Japan.  Please join us to help you prepare for your trip, whether you are thinking longer term or heading off next week!

Most Popular Articles for Japan

Our most popular articles are as follows:

Early Planning for Japan

Itinerary Planning for Japan

Itinerary planning for Japan is a real challenge!  As a result we have put together articles to help you understand the best time to visit Japan, we have itinerary articles which each contain several itinerary options for either a 10 day or two week visit to Japan. As Tokyo is a big and complex city to explore we also have our detailed article on what to do in Tokyo to help you work it out and also decide where to stay!

We also have some great guide book options to check out and purchase (and let’s just say that there are many more options than you realise!).

In addition we have created detailed planning calendars for Japan to help you understand the different seasons and all of the upcoming major events for each season.  Check out our detailed article for more information and to order your calendar.

Your Japan Planning Calendar

Purchasing Tickets for Japan

If you want to purchase tickets to the sumo wrestling, baseball, Ghibli Museum, Universal Studios Japan, Robot Restaurant or Mario Kart then click on the relevant links to find our detailed articles which help you to book your tickets.

Japan Rail Passes are a very popular option to save money while in Japan.  Our detailed JR Pass article explains how they work and how to buy one – make sure you order at least two weeks before you depart.

Heading to Japan? Want to Buy the Cheapest Japan Rail JR Pass? Read This.

Package Tour Options for Japan

Quite a few of our readers are interested in booking multi day package tours to Japan – these can be a great option if you prefer to let someone else make all of your arrangements rather than having to invest a lot of your own time and effort to arrange your trip.  They are also a great option for solo travellers to meet like minded people and have companionship as they travel.

We have put together detailed articles to help you find the best Japan tours, and also the best Japan tours for families.

Visiting and Climbing Mt Fuji

Many visitors to Japan are keen to see, climb or ski Mt Fuji – as a result we have put together detailed guides on how to find the best Mt Fuji climbing tour (which includes a lot of information to help you plan your climb, both as part of a tour and for independent climbers) and also how to find the best one day Mt Fuji tour.

You may not also realise that in winter you can go skiing, snow boarding and snow play on Mt Fuji!  We have a detailed article on how to plan your day snow trip to Mt Fuji from Tokyo.

View of Mt Fuji from Lake Kawaguchi in the Five Lakes Region
View of Mt Fuji from Lake Kawaguchi in the Five Lakes Region

Visiting the Snow Monkeys

Another very popular activity for visitors is to visit the snow monkeys.  While winter is the peak time to visit, you can also visit them all year around.  Check out our detailed guide on how to visit the snow monkeys!

Snow Monkeys in Nagano Prefecture Japan
Snow Monkeys in Nagano Prefecture Japan

Accommodation Guides for Japan

A very common question is where to stay in Tokyo – but did you realise that before you book your accommodation you should also decide what to do in Tokyo? Tokyo is very large, so check out article on what to do in Tokyo first, and in the article are also a heap of links to help you book your accommodation through Booking.com.

We also have good accommodation information about where to stay near Universal Studios Japan.  People with tattoos have particular issues in Japan to visit onsens, so we have a detailed article on how to find tattoo friendly onsens which also includes accommodation recommendations for each area.

Pre-Departure for Japan

Packing and Equipment Lists for Japan

Our packing list article for Japan is also very popular.  It doubles as a pre-departure checklist to ensure you are ready to go!  We also have detailed guides to help you select the best luggage and best camera options for your trip to Japan.

The Ultimate Quick List of What to Pack for Japan and Tokyo – Including Printable

Japan Phone Apps, Pocket Wifi and Sim Cards

Most visitors to Japan either rent a pocket wifi or buy a pre-paid data only sim card, as these are very cost effective options to have access to data during your visit.  Check out our articles on the Best Pocket Wifi, the Best Pre-paid Data Sim Card, we also have specific articles to help you rent or purchase Japan Wireless (check out our great coupon code deal!) and Pupuru products.  Our article on the best phone apps to load onto your phone is also very popular!

Best Online Pocket Wifi Rental in Japan for Tourists in 2019

Airport Transfer Articles for Japan

Airport Transfers are a very common request – we have a set of detailed articles on how to transfer from Narita airport to different parts of Tokyo.  Check out our articles to travel to Tokyo and Ginza, to Haneda Airport, Shinjuku, Shibuya and Shinagawa, Ueno, Asakusa and Akihabara and to Yokohama.

Easiest Options to Get from Narita Airport to Tokyo and Ginza

For Travellers to Japan with Tattoos

People with tattoos have particular issues in Japan to visit onsens, so we have a detailed article on how to find tattoo friendly onsens which also includes accommodation recommendations for each area.  You may also like to check out our FAQ for visitors to Japan with tattoos.

FAQ: Travelling in Japan with Tattoos

Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group

Check out our Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group – you are welcome to join and it is a great resource to enable you to ask questions about your upcoming trip to Japan!

Happy planning your trip to Japan!

Thanks Anne and Tony.