Japan is often thought of as the most modern country in the world, and in many ways it is. This article features the best Web sites to aid you in planning and implementing your trip to Japan, including resources to introduce you to Japanese culture and sightseeing, tools for finding and booking transportation and accommodation, advice to help you stay safe and healthy overseas, and blogs and forums to put you in touch with other travelers.
Japan Travel Basics
For an overview of Japan …
’s “People and Places” gives information on various countries. The basics of Japanese history and economy are provided, but the can’t-miss sections are the revealing photo slideshows in “Cities in Japan” and “Japan Features” (scroll down).
The New York Times
Travel section overviews Japan with travel articles and multimedia features like photo and video slideshows, as well as a compendium of general articles on the country. There are links to content from Frommer’s travel guides, as well.
’s includes essential and thorough information from its Japan travel guide, including recommended hotels, restaurants, attractions, and more for numerous cities. The “In Depth” section is an excellent resource for picking up cultural details (use the links on the left to navigate).
For official tourism resources …
The Japan National Tourist Organization
has a well-designed Web site that utilizes photos and clearly organized charts to present a range of travel information. Practical pre-trip advice and cultural details such as festivals and museums are given. Clickable maps of places and events are also provided along with links to specific sites.
For geography and natural features …
is sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and provides information on Japanese culture. This page includes a list and map of regions, becoming more specific with each successive click; link to every city in every region via map click.
For budget travel …
Japan Cheap Travel
covers essential information for planning and enjoying a low-budget stay. Sections on transportation, accommodation, and eating, as well as unusual sightseeing ideas have a personal, friendly style with well-organized details, links, and insightful advice.
For cities and sightseeing …
is the official site of the Japan National Tourist Organization in London. The site offers plenty of resources to help you plan a trip from start to finish. Tools to help you find and book flights and hotels are included, as well as a list of attractions and downloadable calendars of events. (the website is under maintenance now.)
Travel Requirements for Japan
For travel requirements and safety …
is a site specifically geared to solo female travelers, and has been recognized by the BBC and Travelers’ Tales. This article discusses what it’s like for a woman to travel alone in Japan, what to look out for, and how to make the most of your time. The author lives in Japan and recommends a few agencies and tour guides that she’s found especially helpful.
For Japanese culture and etiquette …
is a quarterly online publication offering a snapshot of multiple aspects of Japanese life. Sections on “Life & Culture,” “Art & Entertainment,” and “People & Work,” among others, have magazine-style feature stories with photos. There’s a range of topics, such as Kabuki theater and local supermarkets.
, an online magazine once issued an article tells you that how you can be more Japanese in Japan.
offers cultural insight and etiquette tips for travelers to Japanese temples and shrines, including basic details of Shintoism and Buddhism.
shows you the art, current affairs, policy and education of modern and historic Japan.
Japan Cultural Profile
outlines several aspects of the country, including a slide show of historical eras from the Meiji Restoration of 1868 through 2004. Slides are brief but include key details and small photos, most of which enhance the text.
Getting to Japan
For flight search engines …
is a flight search tool that scouts out deals from more than 100 travel sites like Travelocity and Expedia. Several sort methods are available to help you sift through the results, including time, airline, airport, dates, and number of stops. You’ll be linked directly to a travel site to book your ticket.
For cruises to Japan …
was named Forbes’ favorite cruise search site in its annual Best of the Web list for 2006. The site’s intuitive design helped it stand out, and its easy navigation (search by special, cruise line, price, and length) won points as well.
for finding Japanese people who are willing to be your friends.....
is an app on which you can find people who are from your destinations in Japan. You can ask help from them on many things like booking hotels, restaurants, looking for attractions. The most important thing is that you can make many local friends during your travel.
For hotels and hostels …
Japan Ryokan Association
is useful for any traveler interested in this traditional Japanese lodging. This site also provides fun PDFs to introduce you to traditional culture, and a directory of member ryokan nationwide.
is an essential resource for budget travelers, offering countless hostel listings around the world with reviews, photos, and a quick search tool. The Japan page lists locations throughout the country; click on one to find hostels there. The site has a reservation system to help you book and, best of all, there are no ads to get in your way.
For camping …
The National Camping Association
of Japan offers a free downloadable PDF that lists 3,000 campsites around the country (scroll down a bit to the leaflet). NCAJ has been working to develop and promote camping in Japan since 1966.
Getting Around Japan
For travel guide
is a smart mobile Japan travel guide, which combines the tour-map with travel guides, that can show attractions, hotels and restaurants more visually and efficiently in your area for you. With the tour-map, you can find nearby attractions and facilities in very easy way. You can also book hotels and restaurants on the book. With the app, you can really enjoy a comfortable independent Japan travel.
Japan Rail Pass
can be used all over the country, and is a popular option for international travelers of Japan. Learn essential information here, such as different types of passes, which stations accept them, and how to purchase one (you must do so before you arrive in Japan).
For car rental …
helps you make a car rental reservation and plan your car pick-up and return directly through this site. Also find out service rates.
Japan Travel Blogs and Forums
For Japan travel blogs …
is one of the most thought-provoking travel blogs around, with a unique combination of “dispatches” (travel essays), travel news, and tips from in-the-know writers and journalists. This link takes you to the Japan Weblog, including an archive of past entries.
For Japan travel forums …
Japan Travel Centre
is a travel agent based in London that specializes in excursions to Japan. The site also features a section called “Ask Ayumi” that answers user-posted questions about travel in Japan.
Hope you have a great Japan travel !