Traveling in Japan

The easiest way to travel from city to city in Japan is by train. the Bullet trains make rail travel swift and the rail network reaches many destinations. services are frequent, particularly between major cities.

The metro is the quickest way to get around in large Japanese cities. Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka have extensive metro systems, which are supplemented by Jr commuter trains and other rail company services. Jr rail Passes are also valid on Jr commuter trains.

Hotel, Ryokan or Minshuku?

Japanese hotels are much the same as their Western counterparts. a quick web search of hotels in Tokyo can locate rooms for under 40 euros per night. the cheapest rooms may be very small, but they usually have their own baths.

A Ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn. the ryokan generally has a cozy feeling and tends to place emphasis on food, with both breakfast and the evening meal provided for guests.

Minshukus are family businesses that offer a window into the everyday lives of locals. accommodations include an overnight stay on a futon mattress in a straw mat room, meals, and Ofuro bath.

Ofuro – Japanese bathing

Ofuro is an important part of relaxing at a hotel or boarding house where there are large common baths. guests disrobe entirely, taking only a small towel.

It is important to wash carefully before entering the hot bath. although the bathwater is replaced regularly, it is polite to join other bathers only after first washing dirt from the body. You will emerge to cool off from time to time before returning to the water which is about 40 ̊C.

Shopping in Japan

Japan, Tokyo in particular, has a reputation for being expensive. however, high prices do not extend to eating, celebrating or shopping.

Shops are generally open from ten in the morning until eight at night, and in larger cities, many shops stay open as late as 10 p.m. however, they do not close on weekends or public holidays. Sunday is the most popular shopping day. on the other hand, shops and department stores tend to be closed on Mondays or Tuesdays. Public offices and banks are closed on weekends.

Sightseeing

Tokyo has become an important center of youth fashion. You will find the more unusual characters at Harajuku, where some young people make extraordinary fashion statements.

Kyoto is home to over 1,000 temples. the five most worthwhile are perhaps the golden and silver temples – Kinkakuji and Ginkakuji, Kiyomizudera, Ryoanji, and Heian- Jingu. those interested in samurai times and in the history of Japan should visit Osaka Castle, which was originally constructed in the 16th century.

Visitors to Japan between April and October should find the time to attend a baseball match. While sumo wrestling remains the national sport, baseball has become a very popular favorite.

Nightlife in Japan

Japanese nightlife is uniquely fine by world standards. traditional Japanese celebrations mean eating and drinking and the ideal is to spend an evening at a restaurant with fine food, drink, and good friends. the izakaya restaurant is specif ically geared to this objective.

The major cities provide amusements of all kinds. in Tokyo, for example, one can find some of the world’s liveliest clubs and most individual bars.

A culinary trip to Japan

Eating is a favorite Japanese pastime and Japan offers fantastic culinary experiences on a much smaller budget than you would need in Europe.

Izakaya, literally a shop that sells sake, is based on the same idea as the tapas bar. this makes an izakaya the ideal place to sample a variety of Japanese dishes, although they often offer dishes from abroad too, such as favorites of the Japanese ranging from Chinese to Korean food.