Travelling is one of Europe’s favourite pastimes. We love to visit foreign places, especially those we consider exotic. We are fascinated with faraway lands – the more they differ from our own culture, the better. A popular travel destination among Europeans is Japan. The Land of the Rising Sun entices us with its different customs, ethnic make-up and geography.

Going to Japan

The distance from Europe means that going on a trip to the Land of the Rising Sun is not easily arranged. A trip to Japan requires planning and taking into account factors such as differences in climate and flights. However, everyone who likes Japan’s climate will have no objections to going there on their dream vacation. Cultural differences, breathtaking landscapes, unique temples and even the look of the cities or everyday life, all of this has garnered Japan great popularity among tourists worldwide. Japanese traditions, manners, food and a plethora of tourist attractions draw travellers from Europe and beyond.

Travelling to Japan – tips

Before embarking on a trip to Japan, you should take your time to learn about some basic matters important for tourists. The easiest way of reaching the Land of the Rising Sun is by plane, though the costs are considerable (2,000–5,000 zlotys for a ticket, depending on currency exchange rates and the season) and the flight itself is long (12 hours). Travelling across Japan itself is best done by train, plane, ferry or car. For those of you who do not speak Japanese, it is important to know that there are places where English will not suffice. Things which are not an issue when travelling on a business might pose problems when on holiday – not all Japanese speak English. Nevertheless, all information signs and public transport announcements are provided in two language versions.

Japan Rail Pass

Japan Rail Pass is an affordable way of travelling across Japan. It is a season ticket usable for select means of transport of the Japan Railway company (encompassing trains, buses, ships, among others). The ticket needs to be bought in Poland before you go to Japan, as only foreign tourists are eligible to use it. Japan Rail Pass is valid for three months and is perfect for those of you who choose to travel across Japan on your own.

When is the best time to go to Japan?

Spring and autumn are the best seasons to go. It is not recommended to go in summer – mainly due to very high temperatures (around 35–40 degrees combined with high humidity) and the rainy season, which starts in July. Spring is the most popular among tourists as it is the time when cherry trees begin to blossom, while autumn can offer some beautiful sights and agreeable temperatures.

What currency should you take with you to Japan?

The currency of Japan is the Japanese Yen (JPY). If you want to exchange currency before going, you need to order yens in advance, though banks are reluctant to agree to such transactions. JPY 1,000 equals around PLN 35, and JPY 10,000 is around PLN 355. Payments are usually made using cash, and ATMs are often offline after 10:00 PM. Example prices The total cost of a two-week trip to Japan is in the range of 8–20 thousand zloty, assuming standard trip conditions. Entry tickets to temples, museums and tourists attractions such as Tokyo Sky Tree are between JPY 50 – JPY 3,000, depending on the type and popularity of the place that you want to see. Meals cost between JPY 400 and 2,000 per person. It is possible to find lodging for PLN 150 per night per person. However, to save on lodging, it is recommended to book far in advance.

Japan – what to take with you

In the summer, you cannot do without large amounts of drinking water, a pair of sunglasses and something to cover your head. Guidebooks, maps and phrasebooks are always handy as they can get you out of tough spots and help make contact with the Japanese who do not speak English. Before going, it is recommended to take out travel insurance, learn some basic Japanese phrases and the basics of Japanese etiquette.

Trip of your dreams

Many consider a trip to japan to be a dream come true. It is a trip that requires a lot of preparation one that is not cheap. However, if you ever manage to go on a trip to the Land of the Rising Sun, you are in for an unforgettable experience.

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