Japan Travel Guide
Japan, a small island nation that has a bit of everything the world has to offer; from snowy winters in Hokkido, the nonstop movement of Tokyo, the culturally rich city of Kyoto, and tropical Okinawa weather. Not many countries offer such a wide array of things in once place all wrapped up by the warmhearted and welcoming of the Japanese people. I also couldn't forget about the centuries old shrines paired with the mouth watering food which make it a place thats hard to leave every time I visit!
Top 5 things to see and do in Japan
1. Visit the Sensoji Temple
Visiting the Sensoji Temple in Tokyo was one of my favorite temples in all of Japan. I was an amazing sight to see filled with a great number of vendors selling both delicious snacks and souvenirs. This place gets quite busy in the later hours of the day, so if you are planning a trip it is best to visit in the early hours of the morning.
2. Stroll through the Tsukiji fish market
The Tsukiji fish market was a place unlike anywhere else I have ever visited. Bustling with fish vendors cutting, cleaning and selling fish all to busy with work that it almost seems they forget tourists are watching them work. The market has a front tourist area, selling many snacks and trinkets, which is all friendly to the eye. However with a bit more wandering you can stumble upon the "Tsukiji wholesale market" which is the actual market where fish are cut and sold to vendors. Whinin this area tourists are not permitted to take photos. However when I saw this Japanese fisherman cutting a fish head the size of a car tire I had to take a picture!
3. Visit the Kinkaku-ji
Kinkaku-ji, also known as Kyoto's Gold Temple, is something you cant miss on a trip to Japan. The bight temple glistens in the sunlight and the reflection from the temple can even be a bit blinding at sunset! The temple is actually surrounded by a tranquil lake that is completely motionless and casts a perfect mirrored reflection of the Kinkaku-ji temple. This temple alone is completely worth a visit to Kyoto, the city in which it resides!
4. Watch a Tokyo robot show
If you are in Tokyo you definitely CAN NOT miss watching a robot show. It is a one of a kind performance; after watching you will be left speechless and amazed! Seeing a massive robot beetle, fight a futuristic dinosaur with laser guns, just does something to make you constantly want to watch more. The show will keep you on the edge of your seat, but with all this excitement the tickets do not come cheap. They hold an $80 face price, however if you simply ask your hotel they will most likely have coupons to lower the price down to $50, which is reasonable for how expensive Japan is. If you are still thinking that is an expensive price than just buy them, because this show is completely worth it.
5. Overlook Osaka from the Umeda Sky Building
Now I know some people might think, once you have been in one tall observation building, you have been in them all. However this is totally not the case with the Oasaka Umeda Sky Building. The thing that sets this building apart from the rest is the skywalk at the top of the building. At the very top visitors are allowed to walk on the sky walk, which is actually just the roof of the building. There is only sky above you and nothing is holding a person from falling besides a 4 foot tall railing. The sense of being up so high and not completely surrounded by glass (like in most observatories) paired with the amazing Osaka city view makes for an unforgettable experience. Definitely something one can not miss in Osaka.
For more in depth information about things to do in Japan, explore my Japan blog page. Simply clink the button to the right.
Money & Costs
Currency: Japanese Yen
(¥ - International symbol)
(円 - symbol in Japan only)
$1 Dollar = ¥109.77 Yen
Budget travel/ Average trip - about ¥10,000 a day
Dorm bed - ¥3,500
Normal meal for one at an average restaurant - ¥1,200
Bowl of noodles - ¥750
24 hour subway pass - ¥600
Tokyo Skytree (+Tembo Galleria) - ¥3,090
Cocktail at a bar - ¥850
Beer at a convenience store - ¥250
Museum entry - ¥1,000
Live music show - ¥3,000
Japan's lowest paper bill is worth approximately $10 (¥1,000), so most things are conveniently ten dollars or more. Which believe me, does quickly add up and does quite the damage to your wallet.