The Ultimate Guide to Backpacking Through Japan

Japan is a fascinating country to backpack through. There is a lot to see and do in Japan, from the crowded downtown streets of Tokyo to the peaceful temples of Kyoto.

Plan Your Route

It’s crucial to plan your route before you leave on your journey. Despite the fact that Japan is a tiny country, there are numerous cities and places to visit. Think about the cities you want to visit and the amount of time you want to spend in each. Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, and Nara are a some of the well-known locations. Also think about going to less well-known places like the Hokkaido island or Kanazawa’s ancient city.

Budget for Your Trip

Budgeting is essential because travelling to Japan may be pricey. Think about how much you want to spend on lodging, dining, travel, and activities. Backpackers frequently use hostels, which can range in price from 1500 to 3000 yen per night. Plan carefully because dining options might range from expensive sushi to inexpensive street fare. Travel costs might be high, particularly if you want to take the shinkansen (bullet train). If you want to visit the length and breadth of Japan by rail, think about getting a Japan Rail Pass.

Learn Basic Japanese Phrases

Even though English is a common language among Japanese people, learning some fundamental Japanese phrases is still useful. Learn how to say “hello” (konnichiwa), “thank you,” and “excuse me,” all in Japanese. Learning some fundamental numbers is also useful, especially when making purchases at markets or convenience stores.

Pack Accordingly

You should pack for the four unique seasons that exist in Japan. Bring warm clothing and a coat if you are travelling during the winter. It can get hot and muggy in the summer, so wear lightweight, breathable clothing. You must wear comfortable shoes, especially if you want to do a lot of walking. If you intend to charge your electrical gadgets while travelling, don’t forget to carry a universal adaptor.

Try Local Cuisine

Try as many regional delicacies as you can because Japan is recognized for its delectable food. Sushi, ramen, udon, and tempura are among the most widely consumed foods. Affordable and delicious meals, like onigiri (rice balls), sandwiches, and bento boxes, are available at convenience stores like 7-11 and Lawson. Try novel foods, such as raw horse flesh (basashi) or octopus balls (takoyaki).

Take Advantage of Free Activities

Despite the fact that travelling to Japan might be pricey, there are plenty of free things to enjoy. Free admission is offered to several temples and shrines, including Kyoto’s well-known Fushimi Inari Shrine. Free walking tours are available in several cities, including Tokyo and Osaka. Parks are also wonderful places to unwind and enjoy the surroundings.

Visit Onsen (Hot Springs)

An iconic Japanese experience is going to an onsen. All around the nation, onsen—natural hot springs—can be found. Numerous onsen are found in picturesque locales, such as the highlands or close to the sea. When attending an onsen, make sure to observe basic etiquette, which includes cleaning oneself completely before getting in the water.

Experience Japanese Culture

Japan is a nation rich in heritage and culture. Think of going to a tea ceremony or seeing a Japanese dance performance. Sumo wrestling competitions are another well-liked event, particularly during tournaments that are conducted all year round. There are also other cities with museums devoted to the history and art of Japan.

Respect Local Customs

Japan is a nation with numerous distinctive traditions and customs. Respect for these traditions and awareness of cultural variances are crucial. For instance, it is improper to use a phone while using public transit, and taking off your shoes is required while entering a person’s house or a traditional inn (ryokan). Another crucial component of Japanese etiquette is bowing, with deeper bows being saved for more formal occasions.

Stay Safe

Although travelling to Japan is typically safe, it’s still wise to exercise caution. Be mindful of your surroundings, especially in busy places, and keep your valuables protected. You should be ready and familiarise yourself with emergency procedures since earthquakes are another possibility. As breaching the law in Japan might result in harsh fines, it’s equally crucial to observe the laws and regulations.

Finally, travelling by backpack in Japan may be a life-changing event. You may immerse yourself in the local culture and take advantage of everything this interesting nation has to offer with careful planning and an open mind.

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