japan travel 2017: Top 10 tips when visiting Japan


1.  Plan! Plan! Plan!  It helps that you have an itinerary.  It will save you time and money.  

2.  Rent a pocket wifi.

3.  Use Hyperdia, Google Maps, and Google Translate.  These apps saved us from getting lost lol!  But seriously, these apps will make your navigation easier in Japan.  

When using Hyperdia, you must know the station nearest to your destination and the of course the station where you will be coming from.  The app only accepts station names as your input.  

Google Maps functions just the same as Hyperdia but it shows fewer options compared to Hyperdia.

4.  Check if you really need to buy a JR Pass.  For example, you're planning to visit the top 3 major areas in Japan like Osaka, Kyoto, and Tokyo and you will be entering and exiting in the same airport, I think it will be cheaper if you will buy the JR Pass.  That is assuming that you will be traveling back and forth between Osaka and Tokyo.

In our case, we entered Osaka via KIX airport and left Japan thru Tokyo via Narita airport.  We spent 3 days in Osaka, 2 day trips to Kyoto (from Osaka via subway train), and 10days in Tokyo.  There was no need for a JR Pass.  

5.  Book a hotel or AirBnb which is near a convenience store like 7-Eleven or Family Mart.

6.  Buy an IC card.  It is very convenient to use.  Because we started off in Osaka, we bought the ICOCA card which functions just the same as the Pasmo and Suica card.

7.  Always bring your passport with you as you explore Japan.  You will need it if in case you decide to do some shopping and you purchased at least 5000YEN worth of items .  Visit this site for details:  https://tax-freeshop.jnto.go.jp/eng/shopping-guide.php

8.  Install Klook on your phone.  We were able to get a discounted ticket for Sanrio Puroland and for the Narita Airport Bus Limousine.

9.  If you will be exploring Kyoto, use the Kyoto City Bus and Kyoto Bus One-Day Pass.  It's just 500YEN.  You get an unlimited ride around Kyoto for the whole day.  For more details, go to this site:  

10.  You can do daytrips between Osaka and Kyoto.