Getting Around Japan

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Japan: Modernistic Tokyo Meets Ancestral Kyoto on the Web

Japan is often thought of as the most modern country in the world, and in many ways it is. Yet behind the glitz and glamour of the neon lights and robot dogs, you’ll find a deeply traditional culture that changes at a glacial speed. This guide features the best Web sites to aid you in planning and implementing your trip to Japan, including resources to introduce you to Japanese culture and sightseeing, tools for finding and booking transportation and accommodation, advice to help you stay safe and healthy overseas, and blogs and forums to put you in touch with other travelers.

Japan Travel Basics

Japan may be instantly and endlessly intoxicating, but the country’s complex mix of old and ... read more »

Travel Requirements for Japan

Japan has its share of cultural quirks and distinct specifications regarding manners and public ... read more »

Getting to Japan

A highly developed country, Japan is easily accessible to travelers worldwide. Use the sites below ... read more »

Japan Hotels

If you’ve got money to spend and a penchant for high-tech hotels, you’re in luck. ... read more »

Getting Around Japan

For such a far-flung country, Japan is surprisingly easy to navigate. It boasts the most advanced train system in the world, as well as many local travel options and a friendly populace to help you on your way.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • Japan is known for its trains, but it also has an extensive and well-maintained system of highways and roads. An international driver’s license is required to legally drive in Japan, and can be obtained through the Krascar International Travel Club.
  • If you plan on staying in Japan longer than a year, you will eventually have to apply for a Japanese driver’s license, which can be difficult and expensive to obtain for an American. JapanDriversLicense.com may be able to help.
  • The Japanese government discourages car travel and prefers that people use public transportation. As such, tolls on Japanese roads can be prohibitively high.
  • Think about making your inter-Japan plane reservations before you get to the country. Japanese travel agents have been known to routinely charge foreigners more than they charge locals.
  • The popular Japan Rail Pass can be used for local trains and most JR (Japan Railways) trains traveling all over the country, but only be bought by foreigners outside of the country.
  • Taxis are extremely expensive in Japan, and the driver very often requires a map or directions from you. Also, don’t tip the driver (it’s considered rude), and remember that car doors are automatic and can be opened only by the driver.
  • Japan is one of the safest countries for hitchhiking. Though you won’t see many Japanese people hitching, most drivers find hitchhiking foreigners amusing and are quick to pick them up. If you’re planning to do any hitching, we recommend Will Ferguson’s books: “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Japan” and “Hokkaido Highway Blues.”

Dulcinea's Picks

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Japan Travel Blogs and Forums

Japan is immensely popular among travelers of all ages, interests, and budgets, and is vigorously ... read more »

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