Japan can be overwhelming and overcrowded, especially at high-season. Travelers in Japan often find themselves confused and lost, and so they miss so much of what this incredible country has to offer. These tips will help you cope better as a family, and save a lot of time, effort, ragged nerves, and frustration:
– Book everything in advance- Large parts of Japan are overcrowded a lot of the time, so many establishments are completely booked out. That extends to more than just the obvious hotels and flights, but also to museums (such as the Hayao Miyazgi/Ghibli museum in Tokyo), other theme/amusement parks, and trains.
For trains, even if you a railway pass (which is highly recommended to buy online before you even get to Japan), you should still book you place in advance. The general rule is that when you get to a new city, if you know how many days you’ll be there, go and book your place on the train to the next city that same day. If you don’t know how long you’ll stay, or where you’ll go to next, do it once you decide.
– Carry a few plastic bags with you- In Tokyo there are no trash cans in the street, so travelers often find themselves with nowhere for their trash.
– Have raincoats with you always- You never know when it’ll start drizzling in Japan, you you don’t your sushi to get wet.
– Don’t worry about food- If one of your kids is a picky eater- have no fear! in Japan you can always find a McDonald’s or a Starbucks nearby
– One Samurai castle is enough.
– Ta-Q-Bin – Is a service that ship your suitcases for you! You go into a convenience store (like 7/11), ask if they have this service (most do), fill a form and pay a small fee, and they’ll ship your suitcases for you to your next destination, straight to your hotel or Airbnb. They’ll even carry it up the stairs for you! This way you don’t have to drag those huge suitcases around the train station.
They will also hold your suitcases for up to a week before shipping them, so you can pack a small bag and stop in a few fun spots on the way to your destination without having to carry a huge bag with you everywhere.
Ta-Q-Bin also operates in many other Asian countries and even carries packages internationally.
This article was written with the help of Gily Avishay who spent a long time in Japan.