FAQs Japan

Japan Tour: What You Need to Know

a few things to make your trip great!

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Women in kimono at bamboo forest of Arashiyama near Kyoto, Japan
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Q: What fitness level is required to join this tour?

A: This tour requires a reasonable level of fitness due to the amount of walking involved. There will be some days where guests will be walking more than approximately 8-10km on the biggest days. Guests must also ensure they have appropriate footwear for these distances.

Q: What is the rooming situation like?

A: All rooms are sold on a twin-share basis aside from the temple stay (multi-share tatami rooms) or the triple room on the final night in Osaka. All other nights are twin (bunks). If couples are travelling together they may put in the request at time of booking for a double bed where possible, though this cannot be guaranteed. If booking the upgrade for the final night, guests will be in twins instead of the triple room.

Q: I saw the tour finishes in Osaka, is the return to Tokyo included?

A: For those wishing to return to Tokyo after the tour finishes in Osaka there is the option to include the train cost in the ticket price. This is bookable by your agent at the time of booking. Those guests who wish to book their return train journey whilst on the tour will need to arrange this while in Osaka and is dependent on availability.

Q: What flights do you include in your tour package?

A: We do not include any flights in the tour program however all public transport from Tokyo to Osaka is included in the tour.

Q: I see you stay in multi-share rooms, is it possible to upgrade to a private room?

A: We offer an optional upgrade to a private room on the final night, though not at the temple stay in Takayama. Sleeping on the floor of the temple in a large room is part of the unique experience.

Q: How many people usually come on your tour?

A: We have a maximum capacity of 16 people + 1 foreign tour guide.

Q: What is the normal age range for people on your tours?

A: We have accepted people from 18 – 78 in the past, but the general age range of our groups is 23-35.

Q: Will I be picked up from the airport?

A: No, unfortunately we do not offer a pick up from either Narita or Haneda Airport.

Q: Do you get many single person travelers come on your tour?

A: Yes! In fact a lot of our customers are single travellers, so it’s a great way to meet new people. Most of our guests are solo travellers.

Q: How do I get to the hostel in Tokyo from the airport?

A: This will be covered in great detail in your welcome e-mail. Getting into central Tokyo from both airports is very easy on public transport and once in the downtown everywhere is very well connected via the subway. It’s a great start to your adventure! Again, don’t worry too much about this as we’ll be covering it all in your welcome e-mail.

Q: What is the address of our first hostel?

A: Khaosan Tokyo Origami Hostel, 3 Chome-4-12 Asakusa, Taitō, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan.

Q: What's Japanese food like?

A: Japanese food is sometimes described as some of the best food in the world. It is a diverse range of rice, noodles, soups, sushi, BBQ, sweets and more. Be aware that Japan does not cater very well for vegetarians or vegans so if you do associate with these then you may want to bring some extra snacks to be prepared.

Q: Should I exchange money in my home country or do it when I arrive?

A: You can change money at the airport or use the ATMs in Tokyo and at the airport. You can use your card a lot in Japan but cash is still king.

Q: How is the Wi-Fi and data access on the trip?

A: As Japan is a developed country, Wi-Fi and data access is excellent. All the hostels that we stay in have strong and consistent Wi-Fi. If you’d like to stay connected whilst on the road you can pick up a tourist sim card at the airport, however be aware that these can be anywhere from $20-$40 for 2 weeks worth of data.

Q: I have specific dietary requirements, is this ok?

A: Due to the nature of cuisine in Japan, strict dietary requirements may be difficult to accommodate in some areas. Many of the broths/stocks which flavour much of Japanese food are not vegetarian/vegan friendly, and many meals contain either meat, fish, or egg elements. Guests are encouraged to do their own research before arriving in Japan and the group leader will instruct those guests on which meals may need pre-planning.

Q: I've seen that we are staying in a temple, how are the facilities?

A: We are staying in a temple for 1 night in a stunning, old mountainous town. These places are breathtaking, making it a truly once in a lifetime experience. We sleep on traditional tatami mats in multi-share accommodation (up to 9 people in 1 room) with a view of a Japanese garden and provide a mattress, sheet and pillow for all guests. The temple has excellent shared facilities and is centrally located.

Q: How long are the travel times?

A: Whilst on the tour the longest travel time is around 4 hours. There will be a day where we will be on the train for 2-3 hours twice in one day with a 30 minute change. Should you fly out of Tokyo after the tour then the train journey back is 3 hours.

Q: How much spending money do I need for the trip?

A: We would advise 50,000Y//£330//$450USD//$600AUD for the duration of the 10-day tour. This is a safe amount to cover lots on the tour, however you will have lots of opportunities to withdraw more cash throughout the tour.

Q: I have booked my flight out of Tokyo for 8am on Day 10 is this ok?

A: Whilst it is ok, it isn’t ideal. The travel time from Osaka to Tokyo is 3 hours with the airport a further 60 minutes away from central Tokyo. If you book a flight before 2pm on day 10, we recommend leaving the tour on day 9 and organising your own accommodation in Tokyo to catch your flight the next day.

Q: Do I need to get any vaccination before coming to Japan?

A: We would recommend discussing this with your local doctor or GP as they will give the best, and most up-to-date advice on this matter.

Q: Do you have any meals included on the tour?

A: Yes, in fact we actually include more meals than the industry standard, over 40%!!

Q: If I arrive before the tour starts, when and where can I met my group?

A: We stay at “Khaosan Tokyo Origami” in Asakusa, Tokyo. We recommend booking a night with them or alternatively contact us about doing it for you. We will then all meet together as a group at 7pm on day 1 in the lobby of the hotel and have our welcome meal which is included in your tour.

Q: Do I need to take Malaria tablets whilst travelling?

A: We would recommend discussing this with your local doctor or GP as they will give the best, and most up-to-date advice on this matter.

Q: Can I drink the water in Japan?

A: Yes, Japan has drinkable tap water, so make sure you bring a refillable water bottle to save yourself buying water all the time!

Q: Do I need a visa to visit Japan?

A: We advise checking with your governments travel website for up to date information. However, most countries are issued a 90 day visa on arrival. Although, you do need to show proof of onward travel from Japan to be allowed to board your inbound flight.

Q: Are we staying in Hostels or Hotels?

A: On day 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 & 8 you will be in twin rooms in a traditional Japanese hostel. On day 4 you will be staying in Twin Rooms in the Mountains of Hakone, day 5 in a multi-share accommodation in a temple and in Triple rooms on day 9.

Q: What plug adapter do I need?

A: Japan uses the standard North American non-grounded outlet (two prong plugs). This adapter is also known as type A.

Q: Do I need to bring a rain jacket?

A: Yes, it’s always handy to bring a rain jacket when visiting anytime of the year, we all know the weather can be unpredictable!

Q: When is the 'best time' to come to Japan?

A: Anytime – it is beautiful all year round, however March, April & May are the busiest months as it’s Cherry Blossom season. We also do not run tours in December, January and February due to the bitter Japan winter.

Q: Do all of the accommodations on the tour have Wifi?

A: Yes.

Q: Is Japan safe?

A: Japan is incredibly safe, possibly one of the safest countries in the world. It is not uncommon to see unlocked bikes on the street and laptops left unattended in public cafes! However, like with all travelling we still recommend being careful with your belongings at all times!

Q: Can I pay for meals etc with card?

A: In Japan, cash is king! But a lot of places do accept credit card payments. Just check and notify your card provider that you are travelling to Japan before leaving to avoid any potential disruption to your tour.