10 Things to check before leaving 旅行の準備
Your trip to Japan is coming up and you want to be sure you do not forget anything? Here is a checklist of the 10 essential things to prepare before the big departure!
Conditions for entering Japan
1. Have a valid passport: to travel to Japan, a valid passport is required! 68 countries in the world are exempt from the visa requirement for a tourist stay of less than 90 days, but a tourist visa may be required for nationals of other countries. As tourist journeys are limited to 3 months in Japan, make sure you have a valid passport until the end of your stay.
Good to know: For stays of more than 90 days, a visa is required.
2. Have a return air ticket: as the visa-free travel period is limited to 90 days, Japanese legislation requires you to have a return plane ticket in order to enter Japan.
3. Have a local address: this is one of the conditions for entering Japan. You must provide an address in Japan, to be completed on the customs declaration on arrival. You only need to enter the address of your first accommodation in Japan, whether it is a hotel, a ryokan or a rental house. To gain some time, remember to prepare it in advance.
4. Register on the Visit Japan Website: this website manages the arrival and departure procedures in Japan (customs, immigration). It also allows you to enter your Covid-related documents (vaccination certificates or PCR tests).
The essential elements to be planned
5. Have cash (yen): although credit cards are widely accepted in Japan, most everyday transactions are still done in cash, and small shops and restaurants do not accept cards. Make sure you have some cash in your pocket when you arrive!
If you were unable to get cash before departure, you can withdraw money from ATMs in all Konbinis. It's convenient, there are ATMs everywhere, but a commission is charged for each withdrawal. Therefore, use large denominations.
6. Plan an internet connection: Plan an internet connection: optimize your trip and travel more peacefully by having an internet access. Whether you rent a pocket Wi-Fi or buy a sim card, keep a connection in all circumstances!
7. Have an adapter: to be able to recharge all your devices, don't forget to take an adapter with you before you leave. Japanese plugs are different from French ones: they are type A, i.e. with two parallel flat pins (JIS C 8303, class II)!
8. Buy a Japan Rail Pass: although it is possible to travel without it, it is the best option if you want to travel by train in Japan and discover various cities. It will already be worth it with a Tokyo/Kyoto round trip.
The Japan Rail Pass allows you to have unlimited travel on the Japan Railways network for 7, 14 or 21 days! However, the Japan Rail Pass cannot be bought in Japan. So, for more peace of mind, you can order it in advance here and receive it at home before your departure.
9. Check the festival calendar: one of the attractions of traveling in Japan is the thousands of local festivals, the famous matsuri, which punctuate the life of each locality. Be sure to check out the matsuri in the cities you visit for a memorable experience!
10. Plan your trips: Japanese transport is managed by a multitude of local and private companies. Before leaving, check your different itineraries and the companies to use, the Japan Rail Pass not being valid everywhere!