5 Japan Travel Planning Mistakes to Avoid • Discover Okinawa Japan’s Subtropical Paradise Unveiled • Exploring Japan’s Diverse Islands



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5 Japan Travel Planning Mistakes To Avoid

Jizo Statue The Real Japan Jordy Meow

Planning an amazing trip to Japan is a dream for many travellers.

But without the right approach, you can find yourself with more questions than answers! And it's easy to make planning mistakes that can lead to disappointment and headaches.

After helping thousands of travellers plan unforgettable Japan adventures over the years, I've seen these five common travel planning pitfalls:

1. Not leaving enough time for research

Failing to allocate sufficient time for in-depth Japan trip research often leads to rushed, poorly thought-out and inefficient itineraries. You'll likely miss out on incredible experiences or waste time with inconvenient logistics.

How to travel in Japan The Real Japan Rob Dyer

Good pre-trip planning can prevent transit and logistical headaches during your travels in Japan

2. Following outdated or low-quality blogs/guides  

The internet is full of outdated information (hello Tripadvisor!) and advice from inexperienced bloggers. Relying on these sources can steer you towards mistakes like tourist traps, inefficient itineraries, cultural missteps and more.

3. Overlooking unique cultural experiences

With so much to see and do, many travellers inadvertently focus only on the major cities and sights. This causes you to miss rich cultural experiences like local festivals, the iconic Japanese tea ceremony, even unique lodging and more.

Lost Kamuy Ainu experience The Real Japan

Performers from the theatre production Akan-Yukar: Lost Kamuy - a unique cultural experience |  Photo: Klook

4. Cramming to much into your itinerary

An over-ambitious, poorly-designed itinerary leads to a stressful, unsatisfying trip. You'll spend more time transiting than you need to, rather than experiencing Japan at a reasonable pace. Proper planning ensures a good balance.

5. Failing to optimise your transit routes

Japan's public transport system is incredible but can also be complex. Without optimising your routing and passes, you'll overpay and deal with extra headaches getting between destinations and risk missing connections.

There are many more reasons people don't end up having their dream trip to Japan, but if you can overcome these 5 common ones, you'll be ahead of the crowd with your trip planning.

Of course, having a knowledgeable guide - someone who has extensive, up-to-date knowledge of Japan's top destinations, logistics, customs and more - significantly increases the chances of getting that dream trip you deserve.

If that sounds useful, stay tuned, because I'll shortly be launching a new personalised Japan travel planning service to give you that expert guidance on tap!

Discover Okinawa: Japan’s Subtropical Paradise Unveiled

Okinawa Island Travel Guide underwater

The waters around Okinawa Islands are home to coral reefs, providing a haven for marine life

The first time I went to Okinawa I was so surprised by what I saw.

This wasn’t the Japan I’d seen in the media when I was growing up. I didn’t even know Japan had regions with subtropical jungles. Visiting Okinawa gives you an experience of Japan that’s nothing like any of its better-known counterparts.

This introductory guide focuses on Okinawa Island, but also touches on some of the other, smaller islands included within the larger Okinawa Prefecture.

Its culture reflects external influences over thousands of years, and its landscapes challenge the common perception of what Japan looks like.

Looking to escape the mainland crowds? Okinawa offers the ultimate Japanese getaway.

Soak up the East China Sea's turquoise waters and relax on its golden sand beaches. Delve into the vibrant Ryukyu Kingdom culture at historic sites like Shuri Castle. Snorkel along kaleidoscopic coral reefs or simply unwind with an Orion beer in hand. 

Get ready to embrace Japan's sun-soaked southwestern frontier... 

Island Guides - Exploring Japan's Diverse Landscapes

Japan Island Guides The Real Japan

Some of my Japan Island Guides

Since I've just published my latest Japan island guide (for Okinawa) - I thought it timely to highlight where you can find all my Japan Island Guides.

Most of Japan's best-known cities and attractions are found on the main island Honshu.

But there's a lot more to The Real Japan than just Honshu (you knew I was going to say that, right?!).

So far, I have 5 Island Guides:

I also have a 6th planned - for the mysterious Sado.

If you’re looking for an introduction to each of Japan’s largest islands then bookmark my growing list of Japan Island Guides...

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Book Your Trip: Japan Travel Essentials

Click to See My Recommendations

Book Your Flight
Find the best flight by using Skyscanner. It's my go-to flight search engine because it has the most comprehensive global search options.

Book Your Accommodation
I frequently use Booking.com as they consistently offer the cheapest rates and most flexible cancellation options for hotels and guesthouses. Use Hostelworld if you're looking for budget-priced options.

Book Your Japan Rail Pass
The best official agent by a country mile is JRPass.com. Clear and easy to use website. Excellent customer service.

Book Your WiFi
I never travel in Japan without pocket WiFi. Get Ninja WiFi for unlimited internet everywhere, use Google Maps, supports up to 10 devices.

Book Your SIM Card or eSIM
Order your physical
SIM Cards or eSIMs to stay connected and in touch while in Japan.

Book Your Hire Car
Rent a car in Japan without speaking or reading Japanese via Booking.com's Car Rental portal.

Ready To Book Your Trip?
Check out my Recommended Japan Travel Resources. The list covers all the essentials. It’s filled with carefully selected travel resources. And I only include the best travel resources - those I use myself or recommend to my clients.

Need Help Planning Your Trip?
Japan Travel Store includes essential travel items as well as my books, travel guides and more.

Leave A Comment / Ask A Question

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