UPDATED! 38 Japan Travel Sites and Resources Every Traveller Should Know



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An effective approach to trip planning has become indispensable for many travellers when researching their next trip. 

To consistently experience exceptional travels in Japan, it helps to have a list of the best Japan travel websites and resources.

That’s what this post is about. 

Here you’ll discover some of my favourite trip planning resources, along with some others I suggest you consider. If I've used them, you won’t just see what I use, but also how I use them.

Let’s get into the good stuff, shall we?

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38 Japan Travel Websites The Real Japan Rob Dyer

38 Japan Travel Sites and Resources You Should Know

by Rob Dyer

Although numbered, the list isn't in order of recommendation. Instead, it broadly follows the 5 steps of trip planning. From dreaming, through planning, to booking, and so on. All of the sites included in this guide are available in English, or have an English language version. Some are available in multiple languages.

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Japan Tourism Websites

JNTO website

JNTO, The Japan National Tourism Organization Website

1.) JNTO, The Japan National Tourism Organization Website

JNTO, The Japan National Tourism Organization website, is the ultimate gateway online to travel information about Japan. It's an absolute must bookmark and a site I use on a regular basis.

The extensive site includes details on destinations (islands, regions, prefectures, cities, towns and villages), things to do (seasonal, activity and interest categories and itineraries), planning (first-timer info, transportation, travel guides, etc.).

They also have a big selection of articles, blog posts, FAQs, and you should also check out their Japan Monthly Web Magazine - an online magazine hosted on the site.

2.) JAL Interactive Map of Japan

Tucked away on the Japan Airlines (JAL) website is a really useful interactive map of the country. Search by region, destination A-Z, or just zoom in on the map, and start browsing around.

Click on an area and an overview of it pops up, click again for more detailed info. Or click on one of the highlighted places on the map and be taken to a dedicated page, and get practical information on where to eat, where to stay, and a location map.

Alternatively, use the categories section to focus on things like nightlife, shopping, activities, culture, food, transportation and more. I've written about the JAL interactive map in this post: Fantastic Interactive Map of Japan.

Best Airline Websites

JAL Japan Airlines logo The Real Japan Rob Dyer

Japan Airlines (JAL) logo

These are the best flight booking and flight deal services available right now. I have personally used each of these flight services and I am a member of both JAL and ANA's Frequent Flyer programs. Both are synonymous with the most outstanding customer service at an affordable price.

3.) All Nippon Airways (ANA)

ANA is Japan’s other major airline and again, booking your flights through them can be a great idea.  Don’t forget that you can also earn valuable points with their frequent flyer program, too. I am a member of their frequent flyer program and recommend joining it.

I have flown with ANA several times over the years and have only good things to say about their excellent service. ANA offers special deals for foreign tourists through their ANA Experience Japan Fare, where prices are significantly lower than their standard domestic flights. You can read more about this special fare in this article.

4.) Cheapflights.com

This is a similar flight search functionality to that found on Skyscanner, but with a little more flair. You get more options so that you can be sure you’re getting the best deal on your chosen flight. Its interface is also a little prettier and less utilitarian than Skyscanner’s, too.

5.) Japan Airlines (JAL)

JAL offers a range of different flight options, including the popular JAL First Class seats. JAL is a major player in the Japanese air travel market and there are plenty of other benefits of booking your flights through them besides getting top flight service.

I am a member of their frequent flyer program and advise joining it. In my decades of flying to Japan, I have flown more times with JAL than any other airline.

JAL also offers an excellent flight deal, which is only available to foreign tourists, called the JAL Japan Explorer Pass. You can read my guide to those fares in this post.

6.) Skyscanner

Skyscanner is the first place we look for flight deals. It’s fast, easy and free to use. You can search by country, airports, times and airlines.

All the necessary details are laid out clearly in front of you so that you can analyze and compare flight options quickly. A list of suggested destinations also provides ideas for your trip if nothing else is coming up.

Best Accommodation Booking Sites

Kobe Meriken Park hotel The Real Japan Rob Dyer

Kobe Meriken Park Oriental hotel, Kobe

7.) Booking.com

Booking.com is an excellent site to book accommodation whenever you’re in Japan (or anywhere else for that matter). There are thousands of options available, so finding the best deal is a breeze (they also price match). They also offer some great deals on hotels when booking during peak periods. They also negotiate favourable cancellation terms with accommodation, meaning last minute cancellations without any charge are commonplace.

With the option to book it as far in advance as a year in advance, this is my go-to site for accommodation. Be sure to create an account with them to get access to discounted pricing not shown to the general public.

Look out too for their Genius Loyalty Program where the more you stay the more you unlock additional benefits such as bigger discounts, free breakfasts and free room upgrades.

8.) Hostelworld

If it's hostels you're interested in then Hostelworld now offers over 500 properties in 86 cities across Japan.

If you're on a budget, or simply want to try staying at a hostel in Japan as part of your trip then there's few English language sites as quick and easy to use as Hostelworld.

If you've never stayed in a hostel, or ruled them out in the past thinking they'll be a bit rough and ready, then trying a hostel in Japan could give you a different perspective on the entire concept.

9.) Jalan

If you like the idea of a site dedicated only to places to stay in Japan, but want a wider choice than that offered by Japanese Guest Houses (below), then bookmark Jalan.

On Jalan, in addition to ryokan and minshuku, they also include 'regular' and chain hotels, hostels, guesthouses, but also holiday rental homes (which they call villas). They work with over 20,000 establishments across all five main islands (Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku, Kyushu and Okinawa).

I like that their site is 'cleaner' and less cluttered than the bigger global players.

10.) Japanese Guest Houses

Although the big sites like Booking.com have added considerably to their niche accommodation offering in Japan in recent years, there's still nothing like a site dedicated to accommodation in Japan. Which is where the superb (English language) Japanese Guest Houses comes in.

As their name suggests, the focus here is on traditional Japanese accommodation, such as ryokan (traditional Japanese inns), minshuku (family-run 'bed and breakfasts') and shukubo (Buddhist temples). They work directly with over 600 ryokan throughout Japan.

They have every style represented, from simple through to luxury.

VIDEO: Live Tsugaru Shamisen at Asobenomori Iwakiso Ryokan, Aomori 

Official Japan Rail Pass Agents

E2 Toki shinkansen The Real Japan Rob Dyer

E2 Toki shinkansen (bullet train), Sendai

The Japan Rail Pass is only available for purchase through officially approved agents worldwide. The awarding of the agency status is controlled by the Japan Rail Pass consortium itself.

Some travel agents in your home country may sell the pass but the best choice is online. There are several websites that offer a global or international service. There's not a great deal to choose between them as retail pricing is controlled by the JRPass company.

Some websites are better than others in terms of presentation and many 'throw in' one or two sweeteners, such as country guides, to get your business and to try and stand out from their competitors.

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11.) JRPass.com

Of the many dedicated players, the one I like the most, not least because their website design is clean and easy to use, is JRPass.com. They also sell a broad range of the Regional Japan Rail passes too. They're the one I recommend. All their passes come with JRPass.com's own FREE Japan travel guide, helping you to explore the best of Japan.

VIDEO: Hakutaka Shinkanesen Arriving at Shin-Takaoka Station, Toyama

12 - 13.) Klook + GetYourGuide

However, if you're already using booking portals like Klook and GetYourGuide (more on those below) it can make a lot of sense to book your Japan Rail Passes while shopping with them (and you can often get discounts the more you buy through the one site).

So, depending on your preference, both Klook  and GetYourGuide are also safe bets for reserving your Japan Rail Passes.

14.) Japan Rail Pass (Official)

It is possible to buy the rail pass inside Japan but it is more expensive, so I don't recommend that. However, you might want to use the site for detailed information on any specific questions you may have about using the pass.

Tour & Trip Booking Platforms

Narai-juku street The Real Japan Rob Dyer

Streets of Narai-juku, part of the Nakasendo Way, Nagano Prefecture

As a long-standing independent traveller, I used to turn my nose up at guided tours. But having used several down the years, these can be some of the most efficient and easiest ways to explore Japan, often guided by a passionate local.

There are a lot of companies in this space (and the topic is worthy of an in-depth article in its own right), so for our purposes here I'll highlight just a few key players. As with the accommodation platforms, register where you can for access to subscriber-only deals.

None of those listed here are all-include package tours, meaning they'll offer tour services once you are inside Japan. You'll need to add the cost of getting here to their prices.

Full Country Tours

15.) G Adventures

Started in 1990, G Adventures is an independent company dedicated to responsible, small-group travel. Their tours help support local communities and they use local tour guides, only they call them Chief Experience Officers!

Their handful of Japan itineraries include Back Roads of Japan, and often combine culture and history with Japanese foods such as with their Ramen and Railways, Castles and Cuisine, and Speed Trains and Street Food tours.

VIDEO: Himukai Daijingu Shrine & Ama no Iwato Cave, Kyoto

16.) Intrepid

Intrepid is a small company with a good reputation. They have a small selection of Japan-only tours ranging from family holidays, to cycling, adventure, food themed and more. They also provide Lonely Planet Experience trips, made for travellers who value their independence but also want the benefit of a local leader and a group of like-minded travellers.

Intrepid's more hands-off approach means they can offer low prices. Just be clear on what is and is not included as it varies from trip to trip.

17.) TourRadar

For full country itineraries the TourRadar portal is a reliable starting point. They have several tours (offered by a small selection of specialist providers) that are ideal for first-time visitors who don't want to stick rigidly to the Golden Route.

They also offer some more niche and specialist-interest tours. Prices are very reasonable and they frequently have seasonal sales offering some hefty discounts (subscribe to my Japan Travel Bulletin to get updates on their sales).

Experiences, Short Guided Tours and Day Trips

Wabunka unique experiences in Japan

Wabunka offers enriching cultural experiences for international and VIP clients

On my Recommended Resources page  I've split out short tours and day trips from experience booking services. But there's a lot of overlap between the two and some sites feature more than once. Here, I'll just combine the two categories, but if you'd like to see them separately I suggest taking a look at that page.

18.) GetYourGuide

GetYourGuide has their headquarters in Germany, but they've built up an impressive global network of trips and experiences by partnering with local experts and companies. Their range of Japan activities includes tickets to popular attractions, things to do, and day tours lasting from 1 hour to 1 day.

Popular sightseeing aside, they also provide some very niche private experiences in some of the more remote regions of Japan, meaning it's worth spending some time browsing around their site - which is made easy by a simple filtering tool.

19.) Klook

Launched in 2014 and headquartered in Hong Kong, Klook is now an established name in the travel activities and ticket booking platform space.

Their bread and butter has been attraction tickets, often with e-ticket, fast-track and last-minute booking options. They're great for family-oriented activities and for young travellers keen to share their Japan vacation on Instagram (and possibly TikTok for all I know these days!).

Over time, they've steadily broadened their target audiences with more adventurous and off-the-beaten-path experiences now available through the platform. I love the clean design and use of high quality photos and graphics on their website, which makes browsing it more of a pleasure than some of their competitors.

20.) Magical Trip

Magical Trip is a smaller Japanese company that encourages deeper travel using local guides. But that's deeper within the familiar big cities: Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima, rather than in the less touristy parts of Japan.

Think bar hopping, historical bike tours, area walking, photography, sake/craft beer/vegan tasting, craft and fashion tours. Their range is modest but is supplemented with a number of virtual tours and livestreamed experiences.

21.) Wabunka

Wabunka is an English language Japanese site offering enriching cultural experiences for international and VIP clients. 

Wabunka designs unique lifestyle experiences which differ from conventional tours in a significant way. They do this by negotiating private access to traditional Japanese arts and crafts otherwise typically closed to visitors.  

Their service provides clients with rare insights into artisan lifestyles, while helping to support and invigorate Japan's traditional craft and art industries.

22.) Viator

The TripAdvisor owned Viator has a nicely varied selection of activities, trips and short tours in Japan. Although there is some overlap with the two regional specialists Klook and Rakuten Travel Experiences, it has enough unique offers to make it one worth bookmarking. (Check out this post on 10 Top-Rated Virtual Japan Tours it has available.)

23.) Rakuten Travel Experiences

Rakuten Travel Experiences (previously known as Voyagin) is part of the mighty Rakuten group of companies. If you want plenty of choice and keen pricing, this is a good place to start - although since the switch they have cut back on the quantity of experiences available.

Food Experience Platforms

tonkotsu ramen types of Japanese ramen The Real Japan

Tonkotsu is a rich style of Japanese ramen that is known for being moreish and hearty

If food is a big part of your travel, several of the sites mentioned above have food-based experiences you can research and book. However, there's a couple of platforms solely dedicated to food in Japan you need to know...

24.) Arigato Japan

If you would like to experience a Japanese food tour, Arigato Japan has the popular destinations covered. They have 70 local experts offering 40 foodie tours in 5 culinary destinations (Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima and Mt. Fuji).

They also offer a range of online experiences, so you can get a taste of Japan from the comfort of your sofa, if you can't be there in person. The Online Experiences start really cheaply, from just 1,650 Yen. In person city tours start at 16,800 yen.

Aside from the well-known city area tours, they also offer a Hidden Gem Food Tour (Tokyo), a Wine Country Day Trip from Tokyo in Yamanashi where you can visit Japan's oldest family-run winery, as well as sake, whisky, and matcha tours in Kyoto.

VIDEO: This is How You Make Okonomiyaki! Ajinoya Restaurant, Osaka

25.) byFood

byFood's tagline is "A Bite of Japan, A World of Smiles" and they aim to put a grin on your face through two main booking categories: Experiences and Restaurants. Its restaurant reservation service is particularly useful if you don't speak Japanese.

They work with over 1,600 restaurants and your search can be quickly narrowed down by using filters including Areas, Cuisine, Dietary Restrictions, Price Range, Michelin Star holders, and more.

On the Experiences side, activities are classified into Food Tours, Cooking Classes, Dining Experiences and Tastings. A nice social touch is when you make a reservation or booking via their platform byFood donates 10 school meals to children in need for each guest booking.

Bus, Ferry, Train Timetable Sites

Anei Kanko ferry Ishigaki The Real Japan Rob Dyer

Anei Kanko ferry services from Ishigaki, Okayama Prefecture

26.) 12Go Asia

This platform is dedicated to providing instant seat confirmation for buses, ferries, flights and railways in Japan and throughout SouthEast Asia.

Aside from some destination travel guides, a few country FAQs and a travel news page, 12Go Asia's simple interface focuses on quickly searching for seat and ticket availability. Perfect for backpackers and independent travellers who want to pre-book tickets in advance (which is sometimes essential on some routes and in some seasons).

Japan Without Japanese Audiobook eBook bundle The Real Japan Rob Dyer

27.) Japan Travel by Navitime

Specifically the Japan Route Finder & Calculator section of the Japan Travel by Navitime website.

Find the best route including bullet train, bus, airline, and taxi. Compatible with your railway pass. Plan your trip by calculating the train cost and distance. Check the train schedule. View the route on a map. Know which station to transfer, which exit to go out. Really user-friendly interface. I use this site in my work virtually every week.

They also have a free app for Android and iPhone smartphones.

28.) Japan Transit Planner (Jorudan)

Running a close second to Navitime's Japan Travel site and app is Jorudan's Japan Transit Planner. When Hyperdia stopped running the app I replaced it with on my phone was Japan Transit Planner.

It offers some of the same features as Navitime but is focused purely on rail travel. They also have an app for Android and iPhone smartphones, but one thing to be aware of is that some of the more detailed information is only available via the paid version of their app.

Portable WiFi

pocket wifi The Real Japan Rob Dyer

Pocket WiFi is one of the best ways to stay connected in Japan

For the highest connectivity and minimal difficulties navigating in Japan, I strongly recommend hiring a mobile WiFi. It's my No.1 'Must Have' piece of tech while exploring the country, and really is the best way to stay connected.

There are a range of services available with little to choose between many of them. Some companies operate under more than one brand name. Japan's excellent mobile phone network ensures you'll get a strong, fast signal even in the farthest reaches of Japan's islands. Provided you go with a reliable provider.

VIDEO: Pocket Wi-Fi in Japan Ninja Router Guide & Review

29. ) Japan Wireless + 30.) Mobal WiFi

Two other companies that are equally reliable are Japan Wireless, and Mobal WiFi. I particularly like Mobal as a company because they donate a majority of their profits to charities helping underprivileged children in Africa.

31.) Ninja WiFi via JRPass

Ninja WiFi is my main recommendation. Although you can order online directly from the company themselves, you can get exactly the same router and connectivity from the JRPass website - either when you are buying your Japan rail passes (national or regional), or you can just order the Ninja WiFi alone if that's all you need.  (Want to know more? Read my Review: Ninja Pocket WiFi)

SIM Cards

32.) Mobal SIM + 33.) SIMcard Geek

If you don't need WiFi but do need a Japan SIM card then Mobal provides those too. Another company I recommend is SIMcard Geek who specialise in cards for short-term tourists. You can read my personal review of using Mobal's Japan Unlimited SIM card HERE.

Japan Travel Guide Books

Japan by Rail book The Real Japan

The only guide to Japan by Rail you need

I've written in detail about how to actually go about choosing a guide book to travelling in Japan (you can read that post in full here). In that article I say determining which is the best guide for you is a little like choosing your ideal partner, or your favourite album of all time – it's a very personal thing.

34.) The Rough Guide To Japan + 35.) Lonely Planet Japan

Still, for my money (and I spend wisely when I do!), the two big names in the field deserve their reputations. So take a look at The Rough Guide To Japan (my personal favourite) and Lonely Planet Japan. Read this post for the pros and cons on each.

36.) Japan By Rail

If, like me, you're a keen train traveller, then there's no better guide to using Japan's excellent (and extensive) rail network than Japan By Rail published by Trailblazer. It includes a rail route guide, multiple network maps and 30 city guides.

Meet And Greet Service

For stress-free travel in Japan, you might want to consider a personal concierge service. These are available at major airports and rail stations to assist with things like travel documentation, ticket purchases, Japan Rail Pass voucher redemption, currency exchange, and WiFi/SIM card rental.

37.) Airport Meet & Greet

Enjoy your arrival in Japan with assistance from JRPass staff - directly at the airport. They'll meet you in person on arrival.
They'll help you activate the JR Pass and reserve tickets for the railway system, so you can focus on enjoying your visit in Japan.

You can read more about my experience of using a personal concierge service here.

Japan Car Hire

38.) Car Hire via Booking.com

If you want to rent a car in Japan but don't speak or read Japanese, there's an easy way to get this sorted - by using the Booking.com website. Although best known for their hotel platform, the site also offers simple car rental in Japan. Simply put, it lets you compare deals and get the best offers from the biggest car hire companies.

A few words about phone apps

I haven't included any phone apps in this list as I will be publishing an article dedicated to the best and most useful apps when travelling in Japan. And this list is pretty long as it is.

But if you'd like to know more now, in my book How To Travel In Japan Without Speaking Japanese, I list 8 Japan travel apps I recommend taking a look at, and 11 Japanese free translation apps for both Android and iPhones.

Well, that's quite a list!

Be sure to bookmark this article so you have quick access to all of these, or...

Download a PDF of this post:

If you have any go-to resources for your Japan trip planning, be sure to tell me and share your recommendations with others by leaving a comment below...

Rob Dyer The Real Japan

About the Author

A writer and publisher from England, Rob has been exploring Japan’s islands since 2000. He specialises in travelling off the beaten track, whether on remote atolls or in the hidden streets of major cities. He’s the founder of TheRealJapan.com.


38 Japan Travel Websites The Real Japan Rob Dyer

Leave A Comment / Ask A Question

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

  • What a gem of a website. I consider myself extremely lucky to have found this. Will certainly use your services in the future. Planing to travel October 2025

  • WOW. This is amazing. I was having such a BIG headache trying to plan how to get there, how to travel across cities, and where to go. And then your website pops up and I just want to cry. It saved me weeks, if not months, of researching!!! I and my fiance are planning to travel there for our honeymoon and it was a daunting process for the both of us. Not anymore! We cannot be anymore grateful and excited to have you posting valuable information up. This website is a hidden gem!!

    • That’s great to hear Krista! So pleased to have been of such help to you and your fiance. I’m sure you will have a fantastic honeymoon in Japan. Please do take a look around the site for all the free info you can use.

  • Hi Rob, you write a great article and the list of the websites is useful as well. I make use of a variety of websites, but Klook is the most dependable and cost effective. They offer exceptional services at a low rate, which is the reason behind their success.

    • Thanks Mena – glad you found the article great! And Klook does get a lot right – which is why it makes the list.

  • Very useful ! Thank you very much

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