Trip Dates: December 26-January 5
Arriving Airport: Haneda-Tokyo International
Temperature During Stay: very cold, extremely cold, and in some areas…freezing!
Ideal Time to Visit: if you are seeking nicer weather temperatures you can visit between March-April and September-November.
U.S citizens only need a valid passport to visit Japan for visits of 90 days or less. The passport must be valid for the time of your trip and it must have at least one blank page per stamp. For additional information regarding travel requirements or alerts click HERE.
The official currency of Japan is the Japanese Yen. Currently, 1 USD is equal to 110.40 Japanese Yen (check the rate before your trip because it fluctuates). Keep track of rates by using an app like XE Currency App. Prices in Tokyo are less expensive than those in New York. You can exchange money here through your bank before traveling, if they give you a good rate or do it at an exchange house once you get to Japan. If your debit card doesn’t have a foreign transaction fee, you can withdraw money at local ATMS. Just remember, DO NOT DO EXCHANGE MONEY AT THE AIRPORT, you will get paid way less.
If you want to use a credit card, bigger establishments in Tokyo accept cards. Cash is king so make sure you are prepared by having cash on you instead of relying on establishments that accept credit cards.
Suggested Time To Go For
Clients and readers always ask the same thing: How long should i go for? In our opinion, you shouldn’t go for anything less than 8-9 days. Keep in mind 2 of those days will be spent traveling. It isn’t time efficient to do anything less than that.
Tip: Mobile Passport is a great app to use when entering back into the U.S and going through customs. It will save you time. There’s no need to fill out the blue customs form anymore when going through participating airports.
Surviving a Long Flight+ Jetlag
As mentioned in our Bangkok Guide, surviving 18+ hour flights doesn’t always have to be brutal. It sounds horrible but you can make it easier for yourself. The night before departure start to time your sleep to avoid Jetlag. Japan is 14+ hours ahead, so keep that in mind when trying to adjust your body to the time difference BEFORE you actually travel. Prepping your body ahead of time, will help you be alert and adjust quickly. You can also pack sleepytime tea and liquid Melatonin, in the event you still have a hard time sleeping. Upon returning back to the states do the same thing the night before departing to avoid Jetlag upon your return.
ADAPTERS & CONVERTERS
If your electronics have just 2-pins you won’t need an adapter/converter. However, if your appliances have 3 pins you will need an adapter to take it to 2-pins. Here is one to consider purchasing.
This was the most fun I’ve ever experienced! We got to dress in our favorite Super Mario Bro character onesies and then drove alongside cars and big trucks in crazy downtown Tokyo traffic!! It was an adrenaline rush! Information on this can be found here.
This is the biggest intersection crossing of Japan, and maybe of the world! More than 1,000 people cross in various directions at the Shibuya Scramble each time the traffic light turns green.
This was a cool spot. Come here to have some tea or coffee and then pet some owls! The owls are in a separate part of the café, and are maintained in recommended warm temperatures. You can touch and hold the owls upon request. This was a very cool experience.
Ramen-hopping! This is essentially the best way to describe the Ramen Musuem. You can sample different styles of ramen from various parts of Japan! All fo the ones I tried were delicious. More information can be found here.
This is the tallest structure in Japan measuring over 600 floors high. It’s the world’s highest free-standing broadcasting tower! It gives you an amazing 360 panoramic view of the city of Tokyo. You can learn more here.
This is a beautiful place for pictures. You will find a waterfront with a huge ocean liner and live music playing. There are shops nearby, wall art, and an ice skating rink.
Takes you 50 minutes via bus from the JR Nikko Station. A spectacular waterfall almost 100 meters tall! There is an elevator that takes you down 100 meters to the base of the waterfall.
This lake is gorgeous. It was extra beautiful with t’s frozen trees and icicles.
About a two hour car ride, approximately 140km from Tokyo. It holds some of the most antique temples known to Japan.
Approximately 230km of Tokyo. About 1 hour via the bullet train. You may purchase a one day admission to the Snow Monkey Park at the Nagano train station which includes bus transportation fee and entrance into the Snow Monkey Park. It takes about 1 hour by bus, to reach the park. Then, approximately a 2km hike up the mountain on a paved dirt/snowy path.
The Snow Monkeys are a sight to see as they bathe in the hot springs and chase each other around the spectators. More information can be found here.
The Shiga Kogen Ski Resort, in Nagano Japan is known to be the second highest ski resort in Japan. The snow is the fluffiest I have ever experienced!
We hope this itinerary helps give you some ideas for your next visit. If you visit one of the places mentioned, please give us credit and tag @SuzzsTravels on Instagram.
Itinerary and Pictures provided by:Elouise & Enrique Aguirre
Additional information & edits: Susi Garcia
Ps. Having a checklist of everything you need to have or should know about a destination when planning a vacation, is extremely helpful for us so we want to share it with the rest of you. We hope you find it useful as well. You can download it here: Travel Checklist