This is a record of my visit to Japan over a two week period in October and November 2016.
I spoke to friends and work colleagues who have been to Japan and watched numerous videos online to learn about what to expect before I arrived.
I learnt some basic Japanese as I knew there is very little English spoken in Japan.
As I was staying in big cities, I expected tall buildings and bright colourful lights.
I expected Japanese people to quiet, keep themselves to themselves and it to be busy with people rushing round on their way to work.
I expected it to be easy to find places, to be easy to get around and the trains to be very reliable.
I bought a ChatSim which is a Sim Card that works all over the world with instant messaging services (but not text messages or calls unless you pay for that function). I bought a spare phone so that I could use both SIM cards if I needed to.
I bought spare SD cards and batteries for my camera.
I bought a couple of mains adapter plugs and a USB Power Bank so that I could charge my electronic devices.
I wanted to keep things simple and I didn’t want to be carrying a lot of things with me, so I chose to take one small camera and I left my laptop at home.
Getting around and money
Before I went to Japan I needed to book flights and accommodation as well as arrange travel insurance and currency. I ordered a fee-free travel card.
I looked into getting a JR Pass although it wasn’t a cost effective option, as found that in my case it was cheaper to pay for individual fares.
I arranged to meet some friends who live in Japan and bought some basic Omiyage for them.
I compiled a list, with information and photos, of places to visit. I placed the list on my Kindle so that I could access it whenever I needed to.
Deciding where to go
I knew I didn’t have time to visit everywhere on the list, so I made a short list of cities in the Kansai and Tokyo regions.