Japan is not just another country or another culture but often depicted as simply another world for foreigners and even inhabitants. A fascinating and unique island where traditions have been preserved by centuries and innovations are in a constant development. A culture which takes care of the slightest detail in an endless search for achieving greatness but entangled in a complexity of rules and customs far beyond what a visitor can easily realize.
In Lujo Asiatico we believe these are the main points about tourism in Japan in strong contrast with other countries that partner agents should understand in order to sell Japan destination to their clients.
Japan is one of the safest countries in the world with regards to crime and delinquency. It’s not unusual to find people sleeping in trains or public transports and even in the very streets after a party night. Houses in the countryside sometimes have no locks and bicycles are often unchained. However, rules and regulations are quite strict and it’s necessary to carefully observe the legal procedures and VISA and passports requirements.
Driving in Japan, even cycling bears a big responsibility and should be taken seriously as getting involved in a traffic accident can easily incur in penal liability.
As one of the top economic powers in the world, Japanese people are quite wealthy in average and services are expensive. Regulations and bureaucracy make arrangements that are easy in other countries surprising complicated so, it is not advisable to do last minute arrangements.
The most important tourism in Japan is the Japanese internal tourism itself. Wealthier, reliable, easy going and knowing about the rules, customs and culture. Asian tourism, especially Chinese, is emerging and can surprise us in dates are not peak in other countries so we always suggest consulting dates with us.
Service quality and efficiency are usually extremely high, because of the Japanese working culture, however, not many people can speak foreign languages and ways of doing things can differ considerably of what other countries do.
Public transportation is very efficient, but as Japan is a very populated country it can be crowded and difficult to use, with problems during peak/rush times.
The Japanese government approves a ten days Holiday period for April-May 2019.
The Japanese Golden Week is traditionally the longest and busiest vacation period in Japan, with four official holidays depending on the year it uses to reach from seven to nine days including the consecutive weekends, visitor can expect touristic places and services overcrowded by the powerful Japanese internal tourism.
But in addition to that, coinciding with end of April-May 2019, the 84 years old Japanese Emperor is expected to abdicate, followed by the ascension to the throne of his son as new Emperor. The government has been considering making additional national holidays so, a bill to assign one-off holidays related to the Imperial succession next year has finally being approved, creating a 10-day Golden Week holiday period from late April. Travel activity would be difficult to predict, but likely peak around the beginning and end of the holiday period.
From Lujo Asiático Japan we usually advice to not come Japan on that time, though this year specially we encourage to skip those dates more than never.
Far from people’s impression of modernity in massive cities like Tokyo and Osaka, 70% of Japan is a green and hilly country very rich in wonderful natural parks. Japanese countryside is especially beautiful and offers cultural unique charms that many foreign tourists ignore.