The Ideal Length of a Trip in Japan
Tips to Plan the Best Duration
After discussing in great length what are the best season to go to Japan, the next question to solve is how long to stay in Japan.
Deciding on a total length for the trip is made quite naturally as most of tourists have a limited amount of time to travel to the other side of the world, generally and at best between two to three weeks. A quite nice duration however, for a change of air or to discover a country with attracting culture, located on the opposite side of the world.
Usually, several factors impacting the travel's length are out of the scope of our goodwill (such as taking days off and / or school holidays), but it is also important to take into account the following criteria:
- The travel budget: the round-trip flight only will usually cost at least $700 per person, unless you can get a discount;
- The time difference: one week is often necessary to adjust to the 7 to 8 hours of difference with the archipelago;
- The number of visits considered: whether you choose to visit only Tokyo and Kyoto or discover a larger area;
- The possibility or the will to come back to Japan at a close interval – some chose to travel over a short period but they do so every year.
Imperatives and possibilities
We think there is no ideal length for a travel in Japan. Some can be happy with only a few days in Tokyo. Other consider that any stay shorter than one year is not long enough to have a good grasp of Japanese culture. It is always a personal matter.
However, we recommend staying at least ten days to have a good taste of Japan. If you have the opportunity, three weeks to one month can be great to explore more extensively the country and travel off the beaten tracks.
The longer the better: keep in mind that most passports allow to stay up to 90 days in Japan without visa requirements. If you want to stay longer and are under 30 years-old, you can apply for a working-holiday visa, that grants a one-year stay. Other types of visas might be available depending on your country of origin.
Budget is key
It will be difficult to save money on a couple of weeks’ stays. Quite logically, the longer you stay, the more it will cost.
Note however that it is possible to save a great amount of time (and consequently money) when hiring a bilingual private tour guide. They have the knowledge and expertise of locals and can advise and help you prepare your travel according to your interests.