• Background info
  • Festivals Japan
    Throughout the year there are numerous local festivals, or Matsuri, celebrated. The larger of these attract thousands of spectators. The main event in Japan is New Year (o-Shogatsu). All shops and businesses are closed between the ...
  • Food and drinks Japan
    Rice is the staple food and is eaten with chopsticks, which in Japanese are called 'hashi'. Besides rice, the Japanese love bread and noodles and a rich variety of meat, fish, fruit and vegetables. In ...
  • Landscape Japan
    Japan is known in Japanese as "Nihon" or "Nippon", which means 'the origin of the sun'. The Japanese archipelago is located east of the Asian mainland and the northwestern Pacific. Japan consists of four main ...
  • Population Japan
    For the moment, Japan has more than 130 million inhabitants of whom 99% belong to the Mongoloid race. 0.6% of the population are Korean immigrants and the remaining 0.4% consists of Chinese, Americans and Europeans. ...
  • Religion Japan
    The two main religions in Japan are Shinto and Buddhism. Shinto is an indigenous religion in Japan and originated in the distant past. They believed in the Kami, spiritual forces in trees, mountains, sea or wind. ...
  • Tipping Japan
    Tipping is not customary in Japan and in some cases may be seen as an insult. Your tour leader is expecting a tip at the end of the trip, unless he/she has not done a ...
  • Weather and climate Japan
    Climate: Japan, like Europe, has four clearly distinct seasons. In late March, early April the country awakens from hibernation to the bloom of plum and cherry trees. Especially when the sakura (cherry blossoms) are in bloom ...
  • Practical info
  • Arrival information Japan
    visa: You are responsible for having a valid passport and visa (if necessary) when you travel. As things stand, many European citizens do not require a visa for entry into Japan for this trip but you ...
  • Communication Japan
    * Post: The post is in Japan reliable. Post offices are generally open on weekdays from 9 to 17.00 hours. Some large post offices are open daily. On postcards (ehagaki) to Europe a stamp of ...
  • Information for people at home Japan
    It is prudent to make sure you have given your flight details and itinerary to somebody at home. Shoestring cannot release information concerning flight, travel plans, hotel names or numbers to a 3rd party. Please ...
  • Luggage and clothing Japan
    We strongly advise you to bring your luggage in a backpack (with inner frame) and the total weight limit not to exceed ten kilos per person. A compact bag of the same weight is also ...
  • Money Japan
    The currency is the Japanese Yen (¥ or JPY). There are coins of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 yen. The notes are 1,000, 2,000, 5,000 and 10,000 yen. For the current exchange rate ...
  • Time differences Japan
    Japanese time is GMT + 9 hours with no daylight saving. Please click here to view current times for individual locations. ...

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