Travel broadens the mind, expands the senses, and fills your heart with joy. It can also be a little terrifying, particularly if you are adventuring off to a country which has a very different language and culture to the one you know.
English speaking travelers often want to travel because they want to experience the ‘realness’ of another country, to enjoy the culture and to hear a different language.
Yet, at the same time, there is a desire to not stretch too far outside your comfort zone.
Don’t Travel Alone To Japan
The last thing you want is to be in a strange country trying to communicate with someone that you are lost, sick or in trouble, when there is a language barrier. Not only are you getting to experience the real Japan, but you are doing so in a safe and secure environment. You can adventure as far as your confidence and Google Translate will allow, but you can regroup under the security of a travel guide who understands your language and culture.
Not only do you have that extra security, but it is really nice to be able to share your experiences with someone who is just is amazed as you are. The food, the sights, the sounds, the people, being able to sit down at the end of a busy day travelling and just talk about the wonderful experiences you’ve had that day, with people that understand why you might find certain things amazing, really helps make visiting a new country.
Planning Your Japanese Adventure
One of the most amazing things about Japan, in an endless list of amazing things, is just how much it can change from season to season. So, when you are planning your trip, this is one thing that you should take into consideration – what will be happening at the time you visit?
Two of the most popular festivals are the Winter Festivals, generally around January and February, or the Cherry Blossom festivals that happen around March to April.
Each area of Japan has different attractions, and different events happening which celebrate the seasons. Thankfully, because tour operators know this, they will generally offer specific group tours that will allow you to get the experiences you most desire. This is why tours like https://alljapantours.com are popular.
However, if you find that you want to do something quite unique, or at a different time, most companies will also be quite happy to arrange a private tour package. You may find that you are not the only person who would enjoy the itinerary you envision, so may even be able to get enough people to get a good discount on the whole trip.
Winter Festivals Or Cherry Blossom Season?
Throughout most of Japan you will find Sakura festivals, celebrating the first blooming of the Cherry Blossoms. However, the actual timing can, and does, vary from year to year and from region to region. So, part of the decision you have to make is where you want to explore while you are in Japan, as this will have a large bearing on whether you will be in time to see the Cherry blossoms.
With the winter festivals the most famous is the Sapporo Snow Festival (さっぽろ雪まつり), bringing millions of people in to see hundreds of snow statues and ice sculptures. While the Asahikawa Winter Festival (旭川冬まつり) is also well attended, as it is usually scheduled just after the Sapporo event, and includes ice sculptures that are illuminated at night as well as fireworks displays. While not strictly a festival as such, the light-up event of the Icicles of Misotsuchi (三十槌の氷柱) is a sensational display that really puts Japans natural beauty on display. It is also not too far from Tokyo so makes it quite easy to add it to your schedule for a quick visit.
Do I Need To Know The Language?
It comes as a surprise to many English speakers, but not everyone in the world understands English. In the main centers of Japan, you are likely to find people who do understand and can speak a little English, while if you stay in more popular tourist spots you will generally find someone who can understand and converse with you. However, if you are with a tour, your guide will be able to assist with any translations you require.
To read more on topics like this, check out the world travel category.